Easily accessible e-commerce and digital marketing tools have made it easier than ever for brands to bypass traditional retail channels and offer products directly to consumers. This is good news for customers, but it also makes for a noisy marketplace, with web browsers and social media apps being flooded with ads. Referral marketing cuts through the noise because it starts with a personal connection.
Friends telling friends about the products they love has always been the best form of marketing. Referral marketing has digitized this practice, making it easy for brands to provide incentives to advocates who refer their friends. Referral marketing for direct-to-consumer (DTC) brands is a way to reduce the cost of acquisition, build brand loyalty, and encourage repeat sales to increase the lifetime value of customers. Learn how these three DTC brands have used referral marketing to get to the next level, and apply those lessons to your brand.
Wine Insiders Wins New Customers with Unique Campaigns
Wine Insiders has rapidly spread the word about its convenient wine delivery program by offering a "Give $25/Get $25" deal to its customer base. The company's referral program has been so successful largely because it is following all of the best practices Friendbuy recommends, including:
- Creating a landing page for the referral program
- Prominently displaying the primary CTA
- Using a post-purchase overlay
- Leveraging its existing email marketing to promote the program
The Wine Insiders team has also gone beyond these basic principles to create unique campaigns that boost sales. They ran a holiday campaign during which they increased their offer to a "Give $50/Get $50" deal to promote more sharing during the holidays.
As of January 2021, Wine Insiders is also currently running a “Give a Box” campaign that allows customers to share the love by sending a box of wine to up to three friends.
Olive & June Shoots for the Moon with A/B Testing and Built-in Analytics
DTC nail care brand Olive & June rewards advocates with free products with its "Give $10/Get a free polish" offer. The company optimized the campaign by using Friendbuy’s A/B testing features to determine the most effective:
- Placement of personalized urls, or “PURLs”
- Email copy
In addition to honing these important details, Olive & June also used Friendbuy’s built-in analytics to find out which channels performed best. After learning that email had the highest conversion rate, the team made email sharing more prominent to encourage more growth in this channel.
Burrow Inspires Sharing with Third-Party Gift Cards
DTC custom furniture brand Burrow knows that its customers don’t make as many repeat purchases because of the nature of its products, but this hasn’t stopped the company from growing through referral marketing. Advocates might not make frequent purchases from Burrow, but they can refer a lot of friends! Instead of offering discounts, store credit, or free products, Burrow takes advantage of Friendbuy’s partnership with Tremendous to reward advocates with third-party gift cards.
To promote its referral program, the primary CTA is prominently placed in the top and bottom navigation areas on the website. Advocates get a PURL for easy sharing, or they can use the built-in email form. The Burrow team has also been careful to craft an offer that uses clear language—advocates get a $50 Amazon gift card for every referred purchase over $300, and the friend receives $75 off their order.
Burrow also used analytics to refine its referral program. After evaluating their funnel, the team focused more on email sharing andadded additional email sharing fields as a visual prompt to encourage sharing with multiple friends. To continue optomizingreferral, the team is also testing different creative content based on email campaigns already proven successful with existing customers.
Build Your DTC Brand with Friendbuy
DTC brands have a lot of advantages, but one limitation is that potential customers don’t see their products on store shelves. Referral marketing can help increase exposure to new audiences when happy customers share offers through email, text, social media, and other channels.
Clothing rental subscription brand Nuuly successfully used referral marketing to grow its list by thousands in just a few weeks. If you’re ready to see this kind of growth for your brand, learn more about it in this case study.