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Raul Galera - Referral Candy; Customers As Top Salespeople And Organic Community Marketing

icon-calendar 2021-07-15 | icon-microphone 1h 5m 34s Listening Time | icon-user Debutify CORP

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One of the difficult lines to walk on is finding a way to effectively promote your business and brand, while also coming across as genuine. Thankfully, this does not dwell for too long in the arena of philosophy, because my guest Raul Galera of ReferralCandy joins me today to talk about a tangible solution to this problem. 

Raúl Galera is the Chief Advocate at ReferralCandy, an app that allows ecommerce brands to set up and run customer referral programs. ReferralCandy is the leading platform in terms of referral marketing for ecommerce brands. Founded over 10 years ago, ReferralCandy has helped over 30,000 brands leverage the power of word-of-mouth and turn their customer base into their marketing team.



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Tags: #Ecommerce #E-commerce #Shopify #Dropshipping #ShopifyStore #Entrepreneurship #Debutify #referralcandy #raulgalera #marketing #wordofmouth #referral

Raul Galera: [00:00:00] It's all really about staying top of mind as a brand. And there's many ways that you can do that. But the smartest way that I've seen in the past few years is community marketing, which at the end of the day, if you're running a store, there's going to be a reason why you started that company, why you started selling those products.

So if you share that story and your customers kind of like resonate with that story, there you go. You have an angle there to create a connection with your customers more than just here's my product. Here's how you can buy it. 

Joseph: [00:00:33] You're listening to Ecomonics, a Debutify podcast. Your resource for one of the kind insights into the world of e-commerce and business in the modern age., this is Joseph. I'll be presenting a wealth of industry knowledge from interviews with successful business people and our own state-of-the-art research. Your time is valuable so let's go.

One of the difficult lines to walk on is finding a way to effectively promote your business and brand while also coming across as genuine. Thankfully, this doesn't last too long in the arena philosophy because my guest Raul Galera of referral candy joins me today to talk about a tangible solution to this problem.

Raul Galera, you doing today? How you feeling? 

Raul Galera: [00:01:19] I'm good. How are you doing? 

Joseph: [00:01:20] I'm doing great. It's great to have you here on Ecomonics. Um, I've got the, uh, the luxury to check out your, your business and find out what you're all about, but it is not my place to explain it to the audience. Some people do. Some people don't, everybody has a different view on how podcasts should be run.

This is mine. So tell us what you do and tell us what you're up to these days. 

Raul Galera: [00:01:40] Yeah. So referral candy is an app for, uh, e-commerce brands and we allow them to basically set up and run customer referral programs, uh, which is, uh, a very easy way for them to, uh, turn, uh, one-time customers into repeat customers.

Um, and at the same time, Turn their customer base into their sales team. That's kind of like the way that I like to describe it best. Um, and I am personally the, the chief advocate, uh, here at ReferralCandy. Um, I've been overseeing partnerships for the past, uh, almost five years. So yeah, my role is basically to, um, be in touch with them.

Players in the e-commerce industry. So, um, agencies, platforms, SaaS companies, uh, media, et cetera. 

Joseph: [00:02:20] Um, and, and, and, and shows such as ours as well. So you, you you've, you've been on the podcast circuit, I've gotten a chance to listen to some of the other content that you've been on. So it's always helpful. I wouldn't think I will do by the way, in the moments leading up to the interview, uh, I'll have my headphones on and I'll listen to somebody else's.

So at least that way, I'm like just kind of getting used to the person's vibe a little bit more before jumping in. I'm not a, uh, I'm not much for going in blind, so yeah, that's where I'm with that. So one of the things I always like to ask any agency or service is the origin of the company. So what is the origin number fro candy, and what problem did it set out to solve that it identified in the market that was going unsolved at that time?

Raul Galera: [00:03:01] Yeah. So the company started in 2009 between 2009 and 10. So it's been around for awhile. Um, and, uh, the two founders, uh, which, uh, uh, they're originally from, from Singapore actually were a Singapore based company back then. Uh, the idea came up during, uh, a conversation over lunch with a friend that was starting an online store, again, an online store in 2009, 2010.

So it's, it's been, it's been quite a while. Um, and so this, this friend of the founders, um, was telling them that, you know, basically, I mean that the store was doing well, but he knew that his customers had friends who would be interested in the products. And he was wondering if there was a way to kind of like incentivize that word of mouth.

He knew that word of mouth was happening already. Um, that customers that were buying from him. Probably, um, telling their friends and family about it. And so he wanted to incentivize that. And that was also kind of like the rise of social media, which is, it feels kind of weird to say these days that, you know, social media was on the rise.

Uh, we take it as a, you know, the, the life, uh, now, but yeah, Facebook, uh, was, you know, not necessarily just starting, but it was becoming, you know, a lot more popular, especially internationally. And so they wanted to find a way to kind of leverage that. And so they came up with a very kind of like simple solution to allow people to refer their friends by using referral links.

Um, and that was the charging of the company. And fast forward to today, we are, uh, a company with about 50 people in several countries. Uh, so again, it's been quite a ride. 

Joseph: [00:04:28] You make a good point about Facebook because one thing that I observed being a Facebook user since I was in high school, which is a while ago, is at one point, Facebook was more of a, it's like a living, breathing yearbook where everything that people had done.

Uh, posted there, um, to, you know, reminisced, even if it was something that was a day that I was like, oh yeah, I remember that. Just like it was yesterday. Because it was, and then more of that whole nostalgic feeling. Whereas, and then there was a shift where Facebook transformed from that into more of the town square, where, to the point now where anything happening on Facebook is well in many cases, life, because there are things now having on Facebook that are happening right away.

And so what I'm seeing is a, a similar path with this company. And I guess a lot of other, uh, different, uh, e-commerce brands, as someone in the space are recognizing that the internet is going from passive and strictly like a referential material or utility for people who were using online at the time to more like an active went out, people are actually pursuing a lifestyle based on what they do on the internet, especially with the emergence of social.

Raul Galera: [00:05:36] Yeah. I mean, and also, I mean, that's definitely being part of, uh, the growth of, I mean, not necessarily just our company, but, you know, e-commerce in general. Um, and, uh, I mean, yeah, and the fact that, um, like you said, people that, you know, can start, you know, doing, uh, earning a living in, uh, just by participating on social media, by having an account where they are, you know, kind of like experts on a very specific field.

Um, I mean, I always like to say that there are influencers for absolutely every niche of there. Um, and so you don't necessarily have to be, you know, the kind of like the famous actor, a famous athlete, or, you know, the guy that's posing in front of a, uh, an expensive car to, to have thousands of followers, um, that has definitely helped.

Um, I mean, there's an entire kind of marketing industry around influencer marketing, referral marketing. Obviously, it's part of that because at the end of day, we're talking about recommendations. These people are famous on social media for a reason, and they have a reputation on online. Um, as a person that they need to, uh, well, they need to kind of like maintain that reputation.

And so that also comes with the type of products that they're recommending. So when you're getting a recommendation from somebody, uh, from, you know, somebody that, again, that's an influencer in a specific field again, if the product that they're recommending is not good, their reputation might be on the line.

So, um, that's, that has helped a lot, um, to a lot of companies, uh, to especially commerce brands to, uh, figure it out, which, which one of these influencers we want to work with, a lot of companies have been able to grow, uh, you know, to millions of dollars in revenue just by working with influencers or by using that strategy as I've kind of like the main pillar of their, of their marketing mix.

