Referral and Affiliate Programs
In this second installment of ideas to help you grow your business we are going to look at two low-cost but tried and true marketing methods: referral programs and affiliate programs.
It’s Friday night, you are tired from a long week and decide to go out and grab a bite to eat. Imagine a conversation like this?
You: I’m tired and hungry. Let’s go get something to eat. Sound good to you?
Her: You bet, I’m too tired to cook. Where do you want to go?
You: I don’t know, Barry told me that the new taco joint over on Elm is pretty good.
Her: Suzi had lunch last week at a BBQ place and said the ribs were awesome. They were giving out coupons and she gave me one. It’s good for a free beer.
You: Well I could go for some ribs and a free beer. Let’s go there.
That BBQ place just outfoxed the taco joint. The owner knew it isn’t enough to make an offer to your current customers; you need to extend it to their friends and family as well. The price of a free beer is small compared to the profit on the rest of the meal. The savvy restaurant owner also knows that a happy customer will likely return. Remember the lifetime value of a customer we covered in Part 1?
So are you the BBQ place or the taco joint?
If you offer current customers a special on a pre-season check-up, be sure to leave them some coupons or cards to share with their friends, family, and neighbors. This is the most basic referral program.