You’ve created your customer referral program, included an attractive incentive, and set up all the proper tracking on a recommended referral tool. Now, it’s time to launch and promote your referral program, so you can drive trackable word of mouth.
As many as 83% of existing customers are willing to refer products and services to others – but only 29% actually do. It’s not that customers don’t want to send you referrals. They just may not know about your referral program, or what referral rewards they can earn with every share.
To raise these numbers and increase your referral rate, you need to get the word out there. You need to know how to promote a referral program.
Below, we give you 25 of the most effective steps for how to promote a referral program, from social media posts to specialized referral tools. Read through them and pick the perfect referral promotion for your needs.
1. Use email marketing to promote your program
Email is one of the best ways to keep in touch with your customers. It’s direct, personal, and easily customized to send any message – including referral program promotions.
Use a well-crafted email campaign to introduce a new referral program or remind customers of an existing one. For example, Casper, the popular bed-in-a-box brand, sends an email a few days after purchase and offers a “Give $50, Get $50” referral promotion.
2. Share reviews as social proof
Rather than writing copy to promote a referral program, why not share a real customer’s experience? Customer reviews and testimonials help build your brand’s social proof.
Social proof works especially well when someone is close to joining a referral program, but may need a little nudge. For example, they may be on your referral landing page or reading your referral flyer. Seeing so many others raving about your brand could be just the encouragement they need to sign up.
Alternatively, you can use email signature marketing and insert a clickable banner with an offer to join your referral program.
3. Promote your program on organic social
Social media posts are a quick way to tell your whole audience about your referral program, and possibly reach some new eyes as well. How to promote a referral program on social? Keep the copy short, tease the reward on offer, and lead with a compelling image to draw in the eye. Then, invite the share and drop a link to your referral program page.
Post often enough to keep your program top of mind, but stagger the posts so you don’t overwhelm your followers. And be sure to vary your images and copy from post to post.
4. Add social share buttons
Social share buttons make the process of referring others much easier and quicker for your loyal customers. Instead of having to copy and paste a referral link from one page to another, customers can simply choose their preferred platform and initiate the referral process at the click of a button.
This sharing method has the added bonus of promoting your referral program to all of a customer’s followers at once (who become more likely to both purchase and share your brand themselves).
5. Feature referral programs on your homepage
Referral programs aren’t meant to be a well-kept secret – they’re meant to be shared. And one of the best places to promote your referral program is on your homepage.
A feature banner or image makes sure all your visitors are able to find the referral program front and center. For example, Merrell, a company known for its high-performance hiking boots, keeps a constant banner promoting its referral program on the site bar and footer of its home page.
6. Create a referral landing page
Every referral program should have its own referral program landing page. Aside from promoting the referral program, the page also organizes all the important program information in one place. It should explain the program rewards and benefits, referral mechanics, and any other details.
Morning Brew, for example, has a clear referral program page. The referral link (in every newsletter) brings subscribers to a page with more information, images of the rewards, and ways to refer others.
7. Promote in post-purchase messaging
Your customers are usually at their happiest and most engaged with your brand immediately after making a purchase.
Make the most of this post-purchase high by promoting your referral program. For example, if you’re already sending a thank you or confirmation email, these are perfect places to include a referral program invitation. The same goes for a thank you page after a purchase: that’s a great opportunity to invite customers to share the love. So, instead of just ending the conversation, your customers the option to enter a rewarding relationship with your brand.
8. Include the program on customer pages
In some cases, your customers may spend a lot of time on their user account pages (i.e., SaaS companies, platforms).
This makes it a perfect place to promote your referral program. If customers see an enticing referral program promotion every time they log in, they’ll be more inclined to join. If they are already a referral program member, all you need to add is friendly reminder with a referral code or social share buttons.
9. Add referral promotions on your high-traffic web pages
Although every website differs, they generally include a few key pages that attract the most clicks – the homepage, about page, contact page, blog page, and checkout or conversion page.
Make the most of these views by promoting your referral program. It doesn’t have to take up a lot of space or even be above the fold. A strong headline and call to action can be enough to grab a visitor’s interest.
10. Place a referral message in your email signature
Most company emails already include a custom signature at the bottom of each message. Why not add a referral promotion, as well?
A link to your referral program is especially useful for those who frequently communicate with customers via email, such as customer support or sales. Email signatures aren’t too aggressive, bring customers straight to your referral program details, and are an easy set-it-and-forget-it tactic.
11. Mention the program in social media bios
While most companies have only one website, they usually have more than one social media account. And one of the best practices in referral promotions is to include it in your social media bios.
Not only is everyone on social media (97% of digital consumers have used social media in the past month), almost everyone checks an account’s social media bio before they click to follow.
12. Add calls to action in blog posts
If you maintain an active blog, it’s a good idea to add calls to action (CTAs) and promote your referral program in top posts. So whenever someone brow