Among the various marketing techniques which can be used to attract new customers, an Introduce a Friend scheme is one of the most effective. According to SOS Fichiers, 10% of referred customers go on to become regular customers of a site while the return on an ordinary recruitment campaign is around 1.5 %. Moreover, the outlay is minimal: just the price of the gifts given to the existing and newly introduced customers. This report contains 2 tips you can implement to ensure the Introduce a Friend programme brings in new customers and extra sales!
1) Choose the referrers carefully
To ensure that the Introduce a Friend programme is set up effectively, you must choose your referrers carefully. The customers you select must completely adhere to your brand and your products. They should be your best customers. Look in your database for customers who buy regularly and who spend large amounts on your store. Check the date of their last purchases, which should be recent. As soon as you have selected them, invite them to introduce someone to your store. The referred person is usually carefully selected by the referrer and often belongs to your core target. They are usually open to your offers as they have been introduced by one of their friends, and therefore take the offer seriously. It is not uncommon for a referred person to become a referrer themselves. The Introduce a Friend programme becomes a virtuous circle which enables you to secure the loyalty of your customers and increase your turnover.
Some websites offer all their customers the possibility of referring a friend. Here, the technique consists in attracting new customers en masse. In this case, the rate of loyalty building is lower and the e-trader therefore offers gifts of a lower value. La Redoute is an example of an e-trader using this technique.
2) Everybody must benefit from the programme
If you ask your best customers to give you the email address of a friend, you must give them gifts in return. Likewise, you must offer a welcome gift to the new customer. The gifts you offer should be sourced from your website. Highlight the prices of the gifts which the referrers could receive as this will give an idea of the value of the gifts on offer.
The gifts which you offer can be of any type (money off vouchers, products from your store, etc.). Bear in mind that the gifts should be innovative and high quality to interest the future referrers.
In the following screen shot, you can see the different gifts the customer can receive if he or she introduces 1, 3, 5 or 10 friends (www.rueducommerce.com). The price is shown beneath each gift. It goes without saying that the more friends your customer introduces, the more valuable the gift should be. On this website, if a customer introduces 10 friends, they can receive a netbook worth €300. For the Introduce a Friend programme to work, the gift is given to the referrer only when the new customer has placed an order otherwise there is no benefit for you.
The welcome offer aimed at the new customer must be valuable as the aim is to encourage them to come back to your website to place further orders. Ensure that the reduction you offer the new customer is valid only for an order of “X” euros. (For example, a €20 reduction for an order of €80 or more). This will deter people just looking for a bargain with no intention of returning to your store. Note too that the gifts for both the referrer and their friend must be worth the same amount to avoid disappointment.
The Introduce a Friend programme enables you to attract customers who will become regular visitors to your site, for a relatively low outlay. In turn, the newly acquired customers will introduce other internet users: this is the virtuous circle of the Introduce a Friend programme. Don’t wait any longer to put into action these two tips for an effective, value-creating Introduce a Friend programme!