Getting more referral sales
How to improve your referral rate
Adam avatar
Written by Adam
Updated over a week ago

The referral rate is one of the most direct ways you can measure your referral program's performance. It essentially measures how much the referral program contributes to your store's sales.

ReferralCandy calculates your referral rate by dividing the number of referral transactions by the total number of transactions in your store over the past 30 days. It generally takes around 4-6 months for a store to build up referral momentum and achieve a steady state referral rate.

The industry average line shown on the Referral Rate chart in your dashboard page represents the average referral rate that similar retailers to yourself achieve at steady state with ReferralCandy.

Here are some tips to help boost your store's referral rate:

  1. Choose attractive referral rewards and friend offers.
    The reason is simple: attractive rewards motivate your Advocates to want to refer your store, and encourage their friends to want to make a purchase. There are no perfect rewards, but to help you out, we've written guides on choosing the right referral reward and the right friend offer for your store.

  2. Enroll as many Advocates as you can.
    The more Advocates you have in your referral program, the higher its likelihood of success. This is something we've observed after helping thousands of retailers run their referral programs. And this is extra sweet for you, since ReferralCandy places no limit on the number of Advocates you can have! Here are some ways you can maximize the number of Advocates in your referral program:

    1. Turn on referral emails.
      Referral emails are one of the biggest channels for you to promote your referral program to your Advocates. It's one of the first touch points where they are made aware that they can refer their friends to your store and earn some rewards at the same time. Referral emails are turned on by default, but check to make sure that you haven’t disabled them by accident.

    2. Feature your referral program on your website.
      Highlighting your referral program on your website will ensure that more of your customers are made aware of its existence. You can make use of links, banner images, or featured images to grab your customers' attention, and let them know that they can and should refer their friends to your store.

    3. Invite your past customers to join your referral program.
      Since referral emails only get sent out to new customers, you should also invite your past customers to join your referral program. To do this in ReferralCandy, go to the Invite Advocates page, and follow the instructions on the page to upload a batch of customers as Advocates in your referral program.

  3. Optimize your referral emails and landing pages.
    Make sure that each of your referral program templates are optimized for getting referral sales. These are the main areas you can focus on:

    1. Referral emails
      As mentioned in this guide, a good subject line is your best bet at maximizing the open rates of your referral emails. A good way to do so is to highlight the benefit to the Advocate. You can do this by mentioning the referral reward in the subject line. For example: "Don't miss out on $20 off your next purchase!" or "Be rewarded with 15% off your next purchase when you share the love". Your referral email's content should also convince your Advocates to share their referral links with their friends. Here are a few tricks you can use to achieve that:

      • Use simple language to explain the following to your Advocate.

        • What’s in it for them?

        • What are they giving their friends?

        • How do they go about earning their reward?

      • Play up your store's value proposition.

        • What is the main reason your customers buy from you?

        • Is it to make a difference in the lives of others, to help children learn better, to look stylish, to be unique etc.?

        • Play up this primary motivation in the messaging so that it’s very clear what value proposition the Advocate is sharing with their friends.

      • Adopt an encouraging tone so that Advocates will want to take part.

      • Check for errors in grammar, especially after using the mail merge tags.

    2. Reminder emails
      Reminder emails are sent to your Advocates periodically, to remind them to refer their friends to your store. We've found that a reminder email frequency of 2-4 weeks is generally optimal, as it keeps your referral program top of mind, but doesn't come across as spammy. ReferralCandy will automatically space out reminder emails if we detect that an Advocate isn't opening them, eventually stopping reminder emails altogether, so you don't have to worry as coming across as overly aggressive. Advocates can also unsubscribe at any time. The best practices for referral emails outlined above generally holds true for the reminder email as well.

    3. Optimizing for social media shares
      Having a featured image for your referral links helps them stand out in social media feeds and increases the likelihood of engagement from friends. You should choose a visually captivating image that showcases what your store sells, so that your Advocate's friends have a good sense of your store's value proposition. The message that accompanies each social media share should also convince your Advocate's friends to click on the referral link. Here are a few ideas you can use to achieve that:

      • Mention the friend offer in the default sharing message, to attract the friend to click on the link.

      • Play up your store's value proposition (as per the referral email messaging)

      • Remember to change the default sharing message for both Twitter and Facebook shares!

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