20+ Factors to Consider When Choosing Referral Program Software

When it comes to the greatest referral marketing software tools , there are a lot of factors you need to consider. You might be wondering what they all are and how they can help you make the right decision. The referral program software market is changing and evolving every day, which means that there is no one referral program software that will work perfectly for everyone. In this blog post we will discuss 11 factors that you should take into consideration when choosing the best referral marketing software for your business!

What is a referral program software?

Referral Program Software is a web application that helps you maintain and promote referral marketing programs. When it comes to referral marketing, businesses have different objectives, which means they need customized campaigns. Referral Program Software allows users to create their own referral software from scratch or by using one of its many predefined templates.

Some of the best referral program software enable companies to track the success of each campaign as well as set specific targets such as increasing brand awareness among certain demographics. In addition, there are tools that allow users keep an eye on referrals in real time and send automated emails announcing rewards upon reaching milestones within a particular campaign .

Some of the most reliable referral marketing software tools will allow for easy integration with social media networks, email marketing service providers as well as other referral tools. In addition, the most reliable customer referral programs provide users with a suite of data analytics that measure the success and impact of referral software over time.

Referral Program Software makes it easier to build successful campaigns by providing features such as:

– campaign management tools;

– automated reward distribution and milestone tracking;

– ability to send rewards via email or text message;

– built in landing page creator and hosting capabilities;

– integrations into existing customer databases, live chat tools, CRMs systems and more. By using these resources you can create an unparalleled experience for your customers increasing revenue through increased referrals & word of mouth.

Benefits of using a referral program software

1. Referral program software allows you to reward your existing customers for their referrals

That is one of the biggest benefits. When you are using referral marketing solutions, it is automatically rewarding your existing customers when they refer someone and bring new customers to your company.

You don’t have to worry about adding up all the referrals yourself and deciding how much each referral was worth.

Your own referral marketing program will do this for you!

It also allows companies to give points or coupons that can be used on their website or anywhere in their store. This is a great way of showing how valuable customer referrals really are, which will encourage more people to make referrals in general. A referral incentive strategy should always include giving out coupon codes with every referral because it creates opportunity for both the person inviting others as well as the referred friend receiving discounts after signing up through an invite code from their friends/family members/colleagues.

2. The referral program can be customized so that it fits with your company’s branding and values

If you are using one of the best referral program software, then it will be completely customizable to your company’s values and goals.

This is especially beneficial if your own referral program is associated with a larger marketing campaign or brand awareness effort that requires specific messages or promotions.

Avoid the type of customer referral program that cannot be customized to your company’s specific needs.

This is especially important if you are running a referral campaign for the first time. Customization will help ensure success by matching up with your brand’s goals and values, as well as making it easy to track referrals back to their source so you can give credit where it is due.

There may not always be an option when choosing your customer referral program on whether or not they offer customization features, but this should still be one of the factors considered before committing since there could potentially be other avenues available such as add-ons or third party integrations which might fill in this gap.

3. It is easy to set up a referral program, meaning you don’t have to hire someone else to do the work for you

If referral program software is easy to set up, then you can avoid hiring an outside agency or expert.

This will help save time and money in the long run since it means that your employees won’t need special training for referral campaign management.

Moreover, referral program software should be intuitive enough so employees don’t require additional support from a third party due to complexities with setup or other issues like this. This also helps ensure success by making sure referrals are coming through without any hiccups along the way which can happen if there are difficulties during implementation of referral campaigns using referral program software products that aren’t as user friendly.

The level of ease when setting up referral software varies depending on the product though, so the referral program software you choose should be intuitive and user-friendly.

If there are any concerns about this, then it is worth taking the time to review demo videos or check out reviews from other users who may have more insight as to how easy it is to run referral programs.

For companies that like referral marketing software which requires no training, they will need employees to understand referral marketing at a fundamental level in addition to those using the product since referrals must originate from within an organization for them to work well (and not come across as spam). So even if referral campaign management is simple when using your own referral programs because of customizable options, having existing knowledge on what constitutes successful referral strategies before implementation is still important so employees don’t lose interest in referral programs because campaigns aren’t living up to their expectations which can happen if employees don’t have the right knowledge beforehand.

4. You are able to track how many people are signing up through each customer’s link

One of the most important factors to consider when choosing referral program software is whether or not you can track how many people are signing up through each referral link.

To make sure referral software isn’t wasted because no one is taking advantage of it, it’s crucial that referral program software allows you to see which links are getting clicked on and what kind of traffic they’re sending your way (in addition to seeing how successful referrals were after they’ve been sent out).

This helps ensure success by letting marketers know where problems might be occurring so these issues with referral marketing campaigns don’t have a negative effect on overall customer acquisition efforts since referrals won’t be as effective if there isn’t enough traffic being directed towards them.

5. There are different types of rewards – cash, discounts on products/services, free items from the store, etc… 

Different referral program software offers different kinds of referral rewards.

Cash is the most popular reward type (which makes sense since it’s easy to track and more universal) but some of the referral marketing solution offers have special discounts or free items from a store, which can help drive additional sales for smaller purchases by making them seem like more worthwhile investments at first glance.

If this sounds appealing, then your own referral program software should have these features so you aren’t limited in terms of what kind of referral campaigns you want to run and how they will be used.

The reverse could potentially happen if there isn’t enough customization with referral campaign types allowed through referral program software products though – where marketers might not be able to find the right mix between referrals and other referral marketing software features to make referral campaigns as effective as possible.

A reverse scenario could also be true, where referral campaign types aren’t allowed with referral marketing platform products that don’t have enough customization options – which can limit marketers in terms of what kind of referral software they want to run and how they will use them.

To avoid this from happening then it’s crucial you do your research beforehand so there are no surprises down the road once a product has been chosen (and if necessary, ask for additional details on specific referral program software features). Otherwise you might not get all the exposure and referrals out of each referral campaign type that is otherwise potentially achievable.

If these concerns sound like they could be a problem, then referral marketing software should have these features to make sure referral marketing campaigns aren’t wasted because no one is taking advantage of them.

This will help ensure success by letting marketers know where problems might be occurring so these issues with campaigns don’t have a negative effect on overall customer acquisition efforts since referrals won’t be as effective if there isn’t enough traffic being directed towards them.

You can track how many people are signing up through each referral link and what kind of traffic they’re sending your way (in addition to seeing how successful referrals were after they’ve been sent out).

6. Referral software creates an opportunity for an online business to expand by attracting new customers without having any upfront cost or risk

This helps ensure success by letting marketers know where problems might be occurring so these issues with campaigns don’t have a negative effect on overall customer acquisition efforts since referrals won’t be as effective if there isn’t enough traffic being directed towards them.

What factors to take into consideration when choosing a referral marketing platform

1. Does the software have an intuitive interface that is easy to navigate and understand?

The first factor to consider when choosing referral marketing software is whether or not the interface has an intuitive design that makes navigation simple. If the user experience does not have a clean layout then customers may struggle with using it due to confusion about where buttons are located or what they are for. A clean interface can be the difference between success and failure of referral marketing campaigns, so this is definitely something to consider when choosing your best referral program software!

2. Is there a customer support team available for help 24/7?

The referral program software market is constantly changing, which means that the referral software you are using today may not work for your business tomorrow. The support team of your own referral program software can help to keep your referral tracking software running smoothly and successfully by helping with any issues or questions that arise in between changes. A 24/hour customer service line will provide reassurance when problems do come up so it is important to consider whether or not this kind of support exists before making a decision about your best referral marketing tools!

3. How much does the software cost – are there any hidden fees or costs associated with it ?

The referral tracking software market can be extremely expensive so it is very important to consider how much the referral program will cost you. A lot of referral marketing programs have hidden fees that are not made clear when signing up or choosing a package, which means that in the long run they may end up being more expensive than other options available on the market! Make sure to carefully read all terms and conditions before making any decision about referral program software – this could save you thousands down the line!

4. What are the benefits of this referral program software over others on the market?

The referral program software you choose should be better than the other referral software on the market in some way – whether it is cheaper, more intuitive or offers a better variety of features. Make sure to carefully consider what makes this referral program different and why it would work well for your business before making any decision!

5. Can I use my own logo, colors, and branding for this referral program  software

The referral program software you choose should be customisable so that it integrates well with your existing branding and design. This will help to keep your brand consistent on the referral programs as well as improve the overall look of them! If you aren’t able to fully customize referral program software then they may not work very efficiently for your company, so this is something else worth considering when looking into referral program software!

6. Will this referral program automatically track referrals without me having to do anything else after inputting them into the system ?

The referral program software that you choose should be able to track referrals automatically without requiring a lot of input from the user. This will save time and effort as well as help with keeping referral software consistent! If referral promotion tracking is not automated then it will make programs difficult to use – something else worth considering when choosing referral marketing software.

7. What are the primary goals of your referral program software – is it to increase sales, improve customer retention or both?

The referral program software that you choose should be focused on helping to achieve the primary goal of your referral promotion. You need to ensure that it has features and functions relevant for this purpose so make sure to carefully consider what your referral programs are trying to do before signing up! If referral program software doesn’t have the right features then they will not work very efficiently, so another thing worth considering when choosing referral marketing software.  

8. How many customers do you have in your database –

The best referral program software can help to target customers that are relevant for your referral programs across various marketing channels.

The referral program software should be able to integrate with the database you use for your company so that it is possible to upload customer data and run referral marketing campaigns effortlessly. This will allow referral programs to specifically target people who might benefit from them, which in turn makes referrals more likely! You also need to consider how many customers or contacts you have when choosing referral promotion software – if there aren’t enough then they may not work very well.

9. Do you need a system that offers reward points for referrals?

The referral program software you choose should have features allowing to reward clients thanks to their customer loyalty. This will make your referral promotion more interactive and engaging, which in turn can help you run referral campaigns more often, increase the level of customer loyalty and even expand your existing customer base! If there are no rewards offered with referral programs then they may not be effective – that’s yet another thing worth considering when choosing the best referral software.

10. How much data do you want to collect on your customers and prospects ?

The referral marketing software should be able to collect data from referral participants. This will allow you to find out information about your contacts and customers, which can then be used for future marketing campaigns! You also need to consider how much data you want your referral software to gather – if there isn’t enough then it may not work very well.

11. What is the budget?

All referral promotion software has a price so make sure that this won’t put too big of a hole in your pocket before making any decisions! Some referral marketing programs may have higher prices but offer more features or better support while others could come at a lower cost with fewer added benefits. Consider whether money would be better spent elsewhere maybe on different types of marketing activity

12. Do you want the ability to create custom fields in order to capture more information about your customers and prospects ?

The perfect referral marketing program should have features for capturing more data on referral participants. This will allow you to gather useful information, which can then be used for future marketing campaigns! You also need to consider whether or not this is something that would be relevant – if it isn’t, then referral software may still work without custom fields but they won’t function as well.

