Building all the necessary tools for a referral program – if you have the time – can certainly be fun. But the ongoing QA, de-bugging, feature support, marketing support and code maintenance is not fun. You might want to leave the complexity and heavy stuff to a vendor.

If you want to build your own referral platform, here are some requirements:

Campaign Management

  • WYSIWYG templates that can be customized on-the-fly so that your lead marketer can update the program in minutes without asking for engineering support. Examples include, trying a new incentive, changing copy/images, activating a new widget on a completely different digital surface, etc.
  • Concurrent A/B testing tools (so that you can increase performance by 500% in the first two months of your deployment as we've seen our customers do). And your testing tool should measure calls to action, images, copy and the impact shared content (offers published to Facebook, Email and Twitter).
  • Create and deploy multiple, unique widgets (varying offers, referral source, etc.) on different pages.

Block spammers and ensure email deliverability

  • Detect and permanently block spammers from exploiting your widgets.
  • Deliver shared emails to the inboxes of AOL and Yahoo recipients per their DMARC policies (authenticated sender rules).
  • Eliminate legal risk; comply with local and international anti-SPAM laws when sharers send emails to friends in countries with varying email regulations.

Open Access Sharing (no forced user login to participate)

  • Don’t hide your referral program behind a login. Doing so can reduce participation by 90%. Open access dramatically increases share volume and referral revenue.
  • Dynamic personal links (PURL) generation depending on user status (logged in/logged out).

Detailed reporting and analytics

  • Identify sharing rate and referral conversion rate, by widget (hopefully you’ll have at least 4 unique widgets in key locations).
  • By channel (for each social network).
  • Identify top referrers.

Detect self-referrals

  • Gaming
  • Fraud
  • Abuse

Automation of reward payouts

  • And the ability to process payouts based on each A/B test variant.

Social Data Insights

  • Find your top referrers and export their email addresses.
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