#ParrotInspires: Referral marketing & SEO – perfect match?

There’re so many ways to get new leads for your page. Thanks to the digital revolution, many brands are launching and operating their businesses more easily than before. Some of the ways are easy to obtain, while others are more challenging. That’s why you should consider using referral marketing – it’s an easy way to build a relationship with your customers! Moreover, when you combine referral marketing efforts with SEO actions, you will have the opportunity to create strategies that are effective and support your objectives!

The matter of referral marketing and SEO

To better show you how can referral marketing and SEO work together, we need to tell more about  these elements:

Referral marketing

Referral marketing helps you stand out from your competitors and the crowd significantly. We can say it’s an effective form of marketing as it uses referrals, recommendations, and positive word of mouth to help grow your business and company. It uses the networks and connections of your current customers. What’s more, it’s generally based on customer engagement. You should also be aware that word of mouth referrals are usually cheaper.

A referral marketing strategy involves getting someone you know and trust (a referral) to sell or promote your product to a specific group of customers who wish to buy from you. 

Referral marketing can involve adding referral links to your website or encouraging customers for referrals. Your company can generate new leads with this strategy if it’s handled correctly. When a product or service is referred, it results in success in some fields. 

What about SEO?

SEO aims to achieve the highest ranking of a website in natural (organic) search results for particular phrases and keywords. The first position on the search rankings will allow you to gain more visitors to your site, build brand recognition, and increase income from the sale of services and products. However, the benefits may become apparent only after a few weeks since it is a long-term undertaking. 

Another SEO aim is to make sure that the website is visible and understandable to the search engine robots. Essentially it means, the architecture of the site as a whole, the structure of pages, the content, and keywords should be optimised in a way that allows for better search engine rankings.

We also can highlight two types of SEO:

  • White hat SEO – activities following the rules of search engines. The most common include:
    • mutual connection i.e. links exchange,
    • website optimisation, taking into account the users’ requirements,
    • content optimisation by creating valuable content for website visitors.
  • Black hat SEO – are unethical activity and inconsistent with search engine codes. The most popular of them are:
    • spamming message boards,
    • creating content exclusively for search engine robots,
    • repeating keywords or placing them in white font, 
    • abuse of pop-up windows.

Can they work together?

Referral marketing and SEO can work together and complement each other! But, you may wonder how, and we are in a hurry with the answer.

First of all, it’s great when you have a great experience with the people you’re working with, and they want to share their experiences with others. Applying these opinions to your webpage makes your content more trustworthy for engines. Then, they treat your website higher in natural search results. It’s a great option to use such a solution, as people give opinions about what’s at the forefront of their minds. They imitate things that they can see around quite often and share things that can hold much value in the market. People share beautiful stories with others too. All this can substantially positively impact your brand if you consider using this information on your web.

Benefits to combining RM & SEO

Thanks to connecting referral marketing to SEO, you can get various benefits like:

  1. More potential clients will know about your company. Using this solution will increase your company’s recognition, and it’s a huge plus because if you failed to do so before, now you have a chance.
  2. The popularity of your product will rise. Also, your products will benefit from this. Increased brand awareness means increased product awareness.
  3. Your business can grow. The above two factors will make your business gain momentum and grow.
  4. You can grab more employees. Increasing interest among potential employees means you can improve your workforce. You can get new hands to help you or make some changes to your squad that you’ve been thinking about for a long time.
  5. You can make new contacts with contactors. Further cooperation means new opportunities, experiences and development. New contractors can provide them.
  6. You can reach to competition’s clients. Maybe you will gain customers from the competition?  Maybe new customers will find out about you? Or friends recommend your products to them? Everything is possible.
  7. You can introduce new products more efficiently. If you want to introduce a new product, referral marketing and SEO will make things easier. Reliable opinions will drive customers and potential customers to trust your new products faster.
  8. You can leave your competition behind. Are your competitors not taking advantage of referral marketing? Excellent! Do it with you and be the first among them.
  9. You can use positive opinions to improve your brand image. If your company has had an image problem, the hope is, among other things, combined referral marketing and SEO. Improve your appearance, show the world positive opinions about your products, about the company, and track the events.
  10. You can spread your business. All the factors outlined here will help you develop your business in many areas!

Summary – is it a perfect match?

Like you see, acquiring businesses through referrals may be even two times faster than other means. Referral marketing is cost-effective, impactful, and trusted. Additionally, the method relies on word-of-mouth referrals and can be used by any business. Getting referrals helps you turn satisfied customers into remarkable convincing customers. If they know people looking for such services, ask them to refer you to them as your services and products are available for all those satisfied consumers at a fair price. 

When you consider referral marketing in SEO, you will be able to reach more and more people worldwide. As a result, you can increase your revenue and begin your journey to becoming a leading brand. So, what are you waiting for? Go for it! 

#ParrotInsider: The Definitive Guide to Lead Generation in 2021

It’s 2021 and you are looking to generate leads for your business. You have come to the right place! We will be discussing lead generation strategies that will help you in this ever-changing world of technology. There is no shortage of information on how to generate new leads, but it can be difficult sifting through all of the noise. This blog post provides a comprehensive overview of what matters most and what doesn’t when it comes to generating quality leads for your business in 2021!

What is lead generation?

Lead generation is a marketing strategy that helps you connect with potential customers. This can take the form of generating qualified leads by capturing contact information, building interest in your company or product, and helping convert interested prospects into paying customers. Generating new leads at an effective rate has never been more important than it is today!

What are some strategies for lead generation?

The best way to generate quality leads for your business depends on what stage we’re talking about: prospecting vs. converting. When it comes to prospecting (generating uninterested parties), there is no one-size-fits-all solution – each industry will require its own customized approach depending on customer preferences and needs in 2021.

However, we can recognize a few strategies that you may want to follow – including one strategy that Early Parrot will be extremely helpful with.

#1 Create an incentive-based referral system for lead generation

Lead generation is an ongoing process that occurs in your company. This means you have to ask for the right things and provide incentives that are worth it to those who help generate more leads. Creating a referral system can be one such incentive-based technique you should use, as well as other techniques like using contests or offering prizes of some sort. It’s important not only to create these policies but also enforce them so people know what they’re getting into when participating with this type of marketing campaign.

Remember that lead generation is not a one-time thing and you’ll have to keep creating new ways for people to get involved if it’s not working. You also need the proper incentives, as well as good ideas on what would work best when trying different things out so you don’t waste time or money doing something that won’t be successful. It may take some trial and error before getting this right but in order to generate more leads there are certain steps worth taking.

#2 Create opt-in opportunities for lead generation

Lead generation is not just about getting people to fill out a lead form. There are many ways you can generate leads, and the best way for your company may be different than what’s working well for others in your industry. One of our favorite strategies is creating an opt-in opportunity–a type of sales funnel that encourages prospects to provide their contact information with the promise of exclusive content or resources in return. The goal here is twofold: first, capturing more email addresses so we can keep marketing back to them; second, providing high quality content like eBooks which will educate customers on topics they care about most so they make smarter buying decisions down the line. We have seen this method work incredibly well when it comes time to close deals.

To set up your own opt-in opportunity, you can either create a landing page on your website or send an email campaign. The most important thing is to provide content that will be valuable and interesting for the people who subscribe–whatever it takes to get them to sign up!

#3 Do not neglect email marketing in lead generation

Email marketing is often overlooked when it comes to lead generation. Email marketing has been around for a lot longer than most social media platforms and as such, creating an email list of people who subscribe to your blog will be more valuable in the long run because these subscribers are invested in what you have to say. An added bonus with this type of content distribution channel is that there’s no need for any additional post processing since the user views your message on their own time and at their convenience so they can easily process all the information without feeling rushed or overwhelmed.

Email marketing is a trustworthy form of content distribution that will help you build trust and authority in your industry.

And with email marketing, it’s not about quantity but rather quality—you have to focus on building relationships so people want to hear from you more often than they simply want to know what you’re selling. A long-term investment pays off better over time!

