Episode 23: How to properly incentivize referred customers

Episode 23 friendbuy

On this episode of Retention Chronicles, we’re joined by FriendBuy’s Head of Partnerships, Samantha Samuels and Partner Marketing Lead, Emma Kimberly. Friendbuy is a platform that powers referral and loyalty programs for the world’s most innovative brands. By listening to this episode, you’ll learn about;

  • Key benefits of referral and loyalty programs
  • KPIs to pay attention to
  • Why referral channels are great for growth
  • What incentives are successful and motivating to your customers
  • Scaling word of mouth marketing

Be sure to subscribe to our pod to stay up-to-date and checkout Malomo, the leading order tracking platform for Shopify brands at gomalomo.com.

Episode resources: Friendbuy blog, Morning Brew, Future Commerce, Seth Godin's blog.

Subscribe to Retention Chronicles on Apple Podcasts


This transcript was completed by an automated system, please forgive any grammatical errors.


Mariah Parsons, Emma Kimberly, Samantha Samuels

Mariah Parsons 00:03

Hello and welcome to retention Chronicles, a podcast sponsored by Malomo. A shipment tracking platform that helps ecommerce brands turn order tracking into a profitable marketing channel. On this podcast, we welcome leading DTC brands and experts to chat about all things customer retention, and E commerce. We absolutely love highlighting all the amazing things that our customers are doing in the post purchase space. If you like what you hear, be sure to check out our website go malomo.com. Maybe you'll even be featured on this podcast someday in the near future, who's to say to help us continue to bring new guests and information to you. Please be sure to subscribe to this podcast wherever you like to listen. On this episode of retention Chronicles, we're joined by friend buys head of partnerships Samantha Samuels, and partner marketing lead. Emma Kimberly from Bae is a platform that powers referral and loyalty programs for the world's most innovative brands. By listening to this episode, you'll learn about key benefits of referral and loyalty programs. KPIs to pay attention to why referral channels are great for growth, what incentives are most successful and motivating for your customers to use, scaling, word of mouth marketing and so much more. We hope you enjoy. Hello and welcome to retention Chronicles. Today we are joined by Samantha and Emma at friend buy. We are so ecstatic to have you on the podcast today. Before we dive into all the wonderful topics that we have planned out, if you could both just say hi, give a little bit of your intro your background. That'd be great. Sam, we'll start with you.

Samantha Samuels 01:51

Absolutely, thank you so much for having us. Mariah I'm super super excited to be here. Hi everyone. My name is Sam I'm the head of partnerships at friend by I collaborate with our leading technology partners like Malomo attentive and clay VO as well as some agency partners to really help brands grow through best in class referral and loyalty programs. I actually joined friend by almost eight years ago and started off in sales then went into implementation, customer success. And now I've been running the partnerships team for about two years. I'm really passionate about customer retention and technology, ecommerce and fashion. And I use that to help friend vice partners and clients achieve their goals. I love that.

Mariah Parsons 02:41

That's yeah, I love that you have such a expansive background fashion. Do you mean like like apparel? Like, that's so fascinating to me. I just think about like The Devil Wears Prada.

Samantha Samuels 02:50

That's one of my favorite movies. Oh, yeah, I used to work in fashion. Like in fashion PR, I worked in wholesale, you know, selling activewear. And I also worked at Nordstroms which I learned a lot there.

Mariah Parsons 03:06

I'm sure yeah. Oh, that's great. Yeah, thank you for that. Um, uh, can you also say hello to the listeners and give your background as well?

Emma Kimberly 03:16

Yeah, for sure. Hi, listeners. So my name is Emma. I work with Sam at from bi I am a partner marketing lead there. So what I get to do is work with all of our awesome partners on marketing activities. I also get to my favorite part of my job is getting to talk to our customers, tell their stories, tell how they're using our integrations with our partners to make their lives easier, and work on awesome podcasts like this one, and events. So it's definitely never a dull moment. My background is in journalism, wonderful journalism, worked in the newsroom for a little bit and then kept that that I like, moving quickly. I like fast paced things. So being in the e Commerce Industry is definitely fast paced. As I said before, never a dull moment. So I that's me.

