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Refer-a-Friend to Increase Ecommerce Leads, with Cloudsponge’s Jay Gibb

Deal Closers Jay Gibb

A couple episodes ago, Lauren Lee told us all about how we can use affiliate marketing to increase our bottom line. So how is referral marketing and word-of-mouth marketing different from that? And how can CloudSponge‘s Refer-a-Friend program double word-of-mouth sales?

About Our Guest

Jay Gibb is the Founder and CEO of CloudSponge, the most effective way to get people to share e-commerce products with people they know. Since 2010, CloudSponge products have helped thousands of companies (including Stitch Fix, Reebok, JustFab, and American Giant to name a few) to make more sales and reduce customer acquisition costs by optimizing their referral interfaces with contact pickers and email personalization.

As a technical leader with entrepreneurial drive and years of experience as a software developer, he has both the technical knowledge to help ecommerce store owners leverage plugins and SaaS tools for growth and the soft skills needed to communicate this knowledge to your listeners in a way that is both engaging and easy to understand.

This episode of Deal Closers is hosted by Izach Porter, brought to you by, and is produced by Earfluence.


Jay – 00:00:05:


Yeah, they’re your fans. They’re the people that love you. They’re the people that want to earn those rewards and want to send those coupons. And you’re basically removing all the friction for the people that already love you. Right. Instead of making it really difficult for them to do, you’re making it really easy. And therefore, you will double, sometimes triple the number referrals that are being sent.


Izach – 00:00:40:


All right, you’re listening to the Deal Closers podcast brought to you by, a show about how to build your eCommerce business to be profitable, scalable, and one day even sellable. I’m Izach Porter, and on the show today, we’ve got Jay Gibb, who will give us insights on how Cloud Sponge can boost referral marketing and double your word of mouth sales. A couple of episodes ago, we had Lauren Lee tell us about how we can use affiliate marketing to increase our bottom line. And so I was curious to find out how referral marketing and word of mouth marketing are different from affiliate marketing. Also want to find out how one well known brand turned one new customer into 20 by using referral marketing. So let’s find out. Hey, Jay. What’s happening, man? How are you doing?


Jay – 00:01:34:


Doing well, doing well. Thanks for having me, Isaac. Excited to be here.


Izach – 00:01:38:


Yeah, glad to have you on the show. Okay, let’s start with some definitions. I kind of asked a couple of preliminary questions there for the audience. How is referral marketing different from affiliate marketing? And how do you kind of define word of mouth marketing?


Jay – 00:01:53:


Okay, so affiliate marketing is where a company is paying a third party to bring business to them, right? So you, as an entrepreneur or as a business owner, as a growth marketer, are basically paying an affiliate who has an audience of some kind. Maybe their audience is on YouTube or their audience is on social media, or they’re really good at search engine, like paid search, or they’re good at something, and they’re bringing customers to you, and you’re paying them a commission for all the sales that they bring to you. That’s affiliate marketing. referral marketing is where the acquisition channel or the distribution channel is your own customers. Right. Where it’s your customers or people that have some kind of love for you or for your product are bringing their network to you. And so they’re not like, signing up to be an affiliate. They’re not signing up and signing a contract like an affiliate would to bring business to you. They’re just doing it so that they can earn some kind of reward or that they can give their network some kind of discount or other sort of reward. Right.


Izach – 00:03:10:


Okay, so there are existing customers who are telling their friends about the product.


Jay – 00:03:15:


Whatever it might be most of the time, yes.


Izach – 00:03:17:


Okay. But there is some kind of incentive for them to do this. And that’s what Cloud Sponge kind of facilitates.


Jay – 00:03:26:


Not directly. So, yeah, I guess there is usually some kind of incentive. Like in an ecommerce context, it’s going to be usually financial. It’ll be a discount or a coupon or something that has to do with reducing the price for themselves or for their network, for the product that’s being sold by an ecommerce store. But it’s not like outside of an ecommerce context. Just imagine that you’re an e card company. You’ve got software that makes it so that people can send Christmas cards and Easter cards and stuff to their shutterfly.


