How to Promote Your Customer Referral Program – Part 2 of 2

by Friendbuy

August 6, 2013

In this week’s post (conveniently titled Part 2 of 2), we continue our discussion from last week covering how to get more customer referrals by taking advantage of the many digital surfaces you control. This week we’ll discuss email, social profiles and customer service.


As mentioned a few posts back, email is a tool that expands the overall reach of your program and the potential volume of referral participation.  Promoting your dedicated refer a friend page is a snap with an email campaign. Moreover, email is a flexible and very precise tool.

Scheduled Drops

Email drops can be scheduled which make them incredibly malleable in the hands of a good marketer. This is perfect for sales, promotions, seasonal initiatives (i.e. Black Friday), upcoming events and other short-lived marketing initiatives.

Each program can be made share-able, therefor amplifying your current marketing message across social channels. Let’s say you have a holiday weekend sale with 20% off everything in your store. It’s easy to include a banner in your email to your customers that encourages them to share with friends the fact that you have a great discount over the next 48 hours.

[Customer Story] See how Tonal uses Friendbuy to drive up to 7% of online  revenue. >>

Targeted Segments

Email is also very target-able. Having a “men’s sale” this weekend? Segment the males in your email list and drive them to a unique landing page with a sweet referral offer. Target your Tier 1 shoppers or your most influential customers (those who’ve driven the most referrals in the past month) with a special referral offer.

Newsletters and Trigger Email

Include direct links to your referral page or (links or banners) in all the outbound communication your company sends. This includes regularly scheduled newsletters, order confirmation emails, shipping confirmations, etc. This creates a steady flow of referrals.

Email Signature

Include a referral link (PURL) in your personal email signature. Include a link to your refer a friend page in your customer service emails and transaction emails. Leave no stone unturned.

Email Summary

  • Encourage sharing and referrals for sales, promotions, seasonal initiatives, events and time-sensitive campaigns
  • Take advantage of targeting for your incentives (gender, top shoppers, premium subscribers, etc.)
  • Link to your Refer a Friend page or include a PURL in all email communications
  • Solo blasts that promote your stand-alone referral page
  • Newsletters
  • Transactional emails (registration confirmation, purchase confirmation, shipping confirmation)
  • Trigger emails (for example, 'days remaining' reminders for a free trail - Saas apps)
  • Customer service
  • Customer satisfaction surveys
  • Email signatures
  • Drip campaigns (remind folks periodically that they can refer friends)

Customer Service

If you have a customer service team, have your representatives to remind customers that they can refer friends by visiting your standalone refer-a-friend page (and/or homepage if you’ve placed a share banner there) . It’s easy to add a simple message to a call center script, such as, “Mrs. Jones, hopefully I’ve answered your questions today and I just wanted to let you know that you can get a reward for referring friends to our company. Just visit our referral page”

Live Chat

If you customer service teams use live chat services like Olark or Zopim, your reps can also IM the referral link in their conversations.

Support Tickets

Include a link to your referral program from your support ticket signature.

Customer Service Summary

  • Phone support
  • Support ticket signatures
  • Live chat

Social Media

Promote your standalone refer-a-friend page to your fans and followers. Post the link on your Facebook timeline and LinkedIn company page. Tweet your referral link to all of your fans and followers. Create a schedule for posts and Tweets to help you remember to promote your customer referral program regularly.

Here’s an added bonus: Not every social follower is customer (yet). And they might know people who are in the market for your product or service. Take advantage of your hard-won fan base by tweeting/posting a link that drives users to your stand-alone referral page.

You can also insert a link to your referral page within the content of your social conversations. Say a customer Tweets to you, include the referral link as a part of the reply.

Social Media Summary:

  • Post a link to your referral page from Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn
  • Remind existing customers
  • Make a referral offer to followers who are not yet customers

When you really start to think about all the places you can encourage sharing and referral activity, you might be a bit surprised. It can be a massive number.

See how Tonal uses Friendbuy to drive up to 7% of online revenue. >>