Do you want to build buzz around your product or service to a segmented audience? Do you want to discover influencers in your customer base? Do you always look for fresh ways to spark a conversation with your customers? Of course you do! It’s 2016 and brands have to find unforgettable ways to stand out from the crowd and engage with an audience that makes sense for them (all while meeting the bottom line).
Today’s marketing solutions landscape is saturated with apps, programs, plugins, and add-ons that promise to remedy every company’s pain points and monetize their sweet spots. Only a few strategies can offer high-quality leads and highly engaged customers the kind of significant and continuous benefits that referral marketing programs provide.
So, does referral marketing work? Of course it does! According to a recent survey conducted online by Harris Poll on behalf of Ambassador, 82% of Americans say they seek recommendations from friends and family when considering a purchase. Before your company can start to experience the benefits of referral marketing, you have to determine if it’s the right strategy for your unique goals. You can start by considering five important questions.
1. Does my business have a lot of customers?
As more companies discover that existing customers have major marketing potential and access to new customers, it becomes increasingly important to strengthen your relationships with your customer base. Your chances for experiencing referral marketing success through increased engagement, sharing, and purchases is largely reliant upon your audience of customers. Referral marketing automation works best with an established group of engaged customers, users, influencers, affiliates, and fans who open countless pathways to new leads. Yes, referral marketing programs are created to link your business with new leads, but it’s important to begin with a sizable audience of customers.
2. Do my customers have a high lifetime value?
You’ve built a business from the ground up and crafted an unbeatable product or service, but how often are your customers interacting with your brand? In order to determine the lifetime value of your customers, consider the average order value of your product or service, the number of repeat transactions, and the average customer lifespan within your company. Highly informed, engaged, and loyal customers are an ideal component of referral marketing success. Your biggest fans can become your best advocates for reaching new customers and driving positive referral marketing ROI, but only if they have developed a clear preference for your brand.
3. Do people naturally want to share my product or service?
Every successful business fulfills a specific set of customer needs, but does your product or service make your customers want to share with others? Whether your brand offers an innovative alternative to an age-old product or provides a unique service, you must know how to excite your consumers. The customers who are most excited about your company are more likely to become brand ambassadors in the future. Being able to encourage customers and their sharing behavior with an incentive should be a key ingredient in your recipe for referral marketing success.
4. Are we a community-oriented brand?
At its core, referral marketing success relies on the power of word-of-mouth to attract loyal customers, fans, and advocates. Well-defined audiences of customers who actively seek information and know how to find one another are a beneficial component for developing a successful referral network. Let’s face it, it’s much easier to spread your brand message in a circle of friends than in a room full of strangers. Referral marketing solutions will enroll, track, and reward members of your tight-knit customer base.
5. How advanced and compatible is our company website?
This may sound like a no-brainer, but your brand must have an established and cohesive online presence to attract rich leads and properly align with a high-quality product. This tech becomes even more important as your brand prepares to adopt a highly customizable platform for your marketing efforts. Referral marketing software is designed to blend in with the rest of your digital marketing processes, but only if everything else is up to par. In addition to aesthetics and ease-of-use, referral marketing success is most commonly achieved by brands with websites that drive the majority of sales. The true benefits of referral marketing automation are only accessible if you can properly accommodate the technology.
Putting Referral Marketing To Work
Even if your company can’t check off each of these boxes, referral marketing may offer a unique opportunity to link new customers and loyal leads to your brand. Referral programs are designed to fit into the organic sharing process that customers and companies have practiced for centuries. If you’re ready to elevate your business with seamless software that nurtures the customer journey and helps your company reach aspirational goals, then referral marketing just might be the strategy for you.