Large corporations understand the power of W.O.M. (Word of Mouth) marketing. They also understand that an incentive can be the best way to get both current clients and prospects talking. It’s no wonder that promotion campaigns have become an everyday part of commerce. Whether it’s $50 for referring a friend to Bank of America or free Vonage phone service for getting your family on-board, promotional campaigns are highly effective.
Unfortunately, many small business owners miss out on dozens of potential pre qualified leads because they’ve never tried running an effective referral marketing promotion campaign. One of the most difficult challenges to an effective campaign is tracking incoming referrals. People that refer you new business need to be confident that you will reward them for referrals that result in sales.
The Power of a Promotion Campaign
For example: Joe is a computer repair specialist with a few hundred contacts. Joe informs his contacts that if they send him new clients who eventually use his services, he’ll send them a $20 gift certificate to Starbucks. It’s a no-brainer. Joe’s typical job will bring in a $100; if he closes a sale that he otherwise wouldn’t have, then the $20 gift certificate is considered short-change. Joe’s promotion campaign can become exponentially more powerful when you also consider the opportunity for repeat business from these new clients.
The Tricky Part
Sounds perfect, right? The only challenge of a promotion campaign is ensuring the right people are rewarded.
For example: Diane receives Joe’s offer to send him new business. Diane knows first-hand that Joe does good work and she’d also like to have her morning coffee paid for; she is more than happy to refer her friend Lisa who’s been having computer troubles.
Lisa eventually gets around to calling Joe. As you could imagine, unless Lisa specifically says that she has been referred by Diane through the promotion campaign, Joe is not going to reward Diane. Furthermore, it may be a few weeks before Joe closes the sale with Lisa. During the interim, Diane is going have to play phone tag with both Joe and Lisa to determine whether her referral lead to a sale. You can image that this is uncomfortable for everyone. Situations like these are common, they often result in referrals not being rewarded and sometimes negative feelings.
Direct TV Promotional Campaign
Direct TV is currently running a powerful promotion campaign. They’re offering a $100 savings to customers that refer them new business. But to see a very visible example of why it’s important to effectively track your promotion campaign you need only to Google, “Direct TV Refer a Friend.” The fourth search result is a RipOff Report. The gist of the report was that clients were not properly rewarded for sending new business. Who’s right or wrong is irrelevant. What’s important is that this was a good relationship gone sour. We can only imagine how many times this must have happened but was not publicized.
The idea is to make it as seamless as possible for your contacts to refer you new business and be rewarded. You can use technology to eliminate the guess work for you and more importantly your participants. A tool like Referral Key turns promotion campaigns into an exact science. Automatically upload the contacts you’d like to recieve sales leads from, create a custom campaign that makes sense, and send it. When the recipients want to send you new sales leads, they simply send you the prospective client’s contact information directly through Referral Key. They can be confident that you have the ability to see who the referral came from, the prospect’s contact information, and the ability to properly reward referrals in a timely manner.