Referral Marketing: What’s in a Referral?referral

By Michelle Glennie, The Partner Marketing Group

As marketers we become so focused on whether our inbound, social or email strategy is working that it’s easy to neglect a very important tactic – referrals from existing clients.

What is Referral Marketing?

Referral Marketing, can be defined as a method to promote products or services to new customers through referrals, usually by word of mouth from existing clients.. It’s a strategy many companies use to encourage happy clients to directly refer your company to their network. The best part, referrals can be free revenue that come directly from happy customers!

Referrals, Who to Ask?

Start with your best and most loyal clients. They are the ones who would be happy to do a case study or provide a testimonial. Start by asking them whether they know of other organizations that could benefit from the solution you have provided. Be very specific with your request – give them some parameters to work with so they can help identify candidates.

Referrals: Identifying Clients

Identify people who have moved from existing clients to other companies. They already know you and could either become new clients for you or provide you with connections either within their own company or at other companies.

Ask your employees. They are connected to individuals via social engagements, social media, sporting or school activities. There’s a good chance they haven’t thought about reaching out and asking themselves. Provide them with some parameters too so they know what to look for.

Thank You’s Go a Long Way

Once you have a referral in hand don’t forget to say thank you. A hand written note along with a box of cookies or a treat for the whole office goes a long way and puts you on the path to the next referral. Better yet, you may want to send a gift that showcases another client of yours – for example, if you have a retail client or a food manufacturing client, send something from them and spread the goodwill.

Need Help with Your Referral Strategy?

We have many more tips for how to implement and make the most of a referral program. Cheryl Strege’s article, My Summer Referral Strategy can help you get started.

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