I think the best free tool that is really close to building a referral campaign is themade by the team of Harry’s. The main concept is that based on the number of referrals, you get different rewards.
In Harry’s campaign it worked like this:
- for 5 friends, you got a shave cream
- for 10 friends, you got a Truman handle w/ blade
- for 25 friends, you got a shave set
- for 50 friends, you got one year free blades
Despite Harry’s used it for their prelaunch, you can run this as an ongoing referral campaign.does this pretty well.
You can find the code on. If you have the time and technical knowledge you can start with this.
Now, if you want to launch a referral in a single day without spending the time of your engineers, you can use Viral Loops, which is afor small companies and startups (disclaimer: I’m the co-founder 🙂
We offer multiple referral marketing campaign templates that work out of the box. Some of the most popular are those inspired by Dropbox, Airbnb and Gilt.
The good thing with us, is that you can run your referral program to get more customers, and at the same time you can launch referral contests and competitions to build your email list faster.
My main advice is that no matter what tool you will use to launch your referral program, just make sure to let people know about it. Lots of companies bury their referral program in a profile page.
Some actionable tips:
- Make the reward double sided. Maybe a complete altruistic doesn’t work. You need to experiment with messaging.
- Create a separate page for referrals and name it something like “Get credits.”
- Drive users to that page from multiple touch points, like notifications, sections in your main app/website, emails, etc.
- Add a pop-up with the sharing widget immediately after someone completes a booking/purchase/subscription (the main conversion of your website).
- Add a section in some transactional emails (e.g. email receipts, other informational emails) linking to the referral page. For example, if a user paid X amount of money, tell her that if she invites a friends, she can gain credits and pay less next time. In other emails, you can just explain in one line how the referral works and link to that page.
You can also read this article for some best practices:.
Hope that helps! 🙂