To make the most of this guide, you’ll need a baseline understanding of key concepts like events, charts, and properties. If you are still learning about Heap (meaning those terms don’t mean anything to you), we recommend taking our Hello Heap course or reviewing our Setting Up Heap guide prior to jumping into this guide.
If you were to guess what sales or marketing strategy had the best ROI, what would you say?
If you’re like most of our customers, you probably WOULDN’T say Referrals*. But guess what? Referrals are one of the top avenues for qualified leads, have above-average conversion rates, and cost very little (if anything at all).
However, asking all of your customers for referrals probably means that you’re going to get low conversion rates and may also get some negative responses from customers who aren’t that happy. Instead, create a targeted plan to ask your top users to share their joy at what makes your tool right for them!
*It’s worth noting that a “referral” can be defined in a few different ways. A referral could be someone recommending your product to a colleague or friend, it could be someone who positively reviews your site on a site like G2 or Capterra, or it could be a user who simply invites another user into your tool. No matter how you define it the steps listed below will still be useful!
Step 1: Identify indicators of power users
Generally speaking, your power users become power users because they truly understand the value that your product offers them and they’ve realized how to unlock its full potential. Identifying these users is your first step in creating a pool of referral candidates.
You’ve probably spent time in the past defining your active users (if you haven’t, check out our ebook on Activation), but for referrals, you’ll want to go even further. Questions like, “who uses the tool the most often,” and “which users are using the most advanced features most often” will be a good jumping-off point. Be sure to look for things that only your top 10-20% of users are doing.
Determine which actions you want your power users to take – below we will refer to this as your Active Event.
Then determine the frequency at which your power users do this active event. Is it every day, multiple times a day, once a week, or some other cadence? This will be important for your next step: creating a segment!
Step 2: Let’s build in Heap!
We’ll walk through how to build both applicable segments and charts.
Create segment of power users
As a first step, create a segment of your power users. The segment criteria will vary slightly based on the metrics you choose, though it might look similar to one of the examples below:
Users who have done a count of Active Event greater than value in past 30 days
Users who have done Active Event in past 30 days AND Users who have done Active Event #2 in past 30 days
What does this tell you?
Having a segment of power users enables you to quickly compare usage between power and nonpower users, determine what behavior makes a successful user in analysis, and target the right referral candidates!
In the examples above, we used a timeframe of past 30 days because you want to find users who are active power users, and not users who may have been power users in the past, but have since fallen off. Feel free to use any time frame you prefer.
Chart 1: Verify the happiness of your power users
Set up a usage over time chart for the number of users who are in your power user segment. Add the following conditions to your chart:
- Filter: NPS score is greater than 8 or whatever makes sense for your team
- Group By: NPS score or equivalent
- Group By: Identity or email
What does this tell you?
Just because someone is a power user of your product, you don’t want to automatically assume that they are a happy user. Sometimes users simply just need to use your product to do their jobs (especially for B2B SaaS companies). We always recommend using any satisfaction data that you have to further refine your list to your top happy users. This data could come from data like recent NPS scores or satisfaction surveys.
While customer sentiment is something that can be added to your power user segment, this is a great way for you to narrow down your potential referrers. Knowing who is using your product and who is happy with it will ensure your referral request goes over smoothly! Grouping by NPS score and identity allows you to see who your happy users are!
*Note: You can export this list of users to a CSV to use however you see fit!
If you have NPS or customer satisfaction information in another tool in your stack, make sure you’re bringing it into Heap! This list of integrations will identify the sources you can pull data into Heap from. Don’t see your NPS or satisfaction survey tool here? Use an API to bring that data in.
Don’t have anything quantitative? That’s okay! We recommend speaking with your CSMs and get a feel for overall sentiment so you can use that information instead to narrow down your pool.
Tip: Instead of grouping by NPS score, group by owner name, or a similar equivalent, so you know which CSMs to reach out to!
Step 3: Ask these users to sing your praises!
Now that you know you have a list of happy power users, the rest is pretty simple! Figure out what you want these users to do. Do you want them to rate you on a review site, tweet your praises, or give you a case study? Either way, be specific about what you want and then build a program and a process to motivate and allow your champions to support you.
You should also think about how and where you want to market to these users. Do you want to ask via email, in-app messages, or via their CSM? Also, money talks! Is there a way that you can further incentivize these users to do you a favor? A $5 gift card is often the only motivation someone needs, though some of our customers have gotten creative and offered discounts for participation or a free extra month on your product.
Once you have this list, we know it’s tempting to want to ask these users for everything we listed above, but be careful about how much you ask of them. Respect their time and be thoughtful about the asks that you make so that they continue to be promoters and don’t get turned off by the constant bombardment of requests.
Step 4: Evaluate the success of your program
You shouldn’t be surprised that once you launch a program we think that you should measure the success! Use Heap to understand how many of your users are actually completing the tasks you’ve made. Depending on how you’ve set up your campaign (and the data you have in Heap) this could be a funnel looking at the number of email opens compared to the reviews sent, you could look at the guides that were played and CTAs that were clicked, clicks on social sharing buttons or you might just look at how many users they are inviting into the tool. Either way, we think that through experimentation and measurement, you can build a referral program that will drive growth for your business.
In a recent study, 92% of B2B buyers were more likely to purchase after reading a trusted review, yet that same study showed that less than 10% of users are leaving those reviews. Having customers that are true promoters and advocates for your product is crucial to any business and spending some time getting your happy customers to share their joy could have big dividends!