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There is numerous research on why having a referral program in place is a "must" for most brands. In fact, according to the NY Times, 65% of new business comes from referrals.
That’s right. More than half.
This means that all of your marketing efforts - ads, social media, email and all of your other other campaigns combined - are still not as powerful as a recommendation from another customer. What’s more, Nielsen research has revealed that consumers are four times more likely to buy when referred. In other words, referral programs work.
Of course, recognizing the impact of a referral program and actually creating your own success story are two very different things. In order for your plan to be successful, you must take the time to holistically optimize. Here are 5 simple referral program tips to turn your strategy into a powerful revenue generating machine.
Know What You’re Aiming For
Before you even begin your referral marketing program, it’s important to have a target to work toward. Otherwise, you won’t be able to measure your progress. Hammer down exactly what you’d like to accomplish with your program – say, a 10% increase in sales over the next 6 weeks. That way you’ll have a clear picture of what you’re trying to accomplish so you can determine if your plan is really achieving the results you’re after.
Timing is Everything
The ideal brand ambassador is one that is intimately familiar with your product or service, and this comes from experience. Asking for a referral during your first interaction with a customer probably won’t net you the results you’re looking for. Make sure you’re tapping into your clientele at the right time – once they’ve had a chance to get to know your brand and what you have to offer. Develop a relationship first, and the rest will fall into place.
Make it Worth Their While
If you want people to sing your praises, you have to make it worth their while to do so. Offer something of value to your advocates and, more importantly, show them that they are valued. Keep in mind that your customers might be motivated more by altruistic reasons than self-interested ones. The more your customers feel appreciated, the more likely they’ll be to spread the word about your brand to their own networks.
Arm Yourself for Success
While you can certainly manage a referral program on your own, the right referral software for your business will help take that program to a whole new level. It will allow you to track, manage, and optimize all your referrals from a single dashboard and perform ongoing analysis to more accurately measure and improve your progress.
The Power of ‘Thank You’
Lastly, although certainly not least, don’t forget to thank your ambassadors after every successful referral. It could be as simple as an email, or as elaborate as sending a gift – as long as it delivers the message that you appreciate their support and value them. This will, in turn, further nurture those important relationships and encourage future referrals.
Referral Program Tips and Takeaways
A successful referral program can make your business more profitable, but it’s only as good as the work you put into it. By implementing these 5 simple tips, you’ll be well on your way to developing your own army of revenue generating advocates for your brand.
Ready to start turning your customers into your most passionate brand ambassadors? Schedule a time to speak with a diplomat to begin scoping your referral program today.