#4 Use social media for lead generation

It has been said that 80% of adults are connected at least monthly with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Instagram and most people check their social accounts first thing in the morning. This means you can start a day-long conversation by engaging your target market through these channels. How? Think about what they care about then share content related to those topics: events they might be attending, news items that affect them directly, store promotions for products they might like. You’ll find out when it’s worth sharing something too – if there’s an uptick in engagement from followers who have never interacted with your company before! That will indicate you’ve found someone new and a potential customer base

Why is social media a great channel for lead generation? Well, it has quite a few benefits.  First of all, it’s a good idea to use social media because you can find potential customers on there who are already interested in your product. Plus, if they like what they see online – and trust the company that is promoting their products or services – those people will be more likely to convert into leads for sales teams as well as buy from them offline.  Social media also makes it easier to build relationships with potential customers.

#5 Prepare a few landing pages for supporting lead generation

If you’re going to invest in lead generation, it’s important that your content is not only compelling and relevant but also serves as an additional way for potential customers to reach out. Many companies are publishing blog posts about topics like “lead nurturing” or “cold calling,” so if those are a part of your strategy then be sure to publish some related landing pages on the topic too. This means coming up with new offers, providing supporting articles and guides, and writing helpful how-to tips–all things people can take action on through their browsers instead of just clicking away from the page.

#6 Think outside-the-box of your lead generation efforts

The best way to stand out in this crowded space is by thinking outside-the-box of your lead generation efforts. No longer can you rely on the tried and true methods, which are largely saturated with a plethora of other vendors doing just that; it will be hard for you to succeed without some originality. One example might be performing online research about an industry event happening soon so that you can reach potential attendees before they attend the event. That means contacting them beforehand as well as afterwards – while they’re at the conference or when they get back home from it (depending on what their preferences are). But don’t stop there – consider sending follow up emails after participants return from an event geared towards networking opportunities, introducing new products to them, and so on.

#7 Run lead generation webinars

You can also run webinars to boost your lead generation processes.

What is a webinar? A webinar is an online seminar, lecture series or presentation created for the purpose of educating and engaging target audiences. Webinars are usually free to attend, with live streaming video which can be viewed on desktop computers as well as mobile phones and tablets. This means they’re easy to share across your social media networks like Facebook Live Video or YouTube Live Streaming.

How should you prepare for it? The first step in hosting a successful webinar would be creating content that will resonate with your audience while addressing their needs and priorities. You also want to make sure that you have quality visuals (e.g., PowerPoint presentations) because people do not always remember what was said during the event but often retain what they see.

How should you promote your webinar? It’s important to share this information as far and wide as possible, so create a campaign that will reach your target audience such as sending out invitations through LinkedIn or Facebook Messenger. You also want to make sure that there is an email list because people may not be logged in during the event time.

How can webinars help with lead generation?

In 2021, webinars are a great way to generate leads. Webinars have grown in popularity because they allow companies to introduce themselves and their products or services while at the same time learning more about what the customer is looking for. They also give customers an opportunity to ask questions which will then help provide potential customers with all of the information necessary before making a purchase decision.

Webinar marketing has become one of the best ways for businesses to engage customers online by delivering marketing presentations that educate prospects on your business offerings, solutions and how they can benefit from them.

#8 Use influencers

One last strategy we have found effective when developing lead generation strategies is building relationships with industry influencers in our field. These are individuals whose opinions carry weight among prospects–they may not make decisions themselves but they do influence what other decision makers buy into so if you want to reach new customers quickly, this strategy could work well for you. And even better, they’re usually more receptive to marketing messages like these because of their interest in the field.

Over to you

There are many strategies for lead generation, and you’ll need to experiment with what works best for your business. Lead generation is a critical component of any successful marketing strategy, so we hope our tips came in handy!

Call to Action: Why You Need Them and Why They’re Important

For many people, the call to action is an important concept that they aren’t sure how to execute. It’s a key component of any webpage and can help remove friction in moving down the sales funnel. In this blog post, we’re going to discuss why you need them and why they’re so important!

What is a call to action, actually?

A call to action is a tool that helps guide your customers in the direction you want them to go. It’s like a traffic light: green means “go,” red means “stop” and yellow means “slow down.” When it comes to call-to-action buttons, there are three types of CTAs—the button CTA, which has an explicit call (such as BUY NOW or SIGN UP) on it; the image CTA, which doesn’t have an explicit call but relies on its visual design elements alone for guidance (like DOWNLOAD PDF); and finally text with links, often referred to as ‘CTALs’, where multiple actions can be taken from one link.

Designing effective persuasive copy isn’t as difficult as it might seem. If you tell people how your call-to-action will resolve their current problem, they’ll be more likely to buy whatever the call is for from you.

The call to action button on a website can come in three flavours: text with links, an image CTA or a more explicit call to action (CTA). The latter two are less likely to send users through the sales funnel because there’s no clear call like there would be on a button CTA that says “BUY NOW.” You need CTAs if you want customers who visit your site and stay engaged during all of your content before buying anything. But when designing these buttons keep in mind what type of customer behaviour you want to trigger.

CTA statistics 2021

There are many studies and statistical analysis proving how important these small things can be for your conversion rates – so let’s see some stats! Here are just three of them with their percentages:

*82% of internet users say they click on links or ads if they appear above the page fold* (Moz) – this means that calls to actions on your website should be visible and easily noticeable before the user scrolls down. 

*81% of people who call a business after seeing it on the internet call again* (Moz)  – this means that you have to keep your call to action in view at all times.

*14-28% increase in conversion rates for marketers who use calls to actions on their landing pages* (Demand Metric) This is why call to actions are important because they allow viewers and customers an easy way out, and can help boost conversions as well!

The key takeaway from these numbers is clear: by adding call-to-actions wherever possible, we will be able to see increased conversion rates as more users take the desired action. So don’t neglect those small things! Make sure every page has some kind of callout.

Benefits of CTA

A call to action makes it clear to potential customers which action to take next and helps remove friction in moving the user down the sales funnel. A call-to-action can be as simple as a button that leads your reader or customer on to another webpage, such as “BUY NOW” or “CONTINUE TO THE NEXT PAGE.” When you create an effective CTA for your content, you’re telling them how they should feel about what you just shared with them (e.g., they have learned valuable information) and then giving them a way of demonstrating that knowledge by clicking through.

The call-to-action is also important because it tells readers where their attention goes when reading online content: namely, towards whatever element of the page is designated as their call-to-action. In other words, if you have a call to action on your webpage and nothing else of note, then where should readers’ attention go?

The call-to-action will be more effective (and create more conversions) when it’s easy for customers or readers to find what they are looking for. Keep this in mind when designing the call-to-action button: make sure that its placement makes sense with respect to how visitors typically read online content. For instance, making “CONTINUE TO THE NEXT PAGE” at the bottom of the article may not make much sense if most people reading articles scroll all the way down before clicking through – which means putting it near the top of the page would be a better idea.

Examples of effective CTA

– “Add To Cart” is an example of a call to action that tells the user what they are about to do and encourages them to complete their purchase. A call to action should be placed prominently on your webpage, in plain sight without any distractions so as not to confuse or distract visitors from clicking it

Effective CTA call-to-action buttons should include  a clear explanation of how someone can take immediate steps toward achieving their goal by making a decision or taking some specific kind of step (e.g., buying something).

– “Contact Us” is an example call to action for a company that would like prospects to call them. The company can use this CTA button on their website as it’s clear what the visitor will do if they click it and there are no distractions from other elements on the page.

– “Download Now”  is another good call to action because visitors who see it know where to go in order to get hooked up with some valuable content (in this case, a PDF). In addition, it offers visitors something of value without any commitment necessary so even those people who were just browsing might be convinced into taking the next step by clicking.

A call-to-action should also include text about how someone can take  the next step. For example, “Add to Cart” is a call-to-action that includes the text: Add To Cart Before The Offer Expires

A call to action should be made in plain sight and without any distractions so as not to confuse or distract visitors from clicking it  It sends prospects down the sales funnel where they are more likely you make a purchase call, contact your company or download content. A call-to-action button should include an explanation of how someone can take immediate steps toward achieving their goal by making some decision or taking some specific kind of step (e.g., buying something). If you want customers who click on this CTA button to call your business right away then use words like “Contact Us”, “Call Now” or “Talk To Us”.

