Christine Schmidt, the director of marketing and community at LoopSpark, shares her five best referral marketing strategies.
Referral marketing is one of the best yet hardest ways to boost lead generation. It’s complicated because nobody wants to be too forward, yet a strong referral marketing campaign can strengthen existing customer relationships, bring in new leads and grow business.
Before diving into implementation, it helps to explain why referral marketing is important. Here are a few supportive data points to consider:
- According to Nielsen, 84% of customers trust recommendations from people they know more than any other form of advertising.
- 74% of consumers say word-of-mouth is a key influence in their purchasing decision.
Great. Wondering how to get started? Let’s dive in.
1. Go beyond customer expectations.
A referral program relies on happy customers. To really stand out, find ways to exceed customer’s expectations. For example, you can send a surprise gift on their birthday or upgrade their plan for a short period. These small tokens of appreciation are a great way to make customers happy and encourage them to refer friends.
2. Tap into social media.
In 2022, we live in a social media crazy world. The average internet user spends up to 145 minutes on social media every day — that’s over two hours of daily browsing. A study by Nielsen reveals that 60% of people learn about a specific brand or retailer from social networking sites.
It’s important that marketing campaigns are shared on social media. Plus, these posts reach many sets of eyes all at once. If it’s easy for existing customers to share your brand online, you increase the chances of being seen by potential customers.
3. Use email effectively.
Unlike social media platforms, email is a little more personal and reliable. It goes straight to the recipient. So, sending out emails advertising referral incentives is an effective practice.
Add a referral link to a customer’s thank you confirmation email, place a small banner in the next newsletter, ask for referrals when requesting reviews and of course, add a quick link in email signatures to help remind people about the program, without being too over the top.
4. Make it easy for people to refer.
Referral marketing is supposed to be easy. If someone has to complete a huge checklist before they can send a referral or join the program, they likely won’t. Make things easy for customers and integrate referral marketing automation into the program through simple forms and multiple channels for extra reach.
5. Know when to ask for referrals.
Referrals don’t just happen on their own. Sure, anyone can get organic word of mouth by providing great products or services. For a steady source that can be relied on, you’ll need to ask for referrals. Building automated messages that reach clients at the right time in their journey is key.