13. How long do you want referral tracking links to last?

Best referral programs should help create referral links that are able to track referrals over a specific period of time. If referral promotion tracks don’t expire after some time has passed then there could potentially be problems with the way in which your referral promotions are being tracked so make you know how long these types of referral tracking links are allowed to be! You also need to consider whether referral promotion tracks should expire at all – if they don’t, then referral software may still work but there could be problems with the way in which your referral promotions are being tracked.

14. What reporting features do you want?

All referral program software has some type of reporting feature so make sure that any reports will actually provide useful information for future marketing campaigns! Some referral program software may include better reporting while others could come with less added benefits, so decide what kind of reports would be most beneficial for your business before making a decision on this aspect. Think about how many different types of sales or leads referral marketing platforms can help produce and whether more detailed analytics is needed based on these factors.

15. How easy will referral program software be to use?

The referral promotion software should have an intuitive interface so that anyone can create referral links and referral programs without much difficulty! You also need to think about how quickly you want referral programs up and running – if it won’t take long then this could still be a good choice but might not work as well as some other options out there on the market where setting things up is quick and simple.

16. Do you want mobile optimized referral program software ?

All referral promotion platforms are usually available online, however, some may offer more features than others depending on your business needs! Some people may prefer having mobile-optimized referral sites while others don’t see any added benefits to this so it’s important to consider whether referral promotion software should be compatible with mobile devices before making any final decisions.

17. What platforms do referral program software work on ?

Some referral software may only integrate with one or two different types of operating systems, while others could support a wide range! Decide which platform is the best choice for your business and make sure that anything you choose will work well enough before moving forward – otherwise referral links might not track referrals very effectively! You also need to think about what kind of customers would most benefit from using referral links – if they’re all using laptops then having an integrated solution isn’t really necessary but if there are some people who use tablets too then this feature becomes more relevant.

18. Does the software integrate with your website, CRM, and email marketing tools to streamline your customer acquisition process

All referral program software should be integrated with at least one of these tools but some referral links might not integrate very well or work as fluidly in comparison to other referral promotion platforms! Decide how much it matters that referral links are fully functional before making a final decision on this aspect.

19. How long will your trial last? What is the cost for each plan and do you have any discounts available?

Referral promotion programs usually offer some type of free trial period so make sure to think about whether you want something like this first – if there’s no need then trying out referral links may still function as intended, but won’t benefit from added benefits such as having a free trial option available! You also need to consider what kind of referral links you want to use for this – if they aren’t particularly expensive then it might not be necessary to try out different referral program software first.

20. Is there an option for integrating social media into the entire referral process so that customers can refer friends on Facebook or Twitter?

All referral promotion programs should be able to integrate your referral process with social networking sites but some referral links might not work as easily or quickly in comparison! Decide what kind of referral program software you want before moving forward – this aspect will largely depend on how important it is for customers to refer friends over these platforms.

21. Can you customize the rewards in order to incentivize different types of behaviors such as referring new customers vs referring old ones ?

All referral promotion platforms should be customizable in some way and allow referral links to incentivize different behaviors but the intricacies of how referral software work will vary between products so it’s important to think about what you want before making a final decision! You also need to consider whether you’ll need support for these kinds of customization options – if they’re not needed then referral program software might not add any value.

22. How do referral credits get applied? Are there separate referral accounting reports that break down each user’s referrals by source, type, etc.?

Referral credit systems can usually integrate with whatever accounting system is being used within businesses which makes things simpler when it comes time for reporting purposes! Look into the details surrounding this aspect because referral program software will integrate with whatever referral accounting solution is being used and it’s important to consider whether this kind of integration works well.

23. How quickly does referral program software process referral credits? Can you get a refund if the referral credit system doesn’t work properly or on time?

The speed at which referral program software processes referrals depends largely on what platform is chosen but some may be slower than others! Make sure that everything works as intended before making a final decision because refunds might not be possible in case things don’t go according to plan – make sure you’ve decided exactly how much priority should be given to each factor surrounding these kinds of issues beforehand!

The Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Best Referral Marketing Platform

If you run an online business and are looking for a way to increase your sales, there’s no better place to look than at your referral marketing platform. Whether you’re one of the local businesses, or a big company, you can benefit from it.

However, the best referral software is not always the most expensive one. This article talks about how to find out which one is right for you, and it also talks about what you should look for when choosing a company perfect for the needs of your online business.

In this blog post, we’ll cover the different types of referral marketing solutions and what they do best. We’ll also provide tips on how to choose the right one for your needs.

What is a referral marketing platform?

A referral marketing platform is software that helps you to get your existing customers to act as salespeople for your company using various referral programs and referral marketing software tools.

This is how it works: your existing customers turn into genius referrals by encouraging their friends and family members to buy the same products they bought, or sign up for the services they use. In essence, all they have to do is refer a friend (through word of mouth at first, for example), complete the referral process and boom – your referred customers suddenly become your sales leads and, as a result, join your business and convert into loyal customers. This is how you build a referral factory for your business. But how exactly does such a referral factory work?

A referral program is kind of like a loyalty program, but dedicated mostly to businesses with online stores. It works by encouraging the people from your existing customer base to act as brand advocates and share their experiences about your business with others, slowly but effectively growing your referral factory to a satisfactory size. This can be done by giving rewards such as discounts or free products for referrals within the referral programs. One of the biggest advantages of such marketing strategies is that they work a little bit like performance marketing – you only ‘pay’ for the advertising when there are measurable results, for example when a referred customer makes a purchase.

The most important part of this process comes from the fact that you’re not trying to convince someone who doesn’t know you well enough to refer you – they already have an existing relationship with these potential new customers and friends through social media or email lists.

You’ll want to choose an effective referral program software company that will allow them access into those circles so that they can reach out directly to those contacts instead of starting from scratch on every new lead, using word of mouth marketing for example. This way, you can get more referrals in a shorter period of time. And more referrals means a higher possibility of increased customer retention, repeat business opportunities and also better brand awareness. Doesn’t it sound like the perfect recipe to run referral programs?

Types of Referral Platforms

There are many different types of companies offering a reliable customer referral programs today.

Some offer customizable tools for building a referral marketing platform while others provide more automation options (which tend to be priced higher). While some companies only allow email referrals, other referral programs support social media campaigns like Facebook advertising and YouTube videos.

Additionally, there’s also differences in terms of how much data tracking each program offers; some will track individual visits while others can track overall traffic sources down specific pages on a website (and what products that traffic is looking at).

The benefits of referral marketing platform

1. Referral marketing is a great way to increase customer loyalty.

The process of referral marketing helps to turn your current customers into brand ambassadors. They are already familiar with working within the platform and giving referrals, so they’re more likely to continue doing this over time rather than simply forgetting about you after their initial purchase is complete.

What’s even better is that their friends will be much more willing to listen because they trust these recommendations which come from people close to them (and who probably look like them).

By using a referral program instead of traditional advertising methods such as cold calling or email blasts, not only do you get access to new leads but existing clients can help grow your business on autopilot without requiring any extra effort on your part. That means both increased profits and less work for everyone involved!

2. You don’t have to pay for referrals, they come from your customers!

One of the best parts about a good customer referral program is is that you don’t actually pay for your customer referrals. Instead, they are people who would have bought from you anyway but were encouraged to do so by someone close to them because it was in their own interest (not yours).

Customers don’t need anyone’s permission or incentive, like a free trial, if they know what’s good for them; all they require is a platform which will allow them to refer others and get rewarded for doing so. This makes working with customers much easier since there isn’t any convincing involved – it happens naturally when two friends share products together online!

As long as you’ve chosen one of the reliable referral marketing tools on the market, then a lot of the times referrals just come pouring into your business organically as a result. In fact, it’s estimated that roughly 70% of sales come from referrals on average – so this is something you’ll want to take advantage of and gather as many genius referrals as possible! The more referred customers, the better.

With the right referral marketing program in place, customers can refer a friend or family member with just a few clicks or taps since they’re already familiar with your products and services. This means new leads for your business which are more likely to turn into conversions than if you had been personally reaching out through cold calling or Facebook advertising without any background knowledge about these individuals beforehand.

3. It’s a more personal approach than traditional advertising and can be done at any time of the day or night.

Traditional advertising methods such as cold calling and email blasts aren’t nearly as effective for many businesses today.

Many people are opting out of using their personal phone numbers or checking work emails on weekends, so these strategies often end up being fruitless even if they do get sent to the right people since you’re not likely to receive callback requests until business hours resume again (which may be days later depending on how long it takes them to respond).

With referral marketing campaigns, however, there’s no need for scheduling certain times during the day nor having specific time slots open when customers can reach out through live chat or social media platforms like Facebook Messenger. Instead, this automated platform is always available regardless of what time it is at any given moment thanks to its 24/7 feature, so customers can always reach out whenever they want.

Unlike traditional referral marketing programs which require an initial signup or set of steps to take before a referral link or a referral widget is generated and then sent out to friends automatically, with this automated platform everything happens instantly without any extra button-pushing required on your part. So you’ll be able to see results almost instantaneously as well!

All referral requests come through the dashboard where you’re also given access to analytics reports for each campaign separately (meaning if one referral program isn’t doing too well but another is thriving instead, it won’t impact their ability to track referrals independently). That’s because all customer interactions are carefully monitored by the software rather than requiring manual entry.

4. It’s an affordable form of advertising that doesn’t require you to invest in expensive equipment or staff members.

Traditional referral marketing solution is often very expensive, but this automated referral platform is actually one of the most affordable options on the market today.

This means you can pass along hefty savings to your customers through referral incentives without having to raise prices or offer special discounts for buying in bulk since they’ll be receiving them by sharing with their friends and family online automatically.

Customers who have never worked with referral marketing tools before may still feel hesitant about signing up at first because it seems like a complicated process – especially if there’s no real incentive being offered to entice them further! So offering free coupons or a free trial as an initial incentive can help to boost enrollment rates quickly so that more people will begin referring others right away once they see how easy it is to do.

Customers are also more likely to sign up if they see referral incentives being offered for sharing your business using a referral link on their social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

This is because these platforms usually offer the most personalized approach in terms of referrals compared to other referral marketing channels and strategies, such as email blasts, influencer marketing, affiliate program or traditional referral programs that require customers to refer friends through a text message or using word of mouth.

That is exactly what your best referral tools should deliver, too. No matter how you decide to do it, customer acquisition, as well as exceptional customer service should remain your top priorities. A good referral program can often be measured based on the referral program performance: everything that contributes to ensuring that it’s successful and brings profits into the company.

With this automated referral platform, there’s no need for you nor any staff members at all so there’ll be less costs associated with running it too! This means you can keep overhead low while still reaping the benefits of offering referral marketing campaigns without having them eat into profits.

You won’t have to worry about whether or not employees will actually get around to sending out referral requests or referral marketing content on your behalf either since it’ll be done automatically instead.

