To understand what type of marketing referral program is best for your business, it may be vital to first understand where referrals can come from in the first place.
Where Do Marketing Referrals Come From?
Knowing where your referrals will come from is the first critical element to understand before launching into a marketing referral program catered and customized for optimization to your business. Most often, the type of referrals your business will get can be traced directly back to their origins.
Referrals Come from People or Places
- Professional Referrals – This type of referral comes from within your own company in the form of solicitors, accountants or other professionals associated with your business.
- Internal Referrals – Internal referrals are just that. They come from within your own organization in the form of employees. Your employee referrals will often become one of your best sources for referrals.
- Network Referrals – Network referrals come with those who have relevant interests in your services or products. These referrals can come from business or individuals.
- Marketing Referrals – These referrals come in as a direct result of your marketing efforts. Any business should take advantage of the various media opportunities that can help bring in this type of referral.
- Existing Clients or Consumers – As always, one of the greatest sources of referrals will be from your existing customers. If your customers are willing to refer you to a friend or family member, you will know you are doing something right.
These referrals will be critical to your business and for this reason alone you should always take the time to get more familiar with how to cultivate and later organize this information for business optimization.
The Best Marketing Referral Program for You
The best marketing referral program for any business is one that is catered to meet a few critical guidelines. The most valid questions to ask before determining if a marketing referral program will fit with your business are as follows:
- Will your products or services stand up under close scrutiny?
- Will the investment return enough to benefit your business?
- Do you have enough employees or time to manage it?
If you can answer, “Yes”, to all three of these critical questions, than you are ready to take on a marketing referral program. While these questions may seem extremely basic, there are many businesses that have jumped into a marketing referral option long before they were prepared, only to find that the marketing referral program itself bankrupts or destroys the business in financial ways or through bad press generated during a campaign.
If you stick to the basic three and make sure that your products or services are prepared to take on more public scrutiny than previously, insure that you have enough capital to cover a failed program if necessary and have the employee base to cover all of your new time and organization requirements, then whether or not your program is fully successful, you are creating advertising, networking and branding opportunities that will still be worth your time, effort and money.
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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