#ParrotInspires: 5 referral programs you need to know

Referral marketing works. After all, 78% of B2B advertisers say that this form of marketing provides good-quality leads. So it’s worth the effort, even if there may sometimes be bumps along the road. Many new referral marketing enthusiasts believe that all you need to do is offer an appropriate incentive and everything will work out. That may well be so, but unfortunately, in most cases, it’s not enough.

So what should you do when such a seemingly easy marketing strategy isn’t going your way. Take a look at those who are ruling in this regard – it’s best to learn from the masters. But beware, it’s worth keeping in mind that all customers are different depending on the sector or type of products/services you provide. Thus, not all activities may be perfect for your business. It might be worthwhile analyzing the activities of the big players on the market, yet perhaps not worth copying everything one-to-one.

But let’s start from the beginning, why is referral marketing worth considering?

Why is referral marketing such a game-changer?

The main reason is simple. It doesn’t require much input but it provides great benefits. Compared to other channels, referral marketing leads convert up to 30% better and have a 16% higher lifetime value. So if you are searching for a long term solution that will improve your business performance, you should take a closer look at referrals. Besides, referral marketing is quick to implement and very easy to track. Thanks to links or codes that you can give your clients to share, you can follow all statistics and check what works best for your target audience. You can also play around with the rewards. Some may work well but others less so, hence this is also important knowledge to have when running such programs.

So let’s take a closer look at some of those who are masters of referral programs. 

#1 Dropbox

Dropbox is one of those programs that first comes to mind when someone says “referral marketing”. No wonder, since they are killing it. Dropbox is a file storage and transfer service. It has been offering a referral program for a long time, in which the reward is an additional 500 MB storage for both the referrer and the new client. For Plus and Professional users, that amount is 1 GB. 

What has Dropbox gained thanks to the referral program? It increased their number of new user registrations by as much as 60%. And it wasn’t just a one-off increase; it has been a continuing trend. As a result, Dropbox’s marketing costs could basically be reduced to zero. Instead, they offer clients additional storage space for their files. And as we know, you can never have too much of that. As a result, this offer is subsidized by the company, but keep in mind that the customer does not really gain extra space for free as it appears. They bring a new customer who may invest even in the most expensive versions, you never know. So, as you can see, the company is gaining a lot. It has been running this program for a decade, so it definitely pays off for them.

What can you learn from this case? A reward doesn’t always have to be a discount. You can offer your products, part of your service, or even a subscription (e.g. a week of paid subscription for free). It’s important that both parties feel that they benefit from this interaction and that the choice of offer hits the mark.

#2 Uber

Uber is an application that allows users to reach their destinations quickly and safely. From the moment of setting up, each client has their own personalized code that they can share with friends. Each time such a code is used, both parties receive a free or discounted Uber ride.

Uber was in some ways revolutionary for its time. It was perceived as a kind of upgraded taxi that you didn’t have to catch at the roadside, but would be waiting for you outside to take you to your destination. The advantage of Uber over taxis was not only the application, but also the price in most cities. In order to gain popularity and stand out in the minds of customers, it had to offer something extra. And that’s what Uber’s referral program turned out to be. Who wouldn’t like to take advantage of a free ride? They not only gained new customers, but also managed to complete the business model in just a few months.

What the example of Uber shows is that referrals are not only a way to attract new customers, but also for the business to stand out. Currently, Uber is available in 85 countries and serves 5 billion rides worldwide each month. It could be said that some part of this success (possibly quite a lot) is due to their referral program.

#3 Airbnb

Airbnb is definitely one of the largest portals that every vacationer looking for a place to sleep should visit. It was created by people for people, which means that private property owners make their apartments available to personal travellers who want to spend some time in another location. If a place turns out to be worth recommending, why not suggest it to friends who will be going on vacation? Airbnb has recognized this logic. After all, travel and accommodation are important issues that many of us consult with our friends or family about. 

At the outset, Airbnb simply offered a referral reward without any particular rules. However, after some time they noticed that the recommendations were quite profitable. That’s why an entire program architecture was created, and is now used by millions of its registrants. Therefore, a referral email campaign was created via which users could send invitations to their existing contacts.

Currently, each member of the platform can collect Travel Credits. How? New clients register with a referral link, make a successful booking, and stay. Of course, provided that the referrer is not the host of the place where the booking is made. The maximum Travel Credit is $5,000 per user. Such a program pays off for the platform, because more bookings are made with referral links than without.

What does the example of Airbnb teach? First recommendations should be appreciated. Even if you don’t have a program, clients may still recommend you. Second, the program has to evolve over time. Airbnb started with an email campaign, but now each customer can share a referral link. It’s important to test the implemented solutions to be sure that they work without any problems.

#4 Amazon Prime

Amazon is a giant on the eCommerce market. And for all the possibilities it provides, it doesn’t offer very big rewards. Nevertheless, even such a solution brings benefits. How does the Amazon Prime program work? Prime membership is the natural choice for many Amazon members, which was the retailer’s intention. Any Amazon Prime member can invite their friends to create an account, as long as they don’t already have one or belong to Amazon Student. 

How is the whole procedure completed? The new customer has to click on their referral link, create an account, and then make a purchase within 90 days of doing so. In order for the referrers to receive referral credits, the order can’t be cancelled. Referral credits are automatically assigned to the account and can then be used to pay for orders.

Amazon proves that a referral program is also an ideal solution for eCommerce. If you build a brand for yourself and gain loyal customers, they will recommend you further and you will gain recognition. Who knows, maybe you will be as successful as Amazon one day?

#5 Google

Referral marketing is so popular even Google is investing in it. You’re probably wondering how it works. After all, you wouldn’t invite your friend to use a browser that everyone has access to. The referral program applies to Google Apps for Work, i.e. for business customers. After joining, each customer receives a personalized link that they can share to receive $15  for every account that is created using it, and Google will transfer this money immediately to the referrer.

Google shows that business clients also like to share their opinions and recommendations, and Google uses these habits to expand its audience. Although you may wonder whether a giant like Google needs to build loyalty among customers, as you can see it’s worth taking care of such aspects regardless of the company’s size.

What should you learn from the market leaders?

What are the lessons for the future? We’ll add one: before you start thinking about your program’s details, find the right software that will provide you with a fast and error-free development process. EarlyParrot has got it all

Installation takes 15 minutes, and the platform itself integrates with most providers, such as Shopify, WordPress, and Joomla. The creation of a program is also very intuitive. EarlyParrot guides you step by step and shows you aspects that still need to be completed. It’s a very good tool for both beginners and advanced marketers. If you’re interested in more of its benefits then read about them here

You can also learn a lot from the examples above. First, referral marketing program is a good idea for both online stores and service providers. Regardless of whether you operate in the B2B or B2C market, such a program will work for every type of customer. Second, creating a referral campaign isn’t the end – it’s just the beginning. It has to adapt in order to be a success, otherwise, customers will stop finding the rewards valuable. Remember that competition is growing all the time, so you need to stand out to attract customers and to keep them engaged. 

The last lesson you should learn from this text is that referral marketing allows you not only to expand your customer base, but also to develop your business and push it forward. Perhaps, just like Dropbox, you will save a lot of money on marketing to spend on achieving other strategic goals that you’ve set for yourself. Of course, referrals are all about clients, but remember they are the promise of growth. The more you look after them, the brighter the future will be for you.

Are you encouraged to start your own referral campaign? We have prepared some tips on how to start one. Feel free to be inspired!

6 reasons why you need a referral program

Your business is doing well; customers visit your website often and sales are high. You may think you don’t need to make any changes, but not so fast! Anyone who doesn’t make changes actually moves backwards. Even if your business is currently doing, that doesn’t mean it couldn’t be doing even better.

