How to Effectively Use Referrals to Grow Your Business with Raúl Galera, ReferralCandy: Show Notes & Transcript
Welcome back to Marketing Smarts! From brand-building and marketing veterans Anne Candido and April Martini (that’s us) comes a podcast committed to cutting through all the confusing marketing BS so you can actually understand how to take action and change your business today. We deep-dive into topics most would gloss-over, infusing real-world examples from our combined 35+ years of corporate and agency experience. We tell it how it is so whether you are just starting out or have been in business awhile, you have the Marketing Smarts to immediately impact your business.
This is Episode #118 and we’re talking referral programs with guest Raúl Galera, the Chief Advocate at ReferralCandy. Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, and your other favorite podcast spots – follow and leave a 5-star review if you’re exercising your Marketing Smarts!
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Marketing Smarts Episode #118: How to Effectively Use Referrals to Grow Your Business with Raúl Galera, ReferralCandy
Referrals, referral, referrals. They can be the best way to grow your business. But how exactly do you get them? It helps to get to know your customers, build a clear and easy-to-understand referral program, create two-way interactions with your customers, and facilitate a community that is not about you. You’ll also need to know when you’re ready for a referral program, how to budget for it, build an effective program, and make sure it stays fresh. We wanted you to learn from an expert who knows referrals better than anyone, so we welcomed on Raúl Galera. He’s the Chief Advocate at ReferralCandy, which essentially allows companies to run referral programs on autopilot. This episode covers everything from referral programs to automation. Here’s a small sample of what you will hear in this episode:
- How do you use referrals to grow your business?
- What structure will work best for your business?
- How do you know when you’re ready for a referral program?
- Why should you get to know your customers?
- How do you pay for a referral program?
- What makes a referral program easy to understand?
- How do you build an effective referral program?
- What does a good ROI look like for a referral program?
And as always, if you need help in building your Marketing Smarts, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at: ForthRight-People.com.
Check out the episode, show notes, and transcript below:
- How to Effectively Use Referrals to Grow Your Business with Raúl Galera, ReferralCandy
- [0:00] Welcome to Marketing Smarts
- [0:30] Anne Candido, April Martini
- [1:19] Learn more at ReferralCandy.com and LinkedIn
- [1:34] How do you use referrals to grow your business?
- [2:12] Get to know your customers so you know what offerings will speak to them
- [5:28] Riff Raff & Co
- [7:52] Purchase Funnel
- [8:39] Viral Effect, Crowdfunding
- [9:34] Product-Market Fit
- [10:43] Build a clear and easy to understand referral program
- [18:23] P&L (Profit & Loss Statement)
- [19:06] What structure will work best for your business?
- [22:58] Create two-way interactions with your customers
- [23:28] Louboutin
- [30:06] Testimonial
- [32:45] Facilitate a community that is not about you
- [36:58] Facebook Group
- [38:54] Social Media
- [43:27] Recap: How do you use referrals to grow your business?
- [44:03] Are you craving a deeper dive immersion into the topics on our podcast? Shop our Virtual Consultancy
- [44:45] How do I know when I am ready for a referral program?
- [47:43] Marketing
- [49:02] We already spend so much on marketing. How do we pay for this?
- [49:42] Ad Spend
- [53:20] eMarketer
- [57:03] ROI (Return on Investment)
- [58:06] How do I build an effective referral program?
- [1:00:37] Customer Base
- Final Thoughts
- [1:01:28] Learn more at ReferralCandy.com and LinkedIn
- [1:02:47] Recap: How do you use referrals to grow your business?
- [1:03:23] Make sure to follow Marketing Smarts on your favorite podcast spot and leave us a 5-star review on Apple Podcasts
- [1:03:27] Learn more at ForthRight-People.com and connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn
- [1:03:34] Sign up to view all the ForthRight worksheets & tips for FREE!
- [1:03:42] Shop our Virtual Consultancy
What is Marketing Smarts?
From brand-building and marketing veterans Anne Candido and April Martini comes a podcast committed to cutting through all the confusing marketing BS so you can actually understand how to take action and change your business today. They deep-dive into topics most would gloss-over, infusing real-world examples from their combined 35+ years of corporate and agency experience. They tell it how it is so whether you are just starting out or have been in business awhile, you have the Marketing Smarts to immediately impact your business.
How do I exercise my Marketing Smarts?
Thanks for listening to Marketing Smarts. Get in touch here to become a savvier marketer.
Please note: this transcript is not 100% accurate.
Anne Candido 0:02
This is Marketing Smarts – a podcast committed to helping you become a savvier marketing leader, no matter your level. In each episode, we will dive into a relevant topic or challenge that marketing leaders are currently facing. We will also give you practical tools and applications that will help you put what you learn into practice today. And if you missed anything, don’t worry, we put worksheets on our website that summarize the key points. Now, let’s get to it.
April Martini 0:29
Welcome to Marketing Smarts. I am Anne Candido and I am April Martini. And today we’re going to discuss a topic that we feel like many people want to attempt but aren’t quite sure of what success looks like, or even how to do it. And that is how to effectively use referral programs.
Anne Candido 0:44
Yeah, and just to make sure we’re all on the same page, a referral program is a system that incentivizes previous customers or consumers to recommend your products or services to their family and friends. So it’s a marketing strategy that takes really happy, loyal customers and consumers and really, like makes them brand ambassadors and keeps them coming back. So this is the word of mouth marketing channel that we talked so much about. It’s so hard to get. But this is one way of being able to do that.
April Martini 1:10
Yep. And because referral programs are nuanced in nature, and they require really in depth experience that we can talk about, but we haven’t necessarily had. We’ve decided like we often do to bring a guest on to add extra expertise to this episode. And that is Raul Galera, who is the Chief Advocate at ReferralCandy. Raul, please introduce yourself, and welcome to the show.
Raúl Galera 1:31
Yeah, thanks for having me. And yeah, my name is Raul and I manage partnerships here at ReferralCandy. We’re an app that allows ecommerce stores to set up and run customer referral programs on on autopilot, basically,
April Martini 1:43
yeah, so we will get into that pretty in depth today. Therefore, why roll is the perfect guest for this. So we’re really happy to have you. And with that, we will get into how to effectively use referral programs to grow your business. So point number one is get to know your customers so you know what offerings will speak to them. And you guys hear us talk about this regardless of channel, regardless of type of company, regardless of whether you’re b2b, all of the things, this is not about what you want to put out there, especially given how crowded just the marketplace and the world is in general with messaging. So this first point is an important one in lots of our conversations. And it’s important here because we know that a lot of our clients and a lot of you listening are looking for new channels, new ways to break through places that other people aren’t. And like Anne said in the beginning, we all know that word of mouth is kind of that golden opportunity. Right and Raul, you and I talked about this one, we talked about the idea for this episode, it is really hard to break through with something new, but it’s impossible if you’re going to do it from the lens of talking about yourself. And so before you jump into anything, it doesn’t have to be a terribly intensive task. This is where the digital world is just so awesome for this these purposes as you can watch where your customers are, what they’re receptive to, what they’re responding to, the types of things that excite them, what products they’re buying, you can see all of that. So all we’re saying is take a pause, take some time, if you aren’t already actively watching your customer base, and kind of suss out what it is about them, that really gets them going so that you can get to that point of advocacy and roll I know you have lots to say on this point. So thoughts on that one.
