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There are many different marketing strategies, just one of which involves referral marketing. And just like other strategies, referral marketing comes with its own specific terms and lingo that marketers need to understand.
To help both new and seasoned marketers get familiar with all of the jargon, we’ve put together a referral marketing glossary full of terms used to create and implement a referral marketing strategy.
These are terms that refer to ReferralCandy’s interface and referral marketing as a whole.
Referral Marketing Glossary of Terms
These are terms you might discover while exploring referral marketing and deciding whether it’s the right strategy for your brand. Keep these handy so you understand what you’re learning about and what all of the moving parts mean.
Advocacy marketing is a strategy that involves getting your existing customers to become advocates for your brand. Customer advocates share their positive experiences with your brand and entice their friends and families to shop with your brand as well.
Affiliate marketing is a strategy similar to referral marketing. However, with affiliate marketing, your brand’s affiliates earn a commission for each sale they get for your business.
A brand ambassador is a person who represents a company, sharing its product offerings and advertising the brand to their followers. This person is the face of a brand, embodying its company mission and brand voice.
A call-to-action (CTA) is a text snippet or button designed to entice someone to take an action. Examples of CTAs include:
- Buy now
- Learn more
- Sign up
A conversion is the desired action someone could take. For an ecommerce brand, a conversion is most likely going to be a product purchased.
Conversion rate is a formula that helps brands pinpoint how many website visitors took the desired action, how many ad clicks bought something, etc.
The conversion rate formula is # of Conversions / # of Impressions then multiplied by 100 to turn into a percentage figure.
Customer Lifetime Value
Customer lifetime value (CLV) is a metric that helps brands pinpoint exactly how much revenue the average customer brings to a business.
This figure is determined by multiplying the average purchase value, average purchase frequency, and average customer lifespan together.
Incentives are what entice customers to refer other people to become a new customer. This is the key ingredient to a successful referral program. Brands have to incentivize their customers to refer others their way.
There are a few different types of incentives.
Also called single-sided incentives, this type of incentive is only offered to one person—either the referrer or the referral.
Also called double-sided incentives, this type of incentive is offered to both the referrer and the referral.
Also called milestone incentives, this type of incentive rewards long-term participation, offering a reward for each person that the referrer refers.
The participation rate is a metric showcasing the number of people in your referral program who are actively referring new customers and participating in the program.
A referral can be two things:
- A person who has been referred to your brand OR
- The act of referring a person to your brand
A referral code is a unique combination of numbers and letters that acts as an identifier within a referral program. Each referrer will have their own unique referral code.
A referral email is an email sent from a company to its customers advertising its referral program.
FAQ stands for frequently asked questions. A referral FAQ is a standalone page or part of a referral page that answers common and important questions about the brand’s referral program.
A referral link is a unique link that is assigned to each referrer. This often includes the referrer’s code so that referrers can share the link with friends and families and immediately be compensated as per the referral incentives.
Referral marketing is a strategy that centers around incentivizing happy existing customers into referring your business to their friends and family.
A referral page is a landing page that includes information about and the ability to sign up to become a part of a business’s referral program.
A referral portal, also called a friend landing page, is a webpage that referrals might land on after clicking on a referral link. This page will include information about the special offers they’re able to claim.
A referral program is a formal system that brands can set up to help automate the referral process, immediately rewarding referrers and referrals alike without needing manual assistance from the team.
The referral rate is a metric that showcases the number of referred purchases your company receives out of the total number of purchases.
Referral software is an online tool—like ReferralCandy—that helps companies create and implement their own referral programs.
A referral trigger is a specified event that triggers a referral reward. For example, some companies may only reward referrals for purchases over a certain amount or in a certain category.
A referrer, also called a customer, referral program member, or advocate, is the person who refers your business to others in their network.
Relationship marketing is a strategy that focuses heavily on customer relationships and building long-term customers.
Return on Investment
Return on investment (ROI) is a metric that showcases how much revenue your marketing efforts have brought in. This can be discovered by subtracting the cost of running your referral program by the number of sales the referral program has brought in.
Share rate is a metric that showcases the rate at which your referrers are sharing their referral code or link with their friends and family.
Word-of-mouth marketing is a strategy that strives to increase the amount of times their customers verbally talk about and share their business. Referral marketing and word-of-mouth marketing are closely related, as referrals is one tactic for increasing WOM.
