How to Start a Customer Referral Program for More Sales

Customer referral program graphic by Sales & Marketing Technologies

April 27, 2021

When customers are happy with your product or service, they’re more likely to share it with others, which is why setting up a customer referral program is a great way to increase retention and boost sales. Additionally, having one will help you spend less time searching for leads and focus more on nurturing high-quality prospects.
Give customers a nudge to spread the word about your business by starting a referral program ASAP.

Building a Customer Referral Program

A referral program is more than about rewarding people for referrals — it should also be about cultivating referrals into customers. If you do a good job of acquiring referrals but don’t have an effective follow-up process, then you’ll end up wasting resources. Here’s how to start a customer referral program that’ll generate more sales.

1. Define your goals

Get clear on what you want to get out of your referral program and define specific goals so you have a target to shoot for. Setting your goals at the beginning will help outline the next steps you should take.

2. Research current referrals

Find out how your business currently gets referrals and how they’re handled. By researching your current referrals, you’ll be able to identify strengths and weaknesses in your process. Also, identify who your ideal customers are so your referral program focuses on them.

3. Select incentives

Your program needs to give rewards that fit both your business and customers. Think about what your customers would benefit the most from. This can either be a cash incentive or a non-cash incentive (e.g. free sample). You can try A/B testing to see which incentives perform best.

4. Set up tracking

It’s vital to set up tracking for your referral program so that you know where referrals came from, who was referred, who referred them, when were they referred, and whether or not the referral converted.
We recommend using a customer relationship management (CRM) system to make it easier and more organized to track your referral program.

5. Create content assets

In order to successfully promote your referral program, you’ll need to create content assets that will attract customers’ attention and drive action. This can be newsletters, blog posts, landing pages, graphics, and more.

6. Share your program

Get the word out about your referral program by sharing it on multiple channels like your website, social media, email marketing, and anywhere else you promote your business. The more customers that are aware of the benefits, the more referrals you’ll receive.

7. Follow up with referrals

A crucial part of your program is having a smooth follow-up process where you respond in a timely manner and come through on your offers. This is another instance where a CRM system is beneficial because it allows you to set up automated responses to your current and referred customers with their offers.

8. Optimize your program

Analyze the results and work out the kinks for a stronger referral program. You probably won’t get it perfect from the very beginning, so it’s important to monitor your program to see what is and isn’t working, and make updates from there.

Increase Business with a Fine-Tuned Referral Program

Customer referral programs have the power to increase business, but they’re only able to do that if they’re set up properly. By following these tips, your referral program is in a better position for success. Ready to start? Sales & Marketing Technologies offers automation services to help you set up a fine-tuned referral program that drives more business.
Call 407.682.2222 or book online for a free 30-minute consultation to discover what sales and marketing automation will do for your company!

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