Step 1: Determine what you will offer as an incentive and the criteria.
When determining what you will offer as an incentive, keep in mind what you would like to achieve with your referral program. Are you a new business that would like to generate a large number of new clients? In this case, you should choose an incentive that will highly motivate clients to recommend you to friends and family, such as a free gift certificate to the movies or a home decor retail shop. Are you an established business who would like to maintain a consistent, yet smaller number of new clients? This may require a smaller incentive that still rewards the client who recommended you, but will not take up too much of your time. An incentive that may satisfy this situation, would be offering a free upgrade or addition on their next service, for example a free one hour financial analysis consultation service with any new account set-up.
Establishing the criteria for someone to receive the incentive is important as well. Would you give the same reward to someone who was referred to you and received a short consultation and someone who purchased a full year of insurance for their car and home? You may want to consider having a couple of different incentives available depending on what services were rendered through the referral.
Step 2: Get your referral materials ready.
Now that you've established what you will be offering for a referral, make sure you have the materials in place to effectively execute your program. Sharper Cards has a wide range of referral postcards and folding cards that you can personalize for free. Write your own referral message, choose one of our prewritten messages from our library, or create a unique combination to outline your incentive for a referral.
Shop our complete selection of referral cards.
In addition, thanking clients for a referral is also very important. Sending a thank you postcard, folding card or a gift certificate is a great way to express your appreciation and show your gratitude. Sharper Cards has an extensive selection of contemporary and humorous designs of thank you postcards, folding cards and gift certificates. Again, personalization is free, so write your own thank you message, or, for convenience, select one from our messages library. This gesture will help strengthen your relationship with clients and make them feel appreciated.
Step 3: Communicate with existing clients!
This is a crucial element of a successful referral program. Many business owners shy away from actively seeking referrals because they do not want to come across as performing a sales pitch. The reality is that the majority of clients does not realize the importance of referrals and just need to be informed that you do appreciate new business.
Here are some ways you may want to communicate your referral program: