Skip to Content

Our personal advice for running a referral program that works

If you’re reading this, there’s a 15% chance that a friend or colleague referred you.

That’s good news, both for you and for us. Referral programs are a powerful tool for growing your newsletter or your business when you get them right.

If you want to start a referral program, first answer these two questions:

  • How much are we willing to pay for new customers or subscribers?
  • With that in mind, what’s something your customers want that you can afford to give them?

It’s simple math, really. Imagine you’re an e-commerce brand handing out $20 gift cards whenever referrals make a purchase, and your average order value is also around $20.

You might break even at first. But if your customer lifetime value is $100, it’s immensely profitable over time.

Once you have a couple rewards in mind, here’s the advice we’d give ourselves if we could go back in time:

  • Create customized referral messaging. When you refer someone, they hit a landing page that reads “Your friend thinks you want to be a smarter marketer.” Personalization boosts conversion.
  • Only advertise one or two referral rewards at a time. Our referral program has nine rewards in total. But, if you’ve noticed, we normally advertise one reward at a time. This reduces overwhelm and creates one specific goal for people to aim for.
  • Give the people what they want. A lot of our referral rewards used to be branded merchandise. And while we love our branded merch, what you love is good marketing content. So today, six of our nine rewards are content-focused.

That’s it for now. We’ll share future insights into how you can leverage giveaways to give your referral program a helpful boost, so keep an eye out!

Alex Lim is a certified book reviewer and editor with over 10 years of experience in the publishing industry. He has reviewed hundreds of books for reputable magazines and websites, such as The New York Times, The Guardian, and Goodreads. Alex has a master’s degree in comparative literature from Harvard University and a PhD in literary criticism from Oxford University. He is also the author of several acclaimed books on literary theory and analysis, such as The Art of Reading and How to Write a Book Review. Alex lives in London, England with his wife and two children. You can contact him at [email protected] or follow him on Website | Twitter | Facebook

    Ads Blocker Image Powered by Code Help Pro

    Your Support Matters...

    We run an independent site that is committed to delivering valuable content, but it comes with its challenges. Many of our readers use ad blockers, causing our advertising revenue to decline. Unlike some websites, we have not implemented paywalls to restrict access. Your support can make a significant difference. If you find this website useful and choose to support us, it would greatly secure our future. We appreciate your help. If you are currently using an ad blocker, please consider disabling it for our site. Thank you for your understanding and support.