Are you ready to get more clients and customers through referrals? In this episode, I’m giving you all the info you need to get more clients through an epic referral programme.
We are going through this journey at EverTrek right now so I want to share everything aboutour implementation process, the software options, and all the other pitfalls you need to know about referral programmes.
If you’re a high-traffic, high client-generating business model, I definitely recommend you get software to run your referral programme. You may not need software if you have a high-ticket service and need a more personal approach. But let’s take a look.
Cost of referral software
Even if you’re working at scale, you’ll want to referral process to be as personal as possible. Decent software can range from $200 per month, up to $1000 a month. Therefore, you need to weigh up the referrals you can get from your current traffic and customers before you start investing in the software.
If you have lots of customers coming through the doors all the time, they are likely to refer you onward. So make sure you juice up your referral programme.
At EverTrek, we do have customers en masse so need some referral software. I’ve tested many different options out there within a wide price range. The ones that come out on top are Referral Rock and Genius Referrals.
Referral Rock versus Genius Referrals
Honestly, either of these services would work with our business. We are currently going with Referrals Rocks because it is very plug-and-play and hooks up to our current tech. While most referral programmes are plug-and-play, you need to consider how they integrate with what you already have. For example, if you need to qualify the lead then you need to make sure the referral system can connect with your sales process so your referrer gets their reward.
Genius Referrals is extremely slick and smart-looking. You can customise virtually everything and it warrants the higher price tag. However, the setup takes more time and is a learning curve. Having built websites in the past, it’s not beyond my skillset to set up Genius Referral but it’s not a linear system and therefore not the best use of my time.
However, Referral Rock takes you through the process step by step with a checklist. Genius Referral does this to a certain extent but not as much as Referral Rock. While Referral Rock has less customisation, it still looks great and takes up less time. I want simple, quick and easy.
It is the set-up process that swung it for us in favour of Referal Rocks. But it doesn’t mean I wouldn’t recommend Genius Referrals, it depends on your needs and capacity.
Set up a juicy referral programme
Have a hook to bring your customers into the referral programme. At EverTrek, they enter a prize draw to win a free trip. With a small pool of entries, they have a greater chance of winning so we could launch our referral scheme with a bang, You need a juicy golden carrot to get people excited about entering it immediately. This is in addition to referral rewards.
Our customers in EverTrek are hikers. As such they have an online community, walking groups and friends who enjoy the same hobby. So it makes sense that they have lots of referral opportunities. We have a monetary reward. The first referral gets money, and all following referrals get £100 off their trip. Each referral gets an extra entry into a prize draw.
If someone wanted, they could make lots of referrals and get their trip for free. This might sound bonkers but think about the profit we would make from each of their referrals. We have put a cap on that they need to book a trip worth £1000 or more. It’s important that you consider the terms and conditions of your referral scheme and how you stop people from being fraudulent.
For example, we know customers might want to use their referral fee towards their deposit. For us, this is a problem as there is not enough commitment for them to go on that trip. We need monetary commitment to the trip and beyond that, they can use their referral to pay towards their trip. You need to be watertight on how your referrals work and how the rewards are unlocked.
Referrals and third-party credibility
We know that people love referring us already so some might question why offer rewards when people are already doing this.
The best thing about a referral is getting that third-party credibility. Having a referral scheme will supercharge this and incentivise people to do it more. We’re excited to see how this will incentivise people to refer more often.
How will the rewards benefit your business?
Our system may not benefit your business. You’ve got to look at your profit, how you make money, the value, your time and how valuable is that other client to warrant the reward. And make the reward juicy enough to incentivise referrals.
All of which depends on the kind of business you operate. Let’s take a gut health coach as an example. People might not want to refer as it means talking about their health problems. This could reduce any impact referrals make on your business. People don’t always want to admit they have certain problems and we see this in the business coaching industry as well.
So you may need a more personalised approach where you help your customers make referrals. In the Referral Rock software, you click a button and show how someone can share their referral. It’s quick and simple and that’s all they need to do.
When you ask for referrals on a personal level, you need to make it easy and okay for them to share. You might want to put wording together for them that they can tweak. Just make sure the reward is juicy enough as your customer is putting their name and reputation on the line.
Make the referral scheme double-sided
Another consideration is making the referral scheme double-sided. So they refer and get a reward, plus the new client also gets a gift as well. This makes the referrer feel like they are gifting something to another person. Rather than saying “I want you to buy from this link because I make money off it.”
By also giving the end customers a gift, it becomes giving rather than simply getting a kickback. Plus, it makes the whole experience feel hand-picked, thoughtful and genuine. Again, it needs to feel easy for the person doing the referring.
Your customers who are happy are your biggest advocates. Why spend more energy than you need to find new clients when your existing clients can do that for you?
Use cash rewards as a last resort. Ideally, you want your rewards to point everything back into your business. Hold back cash rewards for customers who don’t need to buy from you again.
You want to think about your business, what it feels like for your advocates, what would make life easier for them and what would feel good in their social groups. Often the templates in the software can sound corporate so you’ll need to put this into your brand voice and your customers’ voice.
Other referral tips:
- You want to make it easily amendable into their tone.
- You’ll get more responses if they can simply click and share.
- Test to see what does and doesn’t work.
- Think about how referral plans might work in your own business but make sure the rewards are juicy enough.
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