Mariah Parsons 04:09

Yeah, that's wonderful. Okay, also the newsroom. That must be really fun as well. I'm sure fastbase I feel like that's an accurate accurate description for both both of your guys's backgrounds and so with that I'm sure our listeners in the E commerce space have heard of from by no to all do but in case they haven't good one of you give us a background kind of describe to us like what is run by what do you guys all help brands do?

Samantha Samuels 04:37

Yeah, absolutely. Um, so friend, my powers referral and loyalty programs for the world's most innovative, fastest growing brands. We work with a lot of DTC brands like Casper, away Dollar Shave Club, Spanx, who kind of migrated from the kind of retail space to digital. So we kind of help them with that in terms of increasing their, you know, word of mouth referrals online. And we also work with Fortune 100 brand companies like Walmart, we actually just started powering Walmart pluses referral program. We work with Disney and Nestle. So, yeah, pretty exciting companies that we get to work with. And it's cool because we get to learn from them and take those learnings and kind of share those learnings with, you know, our other customers who are really trying to grow and look at these other companies that's really aspirational brands.

Mariah Parsons 05:39

Yeah, that's great. That's super interesting. With Walmart plus, and like just seeing how all the kind of like name brand logos are, like you said, like kind of closely related, and you can like take those learnings, which I definitely want to dive into. But before we do, so, can you tell us about like if someone isn't super familiar with the space? What are like the key benefits of like ROI referral and loyalty programs for brands? Like what are what do you what is the brand trying to get out of those types of programs?

Samantha Samuels 06:15

Yeah, definitely. So you know, referral and loyalty programs achieved three things that, you know, we found growth teams are always looking for. Number one is high margin growth. Because every customer you acquire through referral is one less that you actually have to acquire through a paid channel. And that's a very high margin conversion. Number two, referral and loyalty programs really help you identify who your best customers are. And it's usually your best customers, who are the ones who are referring, they're your most loyal advocates. And it's usually the case that you acquire your best customers through word of mouth. And I, you know, we hear a lot of times brands say, Hey, we're already getting word of, you know, we're already acquiring customers through word of mouth. But people are just telling us that they hear us, you know, from the fear about us from their friends and family. But we have no way to track no way we're to reward these customers. So referral programs really kind of operationalize this consumer behavior. So now with friend by merchants can really track and optimize the programs on an ongoing basis. And, you know, reward these customers in an automated way, whether that's through a coupon code or account credit that these customers can use toward a future purchase. Or if you're a brand like Casper, you might want to offer like a third party gift card as a reward, to incentivize that repeat referral behavior. And then we typically see or, you know, brands, you know, like to see significantly higher customer lifetime values and faster conversion rates. So we typically see that refer friends convert five times faster than any other channel. And their lifetime values can be two to four times higher referral program CPAs are also consistently and then low, single digits. And compare these metrics to any other acquisition channel. It's a pretty remarkable CPA, I think, especially right now people are trying to figure out ways to kind of cut costs and lower their cost per acquisition. So you know, referral is a really, really great way to do that.

Mariah Parsons 08:26

Yeah, that there's so much there. Thank you for diving into all of that. I love the point about, like, everyone, I feel like right now is trying to cut that acquisition cost, like you said, like, there's just so much more. And this is one of the things like we stand by on this podcast, obviously, the names retention Chronicles, right. So that shift between acquisition to retention, I think it's happening, you know, I think we're perhaps on the earlier side of that, but, you know, just hearing about all the like, like, the stat that you shared about the conversion rates, like customers are five times more, they convert five times faster. That's so impactful to hear and I am curious to hear if you would agree, like, I feel like those kinds of that kind of data is new. And so like for a brand to hear that, you know, UGC or word of mouth marketing, you know, all the referrals and loyalty programs like to actually have data that, like you said, now that they can optimize for it is a newer thing, I think, is in my, in my perspective, it's a newer thing, would you kind of say like, would you agree with that or disagree that it's, it's now just becoming part of the conversation around like, loyalty and referrals?