It’s also easy to set up referral marketing campaigns that are drip-fed with this referral platform, so you can build anticipation for new products and services even before they’re available! This way customers will already know what to look forward to when the time comes (and will feel more inclined to refer others once they see how beneficial sharing is).

For example, if a clothing startup wants their business promoted through a referral program but don’t want people spammed by sending out invite links early on in case word gets around too quickly about their trendy clothes then drip-feeding them over several days leading up to the official launch date allows everyone involved time enough space between each referral campaign to really spread the word. Similar scenarios could apply to companies like insurance agencies, restaurants, real estate enterprises and other businesses that could advocate programs promoting ‘refer a friend’ sort of activities or affiliate program initiatives.

Customers will also be more likely to share your links and refer a friend or a family member if they know that there’s a deadline for signing up so it’ll raise referral rates since people are always looking for good deals too.

It’s up to you who you mange your own referral program to ensure maximum effectiveness. Whether it’s a signup deadline, a free trial or something else, you will always be able to find something that will make your own referral program beneficial, there’s no doubt regarding this.

5. You can track how many people are referring new customers by using referral statistics on the platform.

You can track referral statistics through your referral program to get a better idea of how many people are actually referring new customers.

With traditional referral platforms, you need to manually add each interaction once someone has shared your business with another person which may be difficult to keep up or inaccurate depending on who is doing the tracking and when they’re doing it!

This automated referral program allows you access into customer insights that help improve decision making like knowing what times of day work best for sharing referrals too (and encouraging others) so there’s no more guesswork involved in whether or not something will actually work out well enough.

When businesses run referral programs in a traditional way, they often send out one-off text messages or emails asking their customers if they could share links through various referral platforms but this doesn’t have the same impact as drip-feeding referral marketing content over several days since it makes customers feel more inclined to share instead.

This referral platform allows you to build anticipation leading up to a new product or service launch too so your referral rates will be higher due to people being excited about what’s in store for them!

Customers won’t mind sharing referral links if they’re done automatically by this referral program either; all they need is an incentive that works well enough at eking out their interest like free coupons, an extra free trial, discounts, and/or giftcards (depending on your customer satisfaction goals).

Customers are also likely to refer others when there’s a deadline involved with signing up because everyone loves good deals too which means referral rates will be higher if referral marketing campaigns are drip-fed over several days.

You can also track referral statistics to see how many people are actually referring new customers since it’s automated instead of having someone manually add each interaction when they share something which may or may not be accurate depending on who is doing the tracking and when they do it. Having access to multi campaign capabilities like this is actually highly beneficial.

How to pick the best referral marketing platform for your needs

#1 Identify the goals of your campaign

What marketing goals do you want to achieve? Think about them, as well as how you will monitor key performance indicators. Tracking statistics within your own referral programs is key and referral campaigns should drip-fed over several days to raise referral rates.

Customers will also be more likely to share referral links with their friends and family if they know that there’s a deadline for signing up so it’ll raise referral rates since people are always looking for good deals too!

With traditional referral programs, you need to manually add each interaction once someone has shared your business with another person which may be difficult to keep up or inaccurate depending on who is doing the tracking and when they’re doing it!

This automated referral program allows you access into customer insights that help improve decision making like knowing what times of day work best for sharing referrals too (and encouraging others) so there’s no more guesswork involved in whether or not something will actually work out well enough.

#2 Review your current marketing strategy and see if referral marketing is a good fit

Is referral marketing a good fit for your company, though?

With a good referral marketing program , you can build anticipation leading up to a new product or service launch too so referral rates will be higher due to people being excited about what’s in store for them!

Customers won’t mind sharing referral links if they’re done automatically by this referral program either; all they need is an incentive that works well enough at eking out their interest like free coupons, discounts, and/or giftcards (depending on your customer satisfaction goals).

Customers are also likely to refer others when there’s a deadline involved with signing up because everyone loves good deals too which means referral rates will be higher if referral campaigns are drip-fed over several days. You can even track referral statistics with this referral platform to see how many people actually

#3 Determine how much time you have to dedicate to the project

How long do you have to dedicate towards this referral marketing software?

The referral links can even be automated so customers will share them with their friends and family like it’s no big deal because they’re done automatically too!

This referral program allows you access into customer insights that help improve decision making like knowing what times of day work best for sharing referrals (and encouraging others) too.

There’s no more guesswork involved in whether or not something will actually work out well enough when it comes to referral rates thanks to this referral campaign platform since there is never any manual input required from your team once everything has been set up.

#4 Consider what type of customer base you are looking for

What is the best customer base for your referral marketing software?

It is important to consider the type of customer base you are looking for before making your referral marketing software purchase. For example, if you sell high-end luxury products or services that cater to a more upscale clientele then referral marketing programs with multi-channel capabilities might be something worth exploring further.

If you have an extensive social media following it may also make sense to look into referral software providers who can sync up their platform with yours so that referrals come through seamlessly on each channel without requiring too much work from customers and recipients alike.

If however you are targeting small business owners in particular industries referral networking sites like LinkedIn could be well suited towards your needs as they allow businesses within similar niches to connect online via profiles where users can exchange referral information and referral business cards.

If you sell a product or service that caters to an older demographic referral software providers with CRM capabilities may be worth exploring as well so that your clients can easily keep track of all referral interactions which will help maximize the success of future referrals each client passes along.

#5 Learn which referral marketing platforms are most appropriate for your business model 

What referral program will work best for your business?

At this point it is important to consider which referral platform will work most effectively with your company’s business model. For example, if you are looking for a referral software provider that has an expansive library of customizable referral emails then another referral marketing solution might be better suited towards the needs of your small business.

It is also worth noting that depending on the size and type of product or service you sell there may be certain referral marketing platforms out there who have pre-built email templates which can save you time when trying to create well customized messages yourself.

#6 Conduct market research on each platform and compare their features against one another

What sort of features can a good referral software solution offer on each platform?

Once you’ve narrowed down your referral program software list to a few finalists, it is time to do some deep diving research on the various referral software providers and their unique offerings.

Some types of referral program software will have advanced referral tools for analytics and monitoring that provide very detailed information about how successful referrals from customers turn out over time, while other referral marketplaces may be better suited for those who wish to develop their own customized email campaigns as opposed to leveraging pre-made ones.

It’s also worth noting here that some referral networking sites like LinkedIn offer both free and paid services with different levels of access so make sure you understand which type of account best fits your referral marketing needs.

Another important thing to look into is the referral software’s mobile app capabilities, especially if you are looking for referral marketplaces where clients can join your loyalty programs via smartphones and tablets in addition to desktops.

The last but not least factor that should come into play when choosing a referral platform is whether or not they have free trial periods so that you can get an idea of how well their referral engine works before laying down any money on it.

There are also many other factors worth considering at this stage such as pricing structures, security protocols, technical support options etc., depending on what type of business you run these categories may be more critical than others so make sure you know which features matter most to your company’s unique referral marketing goals.

#7 Evaluate how much time it will take to implement each type of system 

How much referral marketing implementation time is required?

Even the best referral software providers will still require a certain degree of investment on your part in terms of learning curve.

If you are looking for referral marketplaces that offer customizable referral emails then it’s safe to assume that you’ll need to spend some time tweaking these messages to fit them into your unique business model, especially if they’re being sent out en masse across different lists and groups.

The other factor which should be considered at this stage is how long each platform requires users go through its onboarding process before allowing them access to their referral engine dashboard.

Depending on what type of product or service you sell there may be more than one referral channel needed so with pre-built integrations such as Shopify referral platforms, you’ll need to make sure that these referral engines are easy enough for your team members to set up on their own.

There may also be certain referral program software solutions where it’s necessary to work with a dedicated account manager so if this is the case then make sure they communicate well and are available during business hours before making any decisions.

How long does each onboarding process take?

Depending on how many referral channels you have or plan on having with one referral software provider, there will most likely be different rates of complexity depending on how much time is required in order for users go through all relevant steps which lead towards setting up campaigns, tracking referrals etc.,

Some referral marketplaces offer very detailed user manuals complete with detailed video tutorials so that users can go through the onboarding process at their own pace while other referral software providers may have a very streamlined referral engine which makes it easier to get up and running quickly.

#7 Choose a platform based on these criteria and start implementing!

What referral marketing program should you choose?

The referral software industry is growing rapidly and there are many different referral platforms to choose from depending on your specific needs.

Some referral networks like LinkedIn offer free and paid services with various levels of access so make sure you understand which type of account best fits your referral marketing goals.

The last but not least factor that should come into play when choosing a referral platform is whether or not they have free trial periods so that you can get an idea of how well their referral engine works before laying down any money on it.

There are also many other factors worth considering at this stage such as pricing structures,the possibility to automate referrals, security protocols, technical support options, partner programs and so on. Depending on the type of business, these categories may be more or less critical.

6 questions to ask when choosing a referral platform 

#1 What is the cost of your service and how does it compare to other options on the market

Of course, it will always matter what is the price to pay!

First things first, referral marketing software is not free and you will need to pay a certain amount in order to get access. Some referral marketplaces such as LinkedIn also offer paid services which may or may not be worth considering depending on your business model.

The good news is that there are referral platforms out there whose pricing structure doesn’t change no matter how many referrals you send so this type of platform can be very cost-effective for small businesses with low customer volume but high referral conversion rates.

Other referral channels charge based on the number of contacts sent across so these types of tools should only be used by companies who already have extensive lists and experience with their automated referral engine since it could end up costing them than they would like if they don’t send enough referral requests on a monthly basis.

#2 What features are included in your service, such as integrations or customer support?

Customers who will use this type of software should expect that it’s very easy-to-use but also come packed with various options including customizable analytics dashboards so they know how well their campaign is doing at all times.

#3 How easy is it to use – do you have a demo available for me to try out before I sign up?

Depending on the referral engine, there are various levels of difficulty in setting up referral marketing software.

Some referral platforms come with very detailed user manuals complete with video tutorials so that users can go through all necessary steps without having to rely on any support staff while other referral engines may need more time for end-users who want access to advanced features such as tracking referrals across different channels or creating multiple referral campaigns simultaneously.

Of course, since this is a new type of technology it’s also important to consider whether you have an option to contact their technical team in order to get help when things aren’t working properly which could be somewhat tricky.

#4 What type of customers will this platform work best with (smaller businesses, larger companies)   

Generally referral platforms are designed to work with any type of business no matter whether their volume is low or high since referral marketing can be very effective for both cases. However, it’s always worth noting that some referral engines may have a limited range of features which could significantly impact the number of referrals sent across by your customers so make sure you carefully check this before signing up.

#5 Is there any way for my business’s referral program to be unique from others on the market?

Some referral platforms may offer customization options for referral marketing software tools to be unique depending on the type of business while others will come with various features including customizable referral templates which can help you create original referral emails.

A key thing to look out for when choosing a referral platform is whether your customers are able to easily track their referrals’ progress across different channels. Some referral engines make referral tracking software very simple by granting users access to comprehensive analytics dashboards where they can monitor key performance indicators.

