Referral programs are one of the most cost-effective strategies for growth. But keep in mind that only having a program isn’t enough. So many companies shy away from taking the time to advertise their new initiative or hide it in hard-to-reach sub-menus, leading to low or no customer engagement. If you want to take the time and money to launch a new referral program, it’s in your best interests to show it off. Consider treating your program like you would like a new product feature – especially since one of its primary goals is to benefit your customers!
In this blog, we will learn how to promote your referral ways and learn 23 ways to do that. So without any further delay, let’s get started.
How to promote your referral program
1. Promote it on social media
You need to know where your target audience spends most of their time online and use your following on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and other platforms to spread the word. The average person spends approximately 145 minutes on social media every day, so it’s worth your time to use these channels.
Social media is a free resource, and the short lifespan of every tweet or Facebook post suggests you can often share news and info about your program and any updates. Add eye-catching imagery, a small blurb about why someone should participate, and a link to your explainer page or blog post to learn more. Make sure that you allow users to have a prize whenever they share the post with friends to drive a bit extra momentum around the launch date.
2. Ask at the right time with in-app triggers
When we say how to promote your referral program, it is one of the best methods. When your customers feel positive about your brand, they do word of mouth. Positive emotions improve a user’s likeliness to further engagement with your product or service and, in this case, make a referral.
Start by specifying the moments when your customer is most likely to be happy with your product or service, then use the opportunity to remind them of your referral program.
- For e-commerce, this moment could be once the user has finished purchasing and is excited to accept their order.
- If you offer a CRM tool, this might be when a user completes a sale using your software or has gathered a certain number of leads.
- If you run a monthly subscription box, this could be after the customer has been given their 3rd consecutive box, showing satisfaction with their purchase.
3. Use email marketing to promote your program.
Email is one of the best practices to keep in touch with your customers. It’s direct, personal, and readily customized to send any message – including referral program promotions.
Use a well-crafted email to present a new referral program or remind customers of an existing one. For instance, Casper, the famous bed-in-a-box brand, sends an email a few days after purchase and gives a “Give $50, Get $50” referral promotion.
4. Add promotion to your invoices.
If you propose credit or a discount as part of your referral rewards, adding a message for your customers’ invoices is a wonderful way to get them interested in the program. When customers read over their monthly invoice, they’ll be extra receptive to making a discount or perk to lower the total on the next payment.
Add a message like “Refer a friend to earn 10% off your next invoice!” with a link to where they can get started. It could also be included in your app’s invoice notification email or billing page.
If the amount owed makes the customer question whether your value is worth their investment, this is an excellent opportunity to remind them how they can pay a lower fee next month by inviting a friend.
5. Share reviews as social proof
Instead of writing a copy to promote a referral program, try sharing real customer experiences? Customer reviews and testimonials let you build your brand’s social proof.
Social proof works incredibly well when someone is close to entering a referral program but may require a little nudge. For instance, potential customers may be on your referral landing page or reading your referral flyer. Witnessing so many others raving about your brand could motivate them to sign up. Alternatively, you can employ email signature marketing and insert a clickable banner with a request to join your referral program.
6. Host an early-launch program
Consider your referral program launch like any other marketing launch. One of the best methods to develop hype before a campaign even launches is with a premier pre-release.
Choose a few of your top advocates and ambassadors, and ask them to test drive your new referral program. It will build excitement and a relationship with participants, but it also serves as a trial run before your referral program goes public
7. Conduct an NPS survey to find your best promoters
Why not first check how keen your customers would be to join a referral program? The Net Promoter Score is the industry benchmark measurement to check how likely a customer is to recommend a brand to others.
In addition, an NPS survey can have key questions about customer rewards and incentives. By sending out an initial NPS survey, you can choose who your prime candidates are and create a program that best attracts these customers.
8. Share the program with previous customers.
Old customers are one of the best resources for a growing business. They’ve had personal experience with your brand and – if the experience was pleasing – are the ones most likely to direct new customers to your business.
Referrals from earlier happy customers are the most valuable form of marketing. In addition to being honest and trusted, past customers are likely friends with others in your target market.
9. Send promotions through text messages.
If your customers opt-in to accept text messages, it can be a more valuable means of promoting your referral program. For one, people are rarely without their phones. And while it’s standard for messages to get concealed in email inboxes and social media feeds, most text messages are opened and read. Plus, text messaging is a two-way platform that allows regular communication with customers.
But don’t send text messages too often. Daily texts from brands can be a bit much, directing people to opt out or blocking you. So instead, start sending 4–5 SMS messages a month and witness the change.
10. Make use of videos.
Videos are a vital tool in marketing today, with 54% of people choosing a video over other content forms. Now you must be wondering how to promote your referral programs through a video? The easiest way would be to utilize any existing videos. For instance, you already have a product explainer video – include some text about your referral program or even a picture in the video (at the start or end is best). This way, everyone who watches that video will notice the referral promotion. You can also create a new video devoted to promoting your referral program. Many video editing apps enable you to get your video ready for posting.
11. Promote offline and during events
While a major part of marketing is done online, offline efforts still have an important role in promotions. If your business participates in events, have information about the referral program in your collateral (i.e., business cards, brochures, flyers). Think of adding a few lines about the program, links to more information, or a QR code they can scan to get started.
12. Conduct an A/B test
It’s essential to send the most effective message while promoting your referral program. However, it isn’t straightforward to guess the most effective message. For instance, would your audience be more curious about getting 20% off or $10 off your next purchase? Would a power word (i.e., “new,” “free,” “instantly”) improve your success rate? Many referral software tools present concurrent A/B testing, which lets you try different referral copy variations and see which suits best to your audience.
