The 5 Pillars of a Successful Referral Program

Using refer-a-friend incentives to win-over customers during competitive retail holidays

Refer-a-friend programs are a powerful form of word-of-mouth marketing that incentivizes your current customers to promote your brand to their inner circle. 

Given big moments in retail make shoppers more interested in purchasing, having a refer-a-friend program in place helps retailers be more competitive in bringing new and current customers to their store. 

The 5 Pillars of a Successful Referral Program: 

  1. Improve engagement with incentives: Offer an incentive to both the current customer & their friend to make it valuable for them to participate in your program.  

    Pro-tip: Offer the same reward for both the referee and friend referred to make your program easy to follow and simple to market. 
  1. Increase reward value for referrals during big holidays & promotions: By upping your referral incentives during big moments, you’re not only providing an incentive for current customers, but giving new customers a reason to shop with you over the store down the street. 

    Remember, when retail competition is at its peak, you’ll want to do as much as possible to retain your current customers and win-over new customers from your competitors. 
  1. Require first purchase: Structure your program to require referred friends to make their first purchase before the reward becomes available. This allows retailers to be more cost effective and prevents customers from taking advantage of your program. 
  2. Create exclusive loyalty perks: Offer a larger incentive to loyalty members as a selling point for membership or make it exclusive to loyalty members only. Either approach is a best practice to leverage referral incentives as a selling point for loyalty. 
  3. Automate referrals for effective tracking & management: With AIQ, it’s simple to track your referrals and automate the management of your program through custom sign up URLs that track engagement. This allows retailers to create segments based on customer sign ups to optimize the structure of their program.

In summary, refer-a-friend programs leverage the power of word-of-mouth marketing by incentivizing customers to share their positive experiences with others, attracting new customers to your business. 

Remember, the key to a successful referral program is to make it beneficial for both the program member and the referred friend. This encourages customers to bring in more people to your store and effectively leverage the power of word-of-mouth marketing to grow your brand.