One of the best ways to boost your business is to get referrals from existing customers. Because they already know and trust your brand, your customers can be your best marketing tool. But you’ve still got to develop a solid strategy for your referral marketing campaign.
I posed the question to business owners and marketers: what’s your best tip for referral marketing? Their answers are smart, simple, and easy to execute. See for yourself.
1. Exceed client’s expectations
Eddy DeMelo, an SEO and content marketing consultant, offers the simplest of tips: go above and beyond with your customers…then ask for referrals or introductions to others who might benefit from your products or services.
“It’s amazing how many people are willing to make introductions if you just ask,” he says.
Put it into action: If you’re already delivering stellar customer experiences, go a step further. Make a list of your top clients who you know love you. Send a personalized email asking if they know anyone else who might benefit from your offerings.
2. Offer financial incentives
People are motivated by reward. Play to that in your referral marketing, and you’ll boost sales, says Joe Auer, Founder of Skill Voyage.
“At checkout, for example, a company could offer a discount if the customer shares their purchase with his/her friends on Facebook. Similarly, Groupon did this very well by giving big discounts for each referral a person made via email or social media. Giving financial incentives gives an extra sense of urgency to users and can be really effective when implemented properly.”
Put it into action: Determine what your customers want. A discount on their current order? Percent off on the next one? Cash in their account? Test out an incentive plan, then measure results.
3. Get personal
This tip from Tom Smith of Insights From Analytics is easiest when you have a dozen or so clients, but gets a bit more challenging when you have more clients. He says sending a thoughtful note after a customer has given you a referral can go a long way in getting your customers to tell even more people to buy from you.
“Thank customers for referrals with a handwritten thank you, whether the referral is in person, via telephone or social media,” he suggests.
Put it into action: Track who’s sending you referrals and take the time to personally contact them and show your appreciation for the referral.
4. Give referrals to get them
Rather than put all your focus on receiving referrals, try out giving them yourself, says Brian Basilico, Director of Direction at B2B Interactive Marketing, Inc.
“By giving great referrals first, you will get quality referrals back,” Basilico says, “Maybe not right away, but you can be assured of being top of mind when opportunities arise!”
Put it into action: Whenever speaking with a client, pay attention to what they’re telling you they need. It might be something personal like a roofer, or a business solution. If you have a good fit in your network, connect the two.
5. Send a follow-up email
You won’t get many referrals if you don’t ask. Ryan Scott, Inbound Marketing Artist at Lean Labs says: