Referrals provide businesses the opportunity to obtain new leads across broader audiences and gain new customers. An effective referral program is one that encourages consumers to spread positive reviews to their family and friends through rewards, discounts, and other incentives. To be successful a referral program must keep consumers motivated, engaged, and satisfied with your brand.
Referral program development does require time, creativity, and planning. There are several methods that business owners can use in their program development.
The following informational guide was created to provide practical and creative ideas for developing an effective referral program. When implemented, these tips have the potential to greatly increase your referral rates and result in happier customers.
There are several ways that consumers can potentially refer their friends, family, and acquaintances to interact with your brand. Consumers may spread information by word of mouth, social media, and/or Google and Yelp reviews. The majority of consumers trust the reviews that they read online and will often search these out before investing in a product or service.
To run an effective referral program, you must have real people who believe in your brand and want your product/service to succeed. Individuals who passionately promote your brand, via word of mouth or other means, are known as brand advocates.
Brand advocates are generally positive-minded individuals who are genuine in their enthusiasm. These consumers choose to share this excitement through reviews without an incentive. Brand advocates will also share these positive reviews with their family and friends. Brand advocates are a form of free marketing and should be appreciated for their passion and kindness.
How to Establish Brand Advocates
Gaining the loyalty of brand advocates requires businesses to provide exceptional products/services and customer relations.
Elements that set brands apart from other competitors include:
- Unique Products
- Exceeding Exceptional Service
- Respond to All Feedback
- Rewarding Loyal Customers
Most importantly, consumers want to feel that they are valued. You can do create this trust and appreciation through the development of a custom-tailored referral program. This program will reward consumers when they refer a family or friend to purchase your products/services. Utilize brand advocates first because they are most likely to participate in your referral program.
Idea #1 Develop a Referral Landing Page
Create a landing page on your website that is clean, professional, and directly to the point. Consumers are interested in how you will reward them. Use unique, engaging images and keep the text short and easy to read.
Share this landing page on several outlets, including:
- Social Media Accounts
- Website Menu
Be sure to include an FAQ section that addresses any potential questions that customers may have and a call to action for your program.
Idea #2 Utilize High-Value Customers
A great way to start your referral program is to reach out to the customers who show the most potential for brand promotion. These are individuals who already interact regularly with your brand online, on social media, and/or make repeat purchases.
These loyal consumers are the most likely to promote your brand. Reach out to these consumers via email, surveys, or in-person during their next shopping trip.
Idea #3 Charitable Donations
Consumers are driven by programs that help those in need. Choose a cause that is relevant to your industry and donate to this charity on the consumer’s behalf.
Idea #4 Reward Both Customers
The most effective referral programs offer incentives to both the referee and the newly-referred. This makes it more likely that the consumer that has been referred will invest in your brand.
Idea #5 Creative Tier
Developing a tiered rewards program is a fun way to engage consumers and keep them motivated in promoting your brand. You can reward customers when they reach each specified with incentives, including coupons, discounts, and/or special VIP-only pricing.
Idea #6 Offer A Sign-on Bonus
Many consumers choose not to sign up for referral programs that offer only small incentives. Offer customers a larger discount when they obtain their referral.
Other Ideas Include:
· Use the holidays to bring in more customers by offering season-specific referral programs. Ex: Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Christmas, Etc.
· Develop a catchy headline for your referral program. Ex: Bring 5, Save 5
· Send SMS/Email Discounts to Referral Program Participants
The most important element of any successful public relations campaign is to show consumers that they are appreciated. Making the customer feel special creates a feeling of trust and increases the image of your brand.
Always thank customers by offering regular special pricing through email, coupon, or mail. You can also take notes about each customer’s favorite products and use these to send personalized notifications.
Invest in Referral Software
Investing in a quality referral software program makes it easy for businesses to develop an effective and successful referral campaign. Perxi allows users to create custom referral programs with an easy-to-use interface.
Referral software provides several useful applications, including:
- Manage Referrals
- Follow Up on Leads
- Custom URL
- Export Referrals
- Change Customer Status
- Social Media Sharing
- Referral Landing Page
Perxi even allows businesses the option to automatically reward customers with a check or e-gift card. You can custom select which rewards you would like to use.
Contact Perxi Today
Perxi is the leader in referral program solutions. Contact Perxi today if you are ready to develop your own custom referral program or to take your existing program to the next level. You can find more information on their website or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.