Raúl Galera 3:33
I think obviously, understanding your customers is the number one point when it comes to launching a referral program. I, you know, I always like to say and since this is kind of like the, you know, the first item that we’re discussing about referral programs, I like to start with the fact that you need to be able to have certain things in place, in order to be able to launch a referral program, I mean that you need to have a good product, you need to have happy customers, you know, good, you know, the entire purchase process in which your customers are happy and pretty much every single step. And then once you get there, once you have that in place, that’s when you can run a referral program successfully. Because otherwise, if you don’t have a good product, or if you are not, you know, getting good reviews, or your customers are not happy or your delivery times maybe are bad and your customers aren’t, you know, taking them forever to get your product. So it’s the other kind of getting anxious, it might not be the best timing, to launch a referral program and also referral payments, not going to solve any of those problems. So your customers or your customers are not happy there. They’re definitely not going to refer you or they might prefer you negatively to their friends and family which you don’t want that. So when it comes to speaking to your customers and understanding who your customers are, I think you know, when it comes to to referral programs, it’s we play with the rewards, right? We’re trying to incentivize people to refer their friends and family. And once again, your product and your whole brand experience. It’s one of the main reasons why people are going to refer you to their friends and family. But incentives, encourage people to refer more. So think about it, what excites your customers what what’s what’s what’s going to make them interested or what’s going to incentivize them to go out and refer. And it may be discounts, it might be a cash reward, or it might be a gift. But that’s something that you need to figure it out exactly what’s interesting for your customer, customer base, we had a customer called riffraff and Kob, which were we wrote a case study about and they sell toys for for babies that help them sleep, right, there’s babies that don’t really don’t really fall asleep or have trouble falling asleep. But these toys, we know, kind of like hugging them and stuff, like, helps them fall asleep. And it’s a product that you buy the parents buy for the kid, but at the end of the day, they’re buying it from themselves. And so early on, they realized that there were a lot of online communities of moms referring these products to each other. These mums might not know each other, they were not friends and family, but they were sharing, you know, kind of like the same life stage, right. And so they realize, well, once they buy one, they don’t necessarily need another one. So given them a discount, it’s not really gonna make sense, because they’re not going to spend another $100 or $80, wherever the product costs for a product that we already have. And so they didn’t go with discounts for that. And if they had gone with discounts, maybe referrals might have still happened. But you could tell there was no difference between what the customer was expecting and what the company was offering. So they decided to go with free products. So they will give additional toys to moms, for every five friends that are five other moms. So they will refer. And so that made a lot of sense. And actually, the referral program was extremely successful, because that was an incentive that was interesting. It’s like, well, I’m going to refer this anyway, you know, my kids don’t need don’t necessarily need extra toys, but it’s definitely going to be nice to you know, to have it as a Christmas gift, or, you know, whatever I’m going to whenever I’m going to give them something else. So being able to understand what’s going to make your customers excited about talking to their friends and family, it’s crucial. And another similar example that we have is a customer that selling electric skateboards, so it’s fairly expensive purchase, so you you buy one, you’re not going to buy another one anytime soon. So they know that if they give their customers a discount on their next purchase, for another skateboard for every friend that they refer to, they’re not going to use it. But if they can use that discount towards accessories, then that’s definitely you know, something that’s going to incentivize them to go out and refer. And also if their friends can get, like additional products for free with their first purchase, then everybody’s going to be happy. Because those those type of rewards for speaking directly to those people and what their needs are and what their stage in terms of the purchase funnel is. So it’s all it’s all a matter of there was a real long explanation, but it was all a matter of understanding your customers and what they are. Yeah, and you
Anne Candido 7:57
made a comment, or you alluded to that there’s a specific time in your kind of your business or your product or service history where this makes sense. But I’ve heard a lot of people using this for trial like, especially as they’re trying to get something off the ground. Do you find this effective then as well? Or is it more when the business is a little bit more mature? And has like that proof of concept all on your way?
Raúl Galera 8:18
That’s a really good question. I don’t necessarily think it’s a bad idea with lunch, especially like if you’re if you have a product that’s revolutionary or innovative in a way, then you can use that viral effect to to get the product out there. At the end of the day. crowdfunding campaigns are basically this, it’s literally just word of mouth. And so and we, you know, in the referral marketing world, in the E commerce world necessarily talk about crowdfunding campaigns enough, but it’s, it’s definitely, I mean, we actually have a lot of customers whose referral programs are working very well. And something they all have in common is that they had a crowdfunding campaign at some point in their history as a as a company. And that’s basically it. And it’s basically a product that’s brand new, nobody knows about it, but all of a sudden, they go viral, and everybody wants to, you know, to buy a product that they’re probably not going to get for another year or you know, 889 months, whatever it takes usually to to develop the product. And on one hand, I think that being too early, it probably means that if you’re, if you don’t have product market fit, doesn’t really matter if it’s too too soon or too late, you know, your customers are not going to react to it anyway. The only downside of going too early in my opinion is that you might not have kind of like a critical mass of customers to onboard on your referral program and get them to start referring so at the end of the day, this is a numbers game. So the more customers that are buying your product and joining your referral program, the kind of like the the higher the volume that’s going to be you know, friends that buy from them and all that stuff. So, so I think that’s the only downside if you’re a mature business you have definitely have product market fit your customers So you’ve been around for a while, which means that you’re probably doing something right. And your customers are probably already referring you to their friends and family. Do you just don’t know if you don’t have a referral system? So yeah, it’s I think it’s more about like, knowing that you are in the right position as a company, like knowing that you have product market fit that your your customers are going to love your product, more than necessarily what stage you’re in. You can’t really go wrong in terms of going too early unless you don’t have product market fit. And it’s not going to work
April Martini 10:29
