ShareSomeFriends Blog

Strategy: How to Get 20k Referral Leads in 30 Days

How do you get 20,000 referral leads in 30 days?

This goes back to how ShareSomeFriends was started.

We were a 2-man team at the time doing marketing and consulting for a bunch of different businesses. We had one client that is a trip organizer. They get a massive volume of college kids to travel across the world and to learn about different cultures. It’s truly a phenomenal trip.

They asked us: can you help us get more participants?

We said, heck yeah. 

We started coming up with ideas and we realized that everything we came up with was wrong. For one simple reason: every college kid lives in their smartphone. 

You got YouTube, Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook Messenger. Most people are on their smartphones throughout the day, especially the 12-35-year-olds. 

So what did we need?

We needed a smartphone app that would be able to:

-Connect with the customer’s contact list
-Allow the user to select which friends/family/co-workers they would want to invite
-Easily send a list of all the referral leads to the business

BOOM. 

We created a simple version of this app back in 2016 and we set out to meet every single group that season. We met with 40 tour groups in 1 month, got 800 of them to use the app, and received 20,000 referrals.

That’s 25 referral leads per participant!

Absolutely incredible.

What were the steps that we took to get there? Let me share them with you.

Step 1 – Communicate with your customers

After you create your account and start a campaign you have to communicate this new referral program to your customers. There are different ways to do it depending on what type of business you are.

If you are a trip organizer/conference/event – gather all of your participants in one spot and tell them about the app. Ask them to download it and select the friends that they would think most value the program. Do this towards the end of your event so your participants get a chance to enjoy your event before their circle.

If you are an online business – use your regular marketing channels to communicate the referral program with your customers. You can send an email blast, send out an update on social media, or DM your favorite customers.

If you are a physical business – you can use banners, posters, or simply talk to your customers as they come in. PRO TIP: hand out small cards with instructions on them about how to use the app and how your referral program works.

 

Step 2 – Offer awesome rewards

Rewards are key. People want to know what they are getting for helping you.

In the example of the trip organizer, we actually handed out $5 Amazon gift cards to each person and gave out several per person depending on how many people they referred to us. Amazon is awesome so people really liked that and were motivated to refer more people.

 

amazon-gift-card

Step 3 – Be smart about outreach & retargeting

There are a million different ways to outreach to your referral leads once you get ’em right? The best way is to always call them first – you want to make a good impression and you want to add your personal touch.

Here are other ways that we found truly helpful:

  • Text messaging – You can set that up through the app that every referral gets a message from the person that referred them (your customer) with a blurb and a link to your business
  • Push notifications – Send a message to all of your ambassadors asking them to refer more people and check in with their existing referrals
  • Social retargeting – plug-in your referral emails and phone numbers to create similar audiences on Facebook and run ads.

For our comprehensive guide to all the ways you can outreach to your referral leads check out – the 11 Ways to Convert Referral Leads.

Step 4 – Reward your top ambassadors

Free stock photo of landscape, fashion, man, couple

You have to reward your top talent. 

In our case, we gave out more Amazon cards to the people that referred more leads to us. The more they referred the more $$$ they got.

You can do the same thing for your business. It doesn’t matter what the reward is, you can always up the game for your top ambassadors. And let’s face it, they deserve it.

The more referrals leads you get the more you can grow your business.

Recap

Businesses that want to win and grow, need to have a strategy to get referral leads. Capitalize on word-of-mouth by creating a referral program that is simple to use. We believe that ShareSomeFriends is the simplest way to get referral leads on the planet.

Top 3 Reasons Why We’re Awesome: 

-Users don’t have to login or register
-Easily communicate with your ambassadors and leads (text messages & push notifications)
-Easily export your referral leads through our CRM

What referral tools are you currently using for your business? And how is it going? We would love to hear your experience, leave us a comment below!

Ben Kazinik is a marketing manager for ShareSomeFriends, a referral app and lead management platform. He enjoys hiking, cooking, soccer, and visiting his family around the world. Email me at – ben@sharesomefriends.com or connect on my LinkedIn.