Have you ever considered referral marketing? It doesn’t require much input, yet can be more profitable than any other marketing strategy. The largest players on the market have referral programs. You are probably familiar with those run by Uber, Amazon, or the recent star Clubhouse. If referral marketing wasn’t profitable, none of these providers would be investing in it. And yet, thanks to recommendations, Uber is already present in 85 countries worldwide and provides 40 million rides each month in the US alone. This probably wouldn’t be possible without word-of-mouth marketing, as referrals are sometimes known.. 

Did we catch your attention with these numbers? Hopefully. Now let’s talk about some situations when you should start your own referral program immediately. 

When you need a referral program 

Here are three situations that may indicate a need for action. And by action, we mean starting a referral marketing program. Bear in mind that you might already be facing one of these situations now in your business.

If your clients ask about it 

Clients are a good source of inspiration, and they often suggest a great solution themselves. Social media comment sections can be a major help if you’re active on them. When many customers find one solution or one provider’s page and like it, they will ask others for the same. So if your customers ever mention referral marketing to you, then go for it. No wonder they are interested; after all, referral marketing is all about the rewards that they can earn for active participation.

Asking for feedback is also a very good move. You can ask clients directly if they have heard of referral programs, if they ever participated in any, and what their conclusions are. Find out whether or not they’d like to participate in yours, if it were to be created. Customers can be a really good starting point for arranging new marketing activities, so keep in touch with them.

If your sales are not great 

Suppose you have noticed that sales are falling, and business is not as good as it once was. Or you are at the beginning of your company’s journey, and it is difficult for you to break through against the competition. Then it is worth thinking about a solution that can bring a lot of results, yet is relatively cheap.

By creating a successful referral program, you will be able to stimulate sales not only by encouraging your current customers to make purchases but also by attracting new ones. How? You have to set up all the metrics and rewards, plus create the communication and referral links. Then you can invite clients to participate and allow them to share their unique links with friends and family. And that’s all.

If you’re not gaining many new customers

If you notice that you’re not acquiring many new customers, it’s time to act. Perhaps other marketing channels are failing, or your CTAs are not convincing enough. Even the most loyal customers won’t always remember to recommend your website, so it is worth reminding them. You can send emails for this purpose once every few months. A “thank you” to clients for participating in the program should also be included in the message. It’s also worth reminding those who have clicked on a referral link if their purchases have not yet been completed.

Additionally, the mere fact that a referral link exists will spur referrals. After all, clients being able to earn rewards is often a strong enough motivation by itself. 

Now you know when it might be necessary to set up a referral program. Let’s talk about 6 reasons why you might like to introduce such a solution to your business.

Building a community

Referral marketing is a great way to increase team spirit among your customers. The feeling of unity is an excellent way to make your customers friends of your brand. Year after year, the importance of belonging is increasing. New companies appearing on the market only stimulates the competition. Clients have to pick companies that are the best choice for them. This is where building a sense of belonging comes in handy. People by nature like to belong somewhere – usually in a family, a class at school, or a work organization, for example.

A 2016 study found that 85% of marketers and community builders believe that the presence of a branded online community can improve both the customer’s experience and their level of trust. A community can mean a Facebook group, a loyalty program, or a referral program, etc. Thanks to participation in one, clients are not only rewarded but also stay in touch with the brand. It is therefore a good idea to expand your communication to something more than just notifications about referral rewards.

It’s worth mentioning here, that thanks to sharing referral links, your clients can feel like influencers or even like a part of your company. This builds attachment to your brand even more, and encourages customers to not only recommend your website but also come back to it more often themselves.

Decreasing costs

Usually, new marketing activities are associated with new expenses, like paying for ads on Facebook or Google. But referral marketing is different. Your customers are the driving force here. You don’t have to pay them, so your only cost is for the rewards you offer. These aren’t much compared to the results they can generate.

A well-designed referral program can bring you up to 5 times the conversions as without. Conversions mean profits for your business, and all this just for the price of offering discounts to participants, for example. Isn’t it a win-win situation?

What’s more, those clients who came to your page thanks to referrals tend to stay longer. From day one, they will have a positive attitude towards your business and be more willing to trust you. Such customers have an average lifetime value of up to 16% longer than others. This allows you to create a separate funnel and thus maximize your ROI.

By analyzing the costs of such an investment, you should find that they are disproportionately small compared to the profit. One of the costs that you will have to consider is the cost of a referral program software. EarlyParrot offers a free demo, however, a small investment is needed if you want to go all out and run a few campaigns. Don’t worry though, as the costs won’t burn a hole in your pocket. When creating a program, remember about having an appropriate reward system, e.g. collecting points to earn a given reward. The better tailored to your audience, the better the results will be. Keep an eye on and test which solutions have the best impact on sales and which rewards will maximize ROI.

Monitoring results automatically

Installing referral software will allow you to track all your campaigns. No matter how many programs you run, you can see how many active users there are, how many new users came from referrals, and how many referrals led to purchases. By having all the data at hand, you can eliminate bottlenecks. It’s also easier to spot your stars – the referees who make the most hype about your brand. 

By installing referral software, you can better focus on analyzing traffic and improving communication. Automating the program also saves time, as most of the processes are basically completed by themselves. You just need to design it properly at the very beginning. If you choose the right platform, it will be a piece of cake. Installing EarlyParrot and integrating it with your landing page takes less than a quarter of an hour, and it doesn’t require any specific knowledge. What’s also great about this platform is that it works with most external platforms like Shopify, WooCommerce, and Magento. It also supports PrestaShop, WordPress, AWeber, and many more. It also comes in handy to support list building, since it works with MailChimp, for example.

Increasing brand awareness

If your customers start talking about you and sharing their opinions,more and more people will be aware of your presence on the market. Consequently, increasingly more people can choose to visit your website when there is a need that you can fulfill. The more people know about you, the better. This is how referral marketing works. If you offer a discount not only for the referrer but also for the referee, it will work even more effectively!  You will be remembered as a site that has not only a specific and excellent offer, but also where one can make cheaper purchases. The more satisfied customers are, the better.

Importantly, if people hear about you from a friend, they will be trusted more than an advertising spot on TV. It is proof of authenticity, and about 86% of customers believe that is the key to their hearts. The more authentic a company is, the more people want to support it. And the more supporters, the better sales results.

Growing your reach 

It seems quite obvious that your clients recommend your friends; these friends become clients, and they then recommend you to their friends. And so the news is spread out into the world. Word of mouth works in your favor (if people talk positively about you, of course). Referral marketing is a well-oiled machine that drives itself and increases the number of people interested in your offer. It will really pay off when it allows you to reach even the most difficult segments. After all, even the most demanding customers have friends with whom they exchange insights and news. 

Even if your initial customer base isn’t too big, it’s still a good start. A few are better than none anyway. Even in the case of a low entry-level, the snowball effect will work, and you will be on the lips of many potential customers in no time. And all this thanks to a brief moment spent on creating the program.

Reminding clients why they have chosen you 

Let’s assume that a given customer recommends your store, for example. Your regular client praises the wide range of products available, fast order fulfillment, and high level of after sales service. This reminds the client themselves why they like visiting you so much. And perhaps they’ll come back and make some more purchases too. It is essential that regular clients not only attract new ones, but also visit your page to make their own purchases.

As a result of discussions on this topic, customers will not only remember that they probably need something from your website, but may also be reminded that they have a discount to use or have just gained one because of a referral.  So they may visit your store and make even bigger purchases since they have a coupon. 

What’s next?

You have already learnt about the reasons why you should become interested in referral programs. Perhaps you are even ready to create your own. So what’s next? You need to install the appropriate software. As previously mentioned, EarlyParrot might be just your cup of tea. It is quick and easy to install, has many integrations that work for SaaS businesses and eCommerce stores, plus it can help with building email lists. 

What’s more, the process of creating the program is a piece of cake. The program tells you what to do and when, as well as highlighting which aspects need to be corrected. You can customize the appearance of emails and share pages. And don’t worry, the EarlyParrot logo is nowhere to be seen, so customers will have no doubts from the branding that this is your program.

