According to a recent study conducted by Bank of America, 86 percent of small business owners indicated that customer referrals are the leading source of new customers. What are they doing to encourage more referrals and how are they educating and qualifying those new leads? Well, this is where the Get Referrals stage of the Lifecycle Marketing strategy ends and begins for small businesses.
Every week, we’ll share useful tips on how you can implement the Lifecycle Marketing strategy in your business with an emphasis on Infusionsoft.
Get Referrals: Why & What
For many small businesses, referrals “just happen.” In reality, it’s a byproduct of providing a great product, excellent service and if you’ve established a warm relationship with customers. However, it’s likely that you have more happy customers in your CRM that would love to refer you but don’t know how.
The purpose of the Get Referrals stage of Lifecycle Marketing is to grow a passionate customer base and transform them from customers into fans and promoters of your brand. There are a handful of ways to do this, but you need to figure out what resonates with your customers best.
Making use of affiliate marketing features of your CRM. (This is also known as Referral Partners.) You can choose to either compensate for the lead, the sale or both. When you know the revenue of your product or service and the costs to acquire each customer, it will give you a good idea of what to compensate your affiliates.
Outside of affiliate marketing, you can leverage social media to generate referrals from your customers. When you package a great campaign, a great offer and do it effectively with a social media marketing platform, you can generate hundreds and even thousands of referrals from only a handful of customers.
How to Get Referrals in Infusionsoft
Within Infusionsoft, you have a few easy ways to generate referrals. If you recall from the previous step, Deliver & Satisfy, you are able to send surveys and develop additional personalized campaigns after you’ve successfully acquired a customer. These make great segues for customers to become brand advocates.
The Referral Partner features of Infusionsoft allow you to create the desired affiliate model that you wish to use for your products and services. It’s not just a matter of unique tracking links; it’s about providing partners the necessary resources and educational materials so they can take your message out to the market.
We have extensive documentation on setting up referral partner programs within Infusionsoft. Here are few helpful articles to get you going:
- How do I set up referral partners? This is simple checklist to help you get started with creating your first referral program in Infusionsoft.
- How much should I pay referral partners? If you’re curious how much you should compensate partners, here’s a great explanation.
- How do I create a referral partner sign-up web form? Once you setup your referral program, here’s an easy guide to you in creating a registration form.
To get your happy customers to become an active and engaged partner, you should create a Referral Partner registration form and customize it to fit your products and services. From there, you should have a campaign that informs your customers about the partner program and empowers them to take action to become a part of your “street team.”
If you don’t want to go down the route of setting up a Referral Program, you still can generate buzz from your happy customers by having them share their experiences, positive word of mouth and recommendations to their friends. Be mindful that people are usually very particular about what they publish across social media – but you still facilitate easy and natural engagement with your brand across various social platforms.
You can use social media marketing software like GroSocial to get referrals from your customers. It allows you to intuitively (and affordably) run social media marketing campaigns for your small business. If you have a product or service where people could take a photo and share it, you could leverage their Photo Contest campaign to generate interest and referrals for your business.
This is only one of the ways to generate referrals from social media. You could also use a special Facebook Tab that requires people to Like your page before showing premium content, which helps you build your audience and deliver value. For instance, you can give your customers a link to this page for a special discount code and you can encourage them to share it with their friends to also receive a similar discount. While this won’t necessarily be exclusive to existing customers, it’s a great way to develop strong relationships through existing customers for your business.
You should leverage the Get Referrals stage of Lifecycle Marketing to maximize the opportunity of having happy customers. Even if you already get referrals regularly, imagine if you could double or triple the referrals you receive if you simply pave the path for it. In context, referrals should be pointing people into the valuable content and educational materials that your brand provides so it’s a natural transition for new leads to take into your business. Thus, the customer lifecycle is complete.
This wraps up the seven stages of Lifecycle Marketing with Infusionsoft. We’ll recap it all next week, but go ahead and check out my earlier posts for more details on all the steps of the customer lifecycle:
- Attract Interest
- Capture Leads
- Nurture Prospects
- Convert Sales
- Deliver & Satisfy
- Upsell Customers
- Get Referrals
Read more about this post, Lifecycle Marketing: Get Referrals by Rewarding Customers on The Infusionsoft Blog.