Here’s What Great Referral Email Campaigns Look Like
How to make your referral email campaign work? Here are tips we've compiled from experts!
Originally a brand from Sweden named Sleepyhead, CEO Lisa Furuland wanted to create a product for babies that would allow them to feel cozy, while letting parents safely put the lounger anywhere they need to.
She created an entirely brand-new version of a lounger, called a dock, that was the perfect combination of design and comfort. It was launched in 2007 and did extremely well in Europe, winning multiple awards.
However, Lisa wanted to push towards a new market - the US. Thus DockATot was born, and has been a huge phenomenon ever since.
DockATot prides itself as being a “luxury, as well as a necessity”. Prices are not cheap because of its specially sourced materials from Europe and state-of-the-art design. Yet, because of its multi-functionality and beautiful look, it has won the hearts of many parents from all over the world.
How did DockATot achieve its success? Let’s take a look at a few reasons why.
By reposting images and captions from real mothers and customers, DockATot gains credibility and social proof.
When it comes to products for babies, reviews are one of the most important players when it comes to marketing - who else would you trust but another mom, right?
DockATot benefitted immensely from the reviews of moms all over the world - not only were the reviews good, but according to Elina Furman of Prynted, a boutique marketing agency for the DockATot account, ”99% of the reviews are glowing reviews. It’s not just ‘I like the product’, it’s ‘I must have the product’.”
“Mothers who have not slept for a year, and all of a sudden, their baby is sleeping through the night, and they’re writing this on instagram, and they post and send it to their friends.”
This word-of-mouth marketing allowed DockATot to take Instagram by storm, engaging a global audience. Moms wanted to share the product with their friends, and the referral program worked perfectly to DockATot’s favor by spurring on this sharing.
It also helps that DockATot keeps most of the marketing in-house and does not pay influencers, only providing products for them to try out. This transparency keeps trust in the relationship between DockATot and its customers. They also make sure to maintain constant communication with their influencers to maintain a good relationship.
“Obviously we have to reach out to a lot of influencers, but because we keep it in-house and we have a strong network of influencers that we work with, they know us, they know we won’t try to give them something that is not going to work and they trust us.”
By placing their product in the hands of prominent influencers, but also letting the product speak for itself, DockATot has been extremely successful in creating a strong and trustworthy brand image that only keeps growing.
DockATot faced two issues: Firstly, because of the huge demand, their inventory was falling short.
“It is a dream product to market, but as far as inventory-wise, it sometimes sells out.”
Secondly, they wanted to have a way to reward their loyal customers who shared their product to friends. “Different providers were expensive, there was a lot of integration and development, and because we don’t have time for a lot of development, I spent a lot of time researching on referral programs.”
As DockATot rarely provides discounts, this was one way for people who could not afford the full price easily to get a cheaper price.
“[Referrals are] great because we don’t offer discounts, so this is something that is legitimate to share. And then, we give them the opportunity to make 5 dollars for every successful referral. People really like that.”
No matter how good a product is, it still always takes time for a referral program to ramp up. A big part of this boils down to the fact that 'referral opportunities' don't pop up overnight – advocates often make successful referrals after encountering peers who have a need for the product, which can be weeks or months after the original purchase.
After analyzing their referral statistics, Dockatot found that “(referrals) were performing, but it was not performing as well as it should be.”
Upon reviewing Dockatot's programs, ReferralCandy suggested they provide cash-value for every referral, instead of a percentage discount. From giving 10% to both the advocate and new customer, DockATot switched to giving $5 cash to advocates and 10% off to new customers.
DockATot also made other changes, such as improving their email subject line, as well as adding a front page sign-up widget (see image below) to get more customers to participate in their referral program.
“By promoting the referral program to our customers - we’ve done that through email, we are planning a blog post, so people understand that when they refer customers, they are not just getting a percentage off, they are getting a monetary reward of 5 dollars, and that’s what's been great with ReferralCandy… once we restructured that program, it started raising our numbers.”
Read next: Referral Program Examples – An Epic List Of 47 Referral Programs