Whether you’re doing the bulk of your customer marketing online or offline, in today’s market you are a digital product. Everything from discovery to conversion happens behind a screen. Yet, to this day, no marketing strategy has stood the test of time the way word-of-mouth has. In fact, a recent study shows that 74% of consumers identify word-of-mouth as a key influencer in their purchasing decision.
So how can you get more consumers talking about your brand? Well, take a look inwards: Your happy customers are your most direct partners in your growing success, and their authentic advocacy is worth its weight in gold...and ROI. Here are some simple and effective ways to promote your customers to your most valued ambassadors.
Ask them when they’re listening
You know how we’ve said, “all you have to do is ask”? Well, that’s only part of the puzzle. The best way to ask someone is when they’re listening.The best way to do this is to identify your loyal clients communication behaviors and maximize on that opportunity. For example, if you know a high percentage of your customers open your weekly email, use the platform to gauge their interest on partnering to refer your product. When you ask, most times the answer will be a resounding yes.
Give clear and easy direction
You’ll be surprised at how many customers are more than happy to refer your product or service to their connections. But how? When asking, whether that be through social outreach or email marketing, make sure to make it easy for the customer. We suggest clear concise and easy asks: like sharing unique links, and even offering dual-sided “refer-a-friend” incentives, where both the referrer and the one referred benefits!
Show your gratitude
Speaking of benefits - make sure to say thank you. Whether that be an unexpected swag bag at the front door of those with high referrals or special rates on future services, being recognized for their partnership only drives more loyalty from your already devoted customers.
Value engagement over reach
The option to invest in Insta-famous influencers is a marketing tactic that is quickly losing its sizzle due to the short-lived and misleading success rate. While a micro-influencer can skyrocket your social presence and generate some sizable clicks, the authenticity and consistency of true customer referrals are a slow burn return on your investment. This is a true example of quality over quantity.
Measure results and disrupt the system
You’ve asked your customers, you’ve seen them promote your product, and you’ve rewarded them graciously. Now measure how you did. You’ll be able to see the exact ROI of specific initiatives and also identify how customers-turned-ambassadors engage with these campaigns. Don’t be afraid to test and try new approaches to this unique referral program.
A Customer-centric Referral Marketing Strategy
Still feeling timid about initiating a customer-focused referral marketing plan? Don't forget this ever important statistic: 83% of customers are willing to provide a referral but only 29% of those customers do so without being prompted. A happy customer is a loyal and trusted partner, and your continued success informs their own.