Customize Referral Campaigns Like There’s No Tomorrow

People want to share their experiences with their social circles, even if nobody gives them money for it.

There are many reasons for this, from wanting to look like the most informed person in the community to simply wanting to help others. In fact, being selfless is so important to some of us that financial incentives can hinder our willingness to recommend a product to our friends.

And here we have the marketer’s conceptual dilemma. Can they make a referral look like an organic, word-of-mouth type of invite?

Consider the following sentence: “You will both get 10% off your next order.”

By rephrasing it to “You’ll get 10% off your next order. Your friend will also get 10% off their next order,” we haven’t changed the meaning of the sentence. The offer is still the same; the person sending the referral and their invitee each get exactly 10% discount, yet in an A/B test, each message will usually yield different results.

What many experiments find is that a pro-social emphasis will see better results. Interestingly, we often see that more people will submit to a campaign that says “Your friend gets 10% off their next order, and you’ll also get 10% off.” Why this happens is anybody’s guess, but it might be because the phrasing does a better job of reducing the amount of guilt a referrer may feel for being rewarded.