Examples include: how many new sales leads have been generated, most recent conversions, what type of a reward clients get – all in one place without having to rely on any special skills or complicated metrics tools. Now, isn’t it what the best loyalty programs should have?

#6 Do I need any special training or knowledge about technology, design, or marketing in order to use this product?

Depending on referral platform, there is a range of levels of difficulty when it comes to referral software. If the referral engine offers step-by-step user manuals with video tutorials then you won’t need any specific knowledge or training in order to use this type of technology – if anything, users will find the installation process very easy and straightforward since everything has been designed from their point of view.

However, some referral engines may offer highly customizable dashboards which means that business owners who want access to more advanced features such as tracking referrals across different channels will have to rely on technical support team.

This is all in case they get stuck somewhere along the way, so make sure that your chosen referral software isn’t too complicated for non-tech savvy customers.

What should I look for in referral marketing software?

There are several key features to consider when looking into various referral program software:

* Channel Integration/Multi-Channel – Does this particular referral network integrate seamlessly across social media, email newsletters and other channels, meaning customers do not need to post multiple times on different networks? If yes then they likely have channel integration options like API access which would allow them to sync up with existing systems such as CRM software so referral marketing can be easily incorporated into your overall business strategy.

Does this referral platform offer multi-channel integration across social media, email newsletters and other channels?

* Customer Support – How much customer support is included with their service? Is it 24/hr live chat or phone access where I will get to speak to a representative immediately if needed? Will there be tutorials available for me to learn the ropes before having any issues pop up later on down the road when trying out new features like referral surveys ? 

How fast does their team respond via phone or email during off hours (if offered) & what are typical response times throughout the week in regards of customer service inquiries that arise from customers using referral platforms over time?

* Customization options – Does this referral platform allow for customization? Some referral platforms offer custom referral page designs, referral tracking URLs and other customizable features.

Does the referral software come with pre-made templates or can I upload my own image/logo to be featured on our referral landing site?   

What level of customization is included in your service (i.e., design, text)?

* Decision making tools – What decision making tools are offered by this referral platform ? Can you create a multi-level contest where customers get rewarded when they refer others who also go on to make purchases themselves down the road? 

Do any type of contests or sweepstakes come as part of using their system as well as what referral marketing software?

* Reporting and Analytics – What type of referral reports can I view with this referral platform ? Is there a dashboard where I can see what channels customers are engaging from, who the top referrers in my network are or when was the last time someone referred new customers to me through your referral system.

What kind of referral analytics data is included with their service (i.e., channel integration)?

How often does it update? Do you have any integrations that will allow for customizable reporting features such as Google Analytics & other CRM platforms like Salesforce etc.?     

* Referral Emails – Does this referral platform offer email templates that promote referrals and motivate people to your referral program and send along friends to make a purchase?

Does referral software allow you to set up referral email templates that will get sent out automatically when someone has referred someone else through the referral program.

* Referral Marketing Culture – Does this referral platform have any social sharing features? Can they integrate easily with other systems I use like CRM, eCommerce and analytics tools ? What are some of their key success stories for previous customers who implemented referral marketing using this product or service in the past? Who uses it currently on my behalf as well as how can others spread awareness about our referral campaign if we decide to choose them over another option available on the market right now?

Four-step checklist for picking the perfect referral marketing software

Now that you know what types of a customer referral program there are available, it’s time to start shopping. Here are four tips on what you should look for while looking for the best referral programs out there:

Price Range – Most companies offer several different price ranges depending on how much automated work they do and how many features they provide. You’ll want to make sure their prices fit within your budget so that you won’t need to hire extra employees just to keep up with campaign tasks.

Technology Compatibility – While most referrals will be done through email or social media these days, some people still prefer phone calls over anything else (while others may use text messages instead). You’ll want to find a referral platform that can integrate with your current technology, including the phone system, so that you can incorporate and use various techniques, like email marketing, SMS marketing, social media and so on . Customer Service – A good referral tracking software company will have representatives available 24/7.

Services Offered – Some companies specialize in certain personalized referral campaigns more than others. If you don’t want to deal with customer service or other aspects of referral management then it’s best to go for a referral program designed specifically for what you need.

Time Commitment Required – Depending on how automated the types of your referral marketing campaigns are, you could be spending anywhere from under ten minutes per day all the way up to several hours every single day depending on how complex your personalized referral campaigns are and which features they offer.

Evaluating Referral Platforms against One Another 

Now that we’ve discussed some basic referral platform requirements and what referral platforms are out there, it’s time to compare different types of referral marketing programs against one another.

Just like choosing a college major or an apartment complex, the best and most effective referral program for you might not be perfect for someone else.

For this reason, you’ll need to find one that meets your specific needs. Examples could include driving customer acquisition, incorporating word of mouth type of marketing, promoting brand awareness or offering having your own referral program or affiliate program to customize and tailor.

Data Amount – The amount of data available depends on how much automation they offer. You can get great results with manual campaigns but automated ones will provide more precise statistics about who is sharing content and when which means better insights into each customer interaction.

Marketing Focus – Some referral marketing solutions have multiple focuses including social media management tools while others are designed specifically for referrals only (for example by focusing exclusively on email).

Ease-of-Use – Referral program software is designed to make campaigns easier for businesses of all sizes when choosing the right marketing channels to promote their businesses through. You may need training or professional help if you aren’t familiar with technology, but once you understand how to run referral programs, it should be much simpler to manage them on your own.

Cost – Referral platform prices vary widely based on the service provided and other factors. Some companies have monthly fees that include everything while others charge per referral or use a pay-as-you go model where customers only pay when they want more features added

Time Commitment – While referral program software will take away some tasks from business owners so that they can focus their efforts elsewhere, most still require at least ten minutes each day in order to set up new referral content, check analytics reports, and manage customer interactions.

The referral platform you choose will depend on your unique needs and goals, so it’s important not to rush the process, especially if referral software is a new concept for your company.

Don’t forget that referral platforms are designed to work together with social media management tools or other referral programs in order to get better results from all of your efforts!

Services Offered – Some companies specialize in certain types of referrals more than others. If you don’t want to deal with customer service or other aspects of referral management, then it’s best to go for a referral program designed specifically for what you need.

Over to you

We hope that our guide will help you pick the best referral marketing software for your needs. Finding the best referral marketing tools in the sea full of average and below-the-average solutions can be time consuming, which is why this article should make it a bit less challenging for you. Genius referrals are at your fingerprints – you just need to learn how to spot them.

Do you know any referral marketing programs worth recommending, based on your experience? Let us know in the comments below!

You can also check what EarlyParrot gets up its sleeves – we have a lot of features for you to check out.

Referral Marketing – The Ultimate Guide for 2021

Referral marketing is an inexpensive and effective way to grow your business. It’s free, easy to learn, and can be done by anyone in the company.

This guide will teach you everything you need to know about referral marketing including how it works, why it’s important for your business growth, things to consider before starting a referral program, and more!

What is referral marketing and how does it work?

Referral marketing is the practice of encouraging customers to make referrals. It’s a referral program where you provide incentives for your existing customer base to refer new buyers or leads. There are three types: Word-of-mouth, incentivized and advocate referral schemes.

referral program set-up

You may be wondering how it can help grow your business? Well according to statistics from MarketingSherpa, 84% of people trust recommendations from friends and family over other forms of advertising like TV ads, social media posts, billboards or email blasts!

And it makes sense since everyone wants what their friend has – they have more faith in that product because someone they know personally recommends it to them instead of some random ad online. Referral marketing taps into this powerful referral program and encourages existing customers to refer more people.

What should you consider before starting referral marketing for your business?

referral program conditions

There are several things that can be considered when thinking about this powerful tool, including: product, budget, goals & objectives, and more!

#1 Product

What is the core of your referral campaign? Is it a service or product referral program? This varies from company to company but either way make sure you have enough products/services being referred so there’s something in it for everyone. You don’t want anything negative like someone not getting paid because referrals were low due to lack of supply.

#2 Budget is your main referral program asset

Keep in mind how much money will go into this project since it may require incentives for participants as discounts on future purchases or other referral incentives.

The referral program should also have a budget for tools like referral software and referral marketing agency.

Do you need brands, logos or graphics? Make sure to include the cost of these as well!

If there is a referral contest associated with your referral campaign, be sure to factor in prizes such as giveaways (e.g., iPads), gift cards from Amazon and other popular online retailers, etc. The average consumer will not participate if they feel that it’s not worth their time so make sure this incentive is worthwhile enough to increase participation rates!

You don’t want your referrals being too low because incentives are unattractive – people are lazy! Keep them motivated by providing something that matters to them so can benefit too.

#3 Goal & Objectives

What do you hope referral marketing will accomplish for your business? This is an important step because if there isn’t a well-defined goal then it could end up being very ineffective (or even harmful) to your business growth and revenue. Make sure every company action has clear objectives that are defined from the start of creating referral campaigns!

Referral schemes work by incentivizing customers with discounts or rewards when they refer someone else whether it’s through word-of-mouth, advocate or incentivized referrals.

It refers to any positive information about a product/service that spreads via personal conversation between two people who trust each other while advocate referral programs incentivize customers to become referral marketers by offering additional incentives for new referrals.

Incentivized referral programs give a reward or incentive when someone makes a referral of their own, so it’s the best way to get more people involved in your referral marketing campaign for better customer acquisition.

The difference between referral marketing and word-of-mouth referral

Word-of-mouth referral marketing is when your customers talk about their positive experience with your company and refer new potential buyers. It’s an excellent way to spread the word that you provide a certain product or service since it comes from someone they trust! The main difference between referral marketing and word of mouth referral program is who delivers the message: referral marketers are paid for referrals while WOMM can be free, but may not always deliver results as effectively due to lack of budget.

referral marketing specifics

Incentivized referral programs vs advocate referral programs

Incentivized referral programs are when your customers refer someone new to your company and they receive a reward or incentive for referrals. This is considered an effective referral program because the customer has more of an interest in making sure their referral works out than just doing it as a favor.

On the other hand, advocate referral models involve bonus incentives that go only to advocates who have referred multiple people which means there’s more at stake since they’re putting their reputation on the line if things don’t work out!

Advocates also tend to be brand ambassadors – loyal fans who will happily share how great you are with others so this may encourage even more positive word-of-mouth referral marketing campaigns!

The difference between referral marketing and affiliate marketing

Referral marketing is very similar to affiliate marketing but referral marketers are rewarded for their referral while affiliates receive a commission. Both forms reward customers with incentives in return for sharing your business on their own personal channels, whether it’s through social media or word-of-mouth referrals!

referral marketing specifics

Why do businesses need referred customers

Referral marketing is an inexpensive and effective way to grow your business. It’s free, easy to learn, and can be done by anyone in the company!

This guide will teach you referral marketing basics including how it works, why it’s important for your business growth, things to consider before starting a referral program like choosing referral advocate rewards or incentives that are appropriate for everyone involved since advocates may have different preferences when it comes time to redeem them.