for a product or a product at all. Yeah. Yeah. All right. Well, we’ll move to point number two, which I think you you started to build on this one a little bit roll. So this will, you know, put finer points on this. But it’s built a clear and easy to understand referral program. And so I’ll take a run at this. And then I’m sure you have some more to say, and some more examples here. But what we’re saying here is all right, you know, your customer, you’ve done your homework, you know, where they engage, you know, what excites them. So now you want to build the referral plan against those insights and learnings. And there’s a few things that we recommend considering or watching out for rather as you do this. So the first is don’t make it too hard for them to engage, right? So too many steps to get to the incentive, which I’ve been on the receiving end of this, right? It’s like, refer five friends. And I’m like, okay, great. And then it’s like, now there’s three more gates after that, to actually get whatever the reward was, right? That’s not going to work that made me angry, and then I didn’t want to refer anyone. The second is, it’s a place where being transactional is actually helpful. And what we mean by that, because usually you don’t hear us talk about transactional so often, but you’ve already talked about this a little bit role, right, which is, sometimes monetary incentives are the thing that’s part of the transaction, right? But it’s because you’re building on something that you already learned based on an insight based on a behavior that makes that the right thing to do, then building them up as your ambassadors are people in the know. So they feel proud to share with their friends. So I think your examples before were great about some of the products we’re talking about, people may only purchase once or once over the course of many years, right? So you have to those are tricky situations, probably the trickiest because you want them to keep engaging with you. And you want them to be putting those referrals out there. And I think the point of this episode is how do you capture those folks and do it with intention. So really making sure that there’s a what’s in it for them as you’re doing this, especially if you’re in one of those challenging situations where they’ve purchased and they’re likely not to again. And then finally, and this is not surprising for anyone that listens to us on the tone of voice police. So make sure your brand tone of voice is authentic, don’t make it all about the sale, of course. But make sure this is one place where you do have to really insert yourself with intention. And that is make sure the experience that they’ve come to expect from you is the same when you get to the point of the referral. So again, it can be transactional in the what they get from you. But it shouldn’t be that in terms of what they feel as a result of that. So you’ve got to make sure that they’re still connecting with you on that very fundamental brand level, in order to make this something that they want to talk about pay forward, engage others, all of those types of things. What do you think? Well,
Raúl Galera 13:16
I actually thought about two examples of the kind of two items that you mentioned. So the first one making it too hard for for people to engage. That’s the number one mistake that I see referral programs do is that I always say that, and I say this, this during during demo calls with with merchants is you know, offer something small, but easy to achieve, rather than a big reward, that you’re gonna make your customers go through loopholes to be able to actually achieve it. I kind of hate calling them out. But there’s a company that I particularly love, I love the products called TransferWise. Now it’s called Weiss. And I’ve been using them for years and they have a referral program. It’s it’s, I guess, b2b b2c. And it really depends on the type of business that are the type of user that uses the product, but they can be both. And they’re not necessarily ecommerce, because they’re, they’re focused on international payments. The referral program, it’s exactly what you just mentioned, you need to refer five friends and then each one of your friends need to transfer at least $500 in their first international transfer, which, again, it’s a product that I love that were revolutionary when they came out I was one of their first customers and I still am in love them, but they might not realize that not probably a lot of their users don’t have friends that make international transactions regularly. You know, it’s one thing to up and Easter but that doesn’t mean that everybody or like most people that you know, have kind of like that same meet so they’re making it unnecessarily difficult for people to earn a reward when I’m referring people anyway, to the you know, to the company, and I’m happy to do it but you know, coming from referrals, it kind of hurts me that hurts me to see that referral program in place because it’s unnecessarily difficult. And then you talked about kinda like being transactional, I think there’s a, there’s an interesting kind of like, tangent to that, which is, and this is probably interesting for people who are listening, they’re not in E commerce or more probably in the b2b sector, which is not something that I would personally touch in, in in ReferralCandy. But I think this situation could definitely speak to them. When you are setting up a referral program on a b2b basis, you need to understand that the person who’s making the referral, and the person that might get the rewards are not the same person, because I could be referring you to, you know, whatever CRM that I’m using, and then you’ll get a deal, maybe on your first month, or your first subscription or something like that. But if I get a subscription on, alright, so if I get a discount on a subscription that I’m not paying for, because my company is paying for it. I mean, sure, you know, it’s always great to make your company save some money, but at the end of the year, not getting personally rewarded for it. So understanding who’s the person that needs to get rewarded. Sometimes it’s surprising, but there’s a lot of b2b referral programs out there that don’t get that. And there’s a really good example of a product that actually uses cold pipe I sorry, pipe drive for for CRM. And they understand this perfectly, because they reward the person making the recommendation within the organization. And not necessarily, you know, whoever is actually paying for the bill at the end of the month, so they understand that. And they they also understand that monetary rewards might not necessarily be something that people in the tech sector are necessarily interested in, when it comes to making referrals. So instead, they give swag, so they give maybe T shirts and notebooks and coffee mugs and stuff like that with the Pipedrive logo. So it works for them, it works really well, because they were able to understand the rewards that actually speak to their users. Especially if you are if you’re a happy customer of Pipedrive, maybe you do want to have a coffee mug on your table on your on your desk that says Pipedrive in it right so, so that rewards speak to the the customer base. And then they understand perfectly, that the person who’s making the referral and the person that is receiving the reward are necessarily the same. And they need to, they need to separate that. And on top of all of this, I would just say that something that makes a referral program successful and something at the same time, one of the biggest mistakes that I see referral programs do, it’s not promoting it enough. So assuming that just because you told your customers once, they’re going to remember it, and they’re going to go out and refer their friends. It’s not enough. There’s there’s a lot of things that happen in our daily lives. And we just forget. So it’s important to keep kind of like a regular set of touch points with your customers or whatever channel you’re using with them. But make sure they’re being reminded about it. And on top of that, if you can build a community of customers, and you can speak directly to them, then that’s referral marketing 2.0
Anne Candido 17:59
Yeah, I mean, I think those are all really good points. And the one that really struck me that I remember from one of my early early clients is like trying to actually put a referral program in place, it’s no easy task, either. Like there’s a lot to consider with regards to what’s the value of the incentive versus what’s the then like, the lifetime value of that customer that they’re going to get as a result, and how much can you put in there? And then how much are you going to get back in return? And was that due for the p&l? So I know, like, it’s a very complicated thing to kind of think about from a business standpoint, which is where I think some of the companies have gone to actually systematizing that so like, my day and age are like way long ago, yeah, like the Pampered Chef parties. And now you have all these other parties, you know, that you can do in order to kind of actually incentivize people to sell that is a little bit more regimented. So that you can actually predict a little bit more about what that is going to be. And then there’s like some element of expectation on the person that’s actually selling. I’m sure you’ve seen it both ways. Is there a way that particularly works better for some businesses? Or, like, how do you help them figure out like how to structure that actual, like referral program?
