A referral contest is a program designed to increase campaign contributions by having your funders refer their friends and people within their network to your project. As the campaign owner, your job is to create incentives for them to do so while also tracking the results.
For a great example of a successful referral contest, take a look at Geek Pulse's contest:
How it works if you run a campaign
A referral contest rewards the referrer who brings in the most additional backers or the most overall funding.
Your campaign’s Dashboard allows you to track referrals through the “Referrals” tab. Its “Referrers” section shows the Indiegogo users who are directing traffic to your campaign in terms of the number of contributions your project receives.
Please note: Referrals are not immediately reflected on your Dashboard, but will be displayed within 24 hours.
For a backer to count as a referrer, they must promote your campaign with Indiegogo’s share tools while logged into their Indiegogo account. This is important because otherwise, their unique ID won’t be attached to any resulting contributions or visits.
When Funder A is logged into their account and uses Indiegogo’s share tools to send a tweet, for example, the link in the tweet includes Funder A’s unique ID. Then, when Funder B reads the tweet and clicks through the link to contribute, Funder A is recognized as helping bring in the amount contributed by Funder B.
What counts as a referral?
You can view referrals to your campaign on the Referrals dashboard. This section will list referrers who’ve driven traffic to your campaign and any referrals that result in a contribution. You can also download this information in CSV format to sort depending on how you’re running your contest (the CSV includes all referral data). We encourage you to base your contest off either the referrer with the highest number of contributions or highest amount contributed as a result of their referrals.
Don’t forget to establish clear rules for your referral contest as well as a clear timeline specifying the start and end dates of the referral contest so there’s no question about which referral contributions do and do not count.
When should I launch this contest?
Campaigns tend to have the most success with referral contests when they’re launched either around 30 days in or when 60% of the funding goal has been reached. This way, you already have a backer base to activate and engage, and the contest can act as the final boost to get your campaign to goal.
For more information on running your campaign, take a look at our Education Center!
What do I need to tell my backers to make this work?
It’s important that backers know they must be logged into their Indiegogo account and use Indiegogo’s share tools for our analytics to track their referral contributions. You can tell your backers how to check their referrals through their Indiegogo profile.
If you are running a referral contest that rewards the top referrers, be sure to share your leaderboard with your backers throughout the campaign.
What can I offer as a reward?
When deciding on what to offer as a reward for your contest, think about what would be attractive to both current backers and new backers. Some campaigners offer discounts on their perks, a free upgrade, or free accessory. We've also had some campaigners offer gift cards from Amazon. Whatever you decide to offer, keep in mind that some rewards are prohibited by Indiegogo's Community Guidelines, like entry into lotteries or raffles, financial incentives, equity or returns on investment, and prepaid cards. For more information on what you can't offer, please see this article.
Who counts as a referrer?
Anyone logged into an Indiegogo account can count as a referrer. We recommend you specify that referrers must also be backers, so that you already have their contact information for reward fulfillment once the contest ends.
Indiegogo is not able to track referrals made outside of the referral link method described here. If backers tell their friends by word of mouth or send a link without their unique referral ID, that share will NOT be counted in their referrals on Indiegogo.
When a backer clicks on a referral link, a referrer cookie is set. This cookie stays until the backer completes a pledge. If the backer visits other pages or websites and leaves but then comes back to the campaign later to contribute, the referrer ID is then stored on the completed pledge. This means their contribution will be counted as a referral.