Referrals are 4 times as likely to buy your product than other prospects. They are also more inclined to stick around for longer as a customer.

In fact, a typical rewards programs persuades customers to continue to shop with you, thus grooming customer loyalty. This is because traditional programs prime customers to share, and then reward them for doing so.  

If you were wonder how you can start a referral program for your business, this guide is going to be perfect for you.

Step 1: Create a strong foundation

Loyal customers don’t happen for no reason, and referral programs don’t take off without them. If you’re implementing a referral program, build up your customer relationships first.

It’s also not enough to just have a great product/service. That alone will not make your customers loyal. You need to also provide a good customer experience for everyone. If you make sure that your customers are happy buying from you, you can turn the average Joe into a loyal customer.

Listen to their needs and suggestions, and loyalty will follow.

Step 2: Consider design and messaging

Deciding on what your program will look like is a key aspect in getting people to join. It needs to be neat and set up in a way that’s easy to understand. Here are a few things you need to think about.

Landing page setup – The landing page (for both your customers and their referrals) needs to convert. So it must be interesting, easy to understand, and the messaging needs to do the talking for you.

  • Explain any benefits, right of the bat.
  • Provide clear CTA’s
  • Messaging is easy to understand
  • Personalize wherever you can

Pro Tip:

Make sure you personalize invites when possible. Simply using someone’s name can amp up your relationship.

Step 3: Make it functional (and shareable)

Make your referral program shareable.

It doesn’t matter how much someone likes your business, if your program is difficult to comprehend, they won’t use it. Provide the right tools to them in a user-friendly manner and they’ll enjoy fetching your business all the referrals that you need.

  • Make your referral program usable and available on desktops and mobile phones as well
  • Use social buttons to make it easy for your customers to share your referral/rewards program
  • Finally, give them an easy way to manage and view their referral statistics

Step 4: Give the right reward

Even if your customers are happy with you and your service, they may need a little push. This incentive can also be the reason someone becomes a repeat customer. Think about whether there is value in referring for your customers. Decide on what is going to make someone refer.

Note: Money isn’t the only solution here. Rewards do not have to be monetary. In-store credit and coupons can make this happen.

Step 5: Automate and scale

Choosing a referral software is the first technical step you’ll take. There are several things that you’ll need to consider, here. See whether the software you’re choosing has:

  • Measuring results
  • Issuing rewards
  • Promotions
  • Campaign tracking
  • A comprehensive dashboard creates a cohesive experience for everyone.

 

You can make things even simpler by automating your referral program with a software. Start by adding it to your existing marketing campaigns. Time-saving processes makes it easy for loyalty to occur as there is no lapse in the process.

Step 6: Go in for the Ask

Decide on when you should invite a customer to join your referral program. Typically, this is best done after a good customer experience.

So, after good interactions, post purchase, and even after they sign up to receive email notifications/newsletters.

Email invites in these instances work best, and can have a high conversion rate. So make sure, you have an invite process established.

  • Post purchase pages
  • Thank you and confirmation emails
  • Within their customer dashboard
  • After they write a positive review

That’s all that you need to start a referral program for your business!

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