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Event tracking is the best way to understand user behavior that is fundamental to your business. By tracking events, you can improve customer experience and, ultimately, increase revenue.

While event tracking is applicable across many business functions, it particularly shines when used for optimizing referral and loyalty funnels. Let's explore how.

What is Event Tracking?

Event tracking is a method used in digital analytics tools to record user interactions on a website or app. These user interactions, or "events", could range from button clicks, form submissions, blog post visits, to product purchases. 

In the context of referral and loyalty marketing, events can be any actions your customer takes that you'd like to track - i.e. visits in store, download a mobile app, subscribe to SMS lists (clicking and opting in on their phone).

With proper event tracking setup, and therefore detailed data collection about your customers, businesses can gain valuable insights about their user behaviors, which can then be used to improve user experience and optimize conversion rates. 

Most businesses use event tracking in Google Analytics, but event tracking can be used in many other ways, such as referral and loyalty marketing, which I’ll get into later in this post.

No matter where or how you track events, event tracking allows you to make informed decisions for your business.

If you're new to this, here's a step-by-step video guide on how to set up event tracking in Google Analytics. Otherwise, we'll focus on event tracking in referral and loyalty marketing.

When does the tracking code send an event?

The event tracking code sends an event hit when a user performs a specific action that you've defined as an event. This could be clicking a button, playing a video, downloading a document, or any other defined interaction. For Google Analytics, this requires additional setup to define and capture these events. 

How can event tracking be used to increase your customer retention?

Event tracking can be used in any type of marketing to improve your overall marketing strategy, which generally prioritizes customer retention. In the context of referral and loyalty marketing, the top marketing strategies for increasing customer retention, event tracking becomes an important part of constantly growing your referral funnel. 

For example, businesses can set custom events in their loyalty program so that customers are only rewarded when they complete a task (“event”) that supports your business goals.

Friendbuy software can track lots of different events, such as which products are purchased, the monetary value of each purchase, or which event category the purchase was made in.

To see all of the events that Friendbuy’s software tracks, take a look at our event tracking documentation.

Event tracking also allows businesses to monitor each step of the customer journey and A/B test different aspects of your referral funnel.

This is where the magic happens, where every click becomes another revenue-boosting step for your data-driven strategy.

Let's go deeper into how event tracking powers referral and loyalty marketing in the next section.

Event Tracking Case Studies In Referral & Loyalty Marketing

For businesses investing in referral and loyalty marketing, event tracking can be a game-changer. It allows you to tailor your referral funnel to encourage the conversion events that align with your business goals. To illustrate the power of event tracking in this context, let's look at how some Friendbuy customers have successfully applied it.

1. Intuit TurboTax

Choosing tax filing software is a major decision for most people, which is why TurboTax tracks multiple conversion events to monitor the entire referral funnel. After Advocates refer a Friend, the company can see how many people create an account, how many of them finish their taxes, and how many of that group use the software to file. The custom conversion events Intuit has created to monitor this progress through the funnel include:

  • A sign-up event when a Friend signs up for TurboTax and creates an account

  • A completion event when taxes have been completed 

  • An e-file event when taxes are filed, which triggers a $25 gift card reward for Advocates

Once a Friend has filed, the advocate gets rewarded. Intuit is notified about every conversion event so they can take action between each step. This might include sending reminders to Friends to take advantage of their coupon codes or sending celebratory emails to Advocates when their rewards are issued.




2. Annmarie Gianni

Annmarie Gianni uses event tracking in the brand's referral program, the Wild & Beautiful Collective. When a referred Friend completes their first purchase, the Advocate is rewarded with a dollar-based discount.

The brand is able to collect data along the entire referral process, which can be used to A/B test different versions of the referral funnel...

...including what kind of referral offer gets the most sign ups. Thanks to event tracking and Friendbuy's powerful A/B testing capabilities, brands can even test whether their referral offer, such as "Give $25, Get $25", has the most profitable results.

Annmarie Gianni also uses event data to trigger rewards in their loyalty program. The first event is loyalty program signup, when members are awarded 500 points for joining.

