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#ParrotInspires: Referral marketing & SEO – perfect match?

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

The matter of referral marketing and SEO

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

Referral marketing

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

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

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

What about SEO?

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

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

We also can highlight two types of SEO:

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

Can they work together?

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

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

Benefits to combining RM & SEO

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

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

Summary – is it a perfect match?

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

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

#ParrotInsider: The Definitive Guide to Lead Generation in 2021

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

What is lead generation?

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

What are some strategies for lead generation?

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

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

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

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

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

#2 Create opt-in opportunities for lead generation

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

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

#3 Do not neglect email marketing in lead generation

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

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

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

#4 Use social media for lead generation

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

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

#5 Prepare a few landing pages for supporting lead generation

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

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

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

#7 Run lead generation webinars

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

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

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

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

How can webinars help with lead generation?

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

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

#8 Use influencers

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

Over to you

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

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

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

What is a call to action, actually?

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

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

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

CTA statistics 2021

There are many studies and statistical analysis proving how important these small things can be for your conversion rates – so let’s see some 2022 marketing statistics! Here are just three of them with their percentages:

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

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

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

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

Benefits of CTA

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

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

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

Examples of effective CTA

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

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

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

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

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

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

CTA best practices

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

What is the best CTA, then?

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

Over to you

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What is referral marketing?

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

How does referral marketing work?

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

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

What are some benefits of referral marketing?

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

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

What are some drawbacks to referral marketing?

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

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

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

What is influencer marketing?

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

How does it work?

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

Pros of influencer marketing in your strategy

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

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

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

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

What are some similarities between referral marketing and influence marketing?

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

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

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

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

Here are some key points:

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

– Referral programs can be used by any company

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

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

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

Over to you

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

#ParrotInspires: How Email Marketing Supports Your Referral Program

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

#0 First things first

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

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

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

#1 Create a sequence of referral emails

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

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

Hi _______,

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

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



Want a quicker version? Here it goes.

Hi _______,

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

Happy shopping,


*Terms and conditions apply.

Email #1

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

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

Email #2

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

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

Email #3

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

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

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

#2 Leverage your email signature to promote the program

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

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

#3 Make your referrals feel like a priority

Send info about your referral program to your brand ambassadors.

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

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

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

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

#4 Double-check the timing

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

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

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

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

#5 Pick the right email subject line

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

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

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

Over to you

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

What is brand awareness?

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

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

What the brand is?

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

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

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

Brand awareness – crucial aspects 

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

What is brand awareness?

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

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

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

Why is brand awareness important?

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

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

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

Brand awareness vs. brand recognition 

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

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

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

What is branding? 

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

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

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

Top way to boost your brand awareness ASAP

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

#1 Referral programs

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

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

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

#2 Social media presence

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

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

#3 Affiliate marketing

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

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

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

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

3, 2, 1… go!

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

#ParrotInspires: How to pick the best referral marketing software

Are you about to start referral marketing? It is a very good choice, since providing a referral program allows you to incorporate satisfied customers into your marketing strategy. There is a reason why referrals are often called word of mouth marketing: people talk, and you gain potential customers. Essentially, it helps to increase conversions, revenue, customer retention rates, and many other business-related metrics, making it a helpful tool for any successful business.

The decision to choose the best referral marketing software at the start of your referral marketing journey is essential, as you may struggle without the proper tools. In order to make the best decision, you should consider all the pros and cons of each available option. Ultimately, every business decision must be supported by adequate research and analysis. 

Below you will find a few tips that will certainly help you select the right tool. What features should a good referral software have? Let’s find out!

Referral and affiliate marketing – what is the difference?

Many people get confused when it comes to these two types of marketing, so here is a quick comparison between referral and affiliate marketing to be sure that we are on the same page. It is important to understand the difference, since using affiliate program software for tracking referrals might not be the best idea.

To help clear it up in your head, below you can find the major differences between affiliate marketing and referral marking:

  • Referral marketing relies on happy customers and their relationships, while affiliate programs involve people with significant reach across the internet.
  • Affiliates are usually paid commission, whereas a free product that is typically gifted through a referral program would not be ideal for everyone.
  • An affiliate program is a business arrangement, so you usually need to provide a contract and both sides have to agree on the terms. With a marketing program for referrals, you only have to provide the terms of use and the client should always be able to unsubscribe from it at any time.
  • An affiliate marketing program is more product-oriented. In most cases, affiliates provide a product review or present a service, so affiliate links mostly lead to product pages. Referral marketing can be related to many activities, such as registering on a website or signing up for a newsletter.