Raúl Galera 19:07
Again, each company is different. And so it really has to be a matter of what what they’re allowed to do as well, internally, because especially when companies are big, there’s a lot of other departments that want to have a say, in the way that things are run, especially when it touched something like, like discounts, which is something that can force some companies, especially companies that are maybe in the in the luxury industry, discounts or incentives, it’s something that they got to be careful about, because they you know, they can really just go crazy and offer you know, 20 30% discounts because that goes against the whole identity as a brand. So it’s a little bit a little bit tricky. I mean, we like I said we have a kind of like a rule of thumb of things that that you can do, or things that you need to keep in mind. But at the end of the day, if you know your customers, it shouldn’t be too difficult to figure out what’s exactly going to end sent device them to go out and refer. And again, kind of going back to the example of if your company in the in the luxury industry, obviously your customers are not going to be incentivized by cash for referring their friends, your customers aren’t going to incentivized by coupon codes. Because, again, why are you going to give them a 15 20% coupon code? You know, it’s not going to be the determining factor of their next purchase, but they might be interested in being the first ones to know when your new collection arrives. Or they might want something for free. I mean, why not? Right, like getting getting some sort of like, once you reach certain level, you get access to do something for free. Even if it’s just like a small, you know, small kind of little thing. It’s just like a token of appreciation. You know, people react to that very well, that kind of goes back to the example of pipe drive that I mentioned earlier, you know, are people going to refer their friends or refer other companies in exchange for a coffee mug? In a in a notebook? Yes, you know, it might sound like, my sounds like it’s like, it’s a small reward, but it actually works. So people just feel appreciated. But again, that is, if you’re in the luxury industry. Now, if you are, let’s say, a subscription box, then that’s a totally different game. If you’re on a subscription box, and you have a product that your customers absolutely love, than go for discounts, or give the first box for free. I’ve seen that many times, we actually have a customer that sells T shirts. And the way they sell these T shirts on a subscription basis is that every month, they create a new design, they release it that month, and then they never produce it again. So it’s like, every month, it’s like a limited edition t shirt. They know their customers love that product, they’re getting a t shirt the other day, they’re getting a t shirt every single month, but they know it’s a different t shirt, it’s kind of feels like Christmas a little bit because they’re they don’t know what it’s gonna look like. Well, the referral program, if I remember correctly, is that the friend gets 50% off 50 On their first subscription. And the customer that made the referral gets a box for free on the following month. Wow. Because they know that the ratio is so high. I mean, subscription boxes are the best example of customer retention, it’s literally your customers literally give you their credit card and said, charge me and send me the package general, you know, I don’t need anything else. Right. So yeah, it’s a little bit. And on the other side of the spectrum, we have companies that are selling a product that customers are not going to buy anytime soon after they make the first purchase, which is kind of the examples that we that were mentioned earlier. So all of those need to figure it out what kind of reward speak to my customers. But then the basics are pretty much the same. Remind your customers about the referral program, don’t let them forget about it, make sure that your customer experience is still great, because it could backfire as well. I mean, that’s a basic buddy. That’s it’s it’s good to reinforce it. But yeah, each company is gonna have its own little nuances that makes the referral programs a little bit different.
April Martini 22:56
Well, and I think that that actually hits on our next one here, which is create two way interactions with your customers. And so you just said, the idea of making sure that the other side is still good, right, you’re still providing good customer service in total, not just focusing only on the referral side of the business. And I think you mentioned a couple of things that really pertain nicely to this one, like Limited Edition type things are always good. Early Access before anyone else can have it right. I think it was Louis Vuitton. For a while there that was releasing a limited number of some of these new designed bags. And you had you know, you knew that person that had that bag was an insider if they had it, right, because that was the only way that you got it. And then I think step two, just just things because you’ve said a few times that small things can go a long way. And I think that that’s really true if it’s stuff that that people will really appreciate. So I think your points well taken on if it’s a coffee mug in a notebook, it’s a coffee mug and a notebook, but doesn’t matter because you’re customizing it quote unquote, according to what this population of people who are your loyal fans are going to want or be intrigued by or whatever. And I think that the one on one thing as much as you can make it feel personalized by that is really important to showing appreciation for these folks. Because when I think about people that are refers that’s a word. And I’m I’m one for sure, right? My big thing is feeling like I’m in the know enough that when someone comes and asks me about X, Y and Z, right, right now it’s being a mom to young children, that I’m going to have something to offer back to them. And so I feel like this if it’s first access to what’s new, or it’s like I’m getting things that no one else can get quite yet or I’m getting rewards back that no one else is gonna get unless they’re part of the program. It’s really just making sure that you’re continuing to build and preserve the relationship with the person that’s making the referrals while you’re also trying to get the referrals at the same time.
Raúl Galera 25:05
Yeah, and and also the way that unfortunately, a lot of E commerce brands approach the whole post purchase experience, it’s based on getting the second purchase as quickly as possible. And so, yes, as consumers, we’ve all probably seen, we’ve probably experienced this you go to a store, you buy a product, maybe you abandon the cart, so you get a coupon code to finish your your purchase, great, you finish your purchase, you’re now officially a first time customer. Everything you hear from that moment on from the brand is, it’s basically discounts or promotions or coupon codes to get you to go back to the store and buy from the from the brand. Again, when you just made a purchase, you might make another one in the in the future, but you might not be ready yet. So I’ve seen so many brands that their post purchase messaging is just that, that even running a referral program just so you have another recent to talk to your customers that it’s not necessarily encourage them to buy just for that, it’s probably a good kind of like a good reason already, just to just to be able to say, look, hey, how is your experience. And again, it doesn’t have to be necessarily to get them to refer their friends, but have some sort of post purchase path in which your customers are going through. And they’re, at least they’re being listened. And they’re they’re being you know, you’re kind of like asking for their experience, maybe you’re asking them to leave a review or full follow us on social media, or again or refer refer a friend, but at least it’s more kind of like a one to one conversation with a customer as personalized as they can be. Because obviously we all understand most of these, everything that we got to say it’s, it’s pretty much it’s automated, but but you can still have a brand voice and you can still get your customers to hear about you we we have a customer that’s called barren fig. And they’ve been with us forever. They sell productivity tools. So they sell notebooks and you know, stuff that you can basically use our work to planners to organize your work and your life. If you go to their website they have, I’m hoping that by the time that this podcast out, still does still have it. But if you go to their website, they have on the top navigation bar, they have a call to action that says get $10 or get $15, something like that. And if you click there, you go to the referral program landing page, and you can basically read about the referral program, they have something in that website that it’s genius, in my opinion, which is a form so you can sign up as an advocate and get your referral link. But they also have a note from the team. So they the team can have like wrote just three paragraphs explaining why the running referral program, and it feels very, very honest. One of the things that they they say is that, look, at the end of the day, we’re a small company. So any help that we can get to grow our business, it’s it’s much appreciated. And we’d rather spend our money on on you rather than on advertising. Like why would we spend money on Facebook ads when we can give it to our customers. So again, it’s very simple, you know, once again, small things that go a long way. It’s a very simple message, but customers get it. And if it happens that your customers, maybe are also entrepreneurs, or small business owners are definitely going to understand what you’re going through. And they’re, you know, and and I think a lot of times companies are trying to hide how big the actual how small they are. But you know, being honest and say, Look, we’re actually a small team, we’re trying to grow this idea that can definitely help you resonate with a lot of people in your customer base that you probably didn’t know about.
