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Sustainable marketing and trust building go hand-in-hand.

  • Gaining customers' trust isn't easy.

Smart marketers learn about customers and find ways to convert them into loyal advocates who return to ISCA's events, services and products, again and again. 

  • It helps if the ISCA brand awareness is high.
  • ISCA can win people's hearts and attention. 
  • Each time a new group of customers is targeted, start all over again. 
The buyers’ brain is wired to choose a familiar brand over any other, even if the choice is irrational.

Referral marketing is a way to pre-select and attract the right, new clients using our existing customer base as brand advocates.

  • Referral marketing is a manageable and customer-centric marketing channel that uses incentivized referral offers to encourage your existing customers to become brand advocates and win more customers. 
  • Brand advocates share referral links with their friends, family, and network.
  • The end goal of a referral marketing strategy is to turn referrals into a strategic, incremental, and dependable customer acquisition channel that builds our business in an authentic way.

Referral campaigns can be with one-sided incentives.

  1. The ISCA online store sells products.
  2. Some are loyal ISCA customers are selected and ISCA sends them a referral offer.
  3. Loyal customers can get a special promo code that gives their friends a savings, for example: $10 off their first order.
  4. Whenever someone asks about something that ISCA provides, the loyal customers can tell them about the ISCA store and provide a discount for everyone who comes through his or her referral link.
  5. New customers that use the promo code know the loyal lead. They trust the recommendation.
  6. Even better, they're now telling all their friends about ISCA and sharing their personal referral links. In due time, ISCA has an expanding web of engaged customers.

Getting referred to is not the same as referral marketing.

  • Word-of-mouth spreads in a chaotic manner and cannot be consistently influenced nor predicted.
  • Referrals, however, can transform word-of-mouth into a solid customer acquisition strategy.

With referral campaigns, ISCA drives its advocates and boosts their friends' behavior.

  • ISCA does referral marketing when it tracks and influences the performance of an advocate's sharing.

A referral strategy enables ISCA to affect how many of ISCA's customers can become brand ambassadors, how often they share ISCA’s referral offers, and how many of their friends become new clients. Let's build relationships in a way that benefits both ISCA and friends of ISCA.

Referral marketing and affiliate marketing.

  1. Offer shopper rewards for referring a friend.
  2. Friend shops, buys and gets reward.
  3. Original advocate gets reward and shops again.
  4. Everybody wins: ISCA, advocate and friend.

While both these types of marketing rely on other people promoting a brand, affiliates are different from brand advocates.

  • Affiliates might not be ISCA customers.
  • Affiliates are often marketing professionals.
  • Affiliates may not have a personal connection to the target audience.
  • Affiliates might drive low-quality leads to our website.
  • With affiliates, there is little control over the content they associate with ISCA’s brand.
  • Referral programs can support ISCA’s strategy, when implemented and managed effectively.
  • Since referral marketing is personal, it has higher conversion rates than other customer acquisition programs.

The ROI with referral campaigns can out perform comparable paid advertising and affiliate marketing campaigns.

ISCA’s refer-a-friend campaigns can support outreach and help to:

  • acquire new customers,
  • increase repurchase rates, and
  • launch new products.

Referral relationships, systematically developed into brand advocates, can provide new customers through thoughtful, strategic management.

ISCA should integrate referral marketing into its existing marketing strategy in an incremental way.

Let’s track the changes in customer behavior when given a quantifiable way to share ISCA’s products.

ISCA Brand Advocates

Advocates are the users who share an ISCA referral offer with their network.

The most natural targets for brand advocates are:

  • Clients who have made purchases.
  • Registered Users.
  • Website Visitors.

It is tempting to make the ISCA referral offer available to as many people as possible, but, a gate on the offer with the need for a registration / subscription and completed purchase can verify users and lower headaches.

Advocacy rate is how many people act upon and share your offer after viewing it.

The best ways to get better advocacy rates are to test different incentives and offer placements. Launching different test campaigns is labor intensive, but worth it, especially when we leverage the capacity of our software tools.

