Referral Best Practices Posts

Listing out 5 Best Examples of Referral Programs

referral program examples


There are a lot of platforms and companies that are in support of referral activities and work on it. But before we start it is important to know about what actually is a referral program?

What referral marketing stats can I see for my campaign?

Referral marketing performance can be best measured by the numbers. The InviteReferrals app automatically tracks email and social media sharing and gives detailed analytics about your campaign at both the campaign and participant level.  You can access these analytics from your analytics section in the admin console. You can also activate the daily or weekly reports from the admin panel. Below we give a brief about some of the analytics available.


Campaign level analytics overview

you can get an overview of how your customer referral program is performing. Overview includes metrics like invites sent in current month, total invites sent, facebook shares, tweets, email invites etc. It also shows the total referral visits and conversions happening. You can export all this data in excel sheet. A sample of the Analytics overview is shown below.




Referral Statistics


Real time analytic charts

You can see real time daily/weekly/monthly referral marketing performance numbers. This data can also be exported as an excel sheet. A sample is shown below


Real time Referral marketing data charts.

Real time Referral marketing data charts.



Identify influencers and top referrers

InviteReferrals generates customer leaderboards based on multiple filters like invites sent, site visits and conversions. This helps to identify and reward the influencers. You can also check each customer’s referral profile to filter out potential cheats. A sample is shown below.


Referral Marketing Leaderboards

Referral Marketing Leaderboards



Customer level Referral marketing profile

You can even track referral data at individual customer level. You can see basic customer profile, overview of referral numbers, invites sent for each campaign, referral sales/conversions details and coupons issued.


Referral analytics data at Customer level

Referral analytics data at Customer level



Referral Email Stats

You can see total emails sent, open rate and click rate. You will be surprised to see that the open rate and click rate is upto 10 times higher than the normal email marketing campaigns.



Email- Stats


Referral Sales/conversion Stats

You can view and export all the referral conversion data based on multiple available filters. A sample is shown below



Referral Convert Sales




How to design campaign launch email?

Campaign launch email should be designed with care to convey the right message to your customers. The campaign announcement email should contain following information in order

Referral campaign launch email content

1. Highlight the customer referral program launch and referral incentives to be won

2. Highlight the call to action button that will take the customer to referral page where he can invite friends.

3. List the step by step process to refer friends in the email template itself.


Here is how our client lenskart designed it’s customer referral program announcement email.


Campaign announcement email

Campaign announcement email




Identify influencers through customer referral program

It is very important to Identify influencers and reward them. Announcement of influencers as campaign winners act as a big motivational force for customers to refer even more friends in future. This also builds trust and reassurance among the customers regarding the referral program. You can announce winners every week or month, or at the end of the referral campaign.


Identify Influencers

InviteReferrals allows you to identify most influential referrers based on multiple filters. Filtering criteria includes most number of invites sent through each referral channel (like facebook, email), referral site visits or referral sales /  goal conversions. The profile of each participant winner can also be analyzed at individual level to filter out cheats. You can view the different participant leaderboards by visiting “Admin – > Analytics -> leaderboards” as shown below.


Identify influencers through customer referral program

Identify influencers through customer referral program


Announce Winners

Once you identify influencers, you must announce the winners to all your subscribers and customers. Below is a list of different digital properties where you can announce the influencers and their special prizes.

1. facebook fan page

2. Via tweet on twitter

3. Send the winners announcement email to all your customers and subscribers

4. Create a separate page on your website giving step by step detailed information about your referral program. List the top influencers on this page as well


Below is an email sent by one of our clients lenskart to announce the influencers and their prizes


Winners announcement email

Winners announcement email



Referral fraud prevention mechanisms

Many referral fraud prevention mechanisms come built in with referral campaign powered by inviteReferrals. So, you can focus only on conceptualizing the referral campaign and leave the technology to us. Following are various referral fraud prevention mechanisms.

1. Optionally review and approve referrals

You can set the referral conversions of campaign for manual review and approval process. The referrer is notified about pending approval immediately as soon as referral conversion happens. You can later review and approve each referral. Post approval the referrer receives a second email with the referral reward. This is particularly useful when you are giving away high value referral incentive or where payment happens through offline mode. More information here


2. Identify suspicious participants

Complete referral profile of each participant can be analyzed. Data includes invites sent through each channel, referral visits, conversions, and rewards issued. Users can also be searched by email. Most influential referrers can be identified based on multiple filters. Suspicious participants can be identified and blocked.


