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Get More Traffic: Master the Customer Referral Program

Most websites receive visitor traffic (and new business) the same way on the Internet - search engines, social media and email.

For millions, these are the primary drivers of both new and returning visits and in almost every case they provide a great deal of activity. There is another way to generate additional website traffic and it often goes unnoticed among digital media professionals - customer referral programs.

In a 2016 survey conducted by Harris Poll, 82 percent of people say they seek recommendations from friends and family when considering a purchase.

Recent research from Amplifinity suggests that the most effective method (the highest conversion rate) for a current customer to refer a potential customer to a business is a verbal recommendation. That's not easy to do on the Web, of course, but there are many ways that websites can present and foster the referral opportunity among their visiting users and existing customers.

The most common referral methods employed by those surveyed by Amplifnity are lead forms (77 percent use them), email (73 percent), verbal (54 percent), social media (50 percent), shareable URLs (41 percent), and print cards (18 percent). The highest volume of referrals however came from social media (29 percent) and email (23 percent). Verbal referrals had the best conversion rate of any referral method (32 percent of referrals lead to sales); lead forms rank second (19 percent), and email ranks third (17 percent).

The Amplifinity research also revealed that among current customers who make referrals, 61 percent make only one referral per year, on average, and 34 percent make 2-10 referrals per year. The most popular incentive for referrals is gift cards (52 percent of businesses surveyed offer them); checks rank second (29 percent).

As anyone that has researched customer referral software solutions can attest, there is quite a bit of overlap in terms of how these offerings are positioned. For the most part, however, they concentrate on helping brands drive greater awareness and activity from users by collaborating with influencers, advocates and affiliate marketers.

Take a look below for a few of the leading solutions available today. Did we miss one? Let us know what customer referral software solution you're using and what you like about it by sharing a comment below!

  • Ambassador

    One of the leading solutions on the market, Ambassador offers a long list of features ideal for medium to large enterprises looking to invest heavily into the practice of referral marketing. Pricing starts at $800/mo.

  • Referral Candy

    A referral software solution designed with Internet retailers in mind, Referral Candy quickly made a name for itself among digital marketers thanks to its ease of use and rich featuer set. Pricing starts at $25/mo.

  • Extole

    Another popular referral solution for those interesting in digital advocacy programs is Extole, which provides solutions for retail, loyalty and membership programs and lead generation efforts.

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