Referral Marketing Communications Plan — Tip #7: Make It Easy for Referrers

Referral Marketing Communications Plan CarrotFor many years in the business world, I have lived by the guideline, “Make it easy for people to do what you want them to do.” Even if you create the best referral marketing communication plan in the world, with today’s very busy life, your referral marketing program will not work well if it is difficult for people to participate. If your referral-marketing program is difficult to understand, or if you make your referrers fill out endless forms, and wade through lots of red tape, they will abandon your program before you get the leads you are looking for. Try these easy to implement tips to keep your program simple, attractive, and user-friendly:

  1. Follow the “KISS” Principle. KEEP IT SIMPLE! A complex reward system with different levels and different rewards for different customers becomes a nightmare for your customers to figure out, and a bigger nightmare for you and your staff to operate and maintain.
  2. Like good restaurants, avoid too many choices. Business surveys show that too many choices lead to indecision and, many times, making no choice – which does neither you nor your customer any good. Limit the options and keep choices similar. A $20 gift card or $20 off a future order is a simple choice, one likely to result in a signup.
  3. Make it easy for your customers — offer several pathways for customers to get referrals to you. Sure a referral page on your web site is a good start, but by opening the door to phone, postcards, and mail, you will get more leads more easily… and how about offering to let people TEXT MESSAGE a referral to you! Any way you can make it easier for people to do what you want.
  4. Don’t ask for unnecessary information. No one enjoys filling out forms! So make ti easy for people to do what you want them to do… keep your form to the bare minimum you need to make the referral work – no more, no less. By keeping the information short, you can open the dialog leading to a new sale, and you can always get more information for additional marketing later in the sales process.
  5. Acknowledge the referral. Always let your referrer know that you got a referral from them. An automatic, “Thank You for your trust in us,” is sufficient, but definitely respond with a thank you for the referral. If you have a customer relations management system, make a note on the record for your referring customer, so others in you staff can also acknowledge the referral.
  6. Reward quickly. Making customers wait is bad service… especially customers who have been nice enough to actually give you a referral to another customer. So quickly deliver the reward or certificate acknowledging the reward to the referrer – they’ll be most likely to continue passing on leads.

The easier you make it for your customers to refer others to your business, the more likely you will be to get those leads, and the quicker you “pay up” on the reward, the more likely you are to get more referral leads, so make it easy for your customers to give you what you want.

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