Getting valuable leads that will eventually turn into buying customers should be on top of the list of your business priorities. Fortunately, there are lots of marketing tactics that you can apply when working on your lead generation strategy. When done right, referral programs can help increase your lead acquisition efforts, strengthen your relationship with your patrons, and generate an overall better return on investment.
Review 42 reports that 92% of buyers trust recommendations from their peers. However, you have to tap into your clients’ minds to know what would make them want to recommend your products and services. New consumers who participate in endorsement programs tend to stay with the company longer. If you keep up with your promises, your buyers will realize that they can trust you, which will help encourage them to recommend your business to their inner circle. Moreover, your customers will be interested and happy with this initiative because they will be getting something in return. You’ll be getting new buyers in exchange for the referral, so in reality, it’s a win-win strategy.
What Are Referral Rewards Programs?
Some people are so satisfied with the products and services they buy that it prompts them to endorse them to their family and friends. This method is called a referral, and it can happen in spontaneous conversations.
Customer referral programs usually include rewarding the buyers for recommendations that they make. Additionally, it also involves using techniques to motivate your leads to endorse your products and services to others. This approach heavily relies on word-of-mouth marketing and interests the customers in the lead generation and sales process. Customer recommendations help drive profit while keeping the costs low. To put it simply, this type of strategy turns consumers into valued brand advocates.
What Are the Advantages of Having a Referral Program?
It comes with no doubt that client endorsements are one of the most compelling ways to garner new leads. Here are a couple of other benefits that you can get by investing some effort in this marketing approach:
It Is Cost-Effective
First, make sure that your buyers are happy with their purchase. If they are, they would likely recommend your brand to their circle, making customer referral projects cost-effective and easy to implement. Then, if you choose to start a bonus referral program, spend some time deciding on how to develop your strategy, encourage users to recommend your brand, and how to reward them. The rewards don’t have to be grand, though, as this can come in discount coupons or a small referral fee.
You Target the Right Market
People do not usually refer items and services to their friends unless they know it is needed. However, as we mentioned, recommendations can come up in conversations spontaneously. Because of this, you can be sure that you will target the right individuals.
Here are a few more tips for targeting the right demographic:
- Check your analytics.
- Analyze your current customers’ behaviors.
- Take a peek at your competitors’ activity.
- Use paid advertising in your referral rewards programs.
Targeting the right group of people will help you increase your conversions.
Trust Is a Big Influence
Brand suggestions are very influential. Most consumers will research to find reviews before buying an item, and hearing positive testimonials from people they know can significantly impact their decision. More importantly, leads that hear positive feedback from their circle are a plus, as they usually trust these individuals more.
Endorsements are not limited to only friends and family. Your patrons can do a review of your products and services online, and this counts as referrals. The reach is even more significant if you’ve gained a testimonial from influencers and well-known people, as they usually have many followers.
Follow these additional steps to get a bigger audience through your referral rewards program:
- Post on your social media during optimal times.
- Create and post high-quality videos.
- Hold contests and giveaways.
- Go live every once in a while.
- Reorganize and update your old content.
- Think outside the box.
- Continuously develop your marketing strategy.
The more people you attract, the higher your chances of getting valuable leads.
Helps You Gain Loyal Consumers
According to Annex Cloud, about 18% of referred customers turn into loyal clients. As long as you keep them happy with their purchases and continue satisfying them with their needs, they will most likely buy from your company repeatedly.
Apply these cues to your strategy to increase the number of your loyal consumers:
- Provide excellent customer service.
- Introduce a loyalty program.
- Send out surveys and ask for your buyers’ feedback.
- Share your values with your clients.
- Use content personalization in your referral rewards program.
- Deliver on time and keep your promises.
- Be honest and transparent.
- Don’t stop improving your products and services.
These loyal customers will help you get the recognition that you need by supporting you with spreading the word to other people.
Increases Your Social Proof
Social proof means having a solid or massive influence within the online community. The client’s buying decision is directly affected by how many people talk about and endorse a particular brand. You can use your consumers’ recommendations to show people that the industry trusts your brand, which can help increase your social proof.
There are a couple of ways to use customer referral programs to get valuable leads, which includes the following:
Offer Irresistible Rewards
Everyone loves getting a good reward. One of the best ways to encourage your patrons to suggest your brand to others is by giving them perks you know they’d appreciate. Yes, your customers will be more than happy to refer to your products and services if you keep them happy and satisfied, but adding bonus items in the mix can fuel this tactic even further.