Members can earn a point for every dollar they spend and by completing other tasks that are important to the brand, such as signing up for their promo programs and events.

Friendbuy works with customers to pick earning events that are important to them. We understand that every business is unique, and so are the actions that drive value for your brand. That's why we work closely with our customers to identify the earning events that matter most to them.

3. Carr Workplaces

Carr Workplaces is implementing event tracking in a multi-step approach: they reward both on an office tour and on a successful lease signed. 

The first event is when the referred Friend takes a tour of the facilities, which earns the Advocate a $10 Starbucks gift card. When the Friend signs an initial contract, the second unique event, the Advocate gets a $250 gift card.


4. Saalt

Saalt uses event tracking in the brand's loyalty program, like Annmarie Gianni in the earlier example. Where Saalt differs is in which events the brand tracks. In Saalt's case, users are rewarded for making purchases, completing a quiz, referring friends, signing up for email lists, or completing a customer survey.


What I love about working with Saalt is that the brand strategically made high-converting events a part of the loyalty program. By incentivizing events that generally lead to higher customer lifetime value, Saalt is nudging its customer base into these extremely valuable actions.

5. Tonal

At-home fitness brand Tonal uses custom events to walk potential customers through their customer journey. Tonal begins by rewarding users with $125 off a Tonal Trainer purchase simply for entering their email address (aka the custom event).

Tonal's referral program then rewards Advocates with a free month for every referred Friend that makes a purchase (the next event). Tonal Advocates can get up to 10 free months per year, making this a popular referral program for fitness influencers or instructors.

Read this heart-warming story about how one of Tonal's customers inspired change among his friends and earned a free Tonal membership in the process.


Tonal’s referral program uses event tracking to guide users along their customer journey and test different referral rewards and incentives to see which gets the brand the biggest bang for its buck.


The Importance of Event Tracking in Conversion Optimization

Event tracking isn't just about gathering data; it's about using that data to drive actions that improve your conversion rate. Once a referred Friend has engaged with your brand, optimizing your conversion rate depends on several factors:

Amplifying Your Incentives

A compelling offer that complements your other marketing efforts can attract more customers. By tracking events related to these offers, you can measure their effectiveness and adjust accordingly.

Optimizing User Experience

Event tracking can help identify friction points in your user journey. By analyzing the events, you can make necessary adjustments to reduce user drop-offs and improve conversion.

A/B Testing

Event tracking is also integral to A/B testing. By testing different elements of your referral program, you can identify what resonates most with your audience and optimize it.

Promoting Your Program

The more people you reach at the top of the referral funnel, the more conversions you will likely get at the bottom. Event tracking reports can help you understand which promotional tactics are most effective.


Implementing Custom Event Tracking with Friendbuy

Whether it's making a purchase, referring a friend, downloading your mobile app, or opting into your rewards program, we can help you reward your customers for the actions that contribute to your business growth.

We also offer the ability to define the rules and conditions for triggering rewards to your loyalty members through simple, easy-to-understand statements. Want to reward customers who have made a certain number of purchases, or who have referred a certain number of friends? We've got you covered. And with the option to add custom attributes, we can support even the most advanced business needs.

Custom events can be created for either Advocates or Friends. If you want to set up an out-of-the-box conversion event for when a Friend completes account registration or enters an email address, you can do it on your own in the platform. For other types of conversions, just reach out to your account manager for help. We offer flexible solutions that allow you to use Friendbuy’s APIs to customize your conversion events for your specific needs.

In addition to the customer examples above, some of the other types of custom events you can create in Friendbuy include:

  • Incentivizing friends with an Amazon gift card if they download an app

  • Rewarding advocates when friends download an app and make a purchase

  • Encouraging friends to try a new product

  • Rewarding advocates when friends join a VIP program

No matter what type of business you have, Friendbuy can work with you to create a reward structure that encourages sharing and grows your referral funnel.

Track Events & Optimize Your Referral Funnel with Friendbuy

Event tracking can provide invaluable insights that can help optimize your referral and loyalty funnel, leading to increased customer engagement and revenue. With Friendbuy, you don't just get a world-class referral marketing platform—you also get a team committed to your success.


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