Case Study for Successful Referral Program using social media
The following campaign was executed by RingaRoses Media for their client – an ecommerce company – using the InviteReferral Facebook application.
The client is on a category where product differentiation is minimal. Differentiation exists in product quality and customer service. The client has many happy customers and the idea was to leverage them to find many new users. These new users would more likely to buy.
Step 2 – Setting the goals
The goal was to get new users and not new customers. This was done because the new user might not have a requirement immediately – the category isn’t an impulse purchase one, rather a need based one. Setting a goal for new customers would have made it very difficult for existing users to complete the referral task and win the prize. They wouldn’t have been motivated to actively refer the program would have failed. At the same time, we had data that a high number of new users acquired through contests on FB were placing orders within three months. So acquiring new users was perfectly linked to the business objective.
Step 3 – How much information is required from new users
We needed email ids and names for email targeting of new users.
Step 4 – What application to use for the referral program
The InviteReferrals social application was used for the program. Using a third party application ensures that all Facebook policies are being followed. It has a pay per use model so it cost efficient. The analytics are fairly detailed ensuring we have a good idea how the program is progressing and we can identify our super users. The application is comprehensive allowing us to schedule auto mailers and embed it in the website. But most importantly, it has low friction making it very easy for users to participate and refer their friends using almost all the social platforms as well as their email lists. In this regard it is superior to almost any referral application that is out there.
Step 5 – The right prize as per effort and audience
Setting the right prize is extremely important – it has to be the product we are selling. We want users who are interested in our product and not users who interested in any contest where they can win a generic prize like an iPad. This is important because we want these users to keep coming back and purchasing from us. The referral award was one of the popular products on the site and the target was 5 new users- a new user being someone who clicked on the referral link and joined the contest. Total no of prizes was kept at 25 so that enough people had a chance to win. The referral invite mail also carried a coupon so as to entice people to try and use the website.
Step 6 – Ensuring enough people saw the referral contest
We placed a contest tab on the FB fan page, embedded the contest in the website, sent out mailers, did FB advertising and posted regular updates about the contest on the FB fan page. We even sent reminders to people who had 2-3 referrals – that they were close to winning the prize and they should send out more invites. Basically, we did everything that could be possibly done to ensure more people saw tis contest.
Step 7 – Using the new user data
This is most critical. Once we had the new user data, we started targeting them using contextual mailers – we knew what their friends had already ordered. We also knew they were interested in the referral prize product. We had their name as well. We also knew which of our existing customers took the effort to win the free product. We started pitching this product to them at attractive discounts.
The Results – all the matters
Thanks to having a loyal base of happy customers and a highly effective referral application, the results were amazing. Please keep in mind that we currently have a very small community and customer base (around 5000 fans )
More than 10k invites were sent out. Out of which more than 300 unique users were acquired. It also led to more than 500 visits to the website. In addition to the 25 winners, 15 orders were placed by the new users as well.