If you want to check it out first, you can get a demo and test the platform. If you want to find more information about this tool, you can read the knowledge base or take a look at the EarlyParrot blog. You can also schedule a meeting with an EarlyParrot rep to dispel any possible doubts.

Over to you

You now have the background knowledge about why it’s worth investing in referral marketing and what to do if you have already made the decision to proceed with it. Now it’s all up to you. If you need more tips on how to start a referral program then read our post. You can find some tips and tricks for beginner referral marketers there, which should help with planning the implementation of your referral marketing strategy. So now it’s time for nothing but action.
Get the demo and start your referral program today!

4 tips for boosting your customer engagement

Consumer engagement is a very important factor that contributes to the success (or failure) of your business. Isn’t it interesting that fully engaged customers are 23% more profitable in terms of revenue and relationships? Its absence should flash a red light in your head that something is wrong. If customers were eager to come back to your website and shop in the beginning but now the situation is different, you should start looking for a reason why. It may be poor targeting of your offer or increased competition –  there can be many reasons for this. 

Of course, you could try, for example, to expand your offer or change the target if you feel that these are the reasons for a lack of commitment on your website. But we also have some ideas of our own and asked some professionals about their tips for boosting customer engagement. Are you interested? 

Time response is crucial

Customer involvement is heavily influenced by the customer experience. After all, 86% of buyers indicated that they would be willing to pay more for a better customer experience. Do you know what your customers don’t like the most? Waiting. So don’t make them wait too long. 

The first interaction with a client is very important. First impressions are only made once, right? Therefore, if you make clients wait from the very beginning, it does not bode well for a long relationship. Here is what Petra Odak, CMO at Better Proposals advised regarding this matter:

Reduce your first response time as much as you possibly can! If you take hours to get back to a customer, they could have already gone to a competitor and canceled their subscription with you. Either employ a chatbot to resolve the most common questions your customers ask (which we don’t do) or hire a dedicated customer support rep to cover all the time zones of your customers. You don’t need to immediately solve your customers’ problems, but it is crucial to respond as soon as possible.

Chatbots, as mentioned above, are a very interesting option. Bhooshan Shatty from Engati said:

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is radically changing business, and AI chatbots are becoming a feasible customer service channel. The best ones deliver a customer experience (CX) in which customers cannot tell if they are communicating with a human or a computer. AI has come a long way in recognizing the content – and context – of customers’ requests and questions. They are ubiquitous on nearly every brand website today, making a significant mark in consumer-facing tasks through fast and consistent support.

He also mentioned some of the biggest chatbot pros just to highlight their values:

1. Available 24/7 for Your Customers

2. Chatbots continuously learn

3. Ensure a Personalized Customer Service Experience

4. Your team has more context on each customer

5. Creates a consistent user experience

And just to support these words, forecasts say that approximately 40% of customer interactions will be automated by 2023. As you can see, automation is becoming a bigger player on the market in terms of interactions as well. 

It’s important to be understood

People need to know why they should choose you and how it could be beneficial for them to be engaged. Ugnius Zasimauskas from Attention Insight says that:

Whenever users open your page, they will immediately have several questions that you are expected to answer: Does this page have what I’m looking for? Where is it? How do I get it?

Ugnius highlights the importance of your page’s visual aspects, the way you organize it, and how easily navigable it is. He advises that: 

You can also promote specific content, encourage your visitors to click on call-to-actions, and improve the overall user experience. All of which will undeniably increase customer engagement and your conversions.

The way your page looks and how easy is to find something on it is a crucial aspect. If someone visits your site, they are doing so for a reason. Firstly, what they’re looking for has to be relatively easy to find, and secondly, it must be clear why they should do business on your webpage. Send your message clearly.

Jeffrey Kagan from Nifty also has an interesting point of view. His main tip is to: 

…focus on ensuring that users both paid and free have a good understanding of the best ways to use your product. In support of his words, he adds that:

At Nifty we have started offering biweekly webinars to our user base and they have become very popular among productivity junkies and new users alike, leading to a much more engaged and active user base.

And he has a point – boosting customer engagement is all about understanding your product. Showing how to use it or presenting some useful tricks may be the key to their hearts.

The same rules apply to mobile apps. David Cacik, Head of Marketing at CloudTalk explains:

The observed huge increase in the range and importance of mobile will continue. Mobile channels must provide customers with what they expect, based on intuitive interfaces and a wide range of available tools and options. Access to selected products may be limited due to the client’s ability and “ability” to close specific transactions, but the access to services and information itself must be sufficiently wide. Customers can be directed to specific places and channels (e.g. a dedicated call center or a designated, conveniently located outlet) in order to continue the process, but it must be done efficiently and easily, without effort from the customer’s perspective.

As for the mobile applications themselves – their capabilities, intuitive design, security of authorization mechanisms, etc. – the wealth of solutions offered on the market in all industries and markets is so large that each company can find and choose what best meets customer needs despite limitations and formal or legal requirements.

Show benefits

Once customers understand what your product is about and how to use it, they need to focus on the benefits. These are the main driving factors for choosing your product over competitors’. Konrad Caban has this piece of related advice:

Show your customer how their activity in your app can benefit them. Explain that the more they do, the more they get from the money they spend. And I’m not talking about some virtual rewards (gamification), but a real impact on their business (or life).

He added how they manage this issue in Super Monitoring:

For example, in Super Monitoring, you can stick to default checks and only view email alerts and reports. But when you create more checks, you can monitor more features of your website, besides availability – like load speed, transactions, expiring assets, etc. And when you log in, you can access detailed information about the problems detected for root cause analysis.

Konrad also highlights the importance of the cause-and-effect relationship between customer engagement and their benefits. He claims that it’s good material for case studies, but what’s crucial is that: 

Such case studies should be presented to a user early as a part of the onboarding process.

Building community helps a lot 

Community is a factor that allows customers to feel a bond with the brand in question. Moreover, it builds loyalty and keeps customers coming back. Matej Kukucka from Marketing Player says:

Create a community around your product with specific use cases. No matter your business size and industry, your customers are probably very keen on using your products or services. Therefore streamlining them into a single place is a great way to increase customer engagement, and it’s very possible to improve retention as well.

Martin Bloksa from StreamBee has exciting insights about using Discord for this purpose. He explains from his experience why it was a bull’s eye: 

Considering we are streamer analytics software, Discord was an obvious choice when it comes to choosing where to engage with our customers. Create  different channels and let your customers and potential prospects interact with you. Help them, they won’t forget about it. And for those who are your best clients, create a special place. Simply a VIP zone to feel them better. They will be happy to come back and engage with yourself.

It’s a very nice idea to go the extra mile and expand beyond well-known social media. After all, right now, most interaction takes place online, so why not have a chat with your customers in real-time and let them talk to each other too.  

Building a community may also be helpful with creating or upgrading new products. More than 60% of companies admit they turn to brand communities in the case of product development.

Focus on relationships and authenticity

Building strong relationships is important both in life and in business. It’s crucial to be close with your customers to give them the feeling they have a go-to site where they can find what they need. Zach Boyette from Galactic Fed advises focusing on three P’s, which are:

Purpose: customers are more interested in social impact, especially when it comes to diversity and inclusivity.

Personalization: customers want to personalize their products and feel like brands are tailoring the product to them.

Positioning: brands that position their product to enhance or facilitate a new experience will come out ahead.

He adds that experience is crucial when it comes to relationships:

Customers want an experience that is more meaningful and less transactional, and brands that do this will boost their customer engagement as a result.

What is the foundation of each good relationship? Authenticity. That’s why Deepti Chopra from Adaface points out that:

Customers today are looking for authenticity over all else. Finding a voice that is unique, that customers can relate to, while staying true to your brand values is a long term investment which pays off over time.

She adds that relationships and authenticity support the community, which, as already mentioned, is another key aspect when it comes to boosting customer engagement.