Samantha Samuels 09:46

Absolutely, I think, you know, word of mouth has been happening forever. But you know, now companies are thinking to themselves, okay, how can we actually monetize this? And like, what is the ROI that We are seeing from this consumer behavior. So with friend buy, you can really kind of track what we call the entire referral funnel. So you can actually see, you know, who's actually sharing through the program? Who's clicking on those referral links, who's purchasing, and then you can see that entire funnel to understand, okay, you know, how many, how many customers are being referred by this one advocate? What's the customer lifetime value of those users that are actually being referred? So you know, there are a lot of these metrics and you know, kind of recommended KPIs that we recommend brands look at to measure the success of the referral and loyalty programs.

Mariah Parsons 10:41

Yeah, I definitely, I would love to go into those KPIs. And kind of like info share with the listeners of what you all are looking at or like advise, towards, and I love that you bring up like that you can track like the whole funnel of who is purchasing. And my mind immediately went to even thinking about like, the people who are the cut you like your customers, from their point of view, if they're referring, you know, their friends and family or say it's, you know, an influencer, they have like an affiliate link, whatever. And they're part of that referral program program, the data is also there for them as well. So it isn't even, like just for the merchant, it's also for the customer or the, you know, whoever is on the other side of that interaction, because now they can see be like, oh, like, I am able to refer this many people to this brand. Influence, like, keep, like adding to that flywheel almost of like, keep driving more loyalty, because you see, like, oh, like I am generating these new customers. And I'm also benefiting because I'm getting, you know, whatever offer that brand is offering that customer for that referral, whether it's a gift card or free gift, whatever. But I love like that it's it's a win win for like all parties involved.

Samantha Samuels 11:57

Absolutely. It's such an excellent point that you bring up actually, because from by has a way for your customer to log into their account, for example, there say they're logged into space, they can actually see how many referrals they've generated, how many rewards they've earned, and track that referral activity. And it's a great way for them to say, Oh, hey, if I can refer two or three more people, I can get $100 gift card that I can use toward a future purchase. So it's a really great way for not only brands to kind of measure the ROI of this channel, but it's a really great user experience for the end user for that customer.

Mariah Parsons 12:38

Yeah, I love that.

Emma Kimberly 12:40

And going going back to the flywheel and and to build on that as well, I think not only are customers able to see that they can get a discount towards their next order. But how that actually impacts their order behavior, we just did a, or just had a great conversation with natural dog company, where they actually saw that their advocates were referring their friends had a 20% higher average order value, compared to other sitewide purchases. So when they're able to go in and see that they're, you know, getting account credit to be able to put towards their next order. They're also then ordering more, and their next purchase because they're getting a discount. They're excited for that that future purchase. So it just continues that cycle.

Mariah Parsons 13:21

Yeah, I love I love that you did that. You brought that up Emma in that like that. 20% Higher ao v, because like thinking about it, like from the consumers, like perspective, it's like, Oh, if I'm getting a discount, like I love discount shopping, right? Like who does it like it feels like just an added perk. It's you know, it's already, you know, I love shopping. So any, like added incentive, or anything that you can do to like, make someone feel more special, like you said, increases a Ovie. LTV, you know, like, the customer is just more incentivized to work closer with you give you those referrals and two, if they, if they truly love your product, which odds are if they're telling their friends and family that they do, then you know, they enjoy using your product, then they get to talk about it with their friends and family, whoever they're referring. And it's kind of like a little like bonding moment, right? I think that's, that's what's so cool about this space. And I think it's so close to like anyone can relate to it, right? Like you don't even have to be in the DTC e commerce space to understand like, everyone is a consumer in some way, like some shape or form. And so just seeing like, being able to relate because it is a very personable, and yeah, I guess like low barrier to entry to like, the topic is so fascinating. And so I did mention I wanted to go into those KPIs. So could we could you tell us more about those KPIs that you know, you both are looking at to advise for a brand like what you should you know, more of the logistical questions like what you should be looking out for what what looks like what what do you define successes?