Izach – 00:04:06:


Or Minted or one of those.


Jay – 00:04:07:


Yeah. In that case, it’s not necessarily like a monetary reward, right. The reward is that you get to do this thing. You get to actually conveniently send out this card to people. Right. In the case of like a social network business, you can think of a social network that you’re familiar with, like Facebook or LinkedIn or Twitter. For them, the reward is the growth of the network. You’re referring people to the network. The bigger the network gets, the more connection people have, therefore the more value your company has. Right. So the reward is something that is, I think, in my opinion, like sort of unique to each individual company and strategy. And Cloud Sponge doesn’t we get to observe this stuff because this is what our customers are doing. Right. If you think of what we do, our customers are the eCommerce stores or the e-card Evight kind of store software platforms or the social networks. We help them, all of them grow their networks and we help them amplify their word of mouth. We help them amplify their ability to get referrals, but we aren’t actually involved in the referral part, in the actual part of sending those emails and getting those people into their system. Right. We’re like an optimization for an existing machine that’s already functioning.


Izach – 00:05:35:


Okay. All right, so maybe just to back up a step, if you’re speaking to someone who doesn’t know about Cloud Sponge, how do you kind of explain it from the ground up and what’s kind of that quick description that encapsulates exactly what your business does?


Jay – 00:05:53:


So we power the address book button that you’ve seen on thousands of websites around the internet. If you’re on a website that’s either ecommerce or, like I say, like a social network website, like a crowdfunding website, like GoFundMe or Donors choose, or a social network like Yelp or Next Door or ecommerce websites. And if at any point in your user experience you see like an ad from addressbook button or a little button that’s got like an address book icon on it or a pick from your contact button, right. Those buttons are powered by cloud sponge.


Izach – 00:06:37:




Jay – 00:06:37:


We’ve been doing this for almost 13 years. Yeah. This year it’ll be 13. So we’ve been around for a super long time. And what we do is we make it so that existing companies, existing software products that have some kind of virality mechanism for referrals, like the examples that I’ve already listed, but they’re expecting their users to type in an email address to send a coupon or type in an email address to share a flight itinerary, or type in an email address to get a reward or to add somebody to the social network. Those interfaces that have those that sort of require users to type in those email addresses one by one. You can just plug in a cloud sponge add from address book button into those interfaces so that your user can just give you permission or give us permission to read their contacts out of like Gmail or Yahoo or or AOL or wherever they store their contacts. Icloud. And then we present them with an interface like an alphabetized interface with a nice little alphabet down the margin where they can search and sort and select and pick the people they want to share something with and then skip the whole data input part. Skip the part where they have to type email addresses where they have to switch between tabs and looking people up and copying pasting email addresses into a form field and manually constructing a comma separated list of email addresses. That’s the problem that we solve, right, so we’re not involved in the rewards or the email delivery or any of the sort of things that are really specific to a use case. We’re hyper focused on just optimizing inputting other people’s contact information from your address book into your interface.


Izach – 00:08:31:


Okay, so if I’m a company and I want to make it easy for my customers to share something with their friends, people that are in their contacts, cloud sponge facilitates that and makes it so you don’t have to manually type everything in, you just go down and click people off a list and it’s done that’s, right? Yeah. Okay, all right, how do you monetize that? Is it kind of a monthly subscription for a plugin? Is it a one time purchase or what’s kind of the business model for the business?


Jay – 00:09:04:


Yeah, if we have a direct relationship with the end merchant like the majority of our customers, it’s just a monthly fee, okay, it’s just a monthly fee you pay. Got a couple of different tiers of product features that people can choose from based on sort of how branded they want our product to appear. So if they want it to actually be basically white labeled so that it looks like their brand and they completely remove all of our styles and replace them with things that match their websites, it’s the more expensive plan. Otherwise it’s the regular sort of lower tier plan that anybody can use and get started with. And then we’ve got upper tier plans for more enterprise size or larger companies that need SLAs and they want to do annual audits to make sure that we’re properly managing the sensitive data that we’re being given permission to read. Right. We have a lot of customers, some of the ones that I listed that are sort of in that tier that they require that we go through annual audits. And then we have partners that are sort of bundling what we do into their product so that they can distribute it to all of their customers. In which case we have wholesale pricing and sort of bulk discounts for situations where agencies or other software as a service vendors are trying to sort of add cloud Sponge functionality to something that’s going to be rendered on dozens or hundreds or thousands of other websites. Right, okay. Yeah.


