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As the owner of a new business, your ability to get referrals from customers has a strong correlation with how much growth your business will see. People introduced to a brand by a friend become customers themselves 80% of the time, this is according to a study by Sandler Sales Institute. (Sales Training)
Nielsen (Media Audience Consultant) found a similar result in their study, reporting that 92% of consumers trust referrals from people they know.
Word-of-mouth was ranked the most effective way to get leads and customers according to an analysis by Boston Consulting Group. (Business Consultant) According to their report, Word-of-mouth can be up to 10x more effective than paid advertising in getting new customers.
But with these stats, business owners still under-utilize the power of referrals.
This article will show you 8 ways to get referrals from customers. 8 guaranteed ways to get people talking about your business.
Getting referrals from your customers will mean the following things for your business:
We will cover 8 ways you can get referrals from your customers. We’ve divided them into two groups:
Direct effort involves directly asking customers to refer your business to their friends while indirect effort involves creating an environment that encourages your customers to talk to other people about your business.
Let’s get this one out of the way. The easiest and usually cheapest way to get referrals from customers is by simply asking. Happy customers will often pay you compliments about your product/service but they are likely to forget about you immediately after. This is the best point for you to convert their satisfaction into an advertisement for you. Ask customers to talk about you to their friends or social circle. You can do this in person or via email/messaging depending on how you communicate with your consumers.
You’ve seen this countless times. You’ve probably seen it a number of times today alone. In today’s influencer society, gaining access to the audience that these influencers have can go a long way for your business. Influencers often have very loyal fanbases. These fans value the opinions of the influencers they follow. They will go to the restaurant the influencers like and avoid the ones they don’t. Partnering with people who have a large following can help your business greatly and it doesn’t have to cost you.
Send a sample of your product to an influencer as a gift and usually the quality of your product will do the rest for you. Influencers tend to share products they like and if they like your product, they will share it too. Here’s an example.
Referral programs are one of the most popular ways to ask for referrals and this is because of how effective and actionable they are. Referral programs are direct converters for your business. These programs offer rewards to customers for referring your business. Here’s an example of a referral reward program offered by Bolt (Ride-Hailing App).
If you read Zikoko or other media websites, you might have noticed buttons like the ones in the image below.
Sharing on social media is part of the experience of using these blogs. You can do the same with your business. Shares on social media is a great way for people to talk about your business and refer their friends. Keep this in mind when designing your customer experience and optimize for the experience for social media. Brands like Eden and Littart include shareable notes in their orders.
Is your business one that involves collecting user emails? Why not use this opportunity to convert their friends as well. There are many templates on the internet for how to use write referral emails. Here’s an example of a referral email from Webflow (Website builder and host)
You don’t always have to ask directly to get referrals. Here are some other ways to get customers talking about your business.
Referrals might be a powerful way to get new customers but you have to earn them.
Don’t just stop at the barest minimum. Go above and beyond for your customers.
This is the image of the corporate Keke guy. He went viral for dressing up as a blue-collar worker to drive his Keke. This level of dedication to his craft got him featured on numerous news sites and tabloids. We aren’t saying you should dress differently but there’s a lesson or two to take away from this story.
Getting feedback from your customers and acting out on it communicates to your customers that their opinions matter.
Regularly collecting feedback from your customers and including their feedback into your consideration for your business is a guaranteed way to not only meet ut exceed their expectations.
Loyalty is a key factor in determining if you will get referrals from your customers or not. Your most loyal customers are likely going to be the ones that refer you. Creating a loyal program that rewards your customers gives them something to talk about which directly acts as a referral for your business. Here is an example of a loyal program ran by the biggest Coffee chain in the world
Referrals are a great way to get customers to notice and patronise your business.
For more on how to get new customers, read this comprehensive guide for new businesses.