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Referral & Loyalty Program for All Types of Businesses
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Customer Story

How SPANX Uses Friendbuy to Achieve a 15% Conversion Rate from Referred Customers

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Higher AOV with referred customers than standard orders


Conversion rate from referred customers


Higher conversion rate with category specific campaigns

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SPANX Logo-1
Industry Reatil Clothing
Location United States
SPANX founder Sara Blakely was getting ready for a party when she realized she didn’t have the right undergarment. She cut the feet off her control top pantyhose and the SPANX revolution began! Since then, SPANX has secured its place in pop-culture
with daily mentions everywhere from CNN to Saturday Night Live.

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“Our customers love sharing SPANX through the Friendbuy platform, which generates a stream of new customers for us.”

Nadina Bourgeois

Senior Digital Paid Manager, SPANX


Bringing word-of-mouth referrals into the digital landscape

SPANX has relied on word-of-mouth marketing as a driver of sales from its earliest days, starting with the moment Oprah Winfrey endorsed SPANX as one of her “favorite things” in 2000.

Prominent retailers, such as Neiman Marcus, Bloomingdales and Saks, started to carry SPANX products—and SPANX eventually opened its own retail locations.

SPANX became a massive retail success. But the retail landscape evolved, with e-commerce and digital marketing taking on significantly more importance.

SPANX moved confidently into that space, but it also wondered how it could translate its strong word-of-mouth marketing to the digital world.

“SPANX is built on word-of-mouth marketing, whether it’s people telling their friends about our products or getting Oprah’s seal of approval.
But how could we grow via word-of-mouth in the digital realm?”

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SPANX implements Friendbuy’s referral marketing platform

Friendbuy helped SPANX bring its word-of-mouth marketing into the digital world and transform customers into loyal brand advocates. Advocates shared their passion for SPANX by referring friends through email, personal links and social media, thereby increasing SPANX’s digital footprint and expanding the reach of the brand.

With the support of Friendbuy’s customer success team, one of SPANX’s first initiatives was tailored product sharing campaigns. For these campaigns, SPANX identifies high-growth product categories and runs multiple simultaneous referral campaigns where referred customers are presented with images and messaging specifically related to those product categories.

This strategy increased conversion rates by an impressive 26%.

Friendbuy also looked for ways to amplify SPANX tent-pole events such as Black Friday. Discounts offered during those events are typically deeper than those offered via the referral program. Rather than take down evergreen referral offers during those events, the Friendbuy team works with SPANX to leverage referrals to increase event awareness and engagement, helping further drive the success of these events.

This strategy is made possible by Friendbuy’s flexible campaign management capabilities, which make it easy for SPANX to update campaigns on the fly and tailor sharing assets towards any strategic initiative.

Friendbuy also conducts frequent A/B testing of different sharing channels and widget functionality to further optimize results. For example, SPANX ran a test adding additional email fields to its sharing widgets, visually indicating to users that they could send emails to multiple friends. The test drove a 21% increase in share rate via email and a 6% increase in conversion rate.

Today, Friendbuy continues to collaborate with SPANX to incorporate the referral program throughout its customer journey with strategic placements of CTAs to drive awareness and impulse referrals.

“Most software providers sell the tool and then leave you to figure out the rest. Friendbuy is the complete opposite. They’ve been the most hands on of any software as a service company I’ve ever worked with”

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15% conversion rate from referred customers

SPANX has achieved a healthy 15% conversion rate from referred customers with its Friendbuy-powered referral program. In addition, the average order value (AOV) made through referrals is 8% higher than standard orders.

Specific referral campaigns have been particularly successful, such as Friendbuy’s product category campaigns which increased conversion rates by 26% for certain categories.

Today, SPANX no longer wonders how it can bring the power of word-of-mouth marketing into the digital domain. It’s doing so, and doing a lot more, with Friendbuy.

“The Friendbuy account team has been great to work with. We go to them with new ideas, and they’ll run with it, or they’ll spot new opportunities and bring them to us. Together, we’re always pushing to see what we can do to maximize results.”