Generic eCommerce marketing strategies didn’t yield high returns. Owners decided to innovate, push the boundaries, and turn to other marketing models. During this time, referral marketing started to take shape. Such a marketing model relied on its customer base to endorse, promote and spread the word.
Referral marketing became a source of acquiring customers, creating orders, and increasing revenue. Owners didn’t need huge finances and too many resources to get started. Referral marketing is easy to set up and execute. They have the power to trigger a viral network effect. One referral leads to two, two leads to four – all from a single user in the referral program.
What is Referral Marketing?
Online store owners use their current customers to attract new customers. Each customer receives a unique referral link that they can use to persuade new sign-ups. owners award customers for their word of mouth to draw new users. This entire model is called referral marketing.
owners can rely on their existing customers. owners can use their reach and resources to attract new customers. The members will post their referral link on social communities. The people on these platforms will use the link to register on your online store. In turn, the referrers will receive rewards.
Referral marketing is also known as word-of-mouth marketing. Rarely do marketers need to get involved in the process. The existing users will carry the marketing on their shoulders. They will do all the heavy lifting. Store owners only need to create a robust, transparent, and rewarding referral program.
Why is Referral Marketing So Powerful?
Humans, by nature, are more likely to believe a source that they trust. Humans also tend to be vocal about their experiences. We have a tendency to share positive or negative experiences in our inner circle. Referral marketing embodies this very principle. It taps into this natural urge to communicate.
It persuades customers to take action. Customers can turn these natural instincts into something more profitable. Referral marketing encourages users to share information and make it more productive. By enrolling in a referral program, users get to pass valuable information. They can also earn rewards out of their hard work.
Referral marketing is also based on trust. Your social network trusts one of its own acquaintances. To them, that person isn’t a member of a referral program. He is a familiar face first and then a member of a program. Since you already have their trust, it’d be easy to convince them. They’d definitely be more inclined to believe your word.
What is a Referral Program?
As part of the referral marketing campaign, you need to start a referral program on your online store. This program relies on its users to refer the online store to others. A referrer is someone who chooses to enroll in the referral program.
A referee is someone who uses the referrer’s unique link to join the referral program. The referee will also get a unique link of his own. They too can forward the link to persuade others to join the online store. Thus, the referral cycle continues forever.
Five Steps to Build a Successful Referral Program?
The key to harness long-term referrals is using a well-designed and thought-out referral program. A proper program incentivizes promotion and builds customer loyalty. Here’s everything owners can do to create a flawless referral program:
1. Structure Your Referral Model
Plan and layout the roadmap for your referral program. Decide and define your goals. Design the model, which includes the different tiers, look & feel, limits, and conditions. Then, select the social channels where you wish to run and promote the referral campaign.
owners would need to simplify the referral process for their members. If members can share their experiences easily, then they’d be more likely to take part. A well-rounded program balances the concerns of every person involved – the owner, referrer, and referee. If done the right way, expect to receive a tremendous response.
2. Choose Your Incentives
Decide suitable rewards for the referrer. Also, select adequate rewards for the contact who registers using the referral link. You can opt for cash or non-cash incentives. In non-cash incentives, owners generally prefer coupons, cashback, or reward points. Users can redeem the reward points on the store.
The rewards must tempt and motivate the users to enroll in the program. Rewards that seem undesirable will not stimulate any response. But, exciting rewards encourage users to join and stay within the program. Set the correct rewards system in place. Do not make it too easy or too difficult to earn rewards.
3. Improve Your Messaging
Create your referral messaging. Pick an aesthetic template or a newsletter for your email. Explain the referral program, show the benefits, and give a clear call-to-action (CTA). Also, use catchy headlines, personalize your message, and simplify your value proposition.
Polish and sharpen the visual and textual content that explains the referral campaign. Review every little detail, from the tone, clarity to the aesthetics. Perform A/B tests on a few to see which one works best. Regardless, you need to refine the wording and graphics to make it more appealing.
4. Start Promoting More
Creating a referral campaign is not enough; you’d need to promote the same as well. Consider several avenues of promotion to remind users of the program’s existence. Don’t rely only on a standard email protocol. Use innovative tactics to improve awareness around your referral program.
Reach out to new members and offer them joining incentives. Use persuasive content to get them to join the referral program. Furthermore, follow up on users that are yet to enroll – keep sending email reminders. Reach out to your customers on the website as well, show pop-ups, send SMSs, or inbox invites.
5. Improve Your Program
Test your referral campaign. Check where you’re doing well and what needs improvement. Use the built-in analytics to measure and check your referral campaign. Track your highest performing customers, top pages, and demographics. Gather intuitive data to enhance your referral program.
Conduct surveys amongst your referral program members. This will help you collect feedback. The feedback will help to understand how your referrers feel about the program. An extensive review will help you to figure out what works and what doesn’t. Use the analytical data to perfect the program.
Why Do You Need a Referral Program?