Anne Candido 28:40
Yeah, I love that. I love that. The idea of being able to incentivize the help, because a lot of times, you know, when you ask for help, it feels kind of like a little philanthropic, like you just want people you know, you feel like they’re just you just don’t feel good doing it because you’re like, Oh, well help me please, but I don’t have anything else to offer you in exchange. So it provides a nice like balance of like, I’m if you help me, I’m going to incentivize you, I’m going to help you as well. And it is true, like, you know, these small businesses, they need that and this is a really good opportunity to kind of put that marketing that word of mouth marketing into some some really strong action, I think by putting together that referral program, which is why I was asking you to about like, you know, the trial basis versus more and more mature basis. But you know, that this could really help it really nicely in the trial basis of trying to kind of generate a little bit of that news, a little bit of that. The good testimonials and, and all those things that you need in order to start kind of getting traction that all the other marketing channels work for you as well. And the other thing I would say about this is that you also now start having a captive audience, right. So you have a captive audience you could use for consumer research, you can pull them, you can have them react to certain things that you want to put out there across the board in Yes. Are they more inclined to your brand? Yes, they’re gonna be more inclined to impress. If you’re asking then, hey, you know, do you like, you know how it tells how good we are mean? Yeah, you’re gonna get those testimonials. But also you could say, Hey, this is this, like, if I did this, or if I had this new product, do you feel like this fits with the brand? Do you feel like this would be another offering that you would like. And so you can start to kind of get some early consumer research for probably just about free in order to kind of see how your brand is going to scale how your brand is going to build. And if you have that flexibility in order to be able to release these new things and how they might be received before you even actually have to do it. So it kind of helps you manage your risk a little bit, I
Raúl Galera 30:34
think, to two points that you raised there that totally agree with you. So actually, the first one, it’s, I think it’s it’s true that a lot of brands don’t know really how to approach the asking for a referral. It’s uncomfortable, I you know, I get that, like, it’s you, you express it very well and say like, if it feels like I don’t have anything else to offer to you, right, that I’m just literally just asking for, for a referral here, but something that successful referral programs have been able to do, it’s okay, but don’t, don’t look at it as me asking for a referral, think about what can you do for your friends, like, look at this really cool offer that you can give your friends. So kind of going back to the example that the t shirt business earlier, it’s you can give your friends 50% off on a t shirt, like they’re gonna end up spending seven bucks on on a free on a on a on a free but like in a in a T shirt that they might like, and then they can continue staying in the in the subscription program. But look at what you can do with your friends. That’s something that unfortunately, it’s not very common, but I’ve seen quite a few referral programs that get that and understand that customers in a lot of a lot of the cases they’re going to refer their friends, just because they can do something for their friends rather for what they can get themselves. I’ve seen referral programs offering 70 75%, discounts to to friends just because first of all, they are very sure about their product. And they know that once somebody buys for the first time, they’ll be hooked. And second, because they know that referrals are happening no matter what. So an incentive like this, you know, it’s gonna go a long way. Also, if you have bad products, even if you have a really high reward for the advocate, they’re still not going to refer you because who would refer that product to the friends and family for 20 or $25. Right? That’s definitely something that I that I see on a regular basis that companies trying to figure out a way of like asking for referrals without making it about themselves. That’s the solution. Just turn it into what can you do for for other people? So good point. Yeah,
April Martini 32:30
I think that’s a great point, which you’re doing a good job of pre empting some of these other points. So number four is community that is not about you. What you didn’t quite go there. I know we had this conversation when we chatted prior to this call. But I think this is interesting too, because we’ve talked a lot about how the business needs to make it about the people that are going to refer we talked about the customer right off the bat and really knowing what was going to work for them. I feel like if you can get to this point, it’s taking it even a step further. Because you just made the comment roll about a company or brand feeling so confident in its product, that it’ll give a heavy discount on the front end, knowing that people are going to be keep coming back, right. And I look at this as the same thing, which if you’re going to help put a community into place where people have come probably first because of your your company or your brand or your business, but they’re gonna keep coming back to have discussions to refer to each other to be excited about new products to have conversations that may or may not have anything to do with your company or brand. That to me feels like the Holy Grail of a referral program that has taken off into a whole nother stratosphere really, if you can get people because our time is so valuable. You know, we’ve talked about the fact you know, and you mentioned, you have to keep reminding people about the referral programs, because even the best of intentions, like I mean, my to do list right now is an entire page, I might see the that email pop up and be like, Oh, I’ll come back and never go back to it. But if people have something that they’re proactively coming back to, and the relationships are building far beyond whatever they’re buying from you, and then they’re bringing other people into that ecosystem. And that keeps happening that fills the funnel in a completely different way than just the uncomfortable nature of one on one asking for referrals and that sort of thing.
Raúl Galera 34:24
Yep, exactly. I mean, that’s, that’s the referral marketing 2.0 That’s, that’s definitely where you want to get to. You guys mentioned something earlier about this becoming kind of like a captive audience. And it really is one of the main benefits in my opinion of referral programs is that you’re leveraging an audience that you totally own. And you could be using ReferralCandy for your referral program or any of our competitors but if you decide to go somewhere else, the audience it’s yours you don’t have to pay for you know, you’re not paying for ads. You’re not paying to acquire these audiences. This audience belongs to you. and kind of like this marketing campaign that you’re running, it’s based on something that you have acquired yourself. So you’re just kind of like leveraging that for other reasons other than reactivating purchases, which you are in a way, because if you are encouraging customers to refer their friends, and you’re giving them a discount for every referral, you’re still reactivating those customers, but you’re also turning them into your salespeople. That’s, that’s why I think it’s, it’s so valuable. And it has the kind of like the pay pay on performance type of aspect. But yeah, but bring it I mean, bringing your customers together, basically understanding what is it that all your customers have in common, and allowing them to speak to each other in one way or another, or at least make your customers understand that you’re more than just a product that your brand, it’s something that a lot of people stand for, and they have some sort of company mission that goes beyond just delivering, you know, a good product, whatever it is, we have a customer that I love bringing up because they are in a very tough industry, which is the book industry, they’re selling books, so they’re literally competing with with Amazon physical books, physical books, exactly. physical books. So I know. I know. So they’re in a very tough industry. But they have, first of all, being able to create a product that it’s very innovative. So they’re based in the UK. And it’s a subscription box that they basically believe that every year there’s tons of books that never make it to the mainstream, but they’re still really good books and deserve to be read. And so it’s like a You’re, uh, you’re kind of like a frequent reader, we’re gonna send you a four books every single month that you’ve never heard of, and that I would love that, definitely.
