Generating Ereferrals Using Incentives and Bribes: a Field Experiment Testing Various Incentives For Online Referrals

Jan Ahrens, Golden Gate University, USA
Michal Ann Strahilevitz, Golden Gate University, USA
This research examines several methods for generating company-initiated electronic referrals (eReferrals). A field experiment was conducted with 45,000 participants using different online referral techniques. We manipulated the incentive magnitude for senders and receivers. Dependent measures included the number of eReferral emails sent, the number of eReferrals made and the number of eReferrals that led to sales. Our results show that incentives to both the receiver and the sender lead to higher eReferral rates. We also identified an interaction where relatively higher incentives for the sender of the eReferral were most effective when the receiver of the eReferral also was offered an incentive, albeit a lower incentive.
[ to cite ]:
Jan Ahrens and Michal Ann Strahilevitz (2009) ,"Generating Ereferrals Using Incentives and Bribes: a Field Experiment Testing Various Incentives For Online Referrals", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 36, eds. Ann L. McGill and Sharon Shavitt, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 818-818.