All You Need To Know About Setting Up A Referral Program

Visakan Veerasamy
Visakan Veerasamy
April 13, 2015
2 min read
All You Need To Know About Setting Up A Referral Program

In this article


Here at ReferralCandy, we've been running thousands of customer referral programs for our clients. Over time, we've developed a body of knowledge about what makes a referral program work. We've witnessed retailers with great products doing well and doing not-so-well.

If you're looking to start a referral program of your own, or you're just curious to learn about what to expect, we've put together a PDF which will run you through all the questions you'll need to ask.

Here's a brief overview of the questions you'll need to ask if you're setting up a referral program.

Referral Marketing Checklist Summary:

Before the Referral Program

A technically perfect, functioning referral program will still fail if it’s not pegged to a great product that people care about.
  • Do you have a product people love? Are you getting organic word-of-mouth already?
  • Check for how people are talking about your product on Twitter and other social media
  • Talk to your customer in person, over email, survey them
  • Try Net Promoter Score surveys
  • Have you made an effort to maximize your word-of-mouth already?
  • Have you already established your primary customer acquisition channels? Are they giving you a steady stream of customers?

Getting Started: Setting Up Your Referral Program

  • What is the action you want to incentivize? (What do you want more of?)
  • Who is the advocate, and who is the friend? (Understand your personas)
  • Why should they do it? What is the incentive? (Consider both intrinsic and extrinsic)

Putting Together An Effective Referral Program

  • Feel – Are you communicating your offer effectively?
  • Remember – Are you ensuring that your advocates are adequately reminded of your offer?
  • Ease – Have you made it as easy as possible for your advocates to share?

Ensuring Your Referral Program's Continued Success Over Time

  • Analytics – Are you measuring your success? (Understand how your campaigns are performing)
  • Edge cases – Are you accounting for return policy, etc?
  • Detection – are you ensuring that your referrals are properly detected (no missing referrals), and that you're able to detect fraudulent referrals?

If you can answer all of the above questions confidently, you should be able to run your own referral program quite effectively.

Want to know more? Check out our post on how to set up a referral program.

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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