Successful referral marketing requires more than just an automated platform that provides a seamless experience. You must also promote the program to generate awareness and engagement to continually feed the top of your referral funnel. If your customers don’t know they’ll get rewarded for making referrals, chances are they won’t make the effort. However, if they are consistently reminded of the potential for discounts, free products, or whatever incentives you offer, they are more likely to make an impulse referral.
Many brands find that email marketing is one of the most effective methods for generating interest. Whether it’s including your referral program in a section of your email newsletter, sending a dedicated email, or creating automated email flows, the more you can remind your audience of your referral program, the more engagement and customer referrals you will get. Check out these 15 examples of what other brands are doing to put their referral programs front and center.
One of the best ways to capture your email subscribers’ attention is to send a dedicated email that promotes only your referral program and has no other content. With no distractions on the page and a compelling reward to spark action, dedicated emails can drive significant traffic to your referral program and boost your customer referrals.
At-home oral care brand SmileDirectClub sends a dedicated email with a reminder for potential advocates to share a $100 discount with friends to get a $100 Amazon gift card. Using graphics with both the gift card and the aligner product makes the incentives visually clear, so advocates know what their reward is. The email also includes two calls to action (CTAs)—a link in the text and an “Invite Your Friend” button—to give advocates ample opportunity to get to the referral landing page.
2. Outdoor Voices
Apparel brand Outdoor Voices sends a dedicated email that includes a compelling graphic depicting a friend group sharing an experience. The on-brand content resonates with existing customers, and a “Get $20” CTA button motivates them to share with friends in exchange for store credit.
Vacation rental brand Getaway taps into the senses with its dedicated emails that encourage advocates to share while also reminding them that it might be time to take another vacation.
Dedicated Emails with PURLS
Take your dedicated emails to the next level with personalized URLs (PURLs) that are dynamically inserted. Potential advocates can easily copy the PURL with a single click and share it with friends and family through the platform of their choice.
Home water delivery service ReadyRefresh understands the importance of customization for driving engagement with its referral program. The brand sends dedicated email offers with the option to copy and paste a PURL or invite friends online through the referral widget. The personalized email also includes the advocate’s name, which increases the likelihood of participation.
Innovative car insurance company Metromile uses dedicated emails with PURLs to drive traffic to its referral program. Advocates get a shareable PURL that goes to a landing page where the friend is encouraged to submit a quote. When a referred friend signs up, Friendbuy automatically tracks the event, and the advocate gets a $10 gift card.
6. Space Mask
Space Mask, a brand that uses nanotechnology in premium face masks to provide breathable protection, uses dedicated emails to encourage repeat sharing. The company sends an email with a PURL to the advocate after they refer a friend to make it easy for them to share with more people.
Persistent CTAs in Emails
The more customers and advocates are reminded of your referral program, the more likely they are to participate. Whenever customers get emails for order confirmations, payment receipts, or other promotions, include a referral call to action to remind them that the program exists and make it easy for them to participate.
Travel product brand Away uses an email template to ensure that certain content is always included. Every email has a “Refer a Friend” CTA text in the top navigation bar so customers consistently see it in the same place with every email communication from the company.
Getaway has doubled down on including its referral program in marketing communications. All emails include “Refer a Friend” CTA text in the top navigation bar and a CTA button at the bottom.
Apparel brand MeUndies sends order confirmation emails that include a link to the referral landing page. Customers who just completed a purchase are perfect advocate candidates because they are excited about the brand. The referral incentive for a $20 credit encourages customers to share the 20 percent discount with friends. A “Tell the World” CTA button goes to the referral landing page where they can share via their PURL, email, Facebook, or Messenger. Another compelling CTA banner at the bottom of every email dangles the possibility of free underwear for life.
10. Imperfect Foods
Sustainable delivery brand Imperfect Foods includes an evergreen banner in all of its marketing emails. Email subscribers always see the “Give $10, Get $10” offer with every message and can easily click on the “Refer Now” button in the banner to get to the referral landing page.
11. Dollar Shave Club
Dollar Shave Club is another brand that uses order confirmations to promote its referral program. Each subscription mailing reminds customers that their order could have been free, so advocates are continually reminded of the rewards they could be getting.
Referral Marketing Email Integrations
One of the biggest advantages of using Friendbuy for referral marketing is that you can integrate it into your tech stack. These brands take advantage of our Klaviyo and Okendo integrations to send targeted, scheduled emails.
12. Olive and June
Nail care brand Olive and June uses Klaviyo to amplify their “Give 20%, Get Free Polish” CTA and encourage advocates to share a PURL with friends.
Modern jewelry brand Gorjana also leverages the Friendbuy/Klaviyo integration to send timed emails to customers. Advocates are enticed by the potential to get a $20 gift card, and friends can easily click on the PURL to be directed to a product landing page.
14. William Painter
Sunglasses brand William Painter includes PURLs in their timed emails to advocates to remind them of their incredibly flexible rewards. When friends make a purchase, advocates can choose whether they get a $50 gift card.
PYM, a company that makes mood chews, uses both the Klaviyo and Okendo integrations to send timed emails to potential advocates who have left a positive product review. These happy customers can give their friends a 15% discount and get the same sweet deal for themselves.
Embrace All Marketing Channels
Of course, there are many other channels beyond email where you can promote your referral program and drive customer referrals, including your website, in-app notifications, SMS messages, social media, and more. The key is to create a seamless experience for your customers so that your referral program is integrated into your brand. For more tips and best practices for growing your referral program, read Referral Marketing: The Essential Guide.