When it comes to word-of-mouth and referral marketing, it’s easy to assume that the energy industry — specifically, solar companies — aren’t a great fit.
After all, energy deals (particularly on the B2B side) and solar installations are expensive. And both generally require a lengthy sales cycle on the vendor side. So, when a referral comes in, it might take 60 days to close that customer and even longer to actually install the new solar system. As a result, it can take 90 days or more for a referral incentive to finally pay out.
That’s a long time to wait for the referrer. And, for vendors, that referral process can be difficult to keep tabs on, particularly if it’s managed and tracked manually. As a result, many energy companies assume they’re better off taking a passive approach to referrals — waiting for them to come in organically and paying them out when a deal closes.
Why Neglecting Referral Marketing is a Very Big Mistake
Given all of the factors above, you might expect that energy customers’ referral interest and activity would be limited. Turns out, that’s not the case at all.
In fact, our data tells a very different story. After studying our solar customers’ referral activity over the last 12 months, we discovered that referral marketing doesn’t just work in the solar industry. It’s also very profitable.
We recently published a report to showcase our findings from that research, which you can download here or by clicking the button at the bottom of this post. That said, here’s a sampling of the data you’ll find in this report (the image below reflects averages across our entire solar customer cohort over the last 12 months):
Those numbers are particularly impressive when you consider that most of the brands in the cohort we studied are mid-market businesses.
For those businesses, generating more than $271,000 in new revenue — which represents a 10x ROI on average — is powerful. Additionally, data across our platform has repeatedly shown that the longer a referral programs is in place, the easier it is to scale results over time.
Is Your Business Leaving Money on the Table?
Again, our full report dives deeper into the data and provides greater insight into how referral marketing works in the energy industry. To check it out, just click the button below.
With that said, one thing is clear: When a customer has a positive experience with an energy brand — particularly if it helps them save money by going off the grid — they’re willing to tell their friends about it. And when that happens, our research consistently shows that referral marketing can drive truly incredible ROI.