Tips to run effective referral campaigns

Top 10 Tips to Run Effective Referral Campaigns

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In today’s time, where customers are constantly bombarded with ads and product placement, word-of-mouth is probably the best way for people to get some valuable information out of the noise and use their money on the products and services they will be most likely satisfied with. There is no doubt that customers believe recommendations from the people they know more than brands. So, you are planning to launch a referral program, then consider reading this blog till the end. In this blog, we’ll cover the top 10 tips to run effective referral campaigns in this competitive era.

So, before we look at the tips to run effective referral campaigns, let’s get started with the basics.

What is Referral Marketing?

What is Referral Marketing?

Referral marketing prompts customers to recommend a product or service to other people or a group of people. When customers like the product or service, they tend to do word of mouth. Referral marketing is a common method used by businesses. Here, the idea is to turn your customers into brand advocates for your business. Companies incentivize those customers in the form of cash vouchers, exclusive discounts, or more.

Tips to Run Effective Referral Campaigns

1. Spread the word

Spread the word

Your brand advocates will probably know about your new referral program while browsing your website for a new purchase. But to bring as many participants as possible towards your referral funnel, make sure you use all marketing channels. Try writing compelling CTAs and putting them into your email copies, landing pages, and blog posts to drive more referrals. It is a great way to encourage your customers to mention the referral program on the checkout page. Moreover, leveraging your social media accounts and informing your followers about the referral program launch will drive more referrals.

Once you have spread your word about your referral program, make sure you remind your customers from time to time even if they like your company and are ready to refer it to their friends. Referral statistics show that 83% of happy customers are willing to make referrals, but only 29% refer, meaning there is a huge gap.

 Moreover, don’t bombard your customers with lots of referral requests, as it will negatively impact your referral program. Also, share useful and relevant information with them, and mention your referral program benefits with your customers.

2. Continue Experimenting With Your Program

Once you’ve started your referral marketing campaign, make sure you have everything on your radar to continuously track its performance. Even after launching a great program that is beneficial to your customers, do not stop evaluating its performance as your competitors always try to offer a more compelling reward than you and take your customer away.

Therefore, periodically experiment with your chosen strategy for 6 months. It will be enough to understand your referral program’s pros and cons and find out areas for improvement. If you’re not happy with current outcomes, try offering a different referral reward, optimizing your landing pages, or setting up new CTAs. Most Importantly, keep the entire experience seamless and clear for participants without regularly making significant changes.

3. Don’t be shy to follow up

Don't be shy to follow up

Nowadays, we get reminders for almost everything like appointments, meetings, scheduled deliveries, and more. It shows that you can send a reminder to follow up with customers who are interested in the referral program. It might be possible that some have already signed up for the referral program, but they forgot about it. So, send them a quick reminder and tell them the program and its rewards are still there. Moreover, your follow-up message can be simple and capable enough to remind them to refer their friends.

Apart from that, if a customer has referred a friend, but the friend is still not sure about purchasing from you, you could send a follow-up with the friend and remind them of any reward their friends sent through the referral program.

4. Build a dedicated referral landing page

Design a dedicated referral landing page where your users can know about the specifics of your referral program that further involves how it works and what the rewards are. Not only this, but it should also inform your participants to return to grab their unique referral link and check their stats, and progress towards rewards.

You can consider using the embedded form for seamless and easy integration. Moreover, if you have a web app and know when your users are logged in, you can automatically give them their unique referral link by setting the embedded form with the user’s email address.

5. Use customer referral program software

Use customer referral program software

Referral marketing software enables you to keep track of the number of referrals coming in where they are coming from and helps you disperse rewards. Moreover, the software can automatically produce referral links that make it simple for customers to share your program across email and social media and send automated reminders to their friends if and when required. All this automation makes sharing simple, while tracking enables you to refine your referral program.

6. Emailing your existing customers

Emailing your existing customers

There are two ways to do this. First, you can import your existing customers to add them as participants in your referral program automatically. You can consider emailing them during the import process to enable welcome mails. In this way, your current customers will get their unique referral links in the emails they get so they can instantly start sharing them with their friends, family, and colleagues.

Secondly, as we have mentioned above, a dedicated referrer landing page is crucial. You can send any customer or potential advocate to simply sign up and grab their unique referral link to share.

7. Set Up Simple Rules And Terms

While planning or running a referral marketing campaign, it is crucial to have an easy and clear referral program for all the participants. Make sure they are instantly accessible on the website and do not bombard visitors with pages of contract-like terms and conditions. So, having the best UI/UX practices and creating an attractive landing page that depicts your referral program in the best way yet offers all the necessary information. 

Don’t hesitate to make use of beautiful illustrations and graphics with self-explanatory descriptions or even put a video guide on the page and upload it to YouTube with a link to the referral program. Video content will bring more traffic to your website, improving the outreach of your referral marketing campaign.

8. Provide Compelling Rewards To All Participants

To develop customers’ interest in your program, think about the rewards you will offer. Even if you offer an amazing product, customers will recommend you to their friends with more enthusiasm when they get a valuable reward for that. This motivation can be in the form of discounts, freebies, or gift cards, to name a few. Such a “cash”-based referral program is the simplest option.

 However, you can give non-material perks as well to your participants. For instance, you can provide enhanced extra services like fast delivery or early access to new product releases. An account upgrade is also a great option if applicable at your store. Nevertheless, it’s vital to make sure that both referrers and referrals leverage your program.

9. Create Motivating Share Messages

To maximize your referral program effectiveness, you have to design a compelling message that will drive conversions. Branding, imagery, wording, and tone significantly impact your referral messaging success.

Designing motivating share messaging can be done in a few basic steps:

  • Make sure you add a logo to the feature image to ensure your brand is getting exposure and customers understand where the referral is coming from
  • Make sure the image you select depicts what you sell.
  • Add a clear description of what customers will get by following the referral link.
  •  Personalize your message by adding words like “I” and “my.”

10. Explain How It Works

If you want to grab new customers to get excited about your program, first make them understand how it works. A great way to do this is your referral program’s landing page, which explains the ins and outs of your referral program. Your focus should be on the why, what, and how of getting rewards from referrals; this page will clear all your customer’s doubts upon clicking the link.

Getting someone to click on a referral link is only winning half of the battle, so make sure they buy something when they are clear and know about the value they are receiving. Create an explainer page for your referral program to clear up any confusion as quickly as possible and lower program abandonment.

So, these are some of the most useful tips to run effective referral campaigns.


Ultimately, showcasing and promoting your refer-a-friend program can make a difference between success and failure, as dropbox found out from their first-ever referral program. Launching a quality referral program in place will result in higher customer engagement and loyalty. Don’t hesitate to re-engage with your audience or customers to let them know you have a referral program. We hope you find these tips to run effective referral campaigns helpful.



Shivani is a content writer at InviteReferrals. She writes SEO articles, blogs, and guest posts for businesses to improve website ranking on SERP. She follows a balanced approach for the quality of content and its marketing. She loves to do creativity, although she had an English major in her graduation.

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