10 Actionable Marketing Strategies to Get More Referrals

May 18, 2022 Mario Stewart


Did you know that a customer referred by a friend is four times more likely to purchase a non-referral customer? Referrals are the holy grail of marketing; getting multiple customers from your existing customers is the entire idea. Referral customers are not easy to get, mainly because the person referring a buyer is putting their reputation on the line for your business. That’s a lot to ask, even from a friend.

Referrals are earned. The good thing is, there are several methods that can raise your chances of earning a referral.

Create a rewards program

We all know the saying, scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours. We live in the information age; your customers know how valuable a referral can be to your business. The most efficient way is to make it worth their while. If you can offer a coupon for a referral, take advantage of that. The reward does not even have to be to the referring customer; it can be to the person they refer. An example would be asking your buyers to send someone they know who could benefit from your product a coupon. There is no one-size-fits-all reward program. You should test different reward program structures to determine which approach works best for your business and customers.

Ask buyers to send you referrals

Seriously. Ask them. When a successful purchase has been made, put in your request on the thank you page. Someone who has just checked out and paid for your product is likely to be feeling good about your business; do not let that emotion go to waste. Placing your request on the post-purchase page could make it sixteen more times shareable. Putting in a request prompts the buyer to evaluate whether they should refer someone. The request could inspire the buyer to check mentally if there is someone who might benefit from your product.

Create Beautiful Packaging

Every person walking around with a smartphone is a potential content creator. People want to save memories, capture moments, and sometimes show off their talents. Why do you think social media is that powerful and addictive? People crave validation and attention from others. Are your products and services awe-inspiring? Start with the packaging. A quick look at YouTube will reveal thousands of unboxing videos. Make it easy for the buyer’s audience to ask “where did you get that?” It will cost more to create beautiful packaging, but that investment could pay for itself multiple times in referral buyers.

Content Marketing

Content is perhaps the most enduring marketing product that a business can have. Content includes blog posts, articles, videos, graphics, and social media posts. When you make a piece of content that is shareable, the existing buyers will be happy and proud to associate themselves with you. Have you thought about having a free photographer at your event? Make it easy for your buyers to get content they can share on your behalf. When you create content and share it widely, it’s almost like sending out soldiers to go and capture connections for you.  There are countless photographs from red-carpet events like the Met Gala, the Oscars, and the Grammys. That is  effective marketing, yet the organizers do not create any of that content. You may not be at the status of the Grammys, but there are many accessible ways through which to achieve high-quality content, including hiring professionals to develop it for you.

Give Referrals to Others

You attract what you are. You stand to earn referrals if you aren’t shy about referring others. Businesses have supply chains. There are people in your supply chain that provide your great services and products. Do not hesitate to refer clients to them. While you should not expect reciprocity, your actions will not go unnoticed. The businesses might want to repay your actions by sending referrals your way.

Superior Customer Service

83 percent of customers are willing to refer a business if they enjoy a positive shopping experience. Offering an enjoyable and memorable shopping experience creates a positive association with your brand. Also, it is less risky for a customer to refer another person if they had a positive experience. Remember, the customer who referred you is putting their reputation on the line for your business.

Pay Attention to the Millennials

Among all age groups, a Nielsen survey found that millennials are the most likely to trust referral advertising. A whopping 85 percent of millennials reported that they trust referral advertising. For comparison, 83 percent of Gen Z responded similarly, and only about 79 percent of Boomers responded the same. Millennials spend over $2.5 trillion annually, with 90 percent of the millennials being employed. Additionally, millennials are set to become the wealthiest group when they inherit the Boomers’ wealth.

Exceed Expectations

Exceeding expectations will wow your clients and make you memorable. Even better, it will leave your customers with a feeling of debt; they will feel they owe you gratitude, at the least. Now, leverage that feeling by asking for a referral and you are well on your way to creating a snowball effect.

Engage Your Existing Customers

Whatever you do, please don’t leave your buyers lonely. Build a community around your brand by engaging with your buyers regularly. A good way would be through a newsletter. Again, you don’t have to develop the newsletter yourself because there are service providers who can do that for you.

Align With Your Buyers’ Values

Today, a purchase is more than just a pursuit of convenience and utility; it’s also an affirmation of identity. Aligning with your buyers’ values makes you one of them. As a member of their circle, it is only natural that they refer other buyers to you.


Referrals can help your business’ reach grow exponentially at a relatively low cost. If you found this article useful, implement the points and share them with friends. Need some effective marketing strategies? EMRG Media’s Marketing Department has over twenty years of experience. Contact them today!

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