There are a lot of similarities between the two types of marketing as well, but let’s focus on the differences for the moment in order to cover the referral marketing topic without any confusion. First, we’ll talk about referral software.

What is referral marketing software?

A referral marketing platform allows you to create a campaign, name it as you wish, and choose your goals for starters. Then you can establish the incentives, their targets for earning them, and design the communication through the channels you prefer. Finally, you can create referral links and invite your customers to join the program. That is how any referral program software works in a nutshell.

Referral campaigns should be analyzed, and there is no need for additional marketing tools if you can monitor performance and referral traffic constantly using referral marketing software. All of the best providers offer such options, so their tools are essential not only for the creation of referral marketing programs but also for monitoring them and optimizing their performance on the go.

Who would benefit from referral marketing?

There is no set list of industries that may profit more or less than others from a referral program. This solution is for everyone – eCommerce platforms, SaaS businesses, and many more. There are also no limits when it comes to market sectors – clothing, households products, car accessories, or computer software, etc. – anything can be recommended through referrals. The only common theme that applies is a desire to have a successful business and gain more customers. 

Referral marketing is an excellent option for starters, since programs can be implemented very cost-effectively. There is no need for a separate marketing team to implement the strategy nor for IT staff to install the software, so they can be done inexpensively by the business itself. The user base does not have to be huge, it will grow by people referring to others. With a successful referral program you can drive more traffic and increase customer lifetime value by up to 25%.

How to choose the best referral marketing software?

Let’s be honest; there is no ready-made checklist for every business. Each company has different needs, audiences, and preferences. However, there are some common points that will help you choose the best option from the wide range of referral marketing tools available today.

Easy integration

Referral marketing solutions should be easy to implement and integrate with all of the apps you already use on a daily basis, like your CRM and email marketing provider. Moreover, the referral platform should be compliant with your landing page, so keep this in mind when searching for your solution. For example, EarlyParrot can be integrated with most of the popular programs and platforms, such as WordPress, Joomla, Magento, and MailChimp. It’s important to remember that the more seamless experience you provide your users, the more likely they are to make successful referrals. Connecting your apps allows you to do this and help your business run like a well-oiled machine.

It would also be a nice bonus if your chosen referral marketing software supported email list building. That way, you would be able to take care of your communication with new and loyal customers. EarlyParrot can do this, of course. 

A wide range of referral rewards

Since incentives are your choice, you can decide whether your customers receive gift cards, free products, or discount coupons, just to name a few possibilities. 

However, there cannot be any limitations in your referral program. An important factor in determining the successfulness of a referral is the type of incentive

Users should be encouraged and intrigued enough to share links. It is your job to pick the best possible reward for your target audience. This aspect should offer as much variety as you can so that everyone will find something for themselves. This will support not only your marketing efforts but also improve the sales cycle

The types and amounts of referrals are crucial, so your referral software should allow you to set up various kinds. For example, a welcome gift for new clients should be different from a successful referral gift for current customers. Although a referral campaign is very similar to a loyalty program, they are not the same. Offering one type of reward, as loyalty programs do, will not work with customer referrals. You need to vary the types of your referrals and the corresponding rewards otherwise you may not run the most effective marketing campaign.

Time to try 

Most marketing tools offer free trials, and this is the case with referral marketing software as well. You need to try out any tool before you commit to purchasing it. For example, EarlyParrot offers a free demo that you can use as many times as you wish, with the number of campaigns being the only limitation. 

So, when searching for referral tools, you may want to focus on free trials. There are often catchy headlines like 14-day free trial! or first week for free on providers’ websites. Check out their offers and evaluate them. Based on your testing, you will be able to choose which one will be the best match for your referral marketing strategy.

Remember that during such a free trial, you need to test the tool inside out. Take advantage of the trial period! Use a referral widget and try its integrations, for instance, all to make the most of that referral marketing software solution. After you have completed your test, you will be able to choose the one that best suits your business needs, and this will result in greater profits in the future. 

Data safety

There is no need to mention that the security of data is a priority for any online activity. In order to provide an effective referral program, you need to take care of safety first. When choosing software, you have to be sure that all user data is protected. Moreover, referral marketing software should provide you with fraud detection to block suspicious emails or traffic on your marketing channels. If you operate on the EU market then your referral tool must be GDPR compliant too. 

The whole process has to be secure – from clicking a referral link to joining the program. Putting clients’ privacy and security first helps to build up trust and in your business. Nobody will recommend a company to a friend or family member if it is not regarded as being reliable.

