For small businesses, referral business is important. According to the experts at Review42.com, a “Referred customers’ lifetime value (LTV) is 16% higher than that of non-referred customers”. Many businesses who have yet to implement online marketing strategies, rely heavily on repeat and referral business for monthly revenue. Even with a strategic digital marketing plan, it’s crucial for your business to focus part of those efforts on generating referrals in order to continue business growth. The key to generating more referrals? Ask! Here are some tips on asking your clients to refer you to more clients.
Offer Incentives for Referrals
One of the best ways to get clients to refer you is to offer up something in return. You can start a referral rewards program where you provide special offers, free gifts or discounts to clients that refer your business. Create marketing material with “referred by ____” where clients can fill in their names when passing your business card or flyer to a friend. Then if that friend brings that material to you, you know who sent them. Reward programs can also be virtual, where if a client shares your information via email or social media, they are rewarded with a “freebie”. This could be anything of value to your client such as a physical gift or even an online guide, video, template or discount on their next service.
Share Your Contact Information
This may sound like TOO simple of a tip, but you’d be surprised at all the places where you could be missing out on referrals by not having your contact information! Every email, invoice, physical product and marketing material should have your best contact information. This will make it easy for clients to forward and share things with their friends, families and colleagues. All social media images should have some type of watermark of your logo or your business name and contact information on it for sharing. When you send a text to a client, it’s a good idea to sign off professionally with your information so they are reminded. The key is to keep that info top of mind for clients at all times!
Give Them a Script
Make it easy for your best clients to refer you by providing them with all of the tools they need! You could create marketing materials for them to forward and pass along, with information about your services and your contact information. You can even provide an email template for them to use after asking for a referral. After you’ve provided value and built a relationship with your client, send over something like “Hey, we appreciate your business and are never too busy for your referrals. Here’s a quick email to send to anyone you know that you think would find value in working with us”. Also consider creating a mobile-friendly form where you can ask clients for anyone that they think would be a good fit and they can submit their information. Make sure all past and current clients are following your social channels and have your website information. All your social media posts as well as your service website pages should be share-friendly and you should encourage clients to share!
- Referrals are critical to the growth of your business and you should include a strategy for referral marketing within your small business marketing plan.
- Having incentives for clients that refer new business is a great way to generate more referrals. Your incentives should be something that is valuable to your clients and something they care about and want.
- Make it easy for clients to refer you by providing them with scripts, templates, share-friendly pages and buttons.
- Make sure your clients have all your contact information handy! Stay top of mind for clients by continuously engaging with them using email marketing, content, social media and personal relationships.