Showing off your brand personality on social media (while still knowing where to draw the line) and building a community that adds value and maintains an ongoing conversation are also great ways to engage customers.

Authenticity goes hand-in-hand with security. Each client has to feel that their data is safe and sound when it comes to your database. Iva Anusic from Mediatoolkit added:

Observing the world around us, we commonly see two opposite trends. On the one hand, customers are ready to share more and more data, if only to get a better offer. At the same time, the same customers are expressing more and more caution and distrust when it comes to the security of use and the guarantee of storage of this data.

In order to gain the customer’s trust, banks should clearly and openly communicate the scope and manner of using individual data, with the option of “going in / out” (opt-in / opt-out) of a specific procedure for obtaining and using the data. That is to emphasize the care for data security and confidentiality. Plus, it can be another highlighting factor.

Content should be king

You have probably heard this phrase a million times, but it’s true. Without good content, it is hard to catch anybody’s attention, let alone engage them. Farwa Anees from Content Studio says that:

Using your blogs as a means of providing answers to what your audience is looking for will lead to happy and permanent subscribers, ultimately leading to company growth.

As a consultant for both small and large businesses, Felix Yim from GrowthBoost says that:

…the most common mistakes I see are advertisements that don’t engage with the customer. As a guide to boost your customer engagement, start all your campaigns with the pain point your customer faces, and then lead with how you can help.

You need to create a content plan: what, where, and when. You should then examine the content itself: its form, design, and accuracy. Remember to provide meaningful content, share your knowledge in a nice format, and don’t forget about personalization.

Agnieszka Kuprianowicz from Angry Nerds has a good insight about this topic:

Commitment starts with a better understanding of customers as people. It can and should be supported by the most up-to-date and beneficial information (including the offer). This information, in turn, should be provided in an attractive and engaging manner, building a good experience, using a wide range of complementary channels (omnichannel).

Jacek Wizmur-Szymczak from Scalac advices focus on topicality:

To increase the level of customer engagement, companies need to become more involved in terms of product offerings and promotions, but also in the way they share information and demonstrate understanding of customer needs. The so-called Content (content and form of communication) must be up-to-date, profiled, and “meaningful” for customers; it should not be seen as part of cross- and upselling activities.

Boosting your customer engagement starts now

As you can see, boosting your customer engagement is not rocket science. Hopefully, some of these pieces of advice from experts will pave the way for you and your customers to engage a little more.

Improving customer engagement is a big step towards building your business performance and brand awareness. When you engage your customers and strengthen bonds with them, they will stay with you for longer.

Clubhouse Referral Phenomenon: nuts and bolts

Invitation exclusively via membership, only for owners of hardware with iOS software. Visual and text elements kept to a minimum. Voice as the main means of communication. What are we talking about? Of course, it’s the Clubhouse application that has recently exploded in popularity. How does it work and what should you know about it? You’ll find the answers in this article.

What is Clubhouse? 

Clubhouse is a young social network that was founded in March 2020. It is based on live voice calls, and all activities on this platform take place around them. App owners describe it as a new type of voice-based social product that allows people to chat, tell stories, develop ideas, deepen friendships, and meet interesting people from around the World. Messages, pictures, and videos can’t be sent in the app, however you can create your own profile, add a description in the bio, make friends, observe other users, and participate in conversations. 

It can be compared to an interactive radio or podcast. Its users also influence the popularity of the platform. Currently, you can find popular journalists, the richest people in the world, as well as the most important names in marketing and Big Tech as users. In addition, you can find A-list stars and celebrities using the app.

How to register for Clubhouse? 

Clubhouse is not open to everyone. To register, you must receive an invitation from an active user sent to your phone number. Each user receives a number of invitations to give away – the amount number varies. The quality of new users who are referred influences the algorithm’s perception of the given invitations. Importantly, Clubhouse is currently only available on iPhones.

This exclusive approach to membership is not the first such on the market. In the beginning, Instagram, which was designed only for iPhone users, and Quora, which was only open to invitees, worked similarly. Neither app was perceived negatively, but the exclusivity rather worked to the advantage of their image.

Why is it a great referral marketing case?

Despite only being a year old, Clubhouse has attracted 2,000,000 users. It is applying a strategy called Velvet Rope. Exclusivity is created through a combination of invite-only memberships and strategic hype. A person who wants in must be either a VIP or receive an invitation from someone who is.

Once you’re in, you become a “VIP” too, being an exclusive member.  It’s hard to acquire anything behind a velvet rope, and therefore what’s behind it seems more desirable. As Clubhouse’s app is exclusive, more people are likely to want membership due to its invitation-only approach.

Clubhouse is a large topic of conversation on social media. As a result, there is a lot of demand for relatively little supply. In this way, people beg their friends for an invite, while those with invites have to show a lot of kindness and consideration to those without. You might think that limiting access to your service to invite-only would hurt your chances, but it can actually do the opposite.

Those invites take care of any trust issues because a friend has already tested out the service. The enrollment itself is a gladly taken action. Besides finding initial users, it does not require any financial cost. Also, the scales work incredibly well. 

A few brands are fortunate enough to have two of their customers refer two of their friends. You can scale in a massive way if you make the process simple (as Clubhouse has done). Clubhouse’s invite-only model also stands to benefit members. The start might be a little low, but when everyone recommends two more then it develops into an exponentially growing machine.

How does Clubhouse work? 

After you receive an invitation and create an account, you can join a room where voice calls are held. At the moment there are three types of rooms in Clubhouse:

  • Open, which is one that anyone can join, 
  • Social, a room that is available to people who follow the user that organizes a specific conversation – it works great for building your community, 
  • Closed, a room available only to those who receive an invitation to it.

When creating a room, you can give it a theme that is displayed in invitations and its description. In addition, you can add regulations to your room.

You can participate in conversations passively and just listen to them like a radio or podcast. The second option is to actively participate in discussions. If you are not the moderator or conversation organizer for a particular room, then you must “raise your hand” to let them know you want to actively join in the conversation. In addition, if you want or need to leave a discussion then you can “leave quietly”. You can also invite people who are not already in the room – ping.

If you want to set up your own conversation, just click Start a room. Anyone can join the room, but it is up to you to decide whether or not to join the discussion as a speaker and if you want to appoint someone else as the moderator.

To look for conversations that interest you, you can use the search option. In addition, you can search for specific people as well as users related to a topic you are interested in. Another useful option is the ability to create a room that is setup in advance. People from your and co-hosts’ networks can see such an event.

You will also see emotes and additional colors on photos when in a room. What do they mean? The moderator of the meeting is marked with an asterisk in a green circle, the crossed out microphone is of course information about muted audio, confetti shows us new users who have been on Clubhouse for less than a week, while the gray pulsating border around a photo indicates the person who is currently speaking.

After setting up your first three rooms, an additional option to apply for the establishment of your own club appears. This is the equivalent of Facebook groups. At this point, you have to wait even several weeks to establish such a club.

Who needs Clubhouse and why? 

The main advantage of Clubhouse is the possibility of learning. It gives you direct access to people who are high-level experts that want to share their knowledge. Communication with them is easy and, by participating in discussions with them, you can ask questions that may have been bothering you for a long time. 

Another important aspect is that it is a source of acquiring new followers or engaging existing ones. Often, even if someone follows your profile on Facebook or Instagram, they do not see your content as often as they would like to.

Clubhouse is a brilliant way to remind them of your existence. It’s also great for maintaining relationships with people you rarely meet and are not at the stage of your relationship when it’s appropriate to talk on the phone or write on Messenger.

Get ready for Clubhouse

Prepare a good quality profile and bio 

Once you have access to Clubhouse, it’s time to complete your profile with your name, photo, and bio. This is the only place where you can write something, so it’s essential. What is worth including in it?

  • information about who you are, what you do professionally, and why it is worth contacting you, 
  • what topics of industry and private talks interest you,
  • an email and/or website address, 
  • information about organized rooms and meetings, 
  • links to your Instagram and/or Twitter accounts.

