Referral Fire Starter Tip #6

Referral Fire Starter Tip #6: Market Your Program Creatively 

Once you’ve got the outline for a strong referral program in place, you need to start talking it up. If no one knows about it, no one is going to get excited about it. Here are some creative ways to promote your referral program:

  1. 1.    Create a section of your website. Even if you are a bricks-and-mortar business, websites are great places to send people for more information. Have a section of your website that you can direct people to, and list all the referral details. Make sure there’s a form right there that people can use to refer friends and family.
  2. Use the back of your business card. The back of your business card is prime real estate. Instead of letting it go to waste, use it to advertise your referral program. You could give details or just include a link to your referral program.
  3. Create “refer-a-friend” cards. In addition to handing out business cards, give your customers refer-a-friend cards. They could say, “Someone really likes you, and thinks you’d like us! Use this card for 20% off your next purchase.” Then have a space for the referring party to include their name so they receive credit for the referral.
  4. Use compelling language. Many cash-based businesses (real estate agents, mortgage brokers, etc.) will include, “I PAY FOR REFERRALS” on their marketing literature. If you don’t want to be that blunt, you could write something like, “Did you enjoy today’s service? Tell a friend and be rewarded. Check out our referral program at”
  5. Create a direct mail piece just for referrals. Particularly if you are revamping or launching your referral program, you may want to think about creating a direct mail postcard specifically to promote the program to your existing customers. Highlight how easy it is to participate and the benefit to them – and their friends – if they participate.
  6. Mention the referral program in person. When your customers are checking out or ending their transaction with you, remember to mention the program and ask for referrals.
  7. Add it on all marketing materials. This mention can be as simple as a line that says, “Find out how you can earn free products! Go to”

Create schwag. Inexpensive giveaways like pens, mousepads, and notepads are great places to mention your referral program’s URL. These items stay in front of them, and will keep your program top-of-mind. One note: Don’t give away junk! “Inexpensive” does not mean cheap. You’re better off investing a few more dollars in a giveaway people are going to want to use, then handing out junk that ends up in the trash.

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