What is a Referral Program?
Referral program also known as “Refer A Friend” is a way through which a website or company encourages its members or users to invite friends, family members etc to join their website or use their products or services by paying them commission for every person invited.
Referral program is a method of promoting products or services to new customers through referrals, usually word of mouth. Such referrals often happen spontaneously but businesses can influence this through appropriate strategies.
It is a process to increase word of mouth marketing by encouraging customers and contacts to talk as much as possible about a website, brand or product.
Online referral marketing, using digital marketing as a platform, is the internet-based approach to traditional referral marketing. By tracking customer behavior online through the use of web browser cookies, and similar technology, online referral marketing can potentially provide a higher degree of accountability than offline models.
Offline referral marketers sometimes use trackable business cards. Trackable business cards typically contain QR codes linking them to online content for sale while providing a way to track that sale back to the person whose card was scanned.
Recent Findings About Referral Program
The Word of Mouth Marketing Association reports that every day in the United States, there are approximately 2.4 billion brand-related conversations. People frequently talk about the products and services they enjoy, and the companies who offer them.
According to the New York Times, 65% of all new business comes from referrals. That means on average, two-thirds of consumers make purchases because someone they know recommended a particular product or service.
Recent findings from Nielsen support the remarkable potential of referral program, observing that people are four times more likely to buy when referred by a friend. Strategic use of referral program allows professionals to tap into the power of consumer recommendations to achieve exceptional results.
Gains of utilizing a Referral Program
According to a study conducted by the Goethe University Frankfurt and the University of Pennsylvania, on referral programs and customer value which followed the customer referral program of a German bank that paid customers 25 euros for bringing in a new customer, was released in July 2010. According to Professor Van den Bulte, this is the first ever study published on the financial evaluation of customer referral programs. The study found that referred customers were both more profitable and loyal than normal customers. Referred customers had a higher contribution margin, a higher retention rate and were more valuable in both the short and long run.
On whether customer referral programs are worth the cost, the study says that it records “a positive value differential, both in the short term and long term, between customers acquired through a referral program and other customers. Importantly, this value differential is larger than the referral fee. Hence, referral programs can indeed pay off.”
Who employs Referral Program?
Referral program or Refer A Friend is employed by a wide variety of businesses. These strategies can be effective for websites or companies ranging from small single-owner and entrepreneur companies, to large corporations in nearly any industry. Many businesses that offer products or services can implement refer a friend campaigns.
Some types of businesses that typically employ referral marketing include:
– 65% of new business comes from referrals
– Customers are 4 times more likely to buy with referrals from friends
– Referral programs are among the least expensive marketing strategies
– Referred customers spend an average of 13.2% more than regular customers
– Retail stores
– Specialty stores
– Automotive service companies
– Airports, hotels, and travel agencies
– Health clubs and gyms
– Doctors, dentists, and health professionals
Online companies also use referral marketing. In fact, this form of marketing can be highly effective in an online environment because of the popularity of social media and sharing sites. Internet referral marketing can potentially spread faster and to a wider audience than most offline marketing strategies.
Nonprofit organizations use referral marketing strategies to increase their publicity and convince more donors to support their cause. One of the most common referral marketing strategies used by non-profits is a joint venture, where an organization partners with a for-profit company who offers a percentage of profit for each referral.
For example, through H&R Block’s nonprofit referral program, organizations receive a $25 donation for each new client who signs up for H&R Block services through the nonprofit.
What is Referral Link
A referral link is a link or url with a tracking code that lets a website owners keep track of the people you referred to the their websites, products or services. After you register on a website, your account will be automatically assigned with a unique referral link that includes a tracking code and your username on it. For example: htt://www.yoursite.com/ref=emma, some may look like this http://www.yoursite.com/ref=64532 etc..
As you may notice, their is name on the first link. That is your username (Emma), it helps them know the person was invited by you. The same is said of the second link with a number known as a code. It also works exactly like a username.