CTA best practices

  • For call to actions, use action verbs: “Start your free trial,” not “Free Trial.” Or “Register now” rather than just a link. You want the call to action to be explicit and make it clear what they need to do next – otherwise people will simply click on links until something works, which might never happen if you don’t include buttons!
  • Make sure that all of your call to action button text is descriptive enough for users know exactly what happens when they push or interact with them. This includes making sure that an empty CTA has some kind of text so people know how they are supposed feel about interacting with it (e.g., instead of leaving it blank, write ‘No thanks.’).
  • Include clear wording about what action is required from the visitor (e.g., “Subscribe Now!”)
  • Be concise – one sentence or phrase at most
  • Provide value by answering key questions potential customers might have if they were to take the desired action (e.g., “What will you get? What does it cost? How do I subscribe?) – this also includes providing social proof on the call-to-action button
  • Use urgency to persuade visitors that they need to act now (e.g., “Order Today”)
  • Provide a clear call-to-action button – for example, orange text or an arrow pointing down

What is the best CTA, then?

It’s difficult to determine the best call-to-action for a website. We recommend constantly testing different CTAs, and learning which ones are most successful in terms of leads generated.

Over to you

Do you really need a CTA? Yes, you do! Otherwise you’re missing big time. Nowadays people don’t have time and patience for browsing so they focus on the call to action button before deciding what to do next.

The call to action is a key element of your webpage which acts as an indication that tells people what their next step should be. A call to action makes it clear which actions potential customers should take, reducing friction in moving them down the sales funnel.

And that’s why you shouldn’t underestimate them.

Influencer Marketing vs Referral Marketing: What’s the Difference?

If we were to put it shortly, that would be it:

Influencer marketing is the process of partnering with an influencer in order to promote a product or service.

Referral marketing, on the other hand, takes advantage of customer engagement and word-of-mouth to generate sales. It can involve anything from adding referral links to your website to incentivizing customers for referrals.

There are several similarities between these two types of marketing strategies: both rely heavily on content that is interesting and engaging; they encourage users to share their opinions; they offer incentives for sharing information about products or services; etc. However, there are also some significant differences between them. This blog post will explore those differences so you can figure out which strategy might be right for your business!

What is referral marketing?

Referral marketing is the act of persuading a customer to buy from you by getting someone they know and trust (a referral) to sell or endorse your product. When done right, it can be one of the most effective ways of generating new leads for your company.

How does referral marketing work?

Referral marketing is a form of word-of-mouth advertising that relies on the power of personal recommendations and social networks to get more people interested in your product or service. It’s mostly based around customers getting other customers (who are likely friends) to sign up for something, buy a product, or try out an experience via referrals from existing members.

In contrast, influencer marketing involves working with someone who has access to media channels such as blogs and YouTube channels with lots of subscribers/fans which can help spread awareness about a company’s products through testimonials or reviews. These individuals have large online audiences – they’re usually called “influencers” because their social reach influences purchases among fans following them.

What are some benefits of referral marketing?

The key benefit that comes with referral marketing is boosting sales through familiar faces in an increasingly digital world. Because people tend to do business with those they know and like, referrals play on this impulse while also giving companies access to customers who may not have found them otherwise. Plus, when something goes wrong during the sale process (e.g., an inaccurate shipment), a good word from a trusted friend has much more clout than any form of marketing.

Customers are guaranteed quality goods and services. When customers refer businesses they trust, they’re essentially guaranteeing that the person or company will provide what was promised–a guarantee not found in most referral programs. It also helps build loyalty for repeat referrals as well so companies see higher conversion.

What are some drawbacks to referral marketing?

The biggest drawback that comes with referral marketing is the time it takes for a company to get set up and running on the platform. It can be tough getting users who have never heard of you or tried your product before, which requires a lot more work in order to grow an audience from scratch – something most companies don’t do well without a budget behind them. This also makes these platforms less attractive if customer acquisition costs are high and competition is fierce (i.e., Facebook campaigns).

This leads into another issue: relying too much on one channel for lead generation means missing out on other opportunities as they come along, especially when social media trends change fast or new channels open up.

One more downside is that these platforms only work when customers are ready to buy something. If the customer isn’t in-market, there’s nothing being sold, and thus no lead.

What is influencer marketing?

Influencer marketing is a new way for businesses to connect with their target audience via social media. It’s an effective strategy because it places the trust and message of the business squarely in the hands of someone that consumers already know, like, and trust. The influencers we work with are true thought leaders – they’re experts at what they do as well as passionate about your line of products or services.

How does it work?

The most common type of influencer marketing is paying for a sponsored post on a blog. A company will pay an influencer to create content that features their product or service, they then share it with their audience and this, in turn, leads to potential customers. This technique has been around since the 70s when Phillip Morris paid sitcom stars from “M*A*S*H” $25,000 per episode to mention Marlboro cigarettes in dialogue and show images of actors smoking cigarettes between scenes. There are many benefits associated with using Influencers as your advertising medium including improving brand awareness, raising website traffic through social media sites like Facebook or YouTube channels devoted solely to Influencers.

Pros of influencer marketing in your strategy

Influencer marketing can be a lot less expensive than other forms of advertising because you’re purchasing their attention rather than something physical. It’s the fastest way to get an audience on board without much investment in time or money.

In influencer marketing, it is important for your strategy that what they are promoting aligns with their niche and who they want to reach so it has more impact. For instance, if someone wants to promote vegetarianism as opposed to veganism then it might not have as great of a response from the target group but will still generate interest among those looking into different types of eating habits.

Influencers have social proof which means that when they put something out there, their followers and fans find it credible.

Influencers also have a deep understanding of the needs of consumers: Influencer marketing campaigns can be much more targeted than other forms of advertising because influencers know what people in their niche want to hear about. You don’t need to guess at demographics or psychographics when you work with an influencer who is already familiar with those things.

What are some similarities between referral marketing and influence marketing?

If people know a brand but not the individual behind it (e.g., Jennifer Lawrence), they might still trust what this person is saying about them because of who they are as an influencer – even if all their stuff had been sponsored from day one. In either case, those with clout have power over others’ decisions; how much weight is given to each depends on the level of connection felt by both parties.

Influencers can be anyone: celebrities like Taylor Swift or Kim Kardashian, social media stars like Gigi Gorgeous or Zoella from YouTube, the CEO of your company.

Influencer marketing is the newest trend in advertising because it’s a more authentic form of advertisement. Referral marketing isn’t as effective at influencing consumers to buy products for various reasons, such as people see referral posts as annoying advertisements and they don’t want their friends knowing that they bought something from an ad.

What are the main differences between referral marketing vs Influencer Marketing?

Here are some key points:

– Referral programs rely heavily on word-of-mouth referrals

– Referral programs can be used by any company

– Influencer marketing is more based on generating content to attract a specific target market

– Word of mouth referrals are usually cheaper than influencer marketing methods. Whereas, large online reach through social media means that influencers have the ability to generate an expensive cost per click for their products or services (i.e., they could charge $500-$1000)

– Referral and Influencer marketing both come with choosing who you want to work with and what form your end goal should take.

Over to you

What should you choose: influencer marketing or referral marketing? Why wouldn’t you combine your efforts and invest in both ways? We fully encourage you to do so – and use Early Parrot for this purpose!

#ParrotInspires: How Email Marketing Supports Your Referral Program

Email is the most cost-effective way to keep in touch with your customers and prospects. But it’s not just about sending out a marketing email every now and then—it’s about creating an engagement plan that works for you and your business. Check out our clever approaches to boosting sales on your referral program with email services.

#0 First things first

The first step for any great affiliate or partner strategy starts by using emails as the medium of communication between partners and affiliates/referrers alike, while also incentivizing them both along the way too! This style of “closed loop” communications makes it easier to track performance, and therefore more efficient to manage.

Your referral program should be the “hub” for all communications, as it’s a great place to keep in touch with your partners and affiliates about what they can do together. Think of emails as one way you may want to let them know how their referrals are doing!

The most effective campaigns have email sequences that bring customers through the entire process: from reaching out for information on making a purchase decision up until after they’ve purchased something or participated in an event. The sequence typically starts by introducing who you’re inviting to participate – then provides incentives like discounts or free gifts (which vary depending on your industry). If this is successful, there will be subsequent phases where you might provide additional perks.

