How can a small business manage referral marketing? – our guide to success

Customers bring power to the engine of every company, whatever its size. However, it is small businesses that value every customer the most. Why? Because they do not have many, so each new customer means a lot more.

Such small businesses often seek various online and offline ways to acquire new customers. One of these methods is referral marketing, and in this article we will share with you everything you need to know as a small business to start your adventure with referrals and reward programs. 

One more time – what is referral marketing

Referral marketing is all about the power of…words. It works by rewarding your existing audience with various incentives in exchange for referrals. For it to be a success, referrers have to first share their unique links on channels such as Facebook, LinkedIn, WhatsApp, and Twitter. They are then rewarded for spreading the word and acquiring you new clients and subscribers. It is a highly profitable form of marketing with many benefits for businesses, especially those small ones.

What is interesting is that people trust referrals from friends 7 times more than any other advertising method due to the perceived authenticity of a referral. Moreover, 92% of customers trust referrals more than advertising, and referred customers usually spend 16% more than other customers. Interesting, right? 

Let’s discover some of the greatest advantages of a referral program that small businesses can expect to benefit from.

How small businesses can benefit from referrals 

  • referrals = new customers 

When your existing audience recommends your company to other people, often across various channels, you will increase your brand recognition, brand awareness, and customer acquisition rate. 

The more people who recommend your brand, the more customers you will get and, as a result, the more income you can earn. All of this contributes to the growth of your small business, both in terms of profit and experience. 

  • growing an online presence 

The more people who talk about your brand, the bigger your online presence becomes. Hashtags, mentions, screenshots of your profile or website, or even something as simple as plain text with the name of your business on it can contribute massively to building a strong online position. When customers recommend your company, they become your company’s advocates and help you to increase your outreach in digital media by talking about the benefits of your products and/or services on your behalf. 

  • enhanced brand reputation

When people recommend your brand, it means they trust you. No one will recommend a brand to their family or friends if they do not like it. As more people start talking about your brand and inviting others to try your services, your brand reputation increases and this will contribute to creating a positive brand image.  

  • happy customers

Incentives are usually what encourages customers to participate in a referral program in the first place. Rewarding your customers for their help is a great way to thank them for their time, as well as to make them satisfied with your services. 

Happy customers are more likely to return to your company in the future, especially when it comes to first-time buyers. Starting your relationship off with a nice surprise will be beneficial to your business in the long run, trust us!

  • improved sales revenue and higher conversion rate  

Whilst it is true that incentives and free gifts do cost your company money, a referral marketing program allows you to generate more profits, attract more customers, and vastly increase your ROI. Moreover, traditional customer acquisition is quite expensive, so a program like this will allow you to generate more income at a lower cost. 

Top 10 referral practices that every small business should know

#1 think of a valuable incentive

Customers love incentives, there is no doubt about that. Research shows that 75% of consumers, i.e. 3 in 4 of your customers, favor companies that offer rewards. Moreover, around 70% of consumers are likely to recommend a brand provided they offer good loyalty programs. 

So, what can you do with these pieces of information? You want your customers to like your brand and keep coming back, right? The best thing you can do is offer them nice incentives for their loyalty. Think of valuable rewards that you could offer to your customers for simply referring your brand to their family and friends. Your customers will value your company for its personalized and friendly approach towards them. 

source: Revolut newsletter

#2 be creative 

When thinking about what incentives would work best for your customers, do not be afraid to get creative! Think about the type of business you run, as well as what sort of products and/or services you offer. Original and unique incentives will drive customer loyalty and enhance brand recall. It is a great way to build up a special place for your business in the minds of your customers. 

What are your options, then? You can choose from gift cards,  discount codes (on next purchases or those over a certain amount of money), free products, additional samples, extra reward points, free company merchandise, complimentary bonuses (e.g. free plan upgrades), and more.

#3 know what your customers like

There are plenty of gifts and bonuses to choose from, but keep in mind that not everything will work. This is why you should pay extra attention to your average customer’s profile and make sure you know what they would be happy to receive. 

For example, if you run a business that offers relatively expensive and luxury products, you could offer a discount code for the next purchase a customer makes. If you run a company that sells beauty products, like make-up and hair care, chances are that your customers would love to receive free samples or gifted products from your offer. In a similar fashion, if you run a Saas (Software-As-A-Service) company, a great way to encourage referrals is by offering a free subscription upgrade for a certain amount of time. Pick whatever suits your business model best!

#4 be grateful 

Your referral program should not finish with simply asking your customers to refer you to their friends and family. In fact, this is only the beginning of your work and there is much more to come after that! 

First things first, start by thanking your customers for their time and dedication spent recommending you, as well as showing appreciation for the trust of those accepting invites. A simple ‘Thank You’ can change whole relationships with your current and potential customers. It is also a sign of respect and lets your customers know that you care about them.

#5 think of the right promotional channels and utilize them proactively 

No matter how great your incentives are and how happy your customers will be to receive them, if you do not promote your referral program properly you will not be successful. You need to raise awareness about it and, therefore, your choice of promotion channels should be well thought-out and planned. Focus on those channels that bring you the most profit, as well as those where your audience is wide. Don’t wait for referral links to appear out of nowhere, but instead create conditions for that to happen!

You may want to think about proactively promoting your referral program on: 

  • Facebook

with over 2.7 billion active users, Facebook would be a great way to spread the word about your program. What is more, the average Facebook user has 338 friends on this platform, and so that is how many people you could potentially reach if just one person shares your referral program and invites their friends to try your company. 

  • email marketing

As email marketing is still one of the most profitable marketing channels, with the possibility to boast your ROI by 4,200%, you may want to consider promoting your program this way.

  • direct mail 

Another great way to encourage referrals is by sending your customers short notes after they order from you. Consider it as a “thank you” with an invitation to join your referral program. Your customers will appreciate this kindness, and chances are that they will recommend your brand to other people as aresult.

source

#6 don’t forget to follow up

Follow-ups are extremely important in all circumstances. You should always pay attention to your communication with anyone and make sure your messages reach the intended recipients. In a world where everything is moving fast and people often have a lot going on in their lives, gently reminding your customers about your offer is a great way to reach out to them.

source

This applies to when you first send out an invitation to your customers to encourage them to refer your company to other people, as well as after someone successfully refers you and receives an incentive for doing so. The latter is particularly important when the incentive is a discount code, for example, as a customer using it means a new sale for you. So you do want them to use it, right?

source: Revolut newsletter

#7 make interactions fun and engaging 

This tip depends on the type of business you run, but try to think of ways to make communication with your customers fun and engaging. You could use funny graphics and text, as well as add elements of personalization. 

Make your messages memorable and easy to remember. What you should be trying to achieve is staying in your customers’ minds for as long as possible. When this happens, they are far more likely to join your referral program and interact with your brand more often. 

source

#8 make the process easy 

Great incentives, distribution channels, or even catchy images and text are all great ideas, but they are not enough. Your referral program should be easy for people to participate in. Try establishing some simple ground rules and make the process itself easy to follow. 

You surely do not want to receive emails on a daily basis from hundreds of consumers asking how to correctly refer your brand to their friends. What would be even worse is a customer thinking they correctly invited their friend, but in fact they did not do so successfully and you are unaware of this. That is why you should pay attention to the user-friendliness of your program.

#9 check out your competitors

Competition plays an important role in the performance and success of your business. For this reason, you should pay attention to what your key competitors are doing, including in terms of loyalty schemes and referral programs. 

It is even better if you compare yourself to the top-performing companies in the industry rather than to those with worse performance than yours, as usually the former will have more customers and therefore make greater profits.

To check out their approach to customers, we have a little sneaky tip for you! Go incognito and place orders at your competitors’ stores. Find out how their average customer is treated, what sort of emails are sent to you, how quickly orders are processed, what their communication skills are like, and more. Pay attention to their online reviews too!

Knowing all of this will allow you to spot areas for improvements within your organisation, as well as features that deserve some appreciation and celebration. Do not waste time. Go and check out your competitors now – you can really learn a lot!

source

#10 pick the best customer referral software

Last but not least: the mastermind, the omega to your alpha, and your number one companion in terms of referral marketing – an efficient and powerful piece of referral program software. Without one, the chances of growing your small business with referrals are significantly decreased. 

What you need is a brandable, easy to integrate referral marketing solution that will make your experience with referral marketing pleasant and enjoyable. With tools like Early Parrot, a popular and highly regarded piece of referral marketing software, you can take your small business to the next level by:

  • lowering your Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC)
  • Accelerating the growth of your business 
  • encouraging customers to spread the word about your great services 
  • getting more repeated sales and satisfied customers

The good news is that you can now test out Early Parrot for free with no time limit! Give it a try and experience for yourself how great referral marketing can be. 

A successful referral program strategy is closer than you think

Now you should know what referral marketing is, as well as its key benefits and some best practices for running a successful referral program as a small business. 

With referral marketing you will:

  • gain new customers quicker 
  • grow your online presence and increase brand awareness 
  • generate more income at a lower cost
  • keep your customers happy and eager to come back 

Follow our guide to ensure that you will run a truly effective referral marketing program. Small businesses can succeed quickly too, and this article shows you how! All you need is time and dedication for success to come. Trust the process and enjoy growing your business in a fun and active way! 

If you are interested in learning more about referral marketing and its perks then do not hesitate to check out our blog where we share our knowledge with people who need it. We hope this article helped you!

What is a marketing funnel?

The sales funnel is something you have probably encountered when starting your business. Basically, it is the first step to maximizing your profits. Such a funnel is a visual presentation of the sales process from scratch up to lead generation. It helps to plan and organize your actions efficiently.

A marketing funnel is another type of funnel. It’s essential to understand how the marketing funnel works and how to use it when designing your marketing strategy. In this article, we’ll describe its essence, stages, and what it has to offer from a sales perspective.

