Referral Marketing

4 Tips & Tricks for Your Mobile Referral Program

Running a strong, ongoing referral program on both your mobile site and in your mobile app is key to growing your business.

Mobile technology has changed the way marketers think about web traffic. With mobile devices quickly becoming the largest website traffic source, referral marketers need to have high-performing mobile websites and mobile applications.

The mobile space now makes up the majority of global website traffic at 52.5%. Also, 95% of the U.S. population owns a cellphone, with 77% of those people owning a smartphone. With people spending over four hours on their phone a day, marketers have a great chance to reach their customers on their phones.

Mobile web traffic is predicted to increase ten times by 2022

Although mobile traffic is important to consider, we also must not underestimate mobile applications. Apps are essential because they function as a major part of your business. Here are several types of business models your mobile app can employ:

  • Freemium: free usage or limited functionality of the app unless users purchase the full version.
  • Sponsorship/Advertising: users have to see ads to use the app.
  • Paid Apps: users pay a flat fee to download the app.
  • Subscription: users pay a recurring subscription fee to maintain their access to the app.

In the digital world, there is an app for everything. As a result, there are an estimated 11,469,000 million mobile apps on Google Play, Apple, Windows, and Amazon Stores. In 2017, Statista predicted there would be a total of 197 billion mobile application downloads. In reality, Statista underestimated that in 2018, people worldwide downloaded 205.4 billion apps.  

The mobile app industry seems large, but when you look at consumer consumption and engagement, it’s clear why it is a very competitive space. Despite the millions of apps on the market, the reality is that people only use a select few on a daily basis.

On average, people use the same 9 apps each day and a total of 30 apps every month

Moreover, mobile apps often compete with mobile websites. Mobile sites get much more traffic in comparison to native apps.

Running a strong, ongoing referral program on both your mobile site and in your mobile app is key to growing your business. It’s free to promote on your own products and services. Therefore, make sure your referral program is easily visible everywhere possible. If you have already implemented a referral platform, some of these technologies automatically create a mobile version of every one of your refer-a-friend campaigns within your program. Mobile referral app programs are standard and recommended as people often refer brands and products when they’re already in a conversation. Moreover, people often use their mobile devices to share links with their friends. At the same time, you should remember that people will refer your brand to their friends and relatives only if you give them something valuable in return.

Thanks to its double-sided referral program, Airbnb is now valued at over $25 billion. They offered both referrers and referred friends $25 travel credits when a new member completed the first trip. It’s important to note that Airbnb gave credits only for new users. This strategy saved them from wasting their money on discounts for existing users. It has been a tremendous success. Airbnb has doubled their user base since 2012.

Mobile referral promotion placements are no different from regular site referral promotions. The user flow can be exactly the same, but you should consider optimizing your page load time, referral user flow, and copy to ensure a smooth mobile experience.

1. Reduce Your Page Load Time

People are impatient and don’t like to wait. Nothing is more frustrating to a user than watching a loading spinner on a website. Visitors expect your site to load in less than three seconds, that’s only 400 milliseconds. Research suggests that if pages take longer to load, people are more likely to lose interest in what you have to offer. In the blink of an eye, you could lose many of your customers. The faster your site loads, the better it is for your business.

Google’s algorithm takes site speed into account when it indexes and ranks your website. One of the simplest ways to improve your site speed is to compress your images. Visuals and pictures are vital to an attractive and intriguing website. However, if they slow down your load time, they are ultimately hurting your business.

So use sites, like, that reduce your file size without compromising your image quality. The smaller the file, the faster Google can crawl your page too!

If you’re concerned about your page load time, put your mobile site to the test. Think With Google will test how mobile-friendly your site is and provide you with scores based on mobile formatting and load time.

2. Shorten the Mobile User Experience

With mobile, you can consider consolidating your referral program user flow. A common way to do this is to merge the advocate offer and share pages. By reducing your customer’s clicks, you make it much easier for your advocates to share your offer and for their friends to sign up to use your product. This reduces the barrier to entry and ultimately increases customers from your referral channel.

3. Use Better Referral Copy

With your users’ referral experience in mind, you want to be thoughtful about your copy in every step of the user flow. Utilizing clear, concise words to detail and promote your referral program is always better for the consumer, especially on mobile. The more words you use to describe your program, the more time your users will spend scrolling down the page on their phones. This creates an annoyance for potential new customers, and you want to do all you can to provide a smooth and seamless experience for your advocates.


4. Put Referrals In Your Mobile App

Referral marketing shouldn’t only be on your mobile site, but also in your mobile app. Apps offer quick access to your favorite games, news outlets, social media accounts, and more. Make full use of your mobile app by adding promotional referral pop-ups and screens.

In-app referral marketing programs follow the same process as they would on your website. Instead of an offer only appearing on your site, the reward would display on your mobile app menu or as a pop-up or floating call-to-action (CTA). For example, on your commute to work, as you select an article in your New York Times app, you see an offer that says, “Refer a friend to The New York Times & get one month free.” Now, through referral marketing, you’re incentivizing your current users to increase your app’s downloads and subscribers.

Moreover, mobile app users are great potential brand advocates because they frequently use your app and deem your products or services important enough to download and possibly pay for your app.

Whether you’re launching a referral marketing program on your mobile site or through your app, you need to consider ease of use. Remember to reduce your load time, use clear and concise copy, and streamline your referral marketing user flow.

Similar posts

Get notified on referral marketing insights

Be the first to know about new Referral Marketing insights from eCommerce industry leaders to build or refine your growth strategy.