Samantha Samuels 14:57

Yeah, definitely. So we're or we're mentioning about the kind of referral funnel. And there are different kind of things to look at to optimize different parts of the funnel. So when the top of the funnel, you have the advocates who are looking for your referral program, if they can't find it, that's a problem. So you want to make sure that you have some type of primary referral call to action on your website or on your, you know, mobile app or in the mobile web view of your website, to really want to look at the share rate, how many based on the number of people who are seeing the referral program, how many of those are actually going on to shear and things to look at your measuring shear rate is okay, as my shear rate, you know, I would say 15 to 25%. shear rate is, is very good. And what you want to look at is if somebody's if your shear rates, you know, in the 5% or 1% range, think to yourself, Okay, how's the incentive for the advocate is, is the reward for the advocate to share incentivizing enough to take that action to share? So what's great about from BI is that you can AB test different offers, you can AV test different reward structures, for advocates, and then conversely, on the referred friend side, which is more at the bottom of the funnel, you know, if referred friends are not converting, or they're not clicking through on those referral links, you know, you might think to yourself, Okay, maybe the referred friend offer isn't that great. So one really good example I can think of is like, a lot of brands have kind of a general new customer offer, like, when they get to the website, or when you get to a website, there's a pop up that says, hey, get enter your email to get 10% off, right? Your first purchase. And so if the if, if I'm referred by my friend, and I see that I can get 10% off immediately, or I could get 5% off through the referral program, I would rather get that 10% off and not, you know, take advantage of that friend incentive offer, and maybe not convert as quickly. So I think it's really important to kind of think about, you know, if if somebody's being referred, they're much more likely to make a purchase. So make the offer a little bit sweeter for them. So I would say those are some of the kind of KPIs that we typically recommend measuring and kind of optimizing on an ongoing basis.

Mariah Parsons 17:28

Yeah, yeah, those are great. I love that you gave the example there of like, both top of funnel and bottom of the funnel. And that point that you made of like, the referral has to be something that is that incentivizes you more, right, or it should be because you are kind of, you didn't just laying on the website and new customers like, Oh, you're being referred right. So like, because your friend or family member, or whoever has, or influence or, you know, someone we follow these days has referred you to this person, you're like, oh, like, I'm more, you know, I'm more incentivized. So, it should you get a better discount through the referral program, probably for a brand, you'd see more success through it, like you just explained. So and those are really interesting. Like the share rate you sharing, and it's like 15 to 25% is like a good metric. Because not being obviously an expert in the referral space. Like you all. It's super interesting to see like those metrics and think about like a share rate, because I think about, you know, how many things you share a day, right? Like, you know, videos, or messages are like website links. And so thinking about actually having like that, that data to then for a brand, maybe to compare and be like, Oh, this is what our, our rate is currently going for, like we should dive deeper, if it's not up to those up to that metric, or close to that metric is is very informative. So thank you for sharing.

Samantha Samuels 18:57

Yeah, absolutely. And one more thing I know you're talking about actual KPIs. So sure, it's definitely a KPI and one of them and then the other KPI is the referred friend conversion rate, right. So like typical ecommerce conversion rates are, you know, I would say I think about three to 5%. And so what we recommend is your referred friend conversion rate should be two to 4x higher than your overall site conversion rate. So that's what we typically look at to you know, ensure that the success of your referral program and kind of optimize accordingly,

Mariah Parsons 19:33

I love that, um, no, and so, I love the KPIs like we mentioned, and kind of going off of that and obviously still in the referral space. I would love to talk about, like what you all see as being a good growth channel. In today's environment. Like I feel like there's so many different things that you can focus on in you know, ecommerce or just in like the Do you see b2b sales in general? And so what do you think is a good growth channel for if emergent is listening to this? Where should they kind of put that attention when it comes to referrals and loyalty programs?