What is a marketing funnel?

You can use a marketing funnel to map out the customer journey, all the way from awareness (the moment your business first comes to their attention) to purchasing (when they are ready to purchase your product or service). A funnel can also include cross- and up-selling in addition to post-purchase follow-ups.

In other words, marketing funnels are a visualization of a customer’s path from their introduction to your business to finalising a purchase. It helps to understand your target audience’s point of view and helps them to make the right choices (i.e. buy your products or services). The “old marketing funnel” was based on the AIDA model, which consists of four stages: Attract, Interest, Desire, and Action. Nowadays, there are five stages of the marketing funnel. We will discuss each of them in detail and point out which aspects you should pay attention to. 

Marketing funnel stages 

Marketing funnels are often visualised as an upside down pyramid or, unsurprisingly, a funnel. The first stage is at the top, and the customer path goes downwards through the funnel until hopefully reaching the bottom. Moving down, the number of potential purchases decreases as the quality of leads improves.

Stage one: Awareness 

In this phase of the consumer journey, your potential buyers are aware of your brand and products. Here you have to deliver your prospective customer a good reason to go through the following stages. The awareness stage is dedicated to letting people get to know you better and connect with your brand. Nevertheless, you should hit the ground running if you want to attract your potential target audience. Focus on visibility – Google searches, online ads, and email marketing should all be of interest to you. More than 70% of people look for information through search engines, so it is worth being prominent in the results of them.

Stage two: Interest 

Now is the time to catch the attention of your target customers. You should surprise them by increasing your marketing efforts. To keep your potential customers interested, you should design a unique marketing strategy. Offer valuable content like white papers, case studies, and insightful blog posts, or make use of video marketing. At this stage, you should focus on grabbing the attention of your prospective customer base.

Stage three: Evaluation

Although this is also called the consideration stage, the main issue is that customers examine their options and so your role is to show them that your product is the best choice. Use social media and content marketing materials. At this point the customer experience is crucial, so hedge your bets accordingly. Evaluation is a critical point in the purchase process at which customers decide whether to stay in your marketing funnel or move on to one of your competitors. 

Stage four: Commitment

The decision has been made; potential customers are ready to purchase from you. This is the final stretch, but you cannot rest yet. Now it is time to present your solution at its finest, so you should send a clear marketing message that your products are the best and demonstrate why. This is the right time for offering product demos or free trials, which can speed up purchasing decision-making. 

Stage five: Sale

Mission accomplished: your customers have made purchasing decisions and gone through the whole funnel successfully. This phase is often called the conversion stage. In other words, a potential client becomes a current customer, which means you achieve your ultimate goal. Although this is the last phase of the marketing funnel, the customer journey is about to begin for good. Now you have to take care of customer retention and ensure that the purchase stage is not the end of your relationship with the customer. It should instead be the beginning of a strong connection.

Marketing funnel vs sales funnel

Although both of the funnels end with a purchasing decision, they map out customers differently. Some say that the marketing funnel is just the beginning and it ends when the sales funnel starts. This is true in a way, since marketing is about attracting people while sales aim to maintain customers and repeat the purchase process. 

A marketing funnel is focused on presale steps and gaining a customer’s attention, whereas the sales funnel (hopefully) leads to them making a purchase by focusing on encouraging constant action. 

To recap, building awareness, sustaining interest, and evaluating customer satisfaction are the objectives of marketing funnels. The main focus here is the customer. In the case of the sales funnel, the goal is a successful sales process.

Content strategy depends on the stage of the funnel

As you have probably noticed, at various stages of the funnel, you should generate a variety of content. Let’s focus on that. Have you ever heard about ToFu, MoFu, and BoFu? We can explain. These shortcuts stand for Top of the Funnel, Middle of the Funnel, and Bottom of the Funnel. They concern the content that you should publish at each stage. As a result of making such a division, it is easier to decide which piece of content is most suitable for users at various stages of the funnel. Let’s start from the top.

ToFu

At the very beginning of your digital marketing funnel, your content should reach a wide audience. This stage is dedicated to increasing the number of potential customers, generating more traffic, and catching attention. At the top of your funnel, you have to tell the world that your offer is the best and meets the market’s requirements. 

The purpose of ToFu is to distinguish between potential customers, i.e. people who are really interested in your offer and those who found you by accident. This stage is supposed to educate, so you have to focus on value and sharing knowledge. Let’s explore what type of content you should use to catch a user’s attention and start them on their journey to making a purchase. 

  • blog posts
  • ebooks, infographics, or whitepapers
  • social media posts
  • online ads encouraging newsletter signups
  • case studies

During the ToFu stage, you have to focus more on the problems that your products or service can solve, and less on the offer itself. With all of the above content, you should present possible solutions to those issues and mention that your products may hold the key to resolving them.

If you use ads to encourage people to leave their contact information, you should offer something in return. For that, longer forms of content would be great – ebooks, whitepapers, or case studies, for example.

MoFu

Welcome to the evaluation stage! Your potential client is interested in your offer. The time has come to get to know one another better and check if you are a good match. During the consideration phase, you must convince your clients that your offer is what they are looking for. Now it is time to make a sales pitch and focus on the benefits of your offer. Present all your strengths and show why you are better than the competition. For this, such content may come in handy:

It is also a good idea to ask what your potential customers want to know. You can provide a survey via email or distribute one on your social media profiles. Make sure to keep asking questions and answering them using CTAs. Through promoting it on your website you’ll encourage users to check out your content, and with a call to action you’ll be able to identify any doubts or questions they might have and provide answers immediately. 

By the middle of your digital marketing funnel, you’ll be able to showcase your business from its best side and transition smoothly to the final stage.  

BoFu

You’ve made it to the bottom of the funnel. Congratulations! In this phase, the purchase intent is already very high so your task is just to put the cherry on top. Almost all customers are about to buy products on the home stretch, so if you run a  successful marketing campaign then they probably will. Indecisive users need to be convinced to act, and those who convert should be rewarded for doing so. Do not let them slip; many companies make this mistake. They stop putting in effort as soon as they acquire a client, which is the exact opposite of what you should do. Since customers chose you and not the other way round, you should treat them exceptionally and ensure no dissonance occurs. 

After a client purchases from your business, you have to stay in their mind and keep reminding them about you. It is also a great chance for your business to be referred to their friends or family, so starting a customer referral program can be highly beneficial. If you want to try, EarlyParrot offers a free demo for signing up.

The Bottom of the Funnel stage is to convert clients into loyal and happy customers, so taking care of interesting and useful content should be your no. 1 task. What type of materials should you provide? Here are a few examples:

  • email marketing
  • demos
  • customer testimonials
  • discount coupons
  • video tutorials

During the last stage of the marketing funnel, the main task is to build a strong bond and keep your customers loyal. A single purchase is not enough; you want to be their constant choice that they often come back to, right? 

Over to you 

A marketing funnel is an important factor for providing a successful marketing campaign and keeping your conversion rate high. It helps with understanding the buying process and adjusting your marketing efforts accordingly.

Additionally, during the decision-making process you have to accompany the customer in order to continue delivering the best possible value to them and ensure that your products are best-in-class. 

During the funnel’s final stages, you can not let them slip away but should actually push even harder. Their final decision is close, and once it is made you have to ensure that it is not their last purchase from your business. 

We hope that, thanks to our article, you now understand the importance of the marketing funnel and will be able to adjust your content to the relevant stage. Keep in mind the ToFu, MoFu, and BoFu division and use this method often. Furthermore, you should also remember that making your marketing funnel successful requires time and some persistence, so be patient.

ParrotInsider #7: How to write a referral email with EarlyParrot

A crucial component of digital marketing is list building. You must use emails to reach a large audience and communicate with them regularly. More than 60% of consumers prefer this method of communication.  

Email marketing is a complex issue because it encompasses a variety of forms: cold emails, newsletters, and thank you messages, just to name a few. Ideally, they should be written in a way that makes the recipient feel appreciated. In order for the email to succeed, you have to think of a catchy subject, interesting content, and an encouraging CTA. 

The following tips provide a few guidelines on how to write a referral email.

It is highly likely that you think about job seeking or employer recommendations when you hear “referral email.”. Although these would be valid associations, we will discuss messages related to your referral program in this article. There are no hiring process tips here, only advice for writing successful referral messages. How about we get started?

What is a referral email?

Referral emails are sent to your customer base to keep them informed about your referral program. Your customers should receive messages that are tailored and personal to them. By doing so, you can strengthen your relationships with your clients and streamline the referral process. By using a referral email campaign, you can keep in touch with all your recipients and inform them of upcoming programs and changes. In addition, asking customers for their opinions or allowing them to choose is a great way to appreciate their commitment and engage them in the creation process.

Referral email templates are the best way to promote your program and tick all of the above boxes. How should it be done? With the right tool, of course!

How to write a successful referral email with EarlyParrot?

You can use our software to set up a referral program as well as design it. When creating the perfect referral letter, you need to consider factors such as:

  • basic information about the campaign,]
  • goals
  • type of program
  • reward information such as system, name, target, and referral link, etc.
  • social media invitations

For now, let’s take a look at the last point – you can create invitations that appear on social media when the referrer shares a link. It is possible to create a social media message for any platform that you choose. There are a large number of popular social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter at your disposal. There are also messaging apps such as WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger to choose from. Make your message as clear as possible to encourage participation.