How Referral Link works
Step 1: When you register or join a website. A unique referral link will be assigned to your account. Login to your account and look for any place they mentioned Refer a Friend, Referral Program, Affiliate Program, or anything Referral etc. Click on it and it will direct you where you can know about their referral program. There you can also find your unique referral link. Some website may include referral banners as well which is mainly for people with a website.
Step 2: Copy the referral link and start sharing it to your friends mainly on social network sites such as Twitter, Facebook etc. You can also send it through emails. Urging them to click on the link and visit the site to get the benefit you are currently receiving. For example, you may put it this way:
“Hello friends, I think you might be interested in this. I make more than $500 per month by working online. It is very easy to do, and does not require any training. And also, it is free to join. If you are interested in joining, you may visit: http://www.yoursite.com/ref=64532 etc. to sign up now.”
You will receive commission every time a person clicks on the link to sign up, purchase or subscribe.
Referral banner is just like referral link but the only difference is that banner is made of images and can only be used on a website. You can also locate it the same way you found your referral link. Just copy the banner and post it in your’ articles or website sidebar. I suggest you post it to relevant article. That is, if your article is about weight loss, then your referral link must be from a weight loss program. Below is what a banner may look like:
There are many referral sources online. You can get referrals on each source based on the amount of time, effort and money you put into it. You can get a lot of referrals from the following sources:
– Google Adwords advert
Top 52 ways to get tons of referrals
1. Post on GPT forums.
This is a great idea, get involved in forums that are about your industry or topic and put your referral link in your signature. Don’t make the mistake of spamming the forum otherwise you will find your post deleted and most likely your account at the forum banned. What you want to do is become a part of the forum community and as more and more people read what you have to say, you will find people will start to click your referral link out of curiosity, this will lead to sign ups. Make sure you make as many quality post as possible. Below forums will be of great help.
2. Post on your blog
This is my favourite way. Here, you will need to create a blog or website and write as many posts are possible. Make sure you write related posts, for example, if you want to send referrals to a survey site or online job site, all you need to do is write a review about the site, you can also write anything related to jobs and post your referral banner on all the posts as well as your sidebar.
To create a free blog, you will need to sign up for free account at www.blogger.com or www.wordpress.com. Unfortunately, you may not be able to have full control of your blog using a free blog platform. If you are looking to have a full control of your blog or website, then you will need a custom domain at godaddy.com and then host your domain at any of Hostgator.com, Bluehost.com, Ipage.com etc. Domain name may cost you about $12 per year and hosting $3.9 per month. Every other thing is free to use. For info on how to set a blog visit How to Start A Blog
3. Google Adwords (makes website ads that link to your website or ref. link)
Using Google Adword is one of the best and fasted ways to get lots of referrals online. Although you will have to spend a little. Find yourself some long tail key words that aren’t competitive and you can find yourself gaining referrals at a cheap price. Click on Goodle Adword to set up an account and start your ad now.
4. Post your link at the end of your YouTube videos.
It only takes one of your video’s to become popular and go viral and you could have your referral link viewed by thousands upon thousands of people worldwide, really worth doing this on any video you make and upload to youtube or similar site. If you are interested in this one, visit www.youtube.com to sign up and start uploading videos
Facebook ad is another great and quick way to get lots of referrals. Here, you can create a page and set your ad to a targeted country of your choice. As you know, facebook has more than up 200 million users and still growing. Show off your ad to his people is most likely to earn you tons of referrals. To create a facebook ad, you will need to create a fan page about the product, services or website you are promoting. Click on Facebook Fan Fage to create one. And then click on boost your page to take you where you will set your ad. Fill your details, set your payment method etc and then submit.
You can also use a your Facebook account to promote your referral link. But I will advice to create a fake account using the picture of a very young beautiful lady. I noticed that a lots of Facebook users like to make friends with beautiful girls. My beautiful sister get about 20 friendship request on Facebook everyday. Imaging if you create 5 to 10 different account with pictures of beautiful girls. That can give you about 50k friends in less than a month. Then start promoting your referral link but make it look natural and don’t try to spam because you will end up losing most of them.
