How Does the "Refer a Friend" Feature Work?

What is Refer a friend?

Refer a friend is a feature that allows your existing customers to get some monetary incentive for encouraging other people to become your customer. Your existing customers get a unique voucher code that they can pass along to their friends. The voucher can be used on the checkout page to get a discount on a new order. 

The voucher amount and validity is freely customisable.

Here’s how it works:

Step 1: Enable the feature in the Settings.

Step 2: Set up the Refer a friend email in the Email Templates.

Step 3: Update the Oder confirmation, Invoice and one-time password email template.

Detailed steps:

Step 1: Refer a friend settings setup

  • In your circuly operations backend > Go to the Settings tab > Refer a friend > And add custom values in the given input fields (explanation of the settings options is given below).

screenshot of refer a friend feature in circuly operations backend

  

Settings Explanation

  • Enabled: turn the switch on if you would like to enable the Refer a friend feature. 
  • Reward amount: this is the amount that your customers get as a reward when they refer their friend (that is give the voucher code to their friend). 
  • Valid until days: this is the number of days for which the voucher is valid. The inserted value is always in days.
  • Voucher amount: this is the amount that the “friend” or new customer gets when they use the voucher code. 

 

Step 2: Activate the 'Refer a Friend' Email Template:

  • In your circuly operations backend > Go to the Email Templates tab in the left navigation bar > scroll down to Refer a friend > Click on Create Template (if you operate in more than one language choose the respective column that you want to start with)

Now you can start the set up the activated Email Template as descriped below in Step 3.


Step 3: Set up your Email Templates

The reward that your customers get is added to the customer profile under Account balance and this balance is used for any future payment to be charged.

If your customers have an account balance, then the invoice amount will be calculated based on the existing account balance. If there is an existing balance then the amount to be charged is first taken from the account balance. Your customers get an invoice for every transaction (recurring and one-time), and the invoice looks like the following (see image):

screenshot of refer a friend feature in circuly operations backend

As you can see the invoice summary shows the "From account balance" field to indicate that the invoice amount has been deducted from the account balance of the customer.

Before you start using the Refer a friend feature, you need to adjust the , Order Confirmation, Invoice and One-time Transaction email template.


You have two options when it comes to setting up the necessary email templates:

  • Use the default email template from circuly's default email template and change the logo, colours and company information. The default email templates from circuly already contain the variables that support the Refer a friend feature.

NOTE: If you already have an email template set up (for Order Confirmation, Invoice and One-time transaction), you can set it to default as shown in the image below.

screenshot of refer a friend feature in circuly operations backend

  • If you do not want to reset the email template you can also add a code script instead to your existing email template. The code script needs to be added to the middle section of the email template. Here's the code script:

<section class="card card--outlined">
   <div class="card-header">
     <h3>Articles</h3>
   </div>

   <div class="card-body--fluid background-white">
     <table>
       <thead>
       <tr>
         <th class='text-left'>Name</th>
         <th class='text-center'>Qty</th>
         <th class='text-center'>Payment</th>
         <th class='text-center'>Price <span class='font-sm'>(excl. VAT)</span></th>
         <th class='text-center'>VAT</th>
         <th class='text-center'>VAT Rate</th>
         <th class='text-center'>Price <span class='font-sm'>(incl. VAT)</span></th>
         <th class='text-center'>Subtotal <span class='font-sm'>(incl. VAT)</span></th>
       </tr>
       </thead>

       <tbody>
       <!-- For product in products -->
       {% for product in products %}
       <tr>
         <td class="td--product-text text-left">{{product.title}}</td>
         <td class="td--product-text text-center">
           {{product.quantity}}
         </td>
         <td class="td--product-text">{{product.frequency}}</td>
         <td class="td--product-text text-center">
           {{product.price_excl_vat}} €
         </td>
         <td class="td--product-text text-center">{{product.tax_amount}} €</td>
         <td class="td--product-text text-center">{{product.tax_percent}} %</td>
         <td class="td--product-text text-center">
           {{product.price}} €
         </td>
         <td class="td--product-text text-center">
           {{product.subtotal_incl_vat}} €
         </td>
       </tr>
       {% endfor %}
       </tbody>
     </table>
   </div>

