Referral marketing is the perfect choice when it comes to brand awareness and sales with a modest marketing budget. For instance, leads from the referral program have a 30% higher conversation rate, and referred customers have a 16% higher lifetime value; nevertheless, the most significant factor in the success of your campaign is how you conduct your referral marketing campaign. Here we explain the best strategies and the most critical issues to consider in your planning. 

Best referral marketing strategies out there

All popular methods and rewards suggested below have equal importance. The effectiveness of your referral marketing campaign depends on how well the method you choose fits the profile of your audience, the market you work in, and any restrictions you may have.

Coupon code offers and discounts

This is the most straightforward and well-known method of a referral marketing campaign. In this method, a coupon code is generated for the customer to share with friends, family members, and colleagues. When the referred person purchases or signs up using the code, both the customer and the referred person get rewarded. The reward can take various forms, such as discounts, special offers, free subscriptions, free delivery, and so on.

Email referral campaign

Regarding the zero cost of sending emails and the popularity of emails, email marketing is another cost-effective marketing strategy. Thus, the combination of the two marketing strategies will be super powerful. However, you will need email marketing software to implement it on large scale. The usage of technology and automation facilitates the whole process significantly and improves your efficiency.

Contests and award

The wide usage of quizzes and contests on social media and TV programs is because human beings have a powerful tendency to win. Taking advantage of this natural appeal in the realm of marketing would be a bright idea. Organizing a contest referral marketing campaign can enhance brand awareness, increase your email list, improve sales and generate a much-needed buzz around your brand.

Event-based referral campaign

Combining event marketing with referral marketing is another brilliant idea by which you can expand brand awareness and loyalty. Both forms (physical or virtual) of talks, shows, or gatherings are great, depending on what is preferred by your audience. Try to make it innovative and fun to make attendees remember you have made a happy day for them. As a result, they will tell people around them about your brand and the event.

Point-based referral campaign

The majority of marketers are big fans of gamification in marketing. The reason is it derives engagement and encourages your loyal customers to take the action you want. Under your point-based loyalty program, you can allocate points for referring new clients. They can gather and redeem the points for the rewards you define. The advantage of this program over all other models is the higher retention rate of participants over a longer period because they will be part of a long-lasting program with ongoing rewards.

Gamification as a super engaging method for a marketing campaign

Gamification is a fun method that keeps your customers engaged with your business and can give you 7 times higher conversation rate. You can also design new modes of participation for different purposes, such as seasonal promotions, holiday campaigns, and product launches; along with other goals you can fulfill with the help of a gamified program. The most essential factor to make it effective is offering an attractive reward to your audience based on their preferences and proportional to their input. To name a successful gamified program, Domino’s Pizza increased its sales by 30% using gamified software.

Tips to make your referral marketing campaign more effective

Here, we have listed the most critical tips to run a successful referral marketing campaign, as well as some common mistakes to avoid:

Provide quality products and services

The first step of marketing is providing a high-quality product or service which speaks for itself. Running marketing programs for a below-par business is doomed to fail. In addition, no advocacy or loyalty will ever emerge around a low-quality product or service. On the other hand, happy customers will recommend you even in the absence of any marketing program.

Propose a win-win offering

The purpose of a referral marketing campaign is to increase your brand awareness, sales, and revenue. You should offer hard-to-refuse incentives for people to participate in your program, both the referrer and the referred customers. You can find the optimal balance of rewards based on your customer research and buyer persona. The incentive doesn’t always need to be a large amount of money. You can also design non-monetary rewards to give them positive emotions in a way they feel recognized, respected, and connected.

Make your referral marketing campaign stand out

The more attention you receive, the more customers will join your referral marketing campaign. Therefore, use all your means to highlight your campaign and the benefits of participation in the program. Make it clear how they can participate at the center of your CTA on your website. Your homepage, campaign landing pages, sales pages, and check-out pages are the perfect places to do this. You can use flashes and pop-up notifications, as well.

Moreover, social media is a super-fast and inexpensive tool to convey any message. If a significant portion of your buyers is on any social media channel, having no presence on those channel(s) is a big mistake. Try to create viral content or provide an idea that may lead to viral content.

Smoothen the referral channel

To have a high participation rate, it is crucial to make the joining process as simple and easy as possible. In some cases, the duration of the process may have a significant impact on the conversion rate and taking longer may harm your campaign. You can take the advantage of available referral solutions to smoothen the process both for the participants and yourself.

Research well

Professional marketers always make their marketing decisions based on research, and a referral marketing campaign is no exception. You should understand your audience, and know their needs and desires, the requirements of the market you work in, your budget, and the limitations you’d be facing. In addition, predicting possible risks and coming up with some solutions to cope with them guarantee the success of your campaign.

Measure ROI consistently

It’s crucial to be aware of how your referral marketing campaign is doing. There are some goals behind every marketing campaign. Define measurable KPIs based on those goals and find ways to know how those KPIs are changing. You should check them regularly for short periods throughout the campaign lifespan. There may be times when you need to take certain actions, such as sending reminders or increasing the rewards to keep the ROI of your referral campaign as high as possible. Tracking and checking the results of your campaign regularly inform you when such actions are needed.

Playing smart

The most accurate way to do it is by testing different rewards and CTAs to know which sticks better with your customers. That would be your best teacher. You have a small group of current customers? Great! Begin with them and ask the referred customers to join the campaign in the second stage to increase your customer base and brand awareness.


Keeping a customer is 5x less costly than acquiring new ones. Pukket is a 4-in-1 marketing solution that provides you with the best referral marketing strategy and proper ground for growth based on our experience in advocacy marketing. It enables you to expand your campaign to a complete advocacy program, including UGC, social selling, and referral marketing features. To obtain more details, please fill out the below form. We will get back to you soon.

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