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  • The Hack 

    Explain How Your Referral Program Works

  • AARRR stage


  • Growth Problem

    How to the Decrease the Anxiety of Inviting a Friend


The unknown. We are psychologically designed to fear it. To avoid it.

Because the unknown is a scary place. And our brains are hard-wired to save ourselves from the tyranny of not knowing.

Because, to our brains, the unknown is as bad as death itself.

A good lesson to take out of this for any growth hacking endeavor is to do your best to remove your users’ fear of the unknown.

Whether it’s your landing page or drip campaign or Facebook ad, the more you can remove the anxiety of not knowing what’s ‘around the corner’, the more likely users are to comply with your requests.

Don’t get us wrong, the element of surprise is necessary in marketing.

But when it comes to actions that involve a high degree of implicit trust, such as providing credit card details or – yes – asking a friend to use your app, surprises are best left out of the picture.

Here’s how to increase your referral rate by ditching the element of surprise.

Just Hack It:

  • Many referral schemes ask the user to click on a magical ‘Refer to Friend’ button without providing any context as to what may actually happen behind the scenes
  • With all of the hacking (the criminal kind) scandals that are a daily fixture of the evening news, most people are wary of clicking on ‘magic’ buttons of any sort. Especially, if it can potentially harm their reputation with friends
  • As you can see, asking someone to refer your as-yet-unproven app to a friend is actually a pretty tall order. Especially, if your explanation of how the process works starts and ends with a one-line sentence
  • This is not good enough! You need to make things X-ray clear when explaining your referral scheme:
    • Provide a high-level overview of what’s involved
    • Explain the invite mechanics and show the message(s) that will be sent
    • Tell them how they’ll be rewarded as a result
  • Do this and your referral scheme will be a cut above the rest leading you to – you guessed it – many more referrals
  • Demystify the unknown and reap the rewards.

Source or Inspiration:

3 of the Best SaaS Customer Referral Program Examples

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