Ask any business owners how they get new customers and the majority will say “word of mouth”. It would seem obvious, then, that every business out there has a system for generating more WOM referrals. Unfortunately, that’s seldom the case.
Once you create a system that funnels potential customers into becoming actual customers, the final step is to turn around and invite happy customers to become evangelists for your brand. This will only happen if you create a system that invites and incentivizes people to spread the word.
Various studies conducted by the American Marketing Association have shown that referrals and peer recommendations are up to 2.5 times more responsive than any other marketing channel.
If you’ve done the simple, fun work of creating clear brand message, now it’s time to implement a system that gets people repeating that message to their friends and family.
Let’s take a step-by-step look at what it takes to create an effective referral system.
Focus your Existing and Ideal Customers
What if creating a special database of existing, passionate customers and communicating with them differently can help you generate referrals?
Developing a simple campaign using tools your existing fans can use to spread the word about your brand is key.
Not only could you increase your existing business, but these happy customers will become an activated sales force and invite their friends.
Offer a Reward
If you really want to prime the pump, offer a reward to exciting clients who refer their friends. You can offer your customer a 10 percent commission on the orders they bring to you.
This system has generated millions of dollars for thousands of companies. A good affiliate program can do the work of an expensive sales force if you structure the percentage well.
Automate the work
The easiest, fastest WOM system can be automated using Mail Chimp, Infusionsoft, HubSpot, or any other e-mail marketing system.
Simply include any customer who places one or two orders in an automated campaign that offers them an educational video or PDF they can pass on, an added value for telling their friends about you, or a bonus or even a commission.
Make sure the system opts customers out after placing several orders so you don’t hit every customer every time they order with another sales pitch. We don’t want to risk annoying people.