This article first appeared November 14, 2011.
A few years ago I started to notice a very strange thing whenever I asked an entrepreneur where most of their sales leads came from – the almost invariably gave the same answer.
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“Oh, it’s mainly word-of-mouth for us,” the entrepreneur would say. “It’s great. Our customers refer us to other customers and we don’t pay a cent for marketing.”
I always smile nicely and tell them how wonderful they are. But to me, it all sounds very haphazard.
If that’s the marketing strategy you are pinning your hopes on, you’re in a bit of trouble because you probably have no idea how, why and even when it works.
But there is a way to formalise and track word-of-mouth marketing and that’s by using a referral campaign.
Under this model, customers who refer you to new customers get some sort of incentive (it could be a spotter’s fee or a discount) for passing your details along.
Yes, there is a cost to this, but you will be able to get some control over how word-of-mouth actually works.
For example, you might wish to reward repeat referrers in extra ways if they are particularly successful.
Get it done – today!