It’s also good practice with referral marketers who refer someone new between two and five times per month to maintain their status as tier one referral marketer. On the other hand, if they refer someone new more than six times per month, they should be elevated to tier two referral marketer.

How to create a successful referral program

When creating referral marketing campaigns, keep in mind referral marketers are rewarded for their referral while affiliates receive a commission. Both forms of referral programs reward customers with incentives in return for sharing your business on their own personal channels, whether it’s through social media or word-of-mouth referrals!

referral program activities

What should you do?

If you’re running such campaigns, start by defining the goals and strategy to ensure everyone involved is working towards achieving them.

If you want to see an increase in sales revenue but aren’t sure how many new leads should be generated each month as a result of this campaign – that will affect the program design significantly since different referral advocate rewards may be needed depending on these KPIs (Key Performance Indicators).

The benefits of referral marketing for your business 

Types of rewards you can offer in your program? Here they go!

#1 Cash

Cash referral reward is by far the most common referral advocate incentive. It’s a popular choice because it provides instant gratification for advocates and allows them to spend their earnings as they wish!

If you’re planning on incentivizing your referral program with cash giveaways, here are some tips that will help increase participation rates in programs like these:

– include clear instructions when designing email campaigns so customers know how to refer people to generate sales revenue or earn referral bonuses themselves;

– provide an easy way to track referrals (a unique referral link generated through share buttons) and make sure everyone involved knows where those links should be sent – whether its social media or via WOMM.

#2 Discounts

Discount referral reward is the second most popular incentive type in referral marketing. It’s a great choice for companies who want to offer incentives that are easy for advocates and their referrals to redeem, but still provide some value!

referral program software

If you’re planning on incentivizing your referral program with discounts, here are some tips that will help increase participation rates:

– make sure everyone involved knows where those links should be sent – whether its social media or via word of mouth;

– include clear instructions when designing email campaigns so customers know how to refer people to generate sales revenue or earn referral bonuses themselves;

– follow up with every advocate after they’ve referred someone new and ask them if everything was clearly explained

#3 Free products

Free product referral reward is a great choice for companies who are looking to get more brand exposure. Since advocates will have the opportunity to share products completely free of charge, they’re likely going to be excited about promoting your business!

#4 Referral fee

Referral fee referral reward is a great choice if your referral campaign targets businesses. If you’re looking to get best customers in the door, it’s likely that referral fees will be an added bonus for them!

If you choose referral fee as your incentive type, here are some tips:

– decide whether or not these funds should grow over time since referral advocates may need more and more money from referrals to cover their own product costs;

– include clear instructions when designing email campaigns so clients know how to refer people to generate sales revenue or earn referral bonuses themselves;

How to execute the perfect referral marketing strategy

The most important thing about referral marketing is having a well thought strategy behind it which sets up clear objectives with measurable results. A plan helps brands like yours attract potential clients more easily by utilizing socials and sharing content online. That’s what is called referral marketing!

referral marketing statistics

Other referral marketing strategies to keep in mind are:

– creating a referral program for your business that’s easy for customers to understand and participate in;

– follow up with every advocate after they’ve referred someone new and ask them if everything was clearly explained when referring people through referral links!

Make sure everyone knows what referral rewards will look like and how much those costs should add up to be.

This means strategizing all of these details before you even launch a referral campaign online or offline! Referral marketing strategies are incredibly powerful because they’re able to generate more than just one sale, but many which can lead into repeat customers over time as well. Just make sure you’re prepared to manage referral marketing campaigns – and the rewards that come with them!

Examples from companies who have successfully used referral campaigns in the past

#1 Dropbox referral program

Dropbox referral marketing campaign is a great example of referral reward structure done right. Dropbox used referral fee as their referral advocate incentive type, and it worked like magic – they got 100 million users in just two years, and many satisfied users.

referral marketer

The reason why this particular referral strategy was so effective for the company could be explained by various factors: 

– referral fees were high enough to motivate advocates (they needed to refer someone new to get $75);

– there wasn’t any limit on how many people an individual customer can refer;

#2 AirBNB referral marketing program

AirBNB referral campaign is another great example of referral marketing strategies done right. This referral fee was a $25 discount for both new and existing happy customers – it motivated advocates to refer more people, but also rewarded them at the same time!

AirBNB referral program could be successful because of the referral fee they chose – $25 discount was a generous enough amount to motivate advocates, but not too much that it would put AirBNBs costs for rewards on top. That’s also a great idea of how existing customer base was used.

Booking.com had a very similar campaign.

Tips on how to make sure customers are happy with their experience when they refer others 

– referral links can be generated through share buttons so advocates will always know where they should send their new leads;

– keep the conversation going with every referral advocate by asking them how everything was explained when referring someone to receive rewards. In other words, make sure everyone knows what referral rewards will look like and how much those costs should add up to be! This means strategizing all of these details before you even launch a referral campaign online or offline – it’s that important! 

Your referral marketing strategy should revolve around happy customers who are a part of your marketing plan.

By building customer interaction in your referral widget or referral app, you can spend your marketing budget wisely and make referral business model your next marketing channel for core business lead generation.

Why content is king in the world of referral marketing

Content marketing is really important for referral marketing as it can impact on providing customers, benefiting current customers, getting more referred leads and growing customer bases! Content is king, so it’s important for referral marketing campaigns to stand out from the crowd.

This way, your referral program may succeed – even if you don’t believe that content can bring you new customers and intensify marketing efforts!

referral marketing strategy content

How to create captivating referral marketing content?

How to create captivating referral marketing content? Think about what makes people tick and focus on giving them something that they need or want instead of selling directly to them.

Building relationships with customers will eventually lead to brand loyalty which results in a sustainable referral campaign. Here are some ideas:  write an ebook, publish case studies, record webinars or offer white papers so as not to be pushy and to give customers something of value.

Provide referral program incentives that are attractive for your audience: what makes referral marketing so powerful is the fact that it’s not only about referral codes and cash back, but also about new products or exclusive deals which attract attention with great benefit.

Rewards vs bonuses

When it comes to rewards versus bonuses in referral marketing, referral program managers must determine the type of reward that an individual referral partner receives.

Usually bonuses are larger than rewards and they can be offered as a way to thank referral partners for their efforts or for encouraging them to achieve certain goals in the future (like reaching a specific number of sales).

referral links

Rewards may also come in different forms: some people prefer cash-back while others would rather receive discounts on products from your store – just make sure you know what makes each referral partner happy!

Social currency can be a win win win situation for you too, if you count on higher profit margins. You may also want to leverage online forums to raise brand awareness and reach to your target market.

Even if most customers of your business came to you e.g. via Facebook ads or other purchasing decisions, referral marketing works as an entire process for getting to your targeted audience in no time. No matter if you run a business based on a custom built solution, or you are a small business – with referred leads, you can have complete control over how your product or service performs!

Tips for turning visitors into customers and customers into advocates 

#1 Offer them value

You can use referral marketing as a great word of mouth marketing tactics to not only make customer interactions, but also deliver value. A referral program won’t work unless you’re able to provide referral partners with something that they want or need, so make sure your referral marketing strategy includes a sense of value which is important for all parties involved.referral marketing strategy principles

At the end of the day, making every referral partner happy will pay off big time and keep them coming back!  If people don’t feel like referring their friends because there’s no incentive, then it defeats the purpose in setting up at all – think about how much money you could be losing out on just by not having enough referrals going through!

Rewards may also come in different forms: some people prefer cash-back while others would rather receive discounts on products from your store – just make sure you know what makes each referral partner happy!  Referral partners are more likely to refer new customers if there’s something in it for them so don’t be shy about dangling referral incentives that attract attention.

#2 Promote your referral program extensively

Promoting referral marketing campaigns is another important factor to keep in mind.

Make sure you have an active referral program set up and use your referral links everywhere on the web! Don’t be afraid of putting referral codes all over your website, social networks and even offline – print them out on business cards.

referral marketing options

You can also promote it through other businesses which are similar so make partnerships with companies that serve a similar clientele if possible since they may want to refer customers who visit their store(s) again through your own referral campaign (giving away gift certificates for referrals).

#3 Determine type of rewards

When it comes to referral marketing, referral program managers must determine the type of reward that an individual referral partner receives. Usually bonuses are larger than rewards and they can be offered as a way to thank referral partners for their efforts or for encouraging them to achieve certain goals in the future (like reaching a specific number of sales).

Rewards may also come in different forms: some people prefer cash-back while others would rather receive discounts on products from your store – just make sure you know what makes each referral partner happy!

referral marketing messages

At the end of the day, making every referral partner happy will pay off big time and keep them coming back! If people don’t feel like referring their friends because there’s no incentive, then it defeats the purpose in setting up at all – think about how much money you could be losing out on just by not having enough referrals going through!

So remember: always offer great incentives to drive more conversions since getting new customers through referral links can lead into repeat sales over time as well.

The best thing you can do for a referral campaign is to provide people with an incentive which motivates them to share content on social platforms like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn – reaching their friends as well and making sure they get familiar enough with your brand!

#4 Identify the best promotional channels

Promoting referral marketing campaigns is another important factor to keep in mind. You should know which channels will work best for your affiliate efforts!

What are the best channels for referral marketing program?

Of course, it depends! Email marketing is great since referral partners are usually your most loyal customers – they trust you and know that whatever offer you have out there, it’s a good one.

referral marketing efforts for marketers

You may also try offline channels for promotion. Promote referral links at events or any sort of offline trade show that you attend – referral marketing is a great way to meet new people and stay in touch! You can also mention referral codes when talking about sharing content online such as Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn with friends, as it can affect lead generation of any grooming company.

There are tons of ways for promoting referral marketing campaigns so think outside the box and use all your promotional channels to reach more customers through referrals if possible!

#5 Make sure you know your target group and their needs

Knowing your customer base and what they want is also important.

Who are referral marketing customers?

They’re usually people who trust you enough to buy from them! You can offer services through online channels like Facebook or Twitter, but referral partners will be most loyal customers – in fact, their friends might not have even heard of your store yet so make sure referral codes allow for easier sharing on social media platforms since that’s the whole point behind referral marketing campaigns anyway: reach more potential clients by using referrals as a way to increase traffic!

Customer referrals can be a huge asset in your referral process and a shining star in your referral marketing software. Next referred customers can keep bringing more happy customer over social media, enhancing your digital marketing strategy and making your existing customers even more loyal!

referral strategy for marketers

For example, let’s say Coffee Joe likes going out at night after work with his friends (all coworkers) and he always goes to Cafe Latte during those times because it offers good deals if you come after certain hours of the day. Joe tells his friends about Cafe Latte and they’re interested in coming over for a cup themselves – so referral marketing comes into play since you have loyal customers who are willing to share great deals with their friends!

High performing referral programs base on huge and vast referral marketing work. Social media are a great connector between traditional marketing and marketing tactics to make a referral process easy. Use referral marketing to make the most of your customers acquired in the past (and all their friends!).

