12 Dec, 2016

You’ve tried Google ads, Facebook ads and pay-per-click ads and have been a little dismayed at the return on your investment. Your digital marketing might increase visitors to your site and now you are asking yourself: how can you engage customers and get noticeable results? Today I will present 7 tactics to help you encourage customer referrals, and e-commerce will be my case in this article. You totally can apply these tactics for your other projects, not only online business.

1. As for referrals at the right time

Timing is critical when it comes to asking for referrals from your customers. Therefore, it’s important to find the right moment in customers’ journey for referrals. According to Len Markidan, Head of marketing at GrooveHQ “if you ask your customers at the wrong time, you’ll be ignored (at best), or put them off (at worst).” When is the right time to ask for? Refer “How to pinpoint the right time to ask for referrals” of Travis Balinas.

Luckily, there are several moments to ask for referrals from customers:

Immediately following a purchase: A study pointed that “customers are most excited about a product right after they purchase it”, so take this to your advantage to get them to refer. If your customers are shopping online, place a distinct reminder right after they finalize their order.

After a high rating or survey: Customers who give your brand a high rating have demonstrated that they are willing to promote your brand. Take this chance!

Use tool like promoter.io to send out a survey or build the survey by yourself with the tool like Survey Monkey.

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After a positive customer social engagement: Engaging your shoppers effectively on social media is a powerful way to boost your brand image and increase customer trust. 75% of people tend to buy what is introduced by friends or relatives. Simply your interaction will appear on their friends’ feeds and build your reach.

Following a positive customer service experience: If you have a customer service hotline or agent, promote your referral program at the end of a positive call. Likewise if you have a customer support chat system, make sure your staff are trained to conclude the final message with information about the referral program.

Communicating with loyal customers: These clients are already primed to promote your brands to friends, family and followers. Keep them involved in your site by qualified products and great support.

2. Make sure you are providing the right incentives

Incentives are somehow helpful in asking for referrals from clients, but not everyone needs incentives to promote your brand. Loyal customers do this because they find it helpful and they spend special love for you. You may need to do reward research before making decisions, which helps you to give “right” rewards that clients favor and effectively boost your referrals of your site

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Positive word of mouth about your referral program itself will drive more people to sign up, so you need to make sure that the incentives are getting a strong response. Rewards can be discountsvirtual credit card or branded gift card, which depends on your business.

3. Making referring as easy as possible.

An e-commerce guru, Richard Lazazzera pointed that “You always want to ensure you’re making it as easy as possible to share your products and refer your brand”. Never bury your program in dark corner of your site, feature it prominently. Have a button on your website to encourage shoppers to join program and reap benefits. Social buttons must be under consideration.

4. Find ways to help your customers overcome reputation risk

When you give a referral, you give a little of your reputation away. If the business you’ve referred someone to does a good job, it helps your reputation. But if it does a poor job, your reputation may be hurt.”

Reputation risk is one of the reasons why some customers won’t refer products and services to their friends, even if they are completely satisfied with your products. The fear of recommending something a friend or family won’t like is just one part of reputation risk. Another factor is widespread fear of online scams. Clients tend to be warier before referring anything to their friends or followers. Not want to be a spammer is also the reason that creates barrier to referrals.

So any tips for that?

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Make your site secure: Having a safe and secure website is a quick way to win their trust. If your site doesn’t have HTTPS enabled, speak to your web developer about upgrading to this more secure protocol.

Feature details about referral campaign prominently: Featuring easy-to-find links to your referral program from your homepage will help assuage any doubts they might have.

Keep it simple: Make your program simple and straightforward. Don’t involve customers in complicated things because they will leave you behind sooner or later.

Be good: If your brand has a substantial online presence and has a reputation for honesty, and excellent customer service, those qualities are going to put customers at ease when signing up for your program. If your referral program is easy to understand, easy to learn about online, and powered by attractive incentives for both the referrer and the referred, it will quickly dissolve any reservations your customers may feel about signing up.

5. Engaged with customers on social media

Making yourself an active participant in online conversations that are taking place around your brand is an invaluable strategy for building trust. Customers are far more likely to refer a friend to a brand if they feel so close in a personal way, and social engagement is the perfect way to build that sense of personal connection and trust.

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6. Approach reviewers and encourage customer to refer

Reviews are always powerful weapons to approach customers. Positive reviews can influence buying decision up to 90% of customers. These reviews are excellent opportunities to engage with clients. What will you do in case of negative reviews? Comment, apologize for customer’s negative experience, and start working on ways to reserve that. How about positive ones? When you see positive reviews, you can use them to recruit customers for your referral program. A shopper writing a glowing five-star review are excellent candidates for your referral program.

7. Build an automated referral program

One of the top reasons that referral program fails is that they just get too complicated. Automated referral marketing system can maintain list of people who have sign up for your program. It can monitor referrals on social media or distribute rewards to clients who have referred friends. It’s the ultimate way to encourage customers to refer.

Do you find these tactics useful? Share them!

By investing time and effort into your referral program, you totally reap what you sow, I mean benefits of one of the lowest cost-per-acquisition marketing methods are available for you. These tips can be enjoyed by any online activity, not only business. If you find tips of encouraging customer referrals helpful, share it with others!



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  • Thank you. I'm happy that it helped!

    • posted by Hieu
    • Tuesday, 20 December 2016 15:14
  • Nice content! I found it interesting and useful.
    Thank you for sharing.

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