How Farm Hounds Built Stronger Customer Relationships With ReferralCandy

How Farm Hounds Built Stronger Customer Relationships With ReferralCandy

Success story in a nutshell

  • Referral Rate: 22.25%
  • Lifetime referral sales: USD $600k +
  • ROI: 35.30
  • Sample revenue from ONE referral email sent from Klaviyo: $5,000+
"To be honest, we were completely new to the ecommerce space and ReferralCandy had a very easy-to-add, straightforward approach. We are doing something really unique and our core customer base believes in what we are doing. Giving them the ability to be rewarded for sharing about us just made sense."

Stephen Calsbeek
Co-owner, Farm Hounds

The story of Farm Hounds

Farm Hounds was launched in 2016 with the aim of providing the very best nutritional options for pet dogs by producing transparently sourced products with top-notch ingredients and quality. 

From one farm partner (White Oak Pastures), they now have 12 farm partners that practice regenerative agriculture in order to continue supplying high-caliber and all-natural dog treats. 

As more pet owners became interested, Farm Hounds continued growing. Eventually, they made the decision to transition to eCommerce to make their products even more accessible to pet owners.

In July 2020, Farm Hounds wanted to look for more ways to tell their story and attract new customers, while supporting their existing customer base. They executed a successful referral program using Referral Candy and Klaviyo, which helped them to generate more than USD $600,000 in referral sales. 

Why did Farm Hounds turn to referral marketing?

Farm Hounds conducted a “How Did You Find Us?” survey that was sent after a new customer purchased from their site. This survey revealed that 30-40% of the responses were “word of mouth” and this just opened a new perspective.

“With 30-40% of ‘how did you find us’ responses being ‘word of mouth,’ we knew then that we built a brand that customers felt emotionally connected to."

Stephen Calsbeek
Co-owner, Farm Hounds

Apparently, sharing with friends and family turned out to be a common move for most of their customers. Whether it was through social media or other channels, the key takeaway was that customers told future customers about Farm Hounds. This was when they realized that their brand connects with people and helps them connect with others.

“The question then was how can we support our existing customer base, and how can we make that a pleasant experience?”

Stephen Calsbeek
Co-owner, Farm Hounds

At that time, Farm Hounds already had a pretty strong email list. Throwing referral marketing in the mix would enable them to connect even more with existing customers by providing rewarding experiences. At the same time, referral marketing could be executed seamlessly—it would not be a disturbance to other sales or marketing efforts.

Farm Hounds Referral Program Landing Page

The approach: ReferralCandy + Klaviyo emails was a match made in heaven

So, Farm Hounds integrated Referral Candy into their Klaviyo email campaigns as a part of their email marketing strategy to generate more sales from new referrals from the email subscribers.

"We employed this strategy by emailing existing email subscribers and customers content regarding their involvement in this referral program as well as their own cash reward incentives for participating in our referral campaigns. After setting up our email templates, we built out segments based off of the engagement and purchase history of our customers to identify profiles that were likely to vouch for the mission and the product of our Farm Hounds brand."

Klaviyo segment for referral campaign invitations

“Whenever we add something to our marketing kit, we always take a step back and consider how this improves the customer experience,” Stephen Calsbeek, co-owner of Farm Hounds, explains. 

Following this principle, the specific strategies include:

  • Access to the program is easy to find with a CTA at the top of their homepage. The reward choice is very catchy too, in addition to being very simple: GIVE $20 GET $20. Aside from the reward being attractive, it should be easy for the customers.

  • The referral program was built into as much of the email flows as possible, with post-purchase campaigns that reminded customers about the program. Farm Hounds’ email marketing program was being managed by KC Chow Agency and they also facilitated the referral emails.
  • Information about the referral program was also included in the welcome flow or the new customer acquisition flow in Klaviyo. That way, new customers are informed of the opportunity right away. 
  • Reminders about the referral program are sprinkled on email campaigns every now and then. For example, on a specific campaign, a banner about the referral program is included. That way, the referral program is not treated as a separate entity—it’s part of the identity of the brand. 
Farm Hounds referral email in Klaviyo
Farm Hounds Referral Email Sample

The results: connectedness continues to drive growth

Every 3-6 months or so, since August of 2021, Farm Hounds' email list would receive these referral campaign invitations as a means of achieving an uptick in new email and SMS subscribers, as well as more customers! In doing so, they were able to acquire over 100 additional customers for every month that they utilized this campaign strategy, generating more revenue in the process.

"ReferralCandy has become an effective solution to helping Farm Hounds build our email and SMS subscriber list, acquire more customers, and generate more revenue for our store. It has also complemented our overall marketing strategy, allowing our brand to offer ways for our loyal followers to participate in expanding the awareness of our brand to other dog owners alike and to stay engaged with Farm Hounds and our mission to promote natural dog treats and chews around the country."

“Getting customers to be the driving voice for how other customers find us has been huge for all metrics." 

Stephen Calsbeek
Co-owner, Farm Hounds

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