What Are Refer-A-Friend Schemes?

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    Contents

    Guide Author

    James Longley

    Managing Director

    min read
    Last Updated November 10, 2023

    Promoting your business is crucial for brand visibility and customer retention.

    However, with various customer loyalty and purchase incentive options available, it can be challenging to pick the right one. That’s where the referral rewards programs come in.

    Our guide is here to assist you in creating an effective refer-a-friend program for your business marketing strategy, ensuring success with Utility Bidder.

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    What is a refer-a-friend scheme? 

    A refer-a-friend scheme, also referred to as a referral program, is a marketing strategy designed to motivate current customers to introduce a brand to their acquaintances.

    In return for this endorsement, the company’s referral program provides customers with incentives for customer referrals, typically in the form of gift cards, points, or discounts.

    Whether you’re a fledgling small business or a well-established large corporation, refer-a-friend programs assist companies in identifying their loyal supporters and monitoring the sources of new and existing customer acquisitions.

    How does a refer-a-friend scheme work? 

    Considered one of the most effective marketing strategies, refer-a-friend programs involve individuals buying your products or services based on the recommendations or influence of referring friends to others.

    These programs often involve inviting existing customers to become “brand ambassadors.” These ambassadors receive a unique code or link that they can share with their network, which includes friends, family, followers, and colleagues.

    Special software tracks the activity generated by this unique code or link and rewards the ambassadors each time it’s utilized.

    How to create a referral scheme?

    Finding the right referral program for your business can be a challenge, especially if you’re not sure where to begin. To create your own refer-a-friend program, follow these simple steps:

    1. Design: Your program’s appearance is crucial because it represents your business. Ensure it’s visually appealing and aligns with your brand’s identity.
    2. Catchy Headline: Use attention-grabbing headlines that succinctly describe the offer. For instance:
      • “Refer a friend and receive £X”
      • “Give £X to get £X”
      • “Share with a friend and get X”
      • “Your friend’s first purchase gets you X% off” Make sure the headline communicates the program’s purpose and benefits.
    3. Referral Message: Craft a meaningful referral message. Provide a pre-filled message template that makes it easy for customers to refer others. Allow customization but include:
      • Benefits: Explain the referral programs advantages.
      • Call to Action (CTA): Clearly outline the next steps for potential customers to receive the benefit.
      • Personalized touch: Engage with the customer by adding a friendly, personalized element to the message.
    4. Reward Allocation: Decide who receives the rewards:
      • One-sided incentive: Reward either the referrer or the referee. Rewarding the referrer boosts motivation to share but offers nothing to the referee. Rewarding the referee may lead to more sales but potentially fewer referrals.
      • Two-sided incentive: This benefits both the referrer and the referee, typically resulting in higher engagement.
    5. Types of Rewards: Tailor rewards to your customers’ preferences. Common options include:
      • Discount Codes: Offering a percentage or fixed amount off.
      • Store Credit or Loyalty Points: Rewarding customers with points for referring a set number of people.
      • Free Products: Providing free products as part of the referral programs
      • Gift Cards: Offering internal or external gift cards.

    Monetary rewards, often requiring a minimum spend, are attractive incentives that companies frequently employ.

    Each business is unique, so choose rewards that resonate with your customers and add value to their experience.

    How to launch a successful refer-a-friend scheme

    Creating your own customer referral program ideas may seem intimidating, but it’s simpler than it appears. Here are some straightforward steps:

    Set a Solid Foundation

    Ensure your brand and website are appealing from a customer’s perspective. Ask yourself if it’s something people would want to share.

    If not, consider making improvements before launching the customer referral program again. If the new customers experience isn’t satisfactory, they won’t be motivated to participate.

    Promote the Program

    Let your customers know about the referral scheme. Visibility is key to its success, so make it prominent on all platforms. Use methods like dashboard widgets or place the offer visibly on your website, complete with a clear referral link, and call to action (CTA).

    Simplify Referrals

    Make it effortless for customers to refer others. Use pre-filled messages that allow customers to refer friends with a single click, without much effort on their part.

    Enhance Visual Appeal

    In today’s age of social media, particularly platforms like Instagram and TikTok, it’s easier for people to showcase brands, especially if they’ve experienced your product or service.

    Make your brand visually attractive and shareable. Opt for appealing packaging and create a memorable unboxing experience for your customers.

    This encourages them to share their positive experiences with others.

    Are there any other types of referral channels? 

    Apart from refer-a-friend programs, there are various ways for a brand to increase its visibility. Here are some common best referral programs and channels:

    News Publications

    Utilizing news publications can help your brand reach a broader audience.

    Customer Reviews

    Encourage customers to leave reviews on platforms like Trustpilot and Feefo to share their opinions about your brand. You can also display snippets of expert reviews from Trustpilot on your website.

    Influencers

    In the era of social media, sending products to influencers is an effective strategy. Whether it’s through gifting or paid collaborations, influencers can introduce your brand to a potentially large audience who may not have previously been aware of your products or services.

    How to reduce your business costs with Utility Bidder

    Creating your referral program may pose challenges, but the rewards are worth it.

    Whether you’re implementing refer-a-friend initiatives or relying on word-of-mouth marketing, a well-structured plan will yield benefits for your company.

    Start your business energy comparison with Utility Bidder. Compare business gas and business electricity rates to help your business save money.

    Fortunately, the Utility Bidder team can simplify this process, sparing you time and frustration when comparing and switching these business essentials.

    Speak to our experts today to find out more. Get in touch on 01858 410000.

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