Critical to any referral program is the ability to measure results in real time as well as track, report and pay your referral partners.
Is it possible to take a DIY approach? Yes — with a capital BUT. You can do it yourself by using spreadsheets to track links and tie into some sort of customer relationship management (CRM) system, but (and here’s the but) it can quickly become complicated and time-consuming, especially when you get a lot of referral partners, need to manage custom payouts, and have multiple referral campaigns running simultaneously.
If you want to build a successful referral marketing program, your process needs to include three steps for maximum impact:
Start With a Plan
After planning your referral strategy you’ll want to ensure the registration process, links and campaign set up is working properly before going live. You’ll need a strong referral software system in place as quickly as possible so you can hit the ground running. There’s nothing wrong with trying out a system before going live, but keep it a short pilot and not an extended experiment. Without a strong tracking system, you will constantly be playing catch-up.
You build relationships of trust with your referrers when they know they can count on you to track accurately, so your system also must ensure the right referrers get credit for clicks and customer activity. The relationship between you and your referrers is paramount because your referrers are the heart of your business.
Going along with that relationship is the importance of rewarding your referrers quickly. If you’re just starting out you may feel like you can do this manually. While that might be true right now, it’s still a lot of minutiae — and it’s just going to grow.
Consider how your time is best spent. Without automated tracking, you will be constantly looking backward trying to connect the dots. Using software that tracks referrals for you means you can better use that time planning more ways to generate revenue.
Using the right technology from the get-go is a worthwhile investment that can eliminate headaches before they even happen. The right tech tools can give you a window into what you’re making and help you respond quickly and with max impact to the changing market.
Putting It All Together
The easiest way to bring together all these critical elements is with a strong tracking system like LinkTrust that helps you build relationships and reward referrers quickly. LinkTrust is has been an industry leader since 2002 because of its accuracy, rock-solid technology, and longevity in the referral software space. It helps your referral program take off immediately, integrates with your CRM, and easily automates the drudgery of tracking customer activity and assigning the right payment to the right referrers.