#6 Research where from referrals are coming now!

Another important aspect of referral marketing campaigns is to know where referral traffic comes from!

You should pay attention not only to the number of referrals you get but also which channels are the most effective in producing referral partners for example – social media like Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn may be great ways to reach more potential customers through their friends so make sure you’re checking out what’s working best for your business before starting a referral campaign.

referral marketing ideas

It’s all about research: knowing how many referrals come from each channel as well as seeing how conversion rates can improve with one referral partner over another will help you keep track on results and always have an eye on changes when it comes down to running successful affiliate programs and referral marketing program.

#7 Create captivating promotional materials for word of mouth marketing

Customers are more likely to share referral links if they think it’s a compelling offer – so make sure you create great referral material for your campaign!

Check out other referral program and see what works the best or even try asking your referral partners how they would like to be rewarded with their efforts. You can keep up with different promotions but always remember that having an effective strategy will rely on rewarding customers who want to support you in making new business while generating leads at the same time!

How to go about sharing referral codes?

So, start sharing referral codes everywhere possible: online (where most people spend their free time) as well as offline (trade shows and events). With some creativity and good referral marketing software, any place could become a spot for promoting referral marketing campaigns for referral partners to share referral links with their friends!

referral marketing opportunities

You should definitely check out marketing channels for inspiration on how your referral process can look like. Check out Shopify’s referral program as an example of a referral marketing campaign that works by rewarding customers with 15% off new referrals within the first month and later generating discounts for both referral partners and referred clients when they come back together again – not only is this a great way to increase customer loyalty but it also guarantees high levels of ROI (return on investment) from running such campaigns since most people will return after receiving discounted goods or services.

Social media are key in any modern digital strategy, so make sure you’re checking out what networks work best for your business before deciding on a referral marketing software.

The future of referral marketing – what’s coming next and how it will affect you as a business owner?

The future of referral marketing is bright and has a lot to offer for businesses who want to get ahead in the digital world. From other customers that will increase revenue, customer acquisition with social referrals as well as all sorts of referral software – there are plenty ways through which referral marketing can help your business grow!

There’s an abundance of referral partners out there – it just takes finding them and making effective use of every way possible so make sure you’re not missing out on any referral program by running one yourself or taking advantage from existing ones!

Referral and mobile – power couple?

Don’t forget about mobile: more people than ever before have access to smartphones so try looking into how apps play a role in building successful referral campaigns (and don’t go thinking referral marketing programs are limited to desktop only anymore!)

Data and referral – power couple!

Another important aspect of referral marketing is using referral data and metrics. You should pay attention not only to the number of referrals you get but also which channels are the most effective in producing referral partners. Best customers are loyal satisfied customers, often even better than family members. And they can be great for your referral efforts, bringing this valuable social currency into play for your business.

Say goodbye to formal referral program, once and for all.

Referral marketing 2021: what works, and what doesn’t?

Referral marketing is a powerful form of marketing that has proven to be very effective for businesses. Referral marketing can work especially well in the 2021 economy, where consumers are more conscious about their spending and want to make sure they’re getting value when they spend on something. This blog post will explore what works and doesn’t with referral marketing so you can get the most bang for your buck!

Affiliate marketing is hotter than ever. With Instagram and Youtubers taking a big slice of the pie, it might feel like referrals are only for the already rich and famous. However, there’s a subtle group of affiliate marketers placing strategic links in their high-volume blog posts. Either through explicitly calling out a product or just linking to it, affiliate marketing is booming without anybody seeing the behind=the-scenes work.

There is, of course, the small ask of getting that post seen by the right audience. So we are talking about referral marketing exploiting SEO. It’s no good writing a blog post and inserting affiliate links. And if you’re not Instagram-famous, search engines remain the largest platform for your blog posts to be read.

Dominic Kent, Founder. https://first500words.org

Going the extra mile for subscribers can do a lot for your business. Everytime someone interacts with your company (e.g. via Whatsapp chatbot), they should be left feeling great, even after a complaint. So, being able to fulfil your customer’s needs always results in something good. The main point is that you should always be nice to your loyal consumers, no matter what.

What doesn’t work is not doing anything about something your customers care about. For example, not dealing with their complaints and ignoring their inquiries. By doing these things, you can lose customers and destroy your brand at the same time. No matter how difficult it is, always put your customers first and find a way to deal with their complaints in an understanding and professional way.

Ebnu Sudarso, Co-Founder of Milkwhale

Referral marketing has transformations in recent years due to the increase of customer acquisition costs and the decrease price of used customers. Agencies who are looking for a reasonable return on their investment should ideally target new customers, meaning referral marketing will likely become more expensive. Approaches that come out ahead with buying new customers is the use of word-of-mouth advertising, organic exposure within social networks, and active media mix engagement. Ad dos that work well? A single paid placement will normally do better than sustained “word-of-mouth” campaigns – but reliability is questionable for one campaign.

Maciej Biegajewski, LiveWebinar

What would work in referral marketing in 2021?
1. Before kicking off referral marketing, make sure you build your fan base with your existing customers. Not any customer will contribute until he/she is a brand loyalist.
2. CSAT score is an important metric to target your customers for referral marketing
3. Target specific group of your existing customers for referral marketing
4. Keep the incentives useful, genuine by knowing what your customers need
5. Keep your incentives recurring than a one-time thing

Rangarajan Nallappa, Marketing Lead, www.vmaker.com

1. Don’t build partnerships just based on social media stats

While establishing partnerships with referral ambassadors, don’t just run behind their social media stats such as follower counts, likes, etc.

Pick influencers that are relevant to your business/product, even if their follower base is not too high.

More importantly, pick the ones that have a healthy relationship with their online followers.

2. Respect the referrals

Once a referral reaches your platform, you have limited time to convert them to customers. The best way to do so is by personalizing your message to them.

Give them information on why your platform is a right fit for them and how it can help ease their life.

Also, inceltivize their membership by providing them with discounts and other benefits for availing your services.

3. Don’t complicate the referral process:

Work on keeping the referral process simple and easy to understand. Educate your existing customers about why your product/service needs to be promoted and what they’ll get in return for their effort.

Avoid implementing complex forms, asking too much personal details, etc.

Vineet Gupta, Digital Marketing Team Lead, https://5minutesseo.com/

There are many ways to use referral marketing. Some of these methods work- and some, despite their huge popularity, just don’t.

The majority of marketers who use referral marketing choose to spread the word about their product through online communities like Facebook groups or forums. They often offer rewards for active members in the group who do more than just commit to joining; they also offer merchandise or free demonstrations with exchangeable referrals (receiving a share when someone signs up).
It’s harder for marketer’s messages on social media sites to be seen because of all the other spamming going on there- so it really depends whether someone wants a wider audience or not.

Julien Roy, Sparkbay

When we talk about 2021 referral marketing trends, influencers will have bigger impact and become more important. Nowadays, influencers are always more effective than you when it comes to selling anything. They have a large number of social interactions and followers for them, which can help you to drive hyper-targeted traffic. Not to mention they also help you gain trust in your customers by stating highly valuable reviews on your product to the audiences. ​In this case, smart marketers will be looking forward to use influencers for their referral marketing strategy

Meanwhile, one referral marketing trend that has to go away is relying on one, single offer only. Today’s savvy marketers always seek to diversify, looking for different products and services to satisfy their target customers. Therefore, they start partnering with new affiliates or diversifying their own offers.

Andre Oentoro, CEO of Breadnbeyond

Referral marketing still works wonders in 2021. This word-of-mouth marketing is one of the effective ways to acquire new customers almost easily. Although referral marketing happens almost naturally, you can boost it up by making the right strategy to connect with your target audience.
Making viral content is excellent when you want huge coverage and exposure about your brand. When people start talking about you, chances are more people will get in the thread and tag their friends to discuss your product. While this is a powerful tactic, it can go wrong when you don’t do it correctly.
Once your content goes viral, you can undo it or simply neglect its existence when it goes wrong. That’s why you need to be careful before creating new content. Although virality is key to your brand’s exposure, making unethical and provoking content for the sake of getting attention will leave your brand a bad impression, which can’t be changed easily over the years.

Natasha Rei, Digital Marketing Manager at Explainerd

#ParrotInspires: Types of referrals

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

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

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

Types of referrals – a quick breakdown

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

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

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

Referral sources

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

  1. Reputation based referrals

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

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

  1. Experience-based referrals

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

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

  1. Specialized-based referral

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

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

Method of communication and trigger

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

  1. Direct referrals

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

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

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

  1. Implied referrals

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

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

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

  1. Tangible referrals

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

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

  1. Community referrals

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

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

Medium of communication

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

  1. Social media

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

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

source 

  1. Email

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

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

  1. SMS

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

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

To recap 

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

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

Social media marketing and referral marketing – a power couple?

Marketers are constantly seeking new and unique promotional ways to boost the performance of the businesses they work for. Usually, the key is to attract as many people as possible in order to acquire new customers. There are numerous marketing methods, but not all of them are effective. 

In this article, we will share with you our perfect recipe for gaining new customers quickly. The perfect duo which will give a new meaning to your marketing strategy is here. All you need is a strong social media presence and a good referral program. You will be surprised how well these two go hand-in-hand together and can change your business forever.

Let’s jump in!

What is social media marketing?

We hear the term ‘social media marketing’ a lot, right? But what exactly is it? It might seem pretty obvious, but it is actually a lot more complex than it may seem. In short, social media marketing refers to the use of social media platforms and websites to promote products and/or services as well as brands, movements, events, people, and much more. 

Nowadays, social media marketing plays an important role in digital advertising as it involves encouraging various audiences to engage with brands and perform specific actions. Companies that want to promote their businesses will usually advertise their activities on platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and now also TikTok, just to name a few examples. 

The importance of social media

Let’s look at some of the key statistics regarding social media for this year:

  • Facebook is the most commonly used social media platform worldwide.

Most popular social networks worldwide as of January 2021, ranked by number of active users (source).

  • On average, people spend 2 hours, 25 minutes on social media every day

source

source

Social media marketing is a powerful tool, there is no doubt about that. Now that you are familiar with how much various platforms can do, let’s focus on the key pros and cons of social media marketing.

Good or bad ?

Like with everything, there are good and bad sides of social media. It is important, however, that you try to keep a balance between the advantages and disadvantages. Do not only think about the pros and forget the cons, but also make sure you do not focus solely on that latter and end up not even giving social media marketing a try. Find your golden mean and use social media to its full potential.

Pros:

  • low cost and high effectiveness 

You can post content on social media platforms pretty much for free. If your content is interesting and people engage with it repeatedly, it will get many impressions that could lead to a high conversion rate and new leads. 

  • huge audience potential 

With so many social media users worldwide, there undoubtedly will always be people who will want to follow you and view your content. You never know who will become your new customer, so why not give it a try?