11 Ways to Convert Referral Leads

Everyone knows that referral leads are gold. You don’t have to take our word on that, check out these statistics:

 

  • 92% of consumers trust referrals from people they know – Nielsen
  • Consumers rely on word-of-mouth 2x to 10x more than they do on paid media – BCG
  • Word of mouth referral programs increase effectiveness of marketing by up to 54% – MarketShare

 

Powerful, right?

Anything you do in your business can become more effective by 50% if you use referral marketing. Setting up a referral program is just the first step in the process. The next thing you need to do is to convert those referral leads into happy customers.

Don’t worry, you don’t have to wreck your brain and try to figure out what to do. We’ve compiled the most comprehensive list of all the different ways to convert referral leads.

1. Call them

Let’s start with the obvious. If you have phone numbers then you need to pick up the phone and call them all. This is the best chance for you to spark a conversation, talk about your business, and make a good first impression.

This is probably the most overlooked step, this is why we started with it. So many business owners get busy or overwhelmed with their day-to-day duties that they don’t find the time to call these golden referral opportunities.

People also think that if I just send them a text or email or hit them up on social with some auto-DM then I won’t even have to talk to them and they will just come and sign up.

If Gary Vaynerchuk can do it, so can you.

 

old-school-cold-calls-attract-customers-gary-vaynerchuk

2. Create an Outbound Email Campaign

Depending on how you get referral leads you might or might not get their email addresses. It totally depends, but in case you do, there are a variety of ways you can target those people and convert them into customers.

One of my favorite ways is to create a drip campaign that automatically sends an email every few days. As soon as the person replies than the drip campaign stops. This is a super effective way to get someone’s attention without annoying them afterward. I like to use MailShake for this one, It’s a super simple tool developed by Sujan Patel, a master marketer and growth hacker.

 

mailshake cold emails outbound home page

 

3. Automatically send a text message to every single referral

Another great way to get your referral lead’s attention is by sending them a text. You can actually send a large number of texts at once. You can use things like Texedly or Eztexting to send mass messages to your referral leads.

 

textedly mass text messages

 

You can actually send texts to all of your referrals through the ShareSomeFriends app, but you have to make sure that you are in the same country as your referral (so this is less effective for international campaigns) and it will look like it’s coming from your ambassador.

4. Send a WhatsApp Broadcast

The more advanced method of text messaging is through WhatsApp.

What’s the difference? 

You can create a list of “subscribers” and send out a Whatsapp broadcast that includes text, images, and videos. It also feels more exclusive than a text message.

This will be more effective in an international campaign, where you can send WhatsApp messages to the whole world. If you don’t know how to do this here is a list of instructions.

 

how to send a broadcast message on whatsapp

 

Ok, I get it. I can send them a text message.

What if I want to hit them up on social media? How do I find their account?

5. Find the social media accounts of your referrals

There is no tool that can help you automate this process yet but you can still do this manually. Use a tool like TruthFinder to put in a number and see all the social media accounts that your lead is using. Then you can manually friend them or DM them.

 

truthfinder - find social media account with phone number

 

Ok, let’s say you don’t want to stalk your referrals on social.

Is there a more legit way to do this?

6. Plug-in your referral phone numbers into Facebook Custom Audiences

Here is something more automated and effective that you can do with your referrals’ phone numbers.

Copy past all of the numbers into Facebook Ads and you will be able to retarget them. All you need to do is to go to Create Audience > Customer Audience > Customer File. There you can paste the numbers.

This creates a custom audience for you to work with and target in your ad campaigns. Want to learn more? Check out this article for more info.

7. Match your referral emails to social media accounts with AdRoll

If you have the email addresses of your referrals then you can target them much more effectively on social media. There are a number of great platforms that let you plug in your email addresses and create audiences for specific ads.

I like using AdRoll because it connects with a bunch of different advertising networks and can advertise for you on mobile as well as social media.

