Once you have completed the initial setup and program launch, you can shift your focus to optimization.
How to use this guide
This article will describe the suggested steps to automate and scale your referral program, including direct links to guides needed to complete each step.
Some steps may require help from other team members, and not everything will be completed right away. Use this guide as a checklist to optimize and improve your referral program over time. 🚀
If you need assistance, please reach out to our support team using the chat bubble in the bottom right corner of your screen.
Step 1: Finalize payouts
During the initial setup of your referral program, you created reward logic that determined when, how, and what members and referrals earn.
Now it’s time to finalize and fund those payouts, so you're ready to issue rewards.
To set up and fund your payouts, navigate to Settings > Payouts.
Step 2: Configure auto invites
It is important to set up automated messages to not only update and engage your existing members but also to continue inviting new members to join and share.
1) Enable automatic invites
Built-in rules to automatically ask people to share your program (learn more):
Approved Referrals: invite all Approved Referrals to become Members
Web Conversion: invite anyone who made a conversion on your site (i.e., completed your form, made a purchase, etc.) to become Members
2) Setup your own workflows and automation
Send email invites to potential members from your own systems (i.e. email marketing tool). First, determine when in the journey it makes sense to ask someone to join your program and share. Then use the Program Link Builder to build one click access links that let your members skip registration and share directly from their portal.
Step 3: Setup advanced integrations (optional)
Explore additional integration options to increase your program automation. These integrations will streamline your process for adding new referrals, updating existing referrals, updating member details, or triggering recurring rewards.
Step 4: Add promotion
Successful programs are promoted through multiple channels and touchpoints to attract new members and raise awareness that your program exists. A good promotion strategy has elements of both direct and indirect promotion.
Direct promotion focuses on asking someone to join and share your program. The entire message centers around sharing and referring their friends. It doesn't include any other content or distracting messaging. It’s often triggered during key moments when someone is most likely to make a referral.
When creating your direct promotion strategy:
Identify key moments in your customer lifecycle or relationship where someone is happiest and most likely to refer (i.e. after a purchase, after you deliver a great service, during an annual review, around holidays, etc.)
Determine the best channel that the potential member is most likely to engage with when asking for a referral (i.e., email, website, via sales/service rep, etc.)
Create a compelling message that is relevant to the member and encourages them to share (i.e., lead with the benefits to them and the referral, make it easy to share, etc.)
Examples of direct promotion channels:
Share reminder email
Reward update email
Push notification to share
Emails to new customers
Seasonal email campaigns
Indirect promotion is more subtle. Think of this as passively asking for a referral. The goal is to ensure members are aware your program exists so that they can share and join when they’re ready.
Indirect promotion should be built into other communication channels where the referral program can be linked or mentioned but is not the main goal of the message. Unlike direct promotion where you need to be careful of over-promoting the program, indirect promotion can happen wherever is relevant to your audience.
Examples of Indirect Promotion channels include:
Including a ‘refer’ button in website or customer portal navigation
Step 5: Test changes
Now that you've updated your program with new integrations and promotion channels, it's important to retest the member and referral journey.
Here's a quick checklist of what to look for:
Automated emails sent at correct times
Integrations work as expected
Promotion channels work as expected
Data systems update and sync
Rewards send properly
Step 6: Get optimization audit
Schedule an optimization audit with your Onboarding Specialist to ensure your program is properly optimized.
Our team has set up and optimized 1000’s of programs and can make sure your program has the best chance of success. We’ll review your program for potential issues or gaps in the member and referral journey and make actionable recommendations on how you can make it better.
To schedule an Audit, navigate to our Request Assistance page and select the Optimization Audit option.