3. Associate expiry date with coupons

You can prevent coupon misuse by setting an expiry date for your discount coupons. You can then periodically change the coupon codes that are used in your campaigns. Discount coupon amounts should also be set in a way that you still benefit from every purchase made. Following types of limitations may be imposed

  1. Discount of $10 on purchase of  $100 and above
  2. Coupon valid only upto 31st July
  3. Coupon applicable only for new customers
  4. Coupon valid only on limited category of products. These products may be part of the inventory to be cleared, like season end sale.

If your ecommerce platform supports it, you can also prevent coupon misuse by limiting the use of referral coupons to new customers only. This can be done by checking the email address or shipping address of the customer against your database of past customers. If it happens to be an existing customer, display a message on the checkout screen indicating that the referral coupon only applies to new customers only.

This usage restriction should also be stated clearly in the campaign terms and conditions section so that customers are not surprised by it during checkout. This is a very effective referral fraud prevention method.


4. Separate terms and conditions section

Separate terms and conditions section can be added to each campaign to define the rules violating the campaign participation. Clearly defined rules act as a big deterrent for fraudsters and an effective referral fraud prevention mechanism.


5. Email Notification System

Notification system forms an important part of any referral program. A weak notification system may easily be exploited by users and may lead to unwanted spam. This is why InviteReferrals has many strong referral fraud prevention checks as part of it’s notification system. InviteReferrals sends emails to customers on following occasions :

  • Enrollment Mail – Whenever a customer is enrolled on referral campaign
  • Invitation Mail – Whenever a customer invites his friends to check out the referral campaign through “Email Invite Option”
  • Successful Referral Mail – Mail to referrer for successfully referring his friend, after his friend checks out the referral campaign

Measures taken to prevent spamming

  1. Unsubscribe Link – An unsubscribe link is provided in every email sent to the customer, so that he can unsubscribe from the referral campaign’s email notification system rather than marking the mail as a spam.
  2. Spam Prevention – A customer can send an invite to a particular friend only once. But he can invite as many friends he wants to. So no one can trick the referral system to spam his network. Ensuring a good user experience is our priority.
  3. Multiple Email Prevention –  InviteReferrals makes sure that the same email is not delivered to the same customer again and again.
  4. Email Customization – Any mail template can be completely customized through the WYSIWYG editor to reflect the relevant content.


Referral fraud prevention mechanisms


Referral fraud prevention is effectively dealt by InviteReferrals referral software. It has industry best practices built right into your referral campaigns.



Referral program statistics and average numbers

Referral program statistics can give you great insights into how your campaign is performing. Below we list the average numbers associated with any referral campaign based on many brands using InviteReferrals. These numbers may vary greatly from case to case depending on the promotion type and content shared.


Customers Referring friends (5%) :

30% of satisfied customers are generally willing to refer products and services. But only 5% customers on an average actually do. For example, if you have 100 visitors on your site then 5 out of them will actually refer.

Invites sent per Referrer (~100-200) :

On an average 100-200 invites are sent by a referral program participant. It means each of the 5 participants above would refer atleast 100-200 friends. This gives a reach of 1000 invites or ~10X reach. Invitereferrals has optimized the user experience to drive maximum referrals.

For most cases, following is the percentage distribution of the invites sent through different referral channels. The effectiveness of each channel may vary depending upon the product. For FMCG product facebook might be most effective and for B2b linkedin.
  • Facebook : 75-80%
  • Email Invites : 15-20%
  • Twitter, linkedin, google+ : 1-2%

Click through rate (5%) :

About 2-5% of Invitations sent are actually accepted which gives ~(20-50)% increase in new visits to your site. Co-relation between impressions and click rate is a good analogy to understand the relation between invites sent and accepted under referral program statistics.

Conversion Rate (2-3%) :

The number of referral visitors actually completing the goal/sale is directly proportional to the site conversion rate. For example, if the site conversion rate is 4% and there are 50 new referral visits then on an average 2 people will complete the goal.

Referral Program Statistics Overview :

If you have 1000 daily unique visits,
50 would invite 200 each (Reach of 10X) = 10000 invites sent
5% CTR  gives 500 (50%)new visitors to your site.
4% site conversion rate would  give 20 sales or 2% increase in sales numbers.


You can read more about key referral program performance metrics and how to increase referral program performance. Highlighting again that these referral program statistics may vary greatly depending on the product promoted.

 Referral program Statistics



Why is InviteReferrals best referral program software?

