What is Referral Marketing?
In basic terms it is when someone recommends or refers you to something or someone. Let’s dive into this and how you can make referral marketing work for you.
We’ve all heard of referrals before; we are surrounded by referrals everywhere we look. We are so inundated with referrals that we might not even realize how frequently we encounter a referral. This is because brands have placed a huge emphasis on referrals as a way to grow their business that it has become second nature.
Dictionary.com defines referral in three different ways: “an act of referring; the state of being referred.”, “an instance of referring.” and “a person recommended to someone or for something.”. With such a broad definition, it is no wonder that referrals surround us in our daily lives, without us even noticing most of the time. Because referrals are so prevalent, it is important to understand how and why businesses use them, and how you can benefit too.
The Different Types of Referral Marketing
There are different types of referrals that businesses utilize to help get the word out about their brand and business. This is especially true with new businesses starting out, and others who are looking for ways to grow. Referrals are a great way to let people know about your business and develop a positive reputation that encourages others to want to do business with you. Depending on your brand, business type, and customers, one type of referral may be more beneficial than another.
- Email Referrals: arguably one of the most effective means of referrals is that of email. In fact, what works with social media referrals also works with emails; oftentimes even better and more effective. According to outboundengine.com, email continues to rank as the most effective means of increasing awareness, acquisition, conversion, and retention.
Email provides a direct connection to your consumers, that is outside the constant stream of information that is processed through social media and other methods of communication. With a catchy subject line, you have a better chance of standing out and being seen, rather than fading into the background.
Not only does email allow you to communicate directly with your customers, but it also allows for you to include options for other methods of referrals. Including links to social media accounts within the email, is an easy way to invite readers to share your brand with their friends and followers, generating more referrals.
- Online Reviews: The ability to let others know about your experience is easier than ever, thanks to the internet and online reviews. It used to be that you’d share your experience with close friends and family and that was about it, now within seconds of leaving a store, you are able to leave an online review to inform complete strangers about your experience.
You might not think that online reviews are that important or that people don’t take much stock in them, but you’d be wrong. An average of 88 percent of consumers says that they trust an online review just as much as a personal recommendation from someone they know!
- Word-of-Mouth Referrals: Word of mouth is a popular and effective way to get referrals to attract new customers. This is especially true for small businesses, which rely heavily on word-of-mouth referrals to grow their business and get the word out about them. Because word-of-mouth referrals come from people that you know, 92 percent of consumers say that they trust word-of-mouth referrals from their friends and family over any other form of advertising!
While some consumers will provide a word-of-mouth recommendation on their own, some might need a reminder to share their experience with others. According to outboundengine.com, 91 percent of consumers are willing to give word-of-mouth referrals to others, only 11 percent of businesses actually ask for them. It is perfectly acceptable to give satisfied consumers a little nudge to share their experience with others, through word-of-mouth. While some satisfied consumers are going to share their experience on their own, it doesn’t hurt to ask others to ensure that their positive experience gets shared farther and faster!
- Social Media: Out of all the different types of referrals, social media has become the go-to method for nearly every industry. Facebook and LinkedIn are the most popular, as they allow users to contribute to conversations surrounding your brand, giving brands more exposure and traction. Additionally, social media allows for brands to interact and build relationships online, building relationships and encouraging positive referrals.
To fully take advantage of social media for getting referrals is to be present on various different platforms. Consumers look at you as an industry expert, which is why when you are present and provide a positive experience, they are more likely to share their experience and referrer others to you so that they too can have a positive experience.
- ShareitEffect: The services at ShareitEffect.com harnesses the best features from all the above mentioned referral marketing solutions. Imagine if businesses happy customers routinely recommended (referred) hundreds of their friends to their business.
Here’s a true story that illustrates what ShareitEffect does: “Jackie shared a post, on her social media, to over 400 of her followers regarding a pillow she bought. 19 people re-shared it and 45 clicked on the embedded link and purchased one or more of the same pillow.” This example, plus thousands more just like it, prove the uniquely powerful effectiveness of the ShareitEffect.
ShareitEffect works with online businesses to incentivize their customers to recommend the products they are buying with their social media followers. Once the product has been recommended/shared, they can continue to checkout with a discount code as a way of saying “Thank You”. It is this easy, yet profound, process that creates positive and effective word-of-mouth around a brand. When a friend makes a recommendation to a particular business it automatically comes with trust and credibility. The link that comes with the post makes it super easy for the customer’s friends, with one click, to be taken directly to the businesses product page. To say the least, ShareitEffect.com and their incredible referral marketing software solution is a dream come true for online businesses.
There is a real value when a trusted friend shares something with you. It is like they are stating: “I love it, you will too!” The magic is that, with the assistance of ShareitEffect, customers will naturally influence their friends to buy from the same business. Consumers trust referrals and recommendations from their friends and family.
“88% of consumers placed the highest level of trust in word-of-mouth recommendations from people they know.” – Khalid Saleh, CEO and Founder of Invesp
The way people give and receive referrals is changing, and it is time that your business changes too. Try ShareitEffect.com today for free and see the difference for yourself!