  • more than a marketing medium

Social media platforms are not just about generating profit. They allow companies to explore their target audience, reach new people, monitor competitors, stay visible, and much more.

  • allows you to initiate discussions and engage with brands 

When you run social media profiles as a business, you give your customers the chance to reach and engage with you away from your website. This contributes to building greater brand awareness and customer loyalty.

  • gives access to plenty of data to analyze

There are plenty of analytics and reporting tools out there that will help you measure the effectiveness of your social media campaigns. You may want to track so-called Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) such as likes, impressions, views, link clicks, website visits, shares, and comments. All of these will enable you to carefully evaluate your performance to see if social media is for you.

  • allows you to be more visible online (SEO)

The more content you create, the higher your company will appear in search results. Make sure your content is loaded with the right keywords and essential hashtags. Make it as simple as possible for people to find and reach out to you.

  • contributes to building loyalty and makes referrals easy

When brands are active on social media and publish content regularly, their brand image automatically improves and they are more likely to be found trustworthy by customers. Moreover, when people can reach you in more than one place, referral marketing and building a customer base gets much easier.

Cons:

  • time-consuming

To create engaging content that will attract potential customers, you need a lot of time. Whether you are trying to build your audience using paid methods or aim at growing your profiles with organic reach, you need time to find the best strategy for your profiles as well as to produce content. Sadly, not every company has the resources for that. 

  • requires commitment and dedication

Just like with time, to make your social media profiles effective you need to really commit to the goal and dedicate yourself. It is all about constantly thinking about how to improve, being creative, and staying focused.  

  • it is a fast moving environment, so trends change quickly

Trends do change very quickly and it’s important for companies to at least try and stay up to date. It is not easy when new features like filters, sounds, hashtags, and other forms of content are popping up out of nowhere all the time, but with the right approach it is doable. 

  • it can not be controlled

People say that once something is uploaded on the Internet, it stays there forever – and that is true. Some companies lack the skills to think before publishing something and then have to deal with a huge wave of hate and often not a small amount of criticism. It is important to think twice before publishing something risky as there is no going back for companies.

  • high engagement does not mean contributions towards ROI

Just because your social media profiles get many likes, shares, and comments, does not mean those people have any intention of becoming your customers. Therefore, all your efforts could be wasted for some meaningless impressions.

  • security and privacy policies may be an issue

Like with everything that is online, social media carries the possibility of data breaches. The more information that is placed on the Internet, the higher the possibility of being the victim of hackers, invasive companies, or malicious interlopers looking to mine your data in ways that break privacy policies.

Let’s take a step back from social media and look at referral marketing for a moment.

What is referral marking?

Referral marketing is all about you and your existing customers. It is a marketing strategy designed to encourage them to become ambassadors of your company and refer it to their networks. Most of the time, there are incentives included in such strategies to drive interest in participation of promotional methods like this.

Referral marketing focuses on word-of-mouth activities and is a way for companies to grow their businesses at very low costs. In case you’re wondering why you should dive into the referral topic, here are some reasons!

Again – good or bad?

Pros:

  • low cost per lead 

It is up to you what to offer your customers in exchange for them referring you to their friends and family. The good news is that you do not have to pay anything to be referred. You could offer something like free samples or discount codes, which many companies do, but it is not absolutely necessary.

  • high conversion rates

92% of consumers trust referrals more than traditional advertising, so this gives you a great opportunity to attract new customers without the need to spend money on other ineffective marketing methods.

  • more profit

Research shows that referred customers tend to spend 16% more money. Now, surely that’s an interesting thing to know? Because it says that the more referred customers you acquire, the more money your company will make. 

  • keeps your current customers happy 

With product samples and discount codes, your customers will love you for allowing them to get something for (almost) free in exchange for doing as little as spreading the word about your company. This will contribute to building brand loyalty and deepening your relationships with customers.

  • increased marketing reach at a low lost 

By using your clients as advocates for your business, referral marketing helps you increase your reach.  

While there are certain situations when traditional advertising is off-limits, there are virtually no limitations on your customers telling others about your company. Expanding your customer base through referrals is also possible since most people have a diverse circle of friends.

  • automation possibilities 

Once you have set up a good referral marketing program, you are pretty much ready to sit back and enjoy the benefits of it in the form of new customers. Referral marketing does not require constant attention and can pretty much take care of itself.

Cons:

  • little control over what type of customers you will attract 

Some people will do anything for freebies and discount codes. With referral marketing, you never know who will join your company and how authentic they will be. It may turn out that your “new” customers are actually existing ones using different email addresses and/or fake names. It is, unfortunately, difficult to spot and monitor behaviour like this.

  • not a lot of price flexibility 

When customers recommend your services and/or products, they keep in mind the specific pricing range that you offer and talk about it with new potential customers. For this reason, it may be difficult for your company to increase prices often as your news customers will most likely want to see the same offers as their family and friends did. If you do not keep your prices the same, it could lead to customer dissatisfaction. 

  • high competition

In order to successfully launch a referral marketing platform, you should analyze the market and make sure you know where the demand is. Otherwise, you may end up launching a referral program that will not bring any success. 

  • you are exposed to criticism 

As your referral marketing platform has the potential to reach a large audience, you’ll  need to be able to handle negative opinions. There will always be people who disagree with you and even take their criticism too far on the internet, regardless of your intentions. You’ll need a thick skin in this industry in order to survive.

  • good software is difficult to find 

Finding a referral marketing platform that will meet your demands and needs can be a lot of hard work. You will need to dedicate your time to searching for the best solution out there.

Like two halves of an apple – social media & referrals

Social media marketing and referral marketing are like a match made in heaven. They have much more in common than you might think. Look at the pros of both of them and connect the dots together: 

  1. With the huge audience potential offered by social media, your referral program has a high chance of reaching a lot of people and bringing new customers to your company.
  1. Both social media marketing and referral programs are low cost and highly effective, giving you a competitive advantage thanks to the possibility to save money on advertising and promoting your business.
  1. Both social media and referral programs contribute to increasing your online visibility and make your company grow faster.
  1. Being active on social media increases your credibility and gives potential customers the courage to try your company for the first time and perhaps become loyal clients. 
  1. Because you are active and engage with your customers on social media in fun ways, as well as offer attractive incentives, your customers will be more than happy to stay with you for longer, which means more profit for you. 
  1. Neither social media or referrals require a lot of time or effort once they are up and running as they are marketing strategies that can be automated. This is an important point because it allows you to save a lot of time and focus on other aspects of your business.

Find out yourself

What do you think, then? At EarlyParrot, we believe that social media and referral marketing are best friends and, when used appropriately, can boost a company’s performance significantly.

If you want to dive into the referral marketing topic, check out our blog. You will find many interesting pieces there on how to start out with and fulfill the whole potential of referrals.

#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!

#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!

#ParrotInspires: 5 referral marketing mistakes and how to avoid them

Referral marketing is a great opportunity for new businesses since it is relatively easy to implement and manage. This marketing method is also a great way to increase brand awareness and acquire new customers and their trust. Starting a referral program is fairly simple, but how to maintain a high level of results? Falling into a routine and making mistakes that limit performance is an easy trap to fall into. There are a few game-changing business tips to help avoid these mistakes in your referral marketing strategy, and we continually point them out on the EarlyParrot blog.

So what are those common referral marketing mistakes?

Mistakes are a human thing and everybody makes them, even business owners. There are some common referral marketing mistakes that are made frequently despite many warnings and red flags. However, being aware of these mistakes, it will be much easier to totally avoid them or create a plan B to overcome them.

In this article, we’ve listed the most common referral marketing mistakes that are typical for the industry. We not only point out why they are mistakes, but also show you how to avoid them or reduce their impact after they have occurred. 

The most common referral marketing mistakes 

Successful referral marketing can take a huge burden off the shoulders of your overall marketing strategy as it may generate revenue at low-cost, as well as increase customer loyalty and brand awareness. And that means profit!

Referral marketing mistakes are potholes that you don’t need on your journey. They are often avoidable, but getting in one can cause a lot of unwanted trouble.

So what are the most commonly made referral marketing mistakes that may damage your marketing strategy and brand reputation?

#1 Choosing inadequate referral marketing software

If you don’t find the right tool, your referral marketing efforts may actually be a waste of time. If your referral software is unintuitive or, worse, unable to integrate with the platforms you are already using, it can be hard to get the best out of your referral marketing efforts. How to choose the best software? We can get you started with our recommendation: EarlyParrot. Our tool can be easily integrated with your website as it works with WordPress, Joomla, and Magento. If you run an eCommerce store, EarlyParrot offers a lot of features to jumpstart and grow your business. It allows you to keep your finger on the pulse by tracking your referral networks’ performance. Running an international business? EarlyParrot supports various languages such as English, French, German, Spanish, Greek, and Italian.

You can easily install our tool within 15 minutes and connect it to your current customer base. Additionally, its extensive API allows you to plug your campaign into various platforms that you use on a daily basis. Referral marketing can become a part of your online marketing strategy in a minute!

Sign up for free!

If you are worried about creating programs, don’t be! This tool will guide you through the whole process, step by step. There is a checklist you need to cross off before you press “start”, so you can be sure that your referral program will be well-polished before it launches. There is no option that you will launch the program without e.g. chosen incentive. If you are about to expand your email list, you can do this with EarlyParrot too. The process is as easy as installing the software.

What is also great about this tool is that you can customize all client-facing pages without them featuring any EarlyParrot branding. Customization makes your services appear to be more professional and welcoming.

#2 Taking action in a hurry

Rushing is the worst enemy of most marketing tactics and ideas. To fulfill the potential of any marketing strategy, including referrals, you need a well-thought-out plan. To avoid this referral marketing mistake, you need to put your tactics in perspective.

If you are just starting out you may not have many regular customers, so you might think it’s not worth investing in a referral program since there aren’t enough existing clients to recommend your business.

However, even just a few loyal customers making referrals can create a snowball effect that brings many benefits including, more clients, more sold products and buzz around your brand.

There are many approaches you can take. One of them is to rely solely on a referral program, hoping for existing and happy customers to bring new ones. Another method is to employ affiliate marketers who will refer new clients to your business for a commission fee. You can combine both tactics; affiliate marketing plus referrals can give you amazing effects. Linking influencers’ efforts with your own brand ambassadors, who are distinguished clients from your database sound like quality traffic sources.

Whatever you decide, just don’t do it in a rush.

#3 Ignoring testing

To make sure that your digital marketing plan actually works, you need to incorporate testing into your strategy. The story with referral marketing journey is no different: there are countless methods and configurations that you may want to test out.

One of the biggest referral marketing mistakes is to neglect the potential of testing. You can split or A/B test your communication, message, referral reward and CTA, for example, then analyze the results and improve your strategy accordingly.

