19 Clever Ways to Promote Your Referral Program

19 Clever Ways to Promote Your Referral Program

Posted by Monisha Thangavel on 08 December 2020 in eCommerce


Asking and promoting the referrals doesn’t have to be tough.

Recommendations, referrals, and reviews have become an essential part of running an eCommerce store. It helps you to share products and services with new clients and update the potential clients too. So, how do you promote your product organically?

Of course, a referral program and word of mouth marketing handshakes with you at this time to promote your product. Every eCommerce store is unique and thus requires a unique referral program. When the referral program seems unique, why not the promotional ways?

Let us dive into the referral program realm and explore clever ways to promote your referral program.

Starting a successful referral program

Referral programs are a great way to organically spread your brand across your audience. There is no one-size concept that fits every referral program. Try to build a referral program that fits your audience’s expectations.

But, is starting a successful referral program enough to reap the benefits?

No, just starting the referral program does no good to you and your brand. Instead, it is necessary to let your customers benefit from your program. You can show off the referral program on your website or send out an email to your customers. The ultimate aim is to promote your referral program to gain success.

You might have seen companies or brands hiding their referral feature in a sub-menu which remains a hide and seek game for the visitors. Referrals are the most important growth drivers. Do not let people wonder about joining your referral program.

Few eCommerce store owners think that incentivizing their customers is what they expect. But, it is a lightweight benefit. When it comes to the thickest part, promoting your referral program is the most important thing to do.

When a customer does not have any idea about your referral program, then what is the use of your referral program? So, both launching and promoting a referral program go hand in hand.

Without further delay, let us jump into clever ways to promote your new or existing referral program.

19 Clever ways to promote your referral program

Many eCommerce store owners think that their job is over after setting up their referral program. They ought to put in their efforts in choosing the best incentives, in writing great referral emails, and even in getting the referral messaging.

And, then? They will simply sit and wait for the magic to happen.

Referral programs do not promote themselves.

Setting up a referral program is of no use when it has not been promoted in the right way. As the competition is as heavy as a rock, it is necessary to pick up clever ways in promoting your referral program. Promote it like a campaign.

Our experts have covered you with 19 clever ways to promote your referral program and give hype to your sales graph through it.

Introduce your referral program to your customers through email campaigns

Though social media seems the robust platform, introduce your referral program to your existing customers in an email.

But, why?

For customers, email offers a chance for personal connection. Even if it is a blast mail, they will still feel special and give a positive move towards your site. People who already use your products and trust your store are most likely to recommend them to others.

Target your customers with an alluring email template to aware your customers about your referral program. Hopefully, it increases the engagement rate. Do not forget to list out the benefits that a customer earns when he/she refers to a person to your online store.

Create a fresh and unique referral program page

If you are planning for a robust referral program, then it is wise to create a special and unique referral program page. It not only promotes the program but gives keen information about the referral program. In addition to your existing customers, even your new customers will get to know about your brand and the outline of the referral program.

For instance, let us consider Evernote’s referral program. It gives points to its customers that can be used towards the Premium or increased monthly uploads. Added, Evernote has a dual side referral program where the referrals do not need to sign up. Keeping a unique referral program gives immense growth to the engagement ratio.

Customize your email according to the target audience

Not using emails to their fullest is a pretty excuse for many marketers. Do not get into the same trap. Try to cover and customize all your audience. Personalize the email according to your customers and segment it before sending.

Draft separate mails for both the new and existing customers. You can come up with a Welcome mail for your new customers and send newsletters to your potential customers. In the case of referral program promotion, try to introduce the referral program through the welcome mail.

Through the welcome mail and the referral program newsletters, you can explain the benefits of your referral program and the uniqueness about it.

Use catchy headlines for your emails

When you are in the line to attract and grab customers for your referral program through emails, then be confident about your subject line. If you craft a strong but short and crispy headline, there is a high probability for open rate of the email.

Here are few examples for your referral program headlines. You can customize it on your own.

