Time consuming and expensive marketing campaigns aren’t the only way to attract new customers. In a lot of cases, you can use your existing client base to draw new customers. To entice people to spread the word about your company, you may want to consider offering referral bonuses or incentives. There are lots of possibilities.
1. Refer-a-Friend Programs
Creating a refer-a-friend program is fairly straightforward. You simply let your clients know that if they refer a friend to your business, they can win a reward. For instance, you may want to give them a credit on their next bill or a coupon for a certain percentage off their next purchase. To track referrals, ask new clients how they heard about your business. Give them a list of options such as radio advertisements, internet searches, and friends. Then, put a blank next to the friend option so they can write down the friend’s name. After, you reach out to that client with the reward.
2. Bring-a-Friend Promos
In other cases, rather than encouraging your clients to refer friends to your business, you may want to encourage them to physically bring a friend through your doors. With this type of deal, you offer your clients a discount if they book services for themselves plus a friend or relative who’s never been to your establishment. For instance, if you run a hair salon, you may want to offer your client and their friend a 20% discount if they come together. Alternatively, if you teach yoga, you may want to tell your students that they can bring a friend for free one day. Once the friend or relative comes through the door of your business, you have the chance to impress them with your services and hopefully turn them into a regular client.
3. Social Media Contests
You may want to leverage the power of social media with your referral efforts. To give you a sense of the possibilities, imagine that you invite all your clients to write a positive post about your company. Then, you offer a gift certificate or a free product to the person who gets the most likes on their post. With this scenario, your customers are enticed to promote your company because of the possibility of a prize, but because you structured it as a contest, you didn’t have to give a reward to every customer who helped.
4. Tiered Rewards
In that same vein, you may want to offer tiered incentives to your customers. For instance, if a customer makes a single referral, you may want to offer them a 5% off coupon. If they refer two or more people, you may want to offer them a 10% off coupon. But if they bring in 10 new clients who book a year’s worth of services from you, you may want to offer a really attractive reward such as a free month of service or even a cash gift.
5. Employee Incentives
In addition to giving incentives to your clients, you may want to spread the joy to your employees as well. To that end, consider creating a program that encourages and rewards your employees for bringing extra business through the door. Again, you can offer your employees cash, paid time off, coupons, or a variety of other incentives.
Regardless of the incentives you decide to offer, make sure you track your efforts
with the right software. Cloud-based accounting software such as QuickBooks can help you track the cost of your rewards and their impact on your bottom line.