Samantha Samuels 20:12

Yeah, definitely. I mean, I think, you know, we're all saying it's an exceptionally challenging time to accelerate acquisition as a brand right now. paid ads are very, very expensive, and frankly, unpredictable. brands start cutting back on spending, it's a hard sell to convince a customer to convert with a brand they really haven't tried before. So that's where word of mouth can really be very powerful. Having your already loyal customers recommend your brand to their friends and family is a sustainable, and it's a consistently sustainable and cost efficient way to grow. And so what we've seen is referred friends have a three to four times higher lifetime value. And we were saying earlier, they have a five times faster conversion rate than than any other channel. So I would say it's really important to think about referral and loyalty, as you know, not only an acquisition channel, but a retention channel and, or retention driver. And we think about referrals, you know, talking about referrals, specifically, you know, at the end of the day, it is it isn't a way for customers or brands to acquire new customers. But it's also a way for brands to keep their existing customers coming back right, with the reward that they're earning through the referral program, they're then able to retain those customers. And they we've heard brands see a higher LTV from customers who are actually referring, in addition to these refer friends who are our friends who are being referred, you know, with a loyalty program, I think that's an excellent way to kind of identify who your best customers are, and retain them in the sense that you can incentivize them to take different actions that are valuable to your business. So you know, for example, you know, if you have a really loyal customer who purchases a lot, you can say, hey, you know, we have a new loyalty program, if you download our mobile app, if you customize your subscription box, if you give us your email, give us your phone number, give us your birthday, like you will get points for that. And so these are, it's a way for brands to really get their customers to engage with them. So I would say it's a great way to kind of keep customers coming back. Yeah,

Emma Kimberly 22:30

building on that, too, I think in terms of channels that you can use, like one thing that we recommend to customers is really making sure that referral and loyalty is built into your customer journeys. So it doesn't sort of operate in a silo, but as part of an ongoing conversation that you're having with your customers. So I think Sam mentioned this earlier about our integrations with clay vo integrations with attentive, but there's kind of twofold there, you can, you know, promote your referral program through email and SMS, you can be reminding your advocates to redeem their coupon codes through SMS. There are different ways that you can sort of build referral, and loyalty events into into those journeys, so that it's always sort of Top of Mind. And really just use all the different channels that you have at your disposal.

Mariah Parsons 23:16

Yeah, I love that, that you bring that in, that isn't just a silo, and that it can really touch any part of the customer journey. That's, you know, that's, I think, what takes a brand and elevates it so much more, right? Like, because it stands, you stand out as a brand to your customer, and you just, I think the customer feels more taken care of when, you know, it just seems seamless, like it isn't, there's no friction points, like, like, I love the reminders that you mentioned, from like, SMS or email being like, oh, like you have these points, like, you know, feel free to use them. And it's, it's kind of like a gentler way of reminding them and be like, oh, like, we're still here, we still value you. You know, we want to make sure that you get you utilize those rewards like it doesn't even have to be something that a customer would have to keep top of mind because a brand is so on top of their communications and their customer journey as a whole, that they are taking that responsibility away from the customer to be like, Oh, remind myself I need to go spend these points, but they are taking it upon themselves to be like super proactive about it. Which I know is as a consumer I've I've definitely appreciated when brands that I shopped with do that. And I want to talk about those incentives into when it comes to like a brand incentivizing current customers to refer their friends and family. Because Sam, you mentioned a couple with like the phone number and like customize, customize your subscription box, like engage with, you know, whatever, whatever. Incentives, I think are really important. Part Two that came to my mind was the data to that that a brand would get. So like, yes, like, right like SMS, I feel like SMS building like list building right now is super top of mind for a lot of people. And so like just driving, again, it goes back to like the winwin just driving more subscriptions, whatever if it's like customize the subscription box or driving the list growth, or maybe it's even, like fill out this survey about like, your, you know, your experience or the product, whatever it is, right? Like whatever data, whatever customer data, whatever consumer data the company needs, or like feels like they don't have enough of in the moment, I feel like that's also a really great application of this space, as well. Because, like with privacy laws, like we've seen a ton of just more protection around data. And so like that zero and first party data has become like extremely valuable as it's been harder to obtain. And so I see like that application with incentives, as well.

