People influence people. Nothing persuades us more than a recommendation from someone we trust.
Referral is a win-win technique in the world of marketing. It not only creates credibility but also enhances the reach of your brand. In traditional marketing what was known as word-of-mouth publicity, now is translated to referrals in the modern tech world. If one likes the service/product, you can refer it to a friend. Usual prospects become your brand ambassadors and suggest a friend. As it is a simple referral, people tend to engage with the service without any reluctance. We know that customer feedback is an essential part of any business. Filling feedback forms, rating the services, or writing reviews; referral marketing can be helpful in customer advocacy.
There are several characteristics of referral marketing that impacts a business. Let’s take a look at them:
Precision in targeting – Targeted marketing is the trend these days. And what could be better than a person who has experienced your product or service? This person knows whom to target with a pitch that is flattering because they know them well. Referring comes with precision in targeting.
Trust factor – We take words of trusted ones into account. The trust factor is a key player in referral marketing.
Excellent reach – Humans are social beings. One person is connected to hundreds of other people. If you can impress one person with your service, it sure can spread like wildfire.
An ECommerce referral marketing program, in particular, is a systematic marketing technique for rewarding your existing users to refer new customers to your company. When the new customer makes a purchase, you incentivize the referrer with a discount, credit, special gift, or something they value. As we know now what are the factors that help referral marketing, we can move ahead to Five Ecommerce Referral Marketing programs that are an inspiration to start referral marketing if you haven’t already:
Leesa is a mattress retailer that sells its products online. They give away one custom-made mattress for every ten that they sell to non-profit organizations. They also help homeless and at-risk men, women, and children. They also work with the Arbor Day Foundation to plant a tree for every mattress sold. They have over 150,000 Facebook followers. Each mattress comes with a 10-year warranty and free shipping
Their referral program is indeed considerate. When referrers give their friends a $100 discount, Leesa pays the referrer $50 in cash. They transferred funds directly to the referrer’s PayPal account.
The philosophy of great UX design is “don’t make me think.” Threadbeast has great UX designers who understand their job. They remove every barrier that their customers might face, so that going on a sharing spree becomes a no-brainer. The company has a strong social media presence. Their referral program compensates brand proponents with $50 for their first package, in exchange for which they receive a free package.
Dropbox’s CEO, who implemented the referral program in 2010, increased users from 100,000 to 4,000,000 in just fifteen months, and increased signups by 60 percent on an ongoing basis!
Dropbox is one of the leading examples of referral marketing. They deal with online data storage. They’ve established a new customer acquisition channel based primarily on word of mouth and company reputation. When your referral signs up for Dropbox, you will receive an extra 500 megabytes in your account!
Hincapie has a one-of-a-kind referral program. It is a cycling apparel eCommerce store that specializes in custom-made rider gear.
If a friend or family member spends a certain amount of money, Hincapie will create a custom cycling jersey for them. Customization is an excellent gift to give because it is personal to your customer.
Zulily approaches eCommerce in an unusual way. They list products at steep discounts (up to 70%) for a limited time. They accomplish this by purchasing in bulk after their sale has ended. This helps them to know exactly how much to buy. This allows them to keep their prices low and their selection fresh. Referrers can connect their email address, and Zulily will look through their contacts to find the best people to invite.
Referrers earn $15 for each friend they refer who purchases a product. Given the store’s steep discounts, $15 goes a long way.
Referral marketing is one of the most important keys to eCommerce success. People trust family and friends far more than marketers. With the right motivation, you can achieve precise targeting and reach a large number of customers. Referral marketing, when done correctly, will transform your eCommerce business, steer sales and improve awareness of your product or service.