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How Ambassador Works: In Layman's Terms

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Referral programs used to be extremely straightforward. A customer would send their friend to a business. That new customer would mention that they were referred, and the business would do their best …

Referral programs used to be extremely straightforward. A customer would send their friend to a business. That new customer would mention that they were referred, and the business would do their best to keep both the referred and referrer happy in the hopes that the process would repeat itself. With the internet, the fundamentals are the same but the execution differs. To have an effective referral program online, a business needs the help of computer programming and web designers. Because those are skills outside the range of most businesses, it’s necessary to hire a service to provide the backend support. Even if your business will be using a service for your referral programs, it’s critical to understand the underlying principles of referral reward software.

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  • 1. How Ambassador Works: InLayman’s TermsA Whitepaper
  • 2. Table of ContentsIntroduction……………………...……………4Link Tracking………………..………………..5Rewards…………………………………........7Applying Links…………………...……….....8Beyond Clicks………...………………………9The Information Advantage….…………..10Conclusion……………………………………..11
  • 3. How Ambassador Works: In Layman’s Terms Definitions Link, URL: When referring to a link or URL, we simply mean the string of characters that take you to a place on the web (ex: google.com). The personalized URLs that Ambassador uses look like http://mbsy.co/m8M but can be customized. Brand Ambassador: A brand ambassador is someone who advocates for your brand to their networks. Typically a customer or someone who has a relationship with your brand, their forms of advocacy vary widely. Referred Customer: Referred customers are those who come to a business as a result of a relationship with a brand ambassador who referred them. Referral Program: The marketing strategy in which your businesses rewards a brand ambassador or referred customer or both for an agreed-upon action or set of actions. Referral Software, Platform: The technology to implement a referral program using online resources and information to track, manage, and reward brand ambassadors and referred customers.Page 3
  • 4. How Ambassador Works: In Layman’s Terms Introduction Referral programs used to be extremely straightforward. A customer would send their friend to a business. That new customer would mention that they were referred, and the business would do their best to keep both the referred and referrer happy in the hopes that the process would repeat itself.   With the internet, the fundamentals are the same but the execution differs. To have an effective referral program online, a business needs the help of computer programming and web designers. Because those are skills outside the range of most businesses, it’s necessary to hire a service to provide the backend support.   Even if your business will be using a service for your referral programs, it’s critical to understand the underlying principles of referral reward software.Page 4
  • 5. How Ambassador Works: In Layman’s TermsLink Tracking Referral software relies on two things: links and the clicks that they facilitate. The key to a referral program is that a business can accurately attribute a referred customer to the customer who referred them. Before the internet, a business would rely on that new customer mentioning that they had been referred or having the referrer introduce the business to the new customer directly. With online referral programs, a business does not have to rely on these activities to maintain an accurate reward system. Instead, a business can discretely track the way that a new customer arrives and whether it was as a result of a customer’s referral. This is how it works: your referral program software gives every brand ambassador a unique URL. You can designate where that URL takes someone who clicks on it (perhaps a landing page for referred customers or your home page). Regardless of where the link goes, the critical element is that the link provides a customized and traceable entry point to your site.Page 5
  • 6. How Ambassador Works: In Layman’s Terms The personalized URLs are like unique doorways into your business. As new people enter your business through a doorway associated with one of your brand ambassadors, you can immediately tell who is responsible for their arrival without asking. Brand  ambassadors  issued  personalized  URLs   Brand  ambassadors   distribute  links  to  their   networks   Members  of  their  networks   click  on  link,  entering  your   site   As  they  navigate  your  site  and   eventually  purchase,  they  are   automa@cally  associated  with   their  referrer  Page 6
  • 7. How Ambassador Works: In Layman’s TermsRewards With a system in place for each brand ambassador to have a personal URL, the reward system can work. To reward an existing customer for referring a new one, your referral program need only see which link a new customer used to arrive at your site. Then it compares the URL to the brand ambassador to whom it was issued and distributes rewards accordingly. It’s up to you what action you choose to reward, whether it’s simply the click into your site or the completion of a purchase. If there is a reward due for the referred customer, the entrance through a brand ambassador’s URL makes them automatically eligible for the reward you have stipulated. Whether a discount or cash reward, the new customer maintains his or her identity as a referred customer because of their entrance with a URL. For example, by clicking through an ambassador’s link into an online store, the new customer maintains the tag from the URL through the checkout process, ensuring the proper discount or reward even if they’ve navigated through many parts of your site.Page 7
  • 8. How Ambassador Works: In Layman’s Terms Applying Links Referral programs depend on trackable links, but they also depend on those links being sent to potential customers. In many ways, the personalized URLs are the vessel, not the substance, of the referral program. The success of a brand ambassador depends on his or her ability to get that URL to their friends and make the case for them to click on it. Luckily, URLs are extremely versatile. They can be incorporated into myriad means of communication. A personalized URL-based referral program can allow your brand ambassadors to get referrals through email, facebook, Twitter, linkedin, and any number of social sites. The only function needed is the ability to include a URL in a piece of communication.Page 8
  • 9. How Ambassador Works: In Layman’s Terms Beyond Clicks The basic properties of URLs can be applied in ways beyond simply presenting a link and having someone click on it to take them to your website. You can use the technology to track and reward for individuals “liking”, “sharing”, or “+1ing” a site, brand, or product of your choice. You can also present links as photos or other website elements, so that your ambassadors can make their referral activity more artistic or personalized.Page 9
  • 10. How Ambassador Works: In Layman’s Terms The Information Advantage The link-based referral structure allows for much more than the basic mechanics of a referral program. As brand ambassadors and new customers use your links to engage with your brand, you get more information about who your target customer base is and how they communicate.   With link tracking, you can get data on where your ambassadors are sharing their links, where they are getting the most clicks, and which social networking sites get the highest-quality leads. Measuring the amount of revenue generated by ambassadors, for example, becomes easy.Page 10
  • 11. How Ambassador Works: In Layman’s Terms Conclusion Whether you’re a marketing professional or an executive, understanding the basics behind referral software will help you leverage it to your business’ benefit. The technology running in the background may be extremely complex, but the principles of operation, as you’ve seen, are straightforward. Hopefully after exploring this whitepaper you have a better grasping of your referral program and how to better leverage the many strengths of a link-based referral platform for your continued success. Ambassador has resources to take further steps in your understanding and optimization of your referral program. Check out our whitepapers and recorded webinars at getambassador.comPage 11
  • 12. Ambassador enables any company to easily track, manage &reward their advocates for referring customers and drivingconversions. Receive actionable channel-specific metrics;including shares, clicks, conversions, revenue and clicks pershare. Ambassador can be fully integrated into yourwebsite, maintaining your look & feel while providing africtionless experience for your advocates.Check us out at getambassador.com and try a free 14-day trial!

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