The landing page for my social club is starting to see a sizable uptick in responses some of which I believe to be from referrals from other customers. I'd like to be able to create an incentive for referring friends and track the success of that incentive.
There are a few ways to track things automatically, but they get complicated:
- referral program software
- Give your referrers special URL's with parameters that identify them as the referrer (like http://url.com/?referrer=JohnDoe), then push that value into a hidden form field
- Create a separate landing page for each referrer
I'd keep things much simpler to start. Just tell your social club that there's a referral program in place, then add a form field on your signup process asking who referred the new customer. If John Doe knows that there's a program in place, when he refers someone, he's likely to tell them "make sure you say I referred you". When the new customer joins, they'll likely remember to enter "John Doe" as the referrer.
It's not bullet proof, but it's an easy way to start.
Referrer links are a good way to go (and very common) but there is a "cleaner" way to do it if your friends have websites...
Google Analytics has something called Attribution Modeling that you can use to track where each conversion (or sale) actually comes from.
You can decide to set it up for "last interaction", "first interaction", etc depending on your particular model.
This means that either the first or last person to refer your client gets the credit.
It is worth checking out and it's free!
Let me know if it works out.
If you're creating an incentive anyways, a great way to track this is with coupon codes.
Give everyone a unique referral code. The responses will be incentivized to enter it for their discount and you'll be able to see where it's coming from.
The type of cart or way you're collecting payment largely determines how you'll be able to do this. I used shopify which has some great plugins (like http://www.shopify.com/blog/6668676-new-free-shopify-app-bulk-discounts) but your own platform may vary.
Alternately, you can just add a form field and apply discounts manually. More time intensive but the tracking is the important thing. Once you can double down on what makes a good referral you'll be well on your way to creating a system that can repeat that process.
Feel free to give me a call if you have any more questions.
If you are going with a very low budget, I would go with coupons as identifiers.