It’s easy to confuse word-of-mouth (WOM) marketing with referral marketing program. Both create a buzz and both rely on customers to spread the word. You might want to think of them as cousins since they are so similar.
Referral marketing is just a more modern version of word-of-mouth marketing that utilizes technology such as (email, social media and mobile channels) and personal connections to drive sales. It’s a powerful tool just like its cousin, WOM marketing. McKinsey reports that referrals are responsible for up to 50% of all purchasing decisions. Referrals are often more loyal and valuable customers as well.
But there are downsides to referral marketing. First, you can’t control when a customer decides to refer you, which means you don’t have much control of the growth of your business. Second, as your business grows, it can be harder to keep track of customers’ individual networks.
Leveraging Referral Marketing with Technology
You can, however, leverage referral marketing as your business grows to have it work for you.
How? Here are a few quick tips:
– Identify referral sources – A referral source is anyone that interacts with your brand. Most referral programs focus on either partners, customers or influencers.
– Make it simple and rewarding for customers to use – Make sure customers can make referrals on any channel using any device and that both sides benefit from the referral.
– Maintain a human touch – As your business scales, you’ll won’t be able to continue to recognize customers by individual names. An advanced referral solution can help maintain that small business feel that brought customers to your product or service in the first place.
Scale Your Referrals with an Online Referral Program
You can scale referral marketing with online referral programs that use sources from partners, customers, and influencers. Advanced online marketing referral programs have AI bots. These bots automatically target and prompt relevant customers to rate and recommend their purchases to their friends and relatives. When recommendations turn into purchases, a cashback reward is given to both the customer and their referral. This is all done through online tracking and notifications of your shoppers on their favorite social app: WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, email and more.
A leading online referral program can even keep track of the thousands of referrals your customers give for your product or service, just like any affiliate program. At the same time, it can also enable each customer to leverage their own private network, retaining that small-business feel that’s so difficult to continue to maintain as your business grows.
Want to learn more?Join Voco to start a sales-driven referral program today!