Part 2: Increasing participation of your referral program

if you’re getting lots of visibility on your program, but not a lot of participation, here is what you can do:

  1. Adding urgency to share (tricky to accomplish, amazing results)
  2. Improve your messaging (easy to do, decent results)
  3. Make it easier to generate a share (easy to do, decent results)

Adding urgency to share

Fix — master the art of aligning customer’s urgency with yours. First, identify typical flows your users take that are urgent to them.

best example: they’re out of credits they need it to complete an action. usually it goes like…oh no, I’m out of credits …*clicks on buy points*….*sees an opportunity to get few points for free for just inviting a few friends*….goes for it.

Another great example: they just tried doing something that’s normally reserved for users of a higher subscription tier…for example, they’re using tinder, they want to use the “boost” feature, they hit on that button, but they can’t -> they’re not tinder gold member… here, you can offer them a limited use of this premium feature in exchange for a few successful referrals

These work really well because you’re building on top of customer’s urgency that is already there, and channeling that towards your referral program

Your messaging is not super clear/confusing
Fix: being explicit about how/when they’ll get the reward is what you should aim for. A/B testing different messaging works BUT don’t overdo it — from what I’ve seen, this is very low efficiency per time spent on it, you’re much better off changing something fundamental like in the previous section. providing a table like the one below helps, it sort of shows your users…look I’m on top of my referral program, we are counting all of the referrals generated, don’t worry…and we are tracking when your friends convert

Make it easier to generate a share

if you don’t have these yet, you must add 2-click share channels: email, sms, WhatsApp etc etc

don’t just leave them with copy to clipboard, but instead offer them a few more items on the line

 Bonus: a table like this helps your customer get immediate feedback — “oh great my referral was counted!”. showing them their referral is actively tracked increases the probability of multiple shares + bonus if you check for deliverability & ask the to retype the email address


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