Tesla’s Referral Program: Viral Growth by fmr Tesla Product Leader, Ruming Zhen

How to build a winning referral program for more orders

Takeaways from building referral program at Tesla

Tesla relies on the product itself to increase demand. And that is why the direction has become the main mechanism for shaping Tesla's demand. If you have created a referral program, you will know how difficult it is to create a working referral program, especially one that works well for high unit value products such as a Tesla car.

The first principle of the referral dynamics

This whole process boils down to high value with core value being replicated for others. Sharing will make you look good. And finally, sharing is not difficult at all.

As soon as your good client starts to act, it becomes very important for a new client to clearly see the values and be able to take immediate action. It's important to capitalize before your attention span wanes. If you look at existing products, some of them don't try very hard to make it easy for a new customer to use the product.

Take-away 1: Relevance is the key

Due to the high significance of the reward - the mechanism really works. If we give the client a fivefold benefit, he will actually take advantage of it. They will feel it is valuable.

Take-away 2: A good reward system will incentivize sharing autonomously.

An excellent reward system benefits from a long tail. The long tail is those customers that attract many new buyers. These customers are the most loyal customers and are really important to your business.

Benefiting from a long tail motivates not only repeat customers, but also executives and influencers.

The most loyal customers receive the most rewards. This is not only correct, but also really beneficial. For this reason, a referral program is a really good measure of the power of your product.

Take-away 3: Iterations make perfect

No referral program is born to succeed, at least not as successful as it can be.

There are referral programs that look pretty good once deployed, but all of them can be much more successful after iteration. Everything in the referral end-to-end interface should be built iteratively, including, for example, one-time campaigns, registration page iterations, a referral home where the client can see their progress, and reward systems.

Every product and business is unique and you should study your own breakdown of iteration time. The main thing is to focus on the data. Talk to your clients. Become successful!

Ruming Zhen, fmr Tesla Product Leader.