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Switching up referrals

We want to see if changing the reward level or possibly the structure of our referral program will lead to more people referring.

Bulb’s mission is to create a demand revolution in renewable energy. For six months, thousands of Bulb members have been spreading the word by referring their friends. To kick off the programme, we placed a high value on the rewards so we could spread the word about Bulb quickly. For each referral they’ve made, we’ve offered a reward of £50 to the member and their friend or family member.

Change you can believe in

Now we want to try experimenting with the referral program. We want to see if changing the reward level or possibly the structure of the program will lead to more people referring. We believe to truly transform the energy industry we need to use word of mouth, to get people talking about energy and persuading those close to them to switch to renewables.

There are loads of ways to encourage referral and sharing differently. We’ve all got the examples of organisations or causes that we remember being passed on or talked about: Uber, DropBox, or 38 Degrees petitions, the list goes on. But talking to our members is always the best way we’ve found to get great ideas.

The gift of giving

A significant number of Bulb members have let us know the current level of reward might be a barrier to referring. When we got our members together last month, they told us that people are a bit suspicious of them referring a company that they are going to make a significant financial gain. That made sense to us.

One Bulb member went further and had already put in place a different system! She told those she was referring to that she would donate her £50 to Christian Aid for every referral she made. That member reported a very positive uptake.

To test whether our members were interested in making contributions to charity, we jumped on the community and started a discussion about who we should support over the Christmas period. We had a fantastic response with loads of debate about the impact that various incredibly important charities have. In the end, we put it to a vote and Crisis at Christmas got the most support.

It’s great news that so many people were engaged in the discussion. It also proved that Bulb members are a bunch of really committed people!

Tell us what you think

So, how’re you finding the referral programme at the moment? Should we switch things up? How could we improve it?