As we can see, marketing is an ever-changing field that keeps moving forward at a rapid pace. In this article, we will discuss one such tool – referral marketing. You may have heard about it before, but there are still some misconceptions surrounding it.
New technologies emerge every year, offering new ways to market your business. With all these tools available, how do you know which ones are worth investing in?
It is not necessarily free, nor does it automatically work for your company. However, if you use it correctly, it can be a powerful way to get more customers for your service or product.
There are many types of referral marketing, so let’s dive into some examples!
Eye-Opening Facts About Referrals
Here are some surprising facts you probably never knew about referrals:
Most people refer to friends as the number one source for professional services. More than half (56%) say they would talk to their friend better than any other method for finding professionals like doctors, lawyers, accountants, and more.
More than two-thirds (68%) say they would speak to their friend about a business provider instead of going directly to the website or calling up and asking for information.
Over three-quarters (77%) feel that providers that advertise more often gain my trust more quickly than those who don’t promote themselves frequently.
Why is referral marketing important?
As mentioned earlier, referrals are one of the most powerful forms of marketing there is! It’s also a very cost-effective way to market your business. By creating an incentive for others to buy or use your product or service, you can get them to spread their knowledge about you and thus promote your brand.
By asking people to do something for you (by buying your product), they will feel obligated to reward you by doing what you asked of them. This rewards system helps create loyal customers who are invested in your company.
It also creates opportunities to connect with other individuals in the community that may know of another individual who could benefit from your products and services. In this way, you grow your network rapidly!
What products or services are good at referral marketing?
One product that has seen huge success in recent years is the shopping app, Shopify. A lot of businesses begin using Shopify as their main website platform because it offers lots of features that can be built upon to grow your business online.
One feature that many Shopify websites include is something called “Product Recommendations.” Product recommendations are easy to implement – they show you related items for the products you already have on hand.
These related items are determined by what other similar sites sell, not just products from Amazon or Best Buy. This removes potential barriers to buying those products since you don’t need to first find a way to purchase them via another site before you buy here!
It also gives your current customers more ways to promote your products through the apps and platforms they use themselves. By promoting both your products and theirs, they help spread your brand name even more effectively.
What products or services are not good at marketing?
Another way to use referrals is as an ingredient in your cooking. For example, if you have a food business, you could sell foods or recipes that require the inclusion of certain ingredients.
Your potential customers can be someone else who has used the product before and given it high praise. If they recommend it enough, then people will buy the product because of their reputation of quality for such a valuable item.
How can you implement it?
Now that we have an understanding of what direct sales are and some examples, it’s time to move on to something more practical – how to do referral marketing.
So what is referral marketing? It’s when someone comes to your business via one source but then goes out and finds other businesses like yours through another channel or event. This way, they don’t feel as pressured because they didn’t ask for your help but found your company online or elsewhere.
By offering them a solution or service in exchange for a review or recommendation, you increase your visibility and draw new people into your brand.
Referral marketing doesn’t cost anything except time, so there are no hard and fast rules about how many reviews you should aim for. But I would recommend at least a few to maximize the benefits!
There are several ways to incentivize referrals. Some small companies offer a discount or reward for referring a friend (or even just telling everyone about their product). A growing number of networks and apps now allow you to earn rewards for bringing in new members.
And finally, if you’re looking to spread your brand, most major social media platforms give you special perks for being active in their community programs.
What are the different types of referral marketing?
There are three main types of referral marketing – incentive-based, reciprocal, and transactional. A small business can start building its list by choosing one type of referral marketing and then adding additional components to it.
Incentive-based referrals are for you to find. You ask someone who knows you well (a friend or family member) if they know anyone else that could use your services. If they say yes, then you invite them to share your service free of cost!
This is the most common form of referral marketing because it is easy to do. Almost everyone has friends or relatives in need of help at some point, so this works beautifully.
By asking others to recommend you, you increase your visibility and exposure while also enhancing your reputation. This is a great way to expose new opportunities and grow your business.
Reciprocal referrals work similarly to incentive-based referrals except that you have to make yourself available to people first before they feel comfortable doing something with you.
This can be done through social gatherings, conferences, or events that appeal to both individuals and businesses. By attending these events, you become more visible to potential referrers and they will want to bring you along as a participant.
Transactional referrals occur when you advertise your service and stand back and let people come to you. Most large companies rely heavily on transactional referrals as customers seek out their products and services due to hard times at work or financial needs.
What are the different methods of referral marketing?
One of the most effective ways to develop your business is through referrals. Businesses that thrive have solid networks they grow through word-of-mouth advertising, and it’s no surprise that most successful businesses create an environment where others are willing to refer their peers for services or products.
By asking people to do you a favor by talking about you, you get results that improve your image and those of the referred person.
Here are some examples of how you can use referrals in your business:
Ask someone who knows you well if they would recommend your service to another individual. Ask family members, friends, and colleagues whether you should work with other professionals.
Invite individuals around you to visit your site or pick up the phone and call you at a time when you’re both free. When they ask why you recommended them, be prepared for all sorts of reasons!
Some ideas include telling them what benefits you know about the product/service and letting them add value by mentioning related things they know or have used before – win-win.
Alternatively, tell them something about yourself and your experience, or talk about the importance of good quality professional services in helping people achieve success.
The best way to generate referrals is to put out positive energy and spread goodwill, so keep track of any compliments you receive and reward yourself for doing a great job.
How can you improve your referral marketing?
Being referred to as “marketers,” people are paying attention to referrals lately. More businesses are incorporating into their strategies direct sales activities to gather more new business through word-of-mouth recommendations.
Most refer to this type of marketing as referral marketing or “refer and reward.” By creating products and services that people want, they will naturally refer their friends who may benefit from those products and services.
The hardest part about referral marketing is getting other people to do it for you. You have to create products and services that are attractive enough to get people to spread the word, and then you have to incentivize them to do so.
This article will go over some ways to improve your referral marketing by doing things like offering bonuses, giving away free items, and establishing relationships at a local level.
What are the benefits of referral marketing?
A solid way to develop your business is through referrals. This is when someone else does not work for you but works for another company that you will pay to use their services or products.
By offering something in return for them introducing you to their partner, you can build up your network which has direct cost you nothing.
This is referred to as referral marketing and it’s an efficient money-making tactic if done correctly.
It’s also a good way to add value to others and create relationships that last. Win-win!
There are many ways to do this, but one of our favorites is doing sponsored interviews. We’ve written about this before in my article How To Use Social Media For Business – Sponsored Posts.
A social media interview is where you ask a question of a person with lots of followers (aka popular) and get their answer via comments or posting of yours. It’s free content for them and they may advertise your product or service.
Many people have success using this technique to gain new followers and grow their brands. You just need to make sure your questions are relevant and interesting.
We recommend being friendlier than “How to Do My Job” because more likely than not, they’ll refer you to someone closer to their job position instead.