Let’s get back to emails now – we will guide you through the process of creating them with EarlyParrot. 

step one: fill in the “from” field

A clear sender ID is essential for the recipient to see the sender’s name and the source, i.e. their email address. When it comes to opening or rejecting a message, its source is often a deciding factor. Therefore, make sure the address looks legitimate and professional.

step two: select a referral template

EarlyParrot offers two templates: list building and online  summit. The trigger can also be set so that it occurs when you receive “X” referrals or each new one. Now it’s time to get creative.

step three: craft the message

By default, the system sends three types of emails, but you can add your own if you wish. There is a separate email editor that you can access after clicking the edit email button. There is a lot of flexibility here, such as adding images, buttons, and dividing your text into columns. Your email is ready once you submit the changes.

step four: all done, send it

Make sure all copy, images, and links are correct. Then it’s time to send your online referral letter to your satisfied customer. Complete your program, integrate with your provider’s app, and begin sending your messages automatically.

Now that you know how to design a referral message, it is time to learn a few hacks that will increase the success of your campaign.

Referral emails: best practices

While sending emails is part of the battle, getting leads from them is the true prize. How can you help ensure that happens? Our list below contains some ideas that you may find useful.

#1 Step into your client’s shoes

In other words, if you want to create an effective copy, you should understand your customers’ motivations for joining your program and purchasing your products. To have an impact on your communication, you need to observe what is important from their perspective. 

In order to understand your customers fully, you can simply ask them some questions and obtain their feedback. Consider using social media or sending a survey to accomplish this goal. By doing so, you will be able to learn about your customers’ behavioral patterns, motivation, and communicate with them more effectively, not only in terms of referral emails. 

#2 Keep it simple

You should avoid overloading your messages with information. Use short, simple sentences that are straight to the point. Unlike a business letter, a referral email does not require formal language and so you can use casual communication methods. Don’t forget to include all the essential information and additional details that may motivate your customers to join, such as a 5% extra discount for the first 50 participants. You should create a separate page dedicated to your program and link to it so that all the information a potential participant could need will be available right at their fingertips.

#3 Highlight two-sided benefits

It is important to emphasize that your referral program will benefit both potential clients and the referral sources. In this relationship, both sides must have a motivation for joining. A referral involves two parties – the referrer shares the link and encourages use, and the referee clicks and completes the desired action, like making a purchase, so both parties need to see the value. Make sure you deliver it.

#4 Focus on the subject

It should be engaging, but too much so-called click bait is annoying. In order to increase conversions, it is essential that the recipients open your messages (a higher open rate allows you to do that), but if they do not find what the title implies then they may be less likely to open future emails from you because they feel cheated. The title should be a gateway to a bigger promise. Make sure it is simple and that it conveys the right message. For a referral program this shouldn’t be too much hassle, since the incentive will be enough motivation to open the email and make a promise that can be kept.

#5 Make it personal 

Personalization is something we are all familiar with. As a result, personalized emails have higher open rates of up to 26%, but in today’s world adding a recipient’s name is not enough. It is also important to personalize the copy. 

A good reminder to be more active might look something like this:

Thank you for your recent successful referrals. We hope Josh and Anne enjoy being part of our community. 

Motivate them to continue taking action.

In addition, the signature needs to be personalized. You want the recipient to sense that the email came from an individual and not from a company.

Sign as follows:

Thank you for being with us!

Natalie from [the company’s name]

Rather than:

Thanks for your support!

[The company’s name]

There’s an air of informality and of face-to-face contact in the first example text. The smallest changes make the biggest impact.

#6 Call them to action loudly and clearly

The first step is to design the CTA. Ideally, the message should be inspiring and motivating; however, there is always a limit. You need to balance this aspect as you do not want to make the message sound like a command. Furthermore, if you place your CTA on on a button, the text shouldn’t be too long. A clear message must be communicated, and recipients must be aware of what to do. 

The next step is to place your message in a visible location. When using buttons, select the right colours (those that correspond to your brand) and position them appropriately. Make sure you link the CTA, otherwise it won’t work. 

#7 No hidden information or small print

Referrals must meet certain additional requirements in order to be successful. In your email, you should mention, for example, if the referred friend must spend $100 on a purchase to qualify for a discount. Both parties will lose trust if they are not aware of the terms and the promised discount turns out to be invalid.

The email should highlight any program limitations. Although there is an attached URL, most recipients will not necessarily click it if they are unaware of the conditions. 

#8 Play with content

How many times have you heard that content is king? Probably quite a few. This statement has been repeated for years for a simple reason: it is true. The more  interesting and high-quality the content, the higher the chances of conversion. 

Your email may still fail to convert even if it reaches your audience, but your content can turn that situation around 180 degrees if you handle it properly. Emails give you a lot of options to include images, videos, and gifts. One major rule is that your content should be high quality – pay attention to picture resolution, for example. Alternatively, you could design a classic invitation and send it as an attachment. Imagine how appreciated this gift would be by the recipients and how special they would feel. 

Be creative and try out different formats. You are only limited by your imagination!

To sum up 

An email campaign for referrals plays an important role in promoting your program. In addition, it keeps you on good terms with your recipients and avoids leaving them in the dark. Ideally, your referrers should be treated as your partners. Keep them updated and ask about their opinions. Your top performers should be recognized and rewarded accordingly. 

In all of these cases, email is necessary. With these tips, you will master this aspect and make emails a very effective channel, which is exactly what you want, right?

#ParrotInspires: How to promote your referral program?

A referral program cannot promote itself, it “only” promotes your company and raises awareness of your brand.

The truth is: you need to focus on program promotion to maximize referrals. 

The task of standing out from the crowd of marketing communication messages and enticing people to join another referral program is not easy. Choosing from a variety of options is really just half the battle. Attracting active participants to your referral program is the real goal that referral enthusiasts strive towards. 

Customer referral programs are indeed very powerful, but they will only work if they are promoted effectively. For this reason, we have prepared a few ideas for you about how to encourage your loyal customers to participate in your referral marketing program. We sincerely hope they will simplify things  for you. 

How to provide an excellent referral marketing program?

You must make sure that your referral program is flawless before you begin promoting it. How to do this, though? What is the best way to design a  high-quality program? 

#1 You need a tool

Customer referral programs can be made much easier with the right tool. 

Our recommendation of EarlyParrot would be incomplete if we didn’t mention that it is an excellent choice for both new providers and referral professionals. Our referral software allows you to create any type of referral program and support it with an email campaign. EarlyParrot assists you with the whole process, e.g. selection of the program type, referral rewards, and designing the communication. In addition to branding your referral links, this software also supports SEO and helps increase awareness of your business. After opening Google Analytics, you will be able to see the difference. 

#2 You need incentives

For your referral program to be successful, you need to focus on your target market and provide them with compelling incentives.

You will not make much profit if you do not provide sufficient motivation for your existing customers to share referral links or encourage referred clients to click on them and take the desired action, such as making a purchase.

#3 You need knowledge

Of course, you may not have it at first. 

Here’s a guide for those of you who are just creating your first referral campaign. Following the tips in this article, you will be able to gain a better understanding of referral marketing.

The best ways to promote your referral campaign

The key to a successful referral campaign is to analyze your users’ behavioral patterns and buying habits, as well as to understand the preferences of your current and potential customers. This may sound simple, but it isn’t. 

What marketing methods can you use for your referral campaign? 

#1 Use existing resources

If your content attracts users’ attention, then follow their lead. Let’s say that people are visiting your landing page in increasing numbers as your website gets more popular. Promote your program on this page by taking advantage of the attention it attracts. Banner ads or pop-ups can be used to encourage users to visit the program’s dedicated page. Make sure your call to action buttons are visible, as they can bring even greater conversions! 

On product pages, referral promotions can also make a difference. You can get two things done at once by placing banners near the customer reviews section. With a customer referral program (thus discount), you can encourage your potential customers to purchase, while references (i.e. social proof) will seal the deal. A combination like this may help you achieve your ultimate goal: conversion. 

It is also a good idea to include your social media bio links. The power of these channels makes them worth using. In this case, we are referring to both organic and paid activities. 

#2 Build a dedicated subpage and place it well

Following this, we need to figure out how to create a perfect referral page. For starters with, your referral campaign must include all of the most important details, such as:

  • type of rewards system
  • rewards you offer
  • timelines
  • terms & conditions (aka regulations)
  • and the most important aspect – why it is worth joining the program

All customers, new and old, should be able to take advantage of your program. There should be a clear description of all terms and an attractive reward offering.

To test it out in practice, you may want to ask yourself: would you personally participate in such a referral program if it were promoted to you? 

#3 Improve your content marketing strategy

Using content marketing requires adherence to one rule: content is king, but it has to be of high quality. Focus on providing value when writing a blog post for your company blog or social media post. Give instructions on how to register for your program or mention it casually in a post as a gentle reminder, but ALWAYS make the post worth reading. A dedicated page may also be linked and only a hint about it given in order to entice people to visit. Regardless of the type of content you choose, it must be highly engaging and relevant to your audience. 

Content marketing works – year after year, the traffic driven by these channels is growing. Providing high-quality content is the key for you to benefit from it. This means it is crucial to deliver content that is helpful and educational.

That’s not all, though – take into account SEO guidelines as well. It is important that you optimize pieces of content so that they are found by Google easily. Otherwise, it will be difficult to reach a wide audience and the content will be less effective, despite being an asset for your referral program. 

#4 Merge referral marketing with affiliate marketing

Is it true that affiliates or influencers can only promote products or services?  Actually, they can also focus their attention on your referral program, which is quite an  effective strategy. To select the best affiliates and influencers for your business, you must pick those who fit with your niche. It is also important to focus on the channels you are planning to employ and their reach. 

While it may not appear so at a first glance, social media networks cater to various types of audiences.

In order to target IT professionals, you must first choose influencers and channels related to tech. YouTube creators are a good option if you need to demonstrate how your program works or how to join. If you are into beauty or fashion, Instagram may work wonders for you and your referral program. Conversely, LinkedIn posts will be sufficient if your objective is just to promote and arouse interest in the topic, provided a given affiliate or influencer has a decent following. 

You can also generate social proof by posting online reviews from affiliates and influencers. This allows potential customers to see that your brand is worth following and the program is worthwhile. 

