How to Use Email to Increase Social Sharing and Customer Referrals

by Friendbuy

October 3, 2012

Most Friendbuy partners get starting with our platform by setting up post purchase sharing. It’s completely logical to encourage customers to share with their friends at the point of sale, when they are most excited. Consider stepping it up a notch by spreading sharing opportunities across several digital surfaces, including your homepage and email – two places with more potential reach. That is to say, pump up your sharing volume!

Sharing opportunities can be included in all of your email communications, such as:

  • Stand-alone emails
  • Newsletters
  • Blog updates
  • Transactional emails such as purchase confirmation
  • Registration confirmation
  • Special announcements such as holiday gift guides

Here are few types of emails our partners are using along with some handy tips.

1) Stand-alone emails that encourage sharing

One major benefit of stand-alone email campaigns is that they are very focused. We’ve found that a great mindset to bring to email campaigns is to treat them like a landing page; reduce the number of distractions and present a clear call to action. The results can be incredible.

Here are some tips to keep you on track.

KEY TAKEAWAY: Keep it concise!

  • Don’t distract the recipient – minimize the number of clickable links, keep the focus on sharing
  • When in doubt, ask yourself, “Would this make a great landing page?”
  • Take advantage of the available real estate in your email template and use a large banner for a share button
  • Use a clear call to action, Tell the recipient exactly what to do
  • Consider using a referral incentive
  • Or not...incentives aren’t always required to get folks to share

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

Stand-Alone Email Example #1: UrbanCargo creates clarity by focusing their message in a stand-alone email.

Urban Cargo Stand Alone Email

Stand-Alone Email Example #2: NatureBox runs a refer-a-friend promotion that provides some quick, visual instruction to the email recipient.

NatureBox Newsletter Sharing Incentive


2) Include share banners in newsletters

If you send email newsletters frequently, it’s a ‘no brainer’ to include a sharing banner in your template.

KEY TAKEAWAY: Set up a ‘default’ sharing banner and vary it from time to time

  • Consider setting up a default sharing banner in your newsletter template for regular and frequent sharing
  • Change the offer/banner for seasonal initiatives like holidays or sales
  • Include incentives when you need a boost in referral traffic
  • Align your messages and sharing opportunities with your promotional calendar
  • Definitely include sharing for new product announcements!!!

Example: DogVacay runs periodic customer referral incentives in their newsletter – in this case a cash reward

DogVacay Promotional Sharing Banner


3) Include share banners in purchase confirmation emails

Purchase confirmation emails take advantage of your customer’s excitement from their recent purchase. It also doubles the opportunity for social sharing if the customer did not share at checkout.

Example: Ecomom includes a sharing banner in their purchase confirmation emails

Ecomom Sharing Incentive


You can increase customer referrals by placing share buttons and banners in several locations.   Email communications - newsletters, stand-alone messages, etc. – represent a potential ‘high reach’ and ‘high frequency’ opportunity for you.

See how Tonal drives up to 7% of online revenue with a Friendbuy-powered referral program