Referrals are amazing things. I have witnessed the power of referrals first hand with my wife. She is an excellent shopper and is the ultimate deal finder. Routinely she shops on websites for things like gifts, clothing, housewares, etc. When she buys these low-cost items, she naturally needs to share in this triumph with a friend. Her friend will then gush over her purchase, sign up as a member of whatever website and my wife will earn points, cash, or more junk……ahem, I mean precious, valuable things. This is not unusual; it is the norm. Adding an incentive for your customers so they can reward themselves for being your advocate helps build a business.

Referral tips from the pros

If you are interested in starting a referral program you may want to read this article from Kiss Metrics, it’s a good post. It contains some great tips about starting a referral program for your own business. Items like gaining trust, which is one of the most critical pieces of the e-commerce puzzle are discussed at length.

Differentiate yourself from the crooks

There are unfortunately too many fraudsters out there – and enough sketchy web-stores doing illegal things with the information they receive from customers – that many online customers only shop on the “big” e-commerce outlets to feel safe. That’s not always where the best deals are, it is is NOT where your business is! One way to combat this is by spreading the word about reputable sites, like yours that are responsible with their customer’s sensitive information. This is where referral programs can help. If you have a proper referral program set up with customers and add the right incentives, you will witness the marketing power of word of mouth. If you are in a referral chain with other trusted businesses it also helps your reputation, so if it’s possible to connect with another website to pass business to each other – do it.

Think before you establish an affiliate or referral program

Another great tip is to be smart about the incentives you include in your referral program. Whether you give discounts, points, cash back, or specific merchandise, please make sure it’s something you can afford to do, as in, if 500 people joined your program tomorrow you should be able to make good on your promise without going out of business. It’s all a matter of smart projections and decisions. So take the time and find some ways to make great deals, and then make sure it’s easy for prospects to see the items you really make money on. Alternatively, if you are providing a service and not merchandise, make sure the time you commit isn’t going to push your profitable projects back, or take you away from making real money. Referrals are a bit easier in the service industry if your service is outstanding, so make sure you’re on top of your game before setting up the referral program.

Final tip!

Did you know, that after 14 years, TaskerPayment Gateways.com is still significantly referral based? Many of our customers find us online, but many others hear about us through other merchants, their web developer, or even through a friendly competitor who thinks we may be able to place a high-risk, or hard to place payment gateway client for them quickly, and painlessly.

Contact us anytime to learn more about high-risk payments and e-commerce solutions.