As you’ve been reading this series, you’ve perhaps picked up on a theme that we’ll explore here and in our next post: the best referral experiences create their own moments. That’s perhaps an obvious proposition. And when applied to the overall structure of the program, it means that the program design needs to account for non-linear customer journeys, from sharing to conversion.
Here’s an example… I shared my favorite new fashion brand with a friend. I know she’ll love it and will appreciate the reward. I also know she’s easily distracted. My share message is likely to be glossed over while she’s speeding through email, Instagram, Bumble, and who knows what else. It happens all the time. I still love her though.
Extole’s platform gives advocates (and the marketers supporting them) two useful approaches for making the most of this very common scenario. Both rely on an email we call ‘The Friend Reminder’ email.
Part 4: The Friend Reminder Email
From: your advocate
To: her friends
When: after the initial share – either on-demand or scheduled by the advocate
Purpose: to reinforce the initial share message and emphasize that the recommendation is meaningful and true
As the name suggests, this email lets advocates send a reminder email to their friends as a follow-up to their initial share. It’s a gentle nudge for people like my friend who love the latest styles, are easily distracted, or may not have been in the mood to purchase when I first shared.
Extole’s platform gives marketers two ways to make friend reminders a natural part of the advocate experience. The first is to let advocates opt-in to the reminder when they first share. A simple checkbox when advocates share by email – “send my friends a reminder email in X days” – is easy and popular. We make the time period configurable so that marketers can offer the option after a short interval or a long one. By making it configurable, you could also include it in an A/B testing strategy. No matter the interval, it’s smart to not send a reminder to friends who’ve already converted.
The other way we let advocates trigger the friend reminder email is in our advocate stats dashboard. Like our share experience itself, the stats dashboard is creative for your site that gives existing advocates information about the status of their shares and rewards. It’s usually embedded in your site’s “My Account” section and is a natural place to let advocates re-send their share messages.
While the main goal of this email is to increase conversions, it also increases advocacy by creating a thoughtful experience for customers who want to share your brand with their friends.