How to set up a referral program
Word of mouth recommendation is by far the most powerful form of advertising you can get. Now, you may not think you are getting referrals because you don?t have a scheme in place but it?s likely that a lot of your business comes from referrals. If you were to ask your customers how they have heard about your business you will find that lots are recommended by friends or family so you want to make sure you know where your customers are coming from. Putting a scheme in place is the best way to control this and encourage people to give more referrals so you can gain new customers. Here is the best way to get one up and running:
When setting up a referral program, the first thing you need to do is decide how you are going to incentivise/reward your customers for referring you, for example, you could give them a money off voucher or a percentage discount off their next purchase etc. You will also need to incentivise the person being referred to come into your store, while the referral itself may be enough offering them something as well makes it even more likely for them to make a purchase from you.
Asking for referrals
When asking your customers to refer you it best to find the most comfortable way for you and your staff to ask for them and then make it part of your everyday interactions. When asking it would be a good idea to tell customers that a large amount of your business comes from customers recommending your business to friends and family and this will help to reach your customers on a more personal level and you will find that most of your customers will be more than happy to do this for you.
When defining your message and how the program works it needs to be easily understandable and simple for your customers to do. To do this make sure you clearly outline how the program works, what your customers must do and how to do it. Making sure your call to action is clear and prominent will mean it?s more likely for people to refer you.
While it?s good to tell customers about it in person when they come into store, it?s also a good idea to expand the reach of your referral program online through a specific landing page especially if you sell online as this will get your online customers involved as well.
When setting up a landing page make sure it is easy to find from your website, it should be accessible from your home page, which you can successfully do by including it within your main navigation. It has all of the information about your referral program. The page should also be optimized so others when searching online can find it. Also included on the page should be the main message for your referral program, a call to action and details on how to submit their referral, it would be best to include a from on the landing page to make it as easy as possible to submit their referral.
Before actually launching your referral, scheme online you need to make sure some form of analytics is set up whether it be through Google analytics or any other software so you can track the success of your referral efforts. Knowing how people are getting to the landing page, where they?re coming from and what they?ve clicked o will all help you in doing this.
After some time you will be able to see what channels are more successful both online and offline in getting referrals and can increase your efforts here and either get rid of or just transfer your efforts somewhere else for the platforms that aren?t performing as well.
Set a goal
It?s important to have something to aim for when setting up your referral scheme so you need to set goals for your program. If your only just setting up your scheme and have no historical data to go off then you should consider the amount of organic referrals your business has been getting without the scheme in place. You can do this by going back and looking at sales notes or talk to your marketing team to see how often a customer mentioned that they?ve heard about your business from someone else. If you can?t find this information or it is too difficult to figure out another option is to simply set a relatively reasonable goal based on how many advocates, you are looking to engage through the scheme.
Setting a goal with then help you to measure your success as well as push you towards meeting a specific metric which you can then tweak and change once the program is up and running and you can see what is working and what isn?t.? ?
thank customers for referring you
Whenever a customer refers you, you need to be thanking them for it; even though you are rewarding it, they don?t necessarily have to and are essentially doing you a favour. Showing your appreciation whether it be with a thank you card, flowers, a hamper etc. it could be anything but it will mean you are more likely to get more referrals.
While your customers are your main source of referrals, using influencers within your market can be a great way to get referral traffic and leads. You want to be looking for influencers that have a big following that is as close to your target market as possible and try to work with them. This may seem like a tricky thing to but simply reaching out to a popular blogger, YouTuber or something popular on social media like Instagram and asking them to do sponsored postings for example will help massively in getting people over to your brand because they will trust the opinion of these people.
Actually getting someone to refer a specific person and get them into your store is the best way but also remember that reviews can be referrals as well. Using your scheme to get some customers to leave reviews, whether it be on your website, social media, blog etc. is a great way to get new customer. While it might not be as aimed, people do trust what other customers say more than what you say so getting customers to leave positive reviews after they?ve purchased from you provide great referrals to potential customers and can help them decide whether they want to use your company or not.