Continue to Part II: Referral Program Coupons and Awards»
IntroductionReferral awards are quite simply, ways that companies and businesses use to say thank you to clients for getting them new leads and generating business. These awards can be as little, or as informal as sending a letter saying thanks, to something more formal (and frankly more enticing) as cash giveaways, discounts on future purchases, or free merchandise. Referral marketing is popular and growing for online businesses, but in the real world, such selling methods as network marketing are based almost wholly on the power of referrals.
CostsThere are many different types of referral awards programs that exist, so putting a fixed cost is difficult. Typically, the only real costs are what is given away - discounts, cash prizes, product, etc. But if you choose to advertise your program, purchase software, or outsource a professional company to manage the accounts, these costs have to be factored in as well.
TimeframeReferral programs normally only work after a company has built up a loyal group of customers who can freely recommend it to others, so time should be given for the word of mouth aspect of the campaign to take over, and for the effects to be really felt.
Action PlanThe key to any good marketing campaign is to have a great plan in place before starting. For a referral awards program, since it is a program based on customers and clients helping you out and then you rewarding them for it, you must be sure that all the terms and conditions are laid out in full and as clearly as possible before starting. What you do not want to do is get into arguments with your clients about referrals that they thought they made, or what they think they are owed. Clearly defining the whos, whats, wheres, and so on of your program will save you lots of stress down the line.
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