How to Run a Profitable Referral Contest: A Guide for Online Business Owners in Nigeria image

How to Run a Profitable Referral Contest: A Guide for Online Business Owners in Nigeria


How to Run a Profitable Referral Contest: A Guide for Online Business Owners in Nigeria

Running a referral contest is one way to get leads for your business and grow your customer base. It helps to keep your page engaged with customers.  

If correctly done, a referral contest can increase your sales and give your brand more awareness. 

While it can be frustrating trying out different marketing strategies that are not generating the leads you want for your business, it is essential to realise that there is a right way to go about them. 

Sometimes getting results is independent of what you do but how you do what you do. 

If you've been trying out different marketing strategies and have not gotten the results you desire, this article will take you through the step-by-step process of running a productive referral contest.

How To Run A Profitable Referral Contest for Online Store

Now that you know what a referral contest is about, let's explore practical steps to run a profitable referral contest for your business.

Consider the following steps if you want to run a profitable referral contest. 


Set Your Contest Goals: 

The first step to running a profitable referral contest is to list out what you want to achieve as an outcome from your competition. 

Goals help you drive a more specific plan which may include mapping out your target audience and the means through which you want to reach them. 

With goals, you can measure if your contest was successful. 

Carefully state what you want to achieve after the contest. Your goal could include the following: 

  • More traffic on your website
  • Increased brand awareness
  • Awareness of new products or services.

With your goals stated, you can make other decisions, like determining how you'd carry out your contest or giving the right incentives. 


Discover Target Audience: 

After you have clearly stated the goals for your contest, the next step is to determine your target audience and how to reach them.

One of the easiest ways to do this is to find social media platforms with a larger percentage of your target audience and make it your focus. 

You can determine your target audience by analyzing the age, sex, and location of the people likely to be more interested in your products or services.

  • You'd want to ask which gender will be more interested in my products or services. It could be males, females, or both.
  • After you've discovered your gender target, the next thing to do is find the age bracket that will give more patronage to what you've got to offer.
  • The next thing after this Is location. Do you intend to make your products available worldwide, in Nigeria, or in a particular state?

For example, if you sell female bags and shoes, your target gender will be females, then the next step is, what age bracket will patronize the kind of bags and shoes I sell? Are they for more mature or younger ladies? Once you've answered this question, the next is the location question. Where is my target audience? This question is greatly dependent on how far you are willing to deliver. Do you want to deliver to different states in the country or just within your state? 

If you've answered this, you should have a more specific target audience, like young ladies within Lagos state. 


Draft out the contest rules:

You want to write out game rules before running a contest. This step will ensure that the competition is fair and no one feels cheated. Drafting out your rules helps participants know all the necessary information about the contest before getting in. This way, there will be no confusion along the line.


Make your contest easy to participate in:

No one in this era of social media wants to stress themselves over someone else's business, no matter how profitable. 

So if you must get people to participate, you must make your contest as easy as possible. 

Create a simple script your participants can send to their friends, and make sure it points back to your contest. 


Give the right incentives:

You can choose to make the grand prize your product or not. Make sure with whatever choice you make that the prize attached is catchy enough to keep your audience contesting and referring. 

If a participant already uses your products, it may not be as fascinating for them to receive your product as the grand prize compared to something different but cool. 

Whatever prize you choose should be related to the industry in which you operate. 


Reward significant levels of the contest:

Award each significant level of the contest with prizes. The prize doesn't have to be as big as the grand prize. Just something to keep the participants motivated to keep going. 

For instance, you can have a prize for participants with over a specific number of likes or referrals. 

You can also create a leaderboard to show each participant's progress to challenge them to move further with the contest. People are naturally pumped up to push when they see their progress. 


Promote your contest on social media:

People won't just hear of and participate in your contest if you don't take it to them. 

Let people know what is going on. Promote it on any available social media platform. You can even get Influencers to help you promote it to get a larger audience.

Referral Contest Ideas For Online Business Owners In Nigeria

Several referral contests you can engage in as a business owner. Here is a list of some of them. 

  • Running a discount sale
  • Run sweepstakes or contest
  • Offer gifts on products
  • Organise raffle draws



Running a referral contest is one of the easiest and most effective ways of getting more leads to your brand or website. 

You can start one today if you still need to run an online store. Visit to create your online store. 


Frequently asked questions

How do I incentivize client referrals? 

Here are three ways to incentivize your referrals

  • Offer gifts
  • Offer a discount on product or service they order
  • Offer promotional merchandise as a reward

How do I increase my referral rate? 

  • Appreciate those that refer to your business or brand.
  • Build relationships with your prospective customers as they are being referred
  • Personalize your Interactions with your customers
  • Go the extra mile to satisfy your customers.
  • Improve your customer service experience

What are the four types of referrals?

  • Email Referral
  • Word-of-mouth referral
  • Social recommendations and sharing
  • Online reviews

Create your beautiful online store today.