Email Referral Program
As a business owner, you know you have a great product or service when your customers can’t stop telling their friends about it. That’s also a great start to a new marketing method. Referral programs work because in a marketing-saturated world, consumers are skeptical of ads. But they’re very likely to take recommendations from people they know. Making it easy for your loyal customers to recommend your brand to their friends and family is what an email referral program is all about.
What is a Referral Program?
A referral program is a way of making it easy and rewarding for your customers to recommend your products or services to their network. The best way to do this is through a series of thoughtful and targeted referral program emails.
Typically, you use this type of email marketing to reward customers for making a successful referral. For example, say you run a hat-making company. Your referral program would probably consist of an email series giving your customers $10 off their next purchase if they send a $10 off code to a friend who uses it to make a purchase. Each successful referral gives you a new customer at a low acquisition cost.
Why Do Email Referral Programs Work?
Marketing in many industries can be a crowded and expensive business. Consumers are getting warier or tuning out entirely as they see more and more ads every day. If you’re a small business or a new one, you don’t want to waste your marketing dollars on ads that don’t work.
But as people trust marketing less, they trust personal recommendations more. Word of mouth is effective and low-cost, if you have created a product or service that your customers love. A referral program makes those word-of-mouth recommendations easier to spread around. It reminds your customer base how much they liked your brand and lets them do the marketing for you. And it rewards their loyalty with an additional incentive.
How to Set up a Referral Program
Start with an Email
A referral program is a natural fit for email marketing. That’s because it lets you speak directly to your existing customers, cutting through the clutter of other ads. Your referral email campaign should capture your customers’ attention and make the referral process simple. And it should seem friendly and mutually rewarding, not pushy.
Start with an intro email that introduces your customers to the benefits of your referral program. This email is your first impression for your referral program – make sure it’s eye-catching and has a clear call-to-action. Good email design is key here. This first email is a chance to capture the attention of your customers and get them excited about this new reward for being a loyal customer.
Keep it Easy and Engaging
It’s not just about good design – make sure your first email clearly spells out what customers need to do to get referral rewards. Do they need to send a referral code, share a referral link, or a different step? Is there a limit to how many referrals they can make? And make the benefits clear as well. For every referred friend, what can they expect to get in return? Don’t forget that this is a mutually beneficial arrangement – make sure you’re giving back to your customers while you ask them to take action for you.
Above all, make sure customers know how to refer their friends in the correct way. Referral offers should be clear and simple – put a button at the bottom asking them to share a link or send a referral offer by forwarding the email to their friends. If you have a satisfied customer base, they’re likely happy to recommend you to their friends – but they need a little help. Life gets busy and tasks like this get forgotten. Your referral program should offer them the incentive they need to follow through and send referrals.
Set Up an Email Campaign
Your first email is the important intro to the program. But since life does get busy, many customers won’t send out a referral to their friends the first time you ask. They might need a reminder or three before they get around to sharing the referral offer.
This is a great place for an automated email campaign. You can periodically remind your customers of the program and encourage them to participate. Don’t make them feel guilty for not sharing a referral yet or email too frequently – you want to encourage customer loyalty, not cause irritation. Emails could start every other week and go to every few months, just to remind them that the program exists. Keep it friendly, light, and a happy reminder that they can benefit from recommending your brand.
Other Ways to Share
Email is certainly the most effective way to set up and promote a referral program for your business. But it doesn’t have to be the only channel where you promote it. Sharing your referral offer on your social media can be a good reminder for your loyal customers of the email offers you’ve already sent to them.
And your content marketing can offer another channel for a referral program reminder. Write an informational blog post about the program and include the referral code. Or feature a top referral program member and interview them about the benefits of the program and why they love your brand. Whenever you write about the program, include that referral offer to make it easy to share. All of your referral program efforts should work together to offer regular and friendly reminders to your loyal customers.
Boost Your Marketing Strategy
Are you looking for ways to market your business that fit your budget and your brand? A referral program is just one of many ways to increase the effectiveness of your digital marketing strategy. Get expert guidance and professionally written content that converts to sales with ContentFirst.Marketing. Schedule your free business review today and learn how we can work together to create the digital marketing plan that gets you results.