Make sure your profile picture properly represents you and is of good quality. Your photo is displayed in all rooms that you join, hence its importance. 

Expand your friend network 

The networks you build can be divided into two main categories: those with whom you have social interactions (social graph) and those you do not know personally but share our interests (interest graph). The latter category definitely prevails in Clubhouse, as you share common areas of professional and private interests with the members of a given network. Appropriate selection of the people you want to observe shapes the approach of algorithms towards you and impacts upon further suggestions of people to follow.

To add a specific person to your watchlist, just click Follow. And if you want to receive notifications about any rooms organized by them, you should click the bell next to the Follow button (or Following, if you are already doing so).

Cross-promote with other social media

Clubhouse will certainly not dominate Facebook or Twitter, as it is a medium on which a different type of communication is used. However, it is definitely worth investing time in joining activities on Clubhouse. The greatest involvement among an audience is driven by improvised messages aimed at an immersed viewer. This makes Clubhouse generate engaged communication. Therefore, the key to the activities of marketers and other people conducting online activities is to extend their activities to Clubhouse, thanks to which they will have a chance to reach new followers and meet the needs of current users.

On the other hand, Clubhouse allows you to conduct live shows and interviews without the need to prepare an entire studio, lighting, or professional cameras. It allows content that doesn’t really need images to be shared in a format that suits it best. In addition, it allows users to follow in the background just like when listening to podcasts on streaming services or radio.

A few words of summary

A few years ago, the end of the voice era was announced. After podcasting, Clubhouse is further proof that this is not actually the case. It satisfies another area of ​​communication that has not yet been developed by popular platforms like Facebook or other social media. The requirements for using Clubhouse are greater than other platforms due to the need to be invited and have an iPhone, which gives the user a sense of uniqueness. But use of the application itself is very easy, allowing you to join conversations in just a few clicks. We don’t know if Clubhouse will develop further and last for a long time or if it will rather share a similar fate to Snapchat, which shone for a while until it was made obsolete by Instagram. Perhaps one of the big players will want to take it over, but we don’t know about that for sure. However, it’s definitely worth watching Clubhouse and taking action right now, because doing so will allow you to stay one step ahead.

#ParrotInspires: 6 marketing strategies to increase referrals

Referral marketing can be a very effective solution. If you’re still at the beginning of your referral adventure then the results may not be hugely significant right away, but fortunately there are ways to change that. It could also be that your results are a little underwhelming after your program has been running for a while. Perhaps your customers are no longer as engaged as they once were or as interested in the incentives. So what can you do to increase their engagement?

To increase your referrals you should reorganize your strategies. Markets change and so your marketing actions should too. If you are wondering what you should do, we have gathered some marketing strategies that may be helpful if you want to get more referrals. But let’s start from the beginning: what is a good marketing strategy?

What is a good marketing strategy?

Your marketing strategy is the plan that should determine your actions; what, when, and to whom. A well-designed strategy will improve the performance of your marketing activities. In order to plan correctly, you should first think about your target.

Marketers often design strategies that are very good in theory, but in practice they do not bring many benefits. Why? A particular strategy might be creative and innovative, but if it is not perfectly matched to the target then it will not be effective. So if you are looking for a good strategy, you should tailor it to your customers first. You need to analyze who your customers really are, what they expect, and what their habits are. If you need to change your strategy because the current one is underperforming, analyze who your target was before and who it is now. Consumers are always changing, and maybe your offer is too. You have to align your strategy with these changes if you want to stay in the game. 

A good marketing strategy clearly communicates the company’s USP. But to express it well you need to know what it actually is first. Think about your strengths and what makes customers choose you. What unique propositions do you have to offer them? If you can identify the qualities that make you stand out from the crowd, you should emphasize them in your strategy. They will be a catch that your existing customers can throw in order to attract new referrals.

The strategies below address both of these aspects. Remember to adopt any strategy you choose to the specifics of your industry and your program.

How to create a good marketing strategy?

Find the right tool

Half the battle is using a good tool, thanks to which you will be able to create a program that is well-tailored to you and your customers’ needs. Why is it so important to choose the right platform before you start building your program?

First, you’ll be able to fine-tune everything individually to your business. EarlyParrot has a very good option for novices that shows which aspects of your referral program still need to be improved. Thanks to such hints you can be sure that your program will be well constructed, and avoid a situation when, for example, new users are not notified about the possibility of joining your program.

What is more, it is quite important that such a tool can be easily integrated with your existing platforms. How to create a referral program if the tool is not compatible with your eCommerce platform? Simply put, It will be hard or even impossible. That is why the referral platform you choose should have plenty of available integrations, like EarlyParrot does. 

Improve the customer experience

Going the extra mile in terms of customer experience is generally always profitable. First and foremost, you can improve contact with your customers. Almost half of all companies understand that their customer experience is the basis of success, and you need to be one of them. Wondering how this will affect your referrals? Clients will not recommend to their friends a company that, for example, cannot be contacted or has poor after-sales services. So what to do?

First, answer any questions that are asked. If a customer sends a query it should be addressed. Even the simplest ones can be answered, for example, with a link to FAQs. Don’t leave any customers unanswered or you may lose existing ones and they will not be encouraged to make new referrals either..

Remember about a high level of communication. Not only should you inform clients about every level they reach towards a referral reward (here you will need a suitable tool), but also about any changes in the referral program, new ones, or different rewards. A good way is to remind clients about yourself – send emails to any who have not made referrals for a long time or that are close to earning a reward.

Also, be sure to be regular, diligent, and honest in your communication. If you provide your users with, e.g., weekly industry news, do it conscientiously and deliver good quality. If there are any issues, whether they are your fault or not, let your clients know. Better to apologize for the inconvenience than hide a problem.

Personalize interactions

Personalization is also an important aspect of your marketing activities. About 70% of millennials may feel a little upset when receiving bulk emails from a brand rather than a personalized message. You probably (hopefully!) refer to your customers by name in your messages already, but it’s worth going a step further. 

Ask for feedback about a reward that a client has recently won, or whether the referee was satisfied with the recommendation and your offer.

You can also link, for example, to the profiles of people who created accounts using the referral link of a particular client when you send them notifications about rewards to show some appreciation.

Remember that enough may be enough, though. If a person recommended by a client has not made a purchase for a long time, for example, do not send them a message with the title “why is your friend no longer buying from us?” This is out of place and your client may feel embarrassed. If you want to find out, write to the referee instead and encourage them to visit your web and do some shopping.

Another good solution is sending birthday wishes (of course, if the client has shared the date with you) or gifts on the anniversary of their participation in the referral program. Shortly before this date, you should ask the customer if they want a gift for the occasion and if they would like it to be sent to the address they provided when setting up their account. The gift could be a small item like a T-shirt, eco bag, or a mug with your logo, if not a bestseller from your offer. Also, don’t forget to include a “Thank You” card for participating in your program. Showing your gratitude for their support will surely result in an even better cooperation.

Build relationships with customers

As already stated above, customer experience is a matter of either being there or not. Building relationships is an important part of this. The closer the bond, the better the customer experience. If you know the basics of referral marketing, you probably know that relationships are its foundation. How can you take care of this aspect even more? Loyalty programs are a good option. You may ask how many programs you can provide to your customers, and the answer is as many as it takes. Referral programs, loyalty programs, or whatever your customers need. 

Why not build a relationship based on loyalty by engaging customers with a loyalty program and additionally rewarding them for spreading the word about you? It follows that the more attached clients feel, the more likely they will be to encourage others because they will want to create a community. So take care about communication and your customers’ well-being.

Share case studies 

A case study can be valuable material for your audience. First of all, depending on the topic, they can prove that what your business is a good choice. Case studies can also show that your business is popular among your customers, and that they love it. Secondly, you will build authority by sharing knowledge. Such content could be interesting facts to share with friends or family. And this is the core of referral marketing. If someone talks about you well and attracts others as a result, it is worth investing in. Even if the referral doesn’t convert right away, they may be interested in what your business does and make a purchase in the future.

