Now that it’s the start of the New Year, how do you increase your chances of improving your referral numbers?

Do your contacts know you even need more referrals? If your customers don’t know about your customer referral program they can’t participate. Keeping your program highly visible and frequently reminding users about it will improve participation. But will your referral program be worth their effort?

Remember – the best opportunities to drive participation in your customer referral program happen when customers are most happy with your product and your service.

Below are some good suggestions to get more referrals.

Ask for them at the point of enthusiasm

You’re probably wondering when the best time to ask for a referral is. The answer is, when your customer, prospect or associate is at the peak of their enthusiasm — when they’re in the most positive frame of mind possible. If you exceed customer expectations and they compliment you or exclaim that what you did for them was awesome, they’re undoubtedly in a positive frame of mind. As this happens, don’t waste time — jump on this opportunity. Ask right then and there who else they know (narrow the universe if you can) who could benefit from your products or services.

Make your referral program and benefits are easy to spot

The deeper you hide your customer referral program in your app’s navigation, the less likely it is that people will find it. Keep your calls to action visible and frequent. Placing a call to action for your customer referral program at the root navigation level will result in the highest discovery rate. If you can’t do that, look for where you can place ad-like calls to action somewhere in your application. You could put a button on your website that links to an e-mail form, or you could just provide simple instructions for referrals. “If you know of anyone who might benefit from our services, please e-mail us at . . .”

Participate in co-marketing events and team up

Whether it’s a speaking engagement, seminar, webinar, or simply a marketing campaign, team up with a colleague in a complementary business and market to both client and prospect bases. Just make sure you can each provide value to the other’s base.

Write a blog post

A quick blog article about your new customer referral program is a great way to let your regular blog readers know about your customer referral program. Be sure to include in your articles the following vital elements:

  • What’s in it for your users,
  • How the program works,
  • A link to where they can join

Keep your website inviting and informative

When somebody is referred to you, the person’s next step is usually to visit your website. So it’s important to make sure you’re putting your best foot forward. Make the trip to your site worth their while – make sure you have a lot to offer, whether visually or information-wise – to your page viewers. One of the biggest website turnoffs is to go through the trouble of clicking through so many buttons, only to find nothing interesting or worth reading.