 

AdRoll advertising retargeting on social media

8. Send updates to all your ambassadors using push notifications

That’s all fine and good, but what about my ambassadors ie loyal customers? They are the ones that referred all these people, shouldn’t they get some love, care, and attention?

Absolutely! 

Using ShareSomeFriends you can send push notifications to all of your ambassadors to notify them of a new deal, to congratulate their progress, or to invite them to an exclusive hangout.

 

push notification

 

9. Content Retargeting

I added this point for all you content marketers out there. You need to make content that your referral leads and ambassadors will connect with.

No, don’t just talk about your referral program over and over again. 

You can announce new referral rewards, new ambassador rewards, new success stories. Most importantly, think of articles that will grab your referral’s attention.

If you are a gym then write an article about how to stay fit with a busy schedule. If you are marketing conference write an article about marketing. Treat your referrals as new visitors to your site and write articles that will apply to them.

Then you can text, email or send a message to them with a link to the article.

10. Posters and Banners

So old school… I know.

Posters and banners are never going away unless the whole world goes into a permanent coma. This strategy is specifically powerful for geolocalized referral campaigns. If you are targeting a specific city or neighborhood, or if you started a business and have leads from one geographical location, you should post posters and banners where those people live.

The more “impressions” your referrals get of your business the more successful you will be.

11. Offer prizes, awards, and swag

Last but not least, swag.

Every business needs some swag. You need to reward your referrals and your ambassadors with items that they would enjoy. Besides, every time they wear that sweater with your logo on it it’s free advertising.

(EXTRA) Pro Tip: Use gamification.

Gamification is making something into a game. Every time your ambassador refers a friend they should get points, and every few points they get to level up. The higher level they are the better rewards they get, the more exclusive events they could go to, you get the point. Levels are powerful because they help you translate your goals into actionable user behavior.

If your goal is to get 5 referrals for each ambassador then you can set the next level to start at 5 referrals.

Simple but powerful.

Here is a great gamification platform called Queue that you can use to gamify your referral community.

 

queue gamification platform

 

Recap

These are some of the best ways to retarget and convert your referral leads. Which ones have you already tried? And what successes have you seen? Let us know in the comments below.

Ben Kazinik is a marketing manager for ShareSomeFriends, a referral app and lead management platform. He enjoys hiking, cooking, soccer, and visiting his family around the world. Email me at – ben@sharesomefriends.com or connect on my LinkedIn.

9 Ways to Boost Conference Attendance

Let’s imagine that you just ran a successful conference – the guests were happy, the speakers didn’t mumble, the cocktails were sold out – so now what? What’s planned for next year? How do you make sure to get the great attendance another year in a row?

Conferences can be tricky. When you are dealing with a crowd of people anything can change – schedules, availability, jobs. So how do you guarantee that those same people will come again next year? Obviously, you can’t do that. You just have to promote your event all over again the next year.

Luckily we compiled a list of the best tips to boost conference attendance. So get a cup of coffee, sit on your favorite couch, and read on.

 

1. Audience surveys

 

Ask your audience what they would like. People like to give their opinion and feel like they are a part of something. You can do a pre-conference survey to see what activities people would like to do. Or you can ask people to rate your conference as it’s coming to an end. That way you will have a better idea of what people want.

 

2. Invite early and remind often

 

It’s super important to invite everyone really early. So make sure to confirm all the necessary details of the event months before it starts. You can even pop it on your site a year in advance and start selling tickets, before confirming the location. Pick a location that will have a lot of easy access, will be central or close enough to your target audience and will have some fun activities available around it.

 

3. Personalize invitations

 

We’ve all heard of email personalization. It’s so important to address your customers by name and mention something that is personal to them, that connects to them. There are plenty ways to do this:

 

  • Mention the region they live in
  • Comment on the recent sports game
  • Wish them a good holiday
  • Send them a birthday greeting

4. Don’t compete with similar events

 

Never schedule your conference to conflict with a similar event in your industry. You should look for other dates that would work better. The only exception to this is if you want to schedule your event immediately before or after