Running an effective referral marketing campaign is not easy. Many eCommerce website owners create one and then just wait for people to sign up. But it doesn’t work that way. You need to do more than just creating a referral program. You need to promote it and convince people to refer their friends to your website. And this can be made reality only with a good marketing strategy in place.
In the article, you’ll learn 10 effective referral marketing strategies to grow your WooCommerce store.
As you all know, WooCommerce is the popular eCommerce platform for Wordpress. It is popular because of its easy integration with Wordpress with which you can transform your website into an online store easily. But merely having an online store is not enough. You should be able to make real money out of it. You can only do that if you get traffic and sales. And referral marketing is a great way to do just that.
However, there are rights and wrongs to promote your referral program. And this article shares the strategies that have worked for successful brands and how you can do the same for your online store.
Table of contents
- 10 Best WooCommerce Referral Marketing Strategies
10 Best WooCommerce Referral Marketing Strategies
1. Don’t be Afraid to Ask
Many eCommerce website owners create a referral program but will be too afraid to ask their customers to promote them. Doing this will prevent your customers from actually knowing that your store has a referral program. A simple nudge can often result to an instant referral. Plus, it reminds customers that they have the chance to refer people to your online store. This is far better than posting your referral program link on top of your home page and praying that your customers will click on it.
The perfect time to ask for referrals is when your customer has just finished his purchase. This is when the customer is happy and highly willing to share your promotion. You can integrate your checkout page with attractive uber popup and redirect customers to your referral page. You can also ask them if they would like to refer people to your site right in the checkout page.
The sweetest deal of all,
Offer customers with a smart WooCommerce coupon upon checkout just for referring friends to your site.
2. Go the Extra Mile
Your customers know how much you care about them. How do they know this? They know it through experience. This is the reason why businesses focus on user experience. If you make customers feel good, they will remember you and are far more likely to refer more people to your site.
What is the secret to good customer experience?
There is one thing that you got to do- Exceed your customer’s expectations, Serve the Extra Mile.
Every customer has a set of expectations. And if you offer that extra mile, I say you’ve earned the customer for a lifetime.
What will their happiness do?
It will get your customers to talk. And when they talk about your business, they are actually referring people to your business. Doing this, you not only convince prospects with discounts to promote your business but actually because they trust you.
3. Improve Your Customer Service
Customer service is another area you should focus on if you want an effective referral program. You need to be there when your customers need you. One mistake and that will lead them to talk negatively about your business. So it is important to not only have a customer service system in place but also train your customer success team to care for your customers.
Showing that you care is expressed in different ways.
First, you must be accessible. Customers should be able to contact you and get an answer. You should establish a support system where you can address customer queries ASAP.
Next, you should be able to authentically relate with your customer. If you act robotic, they are not going to trust you. Your customers need to know that they are communicating with a real person.
Also, you should be ready to meet your customer’s needs. In line with the last strategy, you should have a customer support team who exactly know how to deal with customer’s need in a timely manner.
4. Join a Referral Marketing Network
Marketing is all about the network. So, just trying out your own referral marketing doesn’t pay off. Not only you have to contact your existing customers and subscribers, you also need to find ways to drive more people into your referral program.
And the most simple way to do this is to join a referral marketing network. Because when you join a network of business, it helps you to gather a lot of mutual referrals as well.
Also, you can learn a lot from referral marketing networks. These are not just simple website memberships. There will be frequent gatherings and workshops to teach how to get more referrals. This not only improves your website traffic but also boosts your online revenue.
5. Don’t be Afraid to Experiment
Your prospects may have different preferences for discounts and rewards. You will not be able to know this until you experiment. It is good to switch between cash and non-cash incentives to see what sticks. Asking for customer feedback may also help you design a better referral marketing program.
For this, you may need a tool with a split testing feature. Try driving traffic to pages with different types of rewards and then you can know which rewards get more referral.
6. Leverage Your Employees
Your employees are just as capable as your customers in referring people to your website. In fact, they may even do better. If you are still looking for people who will promote your website, it is good to start with your employees. Employees can become brand ambassadors and you can encourage them with an incentive for referring people.
