Usually in the Affiliate Marketing Business, Referrals are considered mostly as an organic byproduct of the firm doing its job up to a satisfactory level.
If you exceed your customers’ expectations by offering something exceptional, you can naturally assume that they will also return the favor by appreciating your products and services within their individual and social networks.
Additionally, if you can offer them some top notch customer service, you can truly expect a flood of goodwill through social media.
Until now, it all seems so good and positive, however; there is one problem with these assumptions. It’s true that referrals do happen organically, yet they are never automatically given, even if your customers love your products and services.
In fact, according to a study conducted by the Texas Tech University, it was found that while 83% of satisfied customers might say that they are willing to provide you referrals after a positive brand experience, only 29% of them actually make the efforts.
The reason for this chasm could be many, however; it is often intensified by a failure in properly prioritizing and managing an appropriate referral program.
Now, the question is, how you can fill this gap and get maximum referrals? Let me give you some quick tips regarding the “DO’s and DON’T’s” of Referral Marketing which will eventually help you dynamically convert your Happy Customers into Dependable Revenue Generators:
#1- Combine good referral programs within your marketing strategy:
An apt referral program is fully integrated with all other critical systems:
- Customer Relationship Management
- Marketing Automation
- E-commerce Technology
- POS (Point of Sale) Systems
- Optimization Tools
Referral calls to actions which are included in newsletters and blogs. Even the email signatures of Employee features referral messaging.
#2- Make plans about who and how you ask for referrals:
To successfully operate a Referral Marketing Program, you must thoroughly consider who you are going to target, what are their area of expertise and what kind of incentives can lure most people.
Early adopters love the feeling of being the first to explore and experience new products while others can be driven by monetary benefits, such as a $200 credit on their bill or a percentage of the sale value.
Irrespective of where your customers fall on this spectrum, it is important to fairly understand their motivations and preferences before you reach out. If you offer wrong incentives to wrong customers in a wrong environment; your Referral Marketing Program will surely fail to generate results.
#3- Give your customers all required tools to promote your business:
To make your referral marketing work, you cannot expect your customers to invest time and energy into tools and assets to support your brand. You can avoid this by making the referral process as simple as possible.
This means easy work like creating a hashtag (#) that anyone can share on Twitter or design email templates that ensure your ambassadors use the right language and share the right landing page URL.
Regardless, if you decrease the effort required to deliver a referral, your referral marketing equation will be good enough to work.
#4- Create a structured process to monitor, test, track, and incentivize referrals:
Once your referral marketing program is up and running, it is probable to assume that it will now run on its own. Just like all other strategic marketing initiatives; referral marketing programs also thrive in an environment that is perpetually optimized.
This is a right referral marketing software / tool can be enormously helpful. Why is this important? Because over time, these analytics created by the process will provide you with clear trends into the activities, channels and customers that are driving the best results.
Arming yourself with such insight will gradually make it much easier for you to scale your referral marketing program for an enormous success.
#5- Don’t expect customers to always think about you:
This is one of the biggest misunderstandings that business firms have about referral marketing. They simply assume that the customers always have their brands on the top of their minds.
To be honest, it is equally significant to keep looking for activities that can engage your loyal customers, otherwise you will miss a huge opportunity to encourage conversations about your products and services.
The Bottom Line:
If you want the referrals to consistently deliver good results, then you must make them a part of your business functions. Without a proper structure and commitment, you are largely working on chance. With the right approach, process and technology implemented in your organization; you can turn most of the referrals into an expected and scalable channel of high-quality revenue for your business.