8 Questions to Ask When Evaluating Referral Software

— May 19, 2017

If you’re shopping for referral software and are a bit lost on how to vet a vendor, you’re in luck, we’re here to help! Adding a new technology to your current marketing stack can be an overwhelming process, even for a seasoned marketer. With the digital landscape changing so quickly and new marketing technologies constantly emerging, what are the key questions to ask when it comes to referral marketing?

We’ve put together a list of key questions to ask during the vetting process because asking the right questions helps you select the best software for your brand’s specific needs.

1. How do I run multiple programs (with unique messaging and rewards) at one time?

You want to ensure that an important feature of the software, like the ability to run multiple simultaneous programs, is included. But you also want to ask how this is done in the software to ensure that automating a program is a relatively simple and smooth user experience. Since this is the core of referral software, it’s a key question to ask.

2. How can I make changes to my programs? Who is involved?

So you know the software can run multiple programs. Great! But what happens when you need to make changes to these programs? Is it a drawn-out process within the system? Can only certain users do this? Does a system administrator have to do it? Can an end-user do it? What about making changes to programs that are currently running? These are all valid questions that should be asked. Vetting vendors by asking for the specifics of program automation will help you hone in on what software best delivers in speed, usability, and features.

3. How do I make changes to my sharing experiences for users?

Similar to making changes to programs, you want to ask vendors how you’re able to change sharing experiences. A critical component of programs, this should be a no-brainer feature included in a software’s feature set. From mobile to social, it should also be user-friendly and simple.

4. Is there complete white-labeling? What do your share links look like?

Opportunities for white-labeling are abound if the software provides it. Ask about their share links to know if the software they’re selling you contains this component.

5. What does their API documentation look like?

For interoperability with your other systems, it’s critical that the software you are vetting is accompanied by clean, easy to ingest, and thorough API documentation. It’s also helpful for any future accompanying systems that you may have.

6. What happens when someone clears the cookies on their device or cookies aren’t allowed? What happens when someone clicks a link in one browser but converts in another?

Okay this is technically two questions, but it’s critical to ask your potential vendors with questions that address common and unique user scenarios. It’s important to know how the software handles these scenarios, especially ones that may present an “alternative path” to a planned automated program, such as when a user disables cookies or converts in a non-referred browser. You want to make sure that users are still being captured and their referrals are being served regardless of common actions that they might take.

7. How can I see how a certain segment of customers is performing over another?

Performance metrics are everything. You want to know that you can define segments and compare them. Referral software should come with amped up metrics and, hopefully, analytics. It goes a long way in saving you time and increasing the speed and accuracy of reporting.

8. What specific metrics does the Success team track?

Knowing how a software company evaluates your happiness and satisfaction gives you keen insight into how they’re performing. They should have metrics that they use internally to evaluate their clients. Having so means that they care about how their software affects you and your business.

Asking the right questions can help you make the right choices. Vet your vendors properly, and soon your brand will be on its way to referral marketing success! To learn everything you need to remove the uncertainty of referrals and create a fully scalable referral marketing program that significantly increases your bottom line, download our eBook, “More Referrals, Less Hassle” by clicking the button below.


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