The great thing about this is that you don’t have to try hard to convince. You can integrate this into your employee reward system where you can reward employees based on their referrals.
NOTE: You can also use referral marketing for recruitment. This is where you ask existing employees to refer new employees to your business. In return, they get a perk. Perks can be cash, gift coupons, vouchers, etc.
Employees will get motivated to promote a business because they also have a stake in your success. If your business succeeds, they also succeed. So instead of doing some massive promotion strategy, just get employees to join your referral program.
7. Leverage Other Businesses
Apart from your employees, you can leverage other businesses as well. Business tie-ups can help you get more referrals in your industry. This works especially well if you tie up with your complementing businesses.
For example, a business that provides invitations may want to tie up with a wedding event planner. The client base is the same and it can benefit each other. The key is to grow your network by working with mutual businesses. You can collaborate on products and services or just work together in promoting each other.
8. Leverage Influencers
A powerful but not-so-popular marketing method for referral programs is influencer marketing. This is where you work with influencers in your niche to promote your Woocommerce business.
This is simple. You look for an influencer with a considerable amount of followers. You can contact and send them a free product that they can try using. In return to your gesture, they will surely review your product. Or you can give them an exclusive discount code to your online store. The key here is to convince them.
Some eCommerce businesses even go the extra mile of creating new products with influencers just to get them to promote the business. It all depends on your creativity.
9. Host Events
An easy way to get instant connections is by hosting events. This will allow you to connect with businesses in your niche as well as the influencers. With events, you get to promote your brand and this is the easy track to get authentic referrals.
However, it is important that the event is made exclusive. Hosting an event for its own sake will not work. If you invite a lot of potential prospects, then it gets hard for everyone to communicate with each other. So create small meetups instead. This way, your prospects will feel special and they will be far more open in working with you.
Also, events not only make a perfect time for introducing your product but also for getting to know influencers and other business owners as well. It is an amazing strategy to boost your online referral program.
10. Track, Track, and Track
The last strategy is the simplest but it is often forgotten.
Launching a referral program is one thing but you should also be able to measure the results. This is the reason why tracking is important. You need to track the amount of traffic and sales you had before the program and how much traffic and sales improved thereafter.
Aside from this, you also need to track where the traffic is coming from. Is it because of your employees? Is it because of the referral network? Is it because of the post of a certain influencer? You need to create separate tracking URLs for each traffic source. This way, you’ll know where to concentrate your efforts.
Bonus: Learn from Successful Referral Programs
You cannot create a successful referral program if you don’t know how it looks like. Below are some of the most famous and successful referral programs on the Internet.
If there’s one company that grew just because of their referral program, that would be PayPal. It is when they launched this campaign where they give cash in exchange for users that it went viral. Paypal understands the value of new users on their site. So they spent money just to acquire new customers. Because of this, the website grew at a pace of 10% daily. This allowed them to get as much as 1 billion users that they have today.
Dropbox knows the exact way to satisfy their customers need. They know that their users are there for the free storage. So extra storage is just what they need to refer people to the site. And it was effective. Their sign-ups grew to a whopping 60% just with this simple refer-a-friend program. And that’s not all. Their user base grew from 4 million to 1 billion just with this simple referral program.
By now you should see the secret of new disruptive technologies. They use a referral program to get more users and this allowed them to grow. But it is not just about the presence of a referral program. It is also about having the reward that the users find attractive. This way, they will be far more likely to sign up or refer to new people.
Uber did the same. They give discounted rides. Since the service of Uber revolves around this, it is exactly what their customers need. Because of this, Uber grew all over the world. As of this moment, it is serving up to 50 countries across the globe.
You are probably ready to create your own referral program. To do that, you’ll need some referral software or Shopify affiliate app if your store is on Shopify. E-commerce marketing doesn’t need to be hard. You need to look at what successful brands like Best Hunting Bow Labs is doing.
I hope you learned a lot from this article. So what strategy do you plan to use for your eCommerce site? Leave a comment below.
Arlen Robinson is the co-founder and VP of Business Development at OSI Affiliate Software. He is also the host of The Ecommerce Marketing Podcast where he discusses marketing strategies with experts from all over the world.