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GlowForge is a Seattle-based startup that makes a 3D laser printer. Recognizing that with new technologies the only real way to prove that people will buy a thing is to actually be able and willing to sell it to them, they set their sights on a crowdfunding campaign.  In order to launch a successful crowdfunding campaign they knew they would need to focus on building their audience, specifically through a smart referral program.


With FullContact’s Person API, Glowforge has proven that stronger relationships are built through a personalized referral program.

  • Increased conversion rate by 3x
  • 10,000 signups in the first 2 months
  • $27.9 million dollars raised in less than 30 days

Their Challenge

Dan Shapiro

We used FullContact to populate the name and photo of the person who referred you to our landing page, and that was really unique and surprising to folks. We saw a 30% boost in conversion by personalizing the landing pages with FullContact data.

Glowforge knew one of the keys to a successful pre-sales campaign was to build a launch list, so they focused their attention on growing their relatively small list of 800 subscribers. They started with a simple request of their subscribers: Help spread the word and ask those you know who would be interested to subscribe for launch updates.

Seeing the results of that simple request then sparked their next big idea. Some people on their list had referred tons of friends. It was then that they began to understand the power of word of mouth from influencers and their critical role in the success of their crowdfunding campaign.


The Solution

The icing on the cake for the customer experience is where FullContact comes in.




When folks bought a Glowforge, they received an email that included a personalized URL and a note that said, "For each person who buys a GlowForge with this $100 coupon code, we'll give YOU a $100 off".

That special URL each purchaser shared led to a landing page with a unique spin on the message unlike anything most consumers had seen before: An image of the referrer and a personalized message.

Glowforge had 10,000 signups in the first two months, all without any major press. All friends telling friends. They increased their conversion rate by 3x just by having that personal piece incorporated into the landing page. Approximately 25% of all purchases came in via referral. Those coming in via a referral link from one of their customers converted at about 6x more than users who came in through any other channel.

Next Steps

FullContact’s powerful API’s add insights to your database and create better experiences for your customers. Core to its foundation is the the way businesses today connect, build rapport and convert sales. “Every time I use social proof in any marketing effort, I’m reminded of how powerful it is,” said Tony Wright, Founder/Product. “The new driver that we’re seeing is our customer base working hard to spread the word. I’ve honestly never seen a user base more invested in a pre-launch company’s success.”