People may think that if their favorite influencers are participating in the program and benefiting from it, why shouldn’t they? 

#5 It’s all about deals

People are often encouraged by promotions, as it goes without saying. If you  want to be noticed in a crowded market and increase referral sales (thus referral rate) you must stand out from the competition. Special deals, offers, and exclusive discounts can all make joining your referral program extremely tempting. 

An early-launch program may include a $200 coupon for the first 50 people who make a successful referral. This might not just bring you referrals and attention, but also generate some buzz  around your brand. It’s up to you how you play it! 

Additionally, you could offer a contest and special rewards to the most active referrers. You can boost commitment with a dose of competition, and it may help you gain new customers along the way too.  

Do not forget to inform every user of your website when a special offer is about to begin. You can also reach out to previous clients. That will serve as a good reminder and an enticing incentive for them to come back… and perhaps be rewarded for doing so.

#6 Email marketing still rocks

Despite social media networks being filled with posts and users’ messages, emails are still a great way to communicate. It is projected that by 2023, there will be more than 4 billion email users.

If you’re running a referral program then it’s a good idea to use an email campaign to get the word out. Your customer base can be invited via email messages (EarlyParrot automates this process). In addition, a referral newsletter is a great, underestimated option. In addition to keeping your loyal customers informed of the program, you can also announce referral contest winners. 

You can also use periodic transactional emails if you don’t like the idea of launching another campaign. In what way? Make use of email signatures. Place a call to action in every email you send and provide information about your referral program. Your program can be promoted more effectively by using daily communication. In addition, you will reach people who have not subscribed to your newsletter, registered, or simply do not stay in touch. 

It’s not just about the offer. Ensure you pay attention to your email title, headers, and copy. A single trigger word may cause the email to be rejected. Email inboxes are often rather full these days, so the subject line needs to be catchy.

#7 Give people a chance to share it

It can be a game-changer to add share buttons to your website. Place them at the bottom of your blog posts or in banner ads. As a general rule, you can include them wherever referral-related information is published to increase your chance of success. Your happy customers can tell their friends about your program and encourage them to join. The most popular social media platforms are likely to be used by your target audience, so be sure to include all of them in your plan. 

Rather than just providing a referral code or referral link, you could send a banner saying, for example, “Give $5, grab $10”, and include share buttons. With just a click, the recipients will be able to share the information with their social media followers, and if they use the link, then they will benefit from the offer too.

Wrapping up

Both time and creativity are required for referral marketing strategies. Marketing programs need to be promoted loudly if you are to achieve your marketing objectives, such as reducing customer acquisition costs and boosting ROI. It is our hope that the tips in this article will help you accomplish your goals!

What is a referral rate?

Once you have created a referral program, your job is not done but only just started. To maintain the conversion rate at a decent level and to keep profiting from customer referrals, you need to take care of the referral rate. You can answer several questions about your program’s performance by analyzing this metric.

What is the referral rate and how to keep it at the right level? What is the average referral rate and how to increase yours? Although these things are challenging, they are not impossible tasks. We have your back by providing some tips.

In this article, you will learn how to manage this aspect of a referral marketing program. On this topic, we will discuss the issue of referral rates and best practices to maintain them at a high level. 

Play it again, Sam: what is a referral program?

A referral program can help increase your brand awareness, as long as it is designed well and with a dose of creativity. This marketing channel can bring many new users and increase the visibility of your company, but before we get to creating one we should step back and address the main issue of referral marketing. This way, it will be easier to understand the key metrics concerning online referral marketing and how to keep them at decent levels.

Such programs work as follows: your current customers share a referral link with their friends or family. One of these referees clicks on the links and makes a purchase through it with a discount. This is how your website gains referral leads. Referral sales help you remain in the minds of your clients as a valuable source of savings, and thanks to this they may make repeat purchases. According to this report, the average rate of converting referral leads into customers is 13%. Compared to other marketing types – email (8.41%), influencer (2.55%), or affiliate (0.5%-1%) – referrals score highly. In other words, customer referral programs work. It is also important to add that they bring customers regardless of whether you operate on the B2B or B2C markets. 

A very important issue here is the quantity and quality of referrals. Both aspects depend on your referral methods, but let’s explain what they mean. 

  • Quality referrals are based on mutual understandings – you can perceive a lead as high-quality if they maintain a connection with your brand, are able to acquire more clients, and are willing to do business with your company.
  • The quantity of referrals is easy to explain – it is just the number of people who recommend you to others who become your potential customers.

Referral decisions are not very long processes, but you can make them even shorter thanks to offering good incentives. If you provide tempting rewards to your active customers then they will work harder, and if you offer them to potential customers too then they will click on links with even more enthusiasm. 

You can create a referral program and follow its performance with the help of the right software. With EarlyParrot creating a program will take you minutes and the tool will assist you at each step. You can integrate it with your website in a flash. If you can not find the provider that you use, contact us and we will find a solution.

With our tool, you can customize the whole of each campaign, every client facing page, emails, and even links. Furthermore, there’s no EarlyParrot branding to potentially confuse the user as to whose campaign it is. Feel free to try a demo!

For a complete understanding of rates in a referral customer referral program, there is one more issue to cover – the desired actions of referees. This concerns whether or not a client meets the referral requirements, such as signing up, subscribing to a newsletter, or making a purchase via a referral link. 

Now that we’ve covered the basics, it is time to focus on numbers and the rates themselves. 

What is the referral rate?

There are many referral marketing statistics that present referral marketing as a very successful and cost-effective strategy. Thus, how to check if your customer referral programs are effective?

How to measure the rate?

There is a formula for calculating the referral rate, which is the number of referred purchases divided by the total number of purchases. You can switch purchases to subscriptions or sign-ups, etc. The formula is as follows:

Referral marketing stats say that the perfect referral rate is 2.3% which means that about 2 in 100 purchases are made via a referral URL. Even though this may not sound like much, it is actually not so easy to achieve. 

In other words, if you want to check your program’s referral rate then you should grab a calculator and go for it. It would be good if you reach a score of about 2%, but that is easier said than done. That is why it is time to discuss how to increase the success of your customer referral programs.

Best practices to improve your referral rate

Staying at the forefront of your customers’ minds is not easy. Additionally, gaining quality leads and maintaining high referral rates can be challenging too. However, there is no need to worry. Thanks to the tips below you will be able to boost your referral rate like never before.

#1 Spread the word

Yes, making a buzz about your business is one of the program’s main tasks. But in order to keep the quantity of referrals high, you should take care of your program awareness. First, invite ALL of your customers, both current and past. With EarlyParrot you can do this right after you design your program. You can send an invitation to your whole customer base, which means everyone who has ever purchased from your site will receive an email. This will increase the volume of referrals and remind past clients about you – maybe they will feel encouraged by the incentives and decide to return along with a bunch of referred friends?

As you probably know, one referral leading to another is how the word spreads, not only about your brand but also about your referral campaigns. 

#2 Send a referral newsletter

It is very likely that you use emails as a part of your marketing strategy. If so, this is a very good decision, since more than 70% of Millennials choose this channel as their preferred method of communication with brands. 

If you deliver newsletters about upcoming releases or promotions, why not transfer this practice to referrals. It would be an excellent way to present the terms of your program, rewards, future updates, and maybe the top referrer of the week or month? For this person, a special reward should be in order to provide extra motivation for all of your customers to make some additional referrals.

To send such a referral newsletter you can use email marketing providers such as MailChimp or AWeber and check which works best by using EarlyParrot. You can track the performance of links straight from your account, allowing you to see everything clear as day. 

It is worth mentioning that EarlyParrot can be integrated with most of the popular email campaign providers, which makes creating referral newsletters and fully automating the process even easier with this tool.

#3 Cross-promote

Make use of all the channels you have at your disposal. Advertise your referral program on your website, social media profiles, and anywhere else that makes sense to you. To ensure your program is a success, you need to clearly communicate every detail. Your website should include all of the necessary information, so create a separate page with the terms,  incentives, and deadlines. Describe and explain the whole referral process.

Keep your dedicated subpage up-to-date once it is created. Remember to note changes if they occur. Likewise, you should use social media to promote your program. Be consistent and mention it frequently. Alternatively, you can offer some competitions only for referrers and offer prizes directly to the winners, thereby generating more referral leads. 

#4 Stay on top with reminders

It is necessary to maintain people’s interest, and you can accomplish this by sending reminders. Make use of social media platforms, emails, or even push notifications if your app offers them. You can even use SMS marketing to reach your audience. Remind your recipients about your program and encourage them to participate. By doing so, they will feel motivated to share links. Additionally, your brand will continue to stick in their minds for much longer so that whenever someone asks about a great company in your field, they will think of you first. Such recommendations may positively affect your high referral rate.

#5 Be present offline

Referral marketing works online, but who says it can’t be promoted via offline channels? An expanded audience and a few additional referrals will result from such advertising. 

Provide some offline promotions; distribute leaflets, stickers, and some digital out-of-home advertisements. If you want to promote your program this way and encourage people to visit your website, you should take care of making your links shorter. This way, they will be easier to remember and paste into browsers.

Moreover, such promotion will be a great support to your brand awareness, since you will show up both in online and offline channels. This will make it hard for clients to forget about you, hence it is an excellent way to raise your referral rate.

#6 Offer proper incentives

At least at the beginning, you should choose two-sided incentives instead of one-sided ones if your aim is to increase your referral rate. This will likely be a more engaging way of motivating your customers. It increases the chances of referrals reappearing if you reward both the referrer and the referee. The former will be motivated to make further recommendations, while the latter will be more motivated to join the program and then make their own referrals. 

Increasing your referral rate requires an incentive system. A full article on choosing the best rewards is available to you here. The topics covered include reward systems and types of rewards.

Boost your referral rate!

