What is Referral Marketing?

Referral marketing is a form of brand advocacy that allows supporters to really promote your products and services to those close to them. It’s a good way to reach different customers, employees, and partners more organically. This is much better than marketing directly from the company because the key is in trust. The referral comes from family, co-workers, and close friends. Since there’s already a bond there, it’s a lot easier to persuade prospects into tapping your brand for value. As a result, they already see the potential without you directly pitching your brand in most cases. Here are some good tips to help you in your referral marketing.

Give Your Customers the Right Tools

One of the most important things you can do is give your customers/supporters more power to help you achieve your initiatives. Remember, you need to give them as much as you get from them. This is very important because each side is equally important. Some things you need to do is give them a special affiliate link to help promote the product, banners, social media messages, and even email templates so that their prospects can find the right landing page. These are all helpful methods to ensure their success. You want to make this as easy as possible so they won’t have to do so much work on their end.

Make Sure There’s Great Customer Service

In any niche company, customer service is going to reign supreme. If you have someone promoting your product, the prospect is trusting in that person’s co-sign. You need to go above and beyond by being responsive to emails and concerns. Your store should also have a great user experience. Everything from the site speed, the ease it is to put things into carts, the checkout, and even coming back to purchase an accessory should all be easy. Remember, when you make it easy on your clientele, it’s more feasible to gain a sale. You can gauge for yourself by looking and testing the site to see if it’s something worth buying an item. Better yet, is it even worth the time to browse? That’s what you need to ask before you begin getting your referrals together.

What is Your Target Audience?

One of the main things you need to do before going into referral marketing is identify your target audience. What are you going to send to the core that will help you expand your brand? You need a good strategy to help satisfy their wants and needs so that you can use this information to build longevity in your company. Come up with a plan to ask this core audience to get on board with your program. You may want to release a beta program to see who bites the bait first. Maybe you can give them an incentive like a free product to try so they can see first hand if they enjoy it. Maybe you can give a monetary credit towards something else. Some people pride themselves on being the first because they want to be in on the action before everyone realizes that your product is great. It’s a good way to weed out who supported you before the brand became a hot commodity.

Analytics Don’t Lie

It’s very important to gauge what works and the things that are stalemate. You can see this through your referrals and find out what products actually sell and those that continue to be high and dry like clothes out on the hanger in summertime. Sometimes, it may not be the product itself but how and when you promote it. For example, if you have a pumpkin shirt, it might not do very well because it’s spring or summertime. However, once it gets to late September, it’s a top seller. Good referrals and data will show you exactly what’s needed so you can remove unnecessary inventory.

Additionally, it’ll tell you what products pop. Maybe you’ve been testing the waters on a new product and you find it sells like hotcakes for 5 months straight. This might be an evergreen product that could be a staple in your company. No matter the demographic, you can use this stabilize sales while you try out new product. It’s always good to have a fallback in your company. Remember, there’s more than one way to skin a cat. A referral system is not something to just set and leave alone. You need to constantly tweak things and test experiences out so that you can find patterns and trends that prove flawless over time. You want this pattern to really be the basis of creating stable income for your brand.

Give Your Supporters the Right Incentive

Supporters will promote your brand for a while if they genuinely agree with your message. However, you want these supporters to build a long term relationship with you so that you can create longevity in your business. Whether it’s monetary, a trip somewhere, a gift, or another item of your choosing, you need to show that you care. It gives them more reason to go even bigger for your business. Also, it creates a great dynamic between those that are willing to go an extra mile or be complacent in how they promote your business.

One key way you can tell who’s your supporter is by implementing a contest. It’s a good way to get data on those that take that extra step in pushing product. Also, you’ll see what your customers gravitate toward in a particular season. Remember, the prize shouldn’t be solely up to you. Give your supporters a choice in the matter so that they are more included in the bottom line. Set a date, a schedule, and some key banners to help them properly promote your product. At the end of the contest, you can declare a grand prize, 2nd place, and 3rd place winner. This adds to the competition level in the company. It’s creative and exciting which makes things much more interesting.

Referral marketing is very effective with the right product, audience, and support system. What kind of tactics do you use in your referral marketing campaign? Post a note below.

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