#1 Create a sequence of referral emails

Email #0: Introduce your referral program and make the offer

Your first email should consist of some introduction to your referral program and showing its value. Ideally, you should offer a discount or some type of reward to those who sign up.

Hi _______,

How are you? I hope all is well! With summer here (yay!), there’s never a bad time to chat about how we can grow our business together through referrals – one of my favorite topics 🙂 Can you introduce me to someone in your network who might be interested in what we do? We have some great deals right now that would also help them save on their next purchase with us. All they need to do is mention this email and get 20% off any product or service when they become new customers. And if they sign up by September 30th, we’ll give them an additional $100 towards anything from our store!

So, introduce me to someone you know who might want more information about our products or services (or buy something from us) and we’ll hook them up with a great deal. I can’t wait to hear from you – let’s connect soon.

Best,

___________

Want a quicker version? Here it goes.

Hi _______,

Congratulations on reaching one of your goals at work/school! It sounds like that took some time and effort—I’m really proud for you! In return for all this hard work, what would be a better reward than $100 off any product in our store? Just mention my name when signing up by September 30th* so we can give you the $100.

Happy shopping,

___________

*Terms and conditions apply.

Email #1

Follow up with customers who have not yet taken advantage of this great opportunity to share their love for you!

Your next email would be your thank-you for signing up and the introduction to your referral program. This is where you educate them on how it works – what are they going to get in return? A good incentive could be an exclusive coupon codes available only for their referrals. You’ll want this message short so that people can easily pass it on through social media or by word of mouth but long enough for them to see its value.

Email #2

Send a reminder email or two near the end date of your promotion, especially if it is about to expire soon. Good idea? Maybe not so much—people will be less likely to respond when they are already on autopilot…

In your third email, send out rewards! People love getting things fast and if you’re lucky with a large number of new customers referred over time, then they may not need any more incentives beyond receiving their reward (along with the person they referred to).

Email #3

Send a thank you email to your new customers, share something about yourself and show appreciation for their support. This is also where you can include links to other blog posts, products or services that would be of interest to them.

You guessed it—another chance in this last email for an exclusive coupon code! And if anyone has not yet taken advantage of getting 20% off any purchase when referring to someone else? Your offer should still stand after a particular date, too!

This content will only work well as long form content because there are so many steps involved in running an effective referral campaign.

#2 Leverage your email signature to promote the program

If you are getting a lot of emails from your company, be sure to include the referral program in your signature. This will make it easier for people to refer and share their content with others. It’s simple marketing!

If you add links to your referral program in your email signature, you can gain more interest and potential options for collaboration.

#3 Make your referrals feel like a priority

Send info about your referral program to your brand ambassadors.

The more people you can get to advocate for your brand, the better.

Reach out to them with offers and updates about the referral program. You want those supporters of yours to feel like they’re a priority so that they’ll continue giving word-of-mouth referrals.

Your business is competing against every other company in a customer’s inbox daily. So it’s important to make sure this info stands out from all their other emails (think: newsletters, promotions, blog posts). For example? Make it personal by showing some personality! Send an email thanking them for the referral or asking what product worked best for them when referring others!

It doesn’t matter if you forward each recommendation request on as soon as possible – one at a time – or if you batch them together, as long as they’re answered.

#4 Double-check the timing

Timing is everything when it comes to sending your emails. You need to pick the right time and date, otherwise, the open rate of your emails can be terribly low.

However, the best answer to this “When to Send Email” question is: it depends – on your subscribers, your industry, and many other factors.

For example if you are a retail store that sells products for pets such as dog food or grooming tools then “midnight Friday” might be an appropriate hour because pet owners purchase more over the weekend than any other day during the week (according to Experian Consumer Insights from 2017). But if you sell something like jewelry that isn’t often purchased online at midnight on Fridays (or even in the middle of the day for that matter) then you might want to plan your email campaign so it sends at a different time.

If you are in an industry where customers don’t typically buy products online from midnight on Friday, and instead wait until Sunday night when they get home from their weekend activities, then send out your emails during this time frame because people will be more likely to open them. And if many of your clients work nine-to-five jobs, avoid sending any campaigns later than noon on Fridays or early Saturday mornings. These two times are prime moments for catching up with friends and family over coffee after being stuck inside all week rather than checking their inboxes (let alone opening one).

#5 Pick the right email subject line

The most common email titles are short ones. Do you fear that you may not include everything you want to say? Preheader is the place to put it.

Creating short emails is not easy every time, but it’s worth experimenting to see how they perform. Remember that mobile devices can only display a limited number of characters if you contain more than 25-70 characters. Five out of every ten email recipients view their messages on a smartphone.

The end result is that you have an engaged customer base who are empowered because they know what’s going on in their company. Your reward: Loyal customers bring new customers!

Over to you

One of the most effective ways to grow your referral program is through email marketing. Emails help keep customers engaged in the referral process and remind them about opportunities for earning rewards with every new customer who joins their team.

ParrotInsider #10: 4 reasons why you need EarlyParrot if you run a B2B company

Running a B2B business is demanding, there are no doubts about that. In these markets relationships with your clients are very crucial, you have fewer clients than in the B2C market but each of them disposes of quite the sum of money. In other words, it is good to create loyalty and a solid bond with your clients. 

One way to do this is referral marketing and delivering a program to your clients. Is it worth doing so? According to this report, referrals influence more than 90% of B2B decisions. Consider this to be a yes.

Getting started, how does referral marketing work in B2B, and why is it wise for you to sign up for an EarlyParrot account for this? We will tell you!

B2B vs B2C referrals

Before we jump into the sea of referrals’ pros, let’s focus for a while on the differences between B2B and B2C. It is important to know how these two differ.

B2B referralsB2C referrals
AudienceSmallerBigger
Main focusCreating a long time relationship 
Boosting awareness
Staggered purchasing decisions
Sharing knowledge about product and industry
Coming up with new solutions 
Managing risks
Products or services
Short-time purchasing decision
Brands’ USPs and image
Emotions
MediumsBlogs, LinkedIn, FacebookYouTube, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter
Types of contentProduct pages
Blog posts
Webinars
Ebooks
Whitepapers
Videos
Social media posts
Apps

As the above tab presents, there are some differences between these two referral types, so even if you run a B2C referral program, you should gain some info about B2B ones. These are not the same. 

One of the main differences between them is the length of purchasing decisions – on the B2C they can take even minutes, and they apply to one person. On the B2B market, such decisions are long, complex processes with various people and stages at different departments involved. 

The next issue here is the main focus of each type. When it comes to B2B referral, they aim to build a bond and share knowledge about products, so clients come back to them to get some more. With B2B referrals, it is also common to manage risks and present new, tailored solutions rather than offer regular products. 

Another big difference between these two is a way of communication. First, we go with the medium, individuals are influenced and use different platforms than business clients, so you should adapt to this habit. Moreover, preferable content types differ too. With business clients, you should focus on longer forms, fulfilled with information and knowledge. To individuals, it is better to send short, casual messages.

Why do you need an EarlyParrot driven referral program?

According to Harvard Business Review, more than 80% of B2B sales start with a referral. This statistic shows that recommendations in business are crucial too. What’s more?

Let’s start from the very beginning. If you want to create a referral program, you should do it with EarlyParrot. The process is very simple and takes up to 15 minutes. Once you get it done and integrate our tool with your daily use apps or tools, you can create the program and benefit from it. OK, but what are the benefits of B2B referrals, though?

#1 You can follow the progress

As you have read above, in the B2B market it is crucial to make your leads high-quality, i.e. make the relationship long-term. Referred customers show 15 times longer LTV than non-referred, this shows how quality they can be. 

EarlyParrot lets you track the referrals – when did they shop for the last time, what did they buy, and who referred them. All the information you need is right at your fingertips with our tool, so you will be able to tailor the communication or do a follow-up if needed in order to make a bond with them. The better designed the messages, the better (and longer) perspectives are in front of you and your customer base. 

