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Referral Program Ideas For Structuring Successful Campaigns

4 minute read

Gaining new customers for your business can be an expensive challenge, but with these referral program ideas it doesn't have to be! Before we jump in, let's back up and talk about the benefits of referral marketing.

According to a study by Nielsen's Harris Poll Online, the vast majority - more than 80% - of Americans seek recommendations when making a purchase of any kind. When someone shares or talks about a brand on social media, there’s a significant correlation to purchasing behavior.

People that have been referred by a peer typically stay loyal to a brand longer than those that found the company by other means. Additionally, customers acquired via referral marketing usually come in at a lower CPA than traditional marketing. So overall, it's a win-win for modern marketers looking for a customer acquisition channel that can drive new business growth.

So how can brands cut through all the digital clutter and use referral marketing to reach their target audience? 

Here are referral program ideas for structuring successful marketing campaigns from brands that have mastered executing their word-of-mouth initiatives.

The Law of Attraction

When it comes to attracting members to sign up for your referral program, there is one clear driver: The offer. However, there’s a fine line between throwing perks and freebies to your brand ambassadors and creating a revenue-generating channel. 

According to a survey conducted online by Harris Poll on behalf of Ambassador, 88% of Americans say they would like some sort of incentive (money, product or service, loyalty points, early access, and swag) for sharing a product via social media or email. That number jumps to 95% among 18-to-34-year-olds.

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The best referral program offers take account of the hard work that ambassadors put in for sharing good news about your product or service and reward accordingly.

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Relevancy Matters

While most marketers understand that a reward should be given in exchange for a referral, how can companies ensure that they’re using the right referral marketing incentives for the right audience at the right time?

Knowing what your customers value is crucial in determining the right reward for your program. Customers will be turned off by pie-in-the-sky promises like “Make $10,000 a month from home!” Convey the true value of the referral reward program to your customers, but keep it in line with the actual benefits.

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For example, a discount on an upcoming purchase might work better for a repeatedly purchased product, while a flat rate cash reward might work better for a larger amount one-time purchase.

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Simple to Share

The power of social media is undeniable in today's hyperconnected world. Whether it's on a desktop, tablet, or mobile, this data from 2018 tells us just how much we rely on (and use) social networks:

- 317,000 Facebook status updates

- 448,000 Tweets

- 66,000 Instagram posts

- 29 Million WhatsApp sent messages

So how can you help your loyal followers share your product to their social networks? 

When asking your ambassadors to share, make it as easy as possible for them to do so. Have a pre-populated message ready to share so they don’t have to spend time coming up with their own. And everyone loves pretty pictures, include attractive photos that make the post more appealing.

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The more your referrers talk about your products and services online, the larger your reach becomes. 

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Flexibility is key - however your ambassadors choose to share, make sure the experience is inline with your brand.

Looking for More Referral Program Ideas?

Referrals don’t just help consumers make decisions. Often times, they’re the primary driver of them. We understand the importance of them, which is why we’ve curated some of the most creative referral program examples for both B2B and consumer brands.

Download The eBook

Posted in Referral Program

Amity Kapadia

Written by Amity Kapadia

Amity Kapadia is Director of Content Marketing at Ambassador. She spends most of her days marketing to marketers and having the internal debate, to pizza or not to pizza?

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