Referral program basics
In this section:
- How customers can join your referral program
- How your customers can use the referral codes
- How to create a referral program step by step
- Tracking referral program results
Referral programs can improve your profitability by encouraging customers to promote your brand with double-sided incentives. Voucherify enables you to run advanced, multi-level referral campaigns. You can build sophisticated reward schemas based on the number of referred customers, specific (custom) actions performed by new customers (referees) and sets of limits and rules added to customer segments.
In the first part of this guide, you'll see how you can invite users to your referral program and then, how to leverage Voucherify features to allow customers to utilize their referral codes. The last part of the tutorial shows how to customize a reward schema and roll out a referral program step by step.
Let's see how you can use Voucherify building blocks to come up with a truly omni-channel referral campaign.
Engage customers and collect their data
Voucherify gives you many ways to reach your referral audience:
- using a web widget on your landing page
- delivering coupons to your opt-ins via various marketing channels (email, SMS, push notification, Intercom, and more)
- custom integration with the API
The widget allows you to place a small form on your website. It looks like this one:
You can add it to your landing page and acquire new subscribers in exchange for referral codes. When a new user fills up the form and chooses 'get voucher', widget automatically displays unique code from a referral campaign. From now on, this code is assigned to the particular customer and their profile in the Voucherify dashboard.
You can add many different fields and decide which are required or optional. You can also change the button label. Go here to learn more about widgets and the installation process.
Share referral codes with your opt-ins
- only the most loyal customers (like 'at least 5 redemptions' or 'the total amount of orders more than $500')
- customers from particular locations (like 'postal code 65-737' or 'city London')
- clients who have been the most active lately (like 'the last purchased order less than 14 days ago' or 'signed up less than 5 days ago')
Read more about segments and available scenarios here.
Voucherify Distribution Manager enables you to use many built-in channels and send referral codes from the dashboard to your customer segments.
The distribution manager enables you to add personal data of your customers and deliver customized messages with the referral code.
You can use tags which automatically insert coupons’ attributes and referral links which directs customer straight to your store.
They automatically supply messages with coupon and receiver details such as:
- coupon code
- coupon QR code
- coupon value
- customer email
- customer name
Links are a very simple way to improve customer experience. It enables you to put a unique referral link in a message template which redirects your customers straight to your shop without a need to copy and paste the referral code.
Note: this requires involvement from your development team
The configuration process requires two steps:
- Ask your development team to implement a simple web application which uses Voucherify API to handle referral logic according to your requirements (it should be a pretty quick task with our utility libraries).
- In the message template editor, place a link according to the pattern you agreed with your development team, e.g.;
expression will be resolved to a unique referral code by Voucherify. When the emails are sent, every customer will see a unique referral link.
When your customers already get the codes and share them with their friends, we can go to the part two and learn how they can utilize the codes to get a discount/reward.
How your customers can utilize referral codes
Voucherify enables online and offline redemptions with its built-in solutions:
- A highly customizable way with our building blocks, which enable you to attach referral codes to any place in a sales funnel.
- Free mobile app for offline redemptions.
Both Voucherify apps (web and mobile) support QR and barcodes to provide a seamless workflow regardless of technology or device.
What if codes remain unredeemed (email reminders)
It may happen codes in SMS or mailbox are forgotten or don't fit the timing. Voucherify covers that case and enables you to set up reminders. Thanks to that your customers are reminded of unredeemed referral code and make your chances for recommendation increase.
Create a referral program
You already know how to share referral codes and how your customers can utilize them. Now it's time to learn how to set up a referral program and create these codes in the campaign manager.
To begin with, you’ll need to run the Campaign manager with the Plus and add a new referral campaign.
When the creator is ready, you can configure program details. Let's go through each stage of the manager step by step:
- program name
- code settings (pattern, redemption limit)
- auto-update campaign mode
The 3rd section 'Incentive workflow' consists of the following steps:
- Choose a conversion event (when a new customer is approved as a referred)
1. If you want to define 'referred' customer based on referral codes redemptions choose the first checkbox
2. You can also define 'referred' customers based on a custom event defined previously in your Project Settings, for example, 'customer_subscribed' event. As a result, if a new customer performs defined event he/she will be counted as a referred customer and the owner of the referral code used during the event gets new referred customer attached to his/her account.