Izach – 00:10:55:


So what about the data security and information privacy? I know in my address book, in my iPhone, I’ve got over 1000 contacts. I’ve got email addresses, home mailing addresses, phone numbers, birthdays. There’s a lot in there just thinking about that. So do you get access to all of that? Is there some part of that data you’re able to reuse and sell? Is it just completely private for the company that’s using the service, or how does that work?


Jay – 00:11:30:


Yeah, so the Cloud Sponge product itself is a pass through of that data, so we don’t store anything at all. The only thing that we keep is a log file entry for billing purposes that just indicates that this event happened and this is where it came from. And this is like, how many records were in Isaac’s address book. And that’s about it. Right. Just some basic metadata about the fact that it happened, but nothing else is stored. We don’t keep any of it. We certainly don’t sell any of it. We operate the company kind of from a golden rule kind of principle. Right. Everything is obliterated. Nothing has ever saved the disk. But you are trusting our client, whoever our customer is, the company that you’re actually sharing your address book with, you are trusting them to sort of behave the way you would or the way that you want them to with your address book. Right. And so not everybody’s comfortable with that. And it sort of depends on the use case and the person. That’s not something that we have a really strong opinion on or something that we have a lot of control over. But as far as our relationship in that transaction, we’re just a data processor under GDPR.


Izach – 00:12:49:


Got you. Okay. And then kind of the other side of the financial question is how are your customers kind of measuring the ROI or kind of the lift that they’re getting from using Cloud Sponge? What are the KPIs that people are looking at when they’re thinking about if your product works?


Jay – 00:13:10:


There’s a different answer to that question for each of them. I can give you a few examples. We have one client. Have you ever made an e-card before?


Izach – 00:13:22:


Oh, yeah.


Jay – 00:13:23:


And so you probably have some kind of PTSD about your process of sharing your list of friends and family’s email addresses with whatever software you chose.


Izach – 00:13:34:


PTSD. I think what we’ve done regular cards that we mail out and just like print labels, like real old school, but for birthday, like our kids birthdays and stuff, we just do, like, Evights usually I don’t even really remember. I think I probably just clicked the button and added people from my list and didn’t even think about it.


Jay – 00:13:58:


Honestly, if they had an address book integration, like what Cloudspunch provides, then that would have been the case. Right? So we have one e card company called Greenvillope, and there’s a case study on our website that anybody who can relate wants to read. One of the KPIs that they were measuring was their customer service effort that they were spending to help people like you or people that were making these e cards figure out how to get all of their list of contacts into the Greenville system. Right. They had what people have probably seen before. They’ve probably got a field on there where you can type in email addresses. They might have a typing in email.


Izach – 00:14:44:


Addresses is like one of my big pet peeves, because I don’t know if it’s just me, but I always mess it up. I constantly have a typo, and I’ll look at it four times and compare it and back and forth, and I’ll think it’s right, and then it’ll bounce, and I’m like, Come on. And I’ll miss an answer. It’s like, so obvious then when I see what I did. But I don’t know. It’s got to be a very flawed way of getting information to people.


Jay – 00:15:09:


Yeah, I think it’s probably just like a natural reflex to type in your own email address, but when you’re typing in other people’s email addresses, it’s a nightmare. Right. So these situations, you’re always typing somebody else’s email address. And so what most e card products on the Internet do, and this is just one example, is they’ll give you a way to download like, a blank template, like a blank Excel file.


Izach – 00:15:35:


Yeah, CSV.