13. Invest in paid advertising
Paid advertising offers a huge return on investment.
- Paid advertising is one of the most suitable ways to improve your reach, particularly internationally.
- Paid ads can fit into any budget as most social media platforms offer a pay-per-click model that ensures you never surpass your spending limit.
- You can target your audience more precisely. For example, you can choose an audience based on device, location, age, interests, job, etc.
While determining which social media channels to promote on, here are a few questions to ask:
- What platforms does my target audience frequent?
- What are my advertising goals?
- What is my budget?
If you want to make your customer visualize your brand, Instagram may be the ideal platform to promote your referral program. On the other hand, if you have a software product and want to show yourself as a competitive company in the tech market, consider boosting your program on Twitter or Linkedin.
14. Promote it when customers are most engaged
Promoting when customers are most engaged is crucial as when they’re interacting with your brand, there’s a higher chance they’ll sign up for your program. For instance, your customer has just purchased your product or is in the middle of signing up for an account.They must be in a great mood and keen to try a new product/service. Please make the most out of their post-purchase or signing up euphoria by promoting your referral program. One way of doing so is by sending a thank you/confirmation email and including a link to your referral program. Or, you can integrate it into the onboarding process as the last step.
In this way, you nurture your relationship with your customer. This is an excellent opportunity for the relationship to evolve from a one-time purchase to a long-term commitment.
15. Activate your brand ambassadors
While promoting a referral program, activating brand ambassadors is the surest way to boost brand awareness! Brand ambassadors further promote your referral program through word of mouth or social media. There’s no set list of typical tasks a brand ambassador must finish since this depends on your business and unique needs.
However, there are two things brand ambassadors are employed to do:
- Encourage your brand to their followers. What’s more, this promotion should be as organic as possible.
- Connect with people. And they do so through storytelling. Storytelling has been a great marketing strategy that people enjoy because they feel connected to what the brand ambassador is saying.
You must be wondering, do brand ambassadors get paid?
Well, this would depend on several factors, including:
- Your campaign’s goal
- Terms you agree with the ambassador
- The size of their audience
- Your budget
Also, brand ambassadors don’t have to be paid in cash. Sometimes they accept products from the brand they’re working with or gain premium access to their services. They can also earn commissions from the sales made by their promotion.
16. Use custom email signatures.
Do some extra promotion with every email your team sends by creating a signature with a quick message and link to your referral program. You can engage everyone from your sales, customer success, and marketing teams to generate awareness. This can be extremely powerful for support staff who help solve customer problems and make happy moments daily. However, even threads with prospects and professional connections convey an opportunity to promote your program and help you stand out.
With an email signature in place, the recipient is given a foolproof way to access your program that you don’t have to worry about maintaining.
17. Incorporate it into your value proposition
A well-designed referral program is deemed a welcomed feature by your customers and can assist win-over prospects who might be evaluating similar options.
Because of this, don’t be afraid to put it front and centre as a primary way for customers to save money or get rewarded.
Mobile phone provider Visible promotes its referral program to profit new customers and existing ones. The home page prominently features how you can keep on your monthly bill by participating in the referral program
18. Add social share buttons.
Make it easier for customers to share your program. Instead of copying the link from one page only to paste it into another, customers can select their preferred platform and share the link with a button click. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, you name it. Consider adding these social media sharing buttons to your email or referral program landing page if you desire your customers to enjoy a great customer experience.
Incorporate the option to share the link on every platform that makes sense for your target audience. It’s a wonderful way to reach a wider audience and inspire new people to become customers.
19. Add referral promotions on your high-traffic web pages.
Although every website differs, they typically include a few key pages that attract the most clicks – the homepage, about page, contact page, blog page, and check out our conversion page.
Make the most of these views by advertising your referral program. It doesn’t need to take up a lot of space or even be above the fold. A strong headline and CTA can be enough to grab a visitor’s interest.
20. Place a referral message in your email signature.
Most company emails contain a custom signature at the bottom of each message. So why not add a referral promotion, as well?
A link to your referral program is handy for those who often communicate with customers via emails, such as customer support or sales. Email signatures aren’t too bold, bring customers to your referral program details, and are an easy set-and-forget tactic.
21. Mention the program in social media bios
While most companies own only one website, they usually have more than one social media account. And one of the best methods in referral promotions is to add it to your social media bios.
Not only is everyone on social media (97% of digital customers have used social media in the past month), almost everyone checks an account’s social media bio before they start following you.
22. Add calls to action in blog posts.
If you possess an active blog, it’s good to include calls to action (CTAs) and promote your referral program in top posts. So whenever someone browses your company blog, they’re reminded of the option to refer their friends.
For instance, ridesharing company Uber devotes an entire blog category to promotions, including all updates for its referral marketing program.
23. Create an explainer page
An explainer page is important as it helps you spread awareness and make sure that customers understand how your referral program works and how they can participate.
Build this page on your website to create the structure of your program and how a user can earn and redeem rewards. It’s a great way to guide users who want to participate and can be utilized as CTA links in your emails, social posts, etc.
Start by answering these questions on your page:
- What rewards are available?
- How do you make a referral?
- Who can make a referral?
- How many referrals can you make?
- Are there any exceptions?
- How do you get started?
Even if your referral program is unavailable to the public and only available to customers, it’s OK to build a public-facing explainer page that anyone can access to know more about how it works. So they can share it with others who are not yet customers.
Creating a customer referral program without promoting it won’t make it a success. First, you have to put effort into promoting it. Then, you keep on promoting it until it starts generating results. We hope that you find this blog on how to promote your referral program helpfully.