Welcome to ReferralHero, the most hopping party in town. Kick off your shoes, grab a tall glass of refreshing referrals, and dance your marketing woes away.
Like any good party, a key factor in a successful referral program is gifts! Sure, not every get-together needs them, but they certainly add a little spice.
Referral gifts are a CRAZY GOOD way to get your customers excited about referring their friends, family members, and maybe even strangers to your business.
The right gift can spark interest, up engagement, and encourage brand loyalty like never before.
But remember: not all gifts are created equal. Choosing your referral gifts and getting them to your customers is an art form.
So consider me your Bob Ross, because I’m about to take you on a ride to learn everything you need to know about referral gifts and how to use them to give your referral program a boost!
What Is A Referral Gift?
Before we go all in with utilizing referral gifts like a pro, we should take a step back and figure out what we’re talking about.
So what exactly is a referral gift?
Put simply, It’s a reward given to anyone who refers a new customer to your business.
It’s a great way to create brand loyalty and get people excited to spread the word about your products or services.
But wait, there’s more! A referral gift is also a great “thank you” to the customers-turned-ambassadors who have contributed to your success.
This might look like a free product or service, exclusive access to an event, limited-edition items, and more!
The goal is to offer something that will be meaningful and relevant to your target audience while providing an incentive they won’t find anywhere else.
Benefits of Referral Gifts
Referral gifts are a stellar way to show your customers that you appreciate their loyalty and support.
But let’s be honest, you’re not just looking to give back to your customers for fun.
There are several spectacular benefits to having a strong and memorable referral gift in place!
One of the biggest perks is perceived value.
Think about the last time you received a gift. Chances are if it was a full gift rather than a gift card or cash, you were more attached to it.
This is because it showed an understanding of who you are as a person.
That good feeling extends to your customers when they receive a gift from you!
This means that sometimes you can end up spending less on gifts than monetary rewards and still make an impact.
It’s also been proven that a strong referral program and gift can boost customer retention, and sales.
Your customers will feel valued and excited about your brand, which will keep them coming back for more!
Another bonus is that these gifts can help spread the word about your business by starting conversations.
“Where did you get that cool bag?”
“Oh, just from the best realtor in town!”
The more reasons people have to bring up your company, the more customers you’ll bring in.
Challenges of Referral Gifts
As powerful as referral gifts are, no strategy is perfect.
There are a few issues that can come from offering gifts.
Even if you’re smart about what kind of gift to offer, it can still become costly - especially if you need to factor shipping costs in.
Decide ahead of time how much you’re willing to spend and stick to it.
When you’re offering and promising physical rewards, tracking referrals becomes significantly more important.
The last thing you want is a customer not receiving a gift they earned, or to send a gift unprompted.
Working with a tool like ReferralHero takes care of this issue by automating the tracking process and letting you focus on providing value to your happy customers.
Referral Gifts vs Monetary Incentives
Just like other forms of gift-giving, it can be tempting to opt for cash.
Lots of businesses offer monetary incentives like discounts, coupons, gift cards, or even a set amount of money.
These kinds of gifts are easy to track, which might make them sound like the better option.
However, they don’t always create the same level of emotional connection that referral gifts do.
Gifts provide a tangible reminder of your company and its values that your customers can cherish long into the future.
They are far more likely to remember who gave them that sick tee shirt than a $20 gift card.
How To Get Started With Referral Gifts
So you’ve landed on offering a gift as the reward for your referral program. AWESOME!
Now comes the hard part - creating your plan.
Choosing the right gift can be a challenge. You want to find something meaningful, but cost-effective.
Here are some things to consider:
- Customer Interests - You know your customer base. You understand what gets them excited and what they’ll appreciate.
- Relevancy - Tie your gift back to your business with branding or an industry-relevant product.
- Simplicity - The last thing you want is to overwhelm your customers with complicated processes or too many options.
- Exclusivity - Make sure they can’t get this item anywhere else. Exclusivity is a huge selling point, as people walk away with a cool gift AND bragging rights.
- Memorability - Ideally, your gift will be used for years to come. Something that gets discarded after a few days isn’t going to keep people coming back for more.
Once you've chosen the perfect gift, it's time to set up your system for delivering them.
Here are some tips on how to do this:
- Automate The Process - Again, you do not want anything getting lost in the shuffle. Automation can eliminate errors and free up your team’s time.
- Make It Easy For Customers - People don’t want to jump through hoops. If your process is simple, it’s way more likely to get used.
- Make Sure You Follow Up - Let your customers know that you appreciate their referral and make sure you thank them for their efforts. This is often overlooked, but can be powerful in encouraging repeat referrals.
With these things in mind, you’ll have people rushing to refer you in no time.
Referral Gift Examples
Coming up with ideas for gifts is hard. Here are a few examples to get the ball rolling.
Having a stylish, pithy logo or slogan printed on a shirt, bag, or mug is a great way for people to show off how passionate they are about your company.
This is especially true if you can make the design something they would be excited to sport.
Why It Works
Every time they use the gift, people will remember your brand. It also doubles as advertising to get them talking about you with their friends even more!
If it’s something they’ll use again and again, you can guarantee that you’ll be a part of their lives for years.
If your company is focused on social good, making a donation could be a great way to make your customers feel like they’re doing good in the world.
Planting a tree for each referral, donating school equipment, or simply making a monetary donation in their name is a unique and exciting way to incentivize referrals.
Why It Works
People are excited to support companies that share their values!
While it may not be a physical item that they can hold on to, the joy that comes from knowing you’ve made a difference in the world will create a strong sense of loyalty to your brand.
You’ve heard it before - buy experiences, not things.
Offering your customers tickets to events like concerts or sports games, signing them up for a class, or even planning your own kick-butt event will get them super excited to bring in referrals.
Why It Works
The memories from a stellar experience will last even longer than a cool mug.
As an added bonus, people are likely to post about their awesome night out, acting as even more advertising for your company!
Referral Gift Best Practices
Now it’s time to paint. Everyone starts with a few mistakes, but with some tips from experts like me, you can turn those into happy little trees.
Tip One: Make It Timely
You need to put some thought into when your gifts will be activated.
If the customer receives it right away after the referral, this is going to build up some momentum!
If you must wait until later to give a gift, consider some other way to boost dopamine immediately after the referral, like a smaller gift or discount code.
Tip Two: Offer Flexibility
While having too many options can be an issue, giving people a little bit of say over what they receive means that everyone is happy with the experience.
Think about offering color options or a choice between a gift and a discount.
Tip Three: Promote Your Program
People can’t participate in what they don’t know about.
Let customers know about your referral program by including details in emails and social media.
A strong flyer or webpage can do wonders for exposure.
Tip Four: Track Referrals
I can’t stress enough how important this is.
Not only do you need to know when to reward people, but you need to be able to monitor how well your program is working.
ReferralHero has instant reporting that allows you to show any and all stakeholders just how powerful your referral gifts are.
The Bottom Line
The perfect gift will not only get people excited about referring your company but will also boost their loyalty to your brand.
It’s a powerful tool that doesn’t need to break the bank.
With the right incentives, your referral program can easily bring in customer relationships that last a lifetime.
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In just 14 days, we help you build the same waitlist, contest, or referral program used to launch and scale Airbnb, Uber, PayPal, and 1000s of other businesses. Start your ReferralHero free trial today.