How (And Why) to Build a Referral Program for Your Startup

Crowdfunding, Ecommerce

One thing you’re not going to want to overlook while creating your marketing strategy is a referral program. Read on to learn why you need one, the best kinds of referral programs and how best to execute one for your company.

So, you’ve officially launched your startup and you want to make sure you’re hitting every marketing goal while still staying within your operating budget. One thing you’re not going to want to overlook while creating your marketing strategy is a referral program. Read on to learn why you need one, the best kinds of referral programs and how best to execute one for your company.

Why should you use a referral program?

The reasons you should build a referral plan are clear:

People are more likely to use a product or service that a friend, family member or colleague vouches for. Even with all of the sophisticated digital marketing techniques in our arsenal today, word-of-mouth marketing is one of the most effective ways to spread the news about your startup and recruit new users – Nielsen estimates that 92% of customers trust a referral that comes from someone they know well.

A referral program helps customers to feel truly invested in your brand – something that will benefit you repeatedly in the future. People that are invested in your brand, product or service are your best brand ambassadors – they will tell their friends about you, share your company on social media and most importantly, continue to use your product or service for years to come.

What kind of referral programs work best?

The best referral program is one that really makes the customer feel invested, so that they act as a brand ambassador as explained above. Depending on your company, the best option is often to give people money towards a service or a free product in exchange for promoting your company.

For example, our office has been buzzing about a certain meal delivery service. A co-worker who had used the service sent me her referral code, which got me a full week of meals for a great price and got her a $20 credit. I then went on to send the code to a few friends and co-workers who also used it, so I received $60 in credits that I will use in the future. This referral program is great for a few reasons. First, it makes the customers brand ambassadors and has them feeling invested in ensuring others try the service. Second, it works quickly – once you get that code, you want to make sure you’re passing it on so that you can get a credit for the next week. Lastly, it keeps current customers on the hook for a long time to come.

If you have a product instead of a service, you can still use this kind of a referral program. Instead of credits for a service, you can offer either money back or a credit for a future purchase. If your product is something that a customer will want more of in the future, the credit will be the best choice for you.

How should you execute a referral program?

The decision to run a referral program is easy. The execution will be slightly more difficult. First, you need to ensure that you have effective tracking in place so that people are receiving credit for their referrals.

If the idea of handling this internally seems too daunting, consider using a third-party service such as Queue, that will handle all of the backend work. All you’ll need to do is create the incentives – they’ll take care of analytics and assign users points based on different actions such as sharing on social media, etc.

If you’re interested in running a referral program for your startup and taking your marketing to the next level, contact our experts at Enventys Partners. We’ll take care of the hard work and leave you with more time to focus on growing your business.

Note: If you are interested in using Queue, sign up using the code “CommandPartners30” for 30% discount!

Want to keep learning about crowdfunding?

Not quite ready to talk with sales or just here to learn? Here are some of our most popular articles on how to run a winning Kickstarter campaign:

Need professional help with your crowdfunding campaign?

With over six years marketing crowdfunding projects, Enventys Partners is one of the largest and most experienced product launch companies in the industry.

Work With Us

Want to learn more about how we’d prepare your product for launch? Request a quote today.

Want To See This Advice In Action?

Check out our case studies and learn more about how we’ve achieved stellar results for our clients.