As a business owner, being able to consistently grow your customer base should be on the forefront of your mind. It doesn’t matter whether or not you’re the CEO of a big brand or you’re just starting out as a small business. A customer base that you can trust to always engage with your business is the lifeblood of your brand.

Finding new customers is not easy though. Many marketing efforts often fall short of the line, and end up taking up a lot of your time – time that could be spent on other parts of your business.

But what if you could use the customers that you currently have to promote your business for you?

Seems far-fetched but it’s possible with the power of referral marketing.

In this article we take a look at referral marketing and give you 4 referral marketing strategies to help you grow your customer base today!

What is Referral Marketing?

Referral marketing is a tactic that uses the power of customer recommendations and word of mouth to grow your customer base. The secret behind referral marketing are passionate existing customers – the type who want to recommend your brand to their friends and family.

Referral marketing and word-of-mouth marketing is a proven strategy. In fact, word-of-mouth is more effective than paid advertising, resulting in 5 times more sales.

In Australia alone, 38% of the population discover new brands through customer recommendations.

You can see why many businesses are already starting to implement referral marketing strategies in their overall marketing. It effectively attracts customers and generates more sales and profits.

5 referral marketing strategies you can use today

Now that we know just how effective referral marketing is, it’s time to learn about a few ways you can start doing it to grow your customer base.

Strategy 1: Create a memorable and shareable experience

The best way your customers promote your business is through promotion of their own. In other words, you want your customers to want to share your business with others.

So how do you create these kinds of loyal customers? By creating an experience that is both memorable and shareable.

Doing so will make your customers want to tell others about it which attracts new customers to your business.

You can create a memorable experience by going above and beyond. Don’t just meet customer expectations – exceed them! Identify their problems and provide effective solutions, whether it’s through your product offering or your customer service (we’ll dive deeper in these later!).

Creative packaging like this one by Smirnoff is just asking to be shared with others! Source: Smirnoff

Shareable experiences are made by creating WOW moments with your product or service. You can achieve this through things like unique packaging, which makes your product shareable on social media.

Strategy 2: Create a referral marketing program

If you want to really encourage your customers to promote your business, you can implement a referral program. A referral or reward program offers rewards for spreading the word and bringing in new customers to your business.

Setting up one is straightforward, you can build one from scratch or take advantage of software and plug-ins such as Talon.One to create a program for your eCommerce store.

Some other most popular referral marketing program apps include:

Most customer referral programs will create a referral link that your customers can send to their friends and family.

MeUndies offers 20% off for both you and your mat when you refer them! Source: MeUndies

However, there are two important things to consider when creating your referral program: the reward you offer and how you market the program.

Your referral rewards need to be attractive enough to encourage program participation while not being too costly for your business. Consider cash incentives, discount coupons or free trials.

You’ll also need to market the program. How else will people know that it exists? You can promote it through marketing channels such as social media and emails, or by adding a banner to your website.

Strategy 3: Work with Social Media Influencers

Referral marketing and influencers go hand-in-hand. Influencers have huge audiences, filled with people who are influenced by the Influencers’ decisions, behaviours and lifestyles.

Brands love working with Influencers because they are able to market their products to a large audience. Combine that with the sway influencers have with their audience, and you have a referral marketing strategy that is incredibly effective.

Use Influencers to market your products to their audience! Source: @rendiggiti7

Working with influencers to spread word-of-mouth can be as simple as them promoting a product through their Instagram page. On the other hand, you can invest in an Influencer and make them a permanent Brand Ambassador for your brand.

Either way, you’ll get access to a huge audience who can be influenced to join your customer base!

Strategy 4: Provide amazing customer service

Stop us if you’ve heard about the importance of great customer service. But there’s a reason why it’s preached about us so much! Good customer service should be a part of your referral marketing strategies because it creates happy customers.

Happy customers are more likely to promote your brand to others.

Chatboxes are a great way to provide 24/7 customer service. Source: Optus

Good customer support is quick, valuable and most of all, available. Customers love it when their queries and problems are addressed quickly and in a helpful manner. Consider installing support software like live chat or a help desk to help your customers in their time of need. No doubt that they will be more appreciative and will walk away with only good things to say about your business.

Harness the power of word-of-mouth and start growing your customer base today

Referral marketing is powerful, effective and a tried and true way of increasing your customer base. With a little bit of work, you can start implementing these referral marketing strategies and start seeing the results today!

Enjoy this article about referral marketing strategies? Discover more articles that will help grow your eCommerce business today at the ZipZipe blog!