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No referral program is ever perfect.

There’s always room for improvement just like there is with any other marketing channel.

Do you test different versions of your Landing Pages? Email Campaigns?

Of course you do!

So why do referral programs not get the same attention?

Usually the top two reasons for this is the programs are hard-coded into the system or don’t have analytics built-in.

That’s why one of our core objectives is to teach everyone how to properly think about referral programs. Nothing gets us more fired up than finding a referral program that could be doing better.

So in this post we’re back to doing what we do best. Showing you some examples of referral programs so you can get a better idea of what we’re talking about.

  • SH

    Skyler Hair

    over 4 years ago #

    Wow. That iStockphoto referral program was slick! I've never seen a pick-your-reward setup like that. Nice article @brandongains!

    • BG

      Brandon Gains

      over 4 years ago #

      Thanks Skyler! Yeah Istockphoto has a great program. Giving users reward variety can increase your program participation rates.

  • AN

    Aj Nelson

    over 4 years ago #

    off of their product*

  • AN

    Aj Nelson

    over 4 years ago #

    Great referral programs. I am curious as to if anyone knows of a good referral program that comes from a company that $ isn't in their business model, or the referral program. For instance all of these are giving users % off of their next buy, or some kind of $ value.

  • AL

    Austin Lilley

    over 4 years ago #

    Interesting read, one of the things I don't see mentioned a lot in all of these articles is the details behind the scenes of the referral program. The accounting setup, the infrastructure to utilize credits, etc. Would love to see something with this kind of deep discussion on physical products.

    • BG

      Brandon Gains

      over 4 years ago #

      Thanks for the feedback Austin!

    • TM

      Tony Mariotti

      over 4 years ago #

      I think the reason there's little detail offered in articles like this is that, in most cases the infrastructure, is already in place - given that most companies who sell something online sit atop an ecommerce platform (Shopify, Magento, etc.) Even if your store is home grown, you would still have the notion of a user account into which you could deposit store credit for a referrer who's earned a reward. I'll offer up a few admittedly simple examples but ones from which you can extrapolate.

      1) User A Shares. User B, referred by User A, buys. Send User A a single use coupon code.

      The accounting would be baked right into your store's reporting (i.e. How many customers used coupons from the bank that was created for our referral program?)

      What if your platform (in-house or third-party) won't generate single-use coupon codes that you can send out?

      2) User A Shares. User B, referred by User A, buys. Deposit store credit into User A's account. Send User A a notification email letting them know they have a reward waiting for them.

      In this case you would need to generate your own internal report or rely on reporting from a third-party referral platform.

      In sum, you'll take into account what your store/platform can and cannot do and then configure your processes accordingly. In any case, a good developer can wire things up pretty quickly using a referral platform that offers an API (http://www.friendbuy.com/developers/) that will automate the entire process.

    • MH

      Mike Hoy

      over 4 years ago #

      Here is the best I could find to help hash out what they do at AirBnb. Straight from their blog. Pretty comprehensive

      http://nerds.airbnb.com/making-referrals-work-for-airbnb/

      Would love to hear more about how everyone is piecing their programs together. I'll do a post about ours and repost later.

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