Jay – 00:15:36:


Right? And then they’re, like, go into some other application outside of our website and fill this thing in. And once you’ve done that, save it to a certain format, and then here’s a button where you can upload it. And then we’ll ingest it, report any errors that we find. And this is the way massive ones like Costco and big guys that do this, this is how their systems work. And then the people at Greenville were like, this sucks. It’s taking a ton of time for our customer service people just to help our customers input this stuff to upload the properly formatted CSV file. And so they came to Cloud Sponge and they said, hey, you know what? We want to add this address book button because it would make this whole process go away entirely. And so for them, back to your original question, like, how do people measure the success? In this case, they measured success of Cloud Sponge by taking something that was taking many, many hours per week of customer service time and making it almost zero. Right. So for them, it was an operational efficiency KPI. Right. In an ecommerce scenario, the KPI, and this is anecdotally what we’ve sort of averaged from a bunch of our ecommerce companies, travel companies, is they’re lucky in a way, because they can actually measure the ROI with financial numbers. They can actually see the people that use their address book are responsible for a certain amount of revenue versus those who don’t. Right. They can actually calculate it mathematically instead of just kind of anecdotally.


Izach – 00:17:18:


So if people are using the address book in an eCommerce setting, they’re probably more engaged customers. You’ve made it easier for them to expand their purchases by facilitating this, just making this part of the process easy.


Jay – 00:17:32:


Yeah, that’s right. Of course, the product needs to be good, and the person needs to have some incentive to make referrals. Otherwise, it’s always going to be zero. Right. But usually most ecommerce referral programs are double sided. So as the fan of this product, you have something to gain if your friends actually buy something because you referred them. Usually it’s like a discount on your next order or something like that. And then the other side of it is usually you’re sending your friends some kind of coupon or $10 off your first order. Right. Some mechanism like that. We don’t prescribe that. We don’t support that, but just I get to observe it because I’m supporting a lot of these companies and helping them with our piece of that bigger puzzle. Right. So in those cases, anecdotally the average that we’ve seen and that we’ve been told is out of those people that see those input forms where they’re expected to type in their friends email addresses like. Comma separated list of email addresses. Like we’ve seen right, out of the people that actually submit that form, only one out of ten, maybe one out of 20, like 5% to 10% of people will use the ad from addressbook button that we provide. But that five to 10% of people that use that button will generate 50% of the total number of referrals that are sent. And that’s how when you go around the Cloudspong website and you read our marketing material, we say over and over again, like, we’ll double the performance of your referral program. That’s what we mean. It’s like we’re literally saying, you’ve got a referral program that’s doing something. It’s got some kind of performance metrics that you’ve measured already. And if you just add this button to that input field, the people that use this button will double the total number of referrals that are sent. That’s awesome.


Izach – 00:19:31:




Jay – 00:19:32:


That’s easy to understand. Yeah. They’re your fans. They’re the people that love you. They’re the people that want to earn those rewards and want to send those coupons, and you’re basically removing all the friction for the people that already love you. Right. Instead of making it really difficult for them to do, you’re making it really easy and therefore you will double, sometimes triple the number of referrals that are being sent.


Izach – 00:19:57:


Got you. All right, so I think that’s a good kind of segue into maybe some success stories because I think examples always help to kind of explain things. So I read on your website, I believe that there was a major clothing tech firm that used a referral program to boost sales quite a bit. So give us some examples of that type of an ecommerce seller that has done really well by integrating the address book.


Jay – 00:20:24:


Yeah, we do have a lot of examples. Most of our really great powerful examples come through Partners, and probably the one that you read about was Dollar Shave Club. The nice thing about the Dollar Shave Club example is that it actually gives me a chance to bring in the missing piece. Right. Because people that are listening to your podcast that don’t already have a referral program, they can’t really use Cloud Sponge without one. If they’re in ecommerce, having an ad from Addressbook button by itself is kind of useless. They sort of need to have like a thing that it’s doing.


Izach – 00:21:08:


Right, okay, so that’s a great point. Right. You need to figure out how to implement a referral program and then you leverage Cloud Sponge to really improve the performance of your referral program. And so getting back to Dollar Shave Club, how did that work for them? And I think you said it was Friendbuy that was the partner that facilitated the referral program.