Consider how many times:

  • every advocate shares the offer,
  • the average number of shares,
  • the channel of each share, and
  • conversion rates by channel.
  • Consider the offer and page designs.
  • Then, ISCA can point advocates towards the most effective share channels.

Friends are the people who receive invites to join your referral program from brand advocates.

Friends represent the middle and bottom parts of the referral marketing funnel.

To improve performance with friends, optimizing the following:

  • Invite delivery channels. Find the channels with highest friend conversion levels.
  • Custom invite copy. Choose messages that drive the best open rates and.


  • Click Through Rates show many friends click on the links.
  • Conversion are the percentage of friends who become customers

Referral campaigns optimize each step of the funnel and maximize the return on each and every offer.

  • Use A/B testing for each step of the funnel to optimize the campaign.
  • Gamify the referral experience by offering customers a choice of rewards and signup options.
  • Once a referred friend arrived to claim their discount, they were presented with a landing page. When this page included a message of a limited-time offer, expect more site visits from these referred friends.

Types of referral campaigns.

  1. One-sided offer rewards only for advocates or only for friends.
  2. Double-sided referral programs reward both advocates and friends. The friend reward can be bigger than that of the advocate's reward.
  3. Burst campaigns are referrals with limited-time offers and usually bigger rewards that can run once a quarter for no longer than a week. Burst campaigns, followed by blast promo activities, help activate customers who have not yet joined the ISCA referral program, and motivate ISCA’s advocates to send out more invites.

Incentives are the rewards ISCA offers to the participants in the ISCA referral program.

  • Free products,
  • Store credits.
Discounts Incentives often start with rewards that equal 20% of the average order value.


Referral programs can create a ripple effect; one customer refers to another, and our marketing campaign becomes a self-replicating user acquisition machine.

Contrary to common conceptions, a referral campaign doesn't need to have a sky-high advocacy rates to yield significant revenue gains.

  • The top 1-percent of active brand advocates generate on average up to 20 of referral revenue. 
  • Up to 15% of sales happen through your top 10 advocates.

Gamification, Leaderboard

Leaderboard campaigns and advocate dashboards are a great way to recognize the most involved sharers and encourage them to be even more active with gamification techniques.

  • The customer acquisition cost for referral marketing is on average up to 40% lower than paid advertising.
  • Do A/B testing.

Get to Know Your Customers

When launching a referral marketing strategy, look at your target audience.

Define two different target audiences:

  • ISCA’s brand ambassadors, and
  • their friends.

It's likely that these groups have similar profiles and value, but have different approaches for each.

  1. Identify and segment the most loyal customers.
  2. Learn as much as you can about their buying patterns.
  3. Try to find and break down the feedback they've given about our service.
  4. Identify how the ISCA referral program can complement their needs.
  5. Create a buyers profile, fill in their personality, values, and how they communicate with their friends, family, and network.

Perhaps ISCA could start a PRO program as a way to acknowledge the influencers who advocate for the brand within their niches.

Marketing Team Roles

ISCA needs people to be dedicated to managing referrals:

  • Manage the campaigns and adjusting tactics if something doesn't turn out as expected.
  • Develop digital tools as an architect of backend and frontend, and perhaps apps.
  • Study data of customers behaviors and make reports on campaigns performance, and interpret the data.
  • Marketer, Copywriter, Designers for layouts and A/B testing.
  • Support leaderboard campaigns and loyalty programs.
  • Does ISCA have the capacity to support multiple campaigns at once?
  • Can ISCA offer different types of incentives?
  • A/B testing tools that don't require involving designers and developers for launching
  • Dedication to data-driven approaches

Fraud in referral marketing includes: account cycling and self-referrals.

  • Account cycling - users cancel their subscription and register new accounts as soon as their offer runs out; most common with subscription services.
  • Self-referrals — users create multiple fake accounts to take advantage of your offer without actually sharing with new people.
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