13 Best Refer a Friend Marketing Ideas

One of the best ways to get new leads through your door is to have people refer their friends to you. It’s a small way for people to help their friends feel special, but it’s only going to happen if you can provide someone’s friends with the same value that you gave them. If you’re unable to deliver consistency, then your customers will be unable to deliver any friends to you and that means your customer base will struggle to expand.

The good news is that refer a friend marketing is almost cost-free and the returns can be tremendous! Here are some proven ideas that can help you get started on your own marketing plan.

Best Refer A Friend Marketing Ideas

1. Print Coupons Up
Coupons that help people save money and extend the same offers to their friends will allow you a basic, yet effective way to expand your customer base. The discount is considered to be valuable, so deliver on that perception with real value through your goods and their friends will likely take coupons to give to their other friends too.

2. Focus On the Best
Your best customers make for a fantastic starting point for a marketing program, but how can you replicate these rare people? You can do it by focusing on their demographics so that you specifically target that core group with their referral program. Get more people like your best people and you’ll grow through a strong refer a friend marketing plan.

3. Offer Something Great
People will come to see your business all the time if you just offer them an incentive to come. You don’t have to give everyone an iPad to make that happen. Even just the chance to enter into a free drawing for an iPad is valuable enough and you can offer this chance whether they buy something from you or not. Once you get them through your doors, however, you’re almost guaranteed a sale because people tend to fee guilty about not buying at least one thing if they’ve stopped by.

4. Award Your Most Successful
People like to earn stuff just as much as they can win stuff so offer them this opportunity. Provide awards for those that have the best referral rates. It could be cash back, free products, or other superior discounts or prizes that will provide people with the desire to get customers through your door.

5. Let People Double Up Their Savings
When people can save more than usual, then they’ll be more likely to stop by your business. When you extend these extra discounts to friends and acquaintances, you’ll have even more potential opportunities. Whether you double up on the coupons you’ve already printed or you extend a certain privilege to friends of customers for a day or two, you’ll create a buzz that will have people want to investigate.

6. Use Business Cards In a Fresh Way
When customers feel like they’re lucky, then they’ll feel like they can do anything. With a business card drawing, you don’t need to print up entry forms AND you’ll get contact information that will let you follow-up to see how that person’s experience was. To get these business cards handed out, offer a prize that’s above and beyond what you normally would. Give added valuable by allowing that person’s friends to receive a special discount if you draw their card too.

7. Reward Your Employees
Your employees love good incentives too so reward them when they bring in people they know to your business. Offer them financial bonuses for customers that mention them by name or bring in certain certificates that you printed up for your people to hand out. Customers like it because you might offer a good discount and what employee doesn’t like earning more cash?

8. Engage Your Online Audience
One of the easiest ways for people to refer friends to your business is through an online review. Those reviews work to establish your reputation and will provide strangers with information that they can trust. If someone takes the time to give you a good review, then return the favor and take the time to give that person a solid discount the next time they come in.

9. Let Social Media Work For You
Visual graphics on social media are easily shared if there’s a perception of value to them. If you create a specific online discount that can be accessed and shared by people who have liked your page or followed your accounts, then you can create a viral message that may have lots of people coming through your door. Best of all, it takes maybe 5 minutes to create new graphic with a solid discount and then post it online.

10. Be Flexible
If you allow your discounts to be flexible, you’ll encourage more people to use them. Don’t be rigid with your refer a friend program. Instead try to fine-tune your approach so that you can maximize its strengths and minimize its weaknesses.

11. Don’t Be Afraid to Pull the Plug
If your refer a friend program isn’t working, then don’t keep running it. You’re better off working on a new program that will be more tempting than trying to flog more life out of a mostly dead idea.

12. Use Your Blog As An Advantage
Your blog comment section is a great place to encourage interaction and increase traffic so have refer a friend contests that center on this aspect. Create a blog post about a specific discount and then offer it to people who comment on your blog page. You can do that for Facebook likes, Twitter retweets, and Pinterest repins too.

13. Have a Customer Appreciation Day
Sometimes your customers aren’t comfortable enough to share with their friends, so give them a risk-free environment that will help them get past their discomfort. A customer appreciation day where sales aren’t the focus, but fun is can really help to spur a lot of fresh attention on your brand. Have a cookout, hold a potluck, or have a public picnic where games and prizes can be won. Do that and you’ll have lots of friends referred.

Referral Marketing Benefits