Every person wants referral based work. Being a start-up guy myself, I know exactly why referral based business is good. It’s kind of traffic that comes only after hearing good stuff about you; It’s the kind of work that comes and stays. People who come to from referrals are more likely to trust you. Word of mouth advertising is what everyone craves for. Few years back, when I started my own website speed optimization service we had nothing to bank upon, search engine traffic was dead in the water. Social media traffic bought no work to us due to declining organic reach; because people came, they liked our stuff but never bought our packages. And those who actually made our business were friends of our existing customers, who were repeatedly being told how awesome were we and our services.
This led to the realization that a good referral marketing program is essential to any brand’s success. A good referral marketing program not only saves the time of the people involved but it also helps in building long lasting relationships and it seriously brings down the money involved in marketing and promotion.
The latest research report from Gigaom explains how ten different types of digital advertising are helping marketers to acquire new customers. retain current customers, boost the awareness and push them for conversation – without actually asking them directly to it. According to the report referral marketing bring customers in and email marketing keep them active & engaged. 31% of respondent claimed Acquisition and Conversion are the most effective referral marketing objectives.
On the flip side, only 39% of people are using the referral program effective. Though 27% of this who were using referral marketing claimed 50% of their new customers bought in through it. The referral marketing tactics satisfies two objectives: acquiring new customers and rewarding the existing customer who referred them, this keeping the existing customers happy, claimed marketers who were surveyed.
Every company or brand working on building their customer base needs people. Now by the word people I don’t mean any Tom, Dick or Harry; It’s focused people who return from time to time and are the real sources of ROI for us. Some people from your referral sources might be the ones who are looking for reciprocal referrals from your side. Such people might even want you to refer them to everyone in order for the whole process to work out. If it fits your strategy then such mutually beneficial referral might also serve you good, but the end discretion in creating a successful referral marketing program is always yours.
Not every strategy that yielded results for other people will give you results. You might need to modify your existing action plans according to your business. Finding the right sources for referral is also a crucial component. The people who are coming to you need to be targeted audience. You won’t talk about your business and ideas with the friends of your brother or your mom’s peer group. What you need is people who already belong to that core industry, which you are a part of, and then you would pitch your idea in front of them, which would lead to fulfilment of your referral strategy. So, to create a successful referral strategy what you need is to find the right people and promotion to the right people.
The five most important points to keep in mind while trying to build a long-term referral marketing program are:
1.) Find and classify good quality referral sources
2.) Take your own time to build relationships with people you work as it works the best for the long run
3.) Try and understand what people need and why they need it.
4.) From an industry based focus group which focuses on bridging the gap between consumer demand and the industry.
5.) Keep a track of all the referral sources.
After all you don’t want an adult site or a black hat forum to be the main source of all of your traffic.
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Disclaimer: The original post was written by Aditya Nath Jha who actively contributes to Dazeinfo and MyRefers – a new peer to peer referral based job search platform. I have made few tweaks and added the survey findings section to make the thought more appealing and adaptable to readers.