A study by the American Marketing Association says – “prospects that come from peer recommendations are more responsive than any other marketing channel.” In general, referrals are most commonly seen through word of mouth marketing.
However, in the modern era, people spend a lot of time on electronic and smart handheld devices such as laptops, PCs, phones, and tablets. A wide range of options is available through which referrals can be shared.
Implementing a referral program can have a powerful impact on customers’ buying decisions. People trust recommendations from friends or acquaintances far more than content received from marketing programs. Benefits of referral marketing are galore:
- Referral leads convert more
- Referred customers spend more
- Referred customers stay longer
The mode of sharing referrals can be segregated into two parts – Online Channels and Offline Channels. This article will discuss in detail the different channels the customers may use for sharing referrals.
Let’s talk about the Online Channels:
1 – Email-
Email communications are a convenient and cost-effective medium to reach out to many people. Customers can share referrals via email without any hassle. Many brands implement email marketing as a strategy to increase brand awareness. With emails, they tactfully encourage the target audience to share referrals with the help of CTA (call-to-action) buttons.
2 – Facebook-
Facebook is one of the most popular social media networks, claiming to have billions of users. With such a significant number in mind, brands aggressively promote their products/services on this platform. People are also prone to share referrals with their connections quickly.
3 – LinkedIn-
LinkedIn is a renowned platform meant for professionals to build connections. With the increase in the number of registered users, businesses also use it to promote their brands. Large numbers of referrals can be shared via this platform.
4 – Twitter-
With the help of tweets, customers can share referrals, and it has the power to reach billions of people within a short period. Interaction regarding various products/services is made over here.
5 – Blog–
The topic of Blogs can be of various types. We often come across blogs that talk about any particular product/service and how it can help those who need similar offerings. Companies spend time writing blogs, and so do the people where they share their feedback and views. It happens to be an effective channel for sharing referrals.
6 – Guest Post –
Guest posting is about writing and publishing articles on the 3rd party website or blog. There are several open blogging channels available where people share their thoughts and ideas, along with referrals.
7 – Website –
Many people have their websites. Websites are more common for companies. B2B referrals and affiliate marketing play an essential role in sharing referrals.
8 – YouTube & Vimeo –
Video marketing builds customer rapport to promote your brand, services, and products. People make videos about products/services and share lots of stuff related to those. It can be a discussion of the features, user guide, benefits, and much more. Referrals can be drawn and shared in this medium.
9 – Online Chat tool-
Now a day, online Chat tools are in demand, and people are using it vigorously to an optimum extent. Tools like WhatsApp, Facebook App, Gtalk, etc. are ruling the internet. While communicating through these mediums, people try to share referrals, which help the brand achieve enough awareness and generate new leads from customer referrals.
10- Online Forum-
Forums are generally open platforms where people discuss and share their views. Participating in online forums can be a significant activity to give and receive customer referrals.
11 – Review and Rating-
Especially in the eCommerce business, reviews, and ratings hold great importance in the decision making process. The nature of the studies has trust and generate confidence in the mind of the buyers. Good reviews generally act as referrals, which instigate the people to go for a purchase.
12 – Online Portal–
Several online web portals provide the option of sharing referrals. Customers can use them and avail worthy rewards from the various referral programs. This form of marketing has become very useful where both the parties (customers and the 3rd party sites) benefit from the actual company, which is winning the business from new leads.
13 – Affiliate Marketing –
In affiliate marketing, the brand advocates might not know the referrals personally, and they also might not be your customer. The primary condition for referring your brand is reward-motivation, which occurs at the B2B level. In simple terms, Affiliate marketing is more of a partnership than a relationship.
14 – Social Networking-
Social media appears to be gaining acceptance among small business owners. And why not? It’s free to use with a gamut of features and benefits. Companies are maximizing their social presence and providing good customer service. It’s also a brilliant medium for sharing referrals used by customers thoroughly.
Let’s discuss the Offline Channels :
15 – SMS-
Text messaging through mobile telephony services is a medium used by customers to share referrals. Many brands are not leaving any stone unturned, and they are promoting via SMS service nowadays.
16 – Telecommunication-
People call up and talk to their friends, family members, and acquaintances. During the conversation, they often tend to make referrals if the person whom he/she is talking to is looking for any similar item.
17 – Event-
In social gatherings and events, people, get to meet their friends, colleagues, and acquaintances. One can utilize these occasions for sharing referrals of any brand, product, or service.
18 – Consultancy-
Specialized persons offer consultancy on various domains. They can be termed as Influencers and brand advocates, and their words carry a lot of value. People come to them for expert advice or opinions—referral programs, recommendations, and affiliate marketing work well in consultancy.
Referral Channels are instrumental in improving your business’ customer acquisition efforts in the current digital age. The criteria that lead to a referral program bringing many relevant leads are the customer’s satisfaction with the product or service and the relevance of the referral program itself.
Keeping this in mind, NextBee developed a methodology that aims to improve referral programs. The application of this methodology is to ensure that approach to every participant leads to increased conversion of referrals and leads. Known as the PACE Methodology, it covers the following aspects:
- Personal: Building personal relationships through the active collaboration for increased positivity in responses.
- Adaptive: Adaptive to the needs and expectations of individual customers and target groups.
- Controlled: Strategy and design that incorporates analyzed data to promote effective response.
Exciting: Ensuring that the customers find your program thrilling and exciting, to reduce monotony and improve response.
For a complete referral process re-engineering and a new implementation of a referral program, NextBee is the perfect option at your disposal. To get more insights and ideal solutions to your business, need a contact at 1-800-547-1618.