So yeah, I mean, it's, it's, it's helped a lot of people. I mean, it's, again, social media has become something that's just part of our, of our lives. You know, fully, not only for, you know, for like our personal lives, but also in terms of businesses for brands and for individuals as well. Uh, I mean, it's, uh, it's, it's a really fast moving industry in the sense that, you know, what worked a few years ago might not work now.

I mean, definitely it doesn't work now, uh, especially after 20. We've seen a lot of shifts, uh, in, in the e-commerce world. So also, yeah, it's, it's, it's a, it's a living organism and it's definitely, uh, very interesting to watch right now. 

Joseph: [00:07:51] You mentioned, uh, celebrities, uh, earlier in that as well. And one thing that I find interesting is how celebrities are re well, I mean, they're still revered to this day, but I think the reverence was different when you would only see them basically on movie screens, or if you just managed to catch a, um, uh, an issue of the national inquirer.

And there was a photo of them walking down the street, flipping up the photographer. Um, whereas now what I find interesting about social media is that it, it puts them all on the same level and it frames everybody the same way. So somebody who might be a famous actress to millions of people, somebody who I may never, never seen, I would actually be introduced to that person for the first time based on their social media presence and I'm, and their reputation might be based off that and not based off of whatever else it is that they're knowing they're no.

Raul Galera: [00:08:37] Yeah. I mean, and, and again, it's, it's created a, kinda like a new vertical of famous people, you know, if you, if you would call it like, uh, and yeah, and also I feel like, um, there is a difference in how. Let's say traditional celebrities are using social media versus, you know, influencers, um, especially those influencers, influencers that are in the somewhat educational field.

Like, you know, you have people on, on, you know, on Instagram that have accounts about, you know, uh, let's say renovating, you know, bands, um, and, uh, you know, renovating houses or like, you know, there there's people that are in there are specialized in cleaning products and, you know, they have massive accounts where they're just giving knowledge away.

Uh, so I would make a difference between those people that are kind of providing quality content and people follow them because of what they offer is good and it's entertaining or, or at least educational, uh, and then kind of traditional celebrities that we just follow because we know who they are and, you know, we, and I think, uh, they've put them on the same level, uh, The relationship that they might have with, uh, sponsors in this case, e-commerce brands, uh, it's different.

And what I've, what I'm seeing is that, um, smaller brands, uh, or actually not necessarily smaller brands, but, you know, brands probably prefer to work with an influencer from their field rather than kind of going the traditional route of having an ad with a famous celebrity. So again, uh, they're still pretty like pretty separated, uh, just because of the content that they offer in my opinion.

Joseph: [00:10:08] Well, you know, um, I just had a, I just had a breakthrough because I think when we use the term celebrity, it immediately connotates actors and actresses. And I guess maybe to a lesser extent to musicians, but even that's relevant to the point that I'm making in a famous in the media, famous in the arts, but then you mentioned, um, rent, uh, you know, renovations, renovating vans or houses.

And it reminded me of, um, Mike Rowe, who is a he's, he's a celebrity, but he's a, and yes, he is. He's, he's got, he is on TV, but he's, uh, he's a celebrity. Uh, tradesmen. I'm not sure if it was like his, his exact term for it. So in a way, you know, when you look at the term celebrity and this is how the term itself can broaden out, regardless of what field they're in, even if they're, they're an influencer on Instagram is the root word of it is celebration.

So it is a celebration of what they do and it elevates it to a level that it can influence many others at scale. So you can have celebrity musicians, the celebrity actors, celebrity, craftspeople, celebrity tradespeople, um, a celebrity carpenter. So in that sense, um, and, and you, and anybody could be a celebrity for, for, for different, for varying reasons.

I just, I just, I don't know. I just had that breakthrough right now. It never really occurred to me before. I'm getting on in years. 

Raul Galera: [00:11:18] Yeah. And, um, and, and, and again, like right now we have this massive venue, uh, for, like I said, I be pretty much anybody to get famous. Um, you know, you might have like, kind of like a weird skill that maybe only your friends and family knew about, uh, all of a sudden you can share with millions of people and all of a sudden people love what you're doing and, and they wanna learn from you.

So, uh, I mean, yeah, it's, uh, uh, yeah, it's, it's flight probably like, uh, making the field a little bit more, even for, for everybody that wants to kind of like make it out. There are sometimes people that accidentally make it. 

Joseph: [00:11:46] Yeah. There's, there's, there's this accidentally, and then there was accidentally. 

Raul Galera: [00:11:51] PR accidentally.

Joseph: [00:11:52] Right? One thing that stuck out from what you had, uh, how you described your company is the idea of turning the. Uh, customers into influencers, but also turning them into the sales team. And that, to me, elevates them to a level where not only are they customers, but they valued assets. I mean, those two are pretty much hand in hand anyways, but now that they've become an active participant in the promotion well-being of the company.

And one thing that I pick up in a different podcast that I listened to that discusses economics, a, a great deal. Uh, they refer to the difference between a shareholder and a stakeholder. You got shareholders for people who are putting money into it, and they were actually expecting dividends or results of profits, but then a stakeholder, um, is somebody who is invested in it in a different way, whether it's an emotional investment, they, uh, they assign their brands to it in some way.

Um, I am both a shareholder and stakeholder in Nintendo. I bought XY bought stocks now, not too long ago. And I also have a tattoo of the trifecta on my hands. So I'm full on Brandon. So my, um, my relationship with Nintendo can have a drastic influence. On them, the more the, the, the larger. Profile grows, even though Nintendo isn't too relevant in the e-commerce space, but you know, it's is interesting to point out.

So like when you say sales team, I would like to know more what, however specific this can get is what exactly does that say about the behavior of the, of the customer and how does myself as a seller, which I am by the way I have, I'm doing my own in store now, because I can only do so many outlets of this.

And now what I run a store is. At what point am I drawing this distinction between, um, you know, influencers or, um, just general customers' assets? When do they become part of that sales team? What are they that important to you? 

Raul Galera: [00:13:38] Yeah, that's, that's a really, really good question. Um. 

Joseph: [00:13:41] I worked hard on it. 

Raul Galera: [00:13:43] Um, so I mean, I always like to say that customers aren't the best salespeople that any company can can have.

Um, and there's several reasons for that. The first one it's that they, they trust the product or the service in this case, we're talking about e-commerce so the product, um, and they trust them. They trust the product so much and they believe in the, in the, in the product so much that we're willing to pay for it.

So, you know, a lot of salespeople wouldn't be, you know, uh, willing to put their own money into the product that they're selling. 

Joseph: [00:14:10] Yeah. Yeah, I've done. So I've done sales. I mean, I worked at a one store. I worked at a fossil and I was the only thing I might need to half the product. The other half was like purses and apparel and stuff like that.

I'm sure it's nice. 

Raul Galera: [00:14:21] Exactly. I mean, yeah. So, so, you know, these are people that are, are coming to you because they're interested in the product and then they have received a product. They liked it. They had a good kind of like, you know, shopping experience overall, and they're just happy with it. So again, they, they trust, they trust the product and they see the benefits of it.

Now, uh, the second reason why I think that, or that they're really good, uh, salespeople is because they are not necessarily motivated by money to refer you to their friends and family. They they're motivated because they, they just want to provide. You know, a recommendation to somebody that they like. And I think about what was the last time that you, you know, do you watch a new Netflix show or, or, you know, a new movie or a new restaurant run or whatever it is, uh, because somebody recommended it to you.