Samantha Samuels 26:03

Oh, absolutely. I mean, there's, I can talk about this all day long. I love all the points you brought up, I think, you know, it's really, really important. As you know, Mo was mentioning earlier to not have your referral program, or loyalty program exists as a silo and really incorporated into your tech stack. So, you know, with the referral program, brands can actually acquire email addresses and phone numbers, people enter their email and phone number to start sharing, we can send those emails and phone numbers to attentive and CLEVEO. But we are making sure that we have you know, consent checkboxes on our all of our referral widgets, just say, Hey, I'm actually you know, as a consumer, I'm consenting to receive email and SMS communication from these brands. So we want to make sure that before we send that data to attentive and clay VO, there are certain double opt in processes to make sure that customers know what they're getting to comply with, you know, TCPA, can't spam and all those kind of data, data privacy protocols. And what's really fun is I would say you might want to consider as a brand, integrating your referral and loyalty program with a reviews or NPS survey tool, like Oh, kendo or delighted so that you can actually prompt your best customers to refer after they give you a positive review. And a lot of brands don't really like, don't they, you know, when they hear that they're like, Oh my God, that's such a great idea. You know, when people you know, give you a positive review, that's when they're most likely to refer their friends. And so with our integrations with clay, VO and oh Kenda are with clay, VO and attentive kendo ascending, ascending, that, you know, review score data to attentive and clay VO. And so you can actually trigger a text message or a or an email to say, Hey, thanks for your great review. By the way, we have a referral program. And then you can link them, you can either, you know, give that that user their referral link or drive them to your referral landing page so they can start sharing. And that's just a really great example of how you can really incorporate referral into your communication strategy. If you're using Malomo. You know, for your post purchase experience, which you absolutely should be. A great way to drive awareness of your referral program is to include a referral banner or CTA on your order confirmation and shipping confirmation emails to really kind of draw, make sure that people know that you have a referral program.

Mariah Parsons 28:38

Yeah, no, I love that as well. I mean, always appreciate the shout out. So thank you. But I love that idea of pulling in like after you get, you know some of that UGC and it's a great review. It makes sense. Like, like you just said, you hear it and you're like, oh, yeah, I shouldn't be doing that. But it also is easy to slip through the cracks, right? And just be like, oh, right, like, it's not top of mind. It's not like a huge red flag, it's not a problem that's going on. So it's easy for the attention to drift away from that. And so I love that you share that tip gave that gave that advice because I think there's so many creative ways to integrate, again, all of the different reviews and UGC and foil referrals and everything that your customers are giving you. It's just like actually sitting down and like thinking about it, I think is the toughest part and then it all kind of you know, makes sense once you have it all you know structured out in the strategy is all there it's just really that like catching it's like oh, we should do that. I think that's a great point. And I would love to we've been talking a lot about like strategy and techniques. I would love to then like apply it so you mentioned Casper a little bit earlier when you were giving like the intro and throughout sprinkled throughout the episode so like how does a brand like Casper Can you tell us about how they on how they scale their word of mouth marketing and like let their customers know about the referral program.

Samantha Samuels 30:06

Definitely. So you know, at from my we have a set of recommended best practices to maximize getting customers to refer on impulse. And Casper does this really, really well. So what we what we say is, you know, you need three major things to encourage what we call impulse referrals, this idea of like when you're chatting, or when, if you're, you know, to bring up Spanx again, if you're at a yoga class, and your friend is like, oh my god, I absolutely love your your leggings. Where did you get those, and you're like, Oh, I actually got them from Spanx. And you're like, oh, by the way, we they have a referral program, I can refer you right now. And you can get 15% off your order. And then I'll get you know, something like a $20 coupon, you know, once you purchase, so you go to your phone, you get you find the referral program, you get your referral link, you send it, boom, boom, boom, the referral happens on impulse. So, step one is making sure that your customers know that you have a referral program. So it's really about strong awareness. So in customer in order for your customers to refer on impulse, the need to know you have it. So you know, like I was sharing putting referral banners in your newsletters, transactional emails, you know, new product announcements, sending dedicated email blasts, or text messages, you know, maybe once a month or once a quarter to kind of drive awareness. Those are great ways to do that. The next ingredient of a successful referral program is accessibility. I was going to I brought up this anecdote about being at yoga class, you the referral program really has to be easy to get to, if I can't get to it within like five to 10 seconds, I'm giving up. So you want to make sure as a band, you want the referral program, CTA is front and center, you know, be where your customers are habit where your customers are generally on their phones, if they're out and about, or if they're chatting with their friends during the day over slack, have a referral, CTA on your website on desktop, make it really easy for them, and then make it really easy to use. So you know, with firm buy, you have the option to share through different channels, whatever channels you know, make the most sense for you. As an advocate, we call them advocates or customers, you can share through email, you can share through a personal referral link that you can just copy and paste. You can share via social like Facebook Messenger or Twitter or SMS on mobile. So you know, just make the referral program really, really easy to use. And when working together, these ingredients make referral a referral program very successful Kaspar actually has a really clear referral call to action on their homepage, in their post purchase flows, and works with our team to AB test their copy their offers their incentives to make sure they're just continuously optimizing the program. And creating awareness of your program, I think can be you know, one of the biggest hurdles, which is why our team, we have an amazing customer success team. And they work with our customers to make sure that they're implementing all of these best practices and, you know, talking about new strategies, and you know, really making sure that they're getting the most out of the program.

