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Struggling to come up with those “outside the box” ideas to bring in those essential new customers? You’re not alone.

The undisputed #1 problem for business today rests on not being able to bring in enough customers.

Here’s where referral marketing steps to the plate. We know word-of-mouth marketing works and is continually rated as one of the most impactful forms of marketing. We also know that trust is paramount to swing a potential new customer from being on the fence to making that crucial buying decision. Time and time again, it has been proven that referrals are the most trustworthy form of advertising as can be seen here in this Nielsen study.

All of this to say implementing a referral program in your businesses customer acquisition strategy is a no brainer and can have a monumental impact on your success.

But there’s a question that gets frequently overlooked and often is asked after a referral marketing program is put in place: Is my company equipped for referral marketing success?

This can be a costly mistake and here are the questions you need to be asking yourself before you go gung-ho with your referral-marketing program:

How Strong is my Online Presence & Website Experience?

Going back to the trust factor, having an established, professional, and cohesive online presence on all social channels & with your website is vital to your new potential referral leads coming down the funnel into paid customers.

For example, are your social media pages visually appealing and packed full of compelling content that isn’t all sales driven?

These days, content creation is king. The more you can educate your potential customers about current industry trends and tie your content indirectly back to your product, the more effective your sales team can be.

If your website doesn’t peak the potential customer’s interest right away with clean formatting and compelling imagery, you can quickly watch them go away and find your competition who’s doing it better. Take the time to address your website with a fine tooth comb, and you will be rewarded in the long run with users spending more time on your pages and giving you a better chance at that important sale. It almost goes without saying, but you must make sure it looks just as aesthetic on mobile as it does on a desktop. The benefits of referral marketing can only be accessible if your content strategy and website experience are strong enough to allow it to be successful.

Is your Marketing Plan Set Up to Work in Harmony with your Referral Program?

You must ensure that your digital marketing strategies and channels are set up so they work together and help move your new referral leads down the funnel…….eventually to the point of making a buying decision.

Does Your Company:

• Utilize paid search (PPC) to capture precisely targeted relevant traffic?
• Use remarketing and retargeting to continue to touch and stay in front of the leads that don’t choose to purchase right away?
• Have a website fully optimized from an SEO perspective?
• Have the right tracking and analytics in place to measure and quantify these results?
• Incorporate great looking mobile ready landing pages for your assets to further capture leads?

These are just a few of the important questions you should be asking to get the most out of whatever referral program you chose to set up.

Automation should also be a key consideration. Automating the referral process can go a long way in saving you valuable time that can be utilized elsewhere in your business.

If you’re looking for a helpful free marketing plan to get started, be sure to check ours out here:

Do You have the Resources in Place & the Time to Convert Your New Referral Leads into Sales?

This is really the most pressing question you should be asking before you rush into setting up any kind of referral marketing or referral automation program. Inevitably, you will see an uptick, often a rather large one in your referral prospects, and it’s essential that you put the right resources & staff in place to handle the volume of these new leads. Most of the time, this will mean beefing up your sales team and equipping them with everything they need to nurture these new leads into paying customers.

Another important consideration here is the ability to scale your business. With a successful referral-marketing program, you will have the ability to do this more efficiently with the steady stream of new leads that you should be converting into customers. But again, your success in scaling will be determined by your preparation efforts before launching the program itself. So all things considered, be willing to invest and allocate the proper amount of time & resources into making sure your business is ready to take on all these new referral leads.

Putting this all into perspective, setting up a referral marketing program through automation or other traditional incentive programs is undoubtedly a must-have if you want to stay competitive in today’s business landscape. But it’s absolutely essential to properly answer these 3 questions in order to guarantee a successful one. Here’s to your continued referral marketing success!

Post author: Peter Velardi