One of the best methods of acquiring new customers is through referrals from existing clients. A satisfied customer creates a lot of positive advertising if you know how to encourage it. The world’s best referral marketing programs teach us the following lessons.
Your first goal is to please your customer because this inspires referrals. If they feel like your service was extraordinary, they’re more likely to mention it to other people. Once you’ve accomplished this with skilled and attentive service, you need to have the proper channels set up to manage referrals.
Based on research from Forbes, customers are more motivated to refer when the request is personal to them and based on something they’ve earned.
For instance, rather than just sending an offer to refer at the time of purchase, request a referral after some small goal is met. This could be a month of subscription, a year as a customer, or a certain dollar amount spent.
In Forbes’ example, clients at a gym were given three ‘earned’ guest referral passes based on the frequency of their gym visits. This gained almost 5 times the referrals compared to just offering passes right away.
This approach reminds customers how much they like, use and even rely on your product or service. This motivates them to tell the people in their social circle about it.
Ensure that you subtly educate shoppers on the whole product line you offer. This gives them the ability to realize that they do know someone who could use something you provide, even if it isn’t the product or service they purchased.
A simple “Did You Know…” sidebar on your website is effective. Another way to inform your customers is to include information about other products you offer in your thank you email.
You can be brief in your description, but effective copy is important. Your goal is to make your other commodities attractive enough that it sparks customers to think of people they know. Adding a few statistics or offering a link to a case study is a great way to give great impact to a few short lines of text.
If you’re using your email address collection effectively, you’re sending regular, valuable email to your customers, even if your bread and butter is brick-and-mortar. This isn’t just to prompt them to remember you and come back to purchase products from you, however. If the information is so good they can’t help but forward it to their colleagues, you’re gaining targeted exposure by working smarter not harder.
Include a call to action prompting them to share your email with a friend, because asking directly for what you want should be a cornerstone of your marketing.
Another thing to consider in your email newsletters is promoting your referral program itself. Newsletters introduce your referral program by framing it in a clear, eye-catching design. A catchy subject line, unmissable and clear CTAs, unambiguous display of program propositions are several of the prerequisites of good referral emails.
Timing is everything with regards to your follow up after a sale. The aim is to use the customer data you collect to encourage engagement actions from current customers.
This can be tricky. If you email too soon, customers won’t be in love with your product or service because they haven’t had the time to try it. When your follow up occurs at the peak of excitement in your customer, you’re more likely to collect a review or a social share. The right tool will help you with perfect timing for optimum engagement.
Systems like the Annex Cloud Smart Engagement Algorithm increase referral actions, ratings, reviews and visual commerce by factoring historical data, product type, and product category to intelligently determine the timeframe in which a post-purchase email should be sent.
This simple tip is the most important: publicize and promote your referral program. This is the only way customers will know that you have one.
Mention your referral program in your well-timed introductory emails, as this invites customers to get to know your program from the start. If you have a brick-and-mortar store, use posters and print materials to gain your customers’ attention while they shop. Asking your retail employees to tell customers about it also helps.
Zooshoo, a retailer that offers all kinds of fashionable female’s shoes, has had great success keeping their referral program in the eyeline of their customers through emails. You can do the same whether you have an e-commerce business or a traditional store.
Include a way for customers to give a product a social share while they shop online as well. If they’re so taken with a product or service they can immediately push a predesignated message to their entire network. Then, ask them again by email after checkout.
“Annex Cloud’s customer success team has worked with us closely to deliver success, offering wonderful guidance and support, and we’re excited for the next phase of our work together.” – Paul Walker, Head of eCommerce at Vivobarefoot