The success of your referral program depends on the referral rate you achieve and how many referral-driven actions your customers take. You will drive more sales and achieve higher conversion rates as more referrals lead to actions. That’s the main goal of business, isn’t it?

Hopefully, our tips have helped you understand what a referral rate is and how it works. By following the guidelines above, you should be able to improve your program’s referral rate. The main takeaways are:

  • remember what referrals are and how they work
  • focus on communication across various channels – the more people know about your program, the greater the chances of successful referrals
  • try to stay at the forefront of your customers’ minds – keep reminding them that your program is rewarding and it is worth being part of it

These aspects, along with the tips listed above, will help you build referral programs that help you earn more than ever before. Let’s hope for the best!

How to encourage a client to join your referral program?

The market is a little crowded these days. Every day new providers are popping up, and it is harder to reach your target market. But if you run a customer referral program, it shouldn’t be a big problem. Thanks to this type of marketing, your loyal customers can spread the word about you and help you reach potential customers. 

Unfortunately, there is one catch. It is not so easy to encourage clients to participate in your referral marketing program. Although it is not a piece of cake, we have some ideas about how to inspire your current clients to act and make your customer referrals efficient.

What is a referral program?

Providing a referral program can be part of your marketing strategy. The main goal here is to let your customers make your brand recognizable. When you create a program and your customers join it, let the sharing begin. Every customer receives a referral link that will indicate how active a given customer is and how many potential customers reach your site via that URL. Thanks to referral software, you can track how many new customers come to your web via the given link. 

A referral program can be a great help with your marketing efforts, especially if you are at the beginning of your journey. It is a very cost-effective method that does not require much experience, so it is a perfect option for new companies. If you want to learn more about referral marketing, check the best practices or what are the most common mistakes, you can read about it on our blog.

Top ways to encourage your customers to participate in a referral program

Nowadays people are very busy, so it might be hard to encourage them to join one more program and be active in it. Nevertheless, with our tips, you will be able to provide a successful referral program and keep your customers motivated. Below you can find some guidelines about how to encourage your client to join.

Social proof

Steps connected with referral program promotions are not an easy task to handle. It is hard to promote a form of marketing since the purpose of marketing is promotion. Before you arrange a whole marketing strategy, you can use what you already have, i.e. customer reviews and opinions. Such content is social proof and people trust it. Almost 90% of consumers rely on user reviews as much as on personal referrals. In content marketing, social proof is a crucial aspect, but what is it in particular? The most popular types of this relevant content are:

  • social media shares,
  • user reviews, or comments on your website
  • business testimonials
  • expert recommendations
  • influencer marketing

There are more types of social proof, but the above are a good start. You can gain trust by publishing this type of content and potential clients can see that real people are using your products and enjoying them. This is the first step towards encouraging people to join your program. 

Email campaigns

First, you have to inform people about the upcoming referral marketing program. Send invitations to your current customers. Even if your business is new on the market and you don’t have a huge audience, invitations will still work. A few satisfied customers sharing referrals would make a difference. Encourage them to join, present all the referral incentives to them, and describe all the rules. Don’t forget about CTAs and the link to sign up. 

After a while, you can send a gentle reminder to your client base. In such emails, you should be polite and kind. The recipient should not feel that you are imposing your program on them. It is a good idea to add a survey and ask why the client has decided not to participate. Your clients can give you a hint of what will work better if you include a referral incentive-related question in your form, and you can gain feedback to improve your referral campaign this way. To improve the conversion rate of such emails, you may offer an extra reward for completing the survey.

If you need support with your email campaigns, try EarlyParrot. It supports referral campaigns that you can design them with this tool, and manage referral emails with it too. Thanks to this software, each new customer will receive an invitation at the moment when they are the most convinced about your brand, i.e. right after subscribing or signing up. It is worth automating this aspect of your strategy in order to increase efficiency. EarlyParrot works with most of the popular email providers such as MailChimp, AWeber, and ConvertKit, so it won’t be a problem to implement this tool. 

Email signature

If you communicate with your customers via email frequently, you should take advantage of it to the fullest. Nowadays, most companies have and use their own email signatures. Why not add a referral code or link right next to it? At the bottom of each marketing email, you should place a referral message and encourage the recipients to participate. Remember that a referee can become a referrer later too, so keeping this info in your signature and using it in each email can increase the chances of that happening. 

That way, if a client chooses to join, they will find the link in each of your messages rather than just the direct invitation. 

Design a referral landing page 

Referral incentives are not everything that you should keep your customers posted about. If you have loyal customers, it is likely that they visit your website quite often. Moreover, if new clients visit your website, they tend to scroll through a lot of it. Therefore, it would be beneficial to provide all the referral information in one place which is where a specific landing page comes in handy. 

Such pages should include information about:

  • referral rewards
  • time frames
  • referral process mechanics
  • CTAs
  • links to sign up
  • and any other details you might consider useful for your potential users

Such a page should be coherent with the rest of your website, with the same design, colors, and font as other subpages. Content marketing works as long as you don’t deliver one long paragraph of text – you need to differentiate it to make it user-friendly. Add some graphic materials; maybe a video guide on how the program works would be a good idea? 

Stay in the loop

You should keep in touch with your loyal customers. They are the best source of referrals and feedback. In this case, you should focus on various marketing channels. Email communication has already been covered, so let’s move on to social media.

Your social media posts have great power, so be sure to use it. Via these platforms, you can stay in touch with your clients, ask for feedback, and present new solutions or products. Your social media channels’ target audience is similar to your website’s, so it is definitely worth presenting your referral program, asking about opinions, and reminding participants to be active there. They may then also help you with improving your program. 

You can also start rewarding the most engaged social media users with extra incentives. For example, instead of a 10% discount for a successful referral, you can offer an additional 10% for being active on one of your social media profiles. Establish one condition – such rewards can only be received by referral program participants. This can be a massive trigger to sign up.

Speaking of social media, promote yourself via these channels. Set up social media ads and keep encouraging users to join your program. Making noise about it is worthwhile.

Remind referred clients to become referrers

In most cases, when it comes to referral marketing, it is your loyal customers who become referrers. What about new ones? They can become referrers too. 

If you don’t send referral invitations immediately after a sign-up or subscription then you might miss this opportunity, but what if a client buys your product without signing up? You can use a referral link in your signature or start an email campaign, but if a given user does not become your subscriber then they won’t receive these messages. In cases like this, you should take advantage of thank you messages. After each transaction, send emails saying thank you for your purchase and include a message like the example below in the referral invitation:

Thank you for choosing our store. We are more than happy that you used a referral link. Do you want to give your friends a discount, too? Feel free to join us!

Just include the registration link in the email and the job is done! Start sending such messages and you’ll soon see that registrations and referrals will increase!

Choose the right incentives

You may think it’s obvious, but it is not so easy to do. After all, incentives are the biggest motivation. Your target audience’s preferences can change over time, and a free mug with your logo or discount coupon may not be enough after a while. To avoid such situations when the incentives are not a great enough motivation, you have to track your program’s performance. If you see that referral traffic is decreasing, this is a trigger to make some changes. A friendly reminder – with EarlyParrot, you can follow your programs from the dashboard and make any adjustments you need. 

When choosing referral incentives, it can be hard to read people’s minds; you cannot guess what they think or would prefer to receive. That’s the reason why communication with your users is so important. No matter which marketing channel you use, it is worth asking customers what their preferences are in this case and hear them out.

It is worth adding that even if everything goes according to your marketing plan, it is still sometimes worth changing your program’s rewards or terms every so often. If you stick with one solution for too long, people can get bored and uninterested. 

Ask your customers to join!

A successful referral program does not mean that your whole customer base has to participate in it. Of course, the more that, do the better – but take it easy. 

However, you need new referrers in order to keep your program running. It’s not a full-time job. One month your referrers may be very active, and the next month could be quite unprofitable. Finding new, happy customers should therefore be your daily duty.

The most important key takeaway from this article is to keep rewarding your clients and stay in touch with them. The customer experience is extremely crucial if you want to keep your customer base engaged. They must feel that they have an impact on the program and that their voices count. Your clients can become your referral partners, so treat them accordingly. They can be a huge help with obtaining new referrers.

How to build an email list? – the secrets revealed

E-marketing is one of the oldest yet most profitable methods of marketing, all thanks to the so called ‘father’ of email – Ray Tomlinson. Thanks to him, business owners all around the World now have the opportunity to promote themselves directly in consumers’ inboxes with modern email marketing tools like Lemlist. Isn’t that great? It’s like being able to go to potential consumers’ houses and present them with all the amazing aspects of your business or products. Be careful though, because it’s not as easy as it sounds. “What’s the catch?” you may ask. Well, there is one. You need an email list! And just having an email list is one thing, but making it effective can be quite challenging. In this article, we will share with you all the secrets of building an effective and profitable email list. Let’s dive right in!

What is an email list? 

An email list is a database of email addresses of all the people who would like to hear from you. These addresses can come from places like your website, sign-up forms from webinars, blogs, or social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram. Your goal as a business owner should be to, first of all, gather as many email addresses as possible and, secondly, to ensure that those contacts are valuable – meaning their owners are your ideal customers who are genuinely interested in your business. With the right type of audience, your return on investment can reach up to $40 for every $1 spent. Tempting, right? But the question remains, how to actually build an effective email list?

Source: https://webengage.com/blog/email-marketing-automation-turns-one-time-sales-into-lifetime-customers/ 

How to build your email list: the top 12 ways 

#1 Pick the right email marketing software 

There’s nothing worse than an email service provider that lacks vital and fundamental features. Once you have a tool in your hands that outperforms your most outlandish demands, you’re pretty much on track to building a strong email list. Make sure the email platform you pick lets you track the performance of your email campaigns and leads as well as manage your subscriber list easily. Having such insights are extremely useful for customer retention and acquisition. 