#2 You can vary channels

The tab above shows that various content types and mediums need to be used for B2B and B2C referrals to be successful. The good news is that with EarlyParrot you can use various channels from Facebook to WhatsApp. You can even design a Telegram message. What you need to think about is that every social platform has its character limits, so while designing the message keep this fact in mind and do not go all the way. Social media are mostly dedicated to short updates.

Besides, each channel has various demands. For example, if you want to design social media messages you can surely do it by yourself, but when it comes to writing blog posts or ebooks you should have it done for you. It is important for such longer forms to be written by professionals who know how to write interesting and insightful pieces (if you can do it, go for it). Of course, this content has to be fulfilled with industry insights, so you should provide some background in order to make these pieces informative and useful. 

#3 You can make it a useful part of your app portfolio

It is crucial for the new app or tool to be easily integrated with the programs you use on a daily basis. Your apps and tools would be more useful if they were integrated into a coherent whole. EarlyParrot can be integrated with lots of popular tools like 

  • Typeform,
  • Mailchimp,
  • Autopilot, 
  • AWeber,
  • Shopify, 
  • WordPress,
  • Magento,
  • and many more.

Furthermore, the integration process won’t take you long, and you don’t have to be an IT pro or have an IT department to do it. It is very easy, and the tool indicates what to do and what should happen next. 

#4 You can use it both for SaaS companies and eCommerce

We provided two articles about these topics – how EarlyParrot can help SaaS businesses and eCommerce, so we won’t dwell on these topics for long. EarlyParrot can be integrated into both with CMS like WordPress or Joomla and eCommerce providers like Shopify and WooCommerce. 

For both industries, it is a great idea to use referrals, especially if they operate in the B2B market. Creating a loyal customer base and strengthening bonds is profitable for both these industries, no matter what type of products or services they offer.  

Top practises for B2B referral programs

Creating a program is just a first step, to make it useful you have to take care of a few aspects. Here are our tips & tricks on using the whole power of referrals. If you want to learn more about this topic, feel free to visit our blog. You will find there many useful pieces regarding referral marketing and more. But now, let’s get back to the topic – B2B referral best practices. 

Make the lead form as clear as possible

While a B2B client is trying to sign up, sometimes asking about too much information can scare them off. You do not have to know everything about them. Once they start to be your clients, there will be time to get to know each other better and ask for more details. 

What such a form should include:

  • Referrer name/company’s name
  • Email address
  • Phone number
  • Lead/company name 

This is it. The above information is the most crucial and needed to start operation. Everything beyond that is unnecessary and can wait. 

Keep terms and conditions simple

For every B2B client, it is crucial to get to know all terms and conditions of the cooperation. An individual simply clicking “I agree” without opening the file is a very common situation, but with B2B clients it is completely different. Be aware that while B2B referrals, there may be some questions, and you need to face them. 

To limit them, you should first provide the “Terms and conditions” file in a visible way and make it easy to download. Moreover, it should be done in a simple and informative language. If any questions occur, you should also provide a way to address them.

Inform your loyal customers

If you are about to start your first referral program, you have to make some noise about it. Before you launch a referral campaign, you should send emails to your regular customers (all you have to do is to choose the right EarlyParrot template) to let them convince their business partners or industry colleagues that your offer is the best. In the B2B market, where much money is at the stage, time matters a lot. Nobody will decide spontaneously about issues that may cost the company thousands or millions of dollars. 

Also, from the referrers’ perspective, they need time to think whether it would be profitable for them (and you need time to convince them that it surely would be). As a recap, what is very important when it comes to cooperation between business partners is time, and you should keep this in mind. 

Make it personal

In the B2B market, you don’t have as many clients as in the B2C, so it would be easier to personalize the experience. Make the referral client feel special. Besides the personalized communication that is a must nowadays, you should make a special offer just for them. Every business has different needs, and it is your job to meet them. 

By personalizing their referral experience, you show them that it was the right decision to choose your company, and you are worth the recommendation, so they would recommend you, too. It is a simple way to broaden your customer base and improve your brand image.

Conclusion

Partnering with B2B clients through referral marketing is a great way to improve your relationships and company’s image. Without a doubt, thanks to the recommendations of your regular customers, you would be able to expand your customer base and be more recognizable in the industry. 

We hope that thanks to our article, you will find EarlyParrot useful on your referral way and want to explore this world with our tool. Moreover, we are sure that with our few tips you would rock the industry with your referral program.

Make the most of user-generated content

Creating a bond and sense of community among your audience are crucial aspects of your business performance and long-term success. Nowadays, there is fierce competition fighting about customers’ attention, so setting a place in their hearts and minds may be a good strategy. 

There are plenty of marketing strategies that rely on relationships with customers, but there is one that engages the customers the most – user-generated content. Considering that people constantly post stuff on the web, why not take advantage of this habit? They love to brag about new products, so as a brand, you can use these praise posts as user-generated content and promote yourself. How does it work and how to make the most of it? Keep reading!

What is user-generated content?

As the name indicates, it is content created and delivered by your audience and followers. It can be done both by your regular clients and new customers. Such type of content may greatly influence purchasing decisions. It is a proof that your products are used by “real people” not only by e.g. paid influencers. Thanks to user-generated content, your loyal customers can show your prospective customers how to use products or share some tips and general opinions. It really increases trust and awake curiosity about your offer. What exactly is the user-generated content? Here you go:

User generated-content examples:

  • social media posts about your products
  • Instagram or Facebook stories about using your items
  • product reviews on customers social media channels 
  • blog posts on business clients’ websites 
  • webinars about your products or services
  • pictures, videos or texts in the opinion section on the product page

Pros about user-generated content

Why is it worth spending some time and putting in some effort to encourage your customer to make some beautiful photos or record inspiring videos? There are a plethora of reasons, here you can read a few.

Driving a brand desire

People are quite envious by nature, if they see that somebody has a given item they want it too. Such content is a great way to spark this desire and target their purchase decision a bit. By publishing customer content or their positive reviews about you, you prove that it is worth buying your product and trigger potential customers even more to do so.

Sparkling the brand desire is a great way to acquire many new customers and have a chance to bond with them. Making them look forward to your product for a longer time should be your goal. 

Increase trust

When “real people” show that they use your product and talk or write about it, it is great social proof. After all, over 8 out of 10 people admit they trust reviews over advertising, so featuring this content might provide a big helping hand when making a buying decision.

In general, the more content provided by your products’ users, the better. Additionally, to gain trust, you will also increase your brand awareness and stay on top of your potential customers’ minds. But remember that your customers shouldn’t be your only social media creators, it’s your job, too. 

Making you a “brand for people”

Which means it shows that your products are used and helpful while “ordinary” life. Marketing campaigns try to generate needs and demonstrate how to meet them, but all this is done by actors. Authenticity is better than the most creative script. 

Influencers may not be as persuasive as those they know or who belong to the same social group. Referral marketing follows the same rules, it works because it is more down to earth and simply saying is more realistic. 

Now that you know what the user-generated content is and why it is worth using this content creation, it is time to learn some tips on how to make the most of this content strategy. 

User-generated content tips & tricks

How can you boost the benefits of user-generating content? This is a good question, and we have a few answers for you.

#1 Ask both your loyal  and new customers 

If you have a strong bond with your group of customers, you can use it. If you have a group of loyal clients who buy your products regularly, their opinion (almost certainly positive) about them is well-established. Let them speak for themselves. 


You can ask about their opinion after the purchase and encourage them to publish this type of content. It would also be a great idea to mention this possibility during referral communication. If you run such a program (hopefully with EarlyParrot) you can adjust the content of the emails as you wish. Moreover, you can set such a template with our tool. The email can be configured to automatically send when specific conditions are met, so all you have to do is set the right triggers. 

Let’s suppose your regular client refers you to three new ones. If they made a purchase, you can ask about their opinions and encourage them to provide customer reviews. Of course, you can promise them some extra incentives. 

#2 Organize a social media contest

Competition is a great motivator for people, so give them some. Announce on your social channels a contest for the best user content. It could be a pic when your client uses your product or a short video on how to make the most of the given product. The rules are up to you, but they should be clear. You will see that such an idea will meet with positive feedback and people will be more than willing to make some authentic content and win rewards. In order to keep up with these posts, you should create your branded hashtag and follow the fresh content that rolls in.