There’s gotta be something like that in the US, I’m sure otherwise, you know, maybe it’s time to talk to them and get them to expand to to the US. But what is it that all their customers have in common is that their readers. And so what they did is that they created a Facebook group, which is a book club, that’s it. And they don’t necessarily use it to advertise or to, hey, latest promotion, or like, oh, this month only you can get no, they just created our community. It’s sponsored by them in a way. But it’s a community where people can discuss what books they’re reading, get recommendations, feedback, they can talk to their customers directly, force stuff that’s other than than support. So it’s, it’s great. And one of the benefits of being a customer of a box of stories, which is the name of the company, is that you’re also going to be part of this group. So you know, it’s another incentive for people to stay another month and another month. So this is a good example of a community kind of online, but you don’t necessarily need to have, like a gated community in the sense of like, like, in this case, a Facebook group or a telegram group or slack channel or something like that, like that, it could be just a matter of kind of providing more context about your company and who you are. And the reason why you’re in business. And there’s, there’s a couple of examples that we’ve written about a ReferralCandy. Because they, they they’ve been with us for for a while, to steal brands that they sell dresses, and the kind of like, the main reason behind those brands is that it was people that were involved in the fashion industry, they realize how kind of destructive the whole concept of fast fashion is. So they decided to go back to traditional methods of kind of, like, you know, producing clothes, the way they were produced, like 50 years ago, not only they advertise that, but they document the whole process. So in some cases, even kinda like, they wrote stories about the people behind the the actual, you know, all fashion machines that are creating these dresses, obviously, because it’s not fast fashion, they can’t have that many products, or that many units of the same product in the market. So obviously, there’s a high demand for these products. And people who own these products are proud to show them on social media. So there’s lots of Instagram posts, if you go into if you search for hashtag Christie Dawn, you’ll see people wearing these dresses, and it’s people that are literally just doing free advertising. And it’s just because they they believe in what the company stands for. They’re willing to pay that the price for that book, but also because beyond just kind of like aesthetics, you know, recent just not not just because they like the dresses, but because they like what they want to stand for. And I guess kind of like the ultimate way of creating community. It’s probably what Patagonia did in in 2020. Yep. We’ve obviously a company like Patagonia, we all know that, you know, what they stand for in terms of, you know, preservation in terms of climate change, and all that kind of stuff. So you could kind of guess 2020 You know, it was highly political, especially, obviously, what am I going to tell you guys in the US got here too. I mean, we, we were exposed to those new songs on a daily basis. Like if you if you were to guess you would kneel or you know, or Patagonia would stand right? But they went a step further and said They published an article I think, was the New York Times or something like that. And, and they basically said, who like they wrote down what their political status was and who they wanted to vote and who they wanted to vote out. So they took the risk of potentially delineating part of their customer base, but they did because it was honest. And you could you could agree with them, you could be on the other side of the political spectrum. And that’s totally fine. You could still say, look, okay, I disagree, but I still love the products, I’m gonna buy them. Or you could say, No, I’m definitely not buying from them again, that’s, that’s totally fine. But what they did, the value of what they did, in my opinion, is the fact that it took an honest approach to their company mission, they took a step that they didn’t need to take, and they still did it. And I think that that speaks in their favor.
Anne Candido 40:45
Yeah, I think those are excellent examples. And I love the fact that you brought a brand, because I think sometimes when people start thinking about referral programs, it starts feeling very transactional. And it’s like, oh, I just have to put an incentive in front of them. And that’ll be enough for them to actually buy my product. But then what keeps them coming back is really what keeps them engaged is really the brand. And because we all know that, in order to actually build that brand love, you have to connect with somebody emotionally. And it’s not just the emotional product benefit, or the it’s not just the product benefit that drives the emotional reactions, what I meant to say it’s, it’s a way that it actually improves life. And so the way that it actually helps them go through and have certain experiences, and then make whatever is going on with them better, right. So that is part of having to have that surround sound that you talked about at the very beginning, about making sure that you have something for people to come back to and engage in. Because otherwise, it’s just starts feeling very, like yeah, just give me a product, I’ll give you money. And there’s just only so much of that, that actually fuels that continued response back. So you have to develop something that actually gives them some value, as you said outside of the product or service you’re offering. Otherwise, you’re never going to be able to harness the power of this community that you’re building in order to raise your brand. And so whether you do it on a platform like Facebook, which, you know, we’ll argue that it’s great as a place to start, but you don’t own that community on Facebook, because Facebook or printed off at any time, right or, you know, they can block you know, how much access or gate how much access you have to those folks. But there are also other companies that actually can help you facilitate the community and one that we like as besta. So if you’re looking to like how to take your your program referral program, and then actually take that and harness a community of that in a really fabulous way that helps you to integrate all these things together. I suggest that you guys reach out to to sue at Vesta. But I love that we hit we hit on the brand part because I think that is so important in order to underscore everything that this is about everything that you’re trying to do here because it is centered in that word of mouth and you can’t have word of mouth if you don’t give somebody something emotional to talk about as they’re sharing about your product or service.
April Martini 42:58
They’re saying soapbox for the day. Yep. Thank
Anne Candido 43:00
you. My tie box you’re tied
April Martini 43:03
box. Yes. All right. So well and this section there because I do I mean, I joke but I mean, I do think we always come back to Brandon more often. It’s me. But you know, today you you went you took it?
Anne Candido 43:17
Well, yeah, I mean, but you do more of like the tone of voice and all that kind of that’s true. That’s true. And the brand love you’re the brand
April Martini 43:23
love girl. That’s right, the cheerleader. All right. Okay, so just to recap how to effectively use referral programs to grow your business. Number one, get to know your customers so you know what offerings will speak to them, get to know them intimately, or you won’t know what will resonate with them in the long term. Number two, build a clear and easy to understand referral program. If they’re willing to help don’t make it too hard for them to do so. Number three, create two way interactions with your customers show you them you appreciate them, not just their referrals. Number four facilitate a community that is not about you, when you get your fans talking above your brand or the things they’re buying from you that’s when you know you have reached the Holy Grail. All right, our next segment in the trenches is where we give real world examples specific to industries and situations but with broader application so that anyone listening can digest and put them into action. And of course today we are talking all about how to put referral programs into place number one in the trenches How do I know when I’m ready for referral program? And we talked in the beginning about monitoring and you know you’ve heard some back and forth about is it really in the the new or the when you’re more senior been around for a long time, you know what that life cycle is? But really, it’s when you have a base of people that are fans of you and roll I know when we talked I remember and I’m gonna probably not do this exactly the way you did but around the idea that word of mouth and we’ve said is the thing you’re always going for right but this is a lot more organized way to get it. And so I just I have that in my head and like I said it’s probably not exactly how you said it. but it really struck home for me that it is when you have those folks that are already out there speaking, which is why we say go out and see what’s being said about you. We’re in the digital world. Now more than ever, you can look at social media and all the things and see what people are saying, and how many people are saying that about you. So if people are talking about you reacting to your posts interacting with you, this is a good sign. It’s also not uncommon. I know, we talked about for people to be asking if you have a referral program, and I am always a big fan of saying things have to hit me in the face a few times before, I’m like, oh, yeah, that’s what we should be doing. But if people are asking, I mean, come on, that’s a, that’s a pretty good indicator that you should be there. And then I think also seeking out your biggest fans, and having a conversation with them is a way to do this. And mentioned before that, you know, you can have new product board, quote, unquote, already built in because they’re fans, right. And they they want to be asked and they feel privileged to be asked. And so we’ve said you got to make sure that there’s something in it for them, right. But go talk to those people that you see popping up a lot and make sure that you’re really listening on the other side of that for what they’re saying. I’m am always the police of saying don’t take something that stated to you and then go and do against it. Think about what’s the motivation under that? Is it going to serve more than one people, broader audience, etc. But interacting with your fans, once you have that fan base is usually a pretty good indicator that you may be ready for a referral program. What do you think Raul?
