Referral marketing programs are designed to help you acquire new customers at a very low cost; in fact, referral marketing provides the lowest cost per acquisition. But like all marketing programs, referral marketing is the most effective when managed efficiently and optimized to attract the right customers. Building an attractive referral marketing program is half the battle, ensuring that your business encourages the referrals – meaning that your loyal customers recommend your business to their friends and family, is the real challenge. Like other marketing programs, you can build it, but that doesn’t necessarily mean “they” will come. Here are five ways to ensure that you are employing an effective referral marketing program, in both the short and long term.
The Top 5 Ways to Make Your Referral Marketing Program More Effective
1. Analyze Your Customer
Before you start acquiring new customers, you need to make sure you’re targeting and attracting the right type of customer. Over 65% of marketers say that referral marketing attracts loyal, satisfied and profitable customers. This is most likely to occur when you target your existing loyal, satisfied and profitable customers. Find out who these customers are before you start your referral marketing program, and make them the primary target of your program. Targeting profitable customers brings a higher likelihood that you’ll attract more of the same.
2. Design and User Experience is Important
If you have ever tried to sign up for a complicated referral program, you’ll know how important design and user experience is. Simplicity is key and if your referral program is too complex, just like that, you will lose them. To guarantee success, the program must be easy to use and it must be crystal clear to the user how the program works and what’s in it for them. The most successful referral marketing programs include the following:
- Easy-to-understand rules
- Appropriate benefits and rewards for both the referrer and the referee
- Simple sign-up methods
- Simple eligibility criteria
- Fast reward payout
Effective referral marketing programs provide a program that is easy for your best customers to find and discover. All the key touch-points that your customers have with your brand should feature information about the referral program. Your customer-facing staff members can be the most important means to communicate the program, and effective training for these key team members is very important. Integrate mention of the program into your call center scripts and don’t forget to promote your referral program internally; your employees should be your biggest advocates! Be sure to include information about your referral program on the following:
- Website: Promote your referral program on your homepage, customer account page and check-out page.
- Email Communications: Email your customer list and your ambassador list the “refer a friend” offer and include information about your referral program on all email communication.
- Blog: Create a blog and link to the offer. Also look for guest blog opportunities and opportunities to promote the program.
- Newsletters: Don’t forget to include program information in company newsletters and correspondence including receipts, invoices and support tickets.
- Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn: Announce your program on social media – share and link back to the referral program page.
- PR: Create and issue a press release, and promote the program in conjunction with a newsworthy item.
4. Remarket Your Program
Once your customers have demonstrated an interest in the referral marketing program, and have signed up to participate, it’s important to ensure that they are reminded and engaged. It’s important to look for opportunities to generate additional reminders about the program, and it’s also valuable to periodically run promotions to offer additional incentives for referrers — perhaps adding incremental rewards for referring different product lines or add-ons. Some opportunities to engage brand advocates are:
- When a customer signs up with you and they are excited about working with you
- When a customer starts using your product and/or service, and they look forward to seeing results
- When a customer gets amazing results from your product or service
- When a customer signs up to refer, but hasn’t sent a referral yet
- When a customer has made a referral
- When a customer has had a positive experience with the brand, and has perhaps shared that experience online
- When a customer hasn’t made a referral in a few months
- When a new customer has signed up as a result of the referral program
- When a customer says nice things about your brand
5. Measure and Tweak
As the adage goes, “If it ain’t worth measuring, it ain’t worth doing.” Along with the measurement, comes action. Effective referral marketing systems provide metrics throughout the lifecycle of the program. These metrics report on the program’s performance, providing opportunities for you to fine-tune certain elements of the system to improve your conversion rates. When measuring your referral marketing program, you should look at the following:
- How effective your outbound marketing has been at attracting new members to the program
- How many of your site visitors sign up to become referrers
- How many visitors make referrals, how many referrals they make and through what channels
- How many new customers sign up as a result of your program
- How many members continue to refer over time
- The cost per acquisition of your program
Start Your Effective Referral Marketing Program With Buyapowa
There are many elements of an effective referral marketing program and, when implemented efficiently, you’ll be pleased by the successful results you’ll receive – and all at a very low cost per acquisition. If you analyze your customer and design a program that satisfies your current and desired customer, properly promote and remarket your program and measured it to refine, you are setting your program up for success. When you set out to plan your referral marketing strategy, the single most important thing to remember is to make it easy for people to share your content and easy for people to refer your product and/or service.
At Buyapowa, referral marketing is what we do. If you’d like to increase customer referrals by setting up a loyalty or rewards program for your clients, we’re here to help. Get in touch with us today and let your business reap the benefits of our expertise.