Intuitive to use 

Sometimes providers overdo with business language and their design to seem professional, but that may not actually be the case for their service. From your point of view as a user, it is very important to see the next steps clearly and know what you should type into a given text box. 

Using an intuitive tool can help save time by eliminating the need for constant rechecking. 

EarlyParrot is one such tool that provides you with support and suggestions step by step as you develop your program. Additionally, this platform will not let you click the next button until you have entered all the necessary information. Besides that, branding is another one of its great features. All your communication pages and links can be easily customized, and EarlyParrot does not display its own logo anywhere so people will know that your brand is running the referral program. Additionally, you have the opportunity to import your existing customers to the client base and invite them to join your campaign very quickly and easily. You can do this by importing them via CSV and start the marketing process immediately!

EarlyParrot ticks all the boxes! 

This tool may have the solutions to all of your problems. It covers all of the aspects mentioned above and even more below:

  • seamless integration with most popular platforms and programs 
  • a free demo
  • fraud detection and GDPR compliance
  • intuitive and user-friendly dashboard
  • a wide range of referral options
  • support and tips throughout the program creation process
  • …and many more!

Maybe this tool is the one for you?

Choose your referral software!

We hope that by following this short yet comprehensive guide, you will be able to choose the best tool and create a campaign that caters to your customers’ needs. 

No matter if you run an eCommerce business, SaaS enterprise, or you are another service provider, a referral marketing campaign could be a gamechanger for you. But only with the right tools and some knowledge, of course. Our blog has many excellent articles, so take a look if you want to broaden your horizons on this topic!

Referral program 101

It is common for people to recommend things to each other. It is good to hear a bit of advice from a reliable friend, especially if there is a serious dilemma. Why not make the most of this habit?

Referral marketing is a solution where you take advantage of people’s tendency to share their experiences or opinions with others. Customer referrals can bring many new clients and expand your customer base. Moreover, referral marketing campaigns are very easy to create and relatively low-cost. Below you can find out about the basics of referral marketing – what it is, how it works, and how to create a referral marketing program. You will also find here some examples of industries where the power of referral has the most potential. Shall we start?

What is referral marketing?

Some people call referral marketing word-of-mouth marketing since people are encouraged to spread the word about your product or service. A good referral marketing strategy is fundamental to make the most of your campaign. 

The referral mechanism is about building a network of loyal customers and encouraging them to share good reviews about you with their friends and referral links at the same time. What is a referral link? It could be a unique URL or code that every current customer who has joined your program has. They can share it with their friends or family, and once those potential customers use the referral links both parties can earn rewards. These may be discount coupons or free products, for example. The referral terms are up to the business provider. 

How does this form of marketing help your business? A successful referral can bring you many new customers, lower customer acquisition costs, and expand brand awareness. Referrals can bring a 30% higher conversion rate than other marketing channels. They can also increase customer loyalty, since participating in such a program gives a sense of belonging.

It is important to add that a referral marketing program is a great option for both B2C and B2B companies.

What does a successful referral mean?

To perceive a given client as a successful referral, there are a few rules to follow. First, your regular customer has to share a link; otherwise, there is no proof of them making a recommendation. The referral marketing software needs to follow this link and monitor its performance. Secondly, the link has to be used, which means a potential customer has to visit your website via it and take the desired action, e.g., make a purchase or sign up for your newsletter. Your referral link may be a direct link to the registered site or the shopping cart, it is up to you. Wherever the link leads, it should be clearly stated in the communication, since nobody wants to click on a link with no clear destination.

Also, it is essential to mention that a successful referral does not always mean a reward for both sides or either. There are various types of referral marketing programs and incentives models. You can choose:

  • One-sided –  one person is rewarded. The gifted side could be either your existing client or the new one who came via link. Rewarding the former will make them more motivated and possibly result in more referrals. Rewarding the new customer will increase the chance that they finish the transaction and come back for more in the future. Nevertheless, such customers might not generate as many referrals as loyal ones.
  • Two-sided – both sides are rewarded. Since you reward both the referrer and the new client, this type of incentive will undoubtedly attract the most customers. You can choose the same type of referral reward for both parties or vary this aspect as well, it is all up to you. Needless to say that motivating your clients in this way will earn you more recommendations and solidify your bonds with clients, as well as increase their loyalty.
  • There is also the option of no reward, but its effectiveness is doubtful. Though people rarely devote their time completely unselfishly, this does not mean it will not happen every now and then. You can also set a target of, for example, three successful referrals to earn the reward, but it is hard to predict whether people would be willing to participate this way. As you might assume, this model will not drastically increase your brand awareness or gain you many new customers.

