What you’ll read in the next chapters is an amalgamation of a 5-year experience in referral marketing.
We figured out that it would be perfect to put in a single guide, all the insight we managed to gather from all the campaigns we hosted, and offer it for free to all the people who dig the idea of growing their business with referral marketing.
This is more a set of actionable tactics than it is another “ultimate guide”.
Gaining one million potential users during prelaunch is perhaps a lofty target for a small startup. But you can certainly expand your prelaunch reach—and your waiting list—by imitating some of Robinhood’s techniques.
Just like Robinhood stole from the rich and gave to the poor, we’re stealing/ borrowing from Robinhood’s successful referral program tactics and giving to you.
Instead of inviting potential Robinhood users to join a mailing list, the company appealed to its interested fans’ desire to be the first to benefit from what Robinhood had to offer.
So how did Robinhood‘s referral draw in the first eager-to-gain-early-access few?
Robinhood kept the sign-up process short, sweet, and simple (and that was the key) .
When a person arrived on the early-access landing page, only one task stood between them and the chance to be the first to use the Robinhood app: entering their email address.
The brainpower behind building Robinhood’s waiting list knew this fact and designed a sign-up page so straightforward that it could be completed before any person (or fish, for that matter) could lose interest.
The page was simple to use. Not full of jargon or length copy, just one powerful hook—”Robinhood $0 commission stock trading. Stop paying up to $10 per trade.”
Giving users only one option; To opt-in.
With Robinhood’s referral and like many other pre-launches, the first few sign-ups were acquired from family, friends, and as a result of press mentions.
People. Love. Playing. Games.
Especially when those games are tied to rewards they actually want.
Robinhood created a referral-based viral loop that looked something like this:
Buying from you is first of all a sign that what you are selling has motivated them to stick (this was the key).
Set up automated emails: This allows you to build automated flows that include dynamic content, according to your customer’s purchase history.
A good approach would be to add a product or service the client has visited in the past but never purchased in the email as an incentive to sign up for your referral marketing program.
Retargeting: Apart from you existing customers, you can use retargeting as a method to capture the email addresses of people that visited your store and left without making a purchase (new customers ahead).
If you treat your message and targeting with care, chances are that the right people will land on your landing page.
Google Adwords: Try to keep your message as consistent as possible with the content of the landing page that you’ll send visitors to. That way you increase your chances for greater conversion rates, as people will get what they expected when they clicked the ad.
Facebook Ads: We’ll get into details about how to nail them later, but some quick tips would be to:
Insert in Facebook the email addresses of your existing customers and create a lookalike audience. That way you ensure that your ad will be served to people that share the same interests with your customers, resonating that way to their buying habits.
Create a mind-blowing creative (something that can catch the user’s eye while the scroll their feed endlessly).
Keep your message clear as possible and use some cool emojis (grab more eyeballs).
A video ad is also cool, but since most people will probably watch it on “mute”, add some subtitles!
Newsletter as mentioned above
Get people to engage by brainstorming what kind of posts would be more engaging, also consider the data you already have.
Tip: You can run a Facebook giveaway campaign, asking people to like and comment and then lead them into a landing page for the giveaway.
If you are new to this: instead of trying to promote your referral through your content, would be to approach other content creators that resemble your audience and ask them to promote your referral program or referral programs (yes, “ask” means you’ll have to pay them to do so).
If you already use it: you can make use of widgets set to work when people get in from your content, along with a special message.
Offline is an option
Use flyers, Banner, QR codes you name it, nothing beats real person interaction
It’s a really a shame not having a menu item or a dedicated section on your website. This can spark the curiosity of the visitor increasing your chances of turning them into ambassadors.
On top of the above, you can also put a top bar on the site containing information about your program and change the copy every two weeks in order to A/B test what works better.
The key here is that you must make it easy for people to understand what they have to gain from entering your referral program. You have to use terms they understand.
When it comes to copywriting that converts, there are two things you must keep in mind:
Paid Advertising or PPC, as you probably already know can significantly boost the reach of your referral campaign if your budget allows for it
Preferably when you run such a campaign you’d prefer instant boost in traffic rather than something for sustainable, for this reason we suggest you opt for Facebook and Instagram ads instead of something like Google Adwords.
Concerning the benefits of running a PPC campaign, except from the massive reach you’re going to achieve, you’ll also build an active audience that can be used even after the the end of your campaign AND you’ll increase your brand loyalty as you are going to be engaging more with people interested in your business.
To do all that, our own PPC expert conducted a step-by-step guide on how to optimize your Facebook ads which is too detailed to be included in this page, so, when it’s time to make the most out of your dollars go here.
Most of the time, referral marketing campaigns fail to get the traction they deserve because their message gets lost in the endless noise we call the Internet.
With extraordinary Open & Click-through rates, Messenger is a less intrusive and inexpensive way to get your message right in the face of your potential customers.
For software/service like we did.
When our product was (almost) ready to launch, we had to start spreading the word about it.
Trying to gather email addresses for a product that would work entirely via Messenger seemed like a stupid idea.
That’s why we’ve built a pre-launch campaign that followed the giveaway model by using our product. We wanted the people to see a demo of how the Messenger flows of the referral campaign could look like, and give to 20 people early access to the product itself.
Users got more entries for getting more of their friends to sign up for our pre-launch, and the more entries one had, the more their chances to get early access.
Beardclubs’ Free product rampage.
Beardclub is one of the biggest (if not THE biggest) retailers for men grooming products. When they decided to give a year’s worth of beard oils, Messenger was the obvious choice.
They asked people to join their referral campaign, and then incentivized them to invite their friends by giving more entries for every successful referral!