By Amity Kapadia
Here’s an existential question to answer: If you have a referral marketing program in place and no one knows about it, does it really exist?
If your referral program isn’t public facing or it’s difficult to use and share with the click of a button, then you’ll severely limit your performance. The most successful brands feature their referral programs on their website, in mobile apps, and across highest-performing marketing channels — and they ensure the referral experience is painless and seamless.
To create a super simple, enjoyable referral experience for your customers and advocates, push your team to answer these questions:
1. Where and when will customers want to share or talk about your brand or products?
2. Are you requiring your ambassadors to do the heavy lifting to find friends who might be interested in your company?
3. Is the referral program easy to find and share via mobile devices?
4. Are you able to quickly pay out referral incentives — and do so in the way your ambassadors want to receive them (i.e., cash, loyalty points, vouchers, etc.)?
As a marketing organization, your goal should be to make the referral process as enjoyable as any other brand touchpoint. When you do that, you’ll see an exponential rise in the number of ambassadors — customers, fans, admirers, influencers, and advocates, etc. — willing to promote your brand.
Ready to take your referral experience to the next level?
For referrals to consistently deliver truly exceptional results, referral marketing must be woven into who you are and how you operate. Without structure and commitment, you’re largely hoping that good things happen and that customers inherently know to refer their friends and colleagues to your business.
That might happen. Or it might not.
As we know, banking on customers to refer without any clear call-to-action or incentive to do so is a risky proposition. The far better option is to approach referral marketing just as you would any other high-value customer acquisition channel — investing in process and technology, and incorporating it into every aspect of your marketing strategy.
When you do that, the payoff can be huge.