ReferralCandy Glossary of Terms
If you’re new to ReferralCandy, you might be a bit confused about what all of the lingo means. Take advantage of this glossary of terms to learn more about ReferralCandy’s tool and how to make the most of it.
These are paid features that you can activate to provide additional functionality for your referral program.
Multiple Language Add-On
Allows you to run your referral program in multiple languages at the same time. Please note that you still have to manually translate your content.
Remove Branding Add-On
Allows you to remove the "Powered by ReferralCandy" branding at the bottom of your emails and pages.
White Label Add-On
Allows you to fully customize the design of emails and pages in your referral program by giving you the ability to edit the HTML & CSS.
An individual who has been enrolled into your referral program. This individual is sent a unique referral link to share with their friends. An Advocate can also be a customer and/or a Referred Friend.
There are two campaign statuses in your referral program.
Referrals are tracked and rewarded. New advocates can be enrolled in the program.
Customers can’t refer friends to your store. Your store stops getting new advocates.
The percentage of the final invoice amount of the referred purchase that ReferralCandy takes as a fee for facilitating that referred purchase.
An individual who has made a purchase from your store (that ReferralCandy is aware about). A customer can also be an Advocate and a Referred Friend.
The interface that you see when you login to your ReferralCandy account. It provides information about your referral program along with the various details of the friend offer, referral reward, emails & pages, integration, and payment details.
This refers to emails sent by ReferralCandy. There are three types of emails that are sent out by ReferralCandy as part of your referral program.
Invite emails are sent out to customers to invite them to participate in your referral program, at which point they become Advocates. Invite emails are sent automatically after customers make a purchase at your store. You can also manually send out invite emails via the Invite Customers tool.
Reminder emails are sent to advocates at fixed intervals (from 1 to 12 weeks frequency, but it can also be switched off) to update them on the latest offerings from your referral program and to keep your business top of mind.
There are 3 sub-categories of reward emails.
Sent to advocates when a referral they made that was pending review, is cancelled or the associated purchase was returned.
Sent to advocates when a purchase is made at your store through the advocate's referral link but has yet to meet all the requirements required to earn a referral reward. Meeting these requirements might mean waiting for the referred purchase review period to be over as well as accumulating a minimum number of referrals before a referral reward is paid out.
Sent to advocates when a referral they made becomes eligible for a referral reward.
Note: You are able to edit the subject and content of each email template. You can also edit the HTML & CSS with the white label add-on.
There are three email address settings in your referral program.
Admin Email Address
This is the email address that you use to log in to your ReferralCandy account and is the email address that ReferralCandy sends various administrative alerts or emails. This includes invoice emails, coupon expiry alerts etc.
Please ensure that this email address is kept updated. You can find this setting in Profile > My Profile.
The email address that you use to log in to your ReferralCandy account. You can find this setting in My Store > Store Settings.
Sent-From Email Address
This is the email address from which automated referral program emails will appear to be sent from. It should be from your store's domain to reduce the likelihood of it being marked as spam and should be kept updated. You can find this setting in Campaigns > Settings.
The friend offer is an incentive that you can offer to a referred friend to encourage them to make a purchase at your store.
When a referred friend uses the referral link shared with them by an advocate, the referred friend is directed to a friend landing page with a coupon code (that you've defined) that can be used at your store to enjoy the related incentive on a qualified purchase (subject to your conditions).
The process of connecting your online store to ReferralCandy so that referral activity can be accurately tracked. There are three main types of integrations.
Integrates your store with ReferralCandy to efficiently exchange referred purchases and transactions data. This is highly customizable and requires programming experience to set up.
Forwards invoice emails from purchases completed by your customers to ReferralCandy. The information in the invoice emails will be scanned, tracked, and reported into your ReferralCandy account. This is the simplest and easiest way to integrate, and is popular with most merchants.
Invite Customers Tool
This tool is accessible via your ReferralCandy dashboard, and is used to manually send referral invite emails to past customers. You can add customers individually, as a batch via a CSV upload, or by importing them from Mailchimp.
Invoice Email Statuses
This is for emails sent to ReferralCandy. There are six different statuses for invoice emails that you send to ReferralCandy as part of the referral program integration.
