Does care lead to share? Evidence from a randomized field experiment on call for sharing

Jaehwuen Jung, Ravi Bapna, Joseph M. Golden, Tianshu Sun

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Information sharing through online WOM has become increasingly important for businesses. Despite the popularity of online referral programs, little is known about how firms can optimally design call-to-action to encourage referrals, as well as the motives underlying those referrals. In collaboration with a large US based online platform specialized in photo processing, we conduct a large randomized field experiment involving 100,000 customers to identify the causal effect of three types of call-to-action for referral (egoistic, equitable and altruistic) that are widely used in practice. Our experiment shows that, surprisingly, 'altruistic' call-to-action leads to highest likelihood of referral and best referral outcomes. Such altruistic framing is more effective for customers who had repeated purchases in the past and who reported higher Net Promoter Score. Also, we find that the effect of altruistic framing decays fast after customer's purchase. In this way, our study provides direct managerial implications to firms on the optimal design of call-to-action for referral campaigns (how, to whom and when to send call-to-action for referral). We also show that altruism is an important driver of online referral among customers and how such motive leads to referral decision and referral outcomes. Finally, we discussed the key differences and complementarity between call for referral and call for purchase, and offer guidance on firm's integrated marketing communication strategy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2016 International Conference on Information Systems, ICIS 2016
PublisherAssociation for Information Systems
ISBN (Electronic)9780996683135
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016
Event2016 International Conference on Information Systems, ICIS 2016 - Dublin, Ireland
Duration: Dec 11 2016Dec 14 2016

Publication series

Name2016 International Conference on Information Systems, ICIS 2016

Other

Other2016 International Conference on Information Systems, ICIS 2016
CountryIreland
CityDublin
Period12/11/1612/14/16

Keywords

  • Altruism
  • Call-to-action
  • Field experiment
  • Online referrals
  • Social contagion

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