Referral Program Components: 3 Types Of Friend Offers

Visakan Veerasamy
Visakan Veerasamy
June 15, 2015
2 min read
Referral Program Components: 3 Types Of Friend Offers

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In an earlier post, we talked about the different types of referral rewards you can use to reward your advocates for making successful referrals. In this post, we'll talk about friend offers– the incentives that you give out to referred friends.

Friend Offers make referral programs much more compelling.

When Airbnb launched their referral program, they A/B tested their promotional emails– half the headlines were focused on the benefit to the advocate ("Get $25"), and half of them were focused on the benefit to the referred friend ("Give $25").

Which do you think is a more compelling offer?


They found that all around the world, referral rates were higher when the messaging was altruistic.

From this we can infer that giving a friend $25 credit is marginally more valuable than giving yourself $25 credit. The favor earned in the process must be more valuable than the small sum of money.

So friend offers go a long way in influencing people's decisions to refer.

Let's dig into the details of the different kinds of Friend Offers a referral program can have:

With ReferralCandy, you can give out incentives to referred friends through either a coupon code or a discount link.

You can also choose to give no offer to referred friends. (We recommend against this, of course!)

1: Coupon Code


Coupon codes are the most commonly used Friend Offer. They're simpler to manage and understand.

If you choose to give out the friend offer through a coupon code, you will need to enter:

  • A coupon code to be used
  • A description for the coupon
  • An expiry date (optional)
Friend offer - Coupon Code

You can set the description of the coupon code to be anything you like.

For example, it can be "30% off", "a free gift" etc.

Be sure to create a new coupon in your store with the code you entered above (the ReferralCandy app cannot and does not manage coupon code creation or deletion for you).

2: Discount Link (Not available with Shopify)

Discount Links aren't as popular as coupon codes– perhaps because they can be more tedious and complicated than coupon codes.

If you choose to give out the friend offer through a discount link, you will need to enter:

  • a description of the offer
  • the URL to be used
  • an expiry date (optional)
Friend Offer - Discount Link

The discount link URL will bring referred friends to a specific landing page on your website. You'll need to setup and host this landing page yourself.

Some common use cases for discount links include:

  • Automatically apply a discount during checkout when the referred friend visiting the landing page makes a purchase
  • Dynamically display a single-use-per-customer discount coupon code that can be used by the referred friend during checkout
  • Give further instructions on this landing page on how the referred friend can redeem the friend offer (e.g. entering their email address, answering a simple question etc.)
  • Showing a unique friend offer code per referral link so that all referred friends of a particular advocate use the same friend offer code

* Note for ReferralCandy users: Whatever the use case, please ensure that it works in sync with your check out process, as ReferralCandy does not handle this part for you. Selecting this option will also disable the friend landing page. Referred friends clicking the referral link will be taken directly to the discount link URL you set.

You can also use the Discount Link option to set up Custom friend offers.

You can use a custom friend offer to give loyalty points, gift certificate, free gifts, memberships or similar offers to referred friends.

In your ReferralCandy dashboard, take the following steps:

  1. Select Friend Offer
  2. Click "Edit or Change Offer"
  3. Select discount link
  4. Provide description of the offer
  5. Enter the URL of the page on your website which describes how the referred friend will redeem his offer. (Please note that you will have to fulfil these offers yourself, as ReferralCandy will not do so on your behalf.)
  6. Enter the expiration date of the offer

3: No Offer

If you choose not to give out a friend offer to referred friends, the friend landing page for your campaign will be disabled. This means that referred friends who click referral links will be re-directed to your store directly (without going to the friend landing page first).

Friend Offer - No Offer

Note: If you select 'No offer', please make sure to edit your email and pages templates, and social sharing messages to remove any mention of an offer.


Read Next: How To Set Up Your Referral Program's Incentives (With 12+ Examples!)

Visakan Veerasamy
Visakan Veerasamy

Visa is ReferralCandy's former Blog Editor [2013–2018]. He also co-founded, a fashion ecommerce label selling witty t-shirts. He's mildly Internet-famous for his elaborate Twitter threads. He hopes to enjoy a glass of scotch onboard a commercial space flight someday.

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