It’s no secret that referrals are among the most efficient ways companies get new leads and new business. It’s one of the best ways to be awarded from a customer as they are referring others to you, which indicates they find your business not only successful, but also loyal and efficient.
People and businesses alike put trust into word of mouth referrals through friends, family and colleagues. If you have ever purchased a product simply because you had heard good things, you have been referred. This is a great way of introducing people to new business, and this tactic needs to be applied when marketing your online strategy.
Why Referral Marketing Should Be Part Of Your Marketing Strategy?
Referral Marketing is all about driving your customers to recruit new customers and for them to buy your products or services, and it relies massively on using incentives to drive this recruitment. As a referral is extremely valuable to business, you want to make the referral process as easy as possible for customers.
Many online companies turn to referral marketing as it has proven an effective way of securing links and new customers from existing customers. Due to the popularity of social channels, it can spread faster than traditional offline marketing strategies.
How To Acquire Maximum Referrals?
A referral is an extremely beneficial factor for your business, and therefore you want to make the process as easy as possible for customers. I have put together the top factors that will increase the reach of your referral programme to ensure new business continues to come in.
1. Strategic Placement- So, you have set up a referral program for your company- but are your website visitors aware of it? You need to tell your audience of your programme and that referrals are appreciated and wanted by your company. There is a range of different ways you can position the program on your website; one format is a pop-up. Avenue, a fashion leader for plus size clothing, used a pop-up to highlight its referral programme, ensuring all visitors would have to view it as soon as they entered the site. This helped them to draw high quality referral traffic to the website. Other methods of placing your program include a banner at the top of your website or in a purchase confirmation email to customers.
2. Advertise It – Share the program across all your online channels including social media, email marketing campaigns, blogs and your email signature with links to the referral signup page. When sharing it, make sure you ask those who receive it, to share it through their network- Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. By referring friends through social media can increase the reach of your program and potentially make it viral!
Make sure your referral campaign is visible to everyone- make sure it’s on your website homepage, your about us page and also the checkout page and invite existing customers to check it out!
3. Rewards- In order to maintain strong relationships with existing clients, create a referral program that offers them a reward, or a thank you, for referring new business to you. For example, if you are a shoe store, why not offer a 10% discount code for customers who have their friends sign up to your newsletter. It will encourage them to discuss your business and at the same time benefiting from new leads. Companies such as Airbnb and Uber both offer customers money off their next purchase if they are successful in referring a friend.
4. Social Media– Today, social channels play a massive part in the referral process. Therefore, you need to create a regular plan on what to share on social media. People use these channels to find out advice and research on your business. Ensure you have a plan that will continue to help people and direct them to your referral program on your website. Keep promoting your referral program along with your regular posts on social media for followers to keep on top of the program. This way, you can maximize your customers’ exposure to your programme.
5. Post- Purchase Referral- In any purchase cycle, customers are most happy when they complete their order; This is one of the best times to nudge them into recommending your brand to their friends. Incentives such as free delivery or a discount code for next time they shop are both easy ways of converting customer delight into customer referrals. Through sharing a purchase via social media or email, buyers can turn into your very own brand ambassadors. There are a number of unique apps, for example, the Share-a-Purchase app from ShopSocially (a.k.a. Zinrelo) that can be easily integrated to leverage the post-purchase excitement of customers into referrals.
6. Target Audience- As with any business, it’s important to acknowledge the main purpose of your marketing plan- your audience. Research around your customers before you begin your program. Discover what the average customer is purchasing or searching for. You need to do have good incentives that are encouraging them to participate in it. Look into their buying habits and tailor your work to suit your customers’ needs.
Although a Referral Marketing Strategy can take time and a lot of hard work, seeing the results which you have achieved can be very rewarding. It’s a strategic plan which should be a vital part of your marketing plan in continuing to develop your business.
If you do this correctly, you will continue to build new relationships with clients, but also be maintaining them with existing clients.