System has received the email but relevant information has not been extracted yet
Relevant information has been extracted from the email
System was unable to successfully extract relevant information from the email. A ReferralCandy support engineer will be looking into it
ReferralCandy support engineer has flagged invoice as lacking relevant information. We will contact you if any action is required on your part to correct this
ReferralCandy support engineer has set the system to ignore this email (will not be processed) as it is likely not an invoice email
ReferralCandy system automatically dropped this email (will not be processed) because it was received while your campaign was stopped
Minimum Purchase Amount
The smallest purchase amount (in which you have defined) that a referred friend has to make for the advocate to be eligible for the referral reward.
Minimum Usage Fee
The base amount that is charged for the use of ReferralCandy on a monthly basis. If the accumulated commission for the month exceeds this amount, you will simply have to pay the accumulated commission (i.e. the base amount is waived).
There are two types of pages that are offered as part of your referral program.
This is the landing page that potential customers see when they click the referral link sent to them by advocates. If there is a friend offer, the landing page will contain the coupon code (that you have defined) for potential customers to use at your store and obtain the associated incentive on a qualified purchase (subject to your conditions).
A combination of three pages hosted by ReferralCandy for your Advocates where they are able to:
- Log in to view the current friend offer or referral reward offered by your store via the Portal Access Page
- Share their unique referral link with friends via email and/or social media at the Portal Sharing Page
- View their referral activity history at their Portal Rewards Page.
You can configure access to the ReferralCandy Portal for:
- Existing advocates + new signups OR
- Existing advocates ONLY
Note: You are able to edit the content of each page template. You can also edit the HTML & CSS with the white label add-on.
This is a key part of how referrals are tracked. It’s a unique link given to each advocate when they are enrolled in your referral program. When an advocate's friend clicks on the referral link, the referred friend will be brought to a landing page which shows the coupon code (friend offer) that can be used at your store.
A report that shows the activity summary and key metrics of your referral program for the past 30 days.
The referral reward is an incentive that you can offer to advocates to encourage them to share their unique referral link with their friends. When a referred friend makes a qualified purchase after clicking the advocate's unique referral link, the advocate will be eligible for the referral reward (subject to your conditions about the purchase).
Referral Tracking Code
An individual who the system detected was referred by an Advocate.
A purchase that is made by a referred friend using an advocate's referral link. This purchase must pass fraud prevention measures and meets the criteria (minimum purchase amount, X number of purchases by referred friend) set by the merchant.
(Also see related “Rewardable Referred Purchase” entry below.)
Referred Purchase Review Period
The review period after the referred purchase, during which earned referral rewards are placed on hold. During this review period, merchants can mark a referred purchase as invalid or cancelled.
After this review period, eligible advocates who have made successful referrals are sent their referral rewards. The length of the review period is set by merchant and typically corresponds with the time period on the return policy (if applicable).
Rewardable Referred Purchase
A referred purchase (please refer to entry on “Referred Purchase” above) whose referred purchase review period is over, and now counts towards a reward.
A sequence of dialog boxes / pages that lead a merchant through a series of well-defined steps (which require input) to set up their referral program.
Geeky Sidenote: The term "Wizard" was originally derived from the term "Windowed Interactive Setup Assistance Dialog" (WISAD). Cool, huh?
Social Media Messages
Social media messages are the default templated messages (Twitter & Facebook) that advocates see when they click on the Twitter / Facebook sharing buttons from their referral email or Portal Sharing Page. You’re able edit the default message to suit your business. Advocates can further edit and personalize their message before sharing it with their friends.
Widgets are free additional features that you can enable to improve your advocates' user experience and increase the effectiveness of your referral program.
There are three widgets that are currently available.
Embedded Sharing Panel
A social sharing panel that can be embedded in your customers' user account page. This allows your customers to directly send the referral link to their friends via email, Twitter or Facebook.
Front Page Signup Widget
A feature that can be embedded on your front page (or any page you choose) that shows a popup widget in the corner of the page. This allows individuals to click through to the ReferralCandy Portal Access Page where they can sign up for your referral program, enrolling them as advocates.
Post-Purchase Popup Widget
A feature that shows a social sharing panel popup immediately after your customers make a purchase at your store. This allows your customers to directly send the referral link to their friends via email, Twitter or Facebook.
Keep This Referral Marketing Glossary of Terms Handy
Hang onto this referral marketing glossary to ensure you’ve got the lingo down when creating your first referral program or choosing your referral software. Give ReferralCandy a go to see how it works for your brand—and keep this list of terms with you as you run through the software for the first time.