What is a referral link and how do I use it?
Referral links help marketers manage and improve word-of-mouth marketing campaigns. To learn about what exactly they are and how to use them, read here.
What is a referral link?
A referral link is a unique URL, which participants in referral marketing campaigns use when they want to share the wonders of their favorite brands with their friends, family, and colleagues.
Referral links usually contain a referral code — a unique identifier assigned to each eligible participant in their refer-a-friend campaign.
Referral codes help marketers to collect data, as well as to analyze and manage their referral campaigns. If you’re interested in learning more about referral codes and IDs, we suggest reading our earlier article dedicated to the subject here:
For brand advocates (people who promote your brand through word of mouth marketing), referral links are usually easier to use. Whenever your brand advocates want to send their friends an invitation to check out your business or share a product they think their friends would love, they simply have to choose their preferred delivery method and click ‘send.’
With referral codes, your customers (both current and prospective), have to complete more actions in order to redeem the discounts or credits you promised them in your referral offer. As any experienced marketer will tell you, the more actions a user has to complete, the more likely they are to get lost at some point in their customer journey.
In short, referral links have one major benefit over codes — they minimize the traction.
Do I need referral links?
If you’re running a referral campaign for your online business, you won’t get far without them. Long gone the days when word-of-mouth marketing was all about the customers’ invincible desire to share their favorite brands with friends. Now, in order to get significant results with referral marketing, you have to experiment and come up with new ways to incentivize people to become your brand advocates.
Referral links are just one of the instruments you can use in your customer acquisition strategy. If they sound too complicated to implement, no worries — referral marketing software available on the market today takes care of all the under-the-hood tech stuff, so you don’t even have to do anything to your website.
How to create a referral link
Every referral marketing software solution out there takes care of creating referral links without any additional effort on your part. Here’s what happens when one of your customers decides to share their referral link with a friend:
- A user registers for a referral campaign using their email address.
- The system automatically assigns them a unique referral ID.
- Now, their email is directly associated with that code.
- Whenever they decide to share your referral offer with a friend, they share the link with their personal referral code.
With the right software, your brand advocates won’t even have to wonder how to share a referral link. Depending on the target audience of your business, you may find that Facebook feed shares bring the most value to your business, or you could find that your customers tend to just use email links.
How to get clicks on referral links
There are many metrics you should pay attention to when managing a referral campaign. Clicks per offer (CTR) is just one of them. The most effective way to boost your CTR from shared links is to experiment with different incentives, copy, and designs to see which work the best.
If you’re new to the world of managed referral marketing and would like to know more about A/B testing, funnels, metrics, and creative strategies to try out, this guide will make great further reading: Complete Guide on Referral Programs by Talkable.