Isn’t it always wonderful to hear that your mobile app is well accepted, and customers are always referring it, via In-app referrals? Seems like a dumb question, isn’t it? In a time when most business segments are experimenting with referral marketing (read SaaS, E-Commerce, and others) a referral is indeed a sign of acceptance by the users, be it mobile or otherwise.
In his latest essay, Andrew Chen dissects the growing trend of next feature fallacy, which means that companies try to add a new product when the core product is failing or falling. That’s nearly the approach with referrals as well. Most marketers expect instant results from a referral campaign and in the absence of it jump to other marketing tactics.
But here’s the thing with referrals. It takes a while for the user to accept your product and then recommend it and therefore it requires a lot of patience.
Of course, that’s true but nothing will happen in absence of a great product until you put some heart into it. There are various layers to do so and listed below are a few tricks that can make your referrals marketing flash.
Referral Trick #1 : Create Awesome Product Experience
The experience that users associate with your app is multi-dimensional. It isn’t just about the UX or how well laid your app is. Users today demand an overall experience in terms of functionality, and, of course, a little heart. The same thoughts are resonated in this brilliant piece by Judd Morgenstern.
If your users fall in love with your app and have a great product experience, there’s nothing that can stop them from referring your app. Let’s take the example of Stripe– a tool built for developers that powers businesses like Lyft and InstaCart. Stripe offers a unique feature called Checkout which facilitates beautiful and customizable payment experience for enterprises through use of animation.
The animation bit in the app helps users to make things clearer and continually delight your app user. You can read the complete story here.
The essential bit here is to upgrade product features in line with the latest technological development, which will significantly boost referrals as well.
Referral Trick #2 : Sell Product Stories
Marketing a product without a story is an incomplete exercise in today’s world. We aren’t in a time where a few sales pitches will close the deal. Users today look beyond the product and for them it is an overall experience that matters the most. The idea is to make the product sell without actually selling it and that’s possible only when you sell a great story that resonates with your app users.
Confused? Well, the idea is to ensure that the users can see a benefit in the app without being pushy. Brands like Uber have set benchmarks with their storytelling campaigns around their partner program.
Once the users get hooked to your story, they are bound to recommend your app with gusto.
Referral Trick #3 : Facilitate Ease Of Use
Ease of use of is one of the few factors that define the longevity of an app on the user’s smartphone. A happy and satisfied customer would most definitely refer the app. Usually, developers confuse this by offering limited features to its users. The idea is to highlight maximum features within the app without being complicated for the user. More importantly, developers should not confuse ease of use with simplicity.
New age apps including the likes of Tinder offer complete product features to the users with ease of use. The swipe right for yes and swipe left for no feature has been widely accepted and has become an inspiration to many Tinder like apps.
Referral Trick #4 : Elongate Download Experience
A developer’s journey should not cease with their app being downloaded. In fact, it’s where, it should actually begin. This translates into an added pressure on developers. There are three simple ways to elongate download experience for app users. It can begin by providing an exceptional customer service to app users. This will not only elevate the download experience but instigate your users to make quality app referrals. A lack of quality approach in customer service can impact the churn rate for your app drastically.
In a time of instant gratification, giving an app to users mean giving them more power. Without a great backup strategy in place, this may lead to debacles. There are ways to support this by empowering the app’s social media team, offering a self- service menu to users or an option to call back.
One of the most idealistic ways for addressing user issues could be via In-app customer service. This will ensure that the users do not have to exit an app and is a very handy approach for e-commerce or retail apps. A study states that 25% of users who had to leave an app to seek help were unlikely to make a purchase.
Referral Trick #5 : Introduce Ancillary Features
Another way of delighting your users and ensuring referrals is by offering them extended app features. This will not only ensure a sustained relationship with your app, it will also give users a platform to return the favor through referrals (in line with the theory of reciprocity). A great example to execute this strategy is going the Uber way. Here’s how
Integrating two apps
A lot of apps today are joining hands to provide extended features to its users. Uber, which is at the forefront of growth hacking, has apparently nailed in this segment as well. Here are a few collaborations that will make sure that Uber users do not delete the app!
Uber has tied up with restaurant discovery app named Zomato. The partnership story can be read here. Apart from that Uber has also tied up with platforms like Grouper ensuring a great group dating experience doubled by the joy of a free ride. It has also tied up on a micro level with brands, ensuring greater brand engagement and dependability of sorts on the mobile app.
Creating a buzz around the app isn’t enough to get referrals, in fact, to leverage the best from a referral marketing campaign, an app needs a well-rounded approach. Adding a little heart to the app can make it more acceptable and ensure referrals.
What are the strategies used by your app to ensure referrals? Share your ideas with us in the comments below!