  • Share with your friends and earn $10
  • Refer and Receive the benefits
  • Help Us and We Help You
  • Give $100, Get $100 for You

At the same end, when the customer pays attention towards your email, word of mouth occurs gradually. You can use numbers, emojis, and other statistics in your subject line. Get straight to the point without beating around the bush.

Ask customers at the right time

When is more important than how. Yes, when you ask the customer is more important than how you ask. The best time to ask customers for a referral is when they are engaged with your brand. Some of the best moments and occasions make the customers be your special guest for your online store. Use that occasion and make them your brand advocates.

You can also use holidays and other vacations to draw attention to your referral program. You can also create a fun brand holiday that invites many customers to your store. You can also go ahead creating a customer loyalty program and celebrate your customers’ loyalty through it.

Focus on visuals and images used for the promotions

Before even glancing at the first line, images and visuals are the first thing that grabs the customers’ attention. Use images and other style elements in your referral program promotions to explain more about the referral program.

If you are using custom graphics, use it effectively to guide the audience throughout the referral programs. You can use images to break up any lengthy text and keep the landing page easy to read. You can go ahead creating a hero shot in the center stage of your landing page. Include the most important content of your referral program. Hopefully, it catches the attention of many customers.

Make your referral program easy to understand

Promoting your referral program in a messy way never returns good. After adding your referral program in your website, make it discoverable to the customers. Take a look at the information embedded in it. Make it simple and easy for the customers to understand.

Make every promotion simple and give it an opportunity to place a referral link to share your program. You can also mention your referral program in other key places including,

  • Website Menus or ads
  • Blog posts
  • Email marketing campaigns
  • Newsletter
  • Thank You Page

When you are about to include your referral program page link in newsletters or emails, try to segment your audience to consolidate the response and optimize later.

Retarget customers who have already shown their interest

There is no trace that every customer remembers about your referral program. Some cannot join right away some may be in the middle of another activity or at chances, they might have forgot to sign up. But, that doesn’t mean they are not interested in your referral program.

With the right retargeting email, you can make them join your referral program. You can send gentle email reminders to keep them engaged about your brand. You can also send abandoned cart emails if they have left something in their cart without proceeding to purchase. Along with that mail, you can offer discounts to the products in the cart or simply promote your referral program through the email.

Shower social gifting to your referrals

Every customer loves to get showered with gifts. Why not use this concept to make your new customers as a potential ones? Many referral programs have been designed with a double-sided incentive structure that rewards both the ends.

As half of the eCommerce owners stick towards the same scenario, make your referral program unique through customized incentives. Collect the purchase history about your customer and announce incentives in their targeted purchase. It will help your customers to understand how you value them. Social gifting with a personalized touch always wins the heart of the customers that results in increased engagement rate to your online store.

Thank customers in their post-purchase email

In order to promote your referral program, you can consider using the “Thank You Email” sent to your customers. When a customer successfully completes his/her purchase, your store’s Thank you message will obviously popup in their respective email.

Now, you need to promote your referral program in the mail. You can add an invitiation to join in your referral program. It helps in fostering relationships that in a great way brings many customers in return. Your customers will feel appreciated and recognized by your store and will be more open to get engaged with your brand.

Create a compelling CTA in your emails and landing page popups

Your CTA in the emails has the power to make or break the referral chain. When a customer decides to make a referral after reading your email, it is necessary to place the right CTA in the mail. Make your email to offer an impossible CTA and an impression of urgency with a clear figure.

Make your email concise and explain the benefits they get when they start referring others. It is also necessary to make your CTA visible in the mail and in your landing pages as well. Consider making it bold with a bigger font size than usual. It is also wise to redirect the customers to the referral program landing page when customers entice the CTA button.

Try to be an early bird in launching the referral program

If you are planning to launch the referral program and promote it in the picked up ways, try to launch it early. It is wise to test drive the referral program and optimize it whenever necessary. But, it needs to be an early launch. You can create a smooth running program and enhance your brand advocates in a longly run.

