Referral Programs Get the Job Done

by: Tom Madden, Senior Vice President, Sales and Account Development

YA gets referral marketing.  In fact, we manage millions of consumer referrals through our client’s programs every year.  Referrals are an excellent way for marketers to leverage the personal connections of their most loyal consumers. Why not turn satisfied consumers into your biggest advocates by offering encouragement, incentives and a simple way to spread the word and build buzz for your brand?

Referrals are powerful!  When conducting our consumer research, consumers told us just how important referrals are in their buying process and how referrals shape their purchase decisions.  Here are a few of the key insights:

  • 85% of respondents say they are more likely to buy after having a product or service referred to them
  • 76% will choose one brand over another after a referral
  • 52% say referrals are very or extremely important as a deciding factor in making a purchase

Beyond Likes and Reviews

You know that everyone loves to share their opinions and reviews.  If they didn’t, Facebook, Yelp and many other social media wouldn’t exist. Referrals are a great source of information for consumers!  However, for brands it can be difficult to track “likes”, check-ins and reviews from the referee to their friend’s purchase.  That’s one key difference in YA’s approach to referrals.  YA’s referral product — Refer-A-Friend — is a formalized and monetized response to everyone’s natural inclination to share experiences with our friends. We help clients create customized programs that incent and track individual referrals from one consumer to another. Behind-the-scenes, we link future purchases to the referral process to quantify the sales derived from the referral marketing program. Our end-to-end solution makes it easy for clients to design, implement and track programs and use referrals to amplify the results of their entire marketing campaigns, creating a measurable return on marketing investment (ROMI).

Best Practices to Use

How can you make the most of a referral program? Here are several best practices that will help maximize your referral program results:

  • Make it simple for the consumer! If the process is too difficult for the consumer, they won’t complete the referral.
  • Give a referral, get a reward! Most consumers are willing to give referrals, but often don’t. By offering an incentive, consumers are significantly more likely to share.
  • Get your timing right! The best time to incent a referral is right after a purchase or positive consumer experience.
  • Robust validation! Being able to track referral pairs and purchases is critical to success.
  • Measure and learn! Understand the insights and translate results into actionable learnings that can be applied to ongoing marketing activities.

Why YA?

Social sharing is a key trend that we are helping clients take advantage of with our Refer-A-Friend program.  Our approach offers best in class methods for incenting, tracking and rewarding consumers for making referrals.  It’s a win for consumers and brands, and it’s a tactic that’s been delivering results for our clients. If you’d like to find out how YA can put the power of referrals to work for you, please contact me to begin the conversation.

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