1. Create a sense of exclusivity.You want your subscribers to feel special, right? Make them happy to be a valued member of your “club” by presenting your campaign as an exclusive offer that’s just for them … and their select friends and family, of course. Emphasize that the offer is only valid for friends and family of your brand and your email subscribers. Use words that make the offer sound limited and special to your audience.
2. Use a compelling offer.Don’t roll out a piddly incentive for this type of campaign – it needs to be strong enough to encourage your subscribers not only to shop, but to share as well. And it also needs to encourage those that were forwarded the message to sign up for more great deals from your brand. Aim for something above your normal threshold. If 15% is the best incentive you typically offer, try to kick it up to at least 20-25% off.
3. Include a strong call to action to share the message.This is probably the area where I see most retailers miss the mark and forego the opportunity to make this campaign do double duty. A lot of companies will mention that you should share, but they don’t use a strong enough call to action or provide actionable buttons to prompt the subscriber. Link to your forward-to-a-friend form and include Share With Your Network links for those that would rather go social.
4. Include a link to sign up for those that receive the forwarded message.This is another area where a lot of retailers miss an opportunity. When a friend or family member receives this offer from a subscriber, they should be able to easily opt in to your email program. Since the same message goes to both the subscriber and the referred friend, we don’t necessarily want this to be the main CTA, but it should certainly be secondary, or at the very least, a prominent feature within the email template itself.
5. Follow standard best practices.
Even if you typically go for one big image, think twice about that for a friends and family campaign. You have to keep in mind that one of the goals is for people that are not a part of your program to receive this message; therefore, they might end up with a version with images disabled. Make sure they don’t have to work to see the content by employing a balanced text-to-image ratio and including all offer details and CTAs in HTML text instead of within the image. Here is one of my favorite examples of a friends and family campaign. It really hits on all of the most important points from my checklist above. It was launched during the holiday season but could do just as well with different creative at another time of year. The only thing it could use is a link to sign up for those that receive the message as a forward. Other than that, this message is a shining example of what a friends and family campaign is all about!
What do you think? Is a friends and family campaign a good fit for your brand? Have you tried a campaign like this in the past?