Raúl Galera 46:28
I totally agree with with all of those. The early signs are crucial. Yeah, listen to what people are saying on social media. See what customer support saying because maybe they’re getting chats from people saying, Hey, do you guys have a referral program? Please refer a friend. I mean, word of mouth, it’s, it’s gonna happen. I mean, the same, it’s literally the same motivator, as that, you know, that drives us to recommend people are, you know, the whatever Netflix show we’re watching or, you know, the restaurant that we visited last week, or our next vacation spot. So it’s the same force. It’s the all this form of marketing too. So so it’s gonna happen organically referral marketing, is just about building on top of that. Something else that I would add, just to add to that is, if you’re, if you’re still not sure, just run a net promoter score survey, literally ask your customers, if they’ll be willing to refer you to their friends and family and see what they say. If 90% of them say yes, then that’s great, then it’s, that’s a good point to start. If they say no, then that’s also really good information, because you should figure it out why, and what’s you know, maybe you got blindsided by something. And it’s, it’s good to figure out why your customers are not happy enough that they wouldn’t refer their friends.
Anne Candido 47:44
Yeah, and I think the only other thing I would add there is, make sure you have the, the staffing or the time or the space. And in order to actually focus on this, this is again, not something that you set up, and you kind of leave it because I’m sure I was gonna talk about how easy he can make it but you still have to have somebody on the other side, who is going to facilitate it. And if you’re not engaged in it, if you’re not monitoring or watching it, it can actually start to undermine the quality and the value of your brand. Because you start to creating this chatter that they have this thing set up and that they’re not able to support it, and you’re not able to fulfill what you said, you’re gonna go do.
April Martini 48:22
Yeah, I think that’s a great point. All right, or number two, in the trenches, we already spend so much on marketing, how do we pay for this? So and we talked about this one to have it roll with you when we were setting this up. But the good news is, is that these programs, you only pay for the results? And that was another one that when you said that I was like, oh, yeah, that makes total sense, right? And so we always have to deal with the pushback of what are my marketing dollars doing for me, right? Especially if we’re just filling the top of the funnel? What were they going? How do I know if they’re working? What metrics should I be looking at? Is it impressions, all the things right? And we talked really specifically about ads and putting money behind ad spend? And I think that’s a big one where there’s that big question mark. And then I think on the other side of the coin, I said at the beginning, people are always looking for new ways to break through. But I think when you have these newer quote unquote ways, even if they’re not brand new, but more people are trying to adopt etc. The next question is, Well, how am I going to pay for it with an in my existing budget. And so I love the idea that you only pay for the results here. And if you have that concern, which everybody does around marketing dollars and where they’re spent, this is a good way to and I’m not saying stop all the top of the funnel things I would never say something like that, but transfer some of those dollars and give it a shot. I think this is one where you can see the dollars working or not working. We always talk a ton about testing and learning and also giving something time to actually work. So those would be the couple of things to think about here. But I think this is one where you can invest and you can feel good about whether it’s working or not like the example you just With the Net Promoter Score, right? That data is valuable. Regardless, trying this out is valuable regardless, because you will be able to tell if I would guess probably fairly quickly whether or not this is something that’s taking hold in your organization. And if it’s a long term thing, and then I think also, with the testing and learning side of things, you can start to figure out and suss out what are those things that people are reacting to, right. So if you offer a discount code on one hand, and on the other hand, they’re getting some interesting swag and one rises to the top, then you start to understand what is going to work and how to build that program.
Raúl Galera 50:37
Yeah, and actually, to that example, I just remember about another example of a customer that’s been with us for for a long time, it’s called thread beast, they are on a subscription basis, as well. And so every month you get a box with, it’s kind of like street wear, you know, so you might get like pair of jeans that had maybe a belt or a t shirt or something along those lines. It’s and the referral program, it’s pretty similar to the one that that I mentioned about the the T shirts, so actually, the friend doesn’t get a discount, they get additional products, so they get a bonus and their bucks. But you get an additional free box for every friend that you refer. So what’s happened is that if you go on YouTube now and you search for threat beasts, I guarantee there’s a video posted today of somebody unboxing a threat based box today, I’ll make that bet. There’s definitely a video from today. It’s crazy, it works very well. And again, they don’t they’re not giving monetary rewards. They’re not given this council, they’re not getting cash, they’re giving free products, which is why my customers love my products. Why would I give that as a as an incentive? So yeah, I mean, that’s, that’s another thing is that, you know, not only it’s more cost effective than a lot of other marketing channels is that you can certainly have to pay for it in in cash, you can you can pay for it in other things that might be, you know, more cost effective for you as a company. But since we’re talking about ads, I would say that, ads, it’s something that has gotten more complicated to run over the past few years, I still remember I joined ReferralCandy 2016. And back then you would still see ads of people saying like, Oh, just create a dropship and drop shipping store, put $50 in Facebook and see what happens. I mean, if you put $50 on Facebook now, literally nothing, nothing. Nothing would happen, right? But back then it’s like you could still test it out for $50 or 100. So to have gotten more expensive, and then go on to more difficult, and there’s more competition in the space bidding for the same keywords and the same audiences. So So again, ads are useful. I mean, it’s double the funnel you need that you need. It’s the it’s been one of the most consistent customer acquisition channels that there are right now. But we need to understand the limitations. And I read a report recently from I think was from EA marketers that said that, and I’m gonna read this I don’t so I don’t know misquote, but ecommerce stores were paying more in Facebook ads than what they got in net profit themselves. So which literally means that Facebook is making more money out of ecommerce stores than ecommerce stores are making themselves and that’s, that’s not sustainable for any business. It’s like having, you know, some sort of business partner that I mean, sure you’re getting something in return. But it’s literally that business partner is literally making more money than you. So yeah, reducing dependency on on ads, it’s definitely something that any business should definitely start looking into. Because of what you guys mentioned earlier, as well, even if you have a community, if you have a Facebook group, you don’t know what’s gonna happen to that group, you know, you don’t know what’s gonna happen to that community. You know, it could get shut down or you know, you could get, you know, whatever, and you don’t have full control over. So there’s so much uncertainty this days, and especially over the past couple of years, and ups and downs in terms of E commerce that you want to keep as many things under control as you possibly can understand that there’s a lot of things that you’re not going to be able to manage, but those that you can actually have under control. Yeah, try to put as much leverage into those as possible.
