Kickbooster: An easier way to manage your referral and affiliate marketing campaigns on Shopify

September 20, 2018

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A successful eCommerce store needs more than an amazing product, it also needs to get the right to get that product in front of the right people. That means you also need amazing marketing

It goes without saying that the more people that you can expose your product to, the more sales you’re going to make, and exposing it to an audience who's more likely to be interested in your product also increases the chances

However, getting your product noticed can be easier said than done.  

Store owners have access to many different tools to help increase site traffic and brand awareness, including:

  • Paid advertising
  • Posting on social media
  • Email campaigns
  • Blogging
  • Creating content 

But one thing most store owners overlook is the ability to tap into new audiences by leveraging referral and affiliate marketing.

That's where Kickbooster comes in.

In this post, we’ve broken down what you should consider when building your referral program, and how Kickbooster’s platform can help you manage it all.

Referral marketing vs. affiliate marketing

First, let’s touch on the age-old debate about referral vs. affiliate marketing.

At the end of the day, whether a social media influencer has posted about your product (affiliate) or an existing customer has shared their experience with their friends (referral), your store is getting exposure to potential new customers.

The key differences are:

  • The relationship between the referrer and referee
  • The motivation behind making the referral, and;
  • The referrers level of reach

Both referral and affiliate marketing can be leveraged simultaneously to drive traffic and sales to your store though,  so there’s no need to choose one over the other.

Here’s a quick breakdown of the differences.

Referral Marketing

Referrals are one of the most powerful and trusted forms of advertising.

Why? Because there’s already an existing relationship between the referrer and the person they’re referring. That’s just not something you can compare to in any other form of advertising!

The people that are referring their friends, family, and colleagues to your store:

  • Use and enjoy your products already, or
  • Have discovered your product and are anticipating it’s arrival at their doorstep,  and
  • Have someone in their life that they believe should consider your product

This type of referrer is ultimately motivated by the potential of filling a need for their referred friend, family member, or colleague.

Do they absolutely need to be incentivized to do so? Not always.

However, inviting them to participate in your referral program is a way of:

  1. REMINDING them to make the referral
  2. REWARDING them for their efforts, and thanking them for their loyalty!

Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is another powerful form of advertising, primarily due to the number of outlets out there and their level of reach.

When we talk about Affiliates, we’re referring to anything from:

  • Influencers
  • Bloggers
  • YouTubers
  • Deal sites
  • Professional marketers
  • And more...

These outlets generally don't know the referred customer personally, but have a following of people that they can market to.

The motivation behind referring their audience falls under 2 categories.

1. The content is relevant to their audience

Publishers are always on the hunt for new content.

Whether it be a blog, a deals site, or a YouTube channel, there is a theme to their content that their targeted audience relies on. Your product may fit perfectly within that theme, which ultimately helps to keep their audience engaged.

2. Financial

Something people often overlook is that these sites and individuals have worked very hard to build and maintain their audience.  If you want to access that audience for your own benefit, approaching them with an incentive can go a long way.


How to manage your referrals

Whether your attempting to incentivize your customers or publishers to refer people to your store, managing referrals can turn into a big headache without the right tools in place.

To run a well-organized referral program, you need to be able to:

  • Track when a referred sale is made,
  • Keep track of the different offers you’ve made to different affiliates,
  • Validate that the referral was truly successful (E.g. not returned, or cancelled)
  • Deliver the relevant rewards to the relevant referrers

Another thing that is often overlooked is the ability to provide transparency to your affiliates.

Providing an affiliate with a link to use in their article isn’t always enough to ease their mind that they’ll be remunerated for all of their referrals.  Your affiliates should also be able to monitor their own clicks, sales, and commissions.

A lot of product creators will attempt to manage their referral and affiliate marketing through spreadsheets and documents, but this can get out of hand quickly.


Using Kickbooster to manage your campaigns

Kickbooster helps merchants run and manage their affiliate, referral, and influencer programs all in one integrated platform.  You can forget about the spreadsheets, tracking links, and all the stress!

You can focus on building relationships with brand ambassadors, while we take care of the tracking, validating, reporting, and commission management.  

Here are just a few of the key benefits you'll get when you start using Kickbooster.

Automatically turn your customers into your ambassadors

Or as we like to call them, “Boosters.”

Kickbooster's post-purchase pop-up feature allows you to automatically invite your customers to participate in your referral program after completing their order on your Shopify store.

Kickbooster pop-up

The best part about this feature is that it takes no time to get up and running.

Once installed, it pretty much runs itself. Think of the post-purchase pop-up feature as a ‘set it and forget it’ aspect of your eCommerce store.

Easily design an affiliate sign-up page to match your brand

Kickbooster allows you to easily design a landing page to handle your affiliate registrations.

Kickbooster affiliate Sign-up page

When directing potential affiliates to this page, all they need to do is click a single button to register for your program.

Kickbooster automatically generates their unique tracking link and provides them access to their very own dashboard where they can monitor their clicks, referred sales, and commissions.

Offer multiple rewards

Kickbooster let’s you design multiple referral programs under one account.

Why is this a big deal?

Well, maybe you’d like to offer your customers a 10% off reward for referring their friends. On top of that, maybe you’d also like to offer high-traffic publishers a 15% reward for writing an article on their site and posting about it on their social media.

You can seamlessly manage both offers inside Kickbooster without having to create multiple accounts!

Let Kickbooster take care of your commission payouts

One of the biggest headaches when attempting to manage your referral program manually is the handling of your commission payouts.

But don’t worry, Kickbooster takes care of all of that for you as well.

Track your performance

Your Kickbooster dashboard allows you to keep a pulse of how your referral program is performing. No need to worry about calculating commissions and managing lists of referrers.

Kickbooster dashboard

Tap into an existing network of Affiliates

As an added bonus for Shopify stores that use Kickbooster’s referral marketing tool, you'll have the ability to publish your referral offer to Kickbooster’s Marketplace.

Kickbooster Marketplace

By adding your campaign to the Marketplace, your store will be visible to our rapidly-growing network of Boosters who can choose to register and help you get the word out!

Pay commission based on results

One of the many benefits of using the Affiliate marketing approach is that it’s solely performance based.

Your affiliates are only rewarded a commission for delivering actual results, allowing you to easily measure the ROI of your program.

As a new store, allocating advertising expenses and making sure you’re getting good bang for your buck can be a daunting task. By using an affiliate model to reach new customers, you’re able to remove much of the associated risk from the situation.


Ready to get started?

If this sounds like a strategy you’d like to explore, click here to start setting up your referral program on Kickbooster.

If you get stuck along the way, our Merchant Success team would be happy to answer any questions you have through our live-chat.

For more tips on how to run a successful referral program for your Shopify store, be sure to check out our Best Practices guide.

Hopefully this info helps you with a few quick and easy ways to improve the performance of your eCommerce store.


Have you used a referral or affiliate program in the past? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

Vanessa Armstrong

Written by Vanessa Armstrong

Vanessa is a Product Manager at Bold, working on the Kickbooster team to help entrepreneurs take full advantage of their communities. She loves running 10ks and has one of the office's cutest dogs.

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