Referral program for Employed India

Referral program for Employed India


300% increase in app downloads with the new referral program.


Designed a referral flow for the app


3 months


1 Product Manager, 3 Engineer, 1 Marketing Head, Solo Designer


Employed India has been playing a pivotal role in transforming the way employees and businesses are collaborating globally to generate extraordinary results working remotely. We are empowering professionals to be their own bosses, nurture their passion, and excel at work from anywhere and anytime.

My Role

Strategy, Problem Solving, Competitor Analysis, Customer Journey, User Flow, Wireframes, Visual Design.

Problem Statement

To design a referral program for the EI App that lets the most engaged or active users invite their friends and increase the app's user base without spending money on marketing.


Hooray, we launched this program in Jul 2021! For confidentiality reasons, I have omitted the actual values for these metrics.

🎉 After 14 days of going live, we saw a 120% increase in app downloads.

🤩 Also, we saw a 35% increase in the number of users applying for jobs, and our daily active users increased by 19%.

Background Context

There are five levels in the app - Basic, Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum levels. These levels are defined by the jobs completed. Your levels increase and your benefits increase as you finish more jobs.



I had very little idea of how referrals in a product work so I thought of researching about it. I explored and read a bunch of articles to know

❓️ How does referral flows works in an app?

🤔 What is the design thinking that goes behind it?

🔍 How do other products do it?

🤷🏻‍♂️ What are the different types of incentives?

🪄 How to make a successful referral flow?

My Findings

The incentive is the key part of a product referral design

  • Referrals if included in a product with the right incentives on both sides including referrer and referee helps in making a flywheel of growth.
  • Referrals are mostly done by the users who are happy and regularly engage with your content or product so that you don’t have to spend money on marketing to get new users but your satisfied users invite their friends and family to the platform themselves.
  • The flow can be embedded anywhere in the product but I have to keep in mind that it should be at a point where it has maximum likelihood of conversion and also is a moment that happens frequently.

Some amazing data while exploring

"People are 4 times more likely to buy when referred by a friend "— Nielsen

"83% of consumers say they either completely or somewhat trust recommendations from family, colleagues, and friends about products" — Nielsen

Types of Referrals

Referrals can be majorly categorized into 2 categories -

Incentive Referrals

Referrer usually shares a unique referral code/link. This unique referral code helps in tracking where the new users came from so that we can provide incentives accordingly.

Non - Incentivise Referrals

Word of mouth, or social share, or recommendation.


Other questions to consider while designing referral flow

  • What should be the "hook" that will inspire a user to want to refer friends?
  • What incentives can I create for the referrer and referred users?
  • At what point in the current user journey can I introduce the referral program such that conversion is maximum?

There are four kinds of incentives offered in referrals

  1. Discounted products- Uber- discount on rides, AirBnB- Travel credit- can be used while booking, E-Com- amazon and Flipkart- gift cards and discount on future orders
  2. Premium access to the product for a period- Evernote offers premium account access for a limited period.
  3. Money- some products offer you referral money. This often happens with one-time, transactional products.
  4. Increased usage limit of the product- eg Dropbox

Wireframe and Ideation

I figured out some points in the user journey at which the user is highly motivated and has a high psyche level so that they are most likely to make the refer the product to others(friends, family, colleagues)


But how exactly does referral flow work in this app?

1. When a user completes a job?

If users complete 'N' jobs it implies they are really happy with our job poster and overall experience. The interval 'N' is mostly 5 jobs.

  • This is one of the points when they are more likely to refer it to their friend.
  • This is applicable for all fives levels of users.
  • I wanted to clearly state the benefits of inviting your friend & also used social proof to help users build trust in the product and then asking them to perform a certain action.

Social proof is a convenient shortcut that users take to determine how to behave. When they are unsure or when the situation is ambiguous, they are most likely to look at and accept the actions of others as correct. The greater the number of people, the more appropriate the action seems.


2. When the user gets leveled up!

  • In this case, they receive a badge, so they have a high psyche level and are highly motivated as well.
  • Timing is everything, especially when you want something from your users.
  • The best moment to do so is when the users achieved their goal and feel like they got superpowers from your product.
  • Use this moment carefully to ask for key elements of feedback or actions that can make your business grow
  • But in this case, the pop-up referral screens are different for all levels. Higher the level more benefits for inviting friends.


3. When the user checks the transaction history

  • Users may take advantage of this in order to earn more money besides their money earned from job completeness.
  • I created a tab in which the user can manage invitations and track their progress through the app.


4. Variable rewards on different occasions

  • Rewards feel best when they are unexpected, however small they may be.
  • In this case, Usually, users get 10% of their first job when someone joins through their invite link, but here they get 20% (limited for 24 hr and single time use).

“Random“ rewards make powerful motivators; they seem scarce and unpredictable. We’re more motivated to reach a goal with an uncertain reward.


Learning & Insights

  • Gained a lot of insights into how to design keeping in mind the growth of the product.
  • I came across various psychology concepts that go behind designing a referral flow.
  • Always try to give the value first and then ask users to do a specific action.
  • Adding delight to the design makes the user experience far better and engaging.
  • I learned about all the motivations that can drive users to refer the product to their friends.

Next Step

Currently, the animation isn't present, whether when he gets leveled up or when he gets the mystery box. At the present time, I'm trying to learn the basic nuances of animation and how to make it more gamified. These subtle details contribute to a memorable user experience.

Timing is everything, especially when you want something from users.

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