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Optimizing Your Referral Campaign

Overview

You’ve got your first Prosper campaign deployed, but now you want to know how well it’s working and what can be done to make it better! This guide will help you learn how to measure your referral success, and also optimize your referral campaigns over time. If you haven’t already, we also encourage you to read our Referral Marketing Best Practices guide.

Benchmarking your success

To start, it is important to know what you are measuring, and what success looks like for your campaign. The easiest things to measure are the number of referrals sent, the number of conversions made, and the amount of gross revenue generated by your referral program. All of this can be found in your Prosper dashboard under Reports.

Additional points of measurement can vary depending on your objective but can include: Leads captured (SMS and/or email), new website visitors, website conversion rate, and average order value. Many of these can be found in your Prosper dashboard, but for some metrics, you may need to look at your website analytics or other tools. For beginners, we recommend getting started with Google Analytics.

Once you have decided upon and collected the metrics you want to measure your campaign on, we recommend getting a 30-day benchmark of your website and referral program performance before making optimization decisions. This allows you to be data driven in your decision-making.

Optimizing

Once you have your benchmarks, you can begin optimizing your referral program. Similar to website or marketing optimization, we suggest picking one variable at a time to optimize. Below is a list of referral program variables you can change, ranked by impact, with suggestions for optimization.

VariableImpact LevelTips to Optimization
PlacementHigh- Place in high-traffic areas of your website such as product display pages or cart page (don’t worry, Prosper doesn’t add friction or increase drop off)
- Place in high-impact or high-engagement areas of your website to maximize engagement of your referral program.
IncentiveHigh- Don’t just pick a number, but understand your product margin, average order value, customer LTV and more so that you can make an informed incentive.
- The better the incentive, the more people will send referrals. Make incentives compelling, but make sure they are affordable for your business.
- Test different types of incentives: % off, $ amount off, free shipping, free products, entries to giveaways etc…
Call to ActionMedium- Keep it short, and try different tag lines
- The CTA can be about the discount, not only the referral (eg. “Get 20% off” vs “Tell a friend”) as our widget explains what it is once clicked.
- Look at other marketing CTAs that have worked well for your company
Widget DesignMedium- Start with designs that match your branding
- Test designs that complement and contrast other elements of your web page
- Don’t underestimate color changes… small color changes can have large impacts on engagement and participation

To begin optimizing, create a hypothesis about changes to variables that could improve your referral program performance, and then change one variable for a set period (usually 30 days) and compare results before and after the change. Continue doing this until you’ve improved all your variables and cannot see better results for your objective and within your constraints.

You can run A/B tests on a single variable by creating multiple campaigns that are the same, except for the variable you are testing for. For example, you might create two identical campaigns and place one on a cart page and one on a product page, then compare the results. You can also A/B test other variables such as your incentive or call to action in a similar way to speed up your optimizations.

This is a good starting point for making referrals a marketing powerhouse for your brand, and our succes team is always happy to help you create a more tailored approach if you need it.