7 Marketing Strategies to Increase Referrals

[This article was written by Tiffany Harper.]

When it comes to the game of who you trust, would you say it’s these marketers at the top of SERP, or your brother? What about that YouTube banner versus your childhood best friend? It is a petty challenge, as most people trust their families and friends more than traditional ads. Through recommendations, reviews, and testimonials from friends, you’re more likely to take action on their offer.

That is how powerful referral marketing is to your business, and the good news is that you can leverage this to grow and manage your business. Using referral marketing, you can stand out from the intense competition, thereby leading to more sales, brand awareness, and a more significant customer base.

Suppose you’re to take a look at companies that have effectively implemented this marketing strategy. In that case, you will notice one thing in common – they have a massive customer base with buzzing engagement. Amazon Prime, Dropbox, and numerous other giant companies have tasted the holy grail of referral marketing.

If you’re looking for mediums to get more affiliates for your referral program, you’re on the right page.

What Is Referral Marketing?

Referral marketing is a marketing tactic that utilizes recommendations and word of mouth from customers to grow your business’s brand. Through such a strategy, you can promote your products and services to a broader audience without spending unreasonably on digital marketing. Since this sort of marketing uses people to influence people, it makes it possible to convert prospects to paying customers.

Since referral marketing is a cost-effective strategy used to promote your brand, products, and services, it has become an ideal route to increase awareness for your offers. When customers have a good experience with your business, the chances of spreading the word are vast when referral marketing is implemented.

In this article, you’re going to learn some of the marketing strategies you can implore to increase referrals. Without further ado, let’s get into the business.

  1. A/B Every Aspect Of Your Referral Program

If you want to get an incredible result from your campaigns, then you must make it a duty to test virtually every aspect of your referral program. Most marketers often do this only on the program’s initial stage, when they are about to launch. However, some marketers often neglect this, which could be a bad practice as long as referral marketing is concerned.

In this strategy, the aim is to test every part of the program sequence. Look at this, like rotating A/B testing. In this strategy, you’re evaluating two copies, only to monitor which options give more rewards.

After you’ve successfully tested every aspect of your program, use the test data to update your referral program. The more you run tests like this, the less drastic the updates. In most cases, it’s just minor tweaks that you can quickly fix to boost your customer’s experience.

Many online tools will help you run an A/B test, and one of them is Extole. Through this robust tool, you can target the right target that converts. When you make a change to your campaign, try to monitor the impact of such a difference.

  1. Improve Customer Experience

When customers interact with customer services, their experience often plays a crucial role in your marketing success. Like you already know, people love to be heard and to see their problems solved. When you can offer using the most cost-effective and friendly approach, your customers will become loyal and passionate referrers.

In case you have no idea, here are some ways to make your customer services the best in your industry. That way, you won’t have issues increasing referrals in your marketing program.

  • Be Responsive:

If you want to build a formidable brand that customers feel a part of, there is a need to always respond to their queries, comments, and messages. When you’re engaging with your customers, you can relate with them on an emotional stance.

  • Remain Consistent:

If you want to maintain a good reputation as a business, there is a need to remain consistent in whatever you do. Ensure that all your customers are getting equal attention to avoid some customers suffering at the expense of another.

  • Be Transparent And Sincere:

Sincerity is a costly commodity in today’s world; thus, it becomes a great attribute that will set your business aside. One of the companies doing impressively well in this regard is Zappos, and their customer service department is one of the most sophisticated.

Come to think of it; a customer purchased a pair of shoes from this company for her father. Unfortunately, the father passed away before the shoe could reach him.

However, Zappos’ customer care called to know if she would like to return the shoe and get refunded. By the end of the day, he was told not to worry about sending them back, and she was refunded alongside some flowers and good wishes.

Imagine how this customer will feel after this ordeal. No doubt, she’s going to be one of the company’s diehard fans and loyal customers. You mustn’t go beyond and over to impress your customers. But by identifying with their struggles, you might create an excellent impression that benefits your company in the long run.

  1. Personalize Your Interactions

Another marketing strategy that will help you to increase referrals is through a personalized experience. What does that mean? It entails remembering some vital or personal information about your customers that makes them feel recognized and heard. It could be reminding them about an order that aligns with their interest.

Also, you can do well by sending well-timed promotion or perhaps, sending them birthday greetings. When you can forward personalized emails to your customers, it shows you care about them. When your customers have this impression, they are most likely to spread the word to their network.

Personalized emails tend to have a better open rate and engagement, which is why you mustn’t overlook personalization when running email marketing to your subscribers. Some marketers prefer to call their recipient names, which isn’t too bad. However, some individuals are beginning to find such an approach to be spam.