6.Post on Twitter
Twitter is another great place to get referrals. Create an account and follow as many people as possible, and most of them will return the favour by following too. Trick: search for related websites, products or services to the one you intend to promote and start following their users. This way, you are most likely to draw and convert their users or subscribers to yours.
Just like billboard, using a sign post in the streets and very populated area make sense as well. Having a big image of a very beautiful girl with cash in hands and a link to your site, and also list all the benefits they stand to gain if they visit, register or subscribe to what you are promoting. For example, how to make money online can attract a lot of visitors to your site especial the unemployed or stay at home moms.
8.Write a classified ad.
This is something I have seriously considered many times, advertising in your local newspaper could have some very good results, your ad will be read by thousands of people and if only 100 people of those thousands bother to check out the site you are advertising and if out of those only half sign up, then that is potentially 50 referrals you could get just for running the one ad. A friend of mine who started 2 months ago is now making $800 per month. The more I think about this, the more I think that I will give it a go.
9.Talk to students at high schools and colleges.
Absolutely go for it, if you are a teen in high school then you know exactly how much your school friends need money, if you can show them an easy and legitimate way to make money online then surely they are going to be interested and if you can follow up and show them the benefits you derive then I think you will find they would be more than willing to sign up on the spot and give it a go.
10. Write your referral url or website address on every $1 bill you get
The average dollar bill changes hands hundreds of times in its life time, if you write your site address on just 100 of your $1 bills and they each change hands 100 times each, that is 10,000 people that will have seen your referral url. Write on it “make money online here etc”.
11.Tell friends and family.
Such an easy thing to do but the most often this over looked all too often, a lot of people that don’t understand how it is possible to make money online, use a prouct or service maybe skeptical at first, but start showing them your benefits or earnings eg Check and they will soon change their tune and want to give it a go for themselves.
12. Find chat rooms and groups that have the sole purpose of “Easy Money Making” or the product and servies you intend to promote.
This is something I haven’t tried myself but it is worth giving it a go, it isn’t all that time consuming and can be fun and you most likely pick up a few tips and tricks from the chat room as well.
Some popular ones are:
13. Free traffic exchanges
There are plenty of traffic exchanges on the internet that will help in getting traffic to your site, traffic exchanges give you a credit for every site of someone else’s that you view, those credits are then redeemed for people to view your website. The bonus with this method is anyone that signs up under you will usually be a webmaster themselves and chances are they will recruit their own referrals and start to fill your 2nd tier downline.
14. Paid traffic exchanges
Don’t have time to surf other peoples sites, then you can pay a fee to have visitors sent to your site. I would be tentative in the beginning if you try this method, do your research and your testing, if the traffic exchange doesn’t work, move on and try something else, if it does work though stick with it and go for it and build your downline.
15. Rent a billboard (Approx. $8-$15 per day)
This is a great idea if you can get billboard advertising at a cheap rate and one that has a lot of traffic that will see it and read your message on a daily basis. I would suggest though if you are going to go with this then get a domain name that points to your referral link. Remembering www,yoursite.com is a lot easier then remembering www.yoursite.com/32423 the risk you take there is that your potential referral won’t type in your ref number and you lose out.
16.Go door-to-door and ask in person
If you are familiar with the people in your neighborhood then it could pay you to knock on a few doors, talk to them about your get paid to site and then offer to sign them up whilst you are there and help them get started.
17.Add your site/blog to digg, stumble upon, Bumpzee, del.icio.us, etc
This is an absolute must do for any site owner, add one or two of your articles and if it is good with a bit of luck you can find yourself with 20,000 visitors in a little under 24 hours.
18.Have a friend or network digg your site/blog to digg, stumble, etc
The more diggs you get the closer to the front page your article will be, if a couple of friends can help you out and get you a little closer to the front page then go for it, it is well worth the time you spend.
