How To Implement A Referral Program On Your WooCommerce Store
Every day, in the US, about 2.4 billion brand-related conversations happen between people. To make your brand a part of people’s stories, you need to implement a referral program that encourages people to talk about you.
Refer a Friend programs have become really popular, and big companies like Dropbox and Uber have been using these programs to hack their growth.
Using a WooCommerce refer a friend plugin can help you gain the upper-hand in your WooCommerce operations.
If you do it right, you can also be one of these success stories.
In this post, we’ll walk you through the process of implementing a referral program on your WooCommerce store.
But before we dig into the technical side, let’s look at some of the basics: What is a WooCommerce referral program, why do you need it, and how it works?
The Need for a WooCommerce Referral Program
I don’t need any statistics and data to prove how incredibly powerful word of mouth marketing is. Asking around and getting recommendations from people we trust is what we are naturally inclined to do when we want to buy something.
On the other side of the spectrum, people are also naturally inclined to talk about the things they like. So, if your customers like your service, they’re going to talk about you.
Word of mouth marketing is, in essence, the natural or ‘organic’ way of marketing.
But there’s a catch.
You treat your customer well and hope that he’ll go out and talk about you. But wait… you didn’t realize that your customer might simply forget to do it!
You can’t let that opportunity slip off your hands just because of someone’s forgetfulness. You have to go remind that customer to talk about you and share his great ‘happy’ story with his friends and family.
That’s exactly what a referral program is and why you need it.
With a referral program in place, store owners don’t expect word of mouth marketing only to happen naturally. Instead, they use techniques to encourage the customer to share their experience with others.
So, does your online store need a referral plugin program? Of course, it does!
A referral program helps boost sales, increases revenue and profit, improves customer loyalty and retention, and ultimately helps grow your business.
Unless this is the last thing you care about, a referral program is definitely a must-have for your store.
How Does a Referral Program Plugin Work
The mechanism is simple: you offer an incentive to your existing customers to refer you to their friends and family.
In most cases, the incentive (a referral reward) can be availed only when the referred person signs up with your business and makes a transaction with you.
To make it even more enticing, the referral reward is offered to both the parties – the existing customer who has referred and the person he has referred to.
It’s like saying: “Hey, I bought such an awesome product from this store that you’ll definitely fall in love with. And if you use the link I am sending here to place your first order; you’ll get a whopping 25% off!”
With the referral program plugin, people not only get referrals from people they trust, but they also get discounts and referral rewards they can avail.
How To Implement a Referral Program Plugin On your WooCommerce Store
Implementing a referral program on your WooCommerce store is really simple. There are quite a few WooCommerce referral plugins out there, which you can use to get started.
The plugin we are going to use here in this tutorial is the Referral System for WooCommerce plugin, developed by Codup.
What makes this plugin stand out is its integration with the WooCommerce Points and Rewards Referrals Extension. This makes it possible for you to incentivize your customers and their referrals with Loyalty Points as referral rewards instead of the usual discount offers.
The Referral System plugin works both ways – as a standalone referral plugin or as an add-on to the WooCommerce Points and Rewards Extension.
If you use it as a standalone plugin, you can only offer discount rewards – either as a percentage off or a fixed price off.
But if you use it as an add-on to the WooCommerce Points and Rewards Referrals Extension, you can offer loyalty points as referral rewards. This will allow you to set up a referral program in conjunction with your Loyalty Program.
It’s like hitting two birds with one stone. With a referral program, you attract more customers and expand your customer base. And with a loyalty program, you make sure the customers you attract stay loyal to you – improving customer retention.
For the purpose of this tutorial, we are using the second option, i.e. integrating Referral System with WooCommerce Points and Rewards Extension.
Step 1: Install the Referral System for WooCommerce Plugin
To install the plugin, you first need to buy it.
Just follow this link and purchase the WooCommerce referral plugin from here. Once you’re done with all the checkout formalities, you’ll receive a zip file.
Handle this file with care because this contains your key to increasing your sales and revenue. Jokes aside, this zip file simply contains the referral plugin, and you’ll need to upload it on your WordPress site.
So, the next step is to go to your WordPress site and install the plugin there.
Again, this is a simple procedure.
On your WordPress dashboard, navigate to Plugins -> Add New and click on the Upload Plugin button at the top left. Choose the zip file you stored earlier and upload. The plugin will be installed on your site.
After installation, navigate to Plugins -> Installed Plugins to see the list of plugins installed on your site. Search for Referral System for WooCommerce plugin in this list. Click on the ‘Activate’ link to activate the plugin.
Since we are using this referral plugin with the Points and Rewards extension, we must install the WooCommerce Points and Rewards extension as well before proceeding.
Follow this link to buy the WooCommerce Points and Rewards extension and upload, install, and activate it the same way you did before.
Once you’ve done it, please proceed to the next step to set the program up and do its work without you having to worry about anything.
Step 2: Configure the Referral Plugin and Set Up the Program
Navigate to WooCommerce -> Settings and click on the Referral System tab at the top.
The Settings page will appear where you’ll see different options and checkboxes to select.
To integrate the plugin with the WooCommerce Points and Rewards extension, you need to select the second option here:
Note that this option will be disabled if you haven’t yet installed and activated the WooCommerce Points and Rewards extension yet. It’s a WooCommerce loyalty points plugin that’s necessary to work.
After selecting this option, you’ll be prompted with a message that says you have to save the settings on this page.
Before doing so, take a look at the configuration settings just below the message.
These settings let you customize the referral link by selecting the slug type and slug name. The last option here is the most interesting. This option enables you to choose a page where your customers’ referral links redirect users when they click on it.
Here you can select the page you want people to land when they click on the referral link. You can create a beautiful landing page for this purpose by going to Pages -> Add New and then choose that landing page from the dropdown menu.
After you’ve done these settings, click on the Save button and then follow the link in the prompt message that tells you where you can configure settings for the Referral System Integration with WooCommerce Points and Rewards.
Follow that link to go the Points and Rewards Settings page.
On the settings page, you’ll see the options and settings for “WooCommerce Referral System Integration – Points Setting”. Under this heading are several options that allow you to set the number of points awarded for referrals – both to the referrer and the referee.
You can set two types of referral rewards – on sign up and on first purchase.
Just fill in the fields here with the number of points you want to reward.
Below this section are some more settings for the WooCommerce Points and Rewards extension. Here, you can set the redemption rate of points to currency and reimbursement rate of the currency to points.
There are several different settings below this section as well that will help you set up your loyalty program.
Customize the messages to match the tone and style of your business.
Make sure your loyalty program is in full gear so that when you start acquiring new customers with a referral program, your loyalty program does its work to retain them.
See how the Referral System plugin for WooCommerce works:
Get Your Referrals Rolling and Acquire New Customers
Now, it’s time to share the goodness with everyone. Let your customers know about your referral program so they can start referring you to their friends and family and earn loyalty points in return.
Marketing your referral program in the right way is integral to its success. You can send personalized emails to your customers with their referral link embedded. Good copy that conveys the benefits of your program will be really beneficial here.
Reach out to customers through email, SMS, and social media channels and let them know about your loyalty program and referral program.
Everyone loves to get discounts and save money. Just tell them how they can, and there is no reason why they won’t.