Referral marketing or affiliate marketing is one of the most effective ways to attract prospective customers. The countless affiliate marketing programs or referral schemes of numerous businesses, even those of online casinos, prove how this strategy is beneficial and worth undertaking.
Presented below are the basic steps and pointers on how to start a referral marketing program for your business.
- Identify potential referral sources. You need to do this foremost step to decide which methods can yield the most number of useful referrals. Referrals can come from social media, current and new customers, business partners, or influencers. Find out which ones are the easiest to get and most responsive to the promotional materials you intend to disseminate.
- Come up with enticing referral banners. The usual suspects when doing a referral or affiliate program are banners and links. These can be used in discussion boards or forums, social media, blogs, or the comments sections of news and articles. The key is to make sure that the banners you provide are attention-grabbing but not bothersome. Avoid animated banners as much as possible, as they are often associated with spammy marketing and unscrupulous entities. They can also be conspicuous eyesores that make most internet users instinctively look away.
- Make sure the “human touch” manifests. Avoid making your affiliate program associated with pesky bot-driven marketing online. See to it that the images and texts in your banners don’t look like what most everyone else is using. Enlist a top-notch marketing copywriter to come up with texts that solicit responses from those who read them. Don’t settle for something simple and uninspired like “Click here to buy this product.”
- Optimise everything. Realise that your target audience is not only those who use desktop or laptop computers. There are already more mobile internet users at present so you need to ascertain that your referral program works flawlessly across platforms. Optimise your banners and links for all the popular web desktop and mobile browsers. Make it short and avoid unnecessary complexities to boost the chances of a click getting converted into a sale or a new subscriber/account.
- Ensure that it will be rewarding for customers and referrers. See to it that customers will get something or at least get the perception that they could have obtained something by clicking on your referral banners or links. Don’t send referral links to your plain and boring homepage or to pages that are unlikely to entice potential customers. The customer clicking on the link should see something worthwhile after the click.
It would greatly help if you use online referral software. There are software tools that can help you scale your referrals based on data from a pool of customers, web influencers, and partners. These use bots that automatically identify relevant prospects and present the corresponding notifications. Referral software makes it easy to organise and manage several thousand referrals, and even gather useful customer data.
Turn customers into agents for promoting your products or brand through a referral program. Just make sure you use it on a suitable audience and it does not become an annoyance to potential customers. Also, optimise it and create the perception that it can provide something to your referrers and customers.