How to Get Referrals: The Hello Fresh Example

Last Father’s Day, I was out of gift ideas for my husband. His birthday is also in June so that particular holiday I always have a tough time. I opted to get him a Try the World subscription. This is a subscription service that sends you foods from a different country (think Argentina, Japan, Spain) with recipes and a cultural guide.

After a few months, Try the World sent something new in our subscription box: an invitation for friends to sign up to get the Japan box for free. I instantly had friends fighting for the chance to try something FOR FREE.

At the same time, I kept debating trying Hello Fresh or one of their competitors. Hello Fresh stayed top of mind because I kept getting coupons for two free meals. Staying top of mind is always a good goal in your marketplace. When I eventually decided to pull the trigger, it likely would have been with Hello Fresh just because I think of them first.

However, the way their offer was positioned frustrated me. It was like offering me 12% off. I thought I’d get two free meals – and I would – but only if I bought two others. While the offer seemed I could try the service at no risk, really what they were offering was 50% off. It’s silly but it irked me. I didn’t sign up, though I likely would have caved eventually.

How to Get Customer Referrals

How Hello Fresh’s Referral Program Wooed Me to Becoming a New Customer

But before my stubbornness could wear off, my business partner Liz got an invitation to send friends a week of service free. Much like with the Try the World example, I was jumping all over myself to get started with this great offer. I signed up and saw how easy the interface was, what great meals they offered and how much time this could save me – all before even receiving a meal. This was far and away the best sales tool they could use – the actual easy, enjoyable experience.

So what’s the takeaway here? Think your offers through. Referrals are worth more than coupons. Don’t try to make your offer a trick. Sell yourself by showing what you have to offer. All of those points are relevant, I think.

But perhaps the biggest thing I see is this: the companies that are gaining traction with their audience are giving away something of value. They are not giving out trial size packets of eye cream – they’re giving you an entire tub of eye cream. To get customers’ attention, they are going all in. If you can’t understand why your offers aren’t working, perhaps you’re not offering something your clients really want to have.


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