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Welcome to Referral Engineering®
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Welcome to the era of Referral Engineering®

Discover the science of Referral Engineering® – and how you can use it to engage your best customers, acquire new best customers and hit all your KPI targets.

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Section 01

There’s a digital marketing performance crisis

All over the world, smart, talented marketers are throwing more and more money at huge digital marketing channels – and getting less and less engagement. What gives?

In a word: fatigue. With every click and every tap, consumers feel bombarded by low-relevance, low-value ads that they actively mistrust, ignore, or (thanks to ad-blockers) never see.

Even industry leaders are in a cross-channel performance rut – and they can’t optimise their way out. Something bigger needs to change.

To cut through the noise and win back consumer trust, you need a new channel that’s both highly relevant and intrinsically trustworthy.

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Say hello to Referral Engineering®

It’s the next evolution of referral marketing – and the high-performance channel your other channels need to get their mojo back.

Read our eBook: “A Beginner’s Guide to Referral Engineering®”

Discover The Ebook
Section 02

The untapped marketing potential of real human connections

Consumers might be tuning traditional advertising out, but they’re listening more closely than ever to the recommendations of their friends and family.

A single brand recommendation from a person we trust means more to us than a dozen digital adverts.

What’s more, people love to recommend their favourite brands to the people they’re closest to.

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There’s huge potential here for ecommerce marketers

Tap into it, and you can connect with consumers – especially those that advertising no longer reaches – and get closer to the customers you already have.

But how do you ensure your customers are recommending your brand to their friends – and that their friends actually take them up on those recommendations?

The answer is referral marketing (but not as you know it).

Referral is an incredibly powerful force. If you can harness and engineer that force, you can:

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Increase customer
acquisition by more than 30%*

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Increase first order value
by 11%**

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Create a cycle of sustainable growth***

But hold on: if referral is so powerful, why isn’t every business reaping these rewards?

* Based on top-performing clients, such as Glasses Direct.
** On average
*** Referred customers are 5x more likely to refer others

Section 03

Why most referral marketing programmes fail

Here’s the uncomfortable truth: most referral marketing programmes mishandle human connections.

Their creators tend to underestimate the complexity and variety of the social relationships they’re trying to tap into – and the delicacy needed to drive recommendations between individuals without it feeling exploitative.

Underestimating what’s involved in getting referral right creates a disastrous domino effect, inevitably leading to the total collapse of referral marketing efforts.

It normally goes something like this:

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Marketers see referral marketing as an ad-hoc add-on. They think they can plug it into their marketing stack, switch it on, let it run and watch the referrals pour in...

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So they use "one-size-fits-all" referral widgets – which don't actually fit anyone (brands, marketers or customers)...

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And run their referral marketing efforts with only a limited understanding of how to get the most from referral…

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Which means they not only fail to see any real ROI, they never gather any insights into the human connections that would drive referral engagement...

The result? Mediocre referral programmes that disappoint customers and deliver limited referrals that are near-impossible to track.

So how can marketers get referral right?

A systematic, standalone and data-driven approach is needed. One that treats referral marketing as the essential and specialised discipline it is.

What marketers need is precisely what we’ve developed. We call it Referral Engineering®.

Section 04

Referral Engineering®

Referral Engineering® industrialises the inherent trustworthiness and relevance of referral marketing into a scientific, high-performance channel that enhances everything it touches.

As the experts in Referral Engineering®, we’ll work with you to design and deliver rigorous and data-driven referral programmes tailored specifically to your audience, your industry, your needs and your goals.

And because they’re specific, our Referral Engineering® programmes (unlike referral widgets and DIY-referral programmes) actually work.

Here's how.

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Referral Engineering®:
the basics

Your customers, company and industry have unique and ever-evolving Referral Dynamics®.

You need Referral Experts to translate these dynamics into specific Referral Moments in the customer lifecycle. (These moments depend on – among other things – each customer’s Propensity to Refer® and Referral Readiness.)

Referral Experts build high-performance referral programmes and continuously optimise them for different goals (like revenue growth, profit, product type, customer type) in a process called Referral Optimisation.

One of the most powerful optimisation tools in a Referral Expert’s arsenal is A/B testing by cohort.

Propensity to Refer® and Referral Readiness differ widely between customers, depending on their demographic and stage in the customer lifecycle.

That makes simple A/B testing too blunt an instrument for optimising referral. For the best results, you need to segment your audience into “cohorts” and run strategic A/B tests for each one.

This process depends on and produces Referral Intelligence®: data-based insights into your customers that can be fed back into your referral programme – and other marketing channels – to improve them.

At the customer end, our Name Share® mechanism enables a friction-free, exploit-proof referral experience that taps into everyday conversations to drive even better results.

To learn more about the science of Referral Engineering® – and what you need to set up your own programme – read our eBook: A Beginner’s Guide to Referral Engineering®.

Discover The Ebook
Section 05

The compounding rewards of Referral Engineering®

Here’s what you’ll get (be very excited)...


A new, high-performing marketing channel...

Referral Engineering® dramatically outperforms simple, one-size-fits-all referral widgets (and is highly competitive in its own right).

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That makes your other channels better...

Better still, Referral Engineering® boosts performance across your other channels too. You can enrich your existing data with Referral Intelligence® to understand what makes your best customers tick. (So you can attract and develop more of them.)

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And can be tweaked to help you hit any target.

You can use Referral Engineering® to increase new customer acquisitions, drive repeat purchases, increase average order value and much, much more.

Whatever metric you want to boost, whether it’s growth, acquisitions or loyalty, with our Referral Experts you can adapt your programme to achieve your specific goal.

Read The Big Book of Referral Engineering® Applications.

Discover the ebook
The Big Book of Referral Engineering™ Applications

And we have over 450 examples to prove it.

We’ve created precision-engineered referral programmes for over 450 brands (and counting), accelerating growth, enhancing customer relationships and generating some pretty fantastic case study stories along the way…

Read about some of our most successful referral programmes here.

Discover the case studies
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Learn how Db drives 5x ROI through Referral Engineering®

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“The customers we acquire through referral have a significantly higher lifetime value than those acquired through paid social and paid search. As well as acquiring new customers, referral fits so well with the nature of what sending flowers is all about: shared experiences. It allows us to turn that into a sustainable marketing channel, backed by analytics and data. Since 2014, we’ve driven referrals worth more than £6.5m.”

Head of UK Marketing, Bloom & Wild

Watch the case study


“Since switching from in-house referral to Mention Me, we’re now acquiring 4x more of our customers through this channel. As well as constantly testing elements of our programme to optimise performance, we now serve customers a smoother and more sophisticated journey that offers more ways to share Oddbox with friends. Already, more than half of our referrals convert into new customers. It’s safe to say we’ve switched our in-house referral programme off for good.”

Acquisition Manager, Oddbox

Read the case study


“Experimenting with A/B tests has given us valuable insight into our customers and promoting referral has been a great way to reiterate our brand’s message. We can’t wait to see what referral helps us to achieve next!”

CRM Manager, PrettyLittleThing

Read the case study

Section 06

The next steps towards the era of Referral Engineering®

This one is simple: you should speak to us. Pronto.

With our Referral Engineering®, brands typically increase new customer acquisition by 8%. (But this can increase to over 30% with our cutting-edge A/B testing by cohort capabilities.)

Our unique Name Share® feature typically accounts for 34% of all referrals.

And we can get you up and running in no time. Our clients typically go live within 30 days and see results fast.

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Want to learn more?

Read A Beginner’s Guide to Referral Engineering® for basic and advanced lessons in building your own referral programmes.

Read The Ebook

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