Anne Candido 54:21
Yeah, a little anecdote I’ll share when I was at, at P&G, just to kind of poorly at this Facebook thing. Hard is, every year there’ll be some sort of digital summit and every year Facebook would be there in some form or fashion, right? And so one year like they find out ahead of time, like what we’re interested in over at p&g World and like one year would be like, well, we need to get as many followers as possible so they’d show up and be like, this year is all the year about followers. And so everything that they sell us would be about getting followers and then next year would be like engagement. This year is all about engagement. So every year they would take what we wanted to go do and they would figure out how to monetize it. If, and we still wouldn’t be anywhere better than we were beginning. So I say all that to say, don’t believe, you know, anything you see with regards to Facebook, it is a monetized platform. It’s not a community based platform as much as we would like it to be. So if you really want to build community, I my personal point of view is you have to build it outside of those social channels, you can start them on the social channels, but eventually you need to migrate them off. But that all being said, I love what you said right? Well about the intangibles too. So there’s nothing beats the fact that like somebody is posting an unboxing video that you are not paying for. Right? I mean, that’s the other point of like, the influencers and all of that, it’s like, it would cost you a lot of money to go and potentially pull those influencers, especially if they have strong following, then they have to basically say that they’re being paid and they’re being sanitized, you know, but if you can, in order to, to get them to actually respond in a more authentic way, I mean, being able to get them to do an unboxing video that you’re actually not incentivizing them for even wood. I mean, it’s it’s gold, right? So you never know how these things are gonna start to circulate. And definitely, if you’re going to use influencers, please check out what your local regulations are with regards to disclosures and stuff like that. Because some people say if you send them something in Memphis for free, you are incentivizing them. So I say that just to protect myself a little bit. But I think that the point is there is that there’s intangibles that aren’t necessarily quantifiable with regards to ROI with regards to money. And so when we look at a p&l, and we think about our referral program, we think about all the money that’s going out, or we’re losing as a result of those, whatever the incentives are, we also have to balance admin with like, Okay, how many more customers are my getting in? And how the more efficiently Am I getting them? How much are they then repeating, then they are actually referring out. So you have to think about the ecosystem overall. And it’s not easy to dimensionalize that it’s not easy to map it all out. And some of it, you kind of have to take with a little bit of faith. But I encourage everybody to kind of see the ecosystem and not just see it as like, Oh, here’s a number, my p&l, and how am I like actually showing any ROI against that? All right,
April Martini 57:08
I think we’ve effectively covered this entire topic all the way around. So to bring it home row, I’m going to ask one final question and give it to you because I think we’ve talked about a lot of different angles of this conversation. And so we always want to make sure that our audience feels like now they can go and do right. And so my final question to you is going to be just kind of map out the top line steps for building an effective referral program, like what are the things just tick through them real quick to kind of summarize all the great discussion that we’ve had, and then we’ll move on to our third and final segment here
Anne Candido 57:46
it is, okay, if the first step is to call you, yes.
Raúl Galera 57:52
Sounds good. Yeah. So first step is referralcandy.com, then no, But jokes aside. So if, if you’re serious about launching a referral program, it’s hopefully it’s because you’ve gotten one of these early signs that it’s a good timing for you to to launch the program. So first of all, decide what are the rewards to you go into, give your customers and their friends make sure that those rewards are adjusted to their purchase behavior. So again, if you’re selling a product that your customers can buy on a regular basis, even better, if it’s a subscription, give them a discount on future purchases. So you’re not only acquiring new customers, but you’re retaining them once, make sure that when you launch the referral program, you’re notifying all of your customers. So one thing that ReferralCandy does is that whenever you get a new purchase, we automatically invite them to join the referral program. But by the time you’ll enter a referral program, you might but might have been in business for years. And so you probably have 1000s of customers that don’t know that you have a referral program in place, and they bought from you before, so they’re probably good advocates. So send them an email, or connect with them in whatever platform you’re using to to connect with your customers and let them know, Hey, we have a referral program. Now, here’s how you can join and get a referral link and start sharing with your friends. And then after that, it’s just a matter of promotion. So make sure do not assume that just because you told your customers, once they’re going to remember it, and make sure that you touch base with them in as many channels as possible. And also just keep an eye out for your rewards. Because it’s possible that maybe that’s the first type of rewards that you set up are not working as well as you would like. So maybe it’s time to increase it. Or maybe it’s time to kind of like, you know, change the rewards entirely. And one more thing that I would do, and I want to talk about ReferralCandy feature here, but ReferralCandy allows you to see who are your top advocates? So who are the the advocates that are referring the most friends, that’s awesome. It’s not unusual to see that the top three advocates are probably referring 10 times more people than anybody else, look into them, see who they are, they might be influencers and we’ve seen a lot of brands that we’re able to identify influencers with and their customer base that they didn’t know they have. And so it’s a good opportunity to reach out to them and say, Hey, how, how can I support you to, you know, increase the reach for you’re doing even more right. Finding influencers? It’s it’s hard for for brands and especially good influencers, obviously. So if you can find one that’s already, you know, giving you the test that they know how to sell your product. That’s, that’s very valuable.
April Martini 1:00:26
All right. I think that was perfect. Yes. And you’re on a roll. So our third and final segment when we have a guest is to turn it over to you, Raul and have you close things out. Any final thoughts beyond what we’ve talked about? And then also just let people know how best to get in touch with you if you’re open to them getting in touch?
Raúl Galera 1:00:44
Sounds good. So yeah, I would say, think about referral marketing. Just think about it in general, what could it do? what it could do for your business, it’s the oldest form of marketing. And it’s, it’s, it’s time tested, basically. And it’s also a channel that you can totally own it, which is unusual these days. You don’t necessarily have to pay in advance or set up a budget, and then hope that you get the results that you’re looking for. You’re literally leveraging your own audience. And I mean, you’re turning your customers into your salespeople, which is the best type of salespeople that you could possibly have. Because they don’t sound like salespeople when they sell your product. So that’s the incoming from a salesperson, like myself, that’s important. So yeah, you know, I would say just just think about what it could do for for your business. Look for those early signs that we talked about. And then, you know, I think we share a bunch of different ideas on how to structure your referral program. So So yeah, I’m always happy to take questions, so they can find more about ReferralCandy on ReferralCandy.com. And my email is Raul@referralcandy.com and I’m always happy to take questions there.
April Martini 1:01:59
Awesome. Well, thank you so much for joining us, Raul. I think you rounded out the experience and, and the in depth conversation I think will be super helpful for some questions we’ve gotten from folks around referrals. So just to recap one more time how to effectively use referral programs to grow your business. Number one, get to know your customers so you know what offerings will speak to them, know them intimately, or you won’t know what will resonate with them. Number two, build a clear and easy to understand referral program. If they’re willing to help, don’t make it too hard for them to do so. Number three, create two way interactions with your customers show them you appreciate them, not just their referrals. And finally facilitate a community that is not about you. This is the holy grail of referral marketing and a way to bring people to gather at that higher level. And with that, we will say go and exercise your Marketing Smarts! Still need help in growing your Marketing Smarts? Contact us through our website: ForthRight-People.com We can help you become a savvy marketer through coaching or training you and your team or doing the work on your behalf. Please also help us grow the podcast by reading and reviewing on your player of choice and sharing with at least one person now go show off your Marketing Smarts!