Whether you’re running a small business, startup, or corporate company, a referral program can do wonders for your bottom line. A referral program can generate new leads and reviews, which can be a powerful tool for future revenue. After all, according to a report published by McKinsey, about 20% to 50% of purchasing decisions come from word-of-mouth referrals.
Fortunately, creating a referral program isn’t as hard as you might think. Once you’ve thought out your potential sources as a starting point, come up with effective incentives that work for your business margins, and have a process in place for tracking your referrals, it’s time to start thinking about how to promote your referral program the right way. Here are some tips to steer you in the right direction:
Display It On Your Website
If you don’t already have a website, now is the time to launch one. With a basic theme and WordPress hosting, you can have a decent site up and running within just a few hours. In addition to serving as a home base between you and your customers, your website is a perfect place to promote your referral program. Start by creating pop-ups that encourage visitors to sign up. Try these WordPress pop-up plugins to see how different tools make it easy to create versatile, well-designed graphics that appeal to your market.
Take Advantage of Email Marketing
Email is one of the best ways to interact with your current and future customers. Once you finalize all the details of your referral program, one of the first things you’ll want to do is send out a marketing email blast. You can make this email more highly targeted by breaking it up into two segments: those customers who have purchased products/services before, and those that haven’t. Be sure your email is designed well and clearly states the benefits of getting involved in your referral program. Take a look at these beautiful referral program email designs to give you some inspiration.
Create Social Proof
Your referral program should have some type of social proof built into it. By doing so, you’ll be encouraging other people to help promote the program on your brand’s behalf. Incorporating social proof is simple enough. Just ask yourself, “What incentive can I provide to encouraging customers to share details about my program socially?”
For example, a business might provide customers with $20 off their next order if they refer a friend. The business can take it a step further and incorporate social elements—like buttons that automatically share the person’s custom referral link and include a snappy message. You can also add information about your referral program to your business’s social media bio, which helps put details about the program into as many places as possible.
Utilize Email Signatures
Email signatures are a great way to promote something without going too over-the-top and in the customer’s face. Many brands today already use a custom signature in all their emails, so why not use the signature as some promotional real estate? This works especially well if your team communicates with customers via email, such as the support team. Whenever someone reads an email, they’ll be reminded about the referral program in a subtle way that gets the message across.
Get an Influencer Involved
Influencer marketing is quickly growing as one of the best marketing tactics a brand can employ. A study conducted by Collective Bias found that non-celebrity influencers are 10x more likely to drive purchasing than traditional celebrity-led product endorsements.
You can go a step further and find that micro influencers—who are much more friendly on your budget—have been proven to have more tailored influencers than macro influencers, according to ExpertVoice. Regardless of the industry you’re in, there’s an influencer you can work with, and you can leverage an influencer’s brand to your own advantage.
Start by using a tool like BuzzSumo to identify key influencers in your niche. With this tool, you’ll be able to quickly sort through thousands of influencers, honing in on those that best match your brand’s personality. Then, create an influencer plan that helps define what the responsibilities of your influencers are. For example, what are the types of content they’re allowed to write? What angle should they focus on? Take a look at how other companies are using influencers as well, both inside and outside of your industry.