Customer referral programs have been around for a while. And they continue to be widely used because they work well. Here are some relevant stats:

image

A well structured referral program can bring tremendous value to your business by dramatically lowering your Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC) while simultaneously keeping your current customers happy, engaged and loyal

Here are some best practices for running a powerful customer referral program:

Tip 1: Keep it simple: 

Avoid making the incentive structure overly complex. This will confuse your audience and reduce participation. On the referral program landing page, explain in large bold letters what incentive you will provide and what action you would like the customer to take.

Tip 2: Micro-target your best brand ambassadors: 

A certain percentage of your customers are your best brand ambassadors. They are super happy with your product or service and don’t hesitate to show the excitement. Tap into their enthusiasm by encouraging them to spread the word. An effective technique is to make such requests around special occasions. Lets say you are launching a new product. Send a simple email to your loyal customers saying,

“Hello there, we treasure your support for our products and would love for you to help spread the word on this great new product we are launching. As a mark of our appreciation, here is an early sneak peek at the new product specially for you…”

Tip 3: Choose the right award type

Choose an award type that is somehow related to your main line of business. For example, if you sell paintings, giving an award like:

“our best referrers earn early access to the latest paintings collection”

will work a lot better than an award like:

“our best referrers earn a discount worth 30% at the local coffee shop”

— Rahul, Team Canvass

Data Sources: Forbes, Harvard Business Review, NetPromoter.com, Forrester