Most modern web users are comfortable sharing content recommendations to their social networks. However only easy to use sharing capabilities may not always be sufficient to drive buzz, and excitement around specific marketing initiatives, like promotions, new product launch, and so on.

A referral customer comes at a much lower cost, and has a higher potential for retention, and loyalty. A referral program is an excellent multiplier for your product. Referral program can convert your customers into brand ambassadors. It can leverage your existing customers to acquire new customers. A good referral program can help you acquire an average of 15% new customers. ShopSocially’s Refer-A-Friend App enables you to easily add a customizable referral program anywhere be it on your website, offline, via Facebook, email and so on.

Before you start implementing ShopSocially's Refer-A-Friend App, please go through the below document and processes mentioned. This will help you clearly define your Refer-A-Friend campaign's goals and seamlessly implement the Refer-A-Friend App.

Below section gives information of the flow of Refer-A-Friend implementation and links to detailed explanation of Refer-A-Friend App set up to be done.

1. Ascertain your cost of customer acquisition

This cost is inclusive of the product cost as well as the cost involved in research, marketing, and accessibility costs. This is an important business metric. It plays a major role in calculating the value of the customer to the company and the resulting return on investment (ROI) of acquisition.

2.  Defining your Refer-A-Friend campaign

Defining your campaign is the first and one of the most important tasks. Success of the campaign depends on how well you have defined your campaign. 

Creating Strategy: Below steps are general guidelines to create strategy in order to launch a successful referral program:

  1. Evaluating your current contacts: Your referral program can reach so much farther than reaching out to your customers. You should be asking anyone you’ve made a connection or had an interaction with. This could be via phone call, social media, email, and so on. 
  2. Listing possible referral sources: Now that you know your contacts can be anyone you’ve connected with, you can begin listing them out. You could reach out to current customers, past customers, leads that may not have closed, industry leaders, and so on. 
  3. Segmenting inner circle contacts: Once you have these possible sources listed out, you should narrow down a list of “inner circle” contacts. These are people who know what value your business has and would refer you without any incentive.
  4. Defining referral programs by segment: There are two options for a referral program: an incentive and a non-incentive program. During this step, you should break your contacts out by levels and decide which ones can receive which offer.
  5. Outlining and arranging required resources: Once the referral program is outlined, you will have an idea of what resources you need for each one. 
  6. Defining your referral process:  Create a document that outlines the steps in your referral process for you marketing team and sales team to follow.

3. Defining your referral program

Defining your referral program involves the below:
  • Incentive structure 
  • Messaging  
  • Placement 
  • Promotion
  • Referral incentive approval structure

For details please refer to Refer-A-Friend - Best Practices guide.

4. Refer-A-Friend implementation Types

You can implement Refer-A-Friend in one of the below three ways:
  • Dedicated Landing Page 
  • Inpage Button 
  • Embed Widget

For details please refer to Refer-A-Friend - Implementation types.

5. Required Refer-A-Friend collateral

Before you start configuring Refer-A-Friend campaign you will need to have the required collateral. For details please refer to Refer-A-Friend Required Collateral.

6. Configuring Refer-A-Friend

For details please refer to Configuring Refer-A-Friend.

7. Importing Yahoo, and Google contacts for sharing

For using Import Google Contacts, and Yahoo Contacts features for Refer-A-Friend, you need to create and set up the respective apps. For details please refer to Google+ App for Refer-A-Friend, and Yahoo App for Refer-A-Friend.

8. Reports Refer-A-Friend

For campaign level report for Refer-A-Friend, please refer to Reports Refer-A-Friend. For overall reports refer to All Campaigns Reports.