So, you know, we get recommendations all the time and a good portion of our decisions come from recommendations, especially from those, for people that we trust and kind of start going back on the, uh, on the influencer part that could also be, you know, kinda like people that we trust people that we're, we've been following their, uh, their journey on social media.

And we kinda like trust them on, on making several decisions. And we might make a product decision based on something that we've seen online from somebody that we think, uh, knows what they're talking about. So now, so I'll be the second reason. And then the third reason is that the audience of, of your customers, which are friends and family, don't see that person as a sales person, they see them as a, as a friend or a family member.

So. And they know that, that person's not going to recommend them something that it's not going to be useful for them just because they're getting a discount on a future purchase or just because they're getting cash. So, you know, I always like to say, and this is something I tell brands when we have, you know, demo calls is that if you are a store that is, has a good product and you have kind of like a successful brand and an overall good shopping experience, and your customers are happy buying from you, you are already getting referral sales.

Like you already have word of mouth happening in your store because you're because people naturally share what they do and shopping. It's, it's part of our, uh, part of what we do. And especially after 2020, it's, it's something that we do a lot. Um, and so what our referral program can do is to incentivize those people to go out and refer even more because, uh, you know, you can ask your customer base, but, you know, will you be willing to refer us to a friend, to your friends and family and.

80% of them will reply. Yes. But only about half of those will actually end up doing it. And that's not because they don't like your ranches because they're just busy. Um, so having a referral program that automates the whole process and kind of like not reminds them about the program and notifies them about, you know, uh, ways that they can refer and everything makes it a lot easier and makes conversions a little higher, but the concept of referrals, it's just something it's, it's organic.

It's part of our human nature. 

Joseph: [00:17:01] Yeah. And I I'd like to touch on the psychology of that for a moment, just so that we can, uh, help our audience understand on a, on a deeper level where those motivation comes from. And I'll use myself as an example, because I love throwing myself into the crucible, which is, you know, what I wanted for years was, um, a soda stream.

Um Hmm. You know what it is? 

Raul Galera: [00:17:20] Yep. Yep. Yep. 

Joseph: [00:17:21] And we finally got one a week and a half ago and I have been, uh, carbonating by my beverages nonstop ever since. And I'm just like, I'm just, I'm just thrilled about it. And, and I, and I enjoy talking about it, like I'm doing right now and I'm talking to my friends about it and I, and I, and I, the next time I talked to my mom, I'm like, ma I'm telling you to get this.

You got to get it. I don't know. I'm, I'm getting to like refer to protocode, I've at a, at a soda stream, but the reason why I'm doing it anyways is because I want to validate my own decision as well, by comparing it and by confronting it with other people, I think that there, there is also a reluctance say like if somebody is into a particular brand of music and they're shy to share it, then if somebody says, well, your music is, is trash, then that can, you know, that can really hurt.

And it invalidates their decision. Or in some cases redoubles their resolve because maybe the outsider is part of the appeal, but that's getting into a level of psychology. I don't really, uh, want to go back to, so, so there's, there's that, that element there it's, um, it's just the positive validation for it.

And I think there's also, and this credit to my, uh, my YouTube counterpart Connor, who introduced me to the concept of recency bias, which is when a purchase is fresh on somebody's mind or an acquisition as fresh in somebody's mind, especially the first time that they've gotten it, as opposed to maybe something that they get routinely.

Right. Well, I mean, I subscribed to quip, so I get a new tooth, a tooth brush sheds every, every three months. So, you know, my enthusiasm is at that, like the highest point and maybe not in, by like the sixth time I've gotten a toothbrush head. Now it's gotten to the point where I'm like, Ooh, mail. Oh, it's the toothbrush.

Great. Thanks. I guess some of this we'll have to do to turn this into a question towards you, is that recency bias is that, you know, the time of purchase that I would probably be the most critical point to, uh, capitalize on the enthusiasm. So I want to hear about, uh, any, any evidence that speaks to that.

I'm sure there's mountains of it, but it would also like to hear about how to retain that interest if it's possible. Um, past that first point of acquisition. 

Raul Galera: [00:19:27] That's a really good point. Um, and I, I typically like to. Um, that's actually something that I, um, I, it makes a lot of sense. I hadn't really thought about the fact that, um, people refer because they want to bog and they have their own choices.

Um, I always got like the, one of the main explanations that I've always thought about, uh, which I guess kind of correlates to, to what you mentioned is the, it's the fact that we like to, uh, we can elect to be the hunters, you know, like we like to be the people that find something new, something cool. And bring it back, uh, to the group and like, Hey, look at what I found, you know, so it's, it's, it's, it's pretty, pretty seminary in that, in that sense, but I really liked that concept then if you don't mind, I'll, I'll, I'll use it from, from now on as well.

Joseph: [00:20:05] I mean, if I had had a, if I had a program to give you some code for that or something like that. Yeah, that's true. Yeah. If it's anybody else in the e-commerce space, uh don't, you know, feel free to credit me so that they can, uh, be a guest on the show. I'm just, yeah. 

Raul Galera: [00:20:20] I'll definitely, I'll definitely curve you.

Joseph: [00:20:22] We have a deal. 

Raul Galera: [00:20:23] I promise. So we were talking about, well, yeah, kind of like a different, uh, touchpoints. So yeah, that's, that's a really good point. And that's one of the things that we do recommend, um, clients to do when they run a referral program is that, you know, kind of capitalize on the attention of, of the client.

Cause again, you know, we're, we're surrounded by, you know, content marketing and so, uh, you know, ads everywhere. So, you know, we, we kind of lose our attention fairly quickly and we are also, uh, I mean, as consumers, uh, we're pretty good at avoiding ads. So, you know, we, we always ask brands to kind of capitalize on the attention that they have from, from the client.

And part of that attention is after they make a purchase. So especially if it's a new client and they just made a new purchase, we'll turn to capitalize on the time that they are still interacting with you. So whether that is, you know, by kind of like showing them a pop-up after the purchase with information about the referral program or what other brands do, which I also think it's really smart it's to not necessarily tell them about the referral program.

Right after the maker purchase, but when they actually received the product and some, some brands even ask for the recommendation after, after the kind of like expect the customer to use the product for the first time. Um, so maybe they wait kind of like the traditional delivery time, plus, uh, let's say another week for the, for the customer sees the product and then they hit them with, uh, with email.

So I think that's really smart because you're, you're capitalizing on the fact that again, the customer has something new, uh, in their hands. So they're using they're, they're excited about it, they're using it. And then, uh, and then you ask them to, to share, um, how to capitalize that down the line. I think it's more, it's not really necessarily, necessarily, uh, related to referral marketing itself, but just kind of like as a brand.

Um, so one of the things that, uh, one of the trends that we've seen in the past few years, that down the line in the next few years, it's going to become something that any brand that wants to stay in business will have to get into it's it's community marketing. Um, yeah. It's not necessarily new concept.

Joseph: [00:22:15] I haven't heard of it before. 

Raul Galera: [00:22:16] It's basically, I mean, the kinda like that basic concept of the phase two is to build a community around your brand. So, you know, it doesn't have to be a, it doesn't have to be a Facebook group. It doesn't have to be, um, you know, an online forum. It doesn't have to be a slack channel, you know, and not necessarily the, the, the kinda like the format of fit.