Jay – 00:21:32:


Yeah, that’s right. As I said before, we don’t actually sell referral program software. We are like an accelerator or like an amplifier of an existing referral program. So all by ourselves, we don’t provide that, like referral codes and fraud scrubbing and all the other stuff. Right. And so we depend on our partners for that. Friendbuy is the one that Dollar Shave Club uses. So when you use the Friendbuy, I think it might be with one of their more higher tier plans, you can just ask them, hey, can I please turn on the Cloud Sponge Contact Picker, which is what we call our products called Contact Picker. And they’ll say, yeah, sure, go get a Cloud Sponge key, go to Cloud Sponge, sign up, pay them, give us your API key, and they’ll turn it on so that it’s visible inside your friend by refer a friend interface. Right. So we do that with Friendbuy and gather and upviral and Perkville. And you can look at the integrations page on the Cloud Sponge website to see all the different ways that our customers can actually get a referral program. That’s one of those ways that you can easily get from that one to 20 kind of thing. You’re talking about, like, how can I get that 20 X? It’s when you have something like a referral program that exists, like, let’s say you’re already using Friendbuy today and you’re like, you know you’re going to use it for another year, you’re already kind of in love with them and they’re already providing some value. You can increase the performance of that just by asking to turn on the contact picker.


Izach – 00:23:06:


That makes so much sense. Here’s a question I think might get at that point without a contact picker, right? So manual entry, I want to refer this to my friend. I’m going to type in their email address. Comma next email address. Someone who’s making the referral. How many people do they send that referral to? Under kind of that old school manual entry system versus if I’ve got a contact picker integration with cloud sponge, and I can go down and select a list of all my friends that I want to send this referral to, I got to imagine there’s a lot more referrals sent when you make it easy to do that. Do you know those statistics?


Jay – 00:23:43:


Unfortunately, we only know one side of those statistics. Right. We don’t get to see the other side of it. We don’t have visibility into that. I would love to, that would be great, but it’s just outside of the off of our radar, not something that we can see. And then for the side that we do see, it’s wildly different from one customer to the next, right? It depends on their rewards. It depends on how rabid their fans are. It depends on a lot. Right. But sort of if I was to average it all right, I would see in the first case, sort of without the contact picker, you’re looking at something that’s somewhere close to 1.0.


Izach – 00:24:29:


In other words, one person out of all the people that have submitted this refer, a friend form, and if you were to average out like, the total number of referrals sent divided by the number of people that sent a referral, it’s going to be pretty close to one 1.0 1.1, right. Most people, when they’re typing manually, especially if they’re on a phone, they don’t have the patience to type a whole comma separated list of their friend’s email address.


Izach – 00:24:57:


This is what I was getting at. Yeah. One, most people are going to send it to one person. If it’s a manual entry..


Jay – 00:25:04:


They have the patience and the idea for one person, and it’s going to be pretty close to one. And you’re not going to get that viral coefficient right. If you’ve got the ad from address book button, it’s closer to three and a half. That’s the side of the number that we see. Some clients it’s like 20, some clients it’s like two. But it’s always way better than 1.0 1.1.


Izach – 00:25:26:


Okay, that gets to the point that’s clear to me. You get a lot more referrals sent out.


Jay – 00:25:32:


Way more.


Izach – 00:25:33:


Yeah. Okay. Is there anybody that just totally kicks ass with this? Their offer is great and they’ve got a huge statistically significant higher number of referrals being generated. And if so, what are they doing? What’s the secret sauce?


Jay – 00:25:51:


Yeah, one of the ones right now that’s extraordinary and standing out, and we’re getting tons of leads coming into us saying like, hey, how can I replicate the success of this other company is essentially a newsletter. It’s not even directly eCommerce. It’s a newsletter referral program called the Morning Brew. You heard of the Morning Brew?


Izach – 00:26:14:


I feel like I have. Is it like short summary news articles that are kind of like Snappy?


Jay – 00:26:21:


It’s like a daily news summary. It’s not short, but it’s been around for a few years.


