Remember the time when Uber was launched? No one could stop talking about it for months. Apart from the fact that Uber was efficient and cheap, people were fascinated by the referral codes and free rides it had to offer to the new customers and also the old ones who spread the word. And soon, Uber made a strong impact on everyone. This is the power of word-of-mouth advertising! With a little strategy, you can you referral programs to encourage customers to spread the word and incentivize happy customers to promote your product in the market.
Now, how do you turn this idea into a profitable sell? Let us start with understanding what the benefits of a successful referral program are. To be simple, word-of-mouth or referrals are the most trusted form of advertising. Also, a referral program always leads, because you are technically rewarding people for doing the job for you, by providing them with cash returns, store credits, or discounts. And these leads aren’t just any leads, but are most likely to generate sales. This is where the whole retain-your-customer business works out, because these leads you acquire trust you and are more likely to remain your loyal customers. These customers obtained through referrals are more likely to buy from you than the other customers in your network.
The first towards integrating a referral program is to decide on your offer that works with your brand and fits into your business plan. So, put yourself in the customer’s shoes and understand what he may be looking for and what kind of incentive may draw attention. After you’ve decided on the kind of deal you want to present to your audience, you need to come up with a plan to implement it. There is only one rule to a running a successful business- NEVER complicate things for your customer. Your goal is to make the process of referring new customers and earning their rewards as easy as possible. In this digital age, you may want to use Social Media to spread the word. Most people may not want to participate in your program if it turns out that, there are 5 more steps after signing up for the program. Keep it as simple as possible and use your social media tools. You can always learn from the industry giants. For example, Budsies (that makes customized stuffed animals for kids) implemented a referral program that offers 20% off to people who make referrals, as well as 20% off to those who get referred from friends.
Some of the tools that may help you to create a referral program online are GetAmbassador.com, WishPond.com and Extole.com. These online tools are easy, intuitive and have plenty of options especially if web designing isn’t exactly your specialty.
Now you have the tools, the examples and the know-how to create a perfect referral program to woo your customers!