It's pretty open to whatever brands one wants to do. Um, but it's about. It's about the idea that all of your customers. And now I'm speaking as a brand, all of your customers, uh, have something in common. So if you are selling, always give the same example. If you're selling basketball clothes or basketball shoes, um, all of your customers have something in common, which is the fact that they like that.

So, if you are going to produce content, or if you're going to kind of like put them in touch with each other or create a community like an actual community around your customer base, it has to be about basketball. It's not going to be about your brand, not going to be about your product's not going to be about your deals and promotions and black Friday or anything like that.

It's going to be a community where people can share content about basketball, discuss basketball, um, and just, you know, kinda like shared. Those interests that they have in common. So it's not necessarily about the, the, the company itself, but for example, we have, uh, one of our clients, uh, it's called a box of stories.

Uh they're from the UK and they sell books, uh, which is, you know, a highly competitive market, uh, considering that, you know, there's Amazon, there's book depository, there's tons of companies that sell books online. So growing illiteracy. Yeah, exactly. So one of the, I mean, and, and one of the things that they've done, they've done several things to make their product appealing, uh, to, to kind of like their customer base.

But one of the things that have done is that they have created, uh, they asked their customers if they would like to join a Facebook group, uh, about books. So that's literally it, they don't necessarily talk about, uh, a box of stories or they don't discuss kind like support issues or, and a lot of people that joined the community don't know.

It's actually, um, kinda like a brand that the community, because there's not a lot of branding around, but when you can tell, I mean, there's kind of like, you know, some touch points where you can see the name of the company, but again, it's not what I'm trying to say is that they don't do, they don't market it aggressively and they don't try to.

Turn it into a sales channel, a direct sales channel, a it's just a community where people that like to read, discuss books, which is great. And at the end of the day, a lot of, a lot of those people will end up either becoming customers or if they're our customers, we'll probably stay around for a while because they resonated with the brand.

And they're like what the, what the brands do. And so again, uh, it's, it's all really about staying top of mind as a brand. And there's many ways that you can do that. But the smartest way that I've seen, um, in the past few years is community marketing, which at the end of the day, if you are a brand, if you're, if you're running a store, uh, there's going to be a reason behind it.

There's going to be a reason why you started that, that company, why you started selling those products. So if you share that story and your customers kind of like resonate with that story, there you go. You have an angle there to create a connection with your customers more than just here's my product.

Here's how you can buy it. 

Joseph: [00:25:12] I think that's a great observation just about, you don't want the customer to be too inundated with, uh, More, I guess, more the intentional promotion, because then the customers would feel like, why am I in this Facebook page? I'm just being, I'm just being marketed to constantly.

I'm already being marketed to, by a bunch of other times, I can't even go to my fridge. My fridge has got the screen on the wall. It's trying to sell me on new foods. So, so that part I understand. And I think it also is part of a much larger, I guess, mission or secondary objective that I have personally with the show is to condition my audience, to understand that if you're going to get into a business or if you're going to get into business, you know, you gotta meet it.

And there has to be an underlying idea and not just to come across as a, a saccharin, but also to help filter out what strategy, uh, I want to go for what products I want to go for, what channels, where marketing channels fit my brand. I I'm a, I mean, at this point I have. Talk to so many people, there is no physical way shape or form.

I could integrate everybody into it, but it's really important for me to know what it is that I want to do. So then that way I can cure, rate all these different options, um, such as yourself, in this case.

I am going to have to ask, I almost feel like I almost feel bad about asking this question. Um, but I kind of have to, because I think some people in my audience are wondering about, at what point do you run a sale in that community page? Or how does it translate into conversions in one way shape or form?

I, again, I'm kind of sorry to ask, but it is a bottom line kind of question. So I had to get it in there. 

Raul Galera: [00:26:55] That's a good question. Um, I mean, I think at the end of the day, honestly, I would try to keep your community content as clean as possible. Um, I think that the. There is room for promotions. Uh, if these people are in your community, that also means they are probably in their email list.

Sending them an email with a promo it's, I mean, it's super common these days that are not, nobody's going to get, you know, like offended of, they're going to question why they're getting a promotion, but they might, they might get a, it might raise an eyebrow if they suddenly see the brand, uh, launching and like a flash sale in one of these channels that are supposed to be for conversation or for educational content.

So again, the, the, the community doesn't have to be necessarily like an actual place. People discuss ideas. It could be, uh, we have, uh, one of our clients that they're just running a blog where they actually talk about kind of how they manufacture their products. And they talk in the interview, uh, the, the, the manufacturers in the interview kind of like, you know, people that are, you know, in the community around the, the, the story itself and then kind of like the production process.

So again, it doesn't really have to be, but, you know, but it will look weird if in the middle of that blog post or in the middle of those kind of interviews serious, they would enter some sort of like promo code. So, um, I think, I think this is work that it's necessary for brands to do, uh, to stay top of mind to kind of like show.

The backstage of the company that, that let's say non-commercial side fed, like the, the reason, the mission, why they're in business. Um, any few, any, if you add promotions, if you add like, kind of like very clear call to actions in my, it might end up being negative towards that particular channel. And also because, I mean, I don't think that, and just because you're, you're not necessarily running promotions or you're not necessarily running aggressive marketing attribution, it's, it's difficult for those channels.

You can really tell if, uh, your community of, of, you know, like your discussion site, it's actually driving your new sales because you're not adding links or you're not adding any sort of like, again, like attribution parameters. So, so you can say, okay, this purchase came from here. I mean, yeah, it's, it's kinda like the same with PR you know, like I'm not into PR, so I'm sure that they're wasted.

You can track kind of like a peer action, but at this point it's more about like expressing the company's mission, the company voice. Um, and I think it's just necessary overall to do. And I think there are also better channels, um, to run promotions, like I've talked to companies about the referral programs and they were, they would ask me like, oh, you know, how can we.

Promoted, um, on, you know, how, how can we promote the referral programs? Some more customers know about it and I've suggested using, uh, their Instagram account and, and they say, no, no, no. Instagram is just for, uh, you know, kind of like, like content about the products or it's like, you know, like beautiful pictures.

And, and you're like, can I aspirational competence? So we don't want to put any promotions there. Uh, but we can share it on our Facebook page. So turns out that they, they kinda like have two different ways of connecting with customers, spending on the platform they're on. So again, it's, it's really, uh, it's really about like, you know, kinda like choosing the channels in which you're going to connect with your customers, not as customers, but as people that they share the same ideas as you keep it that way.

Um, and then if they're also in the other channels that are more promotional, like I said, you know, email or SMS, that's kinda like, that's perfectly fine to kind of hit them with that promotional. If they're part of the overall community of the, of the company, there's different ways that you can, you can reach them with with the right channel.

Joseph: [00:30:25] I asked the question, I thought you were just going to say, well, every three months should be good, but in reality it really is about understanding the DNA of each particular. Uh, pillar of whatever, wherever your brand is. Um, so, so for instance, that you're here, example for them, Instagram is very specifically about the photography and the imagery and the uplifting content, I guess, I guess the story wouldn't be such a bad place because it's impermanent anyways.

So it sounded like if I go to an Instagram page and I'm scrolling through all the photos, I don't want to be inundated with all these promotions. I was just going to feel like, okay, well this is not really quality use of my time versus seeing much of beautiful photos, but on the stories, I'm just, and honestly, just in order to do my market research, that is where I do the majority of like, just keeping tabs of what you eCommerce brands are doing right now is my Instagram stories.