Izach – 00:26:30:


Pretty sure my wife is getting the Morning Brew. Yeah, I don’t get it personally, but.


Jay – 00:26:36:


Yeah, it’s really great. In their case, the referral program that they’ve provided is as a subscriber of the newsletter. They encourage you every single day in the newsletter that you receive to invite your friends to also join the newsletter. Right. And if you click on the button that’s in the email, it’s like share with your friends button, it’ll take you to a page where it’s like, copy your referral code to your clipboard or share it on social media or email your friends. And right there on that email form is an ad from your address book powered by Cloud Sponge. Right. The same use case that we’re talking about here. And they reward me as a newsletter subscriber. It’s called like a milestone referral program. So if I refer five friends, I get some stickers. If I refer 20 friends, I get a coffee mug. If I refer 50 friends, I get access to a private group, et cetera, et cetera. Right. And these guys are just gangbusters. Right. I think it feels like it’s been more than a year now as a while ago they got like a $75 million valuation for a newsletter company. That’s crazy. Yeah, because they make their money by selling advertising inside the daily newsletter.


Izach – 00:28:02:




Jay – 00:28:02:


So they’re doing really well. And one of the things that and they’ve written about this, so this isn’t private information or anything, but a couple of times a year they do a big giveaway of usually something like a MacBook Pro. Right. So they’ll have a thing where it’s like, invite your friends. And whoever invites the most friends to the Morning Brew newsletter, we’re going to give them a $3,000 computer.


Izach – 00:28:30:


Just the most friends? Yeah. Not even like you invite 300 people, you get 300 entries, and everybody has a chance to win. It’s just whoever invites the most.


Jay – 00:28:40:


I can’t say I haven’t actually memorized all I’m sure they’ve tweaked it over time. It’ll always be the same answer.


Izach – 00:28:46:


But a MacBook Pro is an incentive enough that I’d be sending out to my friends. Especially if I’m like, okay, it’s a newsletter and it’s cool.


Jay – 00:28:53:


Especially if it’s genuinely awesome, which it is, and you don’t seem like a jackass for referring it to it. You don’t want to ruin your own reputation. Right.


Izach – 00:29:01:


I think, right. Inherently, if you want to have a good referral program, you’ve got to have a good product.


Jay – 00:29:07:


Yeah, it’s kind of first principles, right? That’s the first part. You got to have something that people love, right? Yeah. So I would say that one. I’m sure that a lot of people listening are familiar with Morning Brew and they get that email and now tomorrow morning they’ll scroll down and see the button that I’m talking about. Right, and it’s there and it’s awesome. And if you go there and you click on the address book link, you’ll see the cloud, sponge, contact picker, you’ll see the menu, you’ll see the whole thing that I’m describing and they’re one of the guys or they’re one of the customers that we have that’s getting really extraordinary value out of our product right now. We hear every day people sign up and they say, hey, I want that thing the Morning Brew has. How do I do that? Right? And we use that as sort of common ground to start our onboarding process.


Izach – 00:29:57:


So if you’re a listener, let’s say you’ve got an Ecommerce store. What’s kind of the low hanging fruit to boost your sale, boost revenues? What would you do or what would you say to somebody if they’re just looking for some improvement?


Jay – 00:30:13:


Okay, well, the first question I would ask is, do you already have a referral program? And if you don’t, then I would encourage you to go get one. Go create one, right. If you’re using WooCommerce, try Automated Woo, try Automate Woo’s refer, friend, add on, right? Try Friend by, try gather, try try any of them. There’s a lot of the vertical of referral program platforms for WooCommerce and Shopify is long. It’s like there’s probably 50 different companies, right. Referral Rock Referral, Candy, Sasquatch, you name it, there’s a lot of them. And with Shopify there’s conjured Referrals, which we really like. We’ve got a great integration with those guys and that would be kind of step one, let’s make sure. Sort of first principles. If you’ve got an eCommerce store, you should have a referral program. You don’t want to depend on those, like mail to links that nobody clicks on. Right. You kind of need to have something that provides that double sided incentive and has some layer of fraud scrubbing so that people can’t game the incentives. Right, and that’s something that, like I say, that’s not provided by us. We just have partners that do all that stuff. Some of the ones that I just listed. And then if you’ve got that, you’ve already got a referral program either provided by one of those guys or like Morning Brew, like you built it yourself or whatever, then make sure you’re not making people type email addresses. I mean, I guess it’s kind of a little bit of a selfish answer to your question, but it’s such an easy thing to do. You literally just put a button on a form and make it so that people don’t have to go through all that brain damage of typing all the email addresses. Right. It’s going to make immediate I love the simplicity of it, actually, because it’s an improvement.


