We’ve blogged about the importance of referral marketing and strategies for getting the most out of a referral campaign. We know that the idea of creating a referral marketing strategy from scratch, let alone implementing a campaign, can be daunting. But it is important to kick-start the process now. According to the New York Times, 65% of new business comes from referrals.
Here are 5 steps to get you started:
1) Build a list of email contacts. Start building a database of your best customers that includes their email addresses. Email is the best, most effective way to send them referral deals. There are several methods for collecting email addresses. Customer Lobby’s Handwritten Review option is an incredibly effective tool for building an email list.
2) Create a deal for new customers. Your offer should be compelling enough that your customers will want to pass it on to their friends and family. For example, offering 50% off first-time service with your business is a special offer that will motivate your customers to pass it along.
3) Properly thank your referring customers. Give a real gift, like movie tickets or a gift card to a restaurant, instead of just a discount off your service. This will feel more like the genuine “thank you” that it is rather than an incentive for bringing you a referral, which is not really the motivation.
4) Spread the word. Let your customers know that you have a referral program and don’t be shy about asking them for referrals. If you have a large customer base or are unsure about whom to ask for referrals, start by asking customers who have already given you a positive review. Email is a great way to get the word out and so is Facebook, so if you don’t already have a Facebook business page, create one now.
5) Make the referral process easy for everyone. Your clients are more likely to pass on the deal you’re offering to new customers if you make it easy for them to email or print out the deal, or share it on their Facebook pages. Be sure to include a tracking code on the deal coupon that you create so that new customers can claim it. Also, don’t forget about the referrer! Follow through on the gift that you promised and make it easy for them to redeem their gift.