It’s a good idea to publish case studies around your USP. Most likely, no one has created similar content before. As such, this will arouse interest not only in the data itself, but also in what you have to offer. Two benefits for the price of one!

Be focused

The more you specialize in a given field, the easier it will be for you to attract potential customers. Sometimes it is better to focus on a narrow range of services or products. If you perfect one aspect of your listing, the recommendations will more-or-less generate themselves. 

Do you remember about the USP? Create on this basis. Now that you know what makes you stand out from the competition, take advantage of it. Build a unique offer around this aspect only for your customers. Remember that everyone wants to feel special, so provide them with that experience. Communicate not only what makes you stand out, but also what you can offer in connection with it. The more special and unique, the better.

It is also a good solution from a practical point of view. Focusing on one aspect of your offer allows you to perfect it. It will be much easier for you to handle one referral program based on your niche and USP than a few that cover half of your offer. But don’t be mistaken – just because you should be focusing on one segment when building a referral program doesn’t mean forgetting about the rest. Learn how to grow affiliate marketing using project management techniques.

Which marketing strategy is the best for you?

Building a referral program seems relatively simple. In practice, it is, but it takes some effort to break out or maintain a winning streak. Despite the fact that your customers are the driving force behind referral marketing, a lot depends on you. too. Yes, clients recommend your company, but you must give them a reason to share their positive perceptions about you with their friends. 

We hope that you like the above suggestions and ideas and will try at least one of them out. Every good strategy is focused on the target, and when implementing it is worth highlighting your USP. Whichever choice seems best for you, be sure to keep these two aspects of a good strategy in mind.

#ParrotInspires: How can referral marketing support virtual events

Virtual events are trendy right now. The year 2020 has forced us to move many aspects of life to digital. Conferences, meetings, and events are all taking place online. The number of organizations planning virtual events has doubled compared to the previous years.  

Organizing such an event differs from managing an offline version. It may seem to be simpler because you do not need to organize a location, staff, or caterings, etc. However, this is not entirely true. 

One of the main problems with organizing online events is promotion. During a time of pandemic, it is difficult to publicize anything offline as the activities of many places have been limited, and many potential participants just stay at home. Therefore, in order for an online event to be well publicised, its promotion should be based on digital activities. 

In this article, we will cover this topic and help you with managing virtual event-related issues. 

What should you do before organizing such an event?

Before we discuss some tips and tricks to support organizing online events, let’s speak about preparation. Below you will find a list of the most important aspects to consider before organizing an online event. 

  1. The first thing you should do is carry out research. You need to know whether similar topics have already been discussed, whether such events took place recently, what the ticket prices were, who was invited, and what the agenda was. You must also keep in mind the importance of the date, which can’t clash with similar industry events. It is also not worth organizing events around Christmas or other holidays, since people have other things on their minds at those times.
  1. Focus on your target audience. Consider who will attend the event. How can you encourage them, and what agenda will suit your target audience best. Moreover, you should consider the price. Your target group may not always be able to afford expensive tickets, while for some people a too low price can mean poor quality and they may also not be willing to purchase. Also remember about the method of communication and the channels intended for it. If your target group are professionals then LinkedIn will be the right place, but if you are targeting students then Facebook or Twitter are much better channels to use.
  1. Take care of the technical aspects. Consider which platform will be best for this purpose. You, as a host, should also have the right equipment -a laptop, webcam, and microphone. Moreover, you need to have a reliable internet connection. If it fails, the newest laptop on the market will be of no avail.

Once you figure these things out, you can start organizing the event. To make it run flawlessly and well publicised, you should follow the steps below. We will show you how to promote your event efficiently without a huge budget. One of the best methods to promote such events is referral marketing, so let’s begin with it. 

A referral program to gain more attendees

This is a great solution to encourage your early attendees to spread the news. Referral marketing is a low-cost solution so it won’t burn a hole in your pocket, and, what is more, tracking its performance is easy. What you need to focus on is your target audience, whose shoes you should step for a moment. This way, your referral marketing journey has the potential to be a successful one. 

This method of marketing encourages people to talk about you, and your event could go viral as a result. Word of mouth marketing, as it is also known, uses people’s interests to benefit a company. Your attendees can share their opinions about your event after it has taken place and encourage others to participate in future ones or just familiarize themselves with your brand. 

What you need to do first is think about incentives. They can help to expand your brand reach and also build trust. The incentive doesn’t have to be money, but it could be a discount coupon for a future purchase or a gift from your company. Such examples of these are T-shirts or eco-bags with your branding on them. Think about what would work best for your target audience. You can even ask them for feedback about your ideas if you have enough time to do so. 

Referral program – how to run it well?

After deciding on incentives, you should start implementing the program. The best way to do this seamlessly is to choose a platform that will handle the process and automate the whole program. We can recommend using EarlyParrot for this.

It is a referral marketing platform that will help generate a buzz around your upcoming events. How? First things first, you need to install it on your landing page. If you want to connect these actions with an email list then you need to integrate the platform with your CRM or autoresponder. Installation is a piece of cake, so you do not need any IT teams to support the process. After successful installation, you can start creating a referral program. 

Referrals may be shared in two ways. Each of your attendees could buy a ticket to your event and then receive a referral link via email, thanks to which they can invite their friends or family. These future customers can then register via this referral link and the existing customer who referred them will receive a reward. 

The second method is to use emails. Once your attendees register for the event, they could receive a referral link to start sharing with others for doing so. This could also be an option exclusively for those who sign themselves up for your newsletter when registering for the event. 

Remember to set all criteria for your rewards – will they be available for anyone who shares the link successfully, or will multiple shares be required? It’s up to you. 

EarlyParrot also allows you to communicate with your clients and build bonds with them. And no worries, you can customize all your communication channels as you wish, without EarlyParrot branding. All notifications are sent automatically, so you don’t have to worry about anything apart from organizing the event. 

What else can you do to support your events?

There are obviously more ways to support your events, and we have some ideas for you. Let’s start with a very low-cost one, which is your participation at another conference or event.

Share your knowledge

If you perform at another event sharing your thoughts or knowledge, you can become an ambassador of your own brand. If you are introduced as the owner or representative of your business, the conference participants will find out who you are, what your company does, and maybe follow social media to learn more.

If listeners are interested in your speech, it’s very likely that they’ll want to attend your events in search of more knowledge. It’s entirely up to you whether to offer discounts for your event to attendees of the current one. Of course, you should discuss with the event’s organizers before offering such deals. It’s like taking part in your own referral program, except that new attendees are the reward.

Make your speakers ambassadors

Who said that your event’s guests can’t spread the word. Of course they can, and even should. The guests or speakers you invite are authority figures among your audience, which is a crucial aspect that you should take advantage of. Let your guests invite their followers to your event. Apart from hearing the expert, a very good incentive would be discount codes for tickets that your speaker can share using referral links. It’s the perfect way to see how many new visitors a given client attracts, so you would know who people most want to hear and watch.

Thanks to the involvement of your guests in promoting your event, invitees will also start to associate them with your brand. Establishing permanent cooperation when organizing an annual event is a good idea. Invite the same speakers once every so often, but of course with a different speech and presentation. 

Do some previews

In this case, the best solution is a video recording. After all, this is how your event will be watched. Record the highlights of speeches and opinions about the outline or the idea itself. You could ask speakers or even participants of previous events for them and promote this material on social media and on your website. You may think that creating such material is tedious and time-consuming and It is, but not as much as the event itself. And believe us, it will definitely pay off in the long run. Did you know that that video is the number one form of media used in content strategies? So grab a camera and make a film!

Remember that content is king

It’s not without reason that this saying is so well known. What you publish and how you publish are very important. The form, language, and design of your communication is crucial. Moreover, this does not only apply to posts promoting your event but to any communication channel. 