I'm already in the habit of it. I already do it anyway. So I just kind of, I just come to expect it from there. It's great. It's like, it's like a, it's like a 20 minute, uh, uh, hyper add TV show where it's just like every 10 seconds. Just, yep. Yeah. Uh, so there was another thing that I was wondering about too, and this gets into maybe a bit of a heavier topic, but I think one of the challenges is the line between the sincerity.

Of, um, talking about a product and it being a business. Well, also the, you know, being able to have convincing copy or convincing referral now, as far as what happens in, on the customer side or the advocate side. No, we can, we can talk about that. I think this is more of the challenge of the brand itself is know how to draw that fine line between having that genuine connection with it, but also, um, being able to accurately convert customers.

Um, now to be fair, I don't think this is a totally 100%, um, what referral can problem referral Candy's out to solve, but I would like to hear your take on it anyways. 

Raul Galera: [00:32:10] Oh yeah, no, I, I, I always kind of like have the same answer, uh, cause this is something that comes up with the, when I, when I talked to two brands and I've probably mentioned this earlier, earlier today, I mean, The fact that a referral program is just here to incentivize something that it's probably already happening in your store.

Uh, so our referral program by itself, it's not going to solve a problem with your product or your reputation as a company, or, you know, your support system or your, uh, you know, purchasing experience in, in general. So, um, if any of those factors, uh, it's not working correctly and that results into your customers not being happy with the purchase that they've just made, no referral program can, can consult that at all.

Um, so a referral program is something that, you know, if you look at the post purchase side, Uh, it's something that comes up after, uh, again, after you're sure that your customers are happy with the purchase, that you've just made anything. If even if something went wrong, if you have a system, a support system, that's there to help them and kinda like proactively solve their problem, they'll still be happy.

And it's, it's possible that even if they didn't didn't like the product or even if they, the product wasn't for them, but they had kinda got an easy return, um, you know, uh, collect product return process. Those probably still recommended because the. Uh, transaction was, you know, was, was a satisfactory on their end.

So yeah, it it's, it has to do more with, I mean, bottom line is if you don't have a good product, uh, if your customers are not happy, you know, do you gotta fix those, those problems first before you, you know, consider about having a referral program, uh, solely for you? Because as I mentioned earlier, uh, no customer is going to refer you to a friend or a family member.

Um, if they didn't even believe in the product in the first place. 

Joseph: [00:33:56] You know, there can be a, a point where it gets a little bit too positive and there's, um, an I'll give you a specific example. So I ordered, I I'm using, I actually, I'm not even going to say the name of the brand because this is how worried I am, that it might do them some damage instead of doing them some good.

So I'm using them for, for about a year. Uh, and some of my long, long, long time listeners might figure out who it is. And I ordered a comparable product for my girlfriend, but it wasn't a good fit for her. And I think some of this had to do with the product and COVID worries and shipping back and forth.

They said, you know what, we'll give you the money back and you can keep the product right. All right. Well, you know, my, my mother's day gift is sorted out this year, I suppose. And I didn't, I haven't told anybody because I don't want anybody to take advantage of that. I don't want anybody to see like, okay, well, I guess I'll just order it too.

And I'll just say I don't like it. I mean, they, I guess they have my purchase on file and so they know, okay, well, this guy he's purchased from us in the past, so they can cross-reference that. But what I mean, what if they didn't? So, and have you any experience along those lines where maybe like somebody got to like build a little bit too generous or it was just like finding the right balance between what exactly rewards which we should get into by the way, which is what are some of the idea of rewards that we want to, uh, we want our customers to, uh, have as a takeaway.

And one of the things I'd like to add, just to add a little more spice into this, I looked at the case studies for some of the different companies and it's wildly distinctive there's cosmetic brands. And then obviously my eye was drawn right to the cryptocurrency one, because I'm a little bit of a crypto guy and.

Uh, the, the, the referrals, the, the rewards have to be different from those two points. So I'd love to hear more about that. Just like the, I, what are the idea of rewards you want to give? And I guess maybe some tears too, like, depending on the customer activity. 

Raul Galera: [00:35:42] So, I mean, we, we have kind of like the same structures for everybody.

Um, it's just a matter of how, um, like what the actual, uh, reward looks like, uh, on the brand. Like, you know, what, if they want to get a percentage off or what, you know, how much, uh, or how big of a percentage off they'd want to give, or if it's like a fixed dollar amount also, you know, what, what dollar amount do want to give as a discount or if they want to give cash?

Uh, so those are options that we just going to offer a directly on, on when they set up the account. As a rule of thumb and without really getting too deep into like each specific customers, but, you know, for anybody that's listening and just wants to get kind of like an overall a recommendation. What I like to, um, what I like to say, or like, what I would like to, you know, to recommend is that you tie your rewards to your customer purchasing behavior.

So if you have customers that are, let's say, let's go back to kind of like the product actually. So if you're selling a product that your customers are buying or can potentially buy on a regular basis, um, more interesting for everybody to give them a discount towards a future purchase, uh, rather than giving them like cash, uh, just because they, you know, you wanna incentivize them to also come back, not only to get them to refer friends, but also to make another purchase.

On the other hand, if you're selling a product, then you know, your customers are not going to buy, you know, anytime soon. Uh, then it's probably better to maybe give them a, uh, a free gift, um, can be kind of like an accessory to your product or another free product, um, or, or cash. Um, so that's, that's kinda like the rule of thumb on how, how to like, make them different if you're also selling, obviously if you're selling a subscription, you know, I I've seen examples of companies that, uh, they, they give their customers.

A free subscription. So like if you refer a friend next month is on us, but also we'll give you your friends, you know, 50% off on their first subscription, just so they can try it out because we know they're going to like it so much that are gonna stay. Um, so, you know, for every friend that you refer, you'll get a month for free.

So that's, that's kinda how it works. So as a rule of thumb, that's, that's really how, how it works. Then if we get into specific products, uh, you know, there's, there's companies that are they, I mean, they know what their products like and to know what, you know, how their customers interact with it. So, uh, some companies prefer to give, uh, like, uh, an additional unit of their, of their product.

We have a company that's been with us for a really long time and they, they sell, uh, it's a subscription, right? For, uh, just close basically. Um, and so for every friend that you refer, it's not, it's not like you get the next month for free. It's just that you get a double box that month. So if you're referred to friends, you get to be like, sorry, you get your box and two more boxes, um, uh, on a particular month.

So you get, you know, like you can potentially, uh, triple the amount of products that you're getting from the company. So yeah, they're all, they're all pretty different. Um, and I, but I would say that that's kind of like the main, uh, differentiator, uh, between them and how their customers are interacting with the product.

And then based on that, how much the customer, sorry, how much the company wants to keep them as a recurring customer, or if they just want to make sure that they're happy with every friend that they're referring and just give them something that, uh, will continue to incentivize them to do so. 

Joseph: [00:38:55] Okay. So out of all of the rewards, uh, I'm personally, I'm a little skeptical about giving people a cash reward and it might just because I'm, you know, I'm, I'm putting this together in my mind.

So maybe there's just like a key point that I'm missing. I guess it sounds it's funny. Cause it almost goes back to the idea of like, you know, treating them as a sales team. Well now, well now they're so much so that they're actually being paid for their work. So in that sense, I can, I can see it working, but I'm not, I'm a little skeptical about the relationship between that.

And maybe just giving somebody that discount at the, at the point of sale, I guess I just like to know, like, what are what's some of the data you can speak to that has proven that these cash rewards have actually yielded tangible results down the line. They refer to somebody else. Somebody else makes a purchase.

