How to be Successful with Online Referral Marketing

referral concept

Referral marketing can be a very powerful way of promoting your products and services. Unlike direct marketing, referral marketing involves satisfied customers endorsing your business or brand. Such recommendations validate your business, thus enabling you to win the trust of prospects.

There are several tools you can use for online referral marketing. This includes rewards programs like Referral Candy, social platforms such as Social Mention and measurement tools like Extole.

The following are some guidelines for successful referral marketing:

Make referral easy

You need to make it easy for people to promote your business. Be sure to include social media sharing buttons in all your blog posts. If you would like referrals via email, you could provide ready-made templates which your customers can use. If you would like you customers to complete an online survey, make sure it is as concise as possible.

Clarify who your ideal referral is

You need to define exactly what kind of referrals you are looking for. What is their age and gender? How much do they earn? Where do they live? What are their interests? The more particular you are about what you want, the more likely you are to find them.

Ask for testimonials and reviews

Prospects are likely to believe what your customers have to say about your business. Therefore, ask your satisfied customers to refer you in form of testimonials and reviews. To enhance credibility, be sure to include the customer’s photo, location and website address.  


The time of asking for a referral will determine your chances of success. Avoid the temptation of asking for a referral immediately after making a first sale. Since you’ve not yet established a strong relationship with your customer, you might end up putting them off. It would be advisable to wait until the customer has tried the product or service and is satisfied with it.

Focus on a few

Not all your customers would be willing to refer you to others. Therefore, it would be advisable to invest your resources and time on a few that are likely to give you referrals. For instance, you could focus on the top 20% of your most loyal customers. Your success in referral marketing will not be determined by quantity but quality.

Offer rewards

Although people might be satisfied with your products or services, they might need a little more motivation to give you referrals. You should therefore consider offering your referring customers some incentives for their referrals. This could be discounts on future purchases or even free products or services.

Recommend other businesses

While looking for referrals to your business, take time to refer people to other businesses. When you recommend other businesses, people will see your sincerity and are likely to return the favor.

Track and measure

Tracking is a very important aspect of every marketing campaign. Monitoring your referral marketing strategies will show you what works and what doesn’t. This way, you will know what to improve in your future campaigns.

When the strategies above are applied consistently, you will experience growth in your business and sales.




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