Thanks for coming back for Part III of our Referral Marketing talks. In Part I we looked at what referral marketing is and why it is important. In Part II we went through content and incentive ideas to get your customers talking. Now we’re going to look at how to run your program with technology that lets you give your customers referral options at all stages.
When and Where Do You Use Referral Marketing
There are so many possibilities for getting your first-time and repeat customers to tell their friends about how much they need and want your products. A quick tip for thinking about when to ask for referrals: think about when your customer is happy or excited about your brand and products.
Think about giving your customer a nudge at some of these points:
· On a purchase confirmation page. Give your customer options to like and share the product that they obviously liked enough to buy.
· When they get the product. Did the customer just get the product and is excited that it came in the mail? Making your product or packaging instantly shareable by being picture or video-worthy can capture that energy; include a postcard or thank-you note that reminds your customers to share.
· After they’ve used the product. Try sending a follow-up email that offers a referral incentive after the customer has had time to test the product and feels more strongly about recommending it.
· When it’s time to reorder the product or get a new version. Give the customer who has already purchased an added incentive to make their next purchase by offering a referral bonus in a follow-up email.
· At loyalty anniversary dates. Show your long-term customers some appreciation and build on that goodwill by sending them special referral incentives along with other loyalty programs.
Tech that Makes the When and Where Doable
So you’ve created your plan—you know the style you want to use, your incentives, who you want to reach and when. Now you’ve got to find the right tech that lets you follow through. Where can software help and what do you need?
· Widgets to make social media sharing easy. You need to make it easy for customers to push out your images and video, and maybe pre-populated taglines. So you need to attach one-click sharing options in a lot of places—images, offers, emails. When thinking about the widgets that are best for you, think about whether your needs are simple or if you want more customization options with more control over design and placement.
· Automation and personalization controls. If you’re hoping to send targeted referral offers at different times for different customers, triggered by the customer’s actions, you can’t do this manually. You’ll need software that places the right offers with the right purchase confirmation screen or email. There are many options to automate your referral offers, so think about the size of your program and how easily you need to make changes when choosing.
· Analytics tools. Making the most of any marketing plan means looking at what works and reorganizing. With referral programs, you need to track where referrals are coming from—for example, are certain review sites linking to your products? Find a way to make a stronger connection there by creating a special referral program. Which customers are following through when sent a referral? Figure that out to help you decide whether your discount or video-sharing program is strongest.
The right referral marketing software will depend on the kind of program you want to run. Get in touch and we can help you find the right features for your plan.