Izach – 00:32:02:


Right, yeah. I think one of the things a lot of my clients do all the time is try to optimize the click through rate and the purchase rate. And this just seems like the next iteration of I think a lot of stores have some referral program but it’s like, how do we get that referral program to really pop for us? Just makes a ton of sense. Just make it easy for people to make the referral.


Jay – 00:32:29:


Yeah. What I found as I do, because we do like audits of people’s eCommerce sites sometimes where they’re just looking for just advice and I’ve looked at hundreds of them so I can usually point out and make a few suggestions. And one of the things that I see like a surprisingly large amount of the time is that even if they have a referral program, they don’t really mention it often enough. It should be in the footer, it should be in the header. It should be like when you log in in the little menu that comes up right by where you would log out, there should be a mention of it right there. The email receipts that you get, the thank you page. All these places are opportunities to mention, by the way, you can earn $20 off your next order and you can send your friends a $10 coupon just like tell us the name or the email address of somebody that you think would appreciate our products. Right. And it’s going to convert better than the social media buttons because it’s directly from me to my friend, not just from me to a megaphone. It’s like more personal where the person actually sees my friend Jay sent me I complimented my friend Jay on his flannel shirt yesterday and now my friend Jay just sent me a $10 coupon for the same flannel shirt that he really likes. Right. Or whatever. It’s going to convert a lot better.


Izach – 00:33:55:


All your friends are going to be wearing the same shirt, Jay.


Jay – 00:33:59:


They’ve got a variety. You can choose your colors. I’m just saying that’s something that’s really straightforward to do and make sure that if you do have a referral program, it should be obvious to everybody that uses your website, certainly everybody who buys something from your website and a really shockingly large amount of the time I see referral programs that are just kind of buried. They’re not mentioned in enough places and could easily do better with that simple change.


Izach – 00:34:32:


My guess is they’re not being utilized. So the people running the stores aren’t. It’s not a major focus for them because the referral program isn’t driving a lot of traffic. So it’s kind of a self perpetuating cycle that way.


Jay – 00:34:47:


Well, yeah, those people that like the ones you’re describing, if they put as much energy into their referral program as they put into their paid advertising, their search engine marketing, then it would perform. Right. But you got to really pay attention to it and optimize it and work on it and focus on it. And not only that, like changing your rewards and changing everywhere that it’s mentioned and things like adding a contact picker. I think the sites that I’ve seen that have done that and have taken the time to do that, it’s a priceless part of their business, like growth engine.


Izach – 00:35:29:


Cool. Very cool. So Jay, what’s the best way for someone to contact you or to reach Cloud Sponge?


Jay – 00:35:37:


So we’re going to make a special landing page for your audience so they can go to and then everything will be there. So we’ve got some helpful resources. We’ll have probably a link to this conversation, maybe contact information to get on my calendar, social media stuff. And so probably the easiest way is just


Izach – 00:36:10:


Awesome. That was Jay Gibb from Cloud Sponge, which you can find at We’ll put the link in the show notes as well. Thanks everyone for listening to this episode of The Deal Closers Podcast, brought to you by If you like the show, be sure to rate us, write a review, press the follow button, and share us with your network. I think we’re going to come up with our own referral program now, facilitated by Cloud Sponge. And of course, if you’re looking for help selling your eCommerce business, be sure to visit This episode was edited and produced by Earfluence. I’m Izach Porter, and we’ll see you next time on The Deal Closers Podcast.