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Referral marketing crash course

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Everything you need to know about generating customer referrals and optimizing your virality.

Published in: Marketing
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Referral marketing crash course

  1. 1. Referral Marketing Crash Course Master the Art of Referral Marketing By Tony Mariotti @tonymariotti
  2. 2. I get tons of emails from marketers asking me…
  3. 3. I get tons of emails from marketers asking me… How can I run better referral campaigns? What kind of incentive should we use? Should we run a single- sided or double-sided incentive? How often should I refresh my campaign and offers?
  4. 4. These are ALL great questions
  5. 5. help increase referrals… But time and again I’ve noticed that marketers rarely focus on the onething that will always
  6. 6. LOCATION LOCATION LOCATION
  7. 7. 1 Widget Location Increases Referral Program Participation
  8. 8. Here’s a typical conversation: I want to give my customers the opportunity to share and refer friends after they make a purchase.
  9. 9. Here’s a typical conversation: That’s great! What’s your overall site conversation rate? I want to give my customers the opportunity to share and refer friends after they make a purchase.
  10. 10. Here’s a typical conversation: That’s great! What’s your overall site conversation rate? I want to give my customers the opportunity to share and refer friends after they make a purchase. Normal. Three to four percent on average.
  11. 11. Here’s a typical conversation: That’s great! What’s your overall site conversation rate? I want to give my customers the opportunity to share and refer friends after they make a purchase. What are you doing about the other 97% of your site visitors? Normal. Three to four percent on average.
  12. 12. Making your program widely available to all visitors --
  13. 13. Making your program widely available to all visitors -- in many locations, not just your checkout page --
  14. 14. Making your program widely available to all visitors -- in many locations, not just your checkout page -- is hands down thebest thing you can do to increase referral program participation.
  15. 15. Making your program widely available to all visitors -- in many locations, not just your checkout page -- is hands down thebest thing you can do to increase referral program participation. (The second best thing you can do is A/B testing, but that’s coming later. Yep, that’s a teaser...)
  16. 16. Four key locations to install referral widgets to increaseuser participation 1 Homepage–Trigger an overlay on your homepage or link to your stand-alone referral page
  17. 17. Four key locations to install referral widgets to increaseuser participation 2 User Account Pages – Give logged in customers the ability to share from their account page
  18. 18. Four key locations to install referral widgets to increaseuser participation 3 Post Purchase Page–Make sure you auto-pop that widget and you’ll get 10x more sharing
  19. 19. Four key locations to install referral widgets to increaseuser participation 4 Stand-alone Referral Page– Create a landing page (i.e. yoursite.com/refer) and embed a widget on that page
  20. 20. Those are just four ‘must have’ locations. I’ve also seen brilliant executions on:
  21. 21. Those are just four ‘must have’ locations. I’ve also seen brilliant executions on: blogs
  22. 22. Those are just four ‘must have’ locations. I’ve also seen brilliant executions on: blogs help desks
  23. 23. Those are just four ‘must have’ locations. I’ve also seen brilliant executions on: blogs help desks outbound emails (transactional, newsletters, etc.)
  24. 24. Those are just four ‘must have’ locations. I’ve also seen brilliant executions on: blogs help desks outbound emails (transactional, newsletters, etc.) …essentially, anyreal estate you control.
  25. 25. By spreading out your widget locations, you will move the needle in a bigway… --from just 3% on the post purchase page -- to 100% of site visitors. Increase the visibility of your referral program
  26. 26. Oh, and one more key performance driver is Open Access Sharing. widgets do not force users to loginbefore sharing with friends! Why? Because ‘forced login’ will drop user participation by 90% or more.
  27. 27. One question I get a lot is,
  28. 28. One question I get a lot is, After setting up my widgets, what’s the first thing I should do that will have the greatest impact?
  29. 29. One question I get a lot is, After setting up my widgets, what’s the first thing I should do that will have the greatest impact? That’s easy…
  30. 30. 2 Promote Your Referral Page For Immediate Results
  31. 31. The widgets you’ve placed on your Homepage
  32. 32. The widgets you’ve placed on your Homepage User account page
  33. 33. The widgets you’ve placed on your Homepage User account page Post purchase page
  34. 34. The widgets you’ve placed on your Homepage User account page Post purchase page will take care of themselves with your regular site traffic.
  35. 35. The widgets you’ve placed on your Homepage User account page Post purchase page However… will take care of themselves with your regular site traffic.