To define custom events go to the Project Settings and add the respective configuration. Please note that your application must store an event describing a moment of conversion once you approve a new customer as a referred person. It triggers a rewarding mechanism.
After you mark respective checkbox and define the conversion event, you need to choose a type of your referral program.
- Choose between a single- or double-sided referral program
In the next step, you need to decide if the new customer (referee) and referrer will be rewarded - double-sided program, or if only the referrer gets the reward -single-sided program.
Go to the NEXT STEP.
In case of double-sided referral program - define discount for the referee (new customer)
If you mark a checkbox with a double-sided referral program, you need to define a reward for new customers (referees). It can be a discount code (percentage, unit, amount) or gift card balance added to a predefined gift card that each customer in Voucherify has by default.
Below the Referee reward section, you can see Validation rules for referral code's redemption. This is a place where you can create validation rules attached to referral codes. They restrict redemptions made by new customers (referees). To add your rules choose CREATE and add a name for validation rules. If you need help with creating limits, visit this guide.
1. Conversion event - referral code redemption
In the case of the reward schema based on referral codes redemptions, choose from:
- Reward every time referee redeems the referral code - every time referral code is used, the reward is triggered.
Remaining options, listed below, limit reward triggering to one per new customer. It means that referrer cannot get a reward two times if both redemptions come from the same "new" customer (referee).
- Only first time referee redeems code AND the referrer customer segment is [choose one of your existing segments].
This option enables you to limit referrers who can apply for a reward to one of your existing customer segments.
- Only first time referee redeems code AND the referrer customer segment is in NEW SEGMENT created below.
This option enables you to build a segment that defines rewarding criteria. Typically, it's a segment based on the number of referred customers. (Segment of referrers who get the reward can have multiple rules and limits built with available filters).
- your existing campaigns (chosen campaign should be in auto-update mode!)
- creating a new campaign of rewards from scratch
2. Conversion event - custom event
If you count referred customers (referees) based on the performed event, defined in the 3rd section, you can choose from:
- Rewarding referrer every time the referee performs a specific action (custom conversion event).
- Defining a number of referees who need to perform a specific action to trigger a reward for the referrer.
Additionally, if you expand ADVANCED options, you can add more limits and rules that referrer needs to meet to get the reward.
For example, you can set that beside that 2 customers need to perform the chosen custom event with referrer's code, referrer has to have more than 2 orders made in your store so far to get the reward.
When the respective checkbox is set, click on NEXT STEP and define the reward for referrers. You can choose from:
- your existing campaigns (chosen campaign should be in auto-update mode!),
- creating a new campaign of rewards from scratch.
Trigger message with reward
Lastly, in this stage, you can implement channels via which you want to notify a referrer about the reward. You can choose from:
- HTTP callout (add specific URL for notification)
- MailChimp or Active Campaign (Integrations)
- Email (the manager lets you design the message template)
- SMS (the manager lets you design the message template)
When the mapping is ready and action is defined, you can follow to the 6th stage or choose to ADD TIER (the 2nd level of your referral campaign). What are 'tiers' and why do you need them?
Each tier is a separate level in your referral program. If you want to have different rewards or/and different rewarding criteria then tiers are what you need. For example, tier 1 can reward each referrer who refers at least 1 customer with $5 gift card; tier 2 can reward each referrer who refers at least 3 customers with 30% discount.
There is no limit on a number of tiers, you can make multi-level referral programs with many rewards and custom rewarding schemas.
Remember that each referral code needs to be published before new customers (referees) can use it. Publication means the process of assigning referral code to a particular customer (referrer). You can perform this action either through Distribution in the dashboard or programmatically via API. You can learn more about publish methods in this short guide.
Tracking referral performance
Now, you can share the codes with customers through the web widget or other distribution channels we described in the first section. Each published code is automatically assigned to a customer's profile in the Voucherify dashboard. Ultimately, when customers use their codes, redemptions are attached to the unique ID, particular customer, and channel
The Redemptions view lists every redemption attempt of any of the code created within Voucherify. Its goal is to help you track what happens to your codes.
Tracking with Voucherify starts right after sending the referral code. Before a customer redeems the code, you can see all coupons attached to the particular client in a Customer’s profile.