Category Archives: Referral Marketing Strategy

Referral Marketing Tactics of the Best Brands

Friendbuy powers referral marketing (refer-a-friend programs) for many of the best brands & marketers in e-commerce. From emerging challenger brands to established multi-national organizations, a common attribute across our clients is that they are world-class marketers.  They understand the growth impact of a well-executed referral program, and they treat their referral programs as a primary channel for customer acquisition. So what are the common tactics of successful Referral Marketing? We’ve outlined some of the common tactics for making your referral program your most successful customer acquisition channel. By following Friendbuy’s recommended best practices, many of our clients achieve 5% to 15% of their customer acquisition through customer referrals, and some achieve well above 20%.

The Basic Referral Marketing Tactics

Make it Super Simple to Refer (Less than 2 clicks away)

Think about the times you’ve referred your friends to a site or mobile app.  Was the program hard to find?  Was it easy to send that email or text? Referral Marketing can be your #1 acquisition channel if you make it super simple for your customers to find your program and refer in an instant.  Friendbuy integrates into any part of your site or mobile app to facilitate that impulse referral. The key is to place the program in strategic locations with strong calls-to-action (CTAs).

Site-Wide Calls to Action

ClassPass has integrated referral marketing into their site-wide navigation to build awareness and make it simple for their customers to FIND and USE their program. Lucky Brand uses an alternative site-wide CTA: a strategically-placed ribbon that sits on the left-hand portion of their site. It follows customers as they browse their site, making their referral program easy to reach at any point throughout the user experience. Even better, this ribbon is 100% controlled by the Friendbuy pixel, allowing Lucky Brand’s marketers to run A/B on copy, placement, and color, all without getting internal development prioritized. Lucky Brand Referral Program CTA

Advanced Move: Referral Call to Action in Your Mobile App

When Dollar Shave Club members are logged in on their mobile app, tapping the dollar sign allows sharing directly through the app. This allows members to share through the mobile device’s built-in sharing mechanisms, making for a seamless sharing experience. DSC Mobile App Referral  

Site-Wide Overlay Draws Focus on the Referral

After clicking on the site-wide CTA, ClassPass serves an overlay that allows customers to instantaneously share with friends. After they’re done sharing, customers can continue browsing, making for a smooth, consistent user experience.

Referral Landing Pages That Can Be Linked to from Anywhere

Away Travel utilizes a Referral Landing Page that allows them to link to the referral program from anywhere. They’re able to promote their referral program to existing customers through transaction emails, newsletters, and social posts. The page is hosted by Away, giving them complete control as to who sees it, and when. Away Travel Landing Page

Promotion Through Email Marketing

MeUndies and Dollar Shave Club both promote their program consistently in all their emails with a banner call-to-action. This is a great opportunity to drive awareness with their customers, letting them know they can earn money towards future purchases by referring friends. Referral Marketing via Email

Auto-pop a Referral Widget After Checkout to Engage Your Most Passionate Advocates

Glossier auto-pops a Sharing Widget after a purchase to their recent buyers, resulting in 10x more sharing than a simple CTA.  Advanced Post-Purchase Move – consider a higher offer post-purchase, or conditionally show higher value customers a higher offer

Additional Advanced Moves

Post-NPS Sharing

Net Promoter Score surveys are a natural fit for referral programs. For every customer that gives a positive review through StellaService, NatureBox serves a referral offer, capturing customers at a point of great brand satisfaction. NatureBox Referral NPS

Referral Contests

Simba Sleep runs a periodic contest to drive referral activity. This is a great way to drive repeat sharing activity without giving away too much margin on your products.

Retargeting to Promote Your Referral Program

Negative Underwear uses their referral program as a retargeting tactic, which entices customers who have shown interest in their brand back to their site. Negative Underwear Retargeting   There are a number of other creative ways a referral program can work for you. We’ve seen success in finding new influencers through referral data available in the Friendbuy dashboard, giving marketers insights on who is actually driving the most conversions. We’ve also helped our clients start campus rep programs, giving great offers to college students who drive brand participation throughout their communities.

