A Beginner’s Guide to Launching a Referral Program
When it comes to growing your business, loyal customers are your best advocates. They are often happy to share their positive experience with you with their friends and family. Creating a referral program can help you give them an incentive to continue to spread the word about your brand, and earn rewards by doing so as a thank you. If you want to start a referral program, here are some tips to help.
What Is A Referral Program?
Referral programs encourage your customers to refer other people they interact with- like friends, family, and social media followers- to make a purchase with your brand. The goal is for customers to help your brand increase its reach while rewarding them with each new customer they bring in. Referral programs can be tailored to best fit your business and should be an enjoyable way for you and your customers to work together.
How To Start A Referral Program:
Referral programs are fairly simple to set up. Typically, each customer approved to join your referral program and become a brand ambassador receives a unique code or link to share, and each purchase through that code or link earns them points. Once they build up their points, they can use them towards your products, a cash incentive, or anything else you think they would enjoy. If you are not sure what your customers would like best, you can create a survey asking potential brand ambassadors what they would like to earn. You can also add the incentive of liking/sharing your social media pages or creating usable content for you for additional rewards.
If you do not want to create a brand ambassador program, you can keep it simple. Many companies offer a limited-time welcome offer for customers to share with their friends. Ride-share service Lyft allows users to score a free ride when a friend signs up using their code, with the new user getting a free ride as well. HelloFresh, a meal kit subscription, gives customers credit towards their next order when they refer a new member. These referral offers are simple but benefit both the companies and the customers. Limited-time referral offers are especially effective in getting new customers to invite their friends to try out your products or services.
Keep Track Of Your Referral Program:
Your referral program should be mutually beneficial for you and your customers. As word gets out about your referral program, track customer participation. Is it something that a lot of your customers are signing up for, or are the majority purchasing their products without making a referral? If you have a code assigned to each customer, see how many average referrals you are getting per customer. You should be tracking how many referred customers are visiting your website, and placing an order, and the overall sales you are making from your referral program. If you do not have a lot of customers participating in your referral program, or their friends are not following through with purchases, you might need to reevaluate your program. Referral programs that are too complicated or do not seem beneficial are not going to be successful, so make it worth your customer’s time!
Referral programs are a fun way to reward your customers for their loyalty while helping you gain more business. Make sure your incentive has value for your customers, ask for their feedback, and make it easy for your customers to refer you! Have you ever used a referral program? Does your business currently have one? Let us know in the comments!