June 8, 2015 Nick Cicero

Three Ways to Make Your Referral Marketing Campaign a Mobile Success

We are living in the age of the mobile consumer.

Research from McKinsey has shown that word of mouth is the primary factor behind 50 percent of purchasing decisions, and that consumer-to-consumer word of mouth can generate two times the sales of traditional advertising.

Other stats also support the overall growth of mobile:

  • 80% of the world’s population owns a smartphone
  • 40% of shoppers consult 3 or more channels before making a purchase (and often while shopping)
  • 52% of Americans use their devices while browsing in-store to research products online
  • 4 out of 5 consumers use smartphones to shop
  • 75% of Americans admit to bringing their phone to the bathroom (yes, tehe bathroom)

But despite these powerful numbers, many marketers still struggle to tap into this research and really think about the customer experience when building their referral campaigns.

It’s not the marketer’s fault entirely, for the most part, mobile marketing has been fragmented. Early mobile banner ads haven’t really delivered on the promise that many thought they would.

Putting that aside, mobile referral marketing programs today can provide more precise targeting on a level difficult to achieve before.

Successful referral marketers know that in order to tap into this exploding shift in behavior, they need to make sure that customers can easily find and share their referral offers on their mobile devices.

Here are three tips to make your mobile referral campaigns a success:

OPTIMIZE FOR DEVICES

Make the referral link easy to find and to share by users. Delivery methods should be simple and easy to consume, such as through email or by text.

Don’t force a user to share on any particular channel, make it open to all social platforms, as well as by text and email. For mobile success, text is still the most widely consumed channel with 81% of mobile phone users sending or receiving text each month (as reported by a 2014 Pew Internet Research Study).

If you’re making it shareable through an email or website, make sure the message is not cluttered, and gets to the link quickly.

If you’re using an app, make the referral part of regular activity, not just as an endpoint for completing a purchase, but as a way to build a loyal user.

Uber is a good example of a company who has integrated their referral program across multiple customer touch points while keeping the message simple and easily redeemable again and again.

Uber-Mobile-Referral-marketing-Program

MAKE CTAS IN MOBILE REFERRAL MARKETING PROGRAMS SIMPLE BUT DIRECT

Decide what your deal will be, and make it concise. Will it be commission-based or service based?

Is the copy both easy for the referrer and the referred to understand and share? One of the keys to a successful referral program is understanding how to condense your deal into an idea that is easily consumable. Don’t make the deal too hard to redeem either, it’s used to get people into the door so make it enticing.

Consider creating both evergreen and seasonal referral programs. Whether these are weekly, monthly, quarterly, or annually, experiment by comparing success from on-going campaigns with short opportunities to promote your referral program and shake up your customer base.

Remind existing advocates of the great deals they’re earning and grow new users throughout the year.

REINFORCE WITH TARGETED SOCIAL OUTREACH

A significant amount of social traffic comes from a mobile device. Business Insider reported that 60% of social media time is spent on mobile.

This means that while you might be publishing and creating content on a laptop or desktop, more and more consumers are finding that content on their smartphones and tablets.

As I said before, make sure your customers can share the referral link on their social networks, but also consider using social tools to promote your referral programs to different groups of users.

Build messaging about your referral program into your company’s main content calendar, or consider opening a community or assigning members of your team to respond and recruit potential new advocates.

Consider using retargeted social ads on Facebook and Twitter also–it’s a great way to reinforce your referral program messaging.

Retargeting is effective because it keeps the program top of mind for customers once they’ve come into contact with your content, so they’ll continue to share their referral links.

Finally, don’t forget about customer service. If your customers are sharing your referral link on social, you’ll want to be listening for any questions or concerns they might have. Dropbox has a widely used referral program, so they tend to answer a lot of questions about their program, as seen below.

dopbox-referral-marketing-program

It’s clear that now is the time to think mobile-first, and work a little bit harder make your overall referral experience better for more customers to take advantage of it.

Research your customer’s behaviors online and how they interact with their network, and tailor your campaigns to their wants and needs.

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