Secrets to Acquiring New Customers with Referrals


Word of mouth advertising is one of the most valuable forms of advertising.  The reason is simple– we trust our friends.  Scan your Facebook feed, how many of your friends are asking for suggestions on a good place to eat in the city?  Or maybe which cell phones are best for international travel?  We trust the people we know, and have confidence in their ability to select good companies to do business with.  So when they tell us to go to that great little Thai restaurant, we’re more willing to try it because it comes with a trusted opinion.

Make the Offer Enticing

Your business can acquire new customers and delight existing ones with a well-implemented customer referral program.  The offer must be enticing for both the person referring your business and their connection.  One excellent example of an effective customer referral campaign is Just Add Ice Orchid’s celebration of 30,000 Facebook likes.  Users entered a contest, and Just Add Ice Orchids selected 10 entrants to receive a free orchid.  In addition, each of those 10 winners chose 2 friends who would also receive a free orchid. Those 2 friends may love their new flowers, and then choose to purchase from Just Add Ice Orchids in the future.  And then they may recommend it to a friend.  It continues from there, and spreads the word of mouth advertising.  For an added benefit, this also builds brand awareness!

Promote Your Customer Referral Program

When launching a campaign to build customer referrals, it’s important to promote your referral program.  Some effective ways to do this include links to the offer from your company website, social media posts, blog posts linking to the offer, and an email campaign.  Be brief and concise, you want to make it as quick and easy for the customer to participate as possible, so they are more likely to engage with your customer referral program.

Be Relevant

By being relevant, you will see more participants in your customer referral program.  If Halloween is approaching and you own a specialty food store, you can craft your program around Halloween party snacks.  By offering $10 worth of specialty candy corn to a customer and a friend, you will bring that customer as well as their friend to your store.  They will pick up their free candy corn, and while they’re there they may also purchase other products to compliment the candy corn, since they are shopping with the intent of purchasing great items for their Halloween party.  While in your store, they may also see a great pretzel dip for their upcoming football party.  By offering that promotion, you will bring 2 customers to your store for every 1 that participates in the program, and give them a specific reason to shop.