Table of Contents
Updated by Amber Liggett
Use this short guide to learn about what referral marketing is, our key concepts, and the basics for how to setup, manage, integrate, and run a successful Referral Program.
For a more detailed understanding of Referral Rock, check out our Definitive Guide to Referral Rock.
What is Referral Marketing?
Referral Marketing is when you promote your products or services to new customers by using the influence of your existing network (customers, partners, etc.). Referral marketing is founded on the idea of word of mouth marketing but is a more proactive and scalable way to generate new customers.
Key Referral Rock Concepts
There are many terms used in referral marketing and each company may use a slightly different term than another. While most are clear, it is important to highlight the two that change the most between companies and platforms: Member and Referral.
Member - This is the person that is referring your business to new customers or users. Common types of Members include existing customers, partners, employees, etc. They are the individuals that opt-in to participate in your referral program. Easy, right? (Other terms you may have heard include: advocates, referrer, influencer, rockstar, or friend).
Referral - These are the people that are engaging with your business for the first time. This could be a friend or colleague of the member and can lead to potential new business. (Other terms you may know them by: lead or new customer).
As you spend time in your Referral Rock account, you will see a few more terms that are much more straight forward.
Reward - An incentive you give to either the Member, the Referral, or both! (Configurable when you edit your program)
Program - A referral program (we'll call them “Programs” for short) is how you get the word out about your business by utilizing word-of-mouth marketing with your existing customers and/or contacts to generate new business.
What your Customers/Partners See
There are three main pages in your Program; The Registration page, the Member page, and the Referral page.
1. Registration Page: Individuals register to participate in your program here before going directly to their own Member page. The Member also receives a registration email with a summary of the program and helpful links. For more detailed information regarding the Registration page, click here.
2. Member Page: Members are given their unique URL and social share buttons to share with their friends directly on this page. The Member can also come back to check on the status of their Referrals. For more detailed information regarding the Member page, click here.
3. Referral Page: The Referral page is where a Referral will view information about your company and services for the first time and where you will want to make clear your desired call to action. The Referral can view then take action on any offer you may provide. (i.e. click to your website for purchase, fill out a contact form...). For more detailed information regarding the Referral page, click here.
Setup and Design
The program design is important because it will help to customize your program to fit your brand. The Program Editor allows you to customize all components of your referral program and is one of the most integral parts of your admin console. Sections within the program editor include the Member Portal, Member Messages, Referral page, Reward rules, Email and Notifications, and Additional Options, as well as the Program Audit on the Complete page.
There are two other things to consider when designing your program.
- Site settings which will help you keep a consistent look and feel across all programs.
- Configuring your payouts and reward rules so you know how and which rewards are being issued.
Management of Referral Programs
Once a referral program is launched, it is important to manage it as needed. There are certain aspects of a program that may need special attention and depending on how they are set up, may require manual approval. Learning how to manage each component is vital to a program’s success. Some items that may need to be manually managed include: Members, Referrals, and Rewards and Payouts.
Referral Rock also lets you Manage your Team by adding team members and assigning specific roles. There are 4 different roles to which a team member can be assigned: Admin/Account Owner, Manager, Operator, and No Access.
Integration With Your Business:
There are multiple touch points for integration and ways to connect your Referral Rock account to other systems. These integration points include Member Access, Referral Capture, and External System Integration.
There are many ways to integrate Referral Rock with your already existing business operations. Program integration is automatically available upon completion and activation of a referral program which includes the options to integrate as a Standalone Site, iFrame, or a Widget.
In addition to using third-party sites for referral capture and update, there is the option of using the Referral Rock Integration Scripts on your relevant web pages.
External System Integration:
The Referral Rock API gives you programmatic access to the data within your Referral Rock account. To see the list of all available endpoints check out the API Reference Page. There are a number of integration options that can be done using either the Referral Rock API, our integration scripts, or our Zapier app.
Running a Successful Referral Program
Use our Success Checklist to make sure your program is ready and configured properly. The Success Checklist is broken down into two parts; Part 1: Technical Review and Part 2: Branding and Messaging and should give you a good idea if you are missing anything in your setup.