What is a referral program?

Loyalty programs and referral programs are similar in many ways. Every user of your website can join them. In the case of referrals, you should establish incentives and highlight a signup option on your site or send it via email to encourage them. 

Suppose you run an eCommerce business. Once your happy customers do some shopping, they will receive a link to share with others. If they share it with friends who use the link, both your customers and friends can receive gifts. To create such a campaign, you would need a referral marketing software solution. For this we have a recommendation – EarlyParrot!

How to create a referral program – a step by step guide

Once you choose the referral program software, there are few things to do next. Before you click to create a new program, you need to think about a few aspects. First, establish who your target audience is. Then consider what type of incentive you want to offer, whether it should be a discount for your services or maybe a free product?

After such preparation, you can get down to business and start building your referral campaign. We will guide you through the process using EarlyParrot as an example.

Step one: the goal and incentives

So first you need to establish your goal. There are various options depending on the industry you operate in. Then you should focus on your referral incentives system and decide the type of them – whether they will be referral or welcome ones. You can set as many as you need. What you should do next is describe the incentive in detail and you even add an image. 

Step two: invitations

To let people know about your program you need to tell them about it. How to do so? Using social media sites would be the best option. You customers can share the news with their friends and build a social network. What is your role here? To make this social share positive, type the message they can publish. It would be easier for your users to just click a share button than design their own messages. EarlyParrot offers most of the popular options such as Facebook, Twitter, and WhatsApp.

Step three: communication

Referral campaigns should start with your loyal clients, so make an email list and tell them the news. What about email campaigns? They can be useful for making some noise about your program. You may want to create one campaign to invite guests and another one as a reaction to their participation. EarlyParrot allows you to design the messages from scratch with templates that vary depending on the email types. It is also a good idea to spread the word about your customer referral program by adding some positive reviews from your clients. This would be an additional incentive and make you seem more reliable.

Step four: the referral widget

The referral process should include designing referral widgets. A widget can be designed according to the type of share page. EarlyParrot offers many sharing options, so you are obliged to develop sections like reward widgets or activity widgets. Through these share pages, your customers will be able to spread a positive experience about your business, so each referral widget should be designed carefully.

Step five: integrations

It is a crucial aspect of making your word of mouth marketing useful. You need to integrate the software with your landing page and the platforms you use daily. Early Parrot has a wide range of available integrations, so we are almost sure you will be able to find yours here. It does not require a huge effort, just find the program and EarlyParrot will guide you through the process. It won’t take you longer than 15 minutes.

Step six: campaign monitoring

Tracking your program’s key metrics is crucial for making it successful. You have to know what’s working and what’s not. By having such information, you will be able to adjust the campaign accordingly. 

As a recap of this short guide, it is worth mentioning that the whole referral process is automated. EarlyParrot automatically detects whether new customers buy your products via recommendations from friends or if they come from organic traffic. You can make any adjustments as you need, since thanks to the dashboard you have access to each of your campaigns at any time.

Which industries can make the most of referrals?

Referral marketing is a form of marketing that can be very effective for basically any industry. Additionally, many B2B tech companies admit that referrals from their loyal customers have been one of the most effective tactics during the COVID-19 pandemic period. Few industries benefit more from referrals than others, but it is all determined by their types of consumers.

  • For example, it is relatively easy for eCommerce sites to encourage people to be active participants in a referral program, especially if they sell FMCGs, clothes, or accessories. Rewards like discount codes from such industries are more likely to be used and redeemed by clients who often shop for those kinds of goods.   
  • But on the other hand, when it comes to more significant expenses, people like to ask for advice and buy from a reliable source. When a discount comes along with that recommendation, it is even better. Such industries like SaaS or tech services can also benefit from referral marketing programs.
  • Niche industries can profit a little more than others. Such businesses do not experience huge popularity, at least at the very beginning, which is why referral marketing comes in handy. No matter how many clients a company has, they can all recommend it to their friends. This is exactly how referral marketing works. The word is spread, and the popularity increases.

It is important to say that referral strategies work not only for products but services as well. There is plenty of proof of this, including the following examples of companies. So what are the most popular referral program examples?

