How to track and optimize your referral marketing programs

May 2022



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After building and running referral marketing programs the last, but crucial step is to track your results and optimize your processes. 

The most successful referral programs are those that are continually analyzed and improved. The success of your referral program depends on several elements, such as: 

  • Your channel selection
  • Your customer segments  
  • Your copy — including headings and subheadings, your CTA, and your email subject lines 
  • Your design choices — including images, font, and color scheme 
  • Your incentives — e.g. fixed sum vs percentages, or discount codes vs freebies 
  • At what point in the customer journey you ask for referrals 

Tracking your analytics and performing A/B tests

In a nutshell, tracking your referral programs allows you to identify possible issues and solve them. To help uncover which elements are working well and which are undermining your efforts, assess performance by tracking your analytics and performing A/B tests for each key element. 

To uncover whether your tests impacted sales, ask yourself the following: 

  • After the changes were applied, how many customers purchased something? 
  • By how much did sales increase for each test performed? How many customers churned? 
  • Did the customers who stopped buying your product or service provide any feedback that could be useful for future changes? 
  • For customers who did make a purchase, what facilitated them to buy? 

Use the results of your A/B tests and the answers to the above questions to make changes to your referral marketing programs. If these result in higher conversion and sales rates, you’re on the right track to establishing programs that will allow you to reach your goals. 

Why choosing the right touchpoints is key

To further your success, be sure to choose the right touchpoints. Choosing the right touchpoints will inevitably increase the visibility of your program. But how do you go about choosing the right ones? 

Think about what your customer journey is like and your specific goals. For instance, if you are looking to improve the success of your referral program, it would benefit you to have a banner on the homepage of your website, as well as on your most frequently visited pages. You could also consider having a touchpoint after a confirmation email is sent to the customer or near the customer login area on your website. In-app touchpoints perform particularly well given the fact that the share of mobile users is higher than desktop users

Be sure to do the following when creating material to place at specific touchpoints: 

  • If you’re giving a cash incentive, we recommend showing the highest possible amount a user can earn 
  • Ensure that your touchpoint designs are visually appealing
  • Focus more on the visual aspect rather than having a lot of copy 
  • Keep your copy short and engaging 
  • Be on-brand 

A great example that incorporates all of the aspects mentioned above is the following banner from Lebara. It is strategically placed in the header and sends the key message immediately – the copy is short and shows the highest amount a user can earn. 


Placing a touchpoint close to where a customer logs in to your website can be very effective. In the below example from Virgin Media, they included their “Refer a friend” tab directly next to the “Account login” section. 


For a referral marketing program to be truly successful, frequent testing is necessary. Do not be dismayed if you don’t achieve your goals from the get-go. Rework your program through A/B testing until you get the results that you want and ensure you’re giving your referral program enough visibility by choosing the right touchpoints.

Want to find out how Aklamio can help make your referral program a success? Reach out to us here.

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