When it comes to building a customer acquisition strategy, the quality of customer you are targeting is just as important as the quantity, if not more. With an army of shiny brands out there jostling for consumer attention, there’s a lot of choice for our shoppers nowadays. Just because they bought from you once, doesn’t mean your work is done. You need to attract the loyal customers who will keep coming back, the customers who will generate strong, sustainable growth for your business. But how do you find them?
In Friends We Trust
Referred customers have a 37% higher retention rate and a greater lifetime value than non-referred customers, making them the most loyal and profitable customers out there. When you consider that 83% of us trust the recommendations of friends and family when making a purchase, you can see why word of mouth consistently outperforms every other form of marketing.
When a new customer comes to you because of a shiny banner or clever ad that they’ve seen, they are still in the research phase. All the marketing content they have encountered so far is branded, and therefore naturally biased. Of course you’re going to say that your product is the best, but the customer still has no way of knowing that for sure. It might be that your product is not what they expected, or it’s too expensive. These customers are still undecided at this point and a lot of them will drop out of the funnel simply because they just weren’t a good match for your brand.
With referral marketing, however, because customer recommendations come from a familiar, independent place of honesty, your newly acquired customers have arrived at your brand already feeling the most coveted emotion in brand marketing: Trust. You don’t have to convince them because your existing customers have already done all the work for you. They’re here to buy, and because their network already shop with you, chances are they’ll keep coming back whilst recommending you to their own circle.
It’s A Match
Not only will your existing customers instil trust in your potential new customers, but they will also do all your targeting for you, keeping your costs down. When you put an ad out to the world, it can be seen by a varied audience, and that includes people who are not a great match that will never buy your product, no matter how good the ad is. That’s a lot of waste.
With referral marketing, your customers will only refer you to the people in their network who they feel would be suited to your product. That way, every penny you spend on referral marketing will reach legitimate leads. Your customer is not going to recommend your CrossFit class to their elderly neighbour, but they will talk about it to their friends when they next meet up at the gym. Having access to such a bespoke audience is the stuff that marketers can only dream of.
Incentivise To Mobilise
Once you have recognised the potential of your existing customer base as a means to customer acquisition, it’s time to put them to work. Referral marketing isn’t as simple as putting a “Refer A Friend” button on your check out page – in order to make the most of your referral campaigns, your customers will need incentive.
Make the referral process intuitive, simple and smooth with as little clicks as possible. Once you have nailed the mechanics, then add a nice little incentive to encourage your advocates. This can range from discount codes, to early release material, cash, merchandise, or store credit. Make the process fun by adding tiered rewards systems and challenges. The less it feels like work, the more engagement you will generate.
At Harviist, our customer referral software will get your referral campaigns up and running in an instant. Our platform plugs straight into your current campaign software so there’s no complicated integration to work through, just turn it on and let it do its thing.
In just a few clicks you can create, run, track and analyse your referral campaigns, and with real-time results at a glance, you can watch as your brand engagement grows. Our software offers a customer segmentation function and a tiered rewards system so you can tailor your campaigns to your brand’s individual needs.
In a world of banner blindness, ad blockers and advertising noise, we believe that earned, organic, and honest advertising is the new frontier of customer acquisition. Contact us at [email protected] to find out how we can get your customers talking.