How Kencko increased customer acquisition by 8% in 3 months through Referral Engineering®
Since taking the market by storm in 2018, it had acquired most of its customers through Facebook and Google – but, in the wake of iOS changes, this was no longer a sustainable approach.
Fluctuating returns through paid social and search were making it increasingly difficult to forecast growth and budget customer acquisition costs.
“We needed a reliable channel that would bring in new members,” says Maggie Harriman, Content & Social Marketing Manager at kencko. "One we could test and iterate quickly."
kencko already had an in-house referral programme but, in Maggie’s words, it “didn’t make a lot of sense”.
“Our in-house programme wasn’t user-friendly,” she recalls. “It didn’t invite members to refer at checkout or in other obvious places, and there was zero capability for experimentation.”
Four years after running it in-house, referral accounted for very limited new customer acquisition. Within just three months of replacing it with Mention Me's Referral Engineering®, it accounted for 8%. It is, to quote Maggie, “amazing”.
“I have absolutely no regrets about turning off our in-house referral programme,” she confirms. “Our referral experience is now so much better and user-friendly, and we can optimize it. The numbers speak for themselves.”
Mention Me and Klaviyo integration drives 4x higher click rate on referral reminder emails*
*Compared to industry average
Within three months of switching from in-house to Mention Me, we were acquiring 8% of customers through referral. It was undoubtedly the right decision.
Among these numbers are kencko’s strong share and purchase rates. An overwhelming 66% of customers share the brand with friends; an impressive 22% of these referrals convert into new customers.
As kencko continues to ramp up its referral programme, testing plays a crucial role in optimizing performance.
Within three months, it's run three tests experimenting with everything from incentives to messaging, design and copy.
“It’s been interesting validating our assumptions,” says Maggie. “I was surprised by how much a $20 discount outperformed 20%, for example. The dollar discount became a clear winner almost right away, converting 21% more referrals into new customers. That was just our first test, and it’s a learning we’re already applying to other marketing campaigns.”
66% of customers share kencko with friends
Some of kencko's experiments so far...:
As well as learning about customers, kencko’s strategic programme optimization is increasing its return-on-investment (ROI).
“We pay the license fee, then the rest is our money to make,” says Maggie. “Referral already offers a very high profit margin, and we're optimizing our programme to make it even higher.”
When it comes to running these tests, the platform makes it easy for kencko to keep up its fast pace.
Based on strategic guidance from Mention Me’s Client team, Maggie and her colleagues regularly update campaigns and run tests in the platform themselves.
“I find the platform very easy to use,” says Maggie. “I can set up experiments, make copy changes, mark up comments for Mention Me to action… it’s a seamless user experience. We regularly get tests up and running within a week.”
Serving a targeted customer journey
To further drive up those profit margins, kencko has integrated Mention Me with its email service provider Klaviyo. This means the brand automatically sends highly targeted emails to customers, reminding them to introduce more friends and claim their referral rewards.
“The Mention Me and Klaviyo integration is a really great feature,” says Maggie.
“Rather than entering every referrer and referee into a generic email flow, we now automatically send targeted emails triggered by specific actions. That means every message is highly relevant to the recipient and their stage in the customer journey."
Within two weeks of integrating referral with Klaviyo, kencko's email open rate was 3x higher than the industry average. Its click rate was 4x higher.
"The integration is positively impacting both customer acquisition and retention," Maggie confirms.
The Mention Me and Klaviyo integration is a great feature. Automatically sending targeted referral reminder emails is positively impacting both acquisition and retention.
Three months in, kencko’s referral programme is providing a strong foundation for growth. The team intends to build on this through further optimization that enhances the customer experience.
That includes making it even easier for customers to share kencko with friends, promoting its referral programme more widely through channels such as email
“I’m always looking for new ways to surprise and delight our customers. Referral is a great way to do that,” concludes Maggie.
“Our referral performance has skyrocketed over the past couple of months. We feel very confident about referral as a channel for driving sustainable growth.”
Referral accounts for 8% of new customer acquisition*
* Within three months of launch
Our referral performance has skyrocketed over the past couple of months. We feel very confident about referral as a sustainable growth channel.