I was in a meeting yesterday with a smart digital marketer. Her team has lots of experience using testing to improve their digital marketing metrics. Throughout our discussion of referral marketing’s ability to help her achieve her new customer acquisition goals, we shared some referral marketing test ideas that her team could evaluate. And, I thought it would be a good idea to share these referral program test ideas with you too:
1. Test the call-to-action (CTA) text and appearance to attract more customers to the sharing experience.
2. Try different messaging about the referral program for customers who have shared previously and for customers who haven’t shared before.
3. Test CTA location to grab more customer attention by placing them where they generate the most sharing activity.
4. Test using newer forms of promotion like Extole’s new overlay CTA, which hovers enticingly at the bottom of the user’s browser.
5. Optimize the look and feel of the sharing experience to generate more sharing and therefore more acquisitions. At Extole, we offer different layouts and designs along with the ability to build completely custom sharing components.
6. Try different advocate and friend incentives to optimize customer acquisition.
7. Not convinced incentives are necessary? Compare a referral campaign with incentives against a sharing campaign without them.
8. Offer different incentives for first-time purchasers vs. more frequent purchasers.
9. Try different incentives and different CTAs for first time visitors vs. people who have visited before.
10. Test a refer-a-friend CTA immediately after someone has written a product review.
11. Test the conventional wisdom that interrupting the order process will negatively impact conversion by offering a referral CTA before submitting the order.
12. Test different treatments for order thank-you referral offers.
13. Test the look and feel of the experience back on your site when a friend clicks on an advocate share message.
14. Optimize promotional email content, subject lines, and, in the case of advocate nurture emails, frequency.
15. Try personalized friend landing experiences vs. more generalized landing experiences. For example, include referrer name in a welcome message to the friend.
16. Test different landing locations for referred friends – home page, product page, custom landing experience.
17. When a referred friend converts, test the impact of offering this new customer a custom opportunity to share with his or her friends.
Extole has helped build more referral programs than anyone, and it was exciting to share our experiences testing and optimizing them with a marketer who embodies the “Test Everything” ethos. And, in future posts, we’ll take a look more specific incentive and offer test ideas, opportunities for email testing, and specific tests in the sharing experience itself.
At the end of yesterday’s meeting, we concluded that there is one thing about referral marketing that doesn’t need to be tested: treat it like a program not like a project in order to drive more customer acquisition. Programs need to be measured, optimized, and expanded. If you’re interested in building an effective and scalable acquisition referral marketing program, please contact us!