Here is a tip how to turn your customers into your strongest marketing asset – Include a referral feature on your website!
Referral marketing, sometimes also called word-of-mouth marketing, is based on a very simple idea – friends do not spam each-other. Let people make their purchase choice based on recommendations by trustworthy source: family members, friends, established professionals etc. Being the most natural marketing channel by which all of us make our choices, it is surprising that it is the most neglected.
Exceptional referral campaigns in your website require focus on three key activities: location, promotion and optimization:
The homepage (and site-wide navigation) need to include a link to your standalone referral page. Because your homepage brings a lot of traffic, your site-wide navigation also gives users way to approach your referral program on any page at any time – not just at the homepage.
Do: The referral programs are easy to find. Just make it visible! Visibility is sharing – It’s really just that simple.
Here’s an example from backcountry.com
Don’t: Bury it in some far corner
Encourage user participating by featuring your link where everyone is able to notice it.
Do: let anyone refer.
Empowering more people to participate in the referral marketing can only increase your chances of finding more loyal customers.
Don’t: Force a login or registration or Make the procedure hard to follow.
Forcing users to login before referring their friends is a major circle foul. Don`t structure your referral program based on user-login. This can only reduce participation -users just plain tend go away for the reason of too much friction.
The reality is, today’s online consumers are more savvy than at any time. Combine that by the fact that there are more online buying options than ever before, and it’s no surprise that be able to take extra persuading to have your visitors to click the checkout button. In that context, consider your commerce promotions to have existence of the most valuable persuasion tools useful to you.
Do: Take advantage of your brand’s reach, using your email list, social and mobile app.
if folks don’t know about it, folks can’t share it. Getting the word out about your referral program – drives more sharing and referrals.
In this type of communication most people refuse to submit their names and emails, because they have no idea what will happen with their personal information. Remove their uncertainty, by telling them what’s exactly going to happen to it.
Once your audience is reached you want to make sure to constantly keep the buzz. Remind customers to participate whenever and wherever possible. Regularly send dedicated email and also feature your referral program in all of your email templates. Transactional emails (such as registration confirmation, purchase confirmation, etc.) have very high open rates, which makes them great opportunities to promote your referral program.
Do: Schedule promotional activity
Make sure you promote on “Day 1” of your referral program and then keep the reminders coming over time.
Don’t: Set it and forget it
The good news is that many promotional activities are super quick and easy. Time that it takes to Tweet or post on Facebook – a minute?
Optimization is all about improving results and deserves the greatest part of your marketing effort. There are three simple steps to make your program well within acceptable range of referral marketing benchmarks:
- Get more people to share with their friends
- Increase the number of friends who click on referral links
- Increase the number of friends (referred visitors) who convert
Do: Be clear with your offers and concise with your calls to action
It’s pretty basic really, just have a clear offer and a clear call to action. The customer should be able to figure out what to do, and then do it within seconds.
Don’t Be wordy of vague
A Good referral widget copy: “Share and Earn $10”
A Bad referral widget copy:
“Do you love our product? Do you know someone who would like it, too? Why not spread the word about us to your friends? Share with friends and they’ll get $10 off their first purchase and we’ll send you a reward coupon for $10, too.”
You can only improve what you can measure.
Do: Measure and optimize your referral program
Don’t: Be complacent in any marketing channel
It behooves you to measure, test and optimize your referral marketing efforts. You don’t need to be complacent in a referral. The marketing team should be able to easily test different campaign elements of design, images, posts to friends and calls to action without using development resources.
You can benefit a lot from a referral program, however you need to also to spend resources. A modern in-house solution will take a significant amount of work from your development, design and marketing teams, especially if you want to keep the program active (you should) on a monthly basis.