InviteReferrals referral program software is the simplest tool to design and launch customer referral campaigns. In this article, you will learn why InviteReferrals is best referral program software and why not to develop inhouse referral program.

InviteReferrals Vs Other Referral Program Software

  • Multiple Campaigns – You can run multiple campaigns simultaneously or create a new campaign every month to keep your customers engaged. Example,
    Campaign 1 : Run “Goal Based Campaign” for your whole site where you can ask your customers to bring 3 referral customers and get 50% discount coupon.
    Campaign 2 : Run “Instant Reward Campaign” on your category pages where you can ask your customers to invite their 100 friends and unlock the 20% discount voucher for that product category. You can create different campaigns for different category pages.
  • One Time Integration – Set up in minutes. You just need to put a small javascript code in the footer of your website (just like google analytics) and you never need to change it again. Everything including campaign editing and launch of new campaigns can be managed from InviteReferrals admin console.
  • Cross Platform (Mobile/desktop) – Referral program powered by InviteReferrals automatically adapts to mobile devices and seamlessly works across desktops and smartphone devices.
  • Facebook Timeline Application – Referral campaign can be launched as facebook timeline application in minutes using InviteReferrals referral program software. Covering all customer interaction channels including website, facebook fan page and mobile.
  • Up to date technology – InviteReferrals referral program software is used by hundreds of brands across the world. We keep pace with the latest trends and social media developments to optimize the customer referral campaigns. So that you just focus on conceptualizing the campaigns.
  • Strong Anti Spam System – InviteReferrals has a strong built in anti-spam system. For example, no participant can spam his friends with multiple invites. Any one can unsubscribe from receiving the campaign invites. This would ensure the best user experience for your customers.
  • In Depth Analytics – We provide complete analytics : invites sent, site visits, conversions etc. You can study patterns through charts or export them. A customer referral profile is created for each participant and you can identify and gratify the most influential referrers.
  • Great Support – We mostly reply to all the queries within 24 hours. Our resource center and tutorials are updated regularly.
  • Multiple Referral Options – There are multiple customer referral options including facebook, email, twitter, google+, linkedin, and chat to drive maximum customer referrals.
  • Flexible reward system – You have option to upload your coupons into inviteReferrals system. Issue coupons as soon as referral happens or on manual approval post verification.
  • Multiple Language  Support – InviteReferrals referral program software supports 18+ languages.
  • Low cost, Risk Free 15 days trial

You can write to us at for any queries on InviteReferrals.



Different Customer Referral options

There are multiple customer referral options available including Facebook notification invite, Email Invite, facebook chat message, facebook share, tweet and linkedin share. Customer can also share his custom referral link with anyone over chat. Below we explain each customer referral option in detail.

1. Customer referral option – Facebook Share

Customers can seamlessly share their referral link on facebook. The referral feed appears on their friends facebook newsfeed. The friend would click on the feed to come to the referral program landing page. Facebook customer referral feed generally is visible to  closest 20-50% of the friends on facebook. If I have 300 friends then it would be seen by upto 150 of my closest friends. Below is a sample feed.

facebook referral feed invitereferrals

facebook referral feed invitereferrals


2. Customer referral tweet

Customers can seamlessly tweet their referral link on twitter.  Customer referral tweet will be visible to all the twitter followers. Brands can customize the tweet text via campaign edit section. Here is how sample tweet looks.


Tweet customer referral option

Tweet customer referral option


3. Email Invite

Customers can invite friends through email as well. The content of the email invite should be minimum and focus on the brand core offering, and call to action referral button. Invitereferrals allows customers to directly import all the email contacts and send them invites. This significantly increases the number of invites sent and is one of most effective customer referral option.


Email customer referral option - invitereferrals

Email customer referral option – invitereferrals


4. Facebook Invite

Facebook invite is one one of the most innovative ways to refer customers over facebook. Here is how a facebook invite looks like.


Facebook notification customer referral option - invitereferrals

Facebook notification customer referral option – invitereferrals


5. Facebook Send Message

Facebook send message directly sends the referral link and message to the chat window of facebook friend. The invites sent through this option may be comparatively less but they are very personalized and have high click through rate.


Facebook send message Customer referral option - invitereferrals

Facebook send message Customer referral option – invitereferrals



6. Linkedin Share referral option

This option is particularly useful for businesses whose target customers are other businesses like SAAS products or recruitment companies that are targeting professionals active over linkedin. Here is how a linked in share looks like


Invitereferrals referral marketing software gives all the customer referral options to drive maximum invites.