Mariah Parsons 33:22

Yeah, I love that. Use case in making like that Casper is able to, like work with your team have experts like constantly thinking about how to optimize better and you know how to, like take the data that they're getting, like seeing like, oh, people are really referring this, like, through, I don't know, this channel, right, like, as far as really successful, or like email or social, whatever it is. And I love those three best practices that you laid out, because I think they they all like coincide very nicely together and make a ton of sense. Like obviously the awareness piece, yes, you will not have success if it is not known. You know, you can't you can't know something that you don't know. And then like the accessibility and the ease of use, I think that is like you said like if you can't get to it quickly, or you can't use it easily, then you're gonna lose that traction because it's a friction point. So I definitely yeah, I definitely think that that makes sense. So thank you for sharing that. I think those are great tips. Awesome. Absolutely. Yeah. And then so one other thing that I also wanted to ask like in this realm is like how do you think that this space will like referrals and loyalty fit into like modern marketing in like in the tech stack? Can you like go into kind of like where you see them like a puzzle piece like offered in?

Samantha Samuels 34:45

So I think you know, we also you know, we were talking about integrating referral and loyalty and her into your tech stack like ESP SMS, communication channels, but you know, there are now a customer data platforms like segment. And we have a really great integration with segment where we actually allow customers to send us data that they're sending through segment. And what's cool about that is you can actually launch your referral and loyalty program directly through the segment platform, because segment, you know, allows customers to kind of see a 360 degree view of their customers. So allowing brands to send all that data in segment is a great way to kind of keep the data kind of all integrated. Once that happens, friend buy can actually, you know, reward customers based on any events that brands are sending to segment. I mean, I think, you know, as we are talking about being able to incorporate your referral and loyalty program with all the other kind of tools that you're using to make it a really great experience for your customer, that at the end of the day, you want that personalization, you want your customers to say, Oh, wow, like, Yes, I had an awesome experience, you know, receiving my package, and an awesome experience, I'm gonna leave a review, oh, my God, I have to tell all my friends and family about this. And like, you think about the customer, logically, you think about the customer and their thought process. And as a brand, if you think that way, you can then really incorporate that mindset into your communication strategy and the way that you engage with your customers.

Mariah Parsons 36:30

Yeah, I love that, that and I think that brings us up to another like well rounded point of as we're rounding up this episode, like, kind of all everything that attaches, right, this space and ecommerce in general. And so if you had to give one tip for you know, any brand that is listening to this episode, as they're like ramping up for q4, what would it be?

Samantha Samuels 36:56

Yeah, absolutely. And, you know, I'm and I kind of have been talking about this, you know, over the last couple of weeks, as we're, you know, thinking, you know, kind of how we want to help brands realize the value of a loyalty program. And you know, referral program is, you know, don't sleep on your loyal customers, I just think step one, don't sleep on your loyal, we're loyal customers. You know, really, with the q4 Rush, it's easy to fixate on acquiring new customers for that, like one time hit of revenue, but use the tools available to you to identify your happiest customers now, and PS tools, reviews, referrals, you can see your tour, who are your top advocates who are who's referring the most right, so that you can give them special offers and incentives during the busiest holiday season. And if you incentivize your loyal customers well with your referral and loyalty program, they'll return the favor by referring friends and family or taking other actions that are, you know, really valuable to your business. And I think, you know, one of the things that we typically recommend it from by is, you know, during Black Friday, Cyber Monday, boost your referral offer for a limited time, you know, if you have a 20 if you're offering $20, to advocates to share, increase that to 50 bucks between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, for anyone who shares with your friends and family, you'll get $50 for every referral, that you know, those types of kind of offers for your loyal customer, your most loyal customers have seen a great you know, boost in referral activity, but then it pays dividends, you know, in in the new year. So now you've, you know, you really are listening to your loyal customers and saying, Hey, you as our loyal customers, we really want to, we really want to make sure that you know, we you know that you're loyal. And then all the all the referrals, all the friends and family that are referred during Black Friday, Cyber Monday, those are now accustomed customers that you've acquired, and then you can kind of treat them differently, you know, after Black Friday, Cyber Monday and, you know, help kind of retain them and increase their lifetime value. So, you know, it's kind of that flywheel effect.