If the description on your event page is not clear, no one will want to buy a ticket. It’s not a great situation when the buying process is not transparent, as people want to know what happens when they click a given button. The same goes for the details of your referral program too, so its conditions and prizes must be clearly defined. If not, no one will use the program and you won’t the recommendations that you’re after.

Virtual events – are you ready to master them?

So you have read about different ways to support online events. The biggest support for such a venture is decent promotion. As you can see, referral marketing is a big dose of help and it comes in many forms. The power of referrals could be significant and it won’t blow your budget. It is definitely worth trying the above tips, especially now that almost all events are virtual. If you combine the power of referral marketing with other types of promotion (especially the ones we mentioned), the effect of synergy may be breathtaking.

We have shown you some tips, tricks, and the aspects of preparation for such an event that are crucial in order to run it well. Now it’s your turn to enter the virtual events market.

8 good practices to power up your sales

The eCommerce market is becoming increasingly crowded. Many new stores appear from year to year and even month to month, continually increasing the competition. Building a business today is easier than ever before thanks to the Internet, but it is more challenging to maintain or grow sales than it was several years ago. 

It is estimated that, by 2040, about 95% of all purchases will be made online. This means that interest in eCommerce is growing very quickly. The main rule of business is: where there is a demand, there must also be supply. So you should provide it. But what to do to make consumers choose your offer?

In this article, you will find some tips to implement in your sales or marketing strategy in order to boost your sales. Grab a pen and take some notes, let’s begin!

#1 Think about your target

Targeting sounds pretty obvious. After all, before starting your business, this is probably one of the first aspects that you took care of. However, your offer and/or the preferences of your customers may have changed over time. Analyze website traffic, bestsellers, and who your regular clients are. It may turn out that the most active customers are not those who had been targeted at the beginning of your journey. Knowing your target well helps with choosing the best communication channels, which is extremely important for eCommerce success.

Your marketing strategy depends on targeting too. If your target market has changed, your marketing channels should also be adjusted. Keep in mind to continuously monitor which groups have the most interest in your products. This way, you can use their interests to reach even more recipients and thus increase sales. 

#2 Use the power of referrals 

Referral marketing is one of the best low-cost solutions, but it could bring you many benefits. More than 80% of consumers trust the recommendations of others over other marketing efforts. It sounds like the perfect combination; low costs and possibly big profits. So what’s the drill? Referral marketing uses the power of your clients’ recommendations. In practice, a referral program works according to very simple principles. A current client recommends your brand to a friend by sharing a referral link, their friend joins your website, and you can reward one or both of them. You decide the rules for granting the rewards.

Referral marketing does not require a lot of resources or professional knowledge. Start by coming up with incentives. Accurate targeting will again come in handy here, as you need to know what will encourage your buyers to share their opinions. 

When the rewards are ready, it’s time to implement the referral program. To make this easier, use EarlyParrot. It will take you less than 15 minutes to install, and you will be guided step by step through the process. This tool allows you to design the program as you want, by setting the criteria and brand communication with the client. EarlyParrot automatically adds new customers and sends them invitations to participate in the program. Don’t worry about your existing clients –  you can import them to the system and send invitations too.

Now you just have to wait for the referrals to begin working and for new customers to start buying your products. 

#3 Implement a CRM

A CRM system makes it easier to communicate with customers efficiently and provide better service. It supports the management of marketing, sales, and customer service. Better management of these sectors will increase customer’s confidence and make you a go-to store when they need products from your industry. Did you know CRMs can boost lead conversions by as much as 300% and enhance purchase values by 40% at the same time? It sounds very promising. 

As a result of CRM implementation, your sales reps will have in-depth insights into every customer’s profile, resulting in more efficient services. Additionally, thanks to this solution, interactions between departments will be automated, which can only improve the speed and quality of work. About 33% of American consumers admit that it is highly likely they would switch companies after one poorly handled customer support situation. This proves that boosting sales and providing quality customer service are inseparable.

#4 Take care of customer’s loyalty

Building loyalty among your customers is the basis of good sales performance. It makes them return to your business and also share opinions about you with others, which is a great foundation for referral marketing. If you would like to build increased levels of trust then you could start a loyalty program.

As with a referral program, start creating a loyalty program by determining the rewards. The criteria for obtaining them are also important. Should you reward the tenth purchase or give a discount on the fifth? Or maybe the customer will earn points that can then be exchanged for prizes? It all depends on your choice. 

You also have to decide on the method of collecting points. After logging into the account, would each customer have an insight into the number of points or do you prefer a virtual card with stamps? As many as 68% of Millennials say they won’t stick with a brand without a loyalty program, so you know what to do.

#5 Improve your sales pitch

This is a solution for businesses that use sales calls. If your sales team calls customers with offers, strengthening your sales pitch is the key to success. 

First, agents should be able to show clients if they have a problem that could very badly affect their business. Research should be conducted to prove that a particular agent knows, for example, if a client has had similar issues in the past. Sales representatives should then provide products/services (yours, of course) that address these situations. It is worthwhile to engage in discussion with the client and demonstrate knowledge of the topic. This way your company can prove its competence and professionalism, and be one step closer to a successful sale. You may also think about using an email warm up tool to increase your chances of success in sales.

If you improve your sales pitch, your company can benefit more from sales calls, and customers that had not even considered buying from you may do so anyway.

#6 Tell a story

We are all surrounded by stories from an early age, and they have been the basis of communication since ancient times. Human brains are better able to replicate information that has been passed down through history. Why not use this method as a sales strategy? 

Thanks to following a narrative you can take listeners on a journey that relaxes them and arouses positive feelings, allowing them to quickly absorb information contained within. Note that giants such as Ikea have repeatedly used storytelling in their ads, especially those for Christmas. It has to mean something, and it does. 

Storytelling drives ROI and conversion rates. More than half of all customers admit that they are more likely to buy a product after hearing a brand story. What is more, 15% of them will do so straight away. Making history not only stimulates conversions, but also makes positive brand associations with consumers and remains in their minds longer. And this allows you to achieve better results in the long term.

#7 Switch to mobile

More than 80% of US consumers do shopping online via mobile devices. What does it mean to you? That you should invest in an app. A mobile-friendly site is also cool, but you must admit that it is more convenient to do shopping via an app. About 50% of smartphone and tablet owners want to shop this way, so you need to provide this solution. 

Leave the application’s technical design to experts. You own the visuals. Choose a simple design with appropriate CTAs and traditional solutions that people are accustomed to, e.g. menu in the upper left corner. It would be good if you offered some sort of reward for downloading your app. Importantly, in order for it to fulfill its tasks, the app must be available both on Android and iOS devices. 

What’s more important, before launching your mobile or designing a web app on the market, make sure that all processes are working properly. You need to check that the app is connected with your referral and loyalty programs, that all available payment methods work flawlessly, and that it is able to handle more traffic. You need to be 100% sure that everything works correctly, otherwise you can alienate customers with an unfunctional app and the problems that arise from it.

#8 Offer a demo 

Offering your customers a free demo is one of the best incentives you can provide them, especially if you are selling digital products. People like getting things for free, and if it gives them the opportunity to test a service or product before spending money on it then even better. 

If you are selling non-digital products online, the equivalent of demos are free samples. You have to choose them wisely. Ideally, the client should be able to choose what to try. Then you will be sure that these samples will be used and that the client may come back to your store for full-si\e products later.

Another similar solution is offering free trials, which work in a similar way to demos. People want to test a given products or service before spending more money on them, and this becomes even more important with increasing price. A study from 2017 reported that companies which provided free trials to their users had more than 60% higher conversions, so it is definitely worth considering implementing such solutions in your offer. 

