Nowadays, if your brand doesn’t have brand advocates, can you really call it a brand?
You can, but just on the surface level.
You see, brand advocacy is a need of the times.
Don’t believe me? These statistics will help you decide otherwise:
- 92% Consumers trust referrals from people they know.
- 83% of US online shoppers trust social media referrals.
- Referral marketing guarantees a 37% higher retention than regular marketing practices.
- B2B referrals lead to a 70% higher conversion rate.
Referrals allow you to tap into a recurring customer base. It’s primarily due to their popularity that organizations of all shapes and sizes are investing heavily in the medium.
But herein lies the problem: it’s not easy to get customer referrals. It’s a complicated process that requires you to maintain balance between selling and coming off as too pushy or annoying.
The upside to this problem is that if your customers are happy with what you’re offering, if it indeed adds value to their lives, they’ll be happy to advocate for you. The statistics speak for themselves:
83% of customers would be willing to refer products to their friends and acquaintances. Within that number, only 29% would be willing to make a referral.
Yes, we understand that number reduces significantly. Why, you may ask? The reason is the absence of a solid referral marketing strategy. If you don’t have the right strategy in place, you’re going to convert a similar number of customers, perhaps even less.
With a solid referral strategy, you can convert customers with the power of word-of-mouth marketing. This main goal of this article is to provide you with five powerful strategies that can help you create loyal customers and improve your position.
Referral Marketing: The Benefits
Before we begin outlining the various marketing strategies you can implement on your website, we feel that it’s important to give you a run-down of what referral marketing actually is.
So, let’s start.
People love talking about businesses online. A prime example of this can be found on Twitter. From Wendy’s, to Dominos, and Pringles – there are many companies active on social media talking to customers, and being talked about as well.
With so many brand conversations going on, it makes sense that you capitalize on it for your own benefit.
There are plenty of benefits you can gain from referral marketing. Some of them are listed as follows:
1. Target Customers with Precision
Referral marketing is a game changer when it comes to converting customers to your store. Statistically speaking, about 14% customers convert from a referral page which is a lot higher compared to other digital marketing strategies.
With the right referral marketing strategy at your disposal, you can create user personas on your store. With it, you can target the right people with the right demographics to purchase products from your store.
2. Increased Legitimacy
The modern customer needs adequate social proof before they can proceed with purchasing from your brand. To ensure that customers are satisfied with your business process, marketers implement a variety of social proofs that range from product reviews to customer testimonials.
Referral marketing helps you add another layer of legitimacy to your processes by providing customers social proof from their own peers. This makes the customer more interested in doing business with you. Because of peer recommendations, they are also willing to trust you.
What you should ideally do is combine your marketing materials with the referral marketing. That’s more than enough to convert customers to your brand.
3. Improved Market Reach
Referral marketing has been an effective marketing tool way before the internet came into being. The only difference is that with the internet, the marketing medium got an unprecedented boost.
Before, only a selected few had a voice so the spoken word could go only so far. Now, everyone has a voice and each can influence a purchase decision for better or for worse. Public forums, social media reviews on Twitter and Instagram, and online recommendations are everywhere. You can take advantage of these platforms to create a favorable impression of your brand.
Besides posting the essential marketing materials, you can also use referral marketing to get more customers through those platforms.
Practical Referral Marketing Strategies
With the previous section out of the way, it’s time we look at the various marketing strategies you can use.
1. Go the Extra Mile for Your Customer
You should ensure a stellar customer experience every time someone enters your store. People notice this effort and are more than willing to talk favorably about it. This talk creates referrals.
Whatever the customer needs are, it’s your job that they’re taken care of in the best possible manner. By going the extra mile and investing in the customer, you’re setting yourself apart from the competition.
Doing something extra doesn’t have to involve spending too much money. Here are three things you can do to go the extra mile without breaking the bank:
- Offer additional value to your purchases. It could be a free giveaway, a t-shirt, or a simple “thank you” email.
- Sending motivational or thought-provoking emails that help them in their daily lives.
- Overall, be nice to your customers.
Lyft, the cab-hailing service, does a really good job of this by providing customers with regular incentives. On top that, they also provide stellar customer service through their taxi service, which is a lot cheaper than a traditional taxi.
2. Focus on Customer Experience
Customer services are vital for any business. But what sets one apart from another is the level of customer services they provide. As a business, you can set yourself apart by providing superior customer services.
Here are some easy ways you can do that:
- Always be responsive to customer queries. Don’t keep them waiting for days on end only to question why you received a bad review. Stay ahead of your customers, and respond to them. If you’re overworked, then you can always be respectful and reply to them as soon as possible.
- Maintain sincerity in your business practices. Your business ethics speak volumes for your brand and makes referrals a reality. Treat each purchase and each query with respect.
- Always be consistent in providing a stellar customer service. Make sure all your customers are treated equally in the same manner as discussed in the previous tips. Ideally, you should follow standardized practices to optimize your customer service workflows.
3. Build Relationships
It’s essential to build long lasting relationships with customers. This helps you keep the cycle of referrals going on.
To build such relationships, you need to make each customer feel comfortable with your offerings. Listen to customer queries attentively, and make sure those preferences are met accordingly.
Now, this might not be possible if you’re running a huge business. In that scenario, you should try your best to make the customer feel as though you’re interacting with them on a one-to-one basis. For example, you can send personalized emails to each individual customer detailing your services and products.
In addition to being courteous, you should also be transparent. This follows along from the previous statement of being open about the way you do business. This increases customer satisfaction.
4. Personalized Interactions
The more personalized user experience you provide, the better and happier your customers will be. You can utilize the data provided by your customers but you have to be conscious about data security of your customers.like their birthday, preferences, and offer them goodies based on those metrics.
While personalization does take a bit of effort, it shows that you really care about the customer. You can create user personas for particular users and then provide them with tailored products. For example, if one user is purchasing a specific product, then you can provide them with a tailored user-experience based on those particular products.
With this effort, you can expect your customer base to grow even further.
5. Ask for Referrals
Retargeting is an essential aspect of referral marketing. When you have targeted a particular customer base, you need to retarget them, and ask for referrals.
Ideally, you should perform this action post-purchase, since that’s the time when customers are most happy. Automating this particular aspect can prove very beneficial to your end processes and gets people to start talking about you.
In this post we discussed referral marketing and the five strategies you can use to make referrals a success within your eCommerce store.