5 Holiday Referral Marketing Strategies to Boost Sales This Season

by Friendbuy

December 10, 2020

People are always on the hunt for a good deal during the holidays, and increased traffic to your site presents the perfect opportunity for referral marketing. During this key shopping time, leverage your best customers who are already shopping and turn them into brand advocates. Give them a way to share with their friends who are reaching out for recommendations to hone in on the perfect gift. Try one of these five referral marketing strategies to help grow your brand this holiday season. 

1. Drive Traffic to Your Biggest Holiday Sales

SPANX leverages referrals to drive traffic to its Cyber Weekend event, the biggest discount opportunity of the year. Rather than having a competing lesser offer, SPANX leverages referrals to drive traffic to its rich sitewide offer for the limited period of time.

One key to the ongoing success of this campaign is that SPANX rewards its advocates after the sale is completed. This is a great way to encourage purchasing after the holiday season and to keep the brand top of mind.

[Customer Story] See how SPANX uses Friendbuy to achieve a 15% conversion rate  from referred customers. ️

5 Holiday Referral Marketing Strategies to Boost Sales This Season - SPANX

2. Enrich the Incentive for Your Best Customers 

Invisible braces company byte doubled down for the holidays, giving advocates a $200 gift card when friends purchase aligners, instead of its usual $100 offer. 

We like this approach for two reasons. First, the dramatic increase in rewards is likely to engage advocates who have already been receiving offers from byte. Second, the limited time frame for the incentive adds even more urgency and excitement around sharing. This extra motivation helps drive up referral conversions because advocates give friends that extra nudge of encouragement to make a purchase so they can receive the better reward.

5 Holiday Referral Marketing Strategies to Boost Sales This Season - byte

3. Sharing Is Caring

The holidays are a time for giving—not just to friends and family, but also to those in need. This year, Nuuly, a women’s clothing subscription box, will donate $20 to charity for every converted friend in December.

We like this strategy because we have seen that people feel good when they do good, and helping others can be a strong motivator. In addition to the charitable donation, advocates also get a little something for themselves (a $20 credit). If altruism isn’t enough to encourage advocates to share, a referral incentive is sure to tip the scales.   

See how Nuuly used Friendbuy to drive thousands of new subscriptions within  weeks of launch. >>

5 Holiday Referral Marketing Strategies to Boost Sales This Season - Nuuly

4. Reward Your Personal Heroes

Performance running gear company On encourages advocates to celebrate their personal heroes, a timely offer during the holidays. An offer for a substantial 30 percent off for referred friends (“personal heroes”) is sure to drive sales this holiday season, when people are on the lookout to discover new brands and products.

Why will this offer be successful? A limited-time offer that expires December 25 encourages advocates to share the joy during the holiday season and creates a sense of urgency to share such a great offer. Advocates also get free stuff for multiple referrals—if the offer is redeemed 10 times, the advocate gets a free hat. This sweet reward encourages advocates to share with more friends to increase their chances of earning more rewards. The automatic reminder option is also a seamless way to nudge friends, especially for a limited-time offer.

5 Holiday Referral Marketing Strategies to Boost Sales This Season - On

5. Signal the Specialness of the Season

No matter what offers or incentives you use, dress them up for the holidays. Use relevant graphics and language to highlight that your offer is holiday-oriented. For example, Primally Pure changed up its regular offer for the holiday season. Rather than giving a percentage off, it did a gift with purchase: five days of stocking stuffers. 

5 Holiday Referral Marketing Strategies to Boost Sales This Season - Primally Pure

Using referral offer language that signals the holidays lets customers know that your incentives are specific to the season. The time-bound offer also creates a sense of urgency.

Shoppers are already keeping an eye out for gift ideas during the holiday season, so using festive visuals helps attract attention. Even if your offer isn’t holiday-specific, updating the imagery as Bonobos did can draw in customers who are shopping for holiday gifts. 

5 Holiday Referral Marketing Strategies to Boost Sales This Season - Bonobos

Boost Your Sales This Holiday Season and Beyond

If you’re looking to increase holiday sales, rely on your existing customer base to give you a bump. Your advocate rewards will encourage repeat purchases even after the holiday has passed, and you’ll gain new customers at the same time. For more tips on how to keep your referral marketing strategy fresh all year long, read Referral Marketing: The Essential Guide.

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