Let’s power up your sales

The above list is just the beginning of what you can do to boost your business sales. Remember that it is best to step into the client’s shoes and think about what would encourage them to buy. 
Try at least one of the above methods and you will surely notice the difference. They may vary in their levels of effectiveness depending on the industry, but you will surely see the results. Check what works best for your clients, and don’t be afraid to try implementing new solutions. In the long run, they will surely bear fruit. One of the primary lessons that you ought to take away from this article is that building good and lasting relationships with your customers is the basis for successful sales, so take care of it.

Referral marketing vs affiliate marketing

Digital marketing comes in many forms. Sometimes it’s hard to keep up with new trends, let alone apply them to your marketing strategy. However, before you throw yourself into a whirlwind of the latest virals and trends on social media, it’s worth going back to basics. 

Referral marketing and affiliate marketing. These two types are often confused and their names are often used interchangeably. Big mistake! There are some similarities, but also quite a few differences. Once you understand them, you will be able to implement either type into your strategy more effectively. Does that sound interesting to you?

In this article, you will find out the characteristics of both these types of marketing and the significant differences between them. We will also suggest what to do in order to make both referral marketing and affiliate marketing as effective as possible. So without any further ado, let’s dive in!

What is referral marketing? 

Relationships are the foundation of referral marketing. Starting from those between your brand and its current customers, to those between them and their friends or family, i.e., your potential customers. After all, referral marketing is often known as word of mouth marketing. In this case, much depends on the buyers of your products, because they are the ones promoting your brand. Did you know that the average U.S. citizen names different brands about 60 times per week? Let them speak about you and benefit from this type of marketing.

But how to encourage customers and keep them motivated to recommend your brand? It is for this purpose that referral programs were created. They work a bit like loyalty programs, but customers get rewards for recommendations rather than purchases. When creating such a program, you must consider what rewards will most motivate your clients to share positive opinions about you with others.

Referral marketing with EarlyParrot

To make it work, you need to offer a referral marketing program. If you are wondering how to manage such a program, there are tools to help you with doing so. One of the best available on the market is EarlyParrot. Don’t worry, you don’t need an IT specialist to implement this tool on your website. The installation process is a quick and straightforward, step by step self-guide. You can customize the program and choose all criteria according to your own preferences. How does EarlyParrot work in practice? Your customers share their recommendations about your brand using referral links and receive rewards when they meet the criteria set by you. Moreover, this service also works for those clients who are already in your database. You can simply import these clients and invite them to join your program. No worries if you operate globally – EarlyParrot can provide campaigns in English, French, German, Spanish, Greek, and Italian.

How does referral marketing work?

In general, this type of marketing works as follows. Each member of the referral program will receive, for example, a referral link or code that they can share with others. Each new member who uses this link/code when creating an account will get, e.g., a 5% discount on their first order. Meanwhile the referral provider moves one step closer to or achieves earning their reward. By sharing such a code or link, your current clients might feel like famous influencers for a moment! This can be a significant added value for some people.

Enabling clients to act as ambassadors of your brand is really not so difficult and can be very profitable. After all, their good opinions are social proof. Consumers need to hear about a brand up to five times before they become convinced. So the more social proof, the better. And it is definitely worth the effort – referral marketing can generate as much as five times more conversion than other marketing channels.

How to make the most of it?

When implementing a referral program, remember about targeting. You should provide various types of reward for each segment. After all, teens generally enjoy different things to young women, for instance. Content is also essential. Take care over the style of your communication with the participants of your program. Everything needs to be understandable and presented in a nice, aesthetic form. After a while, you can perform A/B tests to see which types of reward work best.

Now let’s take a closer look at affiliate marketing.  

What is affiliate marketing?

Long story short, it’s all about collaborating with your affiliates. These are people who promote your brand on their marketing channels; bloggers, vloggers, or YouTubers, etc. You can choose whoever you want, but there should be a relation to your industry in order to reach your target audience. You could hire multiple affiliates and run various campaigns for specific product categories, or rather focus on one affiliate program. 

According to Business Insider, about 15% of revenue in the digital media sector comes from affiliate marketing. So as you can see, it is quite a popular solution. But enough of the theory, how does it work in practice?

How does affiliate marketing work?

We have decided to identify the three pillars of affiliate marketing. Let’s start from the very beginning – who will be promoting what. 

First, you have to decide which products will be promoted by your partners. The next step is to find the right affiliates. As we have already mentioned, it’s best to look for those who have a relationship with your industry. If your business operates locally, there’s no point in spending money on national or even global celebrities. Local ones have power too, and it’s worth using in that case.

The next aspect of establishing an affiliate program is setting its terms. That is, how affiliates will promote your products – whether it will be a blog entry or a series of posts on Instagram, etc. Another issue is payment, as there are many models to choose from. For example, you could choose to pay affiliates either after gaining some leads or after each successful sale. Choose the method that suits you best and suggest it to your affiliates.

Now the final issue, which is choosing the best affiliates. There are dozens of such programs, so affiliates can participate in many in a short time and you need to remember to choose wisely. Suppose a given affiliate promoted a competitor’s products a few months ago, and now they’re about to publish your new blog post. In that case, it wouldn’t be trustworthy content and consumers wouldn’t believe such a person. As a result of this, you probably wouldn’t meet the expected goals. 

How to make the most of affiliate marketing?

Think about your target first, then start looking for partners. You can ask people in the industry about recommendable affiliates. Then analyze their audience and see if it matches yours. If it does, then now you know what to do. Also, find out what rates are offered by other companies of a similar size in your field. You must have a starting point when negotiating affiliate payments. 

Efficient communication is also crucial when working with affiliates, so choose the best channel to facilitate this aspect. Also, remember to inform partners about any upcoming news with sufficient advance notice. They need sufficient warning for promotional content to be of high quality and prepared on time.

Referral marketing vs affiliate marketing – what’s the difference?

So now you know what the drill is about referral marketing and affiliate marketing, let’s cover a few important points for the success of marketing strategies in both dimensions.

Both types work in a similar fashion. They rely on people to promote your brand and offer a reward for their work. Also, for both types, trust is an important factor of success. What else?

Reward type

Referral marketing is all about incentives. The reward could be discounts, free products, or even cashback if both you and your customer prefer. It’s up to you to choose how to encourage clients to participate in a referral marketing program. 

Affiliate marketing has a few payment methods to choose from. You need to make an agreement with affiliates, but the reward here is primarily money. Sometimes it could also be bartered, i.e. they get to own products they promote.

Relationship with the target audience

In referral marketing relationships are significant. Your customers know the people they recommend your products to. Trust levels are therefore high, and word-of-mouth marketing is quite effective. In this case, it’s more likely that new customers will stay with you longer.

Affiliate marketing relies on relationships with the audience. Affiliates do not know their followers personally. Nevertheless, since people are following them, they had to build some kind of bond and inspire confidence. But without a doubt, the level of trust is lower here compared to  referral marketing.

Costs 

Referral marketing is a low-cost solution. You don’t need to invest much money into creating programs or rewards. Looking at other types of digital marketing, this one costs pennies in relative terms.

Affiliate marketing is called a low-cost and low-risk type of marketing, and it’s true. Compared to other popular solutions, providing affiliate programs won’t burn a hole in your pocket.

Medium

In the case of referral marketing, one person shares a referral link via (mostly) social media platforms and others can use it to, e.g., register on your site and shop with a discount.

An affiliate shares their opinion about your products via a dedicated platform. It could be a blog, YouTube channel, or a social media platform. 

Which one to choose?

It all depends on your goals, product offer, company size, and the market it operates in. Sometimes it might be hard to find a reliable affiliate partner with many followers in each industry. Moreover, you need to provide in-depth research about your future partners; their trustworthiness, if cooperation and communication with them will be seamless, their quality and speed of their work, etc. Plus, in order to get things done nice and quick, you should also provide some promotional materials for your affiliates to use.

When it comes to referral marketing, all you need to do is to encourage your customers to participate in your referral program. So the main effort is to create good incentives and rewards. Once that’s been taken care of, you can start the program and automate the process with EarlyParrot. Easy-peasy!