What is important to say in this case is that consumer-generated content won’t do much if you haven’t taken care of your social media platforms properly. First, you should gather a community and encourage people to click the follow button, then you can rely on custom content. It will work, provided you have an audience and target to influence. Otherwise, these marketing efforts will backfire.

#3 Take care of user experience

You may think how these two aspects are connected, but believe us, there are. If you want your customers to become your content creators, you have to do your best to meet their requirements and needs. 

Make sure your website is easy to use, and items can be easily found. Also, it should be aesthetic – colours, fonts, graphics should be as coherent as possible. It is very important. Over half of the users admit that this aesthetic aspect is the main reason why they do not return to the website. You see, appearance is crucial.  You should also make sure your product is presented well and described correctly, of course, honestly. It would be also nice to offer post-purchase services like the installation or longer warranty. Additionally, customer service counts as such services, so make sure that all emails and social media queries are answered, and if you run a call center, make sure that no phone call is missed. The quality of service matters too, so all messages should be written in a polite and informative way and your agents should be active listeners. 

Speaking of customer service, you should provide some self service methods in this case and upload a knowledge base and FAQ to allow customers to find needed information on their own.

You should deliver brilliant products and even better service, only this way your customer will be willing to deliver you some content with positive reviews. 

# 4 Make the creators stars

People like to be in the spotlight, especially when it comes to becoming an Internet star. Once your customers deliver you the content, you should distribute it the same way you distribute your own materials. Publish it across your platforms and make a story about these pictures or videos. It is a great idea to tell histories about how the pictures were made or why these customers choose your products. There is always a story! 

But first, before you start being a storyteller you should agree with each author on what can be said and every version of history should be read by the creators. After all, stories are about them. 

It is also a great idea to promote this content via social media platform ads. It would catch users attention for sure and allow you to stand out from the crowd of marketing messages. By taking such a step, you can encourage prospective buyers and user-generated content creators to become involved with your company’s community. 

#5 Deliver the tools

You can provide a special graphic template or video creator to make users’ works coherent and easier to do. It will also be a curiosity trigger to check how it works and what will be the final results. Tolls of this type enhance customer experience and are just plain fun. This way, you can also decrease the possibility of forgetting a branded hashtag or so. 

Helping your community to create and share their experience puts you in a very good place and creates a good association with your brand. It deserves to be remembered!

Delivering your customers some tools may also decrease a reluctance and fear of not knowing how to do it. Thanks to providing them with resources, you meet them halfway and make this situation kind of win-win. As a result, they win because they receive tools, and you win as a result of receiving user-generated content.

Let them create!

This content strategy doesn’t demand much effort from your side. For starters,  you have to encourage people to be creative and deliver you great content. 

We hope that we have encouraged you to use the whole power of UGC. It is  a really great support for your marketing campaigns and support of social media presence. Remember one thing! Even if you flooded your social media account with UGC, you should also publish your branded content and show the “behind the scenes” of creating your products or publish some industry news. Make your social platforms interesting, so people want to be published on it. 

What is brand awareness?

Brand awareness has been a hot topic lately, since it may be a key factor of your business popularity and as a result a booster for your performance. It is halfway to reaching your target audience and staying in their mind for longer. If you want your brand awareness campaigns to be successful, you should understand what makes a brand unique and then create campaigns that convey this information. As part of your marketing strategy, you should aim to increase awareness of your brand. 

In this article, you will find a brand awareness breakdown; what the brand is and what the brand awareness stands for. We will also share a few tips on how to boost it at low cost. 

What the brand is?

What sticks in people’s minds is the brand. It is a combination of the name, logo, marketing slogan, packages and USPs which makes a perfect mixture of your business recognition.

Brand is how people see your company and what comes to their minds when they hear or see your products or name. It indicates the emotions or memories associated with your business. Every single brand has ties with various feelings, ideas or memories which make them all special and unique. 

For example, let’s take a closer look at the Starbucks brand. What is your first association with this name? Its logo or characteristic coffee shop design? Maybe your favourite beverage, or your last meeting with friends, sipping Starbucks Frappuccino? This is how  that so-called brand magic works. It brings all connections to the top of your mind and builds a company image in your head. 

Brand awareness – crucial aspects 

Let’s focus on brand awareness, now. What is it and how does it work in practice, beyond all that theory?

What is brand awareness?

Customers’ awareness of a particular brand is measured by their ability to recognize it. It plays a crucial role during making the purchase decision. Both your regular and potential customers should recognize the brand and products to go through the marketing funnel successfully. Your awareness efforts should lead to an expanded group of potential customers who are able to tell what your brand is and what product category you offer.  

Strong brand awareness contributes to immediate brand recall, which is the ability to point to the name when a given product category is mentioned. In practise, it is when your customer base needs a product from your field, your brand comes to their mind first. As a result, they search for the product on your site and make a purchase. This is how consumer awareness generates income.

There is also another type of brand awareness: an aided awareness. It happens when customers recognize your brand among others in a specific field. It is also very helpful and a good place to begin. 

Why is brand awareness important?

It can be your business’s “be or not to be”, especially in a competitive market. It is essential to your target market to know you and come to you before competitors. So, just briefly – why should you care about brand awareness? 

  • It increases sales, engagement rate and conversion rates.
  • It is helpful in identifying your brand’s level of recognition.
  • It boosts consumer engagement and thus customer satisfaction. 
  • It supports your marketing efforts, as the campaigns of known and recognizable brands have a higher ROI  than the ones of unknown brands.
  • It supports building loyalty among your customers. 

These are only a few reasons why brand awareness is so crucial for your business. 

Brand awareness vs. brand recognition 

Let’s keep it simple and straight to the point since many people mistake both terms with each other. Yet, they actually complement each other. Brand awareness is not possible without brand recognition, and vice versa. How do they differ, then? 

  • The first corresponds to knowing what your brand is, and in which field it operates. Strong brand awareness leads to becoming a top brand in customer minds. It is about your search engines optimization, marketing communication and overall presence. 
  • Brand recognition is about more tangible aspects of your brand like logo, names, set of colours. It is about making your brand inherent with these factors. For example, when you see blue and yellow, probably your first association is IKEA. Although this Swedish giant is not the only one using these two colours, their brand reposition is so strong that it outclasses others. Research shows that using significant colours may boost brand recognition even up to 80%, and IKEA is a living proof. 

Can you see how they are connected? Nevertheless, it is good to see the difference between them and know how to improve both of them. 

What is branding? 

In terms of brand awareness, there is one more box to open: branding. It is the process of shaping the way your brand is recognized by the target audience. Proper branding helps people link their needs to your products as a way of meeting them. You can tailor their perception by marketing communication and channels you use. Depending on the type of branding you have selected, your marketing tactics may differ. 

For example, the branding of Coca-Cola makes the beverages a good companion while family dinner or meeting with friends. Recent marketing efforts suggest that it also supports being and expressing yourself while living a full life.

https://www.coca-cola.com/

As a contrary, Cartier built its brand as one “available not for everyone”. Brands with this history and tradition are for people who aim to live by these values and need a bit of luxury.

https://www.cartier.com/en

Top way to boost your brand awareness ASAP

To increase your brand awareness, you should focus on your customer engagement and building bonds with them. We have some ideas on how to do so. 

#1 Referral programs

It is one of the best ways to establish a long-term relationship with your loyal customers. In a referral program, your customers get a referral link or code, they share it with their friends via e.g., social media posts. Each of the client’s followers who come to your website and provide a desired action will receive a reward. Furthermore, the referrer can receive one, too, in this matter rules are up to you. There is also a flexibility of what you should offer as incentive. 

With word-of-mouth marketing you will be able to expand awareness of your company thanks to friends’ recommendations, people will be more willing to trust in them. More than 80% of recipients trust referrals more than any other types of marketing. This number speaks for itself, it is worth running a program. 

If you want to try, sign up for an EarlyParrot demo and learn more about our referral software. With this one, you can create a program that is well-tailored to your needs in a heartbeat. You should try!

