Email Widely Used In B2B Customer Referrals

Email is a key component in B2B customer-referral programs, according to “The State Of Business Customer Referral Programs,” a report put out today by Amplifinity.

Last year, email was used in 72.7% of the referral programs studied, making it second only to lead forms, in which the customer fills out contact information. That's utilized in 77% of the programs. Lead forms and email were often deployed in combination.

However, the picture was different in terms of actual referrals made.

Social media was first, accounting for 29% of the leads generated last year. Email was next, driving 24%. Lead forms were third, with 23%.

In addition, email ranked third in effectiveness. Verbal referrals were deemed successful 32% of the time in 2016, and lead forms in 19% of the cases. Email received a 17% rating, followed by print card with 12%.

The study shows that 13% of referrals resulted in conversions. But that figure rose to 30% when salespeople were involved.



Amplifinity also reported these findings:  

  • In 2016, the average number of customers enrolled in a business customer-referral program was 5,850. Of these, an average of 2,106 made referrals.
  • Facebook was offered in 50.5% of the referral programs, Twitter in 27.3% and Linkedin in 13.6%. termed surprising. 
  • 61% of customers make one referral, 34% make two to 10 and 5% make 11 or more.
  • 22% of the overall leads were submitted by 1% of the referring customers. However, these resulted in a mere 1% conversion rate. The rate was 6% for the top 10% of customers by referral volume.  
  • Gift cards accounted for 52% of program rewards last year. Checks were second, at 29%. Bill credits were third, with 0.5%, tied with merchandise next at 9.5%.
  • The average reward amount was $111, and the most successful reward value was between $41 an $100. But firms are more likely to achieve a 13% conversion rate with the higher figure. Amplifinity urges clients not to skimp on rewards.

For this report, Amplifinity analyzed data from customer-referral programs run on the firm’s referral platform. Data analysis was performed by Brian Schmotzer, a third-party contractor.

Amplifinity offers these tips for firms running B2B referral programs:

  • Emails should be personalized and have strong calls to action.
  • Referrals must be based on one-to-on interactions.
  • Running referrals as a channel increases conversions.
  • Advocates must be engaged to boost referral activities.
  • Make rewards commensurate with customer involvement.
  • Automate your customer referral channel.












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