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Referral & Loyalty Program for All Types of Businesses
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Coupon marketing is a smart way to attract and retain customers with discount codes and coupon codes. 

It’s been around since before your grandmother.

Pair that with a referral program and you’ll see your customer loyalty skyrocket. You’ll also see more and more new customers.

We’ve got the case studies to back it up. I’ll share how we use referral coupons in this post.


What Is A Referral Coupon?

A referral coupon is a type of referral code that lets Friends and Advocates redeem rewards and incentives after the Friend has successfully used the given coupon code. A referral coupon usually has a unique code for each Advocate that allows you to keep track of referrals.

You’ve probably seen this most often in influence and ambassador marketing. For example, an Advocate may advertise on their social media platforms that they have a designated coupon code, and if a Friend uses it on the merchant’s online store, the Friend will receive $10 off their next order. 

The Friend will manually type in this referral coupon during the checkout process. Once the coupon is registered, the Friend will receive their promised incentive, and the Advocate will receive their reward.

purl referral code (1)

Referral coupons are a great alternative to tracking referrals through a personalized URL (PURL) or a referral link. While PURLs use cookies to attribute referrals to Advocates, referral coupons rely only on the code entered during checkout for attribution.


How Do I Generate A Referral Code?

Referral codes can be generated automatically with Friendbuy, or randomly on your own. What matters is that each referral code is unique and can be matched up to an Advocate. 

(We’ve given detailed instructions on how to manually generate referral codes in this guide.)

Generate your referral codes to be used as coupons by creating a code bank. Tracking referral coupon codes either manually (instructions for this are also in the guide ☝️) or with software. This lets you easily match the referred Friend to the Advocate who referred them.

You can keep your referral coupons organized either with a referral tracking software, or by doing it manually:

  • Friendbuy Customers. Create a list of coupon codes and upload them to the code bank after they’ve been exported as a .txt or .csv file. Make sure to set a minimum spend amount, customer eligibility, and usage limit if that is relevant to your coupon referral program. Friendbuy can generate these coupon codes automatically as referral codes. All codes are unique in order to associate an Advocate to a referral campaign.
  • Manually Tracking. If you’re tracking referral codes manually, use a tracking template paired with Google Analytics. Friendbuy offers a free downloadable template. All you need to do to get started is randomly generate your referral codes, keep track of referrals per purchase, and create an approval process for referrals. 

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


Creative Ways Your Business Can Use Referral Coupons

Referral coupons are a great referral marketing strategy that caters to both existing customers and new customers. While ordinary coupon codes are a smart way to generate new business, referral coupons take advantage of word-of-mouth marketing and simultaneously reward loyal customers.

This is how referral marketing works. It supercharges all of your other marketing tactics.

Businesses can assign a referral coupon to each Advocate and create referral rewards that encourage Advocates to bring in new, referred customers. 

Let’s take a look at one of our customers to see this in action.

Feals uses referral coupons as part of their referral program. Advocates share an email with Friends that offers a free “flight” when their referral coupon is used on the checkout page. The Friend enters the referral coupon and then receives their incentive. The referral coupon used ties the referral back to the original Advocate.

feals referral coupon cart (1)

Thinx also uses referral coupons as part of their referral programs strategy. The referred user makes a purchase and redeems the referral coupon shared with them. 

thinx coupon code (1)

They get a discount code of $10 for this, and when the order is confirmed, the Advocate gets an email notifying them they have $10 in referral credit.

thinx referral credit is ready email (1)



Tips For Creating Referral Coupons

Any business can implement a coupon referral program, but if you want to own a truly successful referral program, you need to be creative and purposeful with your coupon code ideas. 

Here are some clever tips to get started:

  • Create holiday promotions. Everyone is looking to score a good deal around the holidays. Take advantage of this by kickstarting a new coupon referral program that directly targets holiday buyers.
  • Let Friends redeem referral coupons in store. Referral coupons are great for ecommerce platforms, but you can also use them for your physical stores. Track in-person referral coupon uses and add them to your tracking software or tracking spreadsheet to encourage additional use.
  • Make referral coupons exclusive to your referral programs. Instead of handing out a referral coupon to just any customer, invite them to join your referral program first before they can become an Advocate and distribute coupon codes. This will help build your customer base and create loyal customers.
  • Give your Advocates lots of ways to share. When you’re sending out referral codes for your Advocates to share with friends and family members, provide them with templates for sharing via social networking sites, email, and SMS. The more options they have, the likelier they are to share.
  • Pair a sweepstakes campaign with your coupon referral program. On top of rewarding Advocates, you can also enter them in a sweepstakes campaign where they have the chance to receive additional rewards. Their chances get better the more Friends they refer, so they’re encouraged to refer even more than before.


Closing Thoughts

Easily trackable — whether you use software or prefer to do things by hand — referral coupons are a fantastic way to kick-start your referral program. It’s a win-win  for you and your customers — you get more business and they get rewarded for bringing that business in. Contact the sales team at Friendbuy to get started on implementing coupon codes into your referral program today.

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