Mariah Parsons 39:09

Yeah, I love that idea of increasing like making the like, offer even juicier during Black Friday, Cyber Monday. You know, like up the ante a little bit. I love that. I love that idea to do so like, limited edition. It's kind of like FOMO marketing to have like, Oh, don't miss out on this, like really good idea. Or, like really good incentive. And yeah, I can see that definitely like flywheel effect. And so with that tip. Great. I think our listeners are gonna love that. And one last thing that we like to ask all of our guests are what resources you would recommend. So where would you you know, point someone if they're trying to learn more about referrals and loyalty.

Samantha Samuels 39:52

Yeah, definitely check out our blog. We have an awesome blog that kind of talks about referral and loyalty best practices. We have some great case studies, with a lot of, you know, brands and different categories. And we also have really great case studies, if you want to learn how to really incorporate referral and loyalty into your tech stacks. We have some really great case studies with you know, iterable and attentive and play view. So, you know, feel free to, to check them out on from buy.com.

Mariah Parsons 40:22

Wonderful. Hey, Emma, before I round us out for the episode, do you have any other additional resources that can be like, referral or loyalty specific or just like in general?

Emma Kimberly 40:33

Yeah, I think outside of our blog, and our newsletter, also, which is a great place, I think, just ecommerce in general, where I'm always learning things I would say, the morning brew newsletter, is really great to get every morning. The future commerce newsletter with Phil Jackson is always really thoughtfully put together. So I'd highly recommend that as well. And then just marketing at large, big fan like Seth Godin. And his daily newsletter, just little quick snippets. So I'm about to spell. All these recommendations, I realize will fill already full inboxes. So I'm sorry. Highly recommend.

Mariah Parsons 41:11

I love that. Yeah. I mean, you're, you're referring them now. So you should go into it. Let them know, right made a referral program. Yeah, it's all kind of, well, those are those are great resources. So thank you. Thank you both for sharing. Well, this has been so fun. Thank you, again, for making the time. I know we shared a lot of great stuff in this episode. So I can't wait to listen back and take notes and just continue to kind of bring forth some of the topics that we talked about today. And how I view loyalty and retention and referrals and everything, everything in the DTC space. So thank you both, for making the time.

Samantha Samuels 41:47

Absolutely. Thank you so much, Mariah for having us on the podcast. This was a super, super fun conversation.

Emma Kimberly 41:54

Yeah. So she said, Thank you. Great to be talking to you about all of this. Really enjoy the conversation. So thanks for having us.

Mariah Parsons 42:04

All righty. And for our fact tech today, we have a couple of ones that Emma and Sam shared in the episode, they're all from friend by. So you can check those stats out for yourself, but I just wanted to echo them because I thought that they were great. So a couple of things that they saw or that they've seen with friend by has been that referred friends have an average of five times better conversion rate as compared to customers who are not referred. And this next fac was part of the KPI section. And they said that they've seen 15 to 25% via good share rate. So that's how many you know how many times the length that your your customers are referring people to so shoot for those numbers, if that's something that you're currently looking into. And then they said that typical ecommerce conversion rate is around three to 5% and they recommend that a referred friend conversion rate is two to four times higher than that site conversion rate. And then they also mentioned that one of the company's natural dog company saw a 20% increase in ao V compared to when friends were when friends were when customers were referred as compared to a new customers or customers that were not referred so super interesting stuff. I hope you liked the episode I know is a lot of fun to sit down with Emma and Sam