  1. Clubhouse, the latest flavor of the month. Its popularity grew beyond anybody’s expectations. All thanks to a sense of inclusivity and referrals!
  2. Uber, one of the most popular referral programs. It operates in many countries, and referrals allow the app to expand its reach.  
  3. Credit Agricole is just one example of how the banking industry uses referral channels to say thank you to devoted customers and reach new ones.
  4. PayPal runs a referral campaign, too. This is another example of a financial app using the power of recommendation.s 
  5. …and many more. Here is an article about referral programs provided by some key players, feel free to dive in.

From a customer’s perspective, a well-designed program may be a great opportunity to find new providers and save some money. According to MediaVenue, such recommendations work better than TV advertising for almost half of all Millenials. This means that referral channels really work!

How to provide a successful referral program

There is no ready-made recipe for running an effective referral program. Each business manages these issues differently, but we can provide some guidelines that may become handy.

  • Focus on the user – they should be your reference point. Step into the customer’s shoes for a minute and consider which type of reward would be the best for increasing their satisfaction. A deep understanding of your target market would make your sales efforts efficient and allow you to see all the benefits of referral marketing at its finest. What else should you do to keep your happy customers around and willing to share links?
  • Keep your online reviews visible. They are a powerful form of social proof, which makes your brand seem more reliable. Even if one negative review appears, do not worry. This indicates that real people use your products; you can’t please everyone no matter how much you want to. Highlight positive reviews on your website, and present some comments from social media platforms. This will encourage potential customers to purchase or do another desired action. The more social proof, the better.
  • Use referral marketing as part of your whole digital marketing strategy. Create a synergy effect with social media marketing or email campaigns to make a buzz about the entire business. Compare your referral program with a loyalty program and send invitations to the whole user base. Make your strategy a comprehensive whole.

If you are interested in more pieces of advice, feel free to read this article. You will find more ways to make the most of referrals with almost minimal effort here.

Ready, set, refer!

Creating a referral program is not rocket science, but it remains some effort. Hopefully, with our guidelines, you now know what it is, how to use this tactic wisely, and what to do to benefit from this strategy.

We have shown you referral marketing in a nutshell, and it should be a good place to start with a referral campaign. Feel free to share this piece with your marketer friends and come back any time you have any doubts about your campaign!

How to make the most of referral marketing?

If you are a business owner running a new marketing strategy for your company you may be interested in a referral marketing idea. We have provided some guidelines for starters that you may be interested in. But if you’re already running or just preparing to launch a program and you are wondering what are the benefits of a referral marketing campaign and how to make the most of it, you’re in the right place.

As you probably already know, referrals are a great way to boost your business. About 90% of people trust recommendations from sources they know, like a friend or family, so it would be beneficial if your users talked positively about you. After all, this form of marketing is often called word of mouth marketing. How to make the most of it?

Right now it’s not so easy to stand out in a crowded market of providers who are trying to outdo each other with their marketing ideas. So it’s definitely hard to draw customers’ attention and get them talking about your brand, but it’s not impossible either. With our tips, you’ll be able to pique users’ interest and make some noise about your brand. In other words, you’ll be able to make the most of your new or existing customer referral program. Thanks to that, you’ll be able to build long term relationships with your clients, expand your customer base, solidify your brand’s market position and increase loyalty among the users.

Ready to learn a great dose of practical knowledge?

Why is it good to have a referral program? 

Thanks to implementing a refer a friend program into your marketing strategy, you can make a huge difference to your conversions and sales. What’s also a big plus is that satisfied customers who come to you thanks to referral campaigns will have a longer lifetime value than those who don’t. In fact, this piece of research found that the CLV for new referral customers is 16% higher than non-referral ones. It allows you to expand your customer base. No need to mention that your brand awareness would be sky-high with such a program then.

When it comes to the numbers, higher revenue and ROI (return on investment) are simple facts. Just take a closer look at the Dropbox famous referral program: thanks to referrals they could have chosen to decrease marketing costs to practically zero. Moreover, there are many examples of successful referral programs that have brought countless profits to the companies, such as Uber, Google and Amazon Prime, just to mention a few. At the same time, it is worth keeping in mind that a successful referral marketing program doesn’t mean a huge investment. Comparing to other marketing channels or forms of advertising, its costs are very low.

So the question here is: what should you do to follow their success?

Put your customers first

In order for your customers to start sharing positive opinions about your company, you must meet certain conditions. First, you need to treat customers well enough for them to be 100% satisfied. Otherwise, the opinions they share may instead turn out to be negative ones. Second, remember to provide the best quality of services or products that you possibly can. Customer service and the response times to resolving any issues are also important. Anyone can make a mistake, so what’s important is to react quickly and compensate for any damage.

