When your customers are thrilled with your brand, they are more likely to share their feelings with friends and family. Let these happy customers do the legwork for you with a powerful referral program. More than just receiving testimonials, a referral program encourages your loyal customers to share their experiences with others. Referral programs are highly effective—word of mouth influences up to 90% of sales and is directly responsible for 19% of sales. Referral programs are also popular with companies. Seventy-five percent of organizations say they ask current customers to refer friends and consider it their most effective referral tactic. Let’s dive into five ideas you can use to build an even more successful referral program.
1. Ask at just the right moments
One of the best times to ask for a referral is immediately after a positive interaction with a customer. For example, if someone leaves a good review, makes a positive comment on social media or rates you well on a survey, quickly reach out to them. Give them a referral program incentive, like a 3-in-1 Pouch With Wall Charger or a Vacuum Camper Metal Mug.
2. Focus on your best prospects
Do you have an idea of the type of customer you’d like to attract? Build out your referral program based on that persona. For example, if you have loyal customers and you want more customers similar to them, ask your loyal customers for a referral. Along with your customers’ next purchase, send them a handwritten card asking for the referral. If they make a successful referral, give them a high-end gift, like a portable barbeque cooler or a Roll-Up Beach Blanket with Pillow.
3. Keep it simple
A strong referral program is simple. The easier it is for customers to refer people, the more likely they are to do it. Spell out your referral program guidelines to minimize confusion. If you are giving referral program incentives, consider how you’ll accept referrals, when customers will be rewarded, and if they will be rewarded for every referral. You may want to add a referral FAQ page on your website to make it easy for customers and prospects to find the information.
4. Use rewards that point back to you
Rewards are a crucial part of a successful referral program. And when you use rewards that match your values or remind customers of your brand, you’ll stay top of mind even longer. Referral program incentives, like branded T-shirts or a travel tote bag, work well because customers will spread your brand message while on the go.
5. Continuously promote
Around 54% of businesses say their referral programs have a lower cost-per-lead than other channels. To spread the word about your referral program, create a promotion schedule on social media, email and your website.
Write a story featuring a happy customer who’s referred many people (and received referral program incentives). Offer a gift to anyone who mentions one of your referral promotions. Give the people who mention the offer slate coasters or a Snack Attack Jar filled with yummy treats.
Happy customers, happy you
With ideas like asking for referrals immediately after a positive interaction and keeping your program simple, you’ll quickly build a more successful referral program. Good luck!