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5 Refer-A-Friend Campaign Ideas That Will Help You Increase Revenue

5 Refer-A-Friend Campaign Ideas That Will Help You Increase Revenue
When it comes to growing your business, there are so many strategies to choose from. One thing to look out for is low-effort, high-impact approaches – and refer-a-friend campaigns might just be the juicy, low-hanging fruit you’re looking for. Leveraging your existing audience to increase visits, boost revenue, and ultimately grow your business is not only relatively simple to roll out, but it can also be a continuous earner for your venue, helping you thrive! 

In this article, we’ve compiled some winning refer-a-friend campaign ideas to get you on the right track.

What is a refer-a-friend campaign? 

A refer-a-friend campaign is a marketing strategy that leverages your existing customer base to attract new customers through referrals. Essentially, it turns your satisfied customers into brand ambassadors who promote your business to their friends and family. This type of campaign typically offers incentives or rewards to both the referrer and the new customers, making it a mutually beneficial arrangement. The goal is to create a cycle of referrals that continues to generate new leads.

Unlike traditional advertising, refer-a-friend campaigns build on the organic conversations that guests have about their favorite products or services. Think about how much more likely you are to watch a TV show a friend recommends compared to one that’s advertised to you on a billboard. It’s all about the personal touch, which adds a healthy dose of trust and confidence to purchasing decisions.

Refer-a-friend campaigns not only help in acquiring new customers but often enhance customer loyalty and engagement, as customers feel valued for contributing directly to the growth of a brand they enjoy.

How a typical refer-a-friend campaign works 

Let’s run through an example of how a typical refer-a-friend campaign works.

  1. Set up the campaign: Decide the rewards for both parties (referrer and the referred guest), and establish how you'll track and verify referrals.
  2. Promote the program: Inform your current customers and members about the referral program in person, through emails, social media, or your website, clearly explaining the benefits and how they can participate.
  3. Track referrals: Monitor the actions taken via the referral codes or links to ensure they meet the campaign criteria.
  4. Reward participants: Once a referral is confirmed, distribute the promised rewards to both the referrer and their friend!
  5. Evaluate and adjust: Analyze the program's performance to see what's working and what might need tweaking.

Refer-a-friend campaign ideas 

Now that we’ve covered the basics of a refer-a-friend campaign, here are some ideas that will help your efforts stand out. 

1. Tiered rewards system

Concept: Motivate your guests to become repeat referrers by implementing a rewards system that increases in value with each new guest they bring in. This way, your top evangelicals will be rewarded for all their hard work (and their lengthy contact list). 

Example: Consider a roller skating rink that offers a $10 gift card after one referral; this escalates to a 30% discount on a membership after three referrals and culminates in a free party booking after five successful referrals. This tiered system encourages ongoing participation rather than a one-time effort, so your revenue grows alongside the rewards! 

2. Membership upgrades

Concept: Memberships are a great form of recurring revenue for venues and help build a community of loyal customers. So, it only makes sense to reward your most loyal customers with something that adds value to their existing purchases! With this refer-a-friend campaign idea, try offering upgrades to members who convert others to join your membership program. 

Example: A climbing gym that offers a robust membership program can offer a month of upgraded membership benefits for every new member a current member refers. This not only rewards the referrer but also enhances the likelihood of new memberships! Talk about a win-win for the business.  

Since launching our membership program 12 months ago, we have 12,000 active members, generating $2 million in revenue.
Austin Barnes
Director of Marketing, Elevate Trampoline Parks

3. Off-peak perks

Concept: Hitting capacity at your venue is key to business growth. You want to be maximizing revenue throughout the week – not just on weekends or during seasonal peaks. To encourage visitors during your quieter times, encourage strong referral incentives to increase visitor numbers. 

Example: A mini-golf venue hits capacity on weekends but is quiet during the week. They decide to entice existing customers to visit Monday through Friday by offering food and beverages as an incentive, but only if they bring a friend. So, the venue sends emails to their database offering 2x free burger combo meals when they visit with a first-timer between 12 - 4 pm, Monday- Friday.

Did you know? Tracking who has visited your venue in the past is easy when you use digital waivers. When guests complete their waiver, you collect their data and log their visit in the system. Plus, you and your guests enjoy a streamlined check-in process with less time in lines! 

4. Party packages 

Concept: Parties are a lucrative source of revenue for venues, with an influx of guests all enjoying your attractions and celebrating special moments together. They’re also a great means of reaching new potential customers when it’s time to book their own special day. After a customer has booked a party at your venue, entice them back for another by offering discounts if they refer a friend. 

Example: A play center offers party packages that are easy to book (thanks to their party management software), so they see a lot of business from local parents. Parent A has booked a party for their kid, and it went down fantastically. The venue follows up with an email to the booker letting them know that if they refer a friend who books a party using their code, they’ll both receive a 25% discount on party packages. Pretty soon, Parents B-Z have all booked a party, and Parent A is planning to use the venue for their other child’s birthday. Now, the local parents and venue alike all enjoy the benefits! 

In two days, we received around 90-100 party bookings after switching to [ROLLER’s] progressive checkout. That's a massive number!
Jospher Nadar
IT Operations Specialist, Chipmunks Playland and Café

5. Partnership referrals 

Concept: Leverage connections with your neighbors and like-minded businesses by promoting referral networks. This type of refer-a-friend campaign will help you reach guests who may have otherwise been outside of your network and unaware of your brand. 

Example: An ice skating rink is located across the road from a popular coffee shop. Both businesses hand guests a flyer after checking them out on their POS. This flyer offers the guests a 15% discount when they visit the other business, allowing each business to take advantage of foot traffic that would have otherwise missed their venue!   

Ready to implement your refer-a-friend campaign? 

And there you have it! Whether it's roller skating rinks and coffee shops forming dynamic duos or play centers creating a party chain reaction through savvy marketing, the power of a well-crafted refer-a-friend campaign is undeniable. It's all about spreading the joy—and the deals—far and wide, turning each satisfied customer into a brand ambassador who's eager to bring their pals into the fold.

So why not give it a whirl? Craft your own clever refer-a-friend campaign, watch the magic happen, and soon, you might find that your venue becomes the talk of the town. Nothing beats the thrill of seeing new faces light up your space, all thanks to a little nudge from a friend. 

Want to keep the business growth booming? Book a demo with ROLLER and discover how our platform can enhance your venue.