We interact with referrals on a daily basis. They can be anything from a quick “share this code with your friends” at checkout online, to asking your social media followers for their favorite TV shows or movies when you can’t decide what to watch next. So many products have gone viral because of an influencer’s account showing how they found and use fun or effective products. Referrals have proven to be highly effective ways to market products. They are especially effective around the holiday season when so many people are shopping online with the intent to buy!
Let’s explore how to add referral marketing to your existing marketing lineup and take your business to the next level in the upcoming months.
No, It Isn’t Too Late!
Customers are already looking for sales and to make purchases at this time of year. Adding them to your customer base through referrals can set you up for increased sales in the next year!
Schedule a time this month for you and your team to take a course on referral marketing and up your marketing knowledge. The more your team understands, the better they’ll be able to find opportunities to implement referral incentives in their everyday marketing calendar far beyond the holiday season.
If you want to start a referral program but didn’t budget for it at the beginning of the year, obtain some additional funding to help you get started. Investing in referral marketing doesn’t require as much funding up front as other forms of marketing, and you’re more likely to see sizeable returns in comparison to other marketing outreach programs as well!
Why It Works
Ad blockers, private browsing, ad-free streaming memberships, and increasing distrust in sponsored products all contribute to a tough advertising market. Referrals don’t rely on anything other than your current, happy customers.
Your customers often know their friends and family better than you. They can reach people with similar tastes, interests, or needs, and become ambassadors for your product. How many times when spending quality time with friends or acquaintances have you seen someone wearing an interesting item of clothing, noticed the logo, then gone online to look it up and purchase something identical? When someone mentioned a brand or business over a work Zoom call, how many times have you later visited their website and gone down the rabbit hole of what that brand offers? These instances happen all the time, and often we have no idea we’ve been referred!
Impulse purchases are typically a sure sign you’ve been referred to a product by someone or something, then purchased it, often without spending as much time or thought as you would if you’d looked for that specific product on your own. The exciting thing about referrals is that they shortcut the discovery and research process of a customer’s journey! It’s often enough that our friend uses and likes something to make us add it to our online cart instead of saving it for later.
Referrals combine the need factor and FOMO (fear of missing out) factor. Your product isn’t only being seen as a physical need of your prospective customers but is also being presented as something they want because someone else has it.
Giving The Gift Of Savings
The holidays are the perfect time to run shareable promotions. After all, the season of giving means people are already primed to share. Whether it’s a company giving bonuses, or someone without much money who still wants to be able to give something, there are countless ways to tap into this spirit and influence higher purchase traffic.
Offer discounts to current customers, who, after purchasing from you, can then refer their friends by sending a coupon code to their inbox. Providing discounts to both parties has the potential to double your sales! To keep the original customers returning, offer an additional discount or product credit if their referral ends in a purchase by the second customer. This reward can be redeemed at a later date when sales are slower at the beginning of the new year and help ensure there is continued traffic in your store or business.
To implement some referral programs as soon as possible, look into some of the following options that can help boost sales far more than paid ads or content marketing!
- Gift guides: These visual product roundups can include your offering or feature it prominently. Create multiple gift guides that can relate to different interests or age groups. To increase its reach, offer your customers rewards or discounts for sharing the guide on social media.
- Rewards: Provide product points or credits customers can use toward a free product or free periods of service. As people make purchases, make sure to include extra opportunities to earn additional points if they share your business with others. Take it a step further and brand your reward system itself! Make it a memorable system that attracts customers time and time again.
- Gamify it! Give your customers levels of rewards to achieve over time. This ensures continued purchases and builds brand loyalty as your customers continue to choose your products over someone else’s.
By implementing or doubling down on a referral program for your business, you can not only provide more value to your customers but also increase your overall customer base. Delighted customers who purchase your products and services can rise above the noise and cut through the competition during the holiday season by referring products they already know and love to the people they know and love even more.