You get it. They get the profit from that point. So I can see it working, but I would like a little bit more clarity on just how to make sure cash is working. 

Raul Galera: [00:39:48] Yeah. I mean, that, that's a really good point. And again, it kind of goes back to, to the, the purchasing behavior of each one of those companies. So, uh, we have a couple of key studies, uh, so I'll start off by saying that that's not the most common reward.

So most of our clients decide to go with, uh, either, either coupons. Um, I would say coupons is the majority of our customers, what they, what they use because they sell a product that they can it's, it's easy for the customers to kind of come back and buy it again. So if you think about it, there aren't that many stores out there, uh, on our, at least it's easier to think about stores that sell a product and you can possibly buy, uh, every, you know, let's say a few times a year, at least the companies that are selling a product that's so unique that you're never going to buy again or not anytime soon.

So I'll give you two examples of, of actually case studies that we have on our website. So we have, um, uh, critical pass, which is a company that's been with us for forever, really, and they sell a flashcards for people that are studying for a day, they started by creating flashcards for people that are the studying for the, for the bar exam.

Uh, but then later on, they started doing it for a bunch of other, uh, exams. And that the kind of like the particular, uh, characteristic of those customers is that. Once they buy those flashcards, hopefully they'll pass the exam. They'll never need them again. Um, so if they're going to refer their friends, getting a coupon, uh, on a future purchase of those flashcards, it's not, they're not going to have any use for it because they'll never have to buy them again.

Right. Um, and so they, they gave cash instead. And also because they are working with students that, you know, not, they might not have an income or, you know, they might be working part-time whatever they might use the cash, you know? And so, so that, that worked really well for them and still working really well for, for them.

Uh, another example that we have and. You know, if there's one product that you buy, you know, probably once in, in, in, in a decade, it's a mattress. Um, so we've had several mattress companies running referral programs with, with us. There's one in our, in our case study section, but we've had several of those and they all had in common that there were, um, that were either given a cash.

Because again, it's just makes sense to you. You bought a new mattress and, you know, you show it to, you know, it was somebody that came to visit you. You're like, Hey, look, you know what? We'll just buy, like, you know, it's great. Um, actually I can give you a hundred dollars off on your mattress and I'll get 50 bucks.

Uh, because again, there's really no use. I'm giving that person at discount cause they're not going to buy another mattress probably anytime soon. So either that or some sort of, um, like free, free gift, uh, Maybe related to the product, um, but not necessarily the product itself, because again, th th they're having to use for, for that for a second mattress in this case.

So yeah, it, like I said, the majority of our, of our customers, um, uh, go with, uh, with a coupon route, I imagine that there's also kind of like this underlying, uh, fear of potential fraud. So, you know, if you're going to have following activity happening in your referral program, uh, it's better, you know, if it's better, if it's related to coupon codes, rather than cash, like giving cash to people that are not necessarily, uh, you know, delivering, you know, uh, the, the, the, the right purchases or value purchases or whatever.

So, uh, for that, from especially in the past year with, uh, we have increased our kinda like our security levels and we've put a lot of emphasis on, on our fraud management. And now we give a lot more tools for the merchants to identify potentially fraud, fraudulent purchases at we, we do have our own filters that prevent people from referring themselves or, you know, kind of like different ways that they could potentially be, uh, kind of like, uh, tricking the system.

But even if they pass those filters, we do have kind of like a secondary set of filters. Uh, We temporarily approve the referral, but we let the customer know and we kinda like ask them to look at it specifically and let us know if it's, uh, about a purchase. So that kind of removes the risk, uh, or at least makes it easier for brands to run referral promos with a little bit more peace of mind that everything's kind of taken care of on the, on the back end and making sure that the referrals that they're sending out are going towards, you know, valid advocates.

Joseph: [00:43:55] You know, you make a distinction that I drew between both the student, as well as, you know, whomsoever purchases a mattress is that and a student is a little bit more obvious because they are studying for their exam. And so they're very likely if not, certainly. And I think there's a lot of similarities to whomsoever might purchase a mattress.

I guess some of this has to do with where the mattress brands themselves, like if they're appealing to people who already own a home, but a lot of people are moving into a lot of places and oftentimes they need to order a mattress to go with it. And so in a lot of their cases, they might have a lot of other purchases that needs to acquire as well.

So I guess I can see the logic there. So two questions to that. Um, one of them is at what point would say, let's just say I'm, I'm the student and I, and I purchasing it at what point, what I know about this referral program, would it be advantageous to know before the purchase? So I say, oh, okay. If I do that, have you heard about a referral program?

Oh, if I, if I refer five people, well, I can shut down the hallway. I can refer to, I can refer 20 people in the span of like five. Or maybe do they find out afterwards? Cause at the end of the day they were, they were going to convert and which is of course the responsibility of the brand to, to convert them.

So, so I'd like to hear about that. And then the other one I'd like to hear too, and I'll remind you just in case we get lost in the weeds on the first one is have we ever seen brands refer customers to other brands, like if there was like a co a cooperative relationship where I dunno, I'm, I'm, I'm selling somebody a mattress, so I might want to refer to them to a pillow guy, you know?

Raul Galera: [00:45:22] Yeah. That's um, I like the second question. Uh, I'll answer the first one. So in that particular referral program, um, I don't know right now, I don't know exactly what's the up that they have at the moment, but, uh, if I remember correctly back then they had a call to action on their websites. Even before just browsing the website.

Uh, you could still sign up for the referral program and that's actually something, a lot of brands do, which in my opinion is really, really smart. Um, and it's the fact that I might be browsing a website that I accidentally stumbled upon because I clicked on an ad or, you know, whatever. Um, and I might not be the right customer for it, but I might know somebody.

And so if I can get a, a coupon code for my friend, if I can get a referral link and send it to my friends, um, and I can get something in exchange or at least, uh, give something to my friend for that first purchase, um, I'm going to be incentivized to, uh, to do so. Um, and kind of like I saw as a sideline on that, um, we've actually seen referral programs.

A bigger reward to the friend, uh, rather than the advocate. So, uh, just to kinda like test, if people will, we're happy to, to share, uh, and they don't really care about what they were getting in return. We've seen like, you know, companies that were, were offering like doubled triple rewards to the first customer, rather than sorry.

Th th th the first costumer. I mean, if the friend in this case, uh, rather than, than the, the existing customer. So, uh, so that, that has worked really well, but yeah, in that particular company, I think they have a call to action on the website for people to sign up. I think they were also doing some sort of like post-purchase email.

Um, and then at the same time, I remembered that that particular client, the referral program got really famous on online forums of, or just, you know, Facebook groups of people that were studying for the bar. Cause that typically helps to, you know, answer each other's questions or, you know, uh, questions about the process or whatever it is.

Uh, just kind of like to support each other in that, in that process, those referral links actually, uh, moved a lot in those, in those forums. And that actually helped a lot for the referral program. There were people basically offering discounts for a product that pretty much everybody in that, in those channels needed.

Um, and then the second question was about, uh, oh, companies are working with each other. Um, yeah, so that's actually, that's actually something that we, uh, have been looking into, like potentially getting ourselves, uh, and then developing some sort of product to help brands, uh, doing co-marketing together, uh, or brands can like do in referral programs in which they can, uh, kind of like support each other.

