5 Simple Ways Referral Programs Can Help Your B2B (& How to Implement Them)
Why Do You Need A Good Referral Program?
A referral program is easier and more cost-efficient than a traditional marketing campaign because it relies on the loyalty and satisfaction of existing customers. With a traditional marketing campaign, you need to invest time, resources, and money to get people to notice your business.
A referral program, on the other hand, is a simple and effective way to create awareness and build competitive presence: you rely on your existing customers – and most loyal fans (who already have a relationship with your brand) – to spread the word. They know how great your business is and will be happy to share their positive experiences – for free!
Creating loyal customers
If an existing customer refers their own customers or connections to you, they do it because they care. Would you go back to a car dealer that up-sold you? Exactly. We tend to return to the places where we made good experiences because we know what to expect. A referral program is ideal for creating a loyal customer base because it rewards an already good association with a reward for both your existing and newly referred customers. Additionally, your customers do the demographic and psychographic pre-screening for you – they know what their connections are interested in. Now THAT is targeted advertising!
Automating and monitoring your growth
Automated tracking can help you identify and monitor your user engagement so that you can track and analyze the exact impact of your referral program. HubSpot has specific tools that allow you to embed a tracker, watch email click rates, and so on. Like that, you can easily identify your top advocates and reward them for their efforts. Automating your referral program takes up almost no time so you can focus on other things.
Easy to Operate, Simple to Execute
One of the biggest advantages of a referral campaign is that you don’t have to convince leads to become customers – which is often the biggest threshold to overcome in the buyer’s journey. That’s why a recommendation from an existing customer is like a perfect combination of sales-pitch and case study: testimonies from personal connections are perceived as more reliable than an ad or some stranger’s review on the internet – because they are! As a bonus, you get the freedom to choose what rewards you want to give: from discounts to a shout-out on Twitter to edible arrangements – tailor it to what your customers like.
Steady and continuous growth
A well-planned and executed referral campaign is a simple yet powerful tool to attract new customers and cultivate relationships with existing ones. You can run it in parallel to your other campaigns and programs without much effort. This approach helps you grow at a steady and positive pace without huge extra investments, because it cultivates your most valuable asset: happy customers. Your new leads trust their connections and are more likely to acknowledge your efforts if they know the success story of your advocates.
So how do you implement an effective Referral Program Campaign? Here are the first steps to get you started:
Start with researchWhat is the retention rate of your customers? Are you able to satisfy your customers, and how happy are they with your performance? You need to know all those things to assess whether a referral program is right for you. If your customers are unhappy with your services, a campaign could be in vain or – worst case – even backfire.
List Potential Referral SourcesSome of your customers stand out as brand loyalists or advocates – they are the ones who have been with you for many years or voluntarily share their satisfaction with your products on social media. Every time you connect with them, ask them for a bit of feedback. What is going on in their minds? Who are their contacts in the industry? Do they have vendors that will be good prospects or leads for you? They’re likely more than willing to help you out.
Identify your IncentivesBesides the warm feeling of satisfaction, what do your customers get out of a referral? Will you acknowledge their involvement by giving them a call? Maybe write a thank-you-note? Should you treat them to a great dinner with a restaurant gift card? Think about what works best for the individual person and their interests. Remember that they are not only saving you time and money, but that they care about you and your business, and show them that you do, too.
Create resources backing your Referral ProgramYou can go further and invite your advocates to be part of a case study, turn their experiences into a blog post, or feature their story on social media. This helps you establish a precedent for future campaigns and gets the ball rolling. You can also set reminders to regularly check in with your besties, helping you build rapport and keeping you up to date on your customers’ needs.
Tracking and MonitoringRegardless of the size of your referral program and company, having information on who was referred and by whom is essential for future optimization. When were they referred, how long did they take to convert, did they stay with you long-term? The more information, the better your success.
Find the right partnerA CRM system will help you with most of these steps, but there are many good reasons why to partner up with an expert. There is no point in establishing a referral program if your customer service is practically non-existent, or maybe you just don’t have the time and resources to deal with the extra work because your company is growing fast. In any case, you want a reliable partner. Flawless Inbound is a certified HubSpot Solutions Provider with many years of experience. If you decide that you would like a little help or want to make your existing program even better, we’re here for you.
PS: once you’re delighted with your campaign’s success, remember to refer a friend;).