A common mistake referral programs make is not integrating analytics. In this section we go over the problems that emerge when building an in-house referral program.

Do I Need Referral Program Analytics from Referral SaaSquatch on Vimeo.

Full Transcription

Hi, welcome to another session on customer referral programs, today we’re going to talk about the common question “Do I need analytics in my customer referral program” So, this is actually a question we don’t get asked enough, but we have too much experience with people that answered the question, we think, incorrectly, with a big no. We talked to startup companies of all sizes that built their own customer referral programs and never added in analytics.

So You Decide To Build A Referral Program In-House

The story goes something like this: The marketing team worked long and hard to get this referral program as a priority on the development queue. The development team then built a custom solution, they originally thought it would take a day, a week, it then starts to balloon as they realize there’s a lot more, as you probably know, to a customer referral program than simply some link tracking. This grows and it grows and it grows, and in 3 weeks to a month the customer referral program is built. This customer referral program gets shipped, the customers of your program are totally able to tell their friends about your product, and they’re able, in time, to get their rewards.

In-House Development Issues

The problem is that the analytics had to be cut, as it ballooned, it started to take over the time that was allotted for analytics, and then it probably took over the time allotted for another core feature, and we just had to wrap it up quickly and get it out the door. In effect, these companies have answered “No, you don’t need analytics”. The problem is, when you ask those companies “How much does your customer referral program make you? Is it worth doing?” unfortunately, most of them don’t know the answer.

Feature Gaps For Built In-House Referral Programs

At best, you could get a report generated through a database query that takes some time, and they’re not looking at it enough to actually make any decisions, and at worst, “By my gut, I’ve seen a few referrals, it must be working.” So, if you do actually go through the work of a customer referral program, you’re actually able to determine whether your program is actually making you money or not, and you’re also able to spot fraud, which is a major thing that most of us don’t think about in analytics, but if we’re not watching for fraud, chances are someone is doing it right under our noses and we don’t know about it.

Wrapping Up

The last one, if you’re a webmaster, you’re probably pretty focused on optimization, well, you can’t optimize a program that you’re not measuring. So, do you need analytics in a customer referral program? Our answer is yes, and we really recommend you do not launch a program without it. That wraps up our session on do I need analytics in my customer referral program.