Here are a few ideas for rewards that you can offer your loyal customers:
- Special discounts. Discount coupons are widely used in bonus referral programs simply because most buyers prefer to receive this than any other compensation. Therefore, you can give your clients discount coupons every time you get a lead or sale through them.
- Store credit. This type of prize benefits both the buyer and the company. Consumers can buy from the same line using store credits, so you can be sure that you can keep the value within the firm. In addition, you can give these to clients so they can get a discount the next time they buy from you.
- Branded merch. You can give away physical products that you know your customers will find valuable. For example, you can give them a mug, tote bag, or anything else you deem helpful. You can choose to add your logo to the item, or if you want to be a little discrete and fun, you can choose to put a beautiful design on it instead.
- Free trial. If you offer digital products, then offering free trials to your consumers is your best bet. Furthermore, you can entice your buyers with free subscriptions for a limited period if they recommend your products.
Moreover, you can also create a landing page for your project. Add a link to the page in your email newsletters and make a compelling call to action. You can also create a “Friend Landing Page” – a site that takes the referral to your website or online store to encourage them to shop. Motivate them to check your brand out by attaching a header image and making special offers visible.
Collect Email Addresses Through Customer Referral Programs
Acquiring email addresses is vital for any type of business. You can use these to send newsletters and offers to possible leads. You can motivate your current clients to refer their friends and family by signing up a form and providing you with their email addresses. Again, you can offer them something valuable in return to increase the chances of them giving in.
Ask them for three or more leads before rewarding them. This way, you can easily collect numerous new contacts without having to work too hard.
Additionally, you can also create email customer referral templates for your customers to make it easier for them.
Connect With Influencers
Influencers are some of the most valuable people that you can contact when it comes to lead generation. Big Commerce states that 89% of marketers say that the return on investment from influencer marketing is comparable or even better than other marketing platforms.
To do this, you can find an influencer that best represents your brand. Then, you can contact them and ask if they’d be willing to work with you for a possible endorsement. Some influencers ask for monetary compensation, while some are okay with receiving free products and services.
Think of referral rewards programs as giving someone some of your products and collecting reviews in return. Then you can ask the buyers to post their feedback on their respective social media accounts. Doing so will make your reach a lot bigger, as influencers usually have thousands or even millions of followers. However, you have to make sure that you will be working with a person (or a team) that falls within the same industry. Otherwise, you will target the wrong market, and your money and effort will just go to waste.
Identify the Platforms to Use
You need to determine which platforms to use for your bonus referral program to be effective. These channels should tip off both the brand and the customer when referrals come in. Using the right tool lets the company track the recommendations, making it easier to reward the person responsible for them.
You can also let the referred individual know who gave their contact details to you. Doing so will add a layer of trust between you and the possible lead, as they’d be made aware that it was one of their peers who gave out their details.
Here are some of the platforms that you can check out:
Follow Up on Your Referrals
Work on contacting your referrals as soon as possible. Following up is especially important if the products or services you offer are seasonal or only available for a limited amount of time. Also, your customer might have referred their contacts to your competitors too, and it would be great if you are the first one to contact them.
Hence, it’s essential to create a template for your customer email referrals. Not only will it make the process a lot easier, but this will also put you on top of that lead’s list.
Use LinkedIn to Your Advantage
LinkedIn is used to strengthen your professional networks and relationships. Nonetheless, this social media platform can also help you find valuable leads that you can bring up to clients.
To proceed with this, you can use LinkedIn’s Advanced People Search feature. From here, you can find second-degree contacts that your clients can refer to you. Then, you can filter the results based on the industry they are in, their job title, related keywords, and their location. You can then ask your buyers about these people and if they might be willing to introduce them to the brand.
Encourage your customers to talk about your business by keeping them satisfied at all times. Investing in referral programs for small businesses is well worth it, as you are narrowing down your possible leads to a specific market.
Whether you are planning on using a platform or doing it yourself, you should start implementing your plan to ensure that you will be one step ahead of your competitors. The digital world is continuously evolving at a fast pace, and you have to keep up. So put these tips that we have mentioned above to good use and tell us how it went.