My Experience with Friendbuy

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Friendbuy is a very popular referral program used by a lot of brands like Birchbox, Naturebox, and DollarShaveClub. A referral program in general is a MUST for any business looking to grow its user base. Of course, you need a good product or service and ultra happy customers that can spread the message to their friends. Additionally, referral programs like Friendbuy work well for those businesses that are looking for a high frequency of repeat buyers. I believe this is because happy customers fit the product/service into their lifestyle and its easier for them to pass along the message to friends. A once and awhile buy and/or a high ticket item may not get the same impact from Friendbuy.


Here are some over encompassing tips and observations:

  • You will definitely need a development person to handle incorporating the Friendbuy referral widget code on your website, it should be located on a stand alone page, (/referafriend), as a link on the home page, and in your electronic communication (order confirmation). The coding is not a straightforward process, atleast in my experience.
  • Friendbuy analytics (conversions, and conversion rate) are surprisingly accurate when compared to Google Analytics. A conversion rate of between 20% and 50% is ideal and totally possible (assuming your product is awesome and you have happy customers, among other things).
  • Refer a friend, Get $5 OR Give $5, Get $5, etc. Keep the heading copy simple and to the point. Furthermore, although double sided incentive is popular, (most companies do it, and apparently it works better) I didn’t see a huge difference. Test both out to see what works for you.
  • The copy and image that accompanies your referral widget in email and social media sharing plays a huge part in your conversion rate – similar to Facebook ads. Friendbuy has a built in A/B testing element so it’s good to play around with various images and copy over the first few days to see what works. Furthermore, your copy has to be enticing, just to say, we love X product may not be enough for someone to be convinced to try it out.
  • Friendbuy offers the user an option to share a personal URL (PURL), however, this is difficult to track on the back end (who shared it and who clicked on it) if you do it manually. This is only cleared up when you make the referral transactions automated through Friendbuy which costs some serious dough (not doughnuts unfortunately).
  • The most shocking thing we found from Friendbuy referrals (or referrals in general) is that the majority of people who share your product/service genuinely want to share it, the motivation is not necessarily monetary. Amazing!

What I don’t like about Friendbuy is that the templates are limited and there isn’t much customization you can do so that it stays consistent with your branding. Also, Friendbuy doesn’t allow you to remove their name even after you pay them. This makes your referral widget similar to 50 other companies out there… but I guess why re-invent the wheel.

Have you used Friendbuy? What are your thoughts and experiences like? Do you use another referral service that is better, which one?





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