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Friendbuy powers referral marketing (refer-a-friend programs) for many of the best brands & marketers in e-commerce. From emerging challenger brands to established multi-national organizations, a common attribute across our clients is that they are world-class marketers. They understand the growth impact of a well-executed referral program, and they treat their referral programs as a primary channel for customer acquisition.
So what are the common tactics of successful referral marketing?
We’ve outlined some of the common tactics for making your referral program your most successful customer acquisition channel. By following Friendbuy’s recommended best practices, many of our clients achieve 5% to 15% of their customer acquisition through customer referrals, and some achieve well above 20%.
The Basic Referral Marketing Tactics
Make it Super Simple to Refer (Less than 2 Clicks Away)
Think about the times you’ve referred your friends to a site or mobile app. Was the program hard to find? Was it easy to send that email or text?
Referral Marketing can be your #1 acquisition channel if you make it super simple for your customers to find your program and refer in an instant. Friendbuy integrates into any part of your site or mobile app to facilitate that impulse referral. The key is to place the program in strategic locations with strong calls-to-action (CTAs).
Site-Wide Calls to Action
ClassPass has integrated referral marketing into their site-wide navigation to build awareness and make it simple for their customers to FIND and USE their program.
Lucky Brand uses an alternative site-wide CTA: a strategically-placed ribbon that sits on the left-hand portion of their site. It follows customers as they browse their site, making their referral program easy to reach at any point throughout the user experience. Even better, this ribbon is 100% controlled by the Friendbuy pixel, allowing Lucky Brand’s marketers to run A/B on copy, placement, and color, all without getting internal development prioritized.
Advanced Move: Referral Call to Action in Your Mobile App
When Dollar Shave Club members are logged in on their mobile app, tapping the dollar sign allows sharing directly through the app. This allows members to share through the mobile device’s built-in sharing mechanisms, making for a seamless sharing experience.
Site-Wide Overlay Draws Focus on the Referral
After clicking on the site-wide CTA, ClassPass serves an overlay that allows customers to instantaneously share with friends. After they’re done sharing, customers can continue browsing, making for a smooth, consistent user experience.
Referral Landing Pages That Can Be Linked to from Anywhere
Away Travel utilizes a Referral Landing Page that allows them to link to the referral program from anywhere. They’re able to promote their referral program to existing customers through transaction emails, newsletters, and social posts. The page is hosted by Away, giving them complete control as to who sees it, and when.
Promotion Through Email Marketing
MeUndies and Dollar Shave Club both promote their program consistently in all their emails with a banner call-to-action. This is a great opportunity to drive awareness with their customers, letting them know they can earn money towards future purchases by referring friends.
Auto-pop a Referral Widget After Checkout to Engage Your Most Passionate Advocates
Glossier auto-pops a Sharing Widget after a purchase to their recent buyers, resulting in 10x more sharing than a simple CTA.
Advanced Post-Purchase Move - consider a higher offer post-purchase, or conditionally show higher value customers a higher offer
Additional Advanced Moves
Net Promoter Score surveys are a natural fit for referral programs. For every customer that gives a positive review through StellaService, NatureBox serves a referral offer, capturing customers at a point of great brand satisfaction.
Simba Sleep runs a periodic referral contest to drive referral activity. This is a great way to drive repeat sharing activity without giving away too much margin on your products.
Retargeting to Promote Your Referral Program
Negative Underwear uses their referral program as a retargeting tactic, which entices customers who have shown interest in their brand back to their site.
There are a number of other creative ways a referral program can work for you. We’ve seen success in finding new influencers through referral data available in the Friendbuy dashboard, giving marketers insights on who is actually driving the most conversions. We’ve also helped our clients start campus rep programs, giving great offers to college students who drive brand participation throughout their communities.
To recap, a Referral Marketing program is successful when your audience is aware that you have a program, and the Referral Marketing program is easy to find and use. Once you have the building blocks in place, you can get creative, linking the program from channels where you have the most engagement from the best customers.
Interested in learning more? Get in touch with our referral marketing experts here.