#2 Social media presence

What you publish and how you build your brand in social media is crucial for increasing awareness. Your content should be coherent and reflect your brand mission and vision. It is important to think about the type of content you wish to publish. It should bring value to your audience and be catchy. You can shuffle with various types of content, pics, infographics, short videos and deliver some news from the industry or tips on how to make the most of your products. It would also be a good habit to respond to comments, or at least like them or give them hearts. This way you create a sense of community. People prefer brands that are down to earth and make a bond with their audience. This can be accomplished through social media. 

Additionally, to scheduled posts, you should think about live broadcasts. During such events you will be able to get in touch with your followers, show your product in action or answer some questions. The numbers speak for themselves, by a year, live streaming field has grown by almost 100%. It’s living proof of its effectiveness. 

#3 Affiliate marketing

What about the combination of the two above? Affiliate marketing is quite a one. As with referral marketing, it is all above sharing links, but it is done not by your customer, only by affiliates. You might wonder who they are. There are people who have gathered a bigger audience on their social media, blogs or YouTube channels. They have a big influence on their followers and the content they publish is an opinion-forming one. It is worth cooperating with affiliates from your niche since, similar to referral, it may be a very cost effective option. Also, some people enjoy feeling as if they are stars, so they want to use the same product as their favourite YouTube creator or Instagrammer. 

There are a few major rules when it comes to selecting your affiliates. 

  1. Rule No.1 – don to go too big. If your business is a local one, don’t reach global stars. First, there are small chances to contact them and second of all, their commissions may be too high for a local company. Furthermore, their audience may not coincide with your target perfectly. Local influencers are more than good, then. 
  2. Rule No.2 – before making a final decision, do a decent research. Both in terms of cooperation with a given creator and in terms of their cooperation. It means you shouldn’t work with affiliates that have worked with your competitors. It doesn’t seem trustworthy at all, and people will  trust both for your and the affiliates.
  3. Rule No.3  – set terms and your buffer zone. While doing research, you should also get to know what the commissions are in your field and prepare the offer. Moreover, there should be room to negotiate, but you need to set the buffer. In this way, you won’t be surprised by the other side’s offer and the negotiation will go smoothly.

What is important to add, using all the three suggested strategies you will be ready to profit from the synergy effect. You will be seen on various platforms from various sources and people will remember you. This is how brand awareness is built. 

3, 2, 1… go!

From this article you have learnt something about brand and brand awareness. We showed you what the difference is between brand awareness and brand recognition. Moreover, there are some subtleties about branding. And crème de la crème – three tactics on how to boost brand awareness of your company. If you are interested in this topic and want to learn more, there is a great piece about brand awareness on our blog, yet. Feel free to jump in!

ParrotInsider #9: How can EarlyParrot support your eCommerce platform?

Today, running an eCommerce platform is no easy task. 

Several companies are vying for the same market share. Your main objective should be to stand out and make your business shine, but that’s easier said than done, right?

You probably know that your customers are getting more demanding, and it is your job to meet those demands. In the ever-evolving digital world, providing a great user experience has never been more necessary. Over 90% of consumers are willing to switch companies after only one bad experience. Since this is a very challenging environment, yet if you want to succeed, you must cope with it and remain competitive. 

This may be hard without a proper guidance, so we’ve prepared some tips for you 

6 tips to support your eCommerce performance

In this post we’ll address a list of eCommerce hacks. Here are a few tips on how to maximize your eCommerce efforts. Here’s a secret! The majority of the ideas can be addressed by EarlyParrot. How about we get started?

#1 Get to know your customers better

Before taking any business step, you should establish the type of audience for which your offer is intended. It dictates your company’s whole journey in the future. What is the best place to begin? The target audience of your eCommerce business should be understood in terms of its characteristics, needs, and preferences. By doing so, you will be able to tailor not only the offer, but also the way you communicate and market. 

What is the best way to reach them? You won’t find it as difficult as you thought. Sometimes the simplest solutions are the best, so keep asking your audience for what they expect! Give customers a chance to provide feedback on their shopping experience. The market and their preferences change constantly, so follow what are the bestsellers and what your existing customer base is interested in. Customer satisfaction would increase and new potential customers could be targeted with a more tailored offer. 

#2 Reward your clients

It is a given that people enjoy receiving rewards. 

However, you need to find a golden mean here: don’t offer rewards to everyone, because then rewards would seem less enticing. 

As well, you should figure out how to best manage such a system. When you want to reward many clients, then things can get complicated. 

Here’s where EarlyParrot can help.

It would take you minutes to make your own referral program using EarlyParrot. It’s a very straightforward process.

You will be able to recognize your brand ambassadors and reward them accordingly with such a referral campaign. In the meantime, let’s recap how referrals work. In essence, once you have designed your program, you can invite your entire email list and wait for them to join. The individuals who sign up for your program receive their own unique referral link once they become interested in it. After successful referral, both the new client and the referring party may receive rewards. You decide on the rules and referral types, just make sure you explain them clearly to everyone involved. Clearly determine what constitutes a successful referral, such as whether the user has to comply with registration requirements, fill out a shopping cart, and complete the checkout process. Recognition and appreciation of the most active users can also be beneficial. Following them on EarlyParrot will allow you to reward them accordingly.

#3 Keep clients in the loop

In simple terms, it means that you should inform your customer about any upcoming changes, drops, etc. Email marketing is a good solution here, set up a newsletter, let your customer base know what is going on with your brand. If you want to set a default email campaign regarding referrals, you can do it while designing a program with EarlyParrot. You can set up a “Thank you campaign”, “Welcome campaign” and many more. There is a message creator so you can customize them as you wish. Building (and using) your email list may become a game-changer for your eCommerce business, we write about this topic here

Speaking of communication, nowadays, social media platforms are a major channel to stay in touch with your target audience. Probably many of your loyal customers are following you on social media, so it is crucial to be active out there. It is also a way to reach your prospective customers and start their customer journey from the “like” on the Facebook page. Social media is also a perfect place to present product reviews or user-generated content as social proof that people love your items. 9/10 people say that authenticity is a crucial aspect while deciding which brand to support. In order to increase these factors, implement the above tips. 

#4 What about self-service?

As with the brick-and-mortar stores, you can provide a self-service with your online one. We don’t mean the sale process itself since it is self-service already. We talk about post-purchase activities.

To be even more specific, we mean customer service. In these situations, the client is at the mercy of the customer service agent. You can change it. Over 6 out of 10 U.S consumers prefer automated self customer service via mobile apps or websites. It means that it is a very influential factor in the whole customer experience. So how to provide such self-service? Over half of the consumers claims that lack of available information is the main issue while it comes to solving problems on their own. In other words, you should deliver information and let your customers know where to look. As an online retailer, you should provide a FAQ section and knowledge base. These two should be done precisely and involve all questions and issues that may occur. Both sections should also be updated over time. A chatbot is also a good idea, but choosing the right provider and setting it up can take some time. 

Moreover, you can consider your referral and affiliate partners as your customer agents for special tasks! During recommendations they can answer questions and dispel all the doubts. It helps you save time and lower the number of queries for your customer team.

Providing self-service doesn’t mean you should resign from customer service representatives and fire your whole customer support team. There are some issues that couldn’t be solved without a living human being and besides, some people just prefer a personal consultation over looking for the answers on your website. You may also provide an online chat for people who prefer interaction with people but via the internet. This way you will deliver excellent customer service and offer help for all types of your customers. 

#5 Make yourself known

Your eCommerce marketing strategy must include SEO, paid social and Google ads, in addition to a strong customer service policy. The importance of SEO for eCommerce businesses cannot be overstated, especially in such fierce competition. 

Most clients type into the search engine the product they wish to buy, then check the results that appear. Since these users are your potential customers, attracting them to your website is crucial for you. However, how can we do that if everyone in the industry is striving for the same result?

Enhancing SEO is a popular eCommerce marketing strategy. Thus, ensure that you are using content marketing and brand referral links (we already mentioned that EarlyParrot makes it easy). Additionally, you should review your website copy. If you are focusing on search engine optimization, inquire about customer testimonials on Google and have your loyal customers contribute. Online reviews are another form of social proof that establishes your trustworthiness. 

You can also boost your business performance by setting up Google Ads. It is worth trying them since 90% of consumers agree that they can influence their purchase choices. You should have a long lasting impact on the purchase decisions of your customers in order to keep them coming back to your online store. You can help it by using SEO and paid advertising, on top of other solutions we have already mentioned.