As you already know, communication with customers is crucial. Not only via your customer service or subscription newsletter, but also the content of your website. If its appearance doesn’t encourage potential customers to stay, then why would someone recommend you? Use colors that are neither too bright nor too bland, so the text doesn’t blend into the background. Next, it’s all about functionality: a visibly placed menu with logical and clear texture categories. It’s also crucial to have a built-in search engine that is easy to find and works properly since customers might often visit your website to find a particular product.

What’s more, the descriptions and photos of the products themselves should be made professionally: high resolution presenting the products in all their glory, and descriptions that provide real value without being overly long. They should only contain the most important information and technical aspects of the products.

Set the rewards list

If you know your target audience well then you should know what will most encourage them to participate in your program. You can vary the type of referral rewards depending on the thresholds reached by referrers, and the incentive for the new customer should also be different. It’s best to encourage a customer who is getting to know your brand in a different way to one who has been with you for quite some time. For new customers, free stuff for orders – e.g. a bunch of samples of your bestsellers or travel-size testers and other travel gifts– would be a good choice. The rewards might also include free ebooks demonstrating how to make the most of your products, or standard referral discounts codes – after all, everyone likes to save money.

For current customers, as you might expect, cash reward also comes into play. A good option would be for them to collect points, a greater number of which can be exchanged for prizes of increasing value. This would be an extra incentive. In this way, everyone will be able to decide for themselves what they will find most useful. Variety is a good solution when it comes to types of referrals and their rewards.

It’s vitally important that you contact users when they are most convinced about your brand, i.e. right after shopping or setting up an account. Whether they reached your site directly or via a referral link, you should invite them to join your refer a friend program. The more, the merrier, right?

Choose seamless referral program software

The tools you use are crucial to getting 100% out of your work. This rule applies to most activities, including marketing. So how do you choose the best referral platform? Check out EarlyParrot. In order for your plan to run well, your referral program software should be easily integrate with other platforms and tools you use. EarlyParrot has a very long list of available integrations from WordPress, through Shopify, to MailChimp. Moreover, if you do not find your platform on this list then you can contact an EarlyParrot rep who will try to find a solution.

Moreover, the installation process should not be an Enigma. With EarlyParrot, it definitely isn’t, as the whole easy and intuitive process takes less than 15 minutes without any IT knowledge required. Once installed, you can integrate EarlyParrot with your landing page and start creating an effective referral program.

This doesn’t take long either, but you must be clear about what you want to achieve, what incentive you wish to set, and who you wish to reward. Each step is clearly defined, and the referral software won’t let you publish an unfinished program. It checks whether everything is fine and highlights any aspects that need improvement before letting you go live.

What’s more, EarlyParrot supports the whole communication across various channels. You can set up email templates, posts on social media, and all client-facing pages. Plus there’s no EarlyParrot logo, so you can be sure that all users will be able to identify your brand’s referral campaigns.

Present customer feedback well

When users are searching for the right products online, they very often look for reviews about them. Therefore, you must ensure that all loyal customers reviews are well presented on your product pages. You shouldn’t be afraid of negative reviews if you do get any, as positive ones will neutralize the tone. Opinion-forming portals like industry forums are also important. A good solution is to combine the power of recommendations from friends and influencers, i.e. affiliate marketing

Imagine a situation when a potential customer is trying to figure out what product to choose from in a given category and from which store to order. The client is looking for information on the Internet and finds a YouTube video about one of the products under consideration. The video is almost enough to convince the customer, but for them it’s still worth asking a friend who can be trusted more than the influencer. The friend also recommends that product and offers a referral link. The only dilemma the customer faces is which link to choose, the affiliate or the referral link. Spoiler alert: the referral would probably be chosen because a relationship with a friend is stronger than that with an influencer. Recommendations from friends are type of social proof, this is one of the advantages of referral marketing over affiliate marketing.

As you can see, synergy effects are crucial not only in sales but also in marketing. Therefore it can be very beneficial to use the power of double recommendations.

Keep testing

When it comes to working with people, remember that there is no such thing as a permanent solution. Preferences change, and so do your target audience or market trends. It’s very easy to track the effectiveness of referral marketing strategy, so it’s definitely advisable to do so. With EarlyParrot you have all of the most important metrics at your fingertips. You can see how many clicks a given link received and whether those clients shared them with the same enthusiasm at all times. You should bear in mind that offering the same referral reward for an extended duration may not prove successful in the long run. Play around with your rewards, perform A / B tests to make comparisons, and ask your clients for feedback via email surveys.