19. Get a custom made shirt with advertisement on the front and/or back
This is not as silly as it sounds, it is often we see people wearing shirts with website names on them and if you are like me then from time to time when you get home you check out the site to see what it is about. Same principal here, the more people that see your site name on your shirt will mean the more people that go home and check out your site.
20.Radio advertisement for your referral link or website.
This is certainly worth a shot if you can word an ad that piques the curiosity and gets people thinking about the site and wanting to have a look at the site to see what it is about. As you may have noticed by now, gaining referrals is all about maximizing the exposure of your ref link, site or blog.
Just like you did on radio, you can also promote your referral link using a television station. Knowing the number of people that watch television daily, this will be a great hit if it goes through.
22.Attach your referral link in your email address or signature.
This is such a simple thing to do but so many people over look it, have a think about how many emails you send out, how many times those emails are forwarded on to others and then you start to realize the viewing potential of your referral link in just your email signature.
23. Road-side signs & banners
This is an other thing that I have thought of doing many times but have never quite got around to it, that being said I think it could get you a few referrals and if you are a bit sneaky, you could make up your own sign and find a nice place that gets plenty of traffic and put the sign up free of charge.
24.Have people sign up through in order to play a fun online-game.
Did you know you can play some fun online games through some survey sites? Not many people do and this could be a different approach that you could take in your recruitment efforts. Get potential referrals interested in the games and they find the offers and surveys after they sign up, this is a huge bonus to them.
25.Put an E-book up for auction on Ebay with your blog or other website info in it.
This is a very good idea, many people purchase e-books online and from ebay, simply put your website information into your e-book and load it with affiliate links, then sell it for .99 cents or something very cheap, you will make a bit of money from the ebay sales but you will also make money from the referrals this technique will generate.
26.Send email to all your contacts, and tell them to join with your referral link.
Don’t spam, but if you are well known to all of your contacts then why not send them an email telling them about the get paid to site you are in and the money that you are earning, you will get a few people emailing you back expressing their interest and asking questions.
27.Build a huge MySpace friends list and dedicate the profile to your blog or website.
Social sites like Myspace, Facebook and Twitter are a gold mine and if you have a huge following you can quite easily get yourself a number of referrals, if you can create a successful group on Facebook and get yourself 100,000 plus members then you can imagine how much traffic you can potentially get to your blog or website.
28.Place business cards with your referral link in shopping carts.
Very good idea, the more places that you can put your business cards that people will pick them up and read them the better.
29.Put up a flyer that has your ref. link with tear off tabs on store bulletin boards.
Many people do this as I am sure you have all have seen these types of flyers in the past. If so many people do then it must work, the trick is to have a good message that interests people enough to tear off the stub and check out the site.
30. Go to the library and place business cards with referral links in books about financing, debt, home businesses, etc.
This is called ambush marketing and if done right can be very effective, don’t go overboard though and put cards in every book in the library, just a few here and there. Whilst you are at the library put a few cards on the desks as well. Make tell how much they
31. Place business cards with referral link in public restrooms.
You may laugh at this, but why not give it a go, people will read the card and that is one of the most important thing when it comes to advertising of any sort, you need people to read your message.
32.Text your link to all your friends/family.
Text a simple message such as, “check this site out” or something similar is just enough information to get someone interested enough for them to have a look at a site that you just recommended.
33. Set your in-game username to a shortened link or your referral link.
I see this all the time and usually the site name sticks in my mind, it is well worth doing this.
34.Hold up a sign on a street corner just like a car wash.
I think with this method you would need a bunch of business cards with you to give out to anybody that is potentially interested, now I got to admit I am not about to go and test out this referral technique myself but you are all more than welcome to give it a try and let me know how you go.
35. Point out that this is not a scam such as “free to sign up”, post testimonials, or “doesn’t require confidential information such as credit cards, bank account, or social security info.
