Incentivize Customers to Make Referrals
True advocates will make referrals on their own. “Official” advocates will make them in part because they’ve been asked to (and in part because they want to).
In the meantime, it makes sense to get customers used to referring you by offering a reward each time they do. Not only does a referral scheme provide a quick and effective way to grow your business, but getting people talking about your brand – and thanking them when they do – helps to build the kind of loyalty that turns customers into advocates.
Many of the simplest referral schemes offer cash rewards, or credit to use with the company.
Uber offers ride credit to each user who refers a friend (the friend gets credit too).
Drivers can earn cash both for referring new riders and new drivers. When a referred driver completes their 10th trip, the driver that referred them gets $100. Those drivers also earn $5 each time a rider they referred takes their first ride.
Keep in mind that product upgrades and even cold hard cash might not be the best incentives for your customers.
“Incentives don’t always equate to money,” says Casey Armstrong, Director of Marketing, Content + SEO at Big Commerce. “Try to figure out what motivates your advocates. It might be money, but it might be something else like thought leadership or notoriety as an innovator.”