Keep your finger on the pulse and always be willing to check and change. Run end-to-end tests when necessary, too. This is the shortest recipe for success, and it basically always works.

Over to you

Referral marketing is often an underestimated solution, since a well-made program will essentially drive itself as happy customers recommend your products or services to each other and the word continually spreads. Even though it is based at customer relationships, great deal of the scope and effectiveness of these activities depends on you. In order for people to want to share positive opinions about your brand, you must have something to offer them and a USP they can talk about. Whether that will be great discounts for customers, a wide range of available products, or incredibly reliable customer service – standing out is your first assignment. 

The next task is to choose the rewards. Few people are willing to do something for free, which is why they are so important. The referral program software is another aspect that is important for your refer a friend program to run smoothly and for staying in touch with clients. The chosen referral marketing software should also allow you to monitor the performance of your program. Speaking of performance, leverage the magic of synergy and put some effort into presenting client’s recommendations or cooperation with influencers well. Doing so can only boost your referral marketing results.

Last but not least, keep your finger on the pulse. You need to stay up to date if you want to be sure that the referral strategy is working. That’s why you should continually track the performance of your programs and make any necessary changes. Only this way will you be able to maximize the full power of referral marketing strategy.

6 tips for boosting conversions

If you are running an online business, one of the most important factors is conversion rate optimization. Conversions are crucial for every digital business, no matter if it operates on the B2C or B2B markets. Analyze the traffic to your  website, who is converting, and who is not. Identify some patterns. This is important knowledge that can help you improve your conversion rate, and so that’s what this article will talk about. You will learn several ways haw to take care of conversion optimization, encourage prospective customers to make purchases, and how to reduce the number of abandoned shopping carts. Start taking notes; you’ll learn some handy tricks here!

What is conversion?

In short, conversion is the change of a passive user to an active user. A given user converts if they perform a desired action, i.e. make a purchase, create an account, or subscribe to a newsletter, etc. The average conversion rate is 2.35%. This means that only a little more than 2% of all visitors complete the desired actions of site owners. The conversion rate is calculated as follows: the number of conversions should be divided by the total number of visitors and then multiplied by 100%.

To understand what exactly the conversion rate is, you need to get familiar with a sales funnel. This is a tool that helps you visualize the moment when your customers make purchasing decisions, which is especially helpful if you run an eCommerce store. It captures all customers – from those at the top of the funnel who might be first-time visitors, to those at the bottom who are ready to purchase or even become loyal, regular clients. With knowledge about customers positions in the funnel you’ll be ready to take steps to make an increase in conversions, and thus sale.

Now let’s focus on the conversion rate optimization and how to make it sky-high.

How to boost your conversions?

We have a few conversion rate optimization tips below that you can pick one of or choose to use all of them depending on you and your business needs. Ready?

#1 Implement referral marketing

Customers who visit your web via referrals are 30% more likely to convert and have up to 16 times higher lifetime value.

Sounds promising? Referral marketing is a very simple way to optimize your conversion rate. You can really gain a lot from it with little effort or investment. How does it work? You first need to create a referral program – you’ll need a tool for that, e.g. EarlyParrot, thanks to which you can design your own program in the blink of an eye. Then think about what the rewards will be – whether to offer discounts to customers or rather arrange material rewards. Creating a referral program is very simple and implementing it is even easier, since EarlyParrot will guide you step by step. Once you’ve created a campaign you can invite customers by adding them to your email list and sending the details. You need to describe how the program works, what the types of rewards are, and the criteria for earning them.

Why is referral marketing so effective? Because it is based on relationships with their friends or family that your customers have. It is them who recommend your site and share links with potential customers, who are people they are trusted by. And as you know, recommendations from such people are the most reliable of all.

#2 Highlight customers’ testimonials and opinions

It is very important for your customers to see whether products meet their desires and needs. Nobody wants to be disappointed after using a given product for the first time. If you run an online store, you should present customers’ opinions on every product page – near to each item there should be a review box. It would be ideal if your clients wrote opinions and ranked products, e.g. via a star rating. Customer photos added to reviews would be also a great idea.

If you operate on the B2B market you should make even more use of testimonials from your customers, since more money is involved and nobody wants to lose it. Highlight testimonials on the main page and make sure to show several of them. Remember that each opinion should be signed not only with a name but also the company and position of the reviewer. Speaking about product presentation, you need to keep in mind that even the best customer reviews won’t have much impact if you don’t display the product property. High-quality pictures and perhaps even video content will increase the likelihood of boost in conversion too.

