The 7 steps guide to launch a successful referral program campaign
Follow these seven steps to run your first referral program and start harnessing the power of word of mouth.
Word of mouth is one of the most effective forms of marketing, but one of the most difficult to control. You can’t force someone to talk about your company, much less give you a good review. But your customers’ voices hold power – more power than your brand’s voice.
In fact, 92% of consumers say they trust referrals from their peers, and 74% say word of mouth is a key influencer in their purchasing decisions.
Amazon’s Jeff Bezos says, “If you do build a great experience, customers tell each other about that. Word of mouth is very powerful.”
Word of mouth is also a low-cost way to bring in new customers. But how do you make it happen? You must first launch a referral program. Follow these seven steps to run your first referral program and start harnessing the power of word of mouth.
1. Set goals
Before you even put any sort of plan into motion, you need to sit down and think about your why. What do you hope to get out of a referral program? Besides the obvious reason – to increase customers – what do you want? Perhaps you’re looking to increase customer loyalty, grow sales, turn more customers into lifetime customers or get more brand advocates.
You must identify these goals so that you’ll be able to measure the success of your program. This way, you’ll have something to point to and measure against to see how effective your efforts are.
2. Define the message
Your referral program must be easily understandable and easily doable. If it isn’t, potential customers won’t give your brand a second look. Make sure you clearly outline how the program works, what your customers must do and how to do it. Make your call to action clear and prominent.
Airbnb does a good job of this. On its landing page, the company has a strong call to action that clearly states what to do and why to do it. Then, lower on the page, it details the specifics of the program as well.
3. Choose an incentive
Merely asking your customers to refer a friend isn’t going to entice them enough to do it. You have to offer some kind of incentive. This could be a monetary incentive, such as a discount on your products or services, but it doesn’t have to be.
For example, Dropbox has one of the most successful referral programs, and it doesn’t cost the company much if anything. In exchange for referring a friend, customers are given up to 16GB of free space.
Whatever you decide to do, make sure the incentive makes sense for your brand and for your customer. Put yourself in their shoes and think about what you could offer that would benefit them the most.
4. Make a landing page
You need to have one central location where customers can get all the information about your referral program, such as a dedicated landing page on your website. When setting up the page, make sure it’s easy to find.
Make the page easily accessible from your home page by including it within your main navigation. Then optimize the page using SEO best practices to ensure others will be able to search for – and find – you.
This page will be where you include your main message and call to action as well as all details about how to submit a referral. If possible, include a form right on the landing page to make submitting the referral even easier.
5. Focus on analytics
Before you launch your referral program, make sure you have your analytics set up using Google Analytics or other software so that it’s easy to track the success of your efforts. You’ll need to know how people are getting to your landing page, including where they’re coming from and what they clicked on.
Once you know which channels are most successful, you can boost your efforts there. And if any channels are performing poorly, you can direct your efforts elsewhere.
Measuring the results of your referral program will also come in handy down the road when it’s time to prove the value of your efforts to executives or other leaders in your organization.
6. Spread the word
Digital marketing strategist Samuel Edwards says one of the top reasons referral programs fail is a lack of focus on the rollout. “The actual terms and conditions of the program are easy to develop, but the marketing of the program is where businesses come up short–and a weak rollout almost always leads to an underperforming program,” he says.
You have to make sure people know about your referral program – and that means you need to pull out all the stops. Come up with a schedule to promote your referral program across social media, email and your blog. Use as many channels as it makes sense to ensure you reach as many people as possible.
7. Train employees
Your best brand advocates are your employees. By informing them and training them on your referral program, they can be just as effective as any marketing channel. Make sure they are clearly educated on the details of the program and how it works so that they can talk about it and explain it to others.
Encourage them to talk about the program with their friends and family and to share it on their personal social media channels. Their messages will add validity to your brand and widen your reach.
Are you ready to launch your referral program? What have you planned?
We’d love to help you launch your first campaign, get in touch!
How much do you think Blockchain will affect marketing?