In Summary

To recap, a Referral Marketing program is successful when your audience is aware that you have a program, and the Referral Marketing program is easy to find and use. Once you have the building blocks in place, you can get creative, linking the program from channels where you have the most engagement from the best customers. Interested in learning more? Get in touch with our referral marketing experts through the below link.
referral page

A Killer Referral Page is a Key Asset to Your Refer a Friend Program. Here’s Why.

If you have a referral program but haven’t set up set up a standalone referral page yet, that’s a damn shame. Why? Because they do some very heavy lifting for you and contribute massively to customer acquisition. BTW, referral pages are very easy to create and promote so there’s really no excuse. Continue reading
Marketing for Millenials - Featured Image2

Marketing to Millennials: Killer Examples and Surefire Tactics

Marketing to millennials is going to require a fresh perspective because traditional marketing tactics will fall flat. Don’t go fooling yourself, wasting your money in the wrong places or on the wrong tactics.

Well… now that I’ve sufficiently sounded the alarm… how do you gain the trust of millennials and bring them to your virtual door? This post will help you focus your marketing strategy on this customer segment.

Continue reading


6 Super Noteworthy Customer Referral Program Ideas

Creative marketers tend to tweak stuff. You should see what some of them are doing (and you will in this post) with their referral campaigns. When you build marketing software, you tend to think your customers will use it “as intended.”  However, some power users (not all, but some) get creative and bend your product toward their own will, doing all sorts of things you didn’t anticipate. And that’s fun to watch. We’ve seen this happen with Friendbuy and I’m very happy to report there have been  some really creative referral programs that veer a little outside the “traditional” way of running them. Continue reading

41 Word of Mouth Marketing Statistics. Plus a Few Opinions.

Millions of recommendations are happening all over the world at any given moment. In cubicles and living rooms and on the Internet. Every day in every language. We’ve all felt the power of a positive recommendation – the way your perspective instantly changes when a friend or family member says, “Oh, I’ve tried that thing! It’s awesome – I love it. You should try it too!” It doesn’t matter if they’re recommending a new blender or a vacation to Italy. You’re instantly more inclined to try the thing in question. Just because someone you know can vouch for it. Continue reading

47 Referral Program Examples Listed by Incentive Type (Plus Three Bonus Examples!)

We’re frequently asked for blog posts that show referral program examples. We get it, you’re hungry for ideas. In this post, we’ll group the examples by the types of referral incentives (free merchandise, store credit, etc.) you may wish to consider for your own program. Here’s an epic list of referral programs — grouped by incentives — to inspire you. Continue reading

Referral Marketing Do’s and Don’ts

I’ve seen quite a few great referral programs. That’s one of the perks of working at Friendbuy – observing many (thousands of) campaigns.  It’s pretty easy to identify common traits shared by the best of them. What I see, over and over, is that the marketers behind exceptional referral campaigns focus on three key areas: location, promotion and optimization. Here’s a handy Venn diagram of those pillars. Continue reading

6 Myths About Referral Programs Debunked (#3 is the Worst)

Let’s clear the air about referral programs and some commonly held (mis)beliefs.  Yeah, we know you have a lot of choices for attracting new customers – print, display, PPC, SEM, retargeting, etc. Heck, if you’re lucky enough to have $4 million lying around, you can run a 30-second broadcast spot during the Super Bowl. But how much growth can you expect from these channels? More importantly, how efficient are these investments? Referral programs beat them all!  Let’s zero-in on referral programs and dispel few myths… Continue reading
Subscription Referral Programs

Subscription Referral Programs: What You Need to Know

A referral program is a marketing tactic wherein you (the marketer) encourage anyone you can reach (your customers, social followers and folks in your email list) to promote your product/service to their friends, A.K.A. your next customers. So what makes a subscription referral program unique?  What’s different about them? Continue reading