Word-of-mouth referrals are the holy grail of marketing. After all, who better to sell your product or service than a happy customer? Creating an affiliate marketing program to get word-of-mouth referrals might be a good strategy if you can do it right.
According to a recent study, as many as 83 percent of customers are prepared to recommend items and services to others, yet just 29% do so. Why the disparity? Customers aren’t rejecting referrals because they don’t want to help you. They may be unsure how to advertise referral programs or what rewards they can gain with each recommendation.
Fortunately, setting up a customer referral program is simple. In this post, we’ll discuss the benefits of having one in place, teach you how to create an affiliate marketing program in six easy steps, and recommend you a few best platforms to work with.
Why Should You Create a Customer Referral / Affiliate Marketing Program?
Loyalty and advocacy are the most important ways to create a long-lasting business. That’s why it pays off for companies like yours if you can get your customers involved in promoting what they love about their experience.
A referral program is a strategy that will help both new clients find value from start. While you can retain more valuable ones by giving them incentives not just now or later but every day.
There are many benefits to having a referral program.
- 92% trust referrals over all other forms of marketing.
- Referrals from friends and family members result in 4x greater conversion rates than those attained through other sources like online advertising or social media ads!
- Clients gained through these channels tend to have a 16 percent higher lifetime value (LTV) on average.
- It’s often much cheaper too since new visitors come with lower Customer Acquisition Costs (CAC).
- Customers acquired through referrals are 37% more likely to remain active users of your brand.
- Brands that offer rewards programs engage 81% more consumers than brands without them.
If there is one thing we know about business today it’s that acquiring new leads can sometimes seem challenging but when someone refers us our chances at success increase dramatically
Also, customer referral programs are an effective way to track the performance of your marketing efforts. With WordPress plugins like Easy Affiliate, you can easily see how many leads and sales your program is generating.
LIVELY is a prime example of a company that has benefited from a referral program. Before launching its “Refer a Friend” initiative, LIVELY already had a sizable customer base.
However, once the program was launched, there was a significant increase in sales. In just 48 hours after the launch, there were 300,000 sessions on the LIVELY online store. This demonstrates the power of referral programs in driving sales and growth for businesses.
Getting word-of-mouth referrals by creating an affiliate marketing program
As a business owner, you know that promoting your products or services can be an intimidating process. So, you might be hesitant to approach your customers about becoming brand ambassadors.
If you have a great product/service and your existing customers are happily using it, then why not encourage them to tell their friends about it?
If you can set up an affiliate marketing program, you can tap into the power of word-of-mouth referrals. By offering commission rates or other incentives, you can incentivize customers to promote your business.
There are a lot of internet influencers out there with huge followings. Some of them make a living simply by promoting other people’s products as affiliate marketers. They have a devoted following that you may leverage to generate WOM for your business.
Imagine your favorite podcast host describing a product and expressing his or her delight with it. How many people would be likely to buy the product after hearing that? If you have a great product, then it is possible to get the same reaction from your customers.
Fortunately, customer referral programs are simple to set up. Let’s take a look at how you can set one up for yourself.
6 Easy Steps to Set Up an Affiliate Marketing Program
A referral program is a great way to grow your business. By offering incentives to your customers for referring new business, you can quickly expand your customer base and drive growth. But how do you launch a successful referral program? Here are six steps to get you started:
1. Define Your Goals
What do you want to achieve with your referral program? Do you want to increase brand awareness, drive website traffic, or boost sales?
You should also decide what metrics you’ll use to track your progress. For example, you might track the number of new leads generated, the number of new customers acquired, or the amount of revenue generated.
Once you’ve defined your goals, you can start planning your referral program.
Once you know what you want to accomplish, you can develop program rules and incentives that will help you reach your goals.
2. Identify Your Audience
When you’re thinking about how to generate more referrals for your business, it’s essential to have a clear idea of your ideal referral customer. This enables you to create targeted content and strategies that will appeal to this group.
To get started, consider what characteristics your ideal referral customer would have. What age are they? What interests do they have? What needs does your business address?
Once you have a good understanding of who you’re targeting, you can start planning ways to reach them. This might involve creating blog posts or social media content that appeals to their interests or developing marketing materials that address their specific needs.
By taking the time to think about your ideal referral customer, you’ll be able to develop more effective referral generation strategies.
3. Choosing the Right Product/Service to Promote
There are a few key factors to consider when choosing products for a referral marketing program.
- It’s important to choose products/services that have a high sales volume. This ensures that there is a steady stream of potential customers who can be reached through word-of-mouth recommendations.
- It’s important to choose products that have satisfied customers. Satisfied customers are more likely to give positive referrals, and they can provide valuable insights into what motivates people to make a purchase.
- It’s important to consider the growth potential of the product. Referral marketing programs are a great way of propelling growth rather than starting it. Therefore, it’s important to choose products with a solid growth trajectory.