#2 Remember about social media 

Make sure you allow your potential customers to sign-up to your email newsletter via social media. With the rise in usage of social media platforms, it is important that you make it easy for people to join your list from these channels. Whether it is an email sign-up form on your Facebook page or Instagram account, providing this option surely won’t hurt your business but may help a lot! What’s more, if your followers see that you post quality content on a regular basis, they will be more likely to generate more leads and join your email list, which is something to keep in mind for the future! 

#3 Offer a free gift 

What could better attract potential future consumers than offering them free gifts? To apply, all they have to do is join your email list. Smart, right? This is a great idea because it contributes to creating positive brand awareness and recall right at the moment of someone’s first encounter with your business, plus you gain a subscriber who could be a potential customer! What’s not to like? 

#4 Engage your visitors with your brand 

There are many fun and smart, ‘outside the box’ ways to turn your visitors into subscribers.  Example? Use a pop-up form that includes some sort of game or a puzzle, for instance, a wheel of fortune. By offering gifts and benefits you will gather huge amounts of subscribers in no time. Considering that the conversion rate for ecommerce businesses is 1.94% (meaning that 98.06% of your visitors will leave your website and most likely never come back), it is important to provide experiences that will contribute to customer acquisition and building a positive brand image. 

Source: https://www.oberlo.com/statistics/average-ecommerce-conversion-rate 

#5 Incorporate ‘email only’ offers 

Another great way to encourage email sign-ups is by offering your audience something exclusive. Rewarding your loyal subscribers for being part of the customer journey is a great way to show non-subscribers that joining your list is beneficial. It is up to you what your bargaining card will be. Example? Free shipping or an extra 5% discount for email subscribers. The possibilities are endless. 

#6 Offer rewards to existing subscribers for referring your brand 

The numbers show that 92% of people trust referrals from friends and family over any other advertising method. This is great news for you. Some customers would do anything for a discount code or a freebie. Ask your existing customers to invite their friends to subscribe to your email list, and make sure there is a gift for both the referee and the referrer because you want to make both sides satisfied. Although the process might seem complex, it’s actually not. All you have to do is pick a powerful tool offering such a solution, such as EarlyParrot. For more details, visit our website explaining the whole process in detail. Having such a tool will help build your email list in no time.  

#7 Look for original opportunities to gather more contacts  

In the world of marketing, you need to think smart. Try looking for unique tactics to gather a bigger audience. One of them could be designing a really cool QR code. Such practices vastly contribute to shaping a positive brand recall and, of course, building your dream mailing list. Have a look at some possible inspiration below: 

Source: https://jess3.com/ 

#8 Build your email list offline too 

You never know where you might meet a new subscriber or even a customer. That’s why it’s extremely important to always have your business cards or leaflets to hand. Whether it’s during a work meeting, lunch break, fair, or in your store – having them with you won’t hurt but may possibly help. So go and check if you have enough business cards/ leaflets now, and you’ll thank us later. 

#9 Pick wisely and never purchase an email list 

No one wants bots, inactive email addresses, or people who want nothing to do with your business on their lists. Make sure you display your opt-in forms in places where your target audience is present. Consider what sites are visited by your ideal consumers, as well as what could be the best locations to place your sign-up forms. Avoid at all costs purchasing email lists from external agencies. Not only are they useless (most of the time), but they can also negatively impact your brand image once recipients start complaining about your content. Lastly, some of the best and most reputable email marketing tools simply don’t accept purchased email lists lacking confirmations of opt-ins.  

#10  Ensure your opt-in forms are easily accessible on mobile devices 

Statistics show that 63% of emails are opened on mobile devices. This may as well mean that people generally want to sign-up from their mobile phones. Keep this in mind when you design your landing pages, pop-ups, and sign-up forms. You want them all to work perfectly on mobile devices so that people can sign up, view, and open your emails. After all, in the long run, the higher the opening the rate, the greater the possibility of a better conversion rate. Isn’t that the point? To know what your ideal open rate should be, check out these extensive statistics showing the average click-to-open rates of marketing emails worldwide as of June 2020 by industry.

Source: https://www.statista.com/statistics/942725/e-mail-marketing-click-to-open-rates-world/ 

#11 Bounce Backs are not the end of the world

There might be times when you send an email newsletter to your subscribers but it doesn’t reach each and every person on the list. This is due to common bouncebacks, caused typically by server or spam errors. A bounce message is what you receive as the email sender saying that a message was not delivered. Ideally, the benchmark for bounces should be less than 2%. If, however, the bounce rate is higher than that for some reason, you should think about fixing it. For instance, suppose you have the mailing address of a person whose email address is faulty, you can simply send them a postcard or a freebie asking them nicely to update their email address in your database. Don’t forget about offering a discount code or other surprise. This will undoubtedly contribute to lowering the bounce rate and improving the effectiveness and performance of your email messages. 

#12 Build your own online community

Sounds scary? It’s actually not. Creating an online community managed by yourself, such as a Facebook group, telegram group, or a blog is a great way to gather your target audience in one place. Once the group/blog is up and running, it’s your time to shine. Invite followers there to join your email list. You can do so, for example, by offering some sort of an incentive to your audience, such as a discount code or a free shipping option valid exclusively for group members/blog readers. 

Summary

Now you know all the right tricks and hacks for building your own strong and healthy mailing list. Let’s have one more look at the most important takeaways:

  • It’s better to take care of your existing email list than buy a new, often useless one. 
  • Be creative with pop-ups, landing pages, and sign-up forms – a little bit of imagination works in your favour.
  • Make it worth signing up to your email list – various incentives like freebies, discount codes, and other gifts will be more than welcome! 
  • Consider all possibilities – they may be closer than you think.

#ParrotInspires: How to choose the best rewards for your referral program participants?

Referral programs are a great way to reach new customers and strengthen bonds with your existing ones too. Thanks to designing such a campaign you will be able to achieve your business goals at relatively low cost. Furthermore, this method of marketing is a great idea to lower customer cost acquisition, increase ROI, and improve customer retention.

Your customers must be willing to sign up for your referral program in order to keep it going. Otherwise, you won’t get many referrals and ultimately leads. To encourage your loyal customers to join your program, you need to provide the best incentives, and this is not an easy task. After all, people won’t do much for free, so incentives are necessary to motivate your clients. It’s worthwhile though, since referrals from friends are the most effective marketing strategy for small businesses in the US according to eMarketer. How to use this strategy effectively? 

Why are rewards so important?

People love receiving rewards; it feels good to receive a gift or to be acknowledged for an accomplishment. That is why referral marketing is effective – people like to be appreciated and rewarded. Whether you offer gift cards, discount coupons, or free products – all of these will keep your customers motivated to share links and encourage new clients to join your business too. 

Are you wondering whether you should reward referrers, new customers, or both? Below you will find the pros and cons of each of these systems.

Types of referral reward system

There are three types of reward systems: two-sided, one-sided, and no reward. We will discuss each of them to help you choose the best for you. 

  1. Two-sided reward system. With this type, a gift goes to both your existing customers and potential ones. You can offer them the same incentives or different rewards. The terms to earn them are also very important. For example, you can award a referrer only after three successful referrals, while each of the three new clients will earn something. As you may suppose, this method of reward system is the most powerful one and useful for expanding your customer base. Double-sided incentives would be a good choice to hit the ground running for new businesses and for creating strong bonds with existing, happy customers as well. 
  2. One-sided reward system. Here you reward only one side of referrals. It can be the referrer or the new client, it is your choice. In this way, you can reward the most active ambassadors of your brand and strengthen bonds with them even more. Needless to say that this method can be successful but also a little less motivating for the side without a referral reward.  
  3. No reward. This is an option, too. You can safely assume that it won’t be the most effective way to gain new customers, but it may be a temporary solution. If your customer referral program performs well then you have great relationships with loyal customers, so such a no-reward period can be a relief for your pocket without a big harm to your traffic. However, it can be a great introduction to a more advanced referral incentive program too.

Types of rewards

Choosing the best reward can be a gamechanger for your program. It can be a “to be or not to be” for the success of your program. There is a wide range of referral rewards for you to choose from, and we have prepared a list of them below.

  1. Cashback or monetary rewards

A reward of this kind would probably be the preferred choice for most. This type of referral program incentive is a great way to generate some buzz about your brand. Cash is a great way to reach new customers in a competitive environment. If your company is new on the market and has some spare money, it would be a good way to support your business performance from the very beginning.  

With cashback, it works as follows: an existing customer recommends your business, shares a referral link with a friend, and if the referral is successful then your existing client receives cashback to, e.g., your store wallet.

  1. Discounts coupons

This is one of the most popular ways to reward your customers. An existing customer shares a referral link with their friends and both sides (or one) receives a discount off the next service or product they purchase. It may be a cash discount like $10 or percentage such as 20% off their next purchase. 

This type of referral reward is the most valued by 51% of consumers. A discount coupon can be a good reward both for your active referrers and potential customers.

  1. Store credit rewards

A mix of the two above approaches. With this method of rewarding, a client receives money to use during an upcoming transaction in your store. This money can be used to buy your products only, and it is also popular to define the minimum purchase price in order for them to use the credit. For example, a client may receive $10 credit but it can only be used to buy items worth at least $50.

Many providers use this type of incentive – Uber, Airbnb, and Glovo to name a few.

  1. Gift card rewards

Receiving a gift card can be a good incentive, but it depends on your target audience’s preferences. In the case of teens, for example, Starbucks gift cards are great incentives but ones that won’t suffice for older people. When choosing gift cards, you should take the time to analyze who you’re targeting and what would be most useful for them.

Let’s suppose you operate in the Hungarian market and you offer Amazon gift cards as rewards. It won’t do much good because there is no Hungarian Amazon site and that eCommerce platform isn’t popular in this country. In other words, you should offer your customers gift cards for places they most desire if you want such rewards to work out.

