Direct mail and referral programs are a marriage made in heaven! Plenty of big companies know that too.There are very few traditional marketing methods that are better suited to leveraging for referrals than your direct mail campaigns. Here is how you can get more referrals every time you send out a direct mail piece.
If you offer a referral incentive, print it on your direct mail pieces. Offer a discount or a reward, and have people fill in their name and contact number before passing the information on to a friend or family member. If you offer B2B products or services, you can do the same thing, by offering customers a percentage discount on their purchases for referring paying customers to you.
Social media is one of the best referral methods out there too. Refer customers to an offer online, and request that they like and share it to qualify. Your offer will show up in all of their friends and families feeds.
Send Out Gift Cards
When your direct mail piece includes a gift card or gift certificate, you automatically encourage referrals. Even if the recipient does not need your product or service, they are likely to pass the saving on to someone they know.
Collaborate With a Non Profit
Why not get referrals and help a local nonprofit or charity organization? Offer to make a donation or perform a service for a deserving organization every time someone tell you that they have been referred to you. The best way to do this is to have them pass on the direct mail piece, and to have the customer present it to you.
Publicize Your Affiliate Program
If you are taking advantage of the marketing potential that an affiliate program offers individuals or companies the opportunity to market your products or services on their website or elsewhere, then your direct mail pieces could be the ideal place to recruit more people for that marketing platform.
This last one does not include any incentives or payouts. All it requires is sincerity and the forethought to just ask. Include a line on your direct mail pieces that requests that if the reader cannot use your products or services, they pass it on to someone else. If you are going to be personal though, then be personal. Try to reserve this kind of direct request to addressed mail that you send to existing customers, who can genuinely provide a testimonial of your services or products.
The Social Proof is in the Pudding
The truth is, even today in the world of likes and tweets, of e books and affiliate programs; a big part of marketing is personal. Whether it is you getting in front of your customers personally, or figuring out how to get their friends or family to do it for you, the power of the referral is still just as strong as it always was.
Consumers need what is known as social proof (the approval of their peers or colleagues) before they make a purchasing decision, and if that proof is a referral from someone they trust, then so much the better.