Written by: Mrudul

How to Launch a Successful Referral Program for Your Small Business

Jim Rohn said, “One customer, well taken care of, could be more valuable than $10,000 worth of advertising.” Every business person out there will attest to this statement. Having your customers tom-tomming about your offerings to their friends and family is the best marketing you can ever ask for. When you have customers who have.

Jim Rohn said, “One customer, well taken care of, could be more valuable than $10,000 worth of advertising.” Every business person out there will attest to this statement. Having your customers tom-tomming about your offerings to their friends and family is the best marketing you can ever ask for.

When you have customers who have opened their purse strings for you, it is only right that you do everything in your power to keep them happy. A happy set of existing clients will translate into several good outcomes for your business. From reducing churn to increasing revenue, customer loyalty is great for you.

If you do not have a referral strategy in place to reward your existing customers for their business, you are missing out on a lot.

Here’s how you can launch a successful referral program without breaking a sweat.

  1. Provide a seamless customer experience:

The first step in retaining your existing customers is by delighting them consistently. Your customers will refer you to others only when they are having a great time being associated with you. Before you set up a referral program in place, you must ensure that your existing customers are treated properly.

You don’t need software to see if they are getting a great experience. Don’t venture into a referral program unless you have the basics sorted.

Here are a few questions you need to ask:

  • Is it easy to find the products on your website?
  • How easy or difficult is it to get in touch with your customer service team?
  • Do your customers find it difficult to return your product or get refunds?
  • Is the shipping time turning away customers?
  • How is your in-store experience?
  • If you can answer these questions and feel proud about what you are as a business, then a good referral program will multiply your profits.
  1. Choose your incentives:

Even though your customers will share about your products and services to their friends and family, they will still need a little push from your side. This is why choosing the incentives for your referral program becomes important.

Do you know what the easiest way to choose incentives is? Write down a list of incentives that you can afford to offer after discussing them internally. Share the list with your customers via emails or surveys to understand their thoughts on it. Give them the space to add their own incentive options too. You never know; you might have missed out on something.

Here are a few examples of incentives:

  • Gift cards
  • Branded swag
  • Exclusive access to events and product launches
  • Cashback
  • -Store Credit
  • Free products
  • Tiered reward program where participants can keep sending referrals to be eligible for greater rewards.

Here’s a tip to make your referral program more successful– make it a double-sided referral program. Such a program rewards the new customer as well as the one who invited them.

When you put the right incentive in front of your customers, they are more likely to lap it up with enthusiasm. The new customer is also incentivized as soon as they join you, which is a great way to make them happy. Your rewards should get your customers excited about what’s in store for them if they refer their friends to your side.

  1. Make the program easy:

We cannot stress more on the importance of making your referral program as easy and simple as possible. When a customer tries to learn about your program, they should be able to grasp the fine points without too much effort. The process of collecting the rewards should also be seamless. Hiding outrageous clauses under your T&C to refuse incentives will only break the trust and cause you much harm.

Here’s how you can make the referral program easy:

  • Use an explainer video to talk about the referral program.
  • Don’t use jargon.
  • Promote the program at the right touchpoints.
  • Make the program worth your customers’ time.
  • Provide a mobile-friendly experience.
  • Ensure that your program is shareable on social media.
  1. Choose the right referral program:

Finding the right referral software increases the chances of the program’s success.

Here are some of the features you should be looking for:

  • Templates for referral programs.
  • The ability to recruit customers automatically into the program.
  • Should provide detailed customer referral program analytics.
  • Campaigns should be WYSIWYG so that it doesn’t require the help of a coder.
  • Get real-time results in your dashboard.
  • Helps identify your ambassadors.
  • Customization capabilities like unique links and personalized advocate codes.
  • It should integrate seamlessly with your overall marketing stack.
  • Easy setup and onboarding process.
  • Conversion triggers reward users for actions.
The above features are great capabilities for your referral marketing software.
  1. Promote the referral program using a solid marketing plan:

After you have chosen the referral marketing software and the incentives, the next step is to create a marketing plan. Promoting your referral program using the right strategies will increase your ROI from this exercise. Unless you let them know, your customers will never know that there is an incentive structure in place in the form of a referral program. Why? Because customers don’t always assume that you might offer incentives for referral.

Below are a few compelling strategies for your referral program’s success:

  • Use email marketing extensively to reach out to your existing customers and those who have subscribed to you.
  • Leverage social media to talk about your program.
  • Indulge in video marketing to get your point across with ease.
  • Create different types of content to reach different audiences.
  • Use surveys and ask questions to understand how customers can be benefited.
  • Build a unique landing page for the referral program.
6. ##### Stay on top of your numbers:

To make your referral program successful, you need to build one that runs on its own. When your customer size increases, you cannot make the changes manually, this is where automation is a lifesaver. When you use a referral program software like 99minds, it will take care of everything.

In a referral program, a lot of things need to be tracked. From the number of referrals in a day to who referred, there are plenty of things like this. To accurately track all of these metrics, ensure that you set up analytics for all the KPIs.

Wrapping up:

The transition from a small-sized business to an enterprise depends on a lot of factors, and we are sure that a successful referral program is one of them. The above steps outlined in this article will help create a solid referral exercise. But do remember that the success of your program hinges on the effort and thought put into it. Working with a referral program software will help you have a smooth sailing and increase your bottom line– effortlessly at that.

Leverage the services of 99minds to set up your referral program. Get in touch with us to understand how we can help increase your referrals.