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E-Marketing Performance Blog

10 Ways to Improve Your Referral Program

Just created your referral program? Don’t you know how to improve it? You came to the right place. Referral marketing is excellent for improving traffic and sales to a website. It also has the potential to stop shopping cart abandonment. In this article, you’ll learn tips and strategies on how you can improve your referral program. 

Talk to Your Customers

If you want your program to succeed, then you have to consult your customers. You need to know what they think so that they can respond to your application positively. You may be surprised that what you think your customers will like is not what you’ll think they will love. It is always better to go the extra mile of talking with your customers so that you can consult them even before you launch your program.

Take the reward, for example. There are many types of bonuses that you can give away. If you don’t ask your customers about awards that they like, you may end up giving them a reward that they don’t want or need. If you do this, you’ll find that most people will just ignore your referral program once it is launched. The best way is still to communicate with your customers. The best part is that they will feel valued and a part of your business for including them in your industry. 

Test Your Rewards

Once you have finished talking with your customers, you now have to test the rewards. While you can launch any compensation at will, this will not often result in a successful campaign unless you check it. You must test different rewards to see which ones will get the best results.

Before you do that, you need to look at the different rewards that are available. When it comes to bonuses, creativity is essential. This is because you’ll want to give customers a reward that they like, but it should be something that will not require massive sacrifice on your part. You need an award that will help your business grow. So if you lower expenses, then that is better. 

The different types of rewards are essential. There are different types of bonuses that you can try. First, there is a discount code. This is perhaps the most popular among eCommerce websites. It is the easiest to generate, and it doesn’t necessarily take a toll on the profit that you will earn. Next, there is the freebie. This is a free item that you can give away to your prospects. This is good for retail companies that have extra objects in their inventory stocks. This will help them to ‘get rid’ of these products while also serving their customers at the same time. Then, there is also cash. This is the route that most businesses have taken, and it has helped them gain traction in the beginning. This is a strategy that is used by companies like Uber, PayPal, and Airbnb.

Now that you know the different types of rewards that you can give away, it is all about choosing a prize that will get the most results. What will work for your business may not work for another. So it is crucial to test it to know that it will succeed.

Test Different Referral Formats

All referral programs are done in a specific format. This format will ultimately depend on who you choose to reward. Some companies choose to reward the referrer. This is the person who is in charge of promoting the brand. In a typical referral program, the referrer is often paid. This is the person that does all the heavy lifting when it comes to the promotion of the program.

Meanwhile, there is also a format that benefits a friend. This is where the friend who is also called as the referral is rewarded for the act of signing up. This is done to encourage the person signing up to sign under another person. This is because they get paid for just signing up under another person. 

But the formats are not just limited to these two. There is also the third format. This is where the business owner rewards the referrer and the friend. This format may be quite costly because it requires you to pay two parties. But it is also the most effective. It is because it eliminates the friction between two parties who are responsible for making a program succeed. Every referral program has two actors. There is the referrer or the person in charge of driving leads to the brand. Then, there is also a friend or referral. This is the person that signed up as a result of the promotion of the referrer. The key is to ensure that these two actors continue to take action. This is the only way for you to ensure that your referral system succeeds. 

If you are going to implement this on your website, it is essential to test different formats to ensure that you will find the most compatible format. What’s compatible will ultimately depend on your target market and their behavior. In some niches, you can choose only to reward the referrer, and that is enough. In other topics, that is entirely unnecessary. You have to test to find out. 

Upgrade it into a Contest

Running a typical referral system is easy. All you need is referral software, and you can easily install it on your website. You just need to find a software that is compatible with your website platform. However, if you want to take your referral system into another level, you’ll want to look for a referral system that has unique options. One option that you should look for in a contest. This means that you can transform your referral system into something more than a one-time reward system. Your referrers can also earn tier rewards or get premium rewards for driving the most leads into your business. 

This works because it encourages top marketers to join your program. With this in place, your referral program is more than a system that pays its referrers and referrals. It also encourages them to go another mile and try to get more leads to the business. 