Launching the referral program early will help you to bring customers to your site. The customers will also feel excited when your store offers discounted price when compared to the other stores. Do not forget to mention the early bird discounts and referrals in your promotion.

Add referral program widget in your referral program page

Referral Program widgets helps in promoting your referral program to your potential customers. In an unobtrusive manner, many marketers have been using widgets to promote the eCommerce referral program.

And, it is very easy to use a referral widget. You can make use of the referral widget in your emails, referral program page, landing page, and other promotional channels. It helps the customers to instantly sign up as an advocate and start earning through your referral program. Being clever, you can use the widget as a sticky bar in your landing pages that tempts the customers visiting your online store.

Make use of the social media influencers as advocates for your referral program

As social media platforms have become highly credible, many eCommerce store owners have started targeting their audience through social media posts and ads. Influencers are people who have amassed a huge audience on social media and has an impact on their audience’s decisions.

You can use social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, etc. Using it wisely, you can promote your referral program through social media influencers. You can invite the influencers to your online store and reward them with incentives. You can also showcase their testimonial or ask them to jon your referral program. It would be a great sort of benefit for your referral program.

Integrate social media with your landing page

When you have started your referral program, it is necessary to keep a separate landing page for it. The referral program page must contain simple yet attractie information that helps the customer to understand your referral program.

As an additional step, integrate your social media pages with your referral program landing page. You can also keep a pre-programmed message that helps you to swift actions through any social media platforms. It also helps your customers to jump on to their social media account and start sharing your referral program link.

Run social media ads for your referral program

Gone are the days when social media ads have left unseen. Now, the social media ads have become the sole objective of the promotions. The same goes for your referral program. Marketers do have a savvy way to promote their product or brand through social media. The ads are one among the tactics used to promote the product or any special events.

Using the social media ads, you can target the audience and can get expected output out of it. The referral program will reach your audience and the referral chain continues. Rather than focusing on the social media posts or profile bio tactics, social media ads helps you in a etter way.

Test your referral program outputs constantly

Once you have done with all the promotion preparations for your referral program, try to test it earlier. Testing constantnly helps you to optimize your referral program according to your target audience. When it comes to referral program promotions, try to be clear with the message. It is also wise to handle emotional triggers.

And, it is necessary to make it easy for the people to understand from entering to your referral marketing program. Use simple and understandable terms in your referral program ptomotions. Test out the engagement and the conversion rate out of your referral program promotions.

Connect with your customers through live chat

Live chat in your referral program page is an amazing opportunity to make customers know more aout your referral program benefits. When a customer interacts with you on live chat, feel free to explain a crisp information about your referral program. Illustrate the benefits they get out of their referrals.

It is necessary to train your support team to promote your referral program through live chat.  But, it isn’t enough. You want to make the referral strategy powerful and measure its performance to crosscheck whether the method of customer interaction is right. If not, personalize and tune up your interaction methods and make the chat more impressive and a bit promotional.

Give a higher reward for your customers’ first referral

Most of the customer referral programs provides a consistent referral reward to the customers. Companies like Uber has been providing both loyal and new customers throughout their entire program.

But, to be unique, it is necessary to segment your audience and incentivize accordingly. As a change, you can start offering customers who sign up for the first time with huge rewards. When they have been surprised with your incentives for the first time, there are high chances of them to bounce back to your online store’s referral program.

Key Takeaways

As you can see, referral program is a great way to motivate the potential and new customers. But, a referral program without promotion goes in vain.

When the number of people entering the sales funnel increases, so are the conversion rate out of it. Use the clever methodologies to promote your referral program and bring favorable results to your online store.

Not every referral program promotion suits every online store. Pick up the one that suits your referral program and your online store. Luckily, the listed out promotional ways help you to bring massive results out of your promotional program.


Author Bio

Monisha Thangavel is an ardent writer and a blogger carrying years of experience in different realms including eCommerce, Tech, and SEO. Her brevity rich writings flash a light upon the uncovered yet important points about WordPress and eCommerce plugins. Apart from content, Monisha spends her free time learning calligraphic writing.