A lot of people are still very reluctant to give out personal information over the internet and that is fair enough I guess, so point out the facts that other than an address there is no need to give out any other personal information to get paid.
36. Print off fake/dummy checks and leave them at heavily populated places.
Make it out to Uncle Sam for $23,000, sign it, and just below the dollar amount, put in case this check is found, please visit www.”yourwebsite”.com.
Sounds like a fun idea and could get you a few people that have a look at your site.
37. Put business cards in the credit card slots at gas stations.
This is sneaky and I think I am going to have to try it myself, make sure the cards are hanging out of the slot a bit, I’d 100% guarantee that everyone that pulls out the card will have a look at it quickly, some people will keep it others will throw it away.
38. Make business card coupons with your website or ref. link and leave at different stores with a Take One – Free sign.
This is a must do and if you can put a few flyers there as well, getting that information out to as many people as possible is what this referral game is all about
39. Buy a pack of blank CD’s and burn a run file of your website or a notepad file with a copy of your blog or ref link.
This is something I had never thought of before, but it does look professional and I think many people will if nothing else at least put the disc in their computer and have a look at what is on it.
40. Get pencils, paper, pens, magnets, etc printed with your link on them and “leave” them lying around.
You can get all sorts of stuff at Vista, not only business cards and the good thing is you do not need to buy bulk purchases you can just buy a few at a time. I’d suggest buying fridge magnets and leaving one on fridges at all your friends and families houses.
41. Start up a free online game site full of free java and flash games and embed your banner into the top of each game.
If you are into making websites then this is for you, any site that is getting traffic not only a games site, I would put a banner on the site and get yourself a few referrals it also helps making your site financially viable and helps to pay server costs etc.
42. Paint your referral link on your car and go on a road trip across America.
I wouldn’t paint the link on car, maybe purchase a magnet for the door or you can do what I have done and purchase a stencil for the back window, my back window is now a mobile advertising bill board and seen my thousands of people every day.
43. Put the link on your msn name.
Pretty easy to do and is easily seen by all of your contacts.
44. Pass out cards at a trade show.
Once again this is about getting your information out to as many people as possible.
45. Write your link on the back of a restaurant paper place mat.
Well, can’t say I have tried this or heard of anyone doing it, but if it was me at a restaurant I would try this and leaving a business card with your tip.
46. Offer to help find their first referrals after signing up under you.
Helping those that are helping you make money can be a huge incentive, offer to find a few referrals for each of your active downline members will be very much appreciated and an added incentive to work harder.
47. Write an article.
I would suggest writing many of these and putting your referral link or website address in the bottom of the post where you tell people a little about the author, a well written informative post can be well received and read by many.
48. Paint your referral link on the street
Hmm… maybe do this in the middle of the night.
49. “Brand” yourself with a familiar name on forums, articles, etc.
Absolutely do this, everything I do online is by the name adam7one a simple google search of the name comes up with 1120 results, so try and stick with the same name if you can and build yourself a respectable reputation and you will find that people will listen to what you have to say and will be more likely to sign up under you rather then someone they do not know.
50. Reserve a booth at the next festival or fair and set up a wireless laptop for demos.
What better way to get people to sign up then to literally take the site to them and showing them the benefits of the get paid to site itself, you can talk one on one and show people how to complete offers and get started and you can get them to sign up on the spot.
51. Cross-link your website, blogs, articles, posts, and classifieds.
If you have more than one site then cross linking can build up your search engine results, the more back links you can create the better.
52 Get custom-made ink-filled shoes with your ref. link embedded on the bottom so everywhere you walk, it acts like a pen and stamps your link everywhere!
Maybe this one is going just a little over board, but I reckon it would be a lot of fun.
We shall update this post with more ideas on how to get referrals so make sure to visit regularly.
If you have a website, product or service owner and want to get lots of visitors to your website, I suggest you share this: http://www.getpaidonlinesurvey.com/referral-program-how-to-get-referrals-ideas/ with your users or subscribers. Show them how to get you more referrals and make more money as well.