More likely than not, customers joined your referral program because they love your product and the incentives offered. While not all referral programs yield the same results, there are some steps you can take to set your brand’s program up for success. In essence, your aim is to help your customers help you. Here are five best practices you can share with members of your referral program so they can effectively engage their networks and send more sales your way.
1. “Be comfortable engaging with your networks”
As a brand, the last thing you want to do is get pushy with your customers. Within any referral program, there are consumers who are comfortable broadcasting their love for your brand by posting their referral code or link multiple times for everyone to see, and there are other people who may only want to share their referral with close friends or family who they specifically think would enjoy your product. Let customers cater to their own level of comfort by participating at different levels, and make it clear to customers that no expectations about referral traffic or results are attached to their membership in the program.
2. “Tailor the referral language to make it your own”
In fact, customizing the stock language that comes with most referral emails is one of the best things your customer can do. While your brand may provide a great blurb that explains what your products are about and what your company values, nothing compares to the testimonial that a satisfied customer can write. Given that statistics have shown that 82% of Americans seek recommendations from friends and family when considering a purchase, it’s hard to underscore the impact of a genuine, personalized endorsement from a happy customer.
3. “Be transparent about incentives and referral benefits”
It’s up to brands to be transparent with customers about what they will get in return for referring others to the brand. Customers should also know what their referred friends will receive, if anything. When it comes to incentives, you can’t be too clear about the details. You earn the trust of your customers by establishing clear guidelines and following through on them, and this trust and satisfaction is integral to the overall wellness of your program.
4. “Give your feedback about the referral program”
Brands shouldn’t determine the success of a referral program by its mere existence. While you can analyze some metrics internally, it’s important to also reach out to customers to ask how they view the referral program. What aspects do they like? Are there aspects that they dislike? What has been their general experience? How, in their view, could the program be improved? Depending on how much you value the information, your brand may even consider adding an incentive for those who take the survey addressing these questions.
5. “Don’t be scared to ask for more opportunities”
If you have customers who want to engage beyond the standard referral program, make them aware of any opportunities you have for brand ambassadorship or micro-influencer marketing. Referral programs bring enthusiastic customers right to your door, and if you don’t have a program for your most loyal customers to do even more, it’s worth considering it.
By understanding the best practices for referral program members before you launch a program, you set your brand up to succeed with the help of your most dedicated customers. Above all, showing your customers that they are valued drives a positive overall brand experience while benefiting your bottom line.