Let’s look at all the merits of integrating a WooCommerce referral plugin to start a referral program on your online store.
1. Get New Users
Referral programs help with custom acquisition. It allows store owners to gain more customers. It is one of the most impactful tactics to attract fresh users to your store. Users who were otherwise unfamiliar with your business discover your online store and will likely create an account. Referral marketing triggers an avalanche of sign-ups.
The new users wouldn’t have joined your online store otherwise. No amount of PPC, offline marketing, etc., would convince them. But, getting a recommendation (link) from a trusted source convinced them to sign-up. That is the power of referral marketing. It uses familiar faces to attract new customers.
2. Create More Sales
An increase in the number of customers will only lead to more order placements. Many users from the new lot who have signed-up will end up placing orders on your WooCommerce store. The increase in orders will lead to an increase in your conversion rate.
3. Revenue and Profits
As order placements rise, your eCommerce business’s revenue and profits will also skyrocket. All purchases from the new users and all purchases from the old users will inject more money into your business. An increase in revenue will only reinforce your financial pool.
Existing users attract new users who place orders and attract new customers. The cycle creates a multiplier effect. Each user adds more orders and value to your eCommerce business. The increase in orders will pump more money into your account. Thus, your revenue shoots up.
Owners will reward existing customers who use their network to create more sign-ups. owners can give coupons, freebies, cashback, and more. You can even develop tiers and set criteria for each tier. The basic level will give minimal rewards, whereas the platinum tier will provide the most significant rewards.
To qualify and progress to the next tier, users would need to create more sign-ups. owners can even set other conditions that may need the new sign-up to place an order before crediting the customer. owners can even reward points, where-in the user will get to cash-in the accumulated points for an item in the store.
Except for monitoring and managing the program, tweaking the rules, and setting the rewards, owners don’t need to do much. All the hard work, from posting links to educating users, gets performed by the customer in the referral program. owners can roll out the program, sit back and enjoy the fruits of someone’s labor.
Unlike offline marketing, which can be quite laborious and tiresome, a referral program is simple and easy to execute. owners can launch a robust referral program from anywhere in the world. The best part, it’s all digital. At no point would you need to engage your users in offline activities.
eCommerce store owners are always on the lookout for affordable strategies to boost their KPIs. Referral marketing is one such way to elevate revenue and profits. The best part, you get to do so without incurring any high costs. Referral marketing is almost free.
Your existing customers are spreading the word and promoting your brand. There may be some upfront investments. But, once you get going, all the profits will nullify the costs. The expenses will seem negligible in front of the increase in earnings on the back of their referral marketing.
7. Customer Relationship
Referral Programs improve relationships with your loyal customers. In time, they go on to nurture more engagement and loyalty. Customers who are already with you see the referral program as an opportunity to revisit your site.
The likelihood of winning something keeps pulling them back. Users stay motivated to win more significant rewards. This elevates your brand’s Customer Lifetime Value (CLV). Their efforts lead to more sign-ups for your online store. They not only return but return and bring more users with them.
8. Benefits Everyone
Owners get free marketing for their WooCommerce store. The existing customer gets more social validation for suggesting a useful eCommerce site. The friend learns about a new eCommerce website from a trusted source. Every entity involved in a referral program walks away with a benefit.
At the crux, the referral program is rewards-based. As every person gets a rewarding experience while interacting with the referral model. There isn’t a more wholesome and fulfilling marketing campaign than this. Every member finds some value.
How Can Virtina Help With Your Referral Program?
Virtina has years of expertise in handling challenging WooCommerce projects. We also have expertise in various industries across different business types. Our Woo experts have dealt with complex sites, huge inventories, and a high number of customers. The referral programs on these sites were intricate. They required a great deal of planning, development, and effort.
All our solutions work to simplify, streamline, and benefit your eCommerce business. We have deep familiarity, knowledge, skillset, and resources to help you integrate a referral program. We will conduct a holistic analysis to determine the best plugin. We can even customize the plugin to suit your specific needs.
Consult the expert analysts at Virtina. We will analyze, and select a suitable referral solution for your WooCommerce store. We approach each project according to our client’s needs to deliver the most satisfactory result. You will receive the best return on investment (ROI) with Virtina. Our WooCommerce clients have only profited after collaborating with us!
Final Thoughts – Referral Programs
Referral marketing can become a powerful component of your marketing campaign. owners got to find a way to design a prosperous referral campaign. Strike a balance between creating high returns for your business and rewards for users. Elevate customer relationship and engagement.
I can’t see why you wouldn’t want a referral program for your eCommerce store. owners reward their existing customers. They get you new customers, who then boost your sales. The referee receives a discount. Everyone loves it, and everyone benefits from it. Referral programs take your business to the next level.
Referral marketing is a sure-shot way to turn your existing customers into brand advocates. The WooCommerce referral plugins given above will increase the customer retention rate. They will also help trigger repeat sales. owners realize a significant boost in their revenue and profits.