Of all the marketing methods that bring in more customers and increase sales, referrals are at the top of the heap. After all, without a recommendation from one of our fellow human beings, not even the best print, audio, or video ad has any chance at selling a product.
Offering your existing customers the chance at a great deal or cash reward, is the perfect way to get referrals lining up at the door, hungry to make a purchase. And the only way to get referrals in the first place, is to offer the best product or service possible (in the customer’s eyes). Then after, encourage those customers in as many ways, and as often as possible, to tell as many of their friends and family about you as they can.
Tips to Nail Down More Business Using a Referral Program
1. Make the referral program easy to find and remember
Make sure your referral program is mentioned front and center in anything that has your name on it. Whether it’s an app, your website, in-store, or embedded somewhere in your various offline advertising media and promotions. Even your business cards should have “Ask us about our referral program” written somewhere. Place CTAs for the referral program everywhere, so customers never forget the benefits you offer those who recommend you.
2. Monthly email blasts
These don’t even have to be promotional in nature. If you’ve taken the time to build your list (if not, why?) it’s imperative you touch base with them at least once a month, if not once a week. Offer tips, tricks, and entertainment in the emails. But, always make sure you remind the customer of your referral program and offer a weblink to the referral page on your site, or a short referral code for them to give to those they recommend you to.
3. Blog until you’re tired of blogging
Then when you do get tired of it, pay someone else to do it for you. Blog about your business, the industry you’re in, upcoming promotions, gush about your favorite customers. But always include posts about your referral program. Include a footer or in-post link leading the customer to your referral page. Make special offers like free monthly giveaways for those who reach a certain (attainable) number of signed referrals. Make your programs so irresistible they can’t help but talk about you with others.
4. Plug for referrals on social
Just think how easy it is to Tweet once or twice weekly about your referral program to followers. As long as you’re offering other content on a daily basis, nobody’s going to fault you for offering them something great in exchange for recommendations to people you know. In fact, you’ll become an outcast if you don’t follow the 80/20 rule for promotional social media posts. However, a referral program has much more of the “what’s in it for me” factor, so post away asking for referrals.
5. Display a CTA for referrals on every invoice and receipt
Invoice reminders about your referral program are definitely effective. What better time to remind them how they can save and/or get some money or free services returned to them then when faced with an invoice or receipt. Spending money can be a painful experience and that referral program will seem like a tall glass of Cabernet after a long, hard day at the office to most at this critical time. Hit them with the offer when it will have the most effective lasting impact!
6. Strike while the iron’s hot
Hit customers with your referral program offers when they’re the most jazzed about your product. If someone is gushing about having the best meal ever at your restaurant, tell them you’ll give them 25% off every time a new customer mentions their name when they visit. If you offer a helpful app, set a popup CTA to occur every ten times the app is opened, or every ten consecutive days of use. An online service should include a referral CTA every few times a user logs in. Again, make it so that the customer will mainly see it as a benefit to them, always include the “what’s in it for me” or it will just come across as spam.
Most customers won’t ask about a referral program. You have to constantly remind them, or suffer the consequences of running a business with marketing using only paid advertising methods.
One referral leads to another, but consider this: Even though 83% of satisfied customers would be willing to recommend a product or service, only 29% actually do it.
If they’re willing but haven’t yet done so, that means it’s up to you, the business owner, to constantly remind them of the benefits you offer to those who help bring more business in the doors.