Referral marketing is a powerful tool, but it is just one piece of a comprehensive marketing strategy. Of course, all of the components of your overall marketing strategy—both the technology and the tactics—should work together, which is why it is so important for your referral program to integrate seamlessly into your existing efforts. On the back end, the referral platform must add value and not create an extra burden on precious resources. On the front end, your referral program should appear as an integral part of your brand, ever-present and engaging.
You create coordinated campaigns for paid advertising, email marketing, and social media, so why wouldn’t you do the same with your referral platform? Many of our customers use Friendbuy to combine a referral program with an influencer or ambassador campaign, providing an elevated offer for these important advocates. If you’re ready to take your brand to the next level, consider going beyond the basic referral marketing best practices and branching out into additional campaigns.
Campaign management is a key component of any referral platform. Without the ability to seamlessly manage multiple campaigns, it is difficult to stay agile and pursue continual optimization because you must:
- Juggle data from multiple platforms and apps.
- Update marketing content in multiple places to ensure consistency.
- Manually segment customers.
- Gather and normalize data to get accurate reporting.
With Friendbuy’s campaigns feature, you benefit from:
- Unified campaign management across email capture and referral capabilities.
- Personalization and segmentation to target specific users.
- Unlimited widgets, so you can run evergreen as well as seasonal campaigns.
- The ability to quickly update all the elements of your campaign—the incentive amount and structure (e.g., coupon or account credit), referral emails, widget and email design, and widget placements.
Of course, it is possible to set up and manage the little details of referral campaigns without these features, but this isn’t a practical approach for businesses that aim to scale.
An evergreen campaign is a referral campaign that is always running. We recommend starting with our referral marketing best practices, including:
- Making referral widgets easily accessible throughout the customer journey
- Creating a compelling offer
- Writing a call to action that catches attention
- Promoting your referral program through other marketing channels
You can refine the campaign over time using A/B testing to optimize the referral offer and other content, but usually, once an evergreen campaign has been dialed in, it continues to work for you with minimal effort.
In addition to your evergreen campaign, you can expand your referral reach by creating exclusive ambassador and influencer campaigns targeted at your most active and influential advocates.
Weight loss brand Lose It! launched an ambassador program in addition to its evergreen referral program. The Lose It! evergreen campaign rewards advocates with a $10 gift card when friends upgrade to Lose It! Premium after a one-week free trial. As with most referral programs, some shining stars rise to the top, and Lose It! wanted to grow that group of dedicated advocates.
Lose It!’s SuperTracker ambassador program takes the evergreen campaign a step further by enticing advocates with swag, special prizes, and other opportunities. After 10 successful referrals, SuperTrackers get more tools to help spread the word about Lose It!, including:
- A swag pack
- A social sharing starter pack
- Access to insider news and updates
- Access to a private Facebook group
This is a great example of true brand integration of a referral campaign. It extends to social media, email campaigns, and brand-based communities to create a pervasive presence at every customer interaction.
Nutrition brand Persona Nutrition complements its evergreen campaign with a social media influencer program. With this evergreen offer, advocates can give $25 and get $50 when friends make their first purchase.
The company has made referral marketing part of the brand by introducing the #PersonaPack, a social media influencer community that also benefits from exclusive opportunities such as:
- Opportunities to try new products first
- One-on-one time with nutritionists
The more influencers share, the more they are rewarded. This stackable rewards approach provides extra encouragement to influencers who are motivated by earning more perks based on the effort they put in.
The beauty of influencer campaigns is that your loyal advocates generate creative content on behalf of your brand. The PersonaPack shares personal success stories, nutrition habits, and the benefits they get from the products with their followers. Because there is already a foundation of trust (and an incentive to try the products), influencer followers are more inclined to make a purchase than they would be if they had just seen a paid ad.
As the name suggests, a time-bound campaign runs for a limited period of time, whether seasonal or related to a special event. Many marketers use time-based campaigns to create a sales boost, generate new advocates, or spur growth. One of the greatest advantages of time-bound campaigns is that you can be truly creative with what you offer. In fact, the more unique the offer is, the more engagement you’ll get. Check out these examples from real Friendbuy customers for inspiration.
SmileDirectClub runs a limited-time offer to enter a sweepstakes in conjunction with its evergreen referral program. With the CTA “Share Smiles,” the evergreen campaign gives friends a discount and advocates a $100 gift card. Because the brand doesn’t offer a product that lends itself to repeat purchases, this is a smart strategy for encouraging advocates to refer friends.
Because its teeth aligners are high-consideration purchases, the brand also runs periodic sweepstakes campaigns to help convert potential customers. The annual Gift of Grin sweepstakes encourages potential customers to share their personal stories about how teeth aligners would change their lives. The winners get free treatment, and the brand benefits from exposure to a larger audience.
Snack subscription brand NatureBox runs periodic referral contests to boost sales, re-engage advocates, and capture new subscribers. The evergreen campaign gives friends 20 percent off and gives advocates $20 for every friend who signs up. These stackable rewards can be used toward monthly subscriptions, which also keeps advocates coming back for more.
In one contest, the top three referrers won $300 in snacks and a $100 Amazon gift card. When running a contest, making the incentive extra compelling is one of the keys to engagement. The reward has to be much better than the evergreen campaign to prompt advocates to share with multiple friends.
Let Us Help You Run Referral, Influencer, and Ambassador Campaigns Simultaneously
When you run a time-bound campaign, push it through all the same channels and highlight the extra incentives that will encourage advocates to engage.
Use your referral program data to identify potential ambassadors and influencers, then give them the rewards and tools to support them. Personally reach out to micro-influencers to make them loyal brand advocates. Build a community of followers who are excited about sharing your brand with friends. Whatever approach you take to influencer and ambassador campaigns, referral marketing can only enhance it.
Friendbuy gives you all the tools you need to create evergreen and time-bound campaigns to amplify your marketing efforts. To learn more about referral strategies you can implement for your brand, read Referral Marketing: The Essential Guide.