There are brands. I mean, I've, I've definitely seen brand collaborations, uh, where brands that sell products to the same audience, but there are complimentary products, uh, get together and run promotions together. Uh, I know that there are some platforms out there that kind of, uh, allow that, uh, but, but yeah, there's, it's, it's definitely.

It's definitely something that a lot of brands don't, don't think about immediately as a, as a potential, uh, sales channel, but something that at least in, in, in SaaS, uh, it's super common. I mean, we're, we're doing co-marketing all the time and we're doing it right now. Um, so I, it's not that common to see any commerce and it's definitely a new vertical that a lot of brands could explore.

Joseph: [00:48:34] Yeah, it was great too, by the way, is that in the first of those two questions, uh, that, that I'd asked back to back, you had also answered a couple of other ones that I wanted to make sure that we got to as well. Uh, which is if it was possible for somebody to basically become an ambassador without having purchased anything and the way you characterize it, I think is excellent because I could be in that same position too.

I could be scanning through and I'll see a product on a same, you know, it's been a while since. No, no. In fact, I've never put makeup on my face. I've had people put makeup on my face because that was a background actor, but that's a different thing. It's a job professional, but I can refer that to somebody else to say, Hey, look, I, I thought of, uh, I thought of you and you know, uh, this might, this might work out and then I get a little something extra for it.

So that, that, that makes sense. And now I was definitely curious about that. Uh, the other one, I also wanted to, the other one that you answered too, was the idea that the referred to ends up getting more than the referrer. And I'm speaking slowly because I have been caught in this semantics trap before where I'm not sure do I say refer referred.

I tried doing a referee at some point, and then it turned into a hockey reference. So, but I just want to like, just get a little bit of clarification on that, because it sounds to me like if the referred to gets more out of it, then the referral. Then the referrer might feel cheesed or, or burned by, by their effort, especially since they're the ones that have already put money into it.

So, uh, what's the balancing act there in end up getting rewarding or maybe I, maybe I misheard you. Maybe it turns out it was a bad idea, but whatever the case is. Okay. 

Raul Galera: [00:50:04] No, no that, yeah, that that's, uh, so I mean, it's, it's not something that we see, um, all the time. Uh, actually the most common scenario is that both the refer friend and the customer, um, or in this case, let's make it easier.

The, the advocate, which is the existing customer, that's making the recommendation, the advocate and the friend, uh, get the same reward. So if you remember, the, this is the most kind of classic, uh, referral program example, Uber, uh, so Uber was something. Give $10 get $10. That's the most typical structure for referral programs that we, that we see if that both, uh, kinda like both parties get the same reward also because it's, it's easier to, uh, to pitch as well.

Um, if you're talking to a friend like, Hey, use my referral link and we'll both get $10, uh, on the next purchase. Uh, but, but we have seen some examples in which and I don't, I don't really know exactly why they chose that structure. Maybe they were just testing it out. And it turns out that incentivize people even more, or maybe because of the nature of the product, it's something that you share more, not necessarily with, uh, your, you know, your social media audience, but more with like your, like your close circle of friends, but that's the structure of giving more to the friend, uh, rather than the advocate, again, something that we've seen in something that works really well.

And if it works really well, it means that the recommendations are being, uh, you know, kinda like share in a very close circle. Uh, so again, between friends and family, again, it's not something that we see every day. Uh, but we do have some cases of, uh, extremely successful referrals programs that relied in that, in that kind of setup.

Joseph: [00:51:37] Okay, good. I appreciate you clearing that one up.

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In the interests of trying to ask at least like one, um, bizarre question is, is, have you ever seen a, a brand or a company, I guess maybe this isn't too bizarre, but whatever. Have they, has it ever been feasible to say, um, get a VA or um, uh, somebody in maybe in the PR to seek out activity, like if, say I were to type in my brand second space and just to see if anybody is talking about it as has ever has brands ever like gone out and just to see if people were organically talking about it, to reel them in?

Raul Galera: [00:52:34] Um, well, they can kind of see, I mean, they can see it from the, from the referral candy dashboard. Uh, so you can see what has been the social activity, um, around your brand. So how many times referral links have been shared on Facebook or Twitter? Um, not Instagram because Instagram only allows, allows one, one link, but, uh, you can see your Twitter and Facebook activity.

So you know how many people are, um, are referring or I'm sharing those referral links on social media. You can see how much traffic your referral program is generating to your site before you even see kind of like, you know, sales. And obviously, obviously revenue, that's something you can track as well.

Uh, but you can also track that. And then you can also, uh, we also have a section on dashboard where you can see. Uh, who are your top advocates? So who are, uh, the people that are referring the most friends, uh, to your store, um, or generating more, more purchases. Um, so you can kind of like see the attraction, um, off the referral program just directly in terms of, of numbers.

Um, I'm not really sure. I, maybe if we're talking about in terms of branding and like how people, um, kind of like see the brand out there, um, in my opinion, I feel like the best way to know what your customers think is to, uh, ask your customer support team. They have the, they have the best because they, they do get like bad interactions, but also they get really good interactions.

I mean, we see it with our own customer support team. Uh, they they're constantly sharing, you know, good interactions will we see reviews that are directly referencing work done by somebody in our, in our customer success. Um, so yeah, uh, whether it's for your own knowledge of how your company is being seen, I think looking at your customer base and what they're saying, um, it's, it's really useful. And then if you're looking just for, for metrics and seeing if your referral program is having any sort of traction, you can see it directly from, uh, from your referral candy account. 

Joseph: [00:54:20] Well, that's a fantastic answer to that. Now. Um, Raul, we, we don't have too much time left on the program. Uh, there was one other thing that I was actually two things that I was curious about. Um, one of them is how the, the rules or might change if say, uh, this, whereas strictly in the B2B space. So what I would argue w what you're doing is, is B2B because your customers are business people themselves.

So there's a bit of like a line between like a customer and a business, but, you know, it's, you, you, you can quantify both, uh, both arguments, but if, uh, if a brand was specifically like a B2B brand, um, have you seen, or is that part of like the peripheral county's strategy to, for like, have you seen any major differences, even on a cultural level?

Uh, a, uh, for businesses doing referrals for one another. I don't know. I feel like it might be a bit different thing to set up a Facebook community for purely for purely in the B2B space. So, yeah, I was just wondering if you had any experience in that regard. 

Raul Galera: [00:55:16] Yeah, I mean, th th the, the vast majority of our customers are on, on B2C.

Uh, so they're, e-commerce brands selling to, uh, consumers are, uh, uh, direct to consumer brands. Um, we've had, I mean, we do get inquires, uh, of companies, uh, and I, I personally talked to a lot of companies that wanted to use a referral candy for, uh, kinda like a B2B, uh, type of setup. Don't get me wrong. It's a, it's a, it's a, it's a world in which recommendations.

Um, if anything a lot more, uh, trusted, I would say, cause, you know, if you're using, you know, a company budget to acquire a software or product, you're probably looking for recommendations when, if you have another company in the space that you know, and that they can recommend a specific supplier, uh, you know, whatever distributor, whatever it is, uh, you, you're probably going to go with our recommendation because again, it's, it's not your money that you're playing with.

So you want to make sure that you're making the right decision. So between recommendations happen all the time. Um, now that the problem, at least from the kind of like technical perspective is that, uh, in the B2B. A lot of interactions happen, uh, offline. So it's not as quick, or it's not as direct as going to an e-commerce store, browsing products, uh, going to checkout and making the purchase.