  36. 36. You can getimmediate resultsby promoting the linkto your referral landing page
  37. 37. Five ways to promote your referral landing page to get results now 1 Send a dedicated blast to your email list that links to your stand- alone referral page
  38. 38. Five ways to promote your referral landing page to get results now 1 Send a dedicated blast to your email list that links to your stand- alone referral page 2 Post the link to your Facebook fans
  39. 39. Five ways to promote your referral landing page to get results now 1 Send a dedicated blast to your email list that links to your stand- alone referral page 2 Post the link to your Facebook fans 3 Post to Twitter followers
  40. 40. Five ways to promote your referral landing page to get results now 1 Send a dedicated blast to your email list that links to your stand- alone referral page 2 Post the link to your Facebook fans 3 Post to Twitter followers 4 Post to LinkedIn followers
  41. 41. Five ways to promote your referral landing page to get results now 1 Send a dedicated blast to your email list that links to your stand- alone referral page 2 Post the link to your Facebook fans 3 Post to Twitter followers 4 Post to LinkedIn followers 5 Include a banner in your email templates (order confirmation, newsletters, etc.) that links to your referral landing page
  42. 42. Promoting your referral landing pageto your email list and social followersensuresthat you will come out of the gatein full stride
  43. 43. Scheduleyour referral page promotion and stick to it, say once a month or every other month.
  44. 44. What’s next?
  45. 45. OPTIMIZATIO What’s next?
  46. 46. Referral optimization has two sides:
  47. 47. Referral optimization has two sides: Sharing Rate Getting more visitors to refer friends
  48. 48. Referral optimization has two sides: Sharing Rate Getting more visitors to refer friends Referral Conversion Rate Getting more friends to convert
  49. 49. The content of your widget impacts the sharing rate and referral visits.
  50. 50. Sharer Call to Action What’s in it for them –this copy compels the user to share. Focus on this headline to optimize the sharing rate. The content of your widget impacts the sharing rate and referral visits.
  51. 51. Shared Content This is the offer that friendswill see. It compels them to click and visit your site. Optimize referred visits by A/B testing this shared content. Sharer Call to Action What’s in it for them –this copy compels the user to share. Focus on this headline to optimize the sharing rate. The content of your widget impacts the sharing rate and referral visits.
  52. 52. 3 A/B Testing: Optimize Calls to Action and Shared Content
  53. 53. How do you optimize the sharing rate? Here’s a real world example:
  54. 54. How do you optimize the sharing rate? Here’s a real world example: A reasonable sharing rate is 7%
  55. 55. How do you optimize the sharing rate? Here’s a real world example: (i.e. -For every referral widget viewed, on average 7% of people will share. You can get that result pretty easily.) A reasonable sharing rate is 7%
  56. 56. How do you optimize the sharing rate? Here’s a real world example: (i.e. -For every referral widget viewed, on average 7% of people will share. You can get that result pretty easily.) However, achieved a 50% sharing rate. Here’s how… A reasonable sharing rate is 7%
  57. 57. optimized their sharing rate by A/B testing the call to action.
  58. 58. optimized their sharing rateby A/B testing the call to action. Here are a few headlines they tested:
  59. 59. optimized their sharing rate by A/B testing the call to action. 1“Get 50% Off a NatureBox” Here are a few headlines they tested:
  60. 60. optimized their sharing rateby A/B testing the call to action. 1“Get 50% Off a NatureBox” 2“Get Half Off a NatureBox” Here are a few headlines they tested:
  61. 61. optimized their sharing rate by A/B testing the call to action. 1“Get 50% Off a NatureBox” 2“Get Half Off a NatureBox” 3“Get $10 for Free” Here are a few headlines they tested:
  62. 62. optimized their sharing rateby A/B testing the call to action. 1“Get 50% Off a NatureBox” 2“Get Half Off a NatureBox” 3“Get $10 for Free” Can you guess which headline won? Here are a few headlines they tested:
  63. 63. “Get $10 for Free” won by a long shot,
  64. 64. “Get $10 for Free” won by a long shot, lifting the sharing rate to 48.7%, well above a ‘reasonable’ rate of 7%.
  65. 65. The irony, of course, is that all of these offers are the same.
  66. 66. The irony, of course, is that all of these offers are the same. subscriptions are $20 per month.
  67. 67. The irony, of course, is that all of these offers are the same. “Get 50% Off a NatureBox” “Get Half Off a NatureBox” “Get $10 for Free” subscriptions are $20 per month.
  68. 68. The irony, of course, is that all of these offers are the same. “Get 50% Off a NatureBox” “Get Half Off a NatureBox” “Get $10 for Free” subscriptions are $20 per month. = $10
  69. 69. The irony, of course, is that all of these offers are the same. “Get 50% Off a NatureBox” “Get Half Off a NatureBox” “Get $10 for Free” subscriptions are $20 per month. A/B testing the headline made allthe difference! = $10
  70. 70. Next, an example of optimizing the shared content to increase referral visits. Shared Content This is the offer that friendswill see. It compels them to click and visit your site. Optimize referred visits by A/B testing this shared content.
  71. 71. ran a simple A/B test during the holidays, modifying only the title of their shared content.