Customers’ opinions and testimonials are social proof. They work similarly to referral marketing, except in this case there are no rewards on offer and the recommendations come from strangers. Yet they can still be powerful.

#3 Give up on any long and distracting actions

Your potential customers must be focused on setting up an account or making a purchase, so let them do so. Don’t bombard them with a million pop-ups on every page or distract with calls to action buttons on every corner.

Remember to not make the client feel trapped on your website or force them to close many pop-up windows, because ultimately they might close the entire browser. And there will be no conversions after they’ve left your site for good.

Now let’s focus on initial actions. The first step that a user takes is very important. Therefore, an action button with the word “subscribe” on it should be clearly visible, as well as icons for adding products to the cart and looking at what’s inside it. As a result, cart abandonment rates will drop. What’s more, the process of setting up an account should not be too complicated. Only ask for basic data plus to set up a login and password at first – don’t overcomplicate the registration form. If you send email verification links to email then make sure they arrive quickly. If you want to personalize messages or an offer and you need additional information, please communicate this and leave parts of the form optional. Don’t force clients to provide too much information at the very beginning, as that will take time they may not have. No worries, they will come back to it when they have a moment or after you remind them to do so by sending an email to that effect.

#4 Drive conversions with email messages

Email marketing is still on point. Marketing emails influence purchasing decisions for almost 60% of respondents. Newsletters, cart abandonment emails, or happy birthday wishes – they all can make a great difference. Such communication should go hand in hand with a good content marketing strategy. What’s more, email marketing won’t change much without good message copy.

It’s crucial for email marketing to be aware of what you write and how it will make your customers feel. Bulk emails are not the best option since people want to feel special, so add a personal touch – even to a notification about a shopping cart abandonment.

Bet on diversity. What you should do is to inform customers about new offers, personalize promotional emails, and perhaps also include content like ebooks related to your industry or company. Communication and how you conduct it is very important not only in terms of the customer’s assessment of your business, but also for making a purchasing decision. And this affects the conversion rate. It’s also important not to overdo email marketing campaigns. Don’t send several or even just one message every day, otherwise your email subscribers will opt out of receiving your communication. Enough is enough, so be polite and reasonable.

#5 Highlight your uniqueness

Staying on the subject of communication, you need to show your customers your USP. Regardless of what it is, you need to emphasize what distinguishes you from the competition. You can also add customer testimonials or reviews as proof. It’s worth reminding regular clients or subscribers why they chose you in the first place. Do so not only via email, on social media, or in SMS messages – show it on your page too!

This is also an important factor for new customers who haven’t given you their contact details yet, which is another reason to emphasize the USP on your website. You can do so in an “About Us” tab or place a banner on the landing page with a short slogan about your USP. It all depends on the design of your website and the industry, plus you should know best what works for your customers.

#6 Be mobile-friendly

Mcommerce is one of the strongest sale trends right now. The majority of us shop via mobiles or at least carry out some research from such devices. Therefore, you should take care of proper mobile website optimization and/or provide a mobile app.

Suppose a client browses your website on their phone and searches for desired products, but the page is not displayed properly, freezes, or even doesn’t load at at all. The customer may not only resign from opening the page on their mobile, but also give up on your store completely. It’s not a risk worth taking, so optimize your website for mobile devices and make mobile payments an option too. 

Another good solution would be an app that encourages users even more to purchase via mobile devices. Customers will generally remain logged into such apps at all times and they won’t have to count on the responsiveness of browsers on their phones. Using an app is quite simply a more convenient option for many users that will certainly help decrease the bounce rate and increase conversions.

Are you ready to increase your conversions?

Driving conversions is a process, so don’t expect results immediately after implementing the above solutions. Depending on your target audience, industry, or business size, the rate at which changes occur may vary – so don’t give up! If you do everything with proper care, you will surely notice the results eventually. If you’re not satisfied with the pace or don’t want to invest in several strategies, you can run A / B tests to see which particular solutions bring major improvements and stick with those. It all depends on your goals and the time frame you set. 

When it comes to achieving your conversion goals, it’s important to focus on your audience, not the numbers. After all, conversions are people. Therefore, think about them before you quickly release another bulk email or approve another pop-up. You are definitely a buyer yourself or at least visit websites, so use these experiences to adjust your website’s behavior or call center software to be as effective as possible for your customers!