It's it involves emails, involves demo calls, uh, involves negotiation, you know, different pricing structures, all that kind of stuff. So that complicates the setup for a B2B referral program a lot, uh, or at least it doesn't make it as easy as it doesn't for, for e-commerce. And obviously the fact that we're optimized for e-commerce.

Um, if we have, and we do have brands, uh, selling to other brands and doing a referral programs, but, uh, they're set up, it's a lot more similar to an e-commerce brand than kind of like, you know, like a SaaS company, like we could be okay. 

Joseph: [00:57:01] Yeah. That, that that's fair. And it ties back to the, you know, the very beginning of the concept of, you know, turning somebody of the customer.

And having them have more of an active, uh, impact in the business. So it's the way of elevating them from a C space and a little more of like a C slash B hybrid. So again, it comes back to, you know, w where the, I guess the, the gray territory of like, what, what, what point does he stop and be begin? But, you know, the diver everyone's, everyone's conducting business, whether they're the purchaser or the supplier.

So I'll, uh, I'll leave it at that. Uh, I did also see, um, candy bar. We don't have to like, get too much into this, but, um, just cause whenever I, if I understand this correctly, this is more something somebody can use that they're running like an in store or in a retail space. So it is cool to see, uh, lines being, um, uh, created bridge is being built to, um, help maintain the retail space as well. So, um, how, how, how has that, uh, that side of admin going as a, have you seen, um, uh, businesses take into it and really like it, especially considering the last year is, uh, how, uh, this has managed to help people out? 

Raul Galera: [00:58:02] Yeah, for sure. Uh, so we have, uh, we, we started candy bar, uh, in 2018, but kinda like 2018 was the first year that we were, you know, in, in, in business.

Um, And I mean, it's, it's been going really well. I mean, obviously COVID has affected it because the vast majority of our customers, uh, or yeah, I mean, all of our customers from candy bar are retail stores, so their activity got affected in one way or another. Um, so we did see a drop in usage and, and everything, but know, we're happy to see that we're kind of like bouncing back to, uh, pre COVID levels.

So, so that's, that's great to see, not only for the product and the company, but also because it means that, uh, activity is starting to pick up again. Um, something interesting that we saw, uh, during the pandemic, um, is that, uh, so a lot of these might not necessarily have a online presence. A lot of them starting to move into online presence, uh, obviously during the first couple months of the pandemic.

Um, but we have several features that allows them to kinda like pre-sell packages of, or kind of like sell bundles of, of our promotions, uh, instead of candy bar. And that's something that they can like customers can like do remotely. Um, so we saw some usage on, on that front, but, uh, but yeah, I mean the way candy bar works and I'll, I'll go over very quickly, uh, is that we allow a retail or brick and mortar stores to set up and run, uh, customer loyalty programs.

So we basically put the traditional physical punch card into your phone without having to download an app or anything like that. It just works directly on your, on your phones. There's interaction at the store that needs to happen, um, in order to be able to use it, it's not necessarily connected to, uh, an eCommerce platform or some sort of CRM.

Um, so, so yeah, the, the, the, the kind of like the usage of candy bar, uh, has been kind of following the overall trends of how COVID has affected different countries. 

Joseph: [00:59:57] Okay. Well, I think it's cool to be able to, uh, I'll really identify such a far reaching a message. Um, crisis is, uh, putting a generously with using the, the, the data that you've been aggregating and you can see how the activity levels are parallel to.

And this comes back to the core of what we described, uh, salvage in the beginning. This is the core of human behavior. People like shopping. And we do like going out in person and shopping and having that in-person experience. So it's to see that through line accurately reflects basically everything else that goes on.

Yeah. I mean, what other product information can really be supplied. So, uh, that's an interesting takeaway there. So I think there, our audience, there's certainly a lot here too, to consider. And, uh, I I'm, for one, I'm really grateful to have been able to have this conversation with you. Definitely a lot for me to soak in and, and think about, um, I do want to make sure just in case I didn't cover all the bases in case there's a stone yet to be unturned.

Is there anything else you'd like to let us know about the company otherwise we can, um, we can let you go. 

Raul Galera: [01:00:55] Nothing. I don't think anything that we haven't covered. Uh, so once again, thanks for the invitation. It's been my pleasure. It's been a really, really, really good conversation. And I've, I've also had, it's allowed me to.

Think about it from marketing some terms that I hadn't really thought about before. So, like I said, I'll, I'll credit you from, from now on and now, I mean, I'll just invite anybody to, uh, to use, uh, referral candy. Um, uh, I can send you, uh, kind of like a, uh, uh, promotion for your listeners if they would like to try out a referral can be.

Um, but yeah, uh, with, again, whipping around for, uh, for 10 years, we're one of the leading companies in the reform work in space and, and will we allow us to brands of any size, uh, to run a referral program. Potentially turn it into a profitable, um, sales channel, uh, which it's, it's really important these days, considering how expensive it's getting to acquire customers.

This is a very cost-effective way of attracting customers. Um, so yeah, happy to help any brands out there that are looking for something like that.  

Joseph: [01:01:56] Fantastic. And, and I'm, and I'm happy to, to hear that, um, some of my own ideas have actually had some resonance here. I'd like to believe that whatever community I get to participate in in this case, the e-commerce community, it does make me feel good to also know that I'm having little seeds of influence here and there.

Right. We all want to make sure that we're making a difference. And so, uh, that's a, that's a great takeaway for me, if you'd like to end on, if there's like a quick answer to a question or that Abel typically don't ask or have like a favorite proverb or words of wisdom, anything along those lines, you're welcome to share.

And then, uh, just remind the audience how to find you. And we'll uh, uh, we'll, we'll wrap it up. 

Raul Galera: [01:02:33] I don't know if I have any like, uh, words of wisdom, uh, to, to share something. Okay. I'll, I'll share something that I heard last year. Um, I don't know exactly who said this. Um, so it might invalidate the whole thing, but, um, uh, somebody said that, um, there are they gates where nothing happens and there are weeks where they get to happen.

Definitely what happened last year. Uh, so it kinda like, it's an easy way for me to re, to, to remember that things can change very quickly, uh, either way. So it's just a, it's a little reminder, um, that, that, yeah, like, you know, you just gotta stay on top of things and, and, but be prepared for, for, you know, for whatever might happen, which can be positive or negative.

Doesn't have to be a negative and despite 2020, um, and then how to reach me, uh, via email is the, is the best way that you can, you can reach me. Uh, so our, uh, I don't know if we'll, we'll kind of leave it in the, in the notes, uh, but it's raulg@referralcandy.com. Feel free to answer any questions, uh, there, or continue the conversation.

Joseph: [01:03:38] Okay, fantastic. And door's always open by the way. So they give you guys give you, give yourselves a couple of quarters. You're more than welcome to come back and let us know things are going. 

Raul Galera: [01:03:46] Sounds good. 

Joseph: [01:03:46] All right. Fantastic. And to my audience, as always, it's an honor to be able to provide this information to you.

Um, so, so thank you for much for all of that. And by the way, guys, you know, after we do the, the episode, you do hear that I talk about, Hey, do the review, but I'm going to say it again right here right now. Cause we, uh, we would love to get some reviews. We really want to hear some feedback from you guys. So reply from you use is great iTunes preferred, and then you've re I really wanted to hear from you guys too.

So please podcast@debutify.com. Let me know. I think it would go in and just, just, just to have a, have a conversation with me and maybe I can help you out a little bit. I know a few people, if you know, I know a few people at this point. All right, take care. We will check in soon. 

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