  72. 72. Here are the two titles they tested: ran a simple A/B test during the holidays, modifying only the title of their shared content.
  73. 73. 1“Birchbox–Deluxe Beauty Samples” Here are the two titles they tested: ran a simple A/B test during the holidays, modifying only the title of their shared content.
  74. 74. 1“Birchbox–Deluxe Beauty Samples” 2“Birchbox–The Perfect Holiday Gift” Here are the two titles they tested: ran a simple A/B test during the holidays, modifying only the title of their shared content.
  75. 75. 1“Birchbox–Deluxe Beauty Samples” 2“Birchbox–The Perfect Holiday Gift” Can you guess which headline won? Here are the two titles they tested: ran a simple A/B test during the holidays, modifying only the title of their shared content.
  76. 76. “Birchbox–The Perfect Holiday Gift” doubledthe number of users who clicked on the shared content
  77. 77. “Birchbox–The Perfect Holiday Gift” doubledthe number of users who clicked on the shared contentANDdoubledreferral purchases.
  78. 78. “Birchbox–The Perfect Holiday Gift” doubledthe number of users who clicked on the shared contentANDdoubledreferral purchases. A double whammy!
  79. 79. All performance gains were achieved with just one copy change. Note that this test ran with noincentive, which is always an option for referral campaigns.
  80. 80. But wait.
  81. 81. But wait. There’s more.
  82. 82. But wait. There’s more. Here is a run down of campaign metrics and elements to refine and test…
  83. 83. 4 Additional Referral Campaign Elements You MUST Test
  84. 84. Referral Performance Metrics As your referral program evolves and A/B testing is underway, focus on the following key metrics:
  85. 85. Referral Performance Metrics Sharing Rate –Percentage of people who share when presented with a widget As your referral program evolves and A/B testing is underway, focus on the following key metrics:
  86. 86. Referral Performance Metrics Sharing Rate –Percentage of people who share when presented with a widget Referral Visits –Clicks on shared content As your referral program evolves and A/B testing is underway, focus on the following key metrics:
  87. 87. Referral Performance Metrics Sharing Rate –Percentage of people who share when presented with a widget Referral Conversion Rate –Percentage of referred visitors who convert As your referral program evolves and A/B testing is underway, focus on the following key metrics: Referral Visits –Clicks on shared content
  88. 88. Referral Incentive Structures Incentive structures will impact referral program performance.
  89. 89. Referral Incentive Structures No Incentive –Sharing for the sake of sharing Incentive structures will impact referral program performance.
  90. 90. Referral Incentive Structures No Incentive –Sharing for the sake of sharing One-Sided –One party (typically the sharer) gets something good Incentive structures will impact referral program performance.
  91. 91. Referral Incentive Structures No Incentive –Sharing for the sake of sharing One-Sided –One party (typically the sharer) gets something good Two-Sided –Both parties (the sharer and their friend) get something good Incentive structures will impact referral program performance.
  92. 92. Types of Referral Incentives •Store credit •Cash back •Coupons •Loyalty points •Gift cards •Discounts •Access to special features (SAAS and web-based apps) These are the kinds of ‘carrots’ you can put in front of your customers to encourage them to share: •Free month (subscriptions) •Donation to charitable cause •Special events (in-store or brick & mortar) •Premiums (physical items like a tote bag) •Extra entries for sweeps and contests
  93. 93. Types of Offers for Referred Visitors The following ‘carrots’ for friendswill boost conversion ratesfor new customer acquisition. •Everything on the previous slide, plus… •Discounts (10% off your first order) •Free trial •Free shipping •Limited time offers
  94. 94. You’ve completed the Referral Marketing Crash Course! We’ve covered --
  95. 95. You’ve completed the Referral Marketing Crash Course! We’ve covered -- •Best practices for widget placement and promotion
  96. 96. You’ve completed the Referral Marketing Crash Course! We’ve covered -- •Best practices for widget placement and promotion •Real world examples of high-performing referral campaigns
  97. 97. You’ve completed the Referral Marketing Crash Course! We’ve covered -- •Best practices for widget placement and promotion •Real world examples of high-performing referral campaigns •A/B tests that have massively boosted campaign performance
  98. 98. You’ve completed the Referral Marketing Crash Course! We’ve covered -- •Best practices for widget placement and promotion •Real world examples of high-performing referral campaigns •A/B tests that have massively boosted campaign performance •Performance metrics and incentive structures
  99. 99. Everything we’ve covered can be implemented immediatelyand effectivelywith . If you’ve come this far, you should give yourself the power to truly knock your referral marketing out of the park. Sign up for a 30-day, no risk free trial. Click here to get started!
  100. 100. Thanks! For more tips and examples, visit us: Tony Mariotti @tonymariotti Twitter LinkedIn Blog

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