Over the last few years, referral plugins have become a popular marketing tool for online stores. They use the power of ‘word-of-mouth’ to help you acquire new customers, keep the existing ones engaged, and drive business growth.
The reason why referral plugins are so popular is that people tend to trust recommendations that come from their friends and family. According to Nielsen, a global leader in audience measurement, data, and analytics, a whopping 92% of consumers worldwide trust their friends and family more than any other form of advertising. So it’s safe to say that you can benefit from a quality referral plugin.
In this article, we will explore 10 must-have features to look for in a WooComerce referral plugin. Whether you are starting a new referral program or just looking for ways to improve an existing one, these features will help you make an informed decision and show you how to tap into the power of word-of-mouth marketing.
Table of Contents
Seamless onboarding process
The onboarding process is one of the key deciding factors in whether a store owner will use a referral plugin or not. From a store owner’s perspective, having a seamless onboarding process means they will not have to spend too much time and resources afterward.
A seamless onboarding process usually implies the following:
- lower technical barrier
- quick implementation
- reduced support requests
- positive user experience
A quality plugin simplifies the installation, offers a good user experience, and lets you get the program up and running sooner without needing to reach out to support for help.
Bonus tip: try to find a plugin that allows you to make program adjustments during onboarding, as this makes it easier to get the program going right away and fine-tune the details later.
Customizable referral plugin
Every referral plugin should have one thing in common – it should be easily customizable. However, not all referral plugins are the same. Some come with basic customization settings, while others may offer more. You should look for plugins that can be tailored to the specific needs of your business.
A customizable referral program should allow you to do the following:
- integrate the referral program with your brand
- define rewards that suit your business model
- fixed discounts, percentage discounts, exclusive offers, etc.
- customize your referral channels
- direct referral link, social media shares, or email referrals
In general, a customizable referral program allows you to create a stronger sense of community around the brand, which in turn helps them stand out from competitors.
Bonus tip: look for plugins that offer an out-of-the-box landing page that explains the rules of a referral program – this feature will help you get everything up and running faster.
Multiple referral methods
Having a referral program that offers multiple referral methods is very important as it helps you attract different types of customers. It also allows you to reach a wider audience by catering to customer preferences.
A quality referral plugin should offer the following referral methods:
- direct referral link
- social media referrals
- email referrals
With different referral methods, you can enhance your sharing opportunities, improve conversion rates, and adapt to customer preferences.
Bonus tip: anything less than the above usually means that you can’t adapt to the everchanging trends. Look for complete referral plugin solutions to help future-proof the program and maintain a competitive advantage.
An intuitive and seamless user experience distinguishes one referral plugin from another. Without a clean and easy-to-understand dashboard, navigating through the referral program can become tedious very fast.
A referral plugin dashboard should be the control center that provides instant access to critical data allowing you to quickly identify issues or potential areas for improvement.
For example, you should be able to do the following with your dashboard:
- track referral activities
- check the real-time performance insights
- make data-driven decisions
- quickly fine-tune the program
Ultimately, a complex and confusing dashboard will prevent you from focusing on other, more important aspects of the business.
Bonus tip: some referral plugins offer dashboards with custom UI, which are often cluttered with unnecessary information. Look for referral plugins that focus on user experience and emphasize essential features in a clean and organized way.
Automated referral tracking
An automated referral tracking system can bring several benefits to you. It eliminates manual tracking, streamlines the process, enhances the overall user experience, and ensures accurate tracking of referrals. This accuracy helps reduce any chances of disputes during reward distribution.
Automated referral tracking also provides valuable insight into the performance of the referral program. You can analyze the data to determine which referral methods work best and further optimize the program to maximize its impact.
Bonus tip: a good referral plugin with an automated referral tracking system will save you a lot of time and eliminate any potential human errors.
Automated reward distribution
Automated reward distribution offers a streamlined and efficient way to manage rewards. It helps you save time, reduce errors, and get valuable insight into the program’s performance.
But the more important benefits lie with customer retention and increased referral conversion rates. An automated reward distribution system creates positive customer experiences and increases retention rates. It also encourages new customers to convert and become loyal customers.
Bonus tip: you can use automated reward distribution to maintain enthusiasm among customers, as well as their commitment to referring others.
Real-time reporting and analytics
There are many ways you can ensure the success of your referral program, and real-time reporting and analytics are one of them. These features allow you to monitor the program’s performance as it unfolds.
Real-time reporting and analytics let you track customer behavior and revenue generated by the program, which helps them make data-driven decisions to optimize the referral program and drive growth for better program results.
Bonus tip: you can use real-time reporting and analytics to measure the ROI of your referral program and assess its profitability.
Customizable and automated emails
Just like automated referral tracking and reward distribution, a quality referral plugin should have customizable and automated emails. Automation features help streamline the referral program, save time, and ensure consistent communication with customers.
To maintain a close and personal relationship with customers, you should be able to customize your referral program communication. Customizable emails allow them to create personalized and visually appealing content that has the potential to increase engagement and drive higher conversion rates.
Bonus tip: to maximize the effectiveness of the referral program, you should use email customization to showcase your brand identity and reinforce your brand messaging. Research shows that 68% of consumers are more likely to join a customer loyalty program for brands they like.
Email marketing services integration
Combining email marketing services with referral programs creates a powerful tool that allows you to tap into the power of email referral marketing. It also allows them to create a more personal connection with customers without investing too much time and effort.
You can use email marketing services to maximize customer engagement, create effective word-of-mouth marketing, and increase customer acquisition and retention.
Fraud detection system
The main component of every referral plugin is a robust fraud detection system. By implementing a fraud detection system, you aim to achieve the following:
- protect the referral program
- prevent revenue loss
- maintain program trust
- enhance program efficiency
A fraud detection system should also help you prevent revenue loss by providing real-time monitoring – this allows them to quickly address any fraudulent activity.
Bonus tip: look for referral plugins that offer customizable fraud detection rules as they can be set up according to your specific business needs.
Few more things to consider
When researching for a suitable Referal plugin make sure to check whether the plugin is compatible with the latest version of WooCommerce. Additionally, make sure that the plugin is regularly updated – major updates usually happen a few times a year, whereas minor updates happen as needed.
Another thing you should pay attention to is support & documentation. Quality plugins offer support with purchase (or subscription) and have a good track rate with resolved support questions so make sure to check the support forum on the WordPress repository.
To wrap things up
With multiple solutions available in the market, finding the right referral plugin for your store may not be an easy task. Nevertheless, a referral program can be highly beneficial for your store, so it’s worth investing the time to find the right solution.
We have listed 10 must-have features we believe all WooCommerce referral plugins should have, but you should make sure to carefully evaluate all plugin features and align them with your business goals before making the final decision.