Create Exclusive Programs for Influencers

Another strategy that you may want to implement is to start creating exclusive programs for influencers. Influencers are powerful. This s because they don’t only have thousands to a million followers who are hanging unto their every word. Their words also have a lasting impact. This means that the content that they create reaches people over time. It may not reach all of its targets right away, but it grows over time.

Because of this, you should also look for ways on how you can expand your referral program to include influencers. You can do this by creating exclusive programs for them. Why exclusive? Well, you’ll need something that directly resonates with the voice of their target market. You can only do this if you completely customize your referral page according to the preferences of their followers.

Implement an Affiliate Program

Another twist to a typical referral program is an affiliate program. You’ll find that some referral software is designed to create affiliate programs. For example, there are WooCommerce affiliate plugins that can also help you create a referral system. It is all about finding those apps and add-ons that will help you get more people into your business through incentivization.

An affiliate program differs from a referral program in terms of its target market. The target market of a referral program is customers and website visitors. But it is different for affiliate programs. The target of affiliate programs is marketers or brands that are interested in earning a commission for promoting products and services. It differs, but they both work because they provide incentives to their referrers or affiliate marketers.

Test Your Referral Pages Before Launch

Now that you know how to create a referral system for your website, you’ll also need to know how to test your pages before you launch. Referral software is fantastic. It allows you to create a referral program for your website, even if you don’t know anything about website coding and programming. You can easily set up a page in a few clicks as long as you key in the essential details. This is the reason why brand new websites like Best Drums Set Labs can launch their referral program with ease. 

Once you have your referral system in place, you’ll need to start looking at your pages. You need to load them and try to see that it will only take a few seconds to load. From here, you should also look at the text and graphics to see if they look right, and they load quickly. This may seem small, but it is essential. You need to ensure that your referral system is working well before you invite leads. 

Test Marketing Methods Before Using Them

In the same way, you will also need to test your marketing methods. If this is your first time launching a referral program, you may need to check several methods to see the means or techniques that will work well for your business. If you chose the paid route, you might need to invest in several keywords or refine your audience more before you find that sweet spot where you are spending less and getting more leads. The key is always to put yourself in the shoes of your customers. You need to think about where they hang out and what they do. This will allow you to show your ads on pages that matter to them. This way, you get to show your brand in front of people who need it the most.

You may also want to experiment with free methods. Some of the essential ways are content collaborations, influencer marketing, and email marketing. This is where you look for influencers who have the most relevant followers for your business. From here, you can contact them and ask if they are interested in promoting your products. In the same way, you can ask them if they are interested in collaborating with you on content or products. Influencers often have this innate need to create. You can appeal to this, and this will help you to convince them to choose to work with you.

Measure Your Results

As with any marketing effort, you always have to measure your results. Why do you need to do this? Well, you just cannot launch a program and waste your hard-earned money on ads. You need to know that it is working. The best way to do this is through analytics. This tracks all the incoming and outgoing traffic to a page. This will help you to see where your traffic is coming from and may even give you some ideas on where you should promote your website. 

Another reason why you should measure your results is advertising. You can also make some extra money from your website if you can prove that you have enough traffic on it. You can do this by compiling the results of your analytics and sharing it with potential advertisers. 

Ask Advice from Experts

Once you have seen how your referral program is performing, you can now take an honest look at it. This will help you uncover loopholes that you may have missed. You are lucky if you can find the errors by yourself. Most of the time, you will need advice from experts to find out where you went wrong. The key is not to be discouraged by mistakes. After all, having a business online is never a straight line. It will comprise of twists and turns. You will need to be patient until you managed to optimize your referral system for maximum results.

It is In the Details

As you can see, improving your referral program is based on the little details. These may be details in your referral page that you often ignore, but they contribute to the overall result of your page. It is essential to review these to ensure that you have correctly designed your referral program for success.

Author: Usman Raza is the co-founder of a Christian Guest Posting Service and marketing strategist working with various brands online. Usman is the content marketing manager at SeedX Inc in Los Angeles, PSD to WordPress, and Nano Hearing Aids. He is devoted to helping small businesses bridge success gaps by providing in-depth, actionable advice on digital marketing, search engine optimization , and small business growth. Follow him on Twitter @usmanintrotech.

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