All products, no matter how popular, benefit from being promoted. This includes your referral program.
If no one knows you’ve started a referral program, all the hard work you put in will go to waste. Well before your program is officially launched, planning the announcement is a crucial part of its success. The way you announce a referral program is your very first step in program promotion.
What are some ways to announce your referral program? We cover eight different ideas for making a referral program announcement.
Why do you need a referral program announcement?
First, let’s examine a few reasons why you need to make an announcement for your referral program. Not only is it a crucial part of the program launch, the announcement will put your customers in gear for the program and generate excitement for when it arrives.
Plus, by looking at how customers respond to the announcement, you can gauge whether or not your business is ready to launch the program or if you need more time to prepare.
Program announcement tips
No matter which method you use to announce your program, keep the following tips in mind:
Announce the program early
Making the program announcement well before your actual launch will prime your customers to participate when the program goes live. You don’t need an elaborate announcement strategy, either – simply let customers know you’re planning a referral program. Customers like to know what’s going on at companies they purchase from, and will appreciate you for keeping them in the loop.
Keep in mind, you can even start announcing and promoting your program before all the program’s details are finalized. Your first program announcement will be very simple, with hardly any details. The goal is to create awareness of the upcoming program, and leave it at that (at least for now).
Update customers, and be open to feedback
After the initial announcement, consider sending out updates along the way. These quick announcements will keep your new referral program in the minds of customers, and also provide a good opportunity to get any feedback or ideas for your program.
Once customers know you’re launching a program, they may respond by telling you what kind of program they want or what they’re looking forward to. For more insight on what makes a good referral program, you may want to see our list of some of the best referral program examples.
Select a few key methods
Below, we’ve listed some easy and effective methods to announce your program. But don’t feel you have to use all of them. Select the ones that will make the most impact, and focus on those to announce your program. You don’t want your announcements to feel like overkill.
Referral program announcements come in many forms. You’ve likely come across one or more of these examples yourself. The examples below should give you a little insight into the different ways you can announce your referral program.
This will help prepare them for when you actually launch the program, meaning it could help you have a higher conversion rate.
1. Send an email announcement
Email is one of the easiest ways to announce your referral program. You probably already have an email list, with customers who are interested in receiving news about your company. Your email announcement doesn’t have to be very formal. A quick and casual announcement will work perfectly fine.
2. Include a blurb in your newsletter
This announcement method is an alternative to sending a dedicated email. If you send a regular email newsletter, consider including a few paragraphs in your next message. This is a great strategy if you don’t want to send an email solely about your referral program. It also won’t overload the number of emails your customers receive, if you happen to be a frequent sender.
Check out how The Riveter announced their program in their newsletter below:
3. Maximize your email signatures
Email signatures can be used to share a lot more information than just your name and contact details. Including a line about your referral program is one of the simplest, most effective announcement strategies, yet is often overlooked. This is a missed opportunity – after all, your customers see your signature every time they read an email from you. (Once the referral program launches, don’t forget to change the message to a direct link to the referral program.)
4. Send a letter
Even in the digital age, snail mail is still an effective mean of communication. Everyone loves receiving something in the mail. Send out an announcement postcard or letter to your customer base. Just like email, the letter doesn’t have to be formal. Sometimes, fun and casual announcements are the best way to get the message across.
5. Use your social media profiles
Social media posts may be even easier than sending a program announcement to your mailing lists. On these platforms, all you have to do is create a quick post and all your followers will see it instantly. How simple is that?
Plus, the commenting and sharing features on social media are great ways to fuel engagement. Customers are free to comment, and you can quickly respond to any questions about the upcoming program. Your followers can also share the announcement on their own profile, which multiplies the reach of your announcement post.
Although this post from 3D Hubs was made right after their referral program’s launch, it’s a great example of how you can announce your program on social media.
6. Add a message on your website
Your website is your brand’s main owned marketing channel. It’s where your customers are likely to go for any new products, updates, or purchases. Why not make use of the traffic to announce your referral program? The possibilities are endless:
- Promote your referral program in your top menu or side menu.
- Create a page as a teaser of what’s to come, like in this example from Fragfre:
- Create a hero image announcing your soon-to-launch referral program.
- Use a popup. This is best if you don’t already have several pop-ups – too many on a page can get overwhelming or annoying.
- Write a post about the program on your blog, like the example below from ShareProgress:
- Announce your referral program on a thank you page or a payment page – these pages are always seen by customers when they’re most engaged with your brand.
- Even adding a small banner or graphic on your homepage or landing page could work wonders for you. Look for a space on your site that customers are frequently visiting.
7. Use your storefront
If you have a physical store, the storefront an excellent place for any advertisement. If you advertise the program where all passersby can see, they can easily ask about it and you could use the opportunity to further explain your referral program plans. Try one of these storefront announcement strategies:
- Put a sign out on the floor.
- Post an announcement on your sign outside of the storefront.
- Advertise your referral program in your shop window.
Aside from the entry area, you can also hang announcement flyers around your store, such as on the cash register, in the bathroom, or in the dressing room.
6. Include it in your answering machine message
Answering machines do the talking for you. Why not use yours to drop a line about your upcoming referral program? Something short and simple works well: “We’d also like to mention we have a referral program coming soon.”
By adding a quick line or two, anyone who calls will know your company is launching a referral program soon. This can lead to people telling others, or asking about your program the next time they talk to someone from your company.
Announce your referral program
The referral program announcement strategies we covered are relatively simple to implement. Most of them use methods you’re likely already applying in your company.
Remember, announcing your referral program is the first step to successful program promotion. After the initial kick off, it’s important to maintain program promotion if you want your referral program to be a success.