#6 Measure and optimize – also with EarlyParrot

Running a business means that you should keep your finger on the pulse constantly especially when it comes to all the most important indicators. This means checking ROI, retention, abandonment rate, etc. 

These factors are all crucial for success. You can track most of the KPIs in your Google Analytics account but if you want to dig deeper e.g. in your referral marketing programs performance, EarlyParrot can do that for you. Due to the comprehensive overview of each of your campaigns, you are able to make necessary adjustments. 

Moreover, always keep in mind this sequence for effective analytics:

  1. Measure
  2. Optimize
  3. Repeat

Will it guarantee the success of your eCommerce business? No, but it will definitely help it stay on track with measurable results. 


Ready to conquer the eCommerce market?

Let’s make a short recap of what we have established so far. In order to provide the highest customer experience and stand out from the crowded market you should:

  1. Recognize the needs and habits of your customers.
  2. Be in touch with them.
  3. Customer service should be available in many forms so that everyone can find something to suit their needs.
  4. Be visible in the search engine.
  5. Optimize your marketing and sales actions.

Once you cover these aspects you will see the difference and your customer will recognize and appreciate it too.

Fingers crossed for your online business!

#ParrotInspires: Types of referrals

If you are familiar with our blog, then you will already know that referral marketing is a great way to acquire new clients and make the process cost-effective. If your program is a success, customers will refer your brand and products to their friends or family, and your brand awareness will increase.

From the point of view of the referred parties, the variety of referral processes has already been mentioned in our guide on how to start referral marketing. But there is more to discover!

In this article, you will find the most popular and commonly used types of referrals. Our goal is to point out the differences and suggest who would benefit most from them. Shall we begin?

Types of referrals – a quick breakdown

There are many types of recommendations that you can implement in your referral program. They are categorized as follows:

  1. Referral sources
  2. Method of communication
  3. Medium of communication

We classify the types of referrals this way, but you could create your own system. Each of them is briefly described below. It is important to mention that you can mix up the types that you provide, as no rule says you have to stick to just one!

Referral sources

In this category, you will find three referral types. It is worth noting that these referral types are very popular among B2B referrals. Let’s start with reputation based referrals. 

  1. Reputation based referrals

These referrals are for brands that are well-known. This is primarily based on the assumption that your products are already established and well-received. Typically, these referral types are handled by large companies that have been on the market for years, have loyal customers, and even their “typical” recipients have no problem being associated with their names, logos, or products.

Those who want to take advantage of this referral type should focus on building strong relationships with recipients and raising awareness of their brands. Marketing activities should be differentiated between individual markets rather than homogenized by global companies.

  1. Experience-based referrals

Many people associate “referral marketing” with recommendations of this type. Referrals in this case are not derived from the reputation of the company, but from direct experiences related to it. People who suggest using products or services base their recommendations on their own experiences. The important point is that in this case (as in most), customers are not the only ones who can make referrals. Products could be recommended by employees or employee referral programs. Even business partners may refer you to others for cooperation. As a result of their credibility and the use of products by trusted individuals, experience-based referrals are very effective. To gain loyal customers, it is crucial to establish lasting relationships and deliver a good user experience. 

Experience-based referrals are for brands that deliver the highest quality and provide faultless service.

  1. Specialized-based referral

The last type of referrals are based on specialities. In this case, the referrer knows in which niche you operate but they still have a general lack of knowledge about your reputation and most likely they are not your permanent customers. Such referrals are based on what they have heard from others. It is important to show why the recommendations make sense at this level and show no dissonance to any of the referrers.

It is worth mentioning that if you operate on the B2B market and are searching for such a recommendation, there is no point in only focusing on one type of referral. You should do your best to invest resources in delivering all three. 

Method of communication and trigger

The following category discusses types of referrals according to the way they encourage potential customers to join. First come direct referrals.

  1. Direct referrals

The principles of direct referral programs are very simple, and moreover they are very effective. This type of referral is very similar to the aforementioned experience-based ones. So what’s the point, then? 

With this type of referral, your current customers refer your business to their friends or family because they are familiar and satisfied with it and want their close ones to benefit from your products. More than 90% of consumers believe in referrals from people they know. Let’s say that some random influencer recommends a shampoo from brand X on their social media, while at the same time your friend tells you that the shampoo from brand Y is the best and makes your hair look exactly like shown in their ad. It is very likely that you choose the latter because you trust your friends more than influencers. They are your close ones for a reason after all.

With direct referrals, you ask your regular client to recommend your brand by offering them incentives. Once they meet the requirements, both they and their referees may receive rewards.

  1. Implied referrals

Referrals of this type are often overlooked, which is a mistake because they can bring a lot of profits. In short, what do implied referrals rely on? They are about showcasing your brand but without intrusive promotion. You have to let people know that you are present on the market. A good way would be, for instance, to sponsor a charity event. No one wants to detract attention from the main goal, which is why sponsors are just in the background. However, you will be remembered by the participants, and maybe the event organizer will recommend you too. It is worth presenting yourself in an unobvious manner. 

An example of a budget version of implied referrals is to assume you run a florist service and start cooperating with a wedding planner. You can make an agreement that the planner shows your portfolio to future brides and grooms in order to make subtle recommendations this way. 

This referral type may be useful for newbies on the market to make some noise about their brand, but on the other hand, if you want to make a name for yourself through sponsorships then it will require a decent amount of money. 

  1. Tangible referrals

Now let’s talk about tangible referrals. The word “tangible” refers to the fact that you should provide value to your customers so they can pass it to referees. This is a method that can not be overused though, because then it loses the sense of uniqueness that makes clients feel special.

Basically, this type of referral is for brands that have been around for a while and have the option to choose the most active customers to pass along extras to. 

  1. Community referrals

Last but not least, community referrals. There are many non-profit organizations that would appreciate your help. Supporting their jobs is one of the best types of help you can provide. You could offer a percentage of your weekly sales or deals such as “If you buy products from category X, we will donate 10% of your purchase to non-profit organization Y”.  As a result of whatever sales are generated, your community partner will be motivated to talk about and refer your organization to their constituents. It is a win-win situation. 

This method requires sources and customers who are willing to shop for this type of partnership to be possible, so if you have been on the market for a while then this approach could be for you.

Medium of communication

Now it is high time to cover mediums. Referrals can be shared via many platforms, so let’s focus on the most popular ones.

  1. Social media

Social media comes first since it is estimated that we will spend over 6 years of our lives scrolling through these platforms. They are a big part of our lives nowadays. If you want to use the full power of social media marketing, you should focus on referrals too. This method is often used when your clients want to share their referral codes or links with their friends. They can be very powerful messages, but it is you who should design them. You can do so with a little help from referral program software. With EarlyParrot you can design the communication while creating your referral program. You have various platforms and messengers to choose from, so you just have to focus on delivering valuable content that will grab the attention of your clients’ followers. 

Social media referrals can bring you many new customers since people spend so much time on these platforma. Why not use this habit to your advantage?

source 

  1. Email

Your email marketing strategy ought to involve referral communication. You should invite each of your new customers to join your program and remind your client base about it from time to time.

Referral emails need to be clear and deliver the essence of your program. They should indicate how to sign up and what rewards are available to be earned. You can read more about this topic here.

  1. SMS

It takes a bit of effort and also sensitivity to use this communication channel. You can not overuse text messaging because your customers may feel trapped if you do. Your messages shouldn’t be sent too often, so it is better just to use this channel as a reminder from time to time rather than your main way to keep customers in the loop. 

SMS messages are a good way to remind that, e.g., only one referral has to be successful in order for a reward to be given out. If customers give their consent for it, you can also remind your current client base about your program. But as we mentioned, sometimes enough can be enough. Consider how annoying it would be if your phone rang every day with the same message about referrals. Terrible!

To recap 

You may feel overwhelmed by the various types of referrals presented above, but don’t be. These lists give you the opportunity to vary referral co-operations and make your programs more attractive to their potential participants.

There is no need to use all of the different types, but rather choose the one that will work best for your business and fit your industry well. You know your environment and customers best, so you know what will grab their attention most. This is just encouragement to try and show you all the possibilities!