Referral marketing might be an age-old tactic but it’s one effective strategy. According to a survey, it became the highest scored type of marketing across demographics, outdoing editorial content, all forms of ads and brand sponsorship.
As a business, you can inject referral marketing into your current strategy to effectively generate quality leads. Mix it up with your social media marketing, out-of-home ads, digital marketing and even email campaigns crafted from your email marketing automation software. Here are seven ways to help increase customer referrals for your business.
1. Always go above and beyond for your fans, prospects and existing customers.
What’s one way for your current customers to start buzzing? Give them something to actually talk about. Give them an excellent experience they won’t forget! How? Provide amazing customer service.
When someone inquires, gives feedback or gets in touch with your business, always go the extra mile when answering. Try to resolve their concern within the next 24 hours after getting in touch with you. Customers in general give good word-of-mouth marketing for those businesses who have great customer support.
Be present. Have an omni-channel support so customers can easily get in touch with you. Some ideas would be to become active on your social media, have a chat support system on your website or have a dedicated email address people can reach out to.
2. Optimize the Customer Experience.
Referral marketing works well if your current customers have a great experience. If they find it simple to deal with your business, it’s easier for them to share about you. In fact, 29% of people who had a positive interaction with your business actually refer people. As marketers, you should take advantage of this number – take care of them and nurture them so as to generate more quality leads.
3. Become an industry thought leader.
One factor that increases the possibility of a referral is Visible Expertise. What drives this perception is activities like publishing relevant industry research, visible success of clients and generating quality and educational content. You can start by utilizing your staff to contribute to the company’s blog (if available) and stem out from there.
4. Create a referral incentive program.
Go and trigger referrals with a referral incentive program. It can come in the form of a gift certificate to your business or a special gift from another business. It can even be as tangible as a bouquet of flowers or basket of fruit. Whatever prize you might have in mind, just make sure that your customer will like it.
Go the extra mile by showering customers with such gifts whether they buy or not. It not only provides a great way to earn points for a good customer experience but also build a relationship with your customers.
5. Feature customers in your marketing.
Use your customers to promote your business. Slant their stories and turn them into testimonials. After asking for permission, you can use these testimonials for your email campaigns. Craft an eye-catching template from your email marketing automation software and send it out to your list.
With such testimonies, you are sending out an organic message from customers themselves to current customers or potentials. Being real people, this can build the credibility of your business to those who’ll receive your emails.
6. Show your appreciation for your customers.
Build a deep connection with your customers by sending some appreciation their way. If you are able to find those that constantly refer your business to others, be sure to thank them. It doesn’t have to be a grand gesture. A simple recognition of their effort can go a long way.
It not only gives you an opportunity to showcase why they referred you in the first place but also serves as a great way to communicate with those who have been loyal to your business for some time.
7. Just ask.
It’s simple but it’s something workable. Reach out to your customers and simply ask for a referral. This strategy can actually mix with one of the points mentioned above – create a referral incentive program.
When you ask customers for referrals, you can mention the incentive program. It’s a great way to lure people in and contribute to a business that they like or believe in. You can reach out with your customers with the help of email marketing automation software. Create visually stunning email campaigns to further encourage your customers to refer new ones.
Referral marketing is a great way to generate leads for your business. These are no ordinary leads but rather quality leads that you can actually nurture. Since these people came from current customers, you can be sure that they have an idea of what your business is like. It’s already like having one foot in the door! Take advantage of this opportunity by building a relationship and getting in touch with them constantly through different means like your email marketing automation software.
Keep these tips in mind the next time you plan on implementing referral marketing.