Personalizing your emails shouldn’t end in just calling them by name, but by offering something specific, that appeals to them. It won’t make sense to market a Drum Set Lab or Hunting Bow Lab to someone who doesn’t need it. No matter how intense and personalized the email is, they are less likely to convert to customers.

  1. Ask For Referrals

Another incredible way to increase referrals in your marketing program is to ask. But before you apply this strategy, it is assumed that you’ve been offering value to your customers. That way, they are ever ready to indulge you whenever you make a request.

However, businesses that are true to their aim don’t even need to ask. When you satisfy your customers’ pain points, they will most likely spread the word without you even asking. However, there is no harm asking, as some customers need a little nudge to take action.

It could be automated to appear in invoices or emails sent to customers on periodic intervals. It could be after purchases or something that relates to your brand. If you don’t ask for referrals, your customers might not know what they’re supposed to do. In that case, it is your job to remind them to spread the word.

Before asking for referrals, you must incorporate a reliable small business referral program that suits your business. That way, you maximize the outcome of your campaign.

  1. Reward Both Parties Involved

If you want to get the best result from your marketing campaign, ensuring you reward both the referrer and the referee as it helps to boost your marketing campaign. When both parties involved are awarded, they are more likely to spread the word for more reward.

If you’re only rewarding the referrer without giving some incentives to the person been referred, the new target might not feel compelled to refer anyone. In that case, that can be counted as a lost opportunity. But when a new potential customer is rewarded, it becomes a good impression that urges them to bring more customers to your business.

A lot of marketers who run this mutually beneficial program have confirmed its remarkable impact on their business. It is an excellent strategy that you can use to bring in more referrals to your referral program.

But when a party goes unrewarded, they are less likely to take any action that benefits your brand. If you want to stop that from happening, it is ideal to have an incentive for both the referral and the referee.

  1. Use Social Media

If you’re looking for a strategy that will turn your marketing endeavors around, then you need to implement social media marketing to your checklist. Based on the tremendous impact of social media on business, it has become a formidable strategy to increase referrals.

At the moment, the best social media platforms for any marketing campaign are Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Since these are platforms that your target market uses to stay connected, it would be ideal to use these social platforms to promote your marketing campaign.

Please note that you’re not changing anything in your marketing strategy; you’re merely updating how potential customers find and hear about your business. If you must get a good marketing result, it is paramount to experiment with each social media and stick to one that performs best. To do this, you will have to run some campaigns for at least a month.

That way, you know why some campaigns performed better than the other. Social media marketing is an incredible marketing route to embark on; however, you’ll need a budget since it isn’t always cheap. Rest assured that running social media ads for your referral marketing is not complicated for as long as you target the right audience for your referral marketing campaigns.


  1. Monitor Your Referral Campaigns Regularly

If you don’t monitor your campaigns, there is no way you can tell if there is progress or not. If you’re using a robust tool like OSI Affiliate for your referral marketing, you don’t need to worry about performance. That is because this software comes with a detailed performance overview that allows you to monitor your referral program.

If you’re not using referral marketing software, you can use Google Analytics to monitor your referral program. The data you will get will help you optimize your campaigns for a better result, which you must not overlook.

By monitoring performance, you will determine which channel is best for marketing and which isn’t. You also get a detailed overview of how your customers are performing and how to improve the result.

However, most businesses or marketers often set up a referral program only to overlook it after creation. If you wish to attain your business goals, there is a need to monitor performance and make adjustments. When you fail to utilize data from your marketing campaigns, you’re like one who is working blindfolded.

No doubt, you do not want to take such a risk. The purpose of your marketing campaigns should be to increase sales, customer base, and brand awareness. Without detailed data, you will find it hard to attain such goals for your business.

Just like other marketing strategies, your referral marketing needs regular updates. If you’re not working with the data you have, you might find out that optimizing or tweaking your referral campaign will become a hurdle.

Also, constant monitoring of your program will allow you to detect abandoned carts. No doubt, such insight will compel you to leverage on some cart abandonment software that promises results.


Running a referral program is one strategy that will benefit your business in terms of engagement and sales. Through word of mouth, customers spread the word about your brand, products, and services.

Suppose you can work with the right affiliate marketing software coupled with a well-planned strategy, you won’t have any trouble increasing your referrals or achieving other business goals that you might have.

But if you’re not already using referral marketing to promote your business, you’re missing tons of leads that will get you closer to your business goals.

So, which of these referral marketing strategies are you going to try first?

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