By considering these factors, you can ensure that your referral marketing program is successful.
4. Choose the Right Incentives.
What will motivate your audience to participate in the referral program? Will they be more likely to refer friends if they receive a discount or free product? Or would they prefer other rewards, such as points that can be redeemed for prizes?
You should also consider the value of the incentive. The incentive should be valuable enough to motivate customers to take action, but it shouldn’t be so valuable that it cuts into your profits.
Finally, you should think about how easy it is for customers to redeem the incentive. If the process is too complicated, customers will likely give up and move on to another program.
By offering incentives that are valuable and easy to redeem, you can encourage customers to participate in your referral program.
However, if you are working with a limited budget, you may not be able to offer incentives to every customer. In this case, creating a contest or giveaway is more beneficial.
Also, you can strategize around a double-sided referral program. It is an effective way to encourage customers to refer friends and family. With this type of program, both the customers, who make the referral and the person who is referred, have a chance to benefit. This can be a great way to get new customers, as well as increase loyalty among your existing customer base.
5. Promote Your Program.
Once you’ve developed your referral program, it’s time to promote it to your target audience. Use social media, email marketing, and other channels to spread the word. You can also include information about the program on your website and in your brick-and-mortar store, if you have one.
There are affiliate bloggers for almost every kind of product or service. Affiliate bloggers are bloggers whose blog educates its readers, provides how-to’s, and shares product reviews. Affiliate bloggers earn their revenue from affiliate marketing programs so these individuals can be very valuable to helping grow your company’s client-base.
Make sure to provide customers with all the information they need to participate in the program. This might include a step-by-step guide or FAQ section. You can also offer customer support to help people with any questions they might have.
By promoting your referral program, you can ensure that more people are aware of it and take advantage of it.
Best Platforms to Launch Your Affiliate Marketing Program
There are several platforms like Share a Sale, Referral Rock, and Referral Factory where you can get the word out about your program. One of the best things about using a service like this is you can generate your own affiliate links to track your sales. You can also use these platforms to track the performance of your referral program and make changes as needed.
One of the best things about using a service like this is that you can easily generate referral links that people can share. This way you can get both one-off referrals from customers by giving them their own links, or you can create an affiliate program that will attract bloggers and influencers to make your product part of their own monetization strategy.
As an advertiser, one of the best things you can do is to partner with an affiliate network like ShareASale. They have an extensive pool of dedicated publishers or affiliates that are searching for the right advertisers to partner with.
They’re already committed, and audiences are ready to convert because publishers have a prior level of trust in them. With over 20 years in the industry, ShareASale has built strong relationships with both advertisers and publishers, which allows them to offer competitive commission rates and high-quality traffic.
Their pricing structure is relatively straightforward. They take the merchant setup fee of $625 and transaction costs for qualified transactions.
Additionally, they provide ample resources and support to help you succeed with your affiliate marketing campaigns. When you partner with ShareASale, you can be confident that you’re working with a tried-and-true affiliate network that will help you reach your advertising goals.
Referral Rock is a powerful solution that helps you launch and manage referral programs. With Referral Rock, you can easily create beautiful landing pages, sign-up forms, and emails to promote your program.
Additionally, they offer a wide range of features to help you track the performance of your referral program.
Referral Rock is an affordable solution that starts at just $200 per month and you’ll get access to the top 10,000 advertisers. Plus, they offer a free trial so you can try out the platform before committing to it. Referral Rock also offers lots of education and valuable resources that can help you to successfully create, launch and manage a referral program.
Referral Factory is another great solution for launching and managing referral programs. With Referral Factory, you can create beautiful landing pages and sign-up forms to promote your program. Additionally, they offer a wide range of features to help you track the performance of your referral program.
Referral Factory has a wealth of information to assist you in becoming informed before deciding to enroll in their programs.
It starts at just $95 per month and you’ll get access to the top 2500 users. Plus, they offer a 15-days free trial so you can try out the platform before committing to it.
By promoting your referral program, you can encourage customers to participate and generate buzz for your business.
6. Track Your Referrals
It’s important to track your referrals so you can see what’s working and what isn’t. This way, you can further improve the performance of your referral program.
There are a few different ways to track referrals.
- Use a dedicated WordPress plugin like AffiliateWP. AffiliateWP allows you to easily view referral data and track conversions in real-time.
- Another way to track referrals is to use a third-party service like Tune. With Tune, you can view detailed reports on your referral program performance.
- Use Google Analytics to track referrals. By setting up Goals in Google Analytics, you can track when a referral signs up for your program.
By tracking your referrals, you can get insights into what’s working and what isn’t. This way, you can make changes to improve the performance of your referral program.
A good customer referral program can be an efficient way to improve your business. By incentivizing your customers to recommend your business to their social and other networks, you can reach a wider audience and build trust with potential new customers.