While the sky’s the limit for testing, here are a few handy ideas you to consider:

  • Check website analytics tools and heatmap generators to identify bottlenecks on your website, elements that draw attention, and parts of your offer/program that might be off-putting.
  • Use email marketing and send a survey to your clients asking them for feedback about your referral program.
  • Test a few versions of your promotional landing pages or campaigns on social media.
  • Identify clients via specific data, such as brand sentiment, in terms of potential brand ambassadors and test their impact/results.

Testing isn’t a one-off activity, it’s a process that needs to be continually repeated. The insights you gain one day may not be relevant the next. Everything evolves!

#4 Not improving the customer experience

The customer experience can be make or break for your referral program. And not caring about constant improvements in this area will only lead to making one of the most crucial referral marketing mistakes. And we’re talking here about both website and mobile optimization.

Some data to back it up? Over half of all people using mobiles to visit websites abandon them if they do not load within 3 seconds. And they may not only end their visit, but they will more than likely never recommend your services further. 

No one will recommend a highly unresponsive site to a friend. Imagine that a potential client visits your site, but it does not open immediately or freezes. In the event of such a scenario, it is understandable that the user may choose to not make a purchase or join a referral program and make a recommendation about it.

What do you need to pay attention to? First of all, what your website must be intuitive and easy-to-use for the client, including the landing page architecture, social media communication, and email content. Even a single, non-working cog of the whole machine may ruin the entire program.

You must define the rules clearly and indicate where your customers can sign up for your referral campaign. The process itself can’t be difficult or users might abandon it halfway through. Don’t ask for too much data at first. Over time, as loyalty builds, you can ask for further information and preferences via surveys.

If you provide an app, the same rules apply. The interface should be intuitive, with no bugs, lagging, or freezes. Also, the opportunity to sign up for your referral marketing program should be properly displayed, perhaps by a pop-up that appears after launching the app. Remember that the app should be available on both iOS and Android, even though the exclusivity of Clubhouse goes against the grain here.

#5 Not including a timeline

At the very beginning of a campaign, you need to determine how long the program will last for. You should also state whether it applies to all products, or only certain limited services, for example. What’s more, referral links should also have a specific validity date, e.g. “share this link with your friends and if they sign up via your referral within 10 days, both of you will receive gift cards”

Do you remember getting sent some countdown offers and time-bound promotional codes? This is how it works: if the time allowed to claim a benefit is limited, you will probably be more encouraged to actually take the desired action.

That’s why you should tell clients how long they have to share their links, invite friends and earn rewards. If there are different rules depending on the number of referrals or time taken (e.g. better rewards in the first 2 weeks) let them know about that too. It’s also important to send reminders at the end of a campaign to clearly indicate how much time is left. Speaking of time, another more crucial issue is that it can take a while to make referrals, encourage others, and confirm purchases. Setting up a promotional timeline helps you eliminate this referral marketing mistake of not informing both your regular and potential customers about how long they have.

Be aware and stop committing these common mistakes

An awareness of existing referral marketing mistakes is half the battle to avoid them. With this knowledge, you can keep your eyes wide open and react quickly.

To run a referral marketing campaign that will succeed, you have to analyze your strategy, determine what you actually want to achieve, calculate the available budget, and set a suitable time period for the promotion. Implementation of all these elements can take some time, but do not give up. If any problems arise, there are always ways to overcome them. Taking a look at this article every time you encounter a bump on the road will support your management with the above tips. Look at your program through the prism of the referral marketing mistakes listed above, and if they apply to your business, you know what to do!

How to start a referral marketing program?

Referral marketing is an excellent solution for SaaS businesses, eCommerce, and even for small companies that are searching for more newsletter subscribers. Recommendations can be the most important factors behind as many as 50% of consumers’ shopping decisions. So no matter in which industry you operate, or whether you are a small business or a well-developed one, referral marketing might be for you!

When somebody is looking for an item but has no idea where to start, one of the most popular options is to ask a friend. What if someone’s friend recommends your shop and they can both benefit from this recommendation? They will put more trust in your brand and encourage others to do the same. By using an effective referral program, the machine is able to drive itself. It is definitely worth establishing a relationship with your customers this way, especially since acquiring a new client can be up to five times more expensive than retaining an existing one.

To unlock the full potential of referral marketing, you need to create a well-tailored referral program. If you are wondering how to do that, we’ve prepared some guidelines to help you manage the whole process.

But let’s start from the beginning. What is a referral program?

What is a referral marketing program and why do you need one?

A referral program is an initiative that your clients can join, which works just like the loyalty schemes we are all familiar with. A given client shares their recommendations with friends or family and in return collects points that eventually amount to receiving rewards. The new customer who visits your website via the referral may also benefit, depending on the criteria that you set. 

Every new customer should be invited to join the program and they should also be notified about their progress in it, as well as if they win a prize. You can use all available communication channels to stay in touch with your clients. 

It is also a very trackable solution, since it will be clear as day who referred who and whether the referral was successful. You can also keep an eye on the most important KPIs.

Are you still wondering why you should invest in a referral program? First of all, it builds trust and loyalty, and as mentioned above, it is more efficient to retain existing clients than acquire new ones. Another pro of referral programs is that they are quite a low-cost solution, with the major outlay just being on rewards. Such programs don’t require big resources in terms of money nor knowledge.

What is more, it is easy to implement one and let it more-or-less manage itself. One client refers another and so on repeatedly – you just need to keep tracking the performance. of your program.

So now let’s move on to putting it into practice. How to start a referral program?

Think about your clients first

To make referral marketing effective, you need to put your clients first. They are your target audience after all. So what would they find attractive as a reward? Focus on who they are: their values, passions, and hobbies. Depending on demographic factors, the lifestyle and cultural incentives awarded should vary, especially if your product offer is quite broad. If the segments are very diverse, you’d better make your rewards diverse too. Sometimes coming up with a universal incentive may not deliver you what you expect because it won’t be sufficient for any segment. 

You can pick from one of the following incentive models:

  • One-side means that only one person is rewarded. They could be either the existing client or the new one who came thanks to the recommendation. If you decide that the former should get the reward, it will increase their motivation and possibly result in more referrals. If, on the other hand, you want to reward the new customer, the chances of them finalizing a transaction will increase. However, there is a risk that such clients will not get you as many referrals as your loyal customers.
  • Two-side. This type of incentive will definitely appeal to your audience the most, since here you reward both the referring customer and the new client. Nothing prevents both parties from receiving the same reward if that’s what you choose. This type of motivation will provide you with new recommendations, plus strengthen the bonds with and loyalty of your current clients.
  • No reward is also a solution. However, is it effective? People rarely spare their time totally unselfishly, but it cannot be assumed that it does not happen at all. As you might guess, this model will not bring you too many new customers nor build brand awareness very effectively.

It is also worth looking at the purchasing behavior of your recipients. Which products are bestsellers? Perhaps a good incentive would be a discount on them. Furthermore, you can use new releases as a limited reward in your program, if applicable. Maybe early access to these new products (for example, a brand new nail salon software) or the ability to purchase them at a reduced price would be a good solution. It is all up to you.

You can also ask your clients for feedback. Show them your suggestions, and they will help you with choosing the best one for themselves.

Do some research

What you should check at the very beginning are the prizes. Not only among customers but also among competitors. Rewards are crucial in referral marketing. First, do those you compete with have a referral program? If they don’t, good for you – you will already be one step ahead. If, on the other hand, the situation is completely different, take into account what your competitors offer as incentives and try to beat their offers.

It’s also good to know the reward structure of your competitors. You might opt for the same structure or choose one that you think will appeal to your customers better. You have a choice of three:

  • Standard structure the simplest model. In short, you offer the same reward for successful referrals to each of your clients. It is automatically sent when the referrer completes a transaction.
  • Tiered structure this method is about differentiation. You offer various rewards and incentives for different groups of customers. You could differentiate them based on the number of referrals, e.g. a 5% discount for the first and 10% for the next. Alternatively, you could set up referral levels so that the percentage discount increases after, say, 15 successful referrals.
  • Multi-step structure – this is the most complicated model. You offer your existing customers a variety of rewards depending on how much the new client interacts with your company. For example, offer a 5% discount for a client who purchases without creating an account, 10% discount if they create an account, and 15% discount if they become a subscriber.

Once you decide which structure would be the best (and the most competitive), you can start planning the creation of your program.

Set your goals

The starting point for creating a program should be figuring out what you want to achieve with it. Do you want to increase sales or do you want to strengthen the position of the brand? A lot depends on the initial goal. You should continually track the progress and analyze if you are on the right track to achieving your goal. Remember to be specific, i.e. how much and in what time.

Companies that track their performance and objectives are two times more likely to achieve their goals within a year.

Referral marketing programs are quite easy to track, so it won’t be a problem to follow the results. If you use a reliable platform to run your referral program, all KPIs should be clear as day. 

Speaking of tools, it is high time to cover this topic.  

Choose the right tool 

Implementing your referral program should be a piece of cake, and it will be if you invest in the right referral marketing software. Thanks to using the right solution, you will be able to create a program designed for your specific needs. It can also be a great time saver. The entire process will be automated, and the only thing you need to do is track the program’s performance and make any adjustments if necessary.

One of the best options is EarlyParrot. Why? Here are some of the main reasons:

Firstly, the installation process only takes about a quarter of an hour. You don’t need to have a PhD in computing either. The tool guides you through the whole process, so it will be a piece of cake.

Another great pro about EarlyParrot is that it takes care of your clients, both existing and new ones. Once you implement this tool to your page, you can import your current clients and EarlyParrot will send them an invitation to join your program. New customers will be notified about the option to join too. Notifications will also be sent when users meet the reward requirements.

But speaking of which, before you run the referral program, you should set the reward criteria. You may choose a different reward for your existing clients per each referral and another one as a welcome gift. Furthermore, you can choose whether you want customers to accumulate some kind of points to unlock prizes or if you only want to award the top referrers. You can also brand the referral links, which will be a positive step towards achieving your SEO goals. 

One of the best features of this tool is its communication. First, there is no EarlyParrot logo, so you can apply your own branding to all client-facing pages. And what is more, you can send inbox messages to all participants of your program just to strengthen your brand awareness and relationships with them. 

If you are not sure if you can manage running a referral program, don’t worry because the platform shows which aspects need more improvement. If you are still not fully convinced, there is a free demo available to give it a try first.

EarlyParrot integrates with many of the most popular platforms such as Magento, Shopify, Joomla, WordPress, AWeber, MailChimp, and many more. If it happens that your favorite provider is not currently on the list, you can contact this referral marketing software representatives who will try to address this.

Start your referral marketing program

A referral program can be an instrumental part of your marketing strategy. Regardless of whether you are just starting your business or have been on the market for some time, this type of solution can improve your brand image and strengthen your position. You will certainly become more memorable for your clients by starting a referral program, as well as gain their trust and loyalty.

If such a program is well-structured and the incentives are matched to the target audience, you can achieve not only image and marketing goals but also financial ones. The amount of sales, registered users, and newsletter subscribers can all increase thanks to a referral marketing program. Sounds worthwhile, right?