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Referral Email Marketing – The Smart Way to Widen your Customer Base


This article was previously published on 19th June 2017. It has been updated on 23rd July 2019.

Referral leads convert 30% better than the leads generated from other marketing methods. Moreover, they have 16% more lifetime value as compared to the other leads.

Why? The reason lies in the simple word- trust. People tend to trust the referrers as compared to other channels, as these recommendations come from people who they know or, they consider influencers in the niche. A good referral marketing has a high retention rate.

Email referrals are a great way to boost your business as it definitely enjoys a higher click rate as compared to the other channels. Secondly, your spend with email marketing is less and the ROI is higher as compared to the other channels.

For every dollar you spend on email marketing, the ROI is $44.

Do you want to know how you can improve your referral marketing, improve the inflow of customers 10x times, and increase value for your company with emails? Here, we will take you through why you should go for email referral marketing, the kind of emails you should send, and the tips to use email referral marketing for your business.

So, are you ready to get started?

Why Referral Email Marketing?

Recommendations are always an excellent way to increase your customer base and ensure better conversions. Email is definitely an excellent channel to proceed with the referral marketing.

Now that we have concluded why you need to go for referral email marketing., let’s get started with the tips that will make your marketing more effective and drive a profitable business.

Crafting a Good Referral Email

Finally, you need to work on the design and even the content creation factors, before you release the email to the market.

Let’s take a look at the types of emails that you can send as part of your referral campaign.

Types of Referral Emails

There are essentially three main types of referral emails that you can send out

#1 The Referral Program Email

Here, you will talk to the audience/subscriber about the referral program, the benefits they will gain from this program, and describe the incentive in detail. The idea is to reach out to members in your target group who will advocate your brand to their friends.

The first email is your big chance at making the first impression on your people. So, make sure you create an email that has the right story, the perfect content and the CTA that is impressionable. You should at this point even detail out how to use the referral program to get the incentives. When you detail out everything in a likeable way, you are more likely to get an increase in engagement and conversions.

This email by Maude has briefly described the incentive as well as how you can get it. They ended it with an attractive CTA “Get the referral link.” The email is designed in a simple way and has described the whole story in two simple lines.

#2 Follow-up Referral Email

The second type of email that you might want to consider sending to your customer is the follow-up referral email. Why? There might have been some subscribers who tend to forget referring the friend despite having opened the email. You might even come across subscribers who have not yet opened the email but are frequent buyers of your brand. Make them your advocates by sending a slight nudge through a reminder. The follow-up email usually works in getting the conversion. Make sure the nudge is slight and effective. You should try not to be too pushy at this point.

#3 The Advocacy Email

When the subscriber does click on the link to send a code to their friend, an email should be sent with the link to the code. You should ideally use text-only emails for this, conveying the purpose of the email and including the code as well. It is more of a personal communication with the subscriber, and you get more conversions as a result.

Outdoor Voices has personalized this email with a classic image style. They have sent the email stating that a friend “mentioned the name” has sent you the code. The person receiving it will trust the person, and there are high chances of them converting. Despite using only text to describe the whole message, the brand has managed to craft the email in an attractive manner.

This email, when designed with images, can lead to people viewing it as a marketing email rather than an attempt at increasing the conversions for the brand.

Wrap Up

If you want to increase brand advocacy, and retain more of your loyal customers, try engaging them with the referral email marketing. The leads generated as a result are authentic, and you will be able to nurture them effectively. The chances of converting the leads are higher.

When designing the referral program, you need to pay attention to the goals set for the program, and how you attempt to incorporate them in your emails as well. If you use referral marketing effectively, you are sure to get more conversions than you had expected.

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