   <div class="card-body--fluid background-white">
     <div style="width: 50%; margin-left: 50%">
       <div class="card-subheader text-center background-grey">
         <h4>Summary</h4>
       </div>

       <table>
         <tbody>
         <tr>
           <td class="td--product-text">Net sum (excl. VAT)</td>
           <td class="td--product-text text-right">
             {{order_amount_no_vat}} €
           </td>
         </tr>
         <tr>
           <td class="td--product-text">Shipping cost</td>
           <td class="td--product-text text-right">
             {{shipping_cost}} €
           </td>
         </tr>

         <!-- For vat in vats -->
         <tr>
           <td class="td--product-text">VAT ({{vat_percent}}%)</td>
           <td class="td--product-text text-right">{{vat_amount}} €</td>
         </tr>
         <!-- endfor -->
         <tr>
           <td class="td--product-text"><b>Total</b></td>
           <td class="td--product-text text-right"><b>{{order_amount}} €</b></td>
         </tr>

         <!-- When is_account_balance == true -->
         {% if is_account_balance == true %}
         <tr>
           <td class="td--product-text">From account balance</td>
           <td class="td--product-text text-right">
             {{from_account_balance}} €
           </td>
         </tr>

         <tr>
           <td class="td--product-text border-none"><b>Invoice amount</b></td>
           <td class="td--product-text border-none text-right">
             <b>{{final_invoice_amount}} €</b>
           </td>
         </tr>
         {% endif %}
         </tbody>
       </table>
     </div>
   </div>
 </section>

Simply copy the complete code and add it to your Invoice and One-time transaction email template.

  • If you are comfortable in using HTML and CSS you can also edit the email templates on your own and add the necessary variables.

New available variables: is account_balance, from account_balance and final invoice_amount. 

  • is account_balance: this variable checks if there is an existing account balance or not. 
  • from account_balance: this variable checks the amount that has been taken out from the account balance. 
  • final invoice_amount: this is the difference between the original amount to be charged and the amount taken from the account balance already. 

  

Here’s how the process looks for your customers:

  • In the customer self-service portal, your customers can access the voucher code by clicking on the button that says “REFER A FRIEND”. 

screenshot of refer a friend feature in circuly operations backend

 

 

  • Clicking on the button leads to a window that contains the unique voucher code. Your customers can copy this code and send it to their friend.
screenshot of refer a friend feature in circuly operations backend

  • The person receiving the code can add the code on the checkout page.
screenshot of refer a friend feature in circuly operations backend

  • After inserting the code, the person using the code needs to add the email address used to place the order to validate the code. The code is only valid for new customers and the circuly system validates this by checking the database for the email address that is inserted in the input field. 
screenshot of refer a friend feature in circuly operations backend

 

 

  • If an email exists, then the code cannot be applied. If an email does not exist then the code is applied and the revised amounts are displayed on the checkout page.
screenshot of refer a friend feature in circuly operations backend

  • In the operations backend, the customer who sent the code gets a positive customer balance. 

screenshot of refer a friend feature in circuly operations backend

  • This balance is used at the time of the next recurring payment and deducted from the payment amount. The customer gets an invoice for the same. 
  • A new column has been added to Recurring Payments to show if the account balance was used for settling the recurring payments.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some frequently asked questions about the refer a friend feature:

1. For which payment can the customer balance be used?

The customer balance (balance generated by a customer when a customer successfully uses the refer a friend feature) can only be used for the upcoming recurring payments and not for new payments from the checkout.

2. What happens if the customer balance amount is more then the recurring payment amount?

If the customer balance amount is more than the recurring payment amount then the remaining balance amount will be kept and will be used for the next recurring payment. This continues until the customer balance amount is zero. Let's assume that Customer A has accumulated a customer balance amount of 40€ and the recurring payment amount is 20€. In this case 20€ will be used from the customer balance to charge the upcoming recurring payment. The remaining balance of 20€ will be kept and will be used to charge the recurring payment after that.

3. What happens when a customer has a balance but no future recurring payments to be charged?

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