Understand your referral analytics

Business Benefits

Combine qualitative and quantitative analytics to plan your future referral programs better.


Configure your GA to track customers who are buying because of existing customers who are sharing your product page or in-app links.

  • Have your developer create a JavaScript snippet that identifies when a visitor is logged in, then use UTM tracking on all the social share buttons so you can identify the traffic that comes in through those links.
  • In Google Analytics, create a segment that follows only the traffic that comes through those UTM links, and see what the conversion rates are.

Set up a feedback loop at the tail end of your checkout flow to give you an indication of how people are finding you.

For example, include a feedback form or a short survey.

Determine who exactly is giving the referral, and detail what that customer segment looks like.

For example, use a simple qualitative survey that asks new customers, Who referred you? and match this against your existing customer base.

Use one-on-one interviews and surveys to reveal what are the users’ motivation for referring new users.

For example, Dropbox experienced 3,900% growth because they give away free space, which drives conversation between friends.

Analyze this data to segment your users into the 6 types of sharers personas, then personalize your message and incentives for each group.

The 6 categories are:

  • Altruists
  • Careerists
  • Hipsters
  • Boomerangs
  • Connectors
  • Selectives.

Use Google Trends and Topsy to understand your product’s referral lifecycle.

Sending a well-timed referral message to users will increase the response.

Use a custom analytics configuration or a simple qualitative survey to establish how many people a user is referring.

Use the GA segment that you created to follow traffic coming through UTM links. Because the traffic that comes from those links are only on the referral from existing customers, you will have a baseline from a quantitative standpoint on how referral traffic will work.