Referral Marketing Communications Plan — Tip #9: What to Look for When it’s Not Working Well

Referral Marketing Communications Plan To Do ListYou may have the finest referral-marketing communication plan ever, but occasionally, you will find some snags. Here are some ways to spot and smooth out some common problems:

  1. No one participates. Generally, either the rewards are not worth the effort for your referrers or your customers don’t know about the program. First, make sure all your customers and clients know that you value referrals and will reward them. Post it on your web site, put notices in your regular mailings, always mention it during customer interactions. Then make sure the reward is worthwhile for referrers.
  2. Your referrals aren’t interested. Getting lots of referrals, but they’re not ready to buy? Quality counts! Make sure your customers know you reward only qualified leads – potential customers who are already interested in your product or service. This way, your referrers will, “pre-screen” the people they refer to you for a more productive referral. If you put a, “qualifying question” on your referral form, that might make all the difference in the world for getting the qualified leads you’re looking for. An salon, for example, might ask about the referree’s preferred type of workout, free standing, or on a machine. When your referrer passes on this type of information, they will have, “thought through” their referral to qualify the lead and save you time.
  3. Overwhelmed by too many referrals? This is only a problem if the referrals aren’t pre-qualified before you get them. If all these new leads are well qualified, you may need to start looking at expanding your business… and that is not a bad thing!
  4. Your referrals cost too much. You know how much new business is worth to you, so make sure the value of your referral reward fits. If a new customer, for instance, might be worth potentially $100 in revenue over the next year, offering a reward worth $100 would be just wrong. Establish good value for your referrer AND for your business.
  5.  Your referral program takes too much time to administer. Like all the other processes in your business, follow the KISS Principle…. Keep It Simple! As you build your referral reward system, always make keep an eye on how much work is involved. Remember, your time has a real cost in your business, so the less time you and your employees spend managing your referral program, the better! If a simple index card system works, use that. If you can add it into your business computing system, use that. But always keep it as simple as possible and appropriate to your business style.

Keep your referral marketing program running simply and smoothly to keep the referrals coming, and keep your costs under control.

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