Referral marketing can help your business generate good leads and keep your existing customers happy. It allows you to build your brand reputation and create a more compelling online word-of-mouth for your business, but how do you make and implement a referral program? Here are a few things to get you started:
First things first—decide on what you want to get out of your referral program. Do you want more customers in general? For a specific product or service? Figure out what results would make you satisfied and start there. Make sure that the goals you decide on are realistically achievable for your business. Once that's done, establish how you will measure the success of the program. For example, if you want new customers in general, the success measurement could be two sold customers for every six referrals. This allows you to know if goals have been met or not and helps determine the success of the program in general.
Now the important part, at least to your customer—deciding on what incentives to offer. Customers want to give you a referral, but they need something in return to make it worth their time. Think about what offers you would want if you were your customer. Be sure whatever you offer is relevant to your business. For example, an auto shop might offer a free car wash, while a boutique might offer 10 percent off their next purchase. Whatever you decide to offer, make sure it's something your customer will want, but not something that will cost you an arm and a leg to provide.
After figuring out your goals and what incentives you're offering, you have to choose which avenues you want to use to inform your customers of your referral program. Look at all the resources you have at your disposal and see which ones best fit your audience. Make sure to include details about your referral program in each resource you use, and that the information is consistent across all platforms.
Once you've started the program, make sure to keep track of it. Keep up with who's giving referrals and if those referrals have become customers. This will help you determine if there is anything you need to improve or change in your program. Make sure to reward your loyal customers who are giving you regular and excellent referrals. This will keep them happy and make them more likely to continue referring people to your business.
There are many advantages referral marketing can provide to your business. Use the tips above and set up your referral program today!
Dani James is a Marketing Specialist and writer for Atwill Media. She has a bachelor's degree in Strategic Communications from Arkansas State University with focuses in Public Relations, Advertising, and Social Media Management.
When not working, she enjoys spending time with her family, reading a good book, and watching The Office.