Referral marketing… But not as you know it

Think you know what referral’s all about? It’s a given that you want your existing online customers to get their friends shopping. That’s referral 101.

But the Buyapowa platform is capable of much, much more than just basic referrals. Here are six ways in which it’s being used by leading brands that might just surprise you.

Vodafone: Get customers to refer specific products

When deployed effectively, referral programmes can be incredibly surgical; leveraging your happy customers to refer their friends, not just to a brand in general but to specific new products or categories they’ve enjoyed, and particularly for under-represented categories that customers might have struggled to find on their own using more traditional channels. An example of this is what powerhouse telecom Vodafone can do with their referral program on the Buyapowa platform. They know that their customers might want to refer their friends to a particular contract and smartphone bundle rather than just refer the brand ‘Vodafone’, and our platform lets them do just that.

The AA: Reward referrers according to the value of the new customer

Just like every business is different, so is every customer. And different customers will be motivated by different types of referral rewards. But also, particularly for a services brand where the value of a referred customer will vary according to the type and length of the contract the friend takes out, why should you offer the same reward for every referral regardless of its worth to you? Instead, why not set the value of the referral reward according to the action the referred friend takes and also let the customer choose the reward type they value the most, whether financial incentives like cash, credit, or third-party vouchers or other incentives like free months of service. Because the Buyapowa platform allows multiple rewards types and can tie the reward to the value of the referral, a client of ours, like the AA, can avoid the pitfall of a one-size-fits-all rewards strategy and can properly incentivise and reward the customers that drive most value to its business.

River Island: Drive omnichannel referrals across all channels

When it comes to a referral programme, it’s crucial that omnichannel businesses allow referrals across all the channels where they interact with customers. It is only by ensuring a friction-free experience for customers and their friends across all your touchpoints can you achieve the full potential of your referral program. And that’s exactly why the popular fashion retailer River Island chose the Buyapowa platform. With Buyapowa, they’re able to accurately track referrals across any channel – online, on mobile, over the phone or in-store – thanks to our unique omnichannel functionality – and, in doing so, they can ensure that their happy customers are able to refer, and their customers’ friends are able to transact, anytime and anywhere.

The Gap: Powering friends and family

While most referral programmes focus solely on customers, some also look to other natural advocates, and one of the most effective groups of advocates brands have access to are their own employees. By implementing a friends and family programme, not only do your staff get to show their passion for your brand, but they also get to pass on savings to their nearest and dearest, and you get to acquire new customers in the process. This is exactly how the fashion retailer Gap uses the Buyapowa platform to empower their biggest brand cheerleaders: their own team of amazing employees.

BT: Targeting high NPS customers

Net promoter scores, or NPS if you like acronyms, is a metric that is collected by many leading brands around the world. It’s where your customers actually tell you whether they are likely to promote you to their friends and family. Oftentimes, however, brands focus exclusively on the detractors and don’t make use of the fact that some of your customers have just actually told you that they really love your brand and feed this powerful signal into a referral programme. But just look at how BT, a major UK broadband provider and client of ours, are using NPS to their advantage. By seamlessly integrating their NPS tools with the Buyapowa platform, they’re able to segment customers based on their NPS scores and get them referring, thereby brilliantly turning an underutilised metric into an effective customer acquisition tool.

first direct: Drive multiple referrals with gamification and tiered rewards

Referral isn’t one-size-fits-all, nor should it be a simple refer, transact, and earn a reward mechanism. Instead, by clever use of gamification mechanics, brands can make their programmes more fun and engaging and drive repeat referrals from their most passionate advocates. For example, by leveraging tiered rewards that scale up with the number of referrals, brands can boost the average number of referrals from each individual referrer. And by using leaderboards that showcase the progress and volume of referrals, they can motivate super-referrers to compete for money can’t buy rewards by referring more than any other customer within a set time period. This means brands like HSBC’s first direct can dynamically engage all customer types to motivate them to refer again and again and significantly improve their referral programme’s overall return on investment.

These are just a few examples of what some of our cutting-edge clients are doing with the Buyapowa platform, but we could give you endless examples.

So, if customer acquisition is on your mind and you’re interested in breaking the mould with a referral programme of your own, then we would love to chat with you. We also love to learn more and hear other peoples’ experiences, so if you have some brilliant (or even some not-so-brilliant) referral experiences you’d like to share, then please get in touch.

Just drop us a line and we can discuss.

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