From Loyalty programs to digital gamification, networking, and security, it’s sure blockchain will revolutionize marketing.
Within the next 10 years we will see an enormous change in the internet landscape. New technologies such as blockchain and Artificial Intelligence will, and are already, shaping the behaviors of the internet community. Especially driven by Millennials and Gen Z, Blockchain is been receiving massive adoption among both consumers and companies.
People and especially young people dream that a truly decentralized internet may someday become a reality. As we’ve previously seen with e-commerce, for example, the advent of blockchain will change the professional and interpersonal behaviors of both consumers online and offline. By changing their behaviors this technology has the potential to disrupt the marketplace and offer innovative solutions that would ultimately benefit the consumer.
Recently, in its current iteration, blockchain has created new opportunities for both company and digital marketing firms, especially in the activities of fundraising (ICOs), supply chain transparency, affiliations and referrals. In the past few years, these companies have spurred an incredible amount of opportunities and for each activity, they have ultimately provided more value to their customers, with higher efficiency and lower costs.
Out of the recent years of experience, we can outline the main pain point blockchain applications that will solve in the next future:
- Eliminating the middle man
- Increasing transparency
- Providing better use of data
- Improving security and privacy
- Securing transparency
Unchain Carrot is in the front line when it comes to disrupting marketing through blockchain. Our system allows immediate value for both companies and customers by eliminating intermediaries’ costs, providing better use of data with fewer operations costs, while improving the security of the system and the privacy of our users. Additionally, our system provides more engaging experiences and cross-organizational opportunities.
Did you know that hackers are stealing over $1 billion value of rewards a year?
Unchained Carrot uses blockchains to make your Loyalty Programs fraud-proof.
Loyalty programs are a great business for retailers, for eCommerce as well as for hackers.
From airline miles to free coffee, consumers are extremely willing to share personal information with their favorite stores for rewards. Hackers are increasingly targeting these loyalty programs because consumers often don’t treat it like real money and the systems are not safe. The end result — $1 billion a year ends up in the pocket of these scammers.
Hackers love loyalty points
Currently, in the U.S. consumers average 10 loyalty accounts per person, while racking up $48 billion stored in points and travel miles – demonstrating the massive popularity and available resources for fraudsters to pounce on. Loyalty programs are an easy target for cyberthieves to score consumer data and cash-like rewards. Typically, these programs store sensitive Personally Identifiable Information (PII), including your birth date, email or home address, and a phone number.
As we engage in these loyalty programs, we should all be thinking about the security of our information. It’s pretty straightforward for a hacker to access our information within these reward programs. They can leverage previously compromised credentials from prior data breaches to log in to an account, known as “credential stuffing”. From there, they can place orders using the victim’s points and credit card information. They can also sell the rewards and information for a profit in the Dark Web, or to gain access to even more PII.
Mobile OS vulnerability fuels the fire
Consumers crave convenience and are willing to accept certain risks to make life more convenient.
The adoption of mobile rewards cards, where the cashier can scan a phone to capture the user’s profile and apply it to the transaction instantly, creates additional risk through mobile vulnerabilities for rewards.
Loyalty apps are often insecure and easy to access, especially if we use the same passwords for multiple accounts. Make sure your phone is protected from rogue apps by downloading only from the approved app stores. Be sure to use a different password for each reward program you join and change them regularly just as you would with financial or credit account logins.
Stay current with the number of points you have in your rewards accounts. Be suspicious of emails that ask you to log in to your account to change your information. Phishing emails like this are often a gateway for cybercriminals to record your information and perform account takeovers. Do not click any links within the email. Instead, go directly to the retailer’s website and log into your account directly to see if something is wrong.
Make your loyalty system hackers proof
Check your loyalty system and make it safe, you don’t want your customers’ data stolen! Make sure fraudsters are not hacking your system and stealing your hard-earned customers’ information.
Unchained Carrot can help you in designing and building a secure loyalty system for your store or online shop.
Learn more about the Unchained Carrot blockchain-based loyalty programs. We can keep your marketing efforts secure!