To some extent, every element of a business’s marketing strategy will require some customization and tailoring to meet your company’s specific needs. The referral incentive program created for your business is no different. Each type of industry or niche will have valuable ways of generating the most referrals possible.
Examples of Referral Incentive Programs
There are many fine examples that one can utilize to increase referrals to their business.
- Reduced Costs on Products or Services
- Free Samples, Free Estimates and Free Consultations
- Product or Service Time Extensions
- Extended Warranties
- Group Discounts
- Additional Services or Products at No Cost, By One Get One Free, BOGOF
- Exclusive Memberships and Accounts
- Free or Extended Consultations or Estimates
- Life Memberships
- Extended Customer Services
These are just a few of many more options in incentive program plans.
Enhance Word-of-Mouth Based Business
Any business can greatly enhance their business growth by custom designing creative incentives that encourage others to give you referrals. While one tradition in referral incentives is the finder’s-fee reward system where the referrer gains one of the benefits such as those listed above, they are certainly not the only options.
Non-Monetary Program Incentives
There are reputable methods for rewarding your referrers without utilizing one of the commonly known finder’s fee type of programs.
Open Recognition – Acknowledging referrers openly such as on a billboard or display, posted in the business or publicly. Everyone appreciates recognition for their time and efforts. However, this option is also very touchy in some industries such as health care, where there are laws and regulations that prevent the release of names publicly, even to positively recognize them. Although print news isn’t the most popular these days, one of the ‘old school’ methods of this type of reward incentives was a hearty thank you posted in the local newspapers classified ads sections.
Charitable Donations and Philanthropy – Making charitable donations to a referrer’s favorite charity can also be an incredible reward system that provides the referrer with a non-monetary reward option. While the monetary donation will come to you, the referrer receives no direct reward. This type of system can work for many types of businesses as well as individuals since many people can be hesitant to work for personal gain and rewards.
There are other methods of referral incentives that provide no monetary value to referrers while still rewarding them for their service. Some businesses have programs where employees can earn referral rewards that include paying for college courses to further their education. These can be on topics that directly benefit the employer by way of improving industry knowledge or they can be on topics that benefit a want or need the individual employee has for future opportunities.
A Great Marketing Plan is Critical to Your Business
With this type of system, as with the charitable donations, the referrer receives no direct reward or acknowledgement, but the business owner will still have a monetary responsibility. It is of utmost importance to any brand, company or business to never overextend themselves in the marketing department. More than one business has gone bankrupt due to bad planning that cost them more than they earned in referral growth.
Christian Fea is CEO of Synertegic, Inc. A Joint Venture and Referral Marketing firm. He exemplifies how to profit from Joint Venture and Referral relationships by creating profit centers with minimal risk and maximum profitability.
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