  1. Company swag rewards

Your referral program reward can be non-cash too. One type of such incentive is swag. What is that? Swag is an item outside your offer but connected with your brand like a T-shirt, mug, or tote bag with your logo on it. You can freely choose items and, moreover, you can change them up regularly. Both existing customers and new ones may receive a mug or you can differentiate the gift in this regard. Maybe a referrer should earn better swag after, e.g., five successful referrals. 

The terms are up to you, but this reward method gives you a wide range of fun incentives to keep your customers motivated.

  1. Free subscription period

Nowadays, subscription is a very popular model that’s offered by various providers. If you take this approach, a free trial as a reward can be a big hit. Not only does it encourage people to get to know you but also it allows them to sample your full offer, which can lead to the start of long-term relationships with customers.

You have probably used many subscription services that provide free trials. Amazon Prime, Spotify, Netflix – didn’t it make you a regular customer of them?

How to choose the best ones?

There is no guide that will clearly define the best rewards for a given target group. You need to get to know your customers and select the most tempting incentives for them. What you should do first is to choose the best referral marketing software. This tool should support the entire process and not limit you in terms of rewards. Below you can find a few steps, thanks to which you will be able to choose encouraging rewards for your clients.

#1 Select the best referral software

Before you get to the details, you need to choose the best tools. This is the basis of a successful referral program. What are the most important aspects that you should pay attention to? First of all, as we mentioned above, the tool shouldn’t limit you. For example, with EarlyParrot, you can choose the types of referrals, name them, select your target, as well as add webhooks and descriptions. There is no difference whether your reward is a discount or a mug. Of course, a referral code can be sent out via email, while for a mug it’s quite a different story. 

Once you choose a tool that gives you room to create a successful referral program, you can start thinking about the details.

#2 Who do you want to reward?

Choose a reward system from the list above. If you are a new player on the market, you should encourage as many people as possible and thus double-sided rewards may be the better option. If your business already has a solid position in customers’ minds and hearts then you may choose to go with a one-sided incentive. If you pick the first option, remember to establish if the rewards for both sides will be identical or if you prefer to differentiate them.

Additionally, thresholds should be set up. How many successful referrals does an existing customer need to make before they earn the reward? What does a potential customer have to do for a referral to be deemed successful – sign up, purchase, or subscribe to a newsletter? Before moving on, you should establish these terms. 

#3 What do you want to give?

Now on to the creme de la creme – choosing rewards. First, you should choose between cash or non-monetary rewards. If your brand is recognizable and your community is strong then swag may be a good choice, but if you are new on the market will anyone be eager to receive a mug with your logo on it? When it comes to cash incentives, they are very popular because people love saving money. If you want to get off to a good start, you should go the extra mile with referral promotion and offer, say, 50% off during the first week for referrers and new customers. After this time the discount may decrease to 15%, for example.

If you have a bigger budget and you sell tech equipment, cars, or luxury goods, for instance, then decent discount coupons would be an excellent choice. The more expensive the item, the greater the discount. After all, a 10% discount looks better with a value of $3,000 than $30.

#4 Monitor the results and be ready to change

With a good tool, you will be able to monitor each of your referral campaigns. Follow the key metrics and the most active referrers then draw conclusions. If your rewards do not bring the desired results, change them. Before making drastic changes, you can send reminder emails to your customer base and encourage them to be more active. If this doesn’t have much effect, you need to rethink your referral campaign.

Thanks to tracking referrals, you will be able to reward the most dedicated referrers. This will strengthen your bonds and make them even more loyal.

Referral marketing programs are here to help you

The benefits of referrals are numerous, provided you create your referral campaign following some rules and guidelines. To bring your customer’s attention to your referral program, you should spread the word about it and send invitations to a potential base of referrers, i.e., your satisfied customers. Let them do their job and motivate them properly.

Having a better understanding of referral rewards enables you to make the right choices for your customers. Once you launch your referral campaign, you should closely monitor the key metrics and make adjustments accordingly. Fingers crossed for your campaign!

ParrotInsider #6: 5 steps to create a brand ambassador program with EarlyParrot

A brand ambassador campaign is a great way to make some noise about your company. Providing such a program can be a low-cost method to introduce your brand to more potential customers. 

To make the most of this marketing method, you should get to know what a brand ambassador program is exactly, who is a brand ambassador, and what are the types of such roles. We will cover all of these aspects in this article. 

Let’s spend a minute discussing the basis of your program before we get started. What is it and how does it work?  

What is a brand ambassador program?

Brand ambassador programs usually have one specific goal, such as increasing sales. To achieve the desired goal, ambassadors promote the brand or products among their followers. Promotion can be made on both online channels (e.g. social media) and offline (e.g. events). In order to increase the chances of success of the program, both channels are often used. Most brand ambassador programs invitation-only; the smaller the company, the more likely this is to be the case. As a result, it is much easier to reach a niche audience. Brand ambassadors are typically involved with brands for a long time, since a long-term relationship with a company is important in convincing consumers that the ambassador genuinely uses the brand’s products.

To start it right, you need to know who can be a potential brand ambassador. It could be a happy customer, an influencer, or even an employee. Furthermore, you should have a marketing plan before you go live with the program.

Why you should start an brand ambassador program

Brand ambassadors can do so much good for your company. They can provide a sense of community or simply improve your marketing communication. There are dozens of reasons why you should try such programs, so below are just a few. 

#1 Brand ambassadors take care of your content 

Most ambassadors use social media accounts as their main channel of communication with followers. They publish pieces of content related to your company and build brand awareness. 

They also post unique content like blog posts or online reviews, creating a buzz about you. Ambassadors can go the extra mile and interact with their followers. Moreover, they can motivate an active audience to provide user-generated content. This may be a great way to achieve your business goal, as almost 80% of people say that user-generated content highly influences their purchasing decisions.

#2 Brand ambassadors  expand a company’s reach

Content that you publish on your company’s social media profiles or website is only seen by its audience, but you can reach even twice as many people when you use brand ambassadors. This means you can reach a variety of people without retargeting. 

Even if an ambassador has a small audience, it still can be profitable for you. Their followers may not have heard of or been interested in your brand before, but they may become your future customers when they find out about it from their favorite blogger. Nevertheless, thanks to an ambassadors’ recommendation, the seed is sown and new, potential customers are on the horizon.

#3 Brand ambassadors provide you with constructive feedback

They use your products and know them inside and out, so they can be your brand’s biggest advocates but also harshest critics. It is very common that brand ambassadors are the first users of your products, so they can provide some information and help you improve items before their official launch. 

Keeping ambassadors in the feedback loop can prevent you from many common mistakes, which might be small but still significant for the end-users. This will help with improving your brand’s user experience. 

#4 Involving brand ambassadors is cost-effective 

Providing a brand ambassador program won’t burn a hole in your pocket, there are no hidden costs. You just need to find the right candidates, handle the communication, and establish the terms. You should focus on clarifying your demands – the types of social media content or blog posts, etc. Setting time frames and providing marketing materials are also crucial. Your ambassadors should have access to ready-made materials, otherwise it will be difficult for them to provide decent content.

Basically the main cost here is ambassador commission, but it could be part of a trade too. You need to set the financial aspects very clearly – there are many options to choose from like PPS, PPC, and more. 

To track ambassadors’ performance and have an overview of their work, you should install the right software. It will be a great help when it comes to monitoring your ambassador’s campaigns. EarlyParrot gives you access to them via its dashboard. Referral marketing is the main purpose of this tool, but it can also be used for ambassadors who are considered to be like such programs.

With this software, you can cover the following aspects of your program:

  • quick and easy program design process
  • communication with your ambassadors
  • monitoring performance and key metrics of each ambassador and campaign
  • quick redesigning your campaigns

You can implement this tool into your site in minutes; it works with most existing platforms and apps. Moreover, if you operate on a non-English speaking market, the good news is that EarlyParrot handles such languages as Greek, Spanish, Italian, German, and French. If you wish to try it out, there is a free trial available. 

How to create a brand ambassador program from scratch?

There are several stages of creating such a program. Below we will cover a few of the most important steps, but you should also consider such aspects as:

  • Main and secondary marketing channels
  • Tools that you and your ambassadors will need, 
  • Plan to blend ambassador marketing into your overall strategy

Keep these three factors in mind while reading the guidelines below.  

Step 1: choose your goal

You have probably seen this step in many guides, but it is crucial for keeping your program on track. You must know what you want to achieve in order to set your requirements clearly and run a successful program. The most popular goals of brand ambassador campaigns are connected with:

Once you decide what you want to achieve, you can move onto the next step. 

Step 2: describe your ideal brand ambassador

It is a similar situation to the goal rule. You need to know what you want, otherwise it may be hard to find it. Before you start looking for a potential ambassador, you need to establish a few aspects such as their niche, preferable channels, follower/subscriber thresholds, and other campaigns that they participate in. Below you’ll find some popular types of ambassadors:. 

  1. Affiliate brand ambassador – they promote your products among their own social network. For example, they publish a positive review of your item on their personal blog and add an affiliate link in the post content. Thanks to such links, you will be able to track how the campaign is going. In this collaboration, you need to keep affiliates encouraged, and incentives are a good way to do so. To keep them motivated, you can offer them, e.g., higher commissions per sale after reaching a given number of transactions. 
  2. Customer brand ambassador – in other words, a referral program or word-of-mouth marketing. Here, EarlyParrot should be your go-to. With this tool, you will be able to create such a program in a flash. You can establish basically everything – goals, incentives and their details, communication pages, and even branded referral links. This type of program relies on your existing customers’ relationships with their close ones to whom they recommend your products and share their links. If ambassadors’ friends or family members clink on these links and perform the desired action, a referral is complete and rewards will be earnt. 
  3. Employee brand ambassadors – this is a very close company-ambassador relationship. Your employees can promote your brand and will probably put their whole hearts into it, since company performance earns them money. Employees can spread the word about you and your products, which will sound more natural and less salesy than, e.g., influencer recommendations. It can work on the same principles as a referral program, but instead of discount codes you can offer higher salaries to those employees.

Now it is time to start searching.

Step 3: search for and choose your ambassadors

You can start your journey by searching for ambassadors manually, i.e., via dedicated hashtags. Type in a hashtag and check out posts including it. In this way, you will be able to have a complete overview of influencers in a given industry and it will therefore be easier to compare them with one another. 

You can also check out social media influencers’ platforms. This is a more efficient way because you gather information about each potential ambassador in one place. It is also a good idea to provide an ambassador application form on your website. Perhaps the perfect candidate will visit your website someday?

If you choose to use a referral program or turn your employees into ambassadors, this step won’t take you long. In the first case, referrers will find themselves. With employees, you can choose the most suitable ones or encourage everyone to be your brand advocates. 

Once you choose your potential candidates, you need to compare them with your ideal ambassador. This will allow you to select the best option.  

Step 4: it’s time to work

Choose who you want to cooperate with, get in touch with them, agree the terms, and let your ambassador campaign begin. All contract terms should be clear, and you should be upfront with your demands. 

Once you establish all your terms and conditions, you can start to work together. It’s then crucial to keep track of the program’s performance (with EarlyParrot) and communicate with your ambassadors if some aspects need improvement. 

Step 5: recognise the best ambassadors

Good cooperation means that if somebody is doing a great job, you should recognize and reward them. Ambassadors’ marketing efforts should be recognised. As a reward, you can offer them a free item, gift card, or money (which would probably be their preferred option). Depending on the type of your programs you can shuffle such awards, but you still have to be sure that everyone from your ambassador team who has done an extraordinary job is appreciated.

All of these steps will help you with providing a successful brand ambassador program. You should give it a try with EarlyParrot!

Find your brand ambassador

Establishing a brand ambassador program is a great way to increase brand awareness and to improve your brand’s image. 

Whatever your business goals, by using this short but comprehensive guide you will be able to create an effective ambassador program that will last a lifetime and bring you countless new, loyal customers.

7 steps to create effective B2B sales strategies

The B2B market demands quite a different approach than the B2C one. Your customers are not individuals, but they are various companies with different needs. Here, the sales funnel may seem a little different because your buyers have different expectations and they are mostly not the end-users. 

You as a company should provide the best B2B marketing strategies to stand out. Moreover, a sales strategy is necessary as well in order to meet your target requirements. Easier said than done. What can a company do to meet a B2B client’s needs? We have few ideas thanks to which your B2B sales cycle can be improved more than ever. Grab a pen and make some notes!   

What is a sales strategy?

By definition, it is a plan aimed at determining the market position of your products or services and, as a result, selling them. It should also clearly define what differs your company from the competition, helping you to find qualified buyers. A good strategy defines the goals and determines how to achieve them. It usually contains such indicators as revenue and growth, buyer personas, sales methods, and positioning, etc. It is a guide for your teams that indicates what and when they should achieve.

There are various types of strategies, e.g., marketing ones designing by marketing teams. It helps them to create communication and marketing efforts to meet the target audience’s needs. A sales strategy also indicates the steps and goals of the buying process, hence it guides your sales team.

In this article, you will find some tips on how to master your B2B sales strategy and win your potential customers’ hearts. We will cover such topics as:

  1. leads
  2. buyer personas
  3. referrals and events
  4. negotiations
  5. and more.

Let’s begin!

Tips for creating an effective sales B2B sales strategy

The B2B sales process is advanced and complicated in many ways. First of all, since B2B buyers are usually the most demanding customers, convincing them that your company has the best offer is not the easiest thing to do. In that case, what should you do to reach your potential customers? Keep reading.

#1 Qualify leads

Qualified leads are people that meet your set criteria and have provided identifying information at the very beginning. By meeting your requirements, they could turn out to be potential customers. Thanks to acquiring such businesses, you will be able to close the deal sooner and make them more profitable.

This will also allow you to make faster transactions. Thanks to the acquisition of qualified leads, you will save time and money spent on ineffective negotiations or meetings. You will be able to recognize which company really wants to cooperate and is ready to undertake obligations resulting from the contract. Choosing qualified businesses doesn’t mean you’re picky, it makes you a professional who respects the times of both parties.  

#2 Let them refer

Referral marketing is a good choice not only in the B2C market because it helps with customer acquisition. You want to reach new customers after all, which in this case are B2B companies. Creating a referral program would be a great idea to grab the interest of B2B leads. It is necessary to choose reliable options on this market, and that is what referral marketing is about. 

To make your own referral program, you will need referral software like EarlyParrot. With this tool, you can design your own program in a flash. How do referral programs work? To ensure that it is effective, you need to set:

  • type of program
  • goals
  • incentives
  • thresholds
  • links
  • communication channels

Then you should invite your current customers and let them spread the word about your business. They can share their links across social media platforms or other channels. Once a lead clicks on a referral link and registers to your website or makes a purchase, either both or one side of the referral can earn rewards.

Creating a program with EarlyParrot is a piece of cake. You can implement it on your website without any IT support and start your referral journey immediately. It works with the most common platforms like Magento, Joomla, WooCommerce, and WordPress, but also headless CMS. This solution is a great way to expand your mailing list too. 

You may be wondering whether or not such programs work for B2B companies. Well they do, and can help you earn a lot of profit – almost 80% of B2B marketing managers admitted that referral programs generate high-quality leads. When it comes to business-to-business relationships, they are made less frequently but with more money involved, so it is better to choose verified providers who have been referred by industry friends. Referral marketing can be an excellent choice to boost your content marketing strategy and acquire new customers at  low cost.

#3 Create a buyer persona

It may seem odd to talk about personas in the case of the business market but it makes a lot of sense! What is a buyer persona? It is a customer profile based on research into a specific industry. In general, it describes your ideal customers. 

Very often you will have several personas, especially on the B2B market where the sales funnel seems slightly different from the B2C one. You sell your product to various businesses and they may have different types of target audiences, i.e. their personas differ. Thus these companies’ requirements may vary too.

To make the most of this process, you need to ask yourself in-depth questions about your perfect client. This way, your products or services will be aimed at businesses that appreciate them, allowing you to keep the user experience high, as well as your revenue and other growth KPIs. Having created buyer personas, you can tailor communication more effectively and choose deals better suited to success.

#4 Don’t be too strict 

Pricing is an essential factor in the buying processes. For B2B buyers, it is even more crucial because, as we mentioned above, greater amounts of money are involved. The last thing anyone wants is to throw their money down the drain.  

What you should do first is put your pricing in a visible place on your website. All customers have a right to know what amounts are on the table. During sales meetings, set your price boundaries clearly but do not be relentless. Perhaps a customer will want something additional or a more tailored offer following a meeting like this. Such situations require flexibility or you risk losing the client.

Remember that negotiations are an essential part of business meetings, and it is usually pricing that arouses the greatest emotions during this part. Come up with a price bracket list and keep it handy, but give yourself some wiggle room. To reach a compromise, both sides need to let it go a little bit. 

However, customization of the plan is a great idea. You’ll avoid quitting at a moment of uncertainty when neither program seems like the right fit. Thanks to custom pricing, everyone will find something for themselves. Here’s a tip: Be crystal clear about how much your client will have to pay and  for what.  

#5 Keep your agents up to date 

For B2B businesses, the customer experience is even more crucial. Each of your sales professionals must be up to date with your offer and what is happening on the market. It is your duty to take care of this. You should train them and provide valuable content, e-books, and white papers, etc. Moreover, you are responsible for materials that are presented by sales representatives. They must be of good quality, both visually and in terms of content. Provide sales agents with the tools they need to do their jobs well, expediting and simplifying their work.

#6 Events

An effective sales strategy requires some commitment. In this case, we are talking about industry events. Be part of them!

To prepare for such an occasion, you need to focus on your marketing strategy and get in touch with your marketing department. After all, they are responsible for your promotional materials and marketing efforts. All pieces of content you want to distribute during an event should be (as always) high quality and define you as a company. Your B2B customers want to get to know you better. Although these events do not usually result in purchase decisions, they can lead to the idea of cooperation. It is a good starting point for the B2B sales cycle. 

If your company participates in an online event, first make yourself sure that the target audience matches your buyer personas. You can prepare some sort of souvenirs like discounts or free ebooks. Without person-to-person contact, it is harder to convince companies to cooperate but it is not impossible. You should be professional and be open to discussions. The audience should ask you as many questions as you are able to handle. This will be proof that you know the industry inside out. 

#7 Use synergy

No matter how excellent your sales strategy is, it cannot succeed if it is incoherent with other strategies. To make the most of it, your sales strategy should go hand in hand with your B2B marketing strategy, logistics plan, and pricing, etc. These should all be connected and form a cohesive overall plan.

Talk with your marketing team, establish when the latest marketing campaign will be released and what it promises. Your B2B customers have expectations based on the marketing message, so you need to meet them at least partially. Marketing may also be a tool supporting sales efforts. For example, thanks to an email marketing strategy, your company can have access to email addresses that can be used to start a sales pipeline. Of course, your customer must consent to it.

The same applies to pricing, logistics, and many other B2B strategies that may be necessary to establish. Link all the actions and use their full power. 

Ready to plan?

Providing a good B2B sales strategy needs time and commitment but it is definitely worthwhile. After all, this is what makes your business successful.   

You should plan your strategy well to gain the maximum level of trust of your B2B buyers and create bonds with them. Relationships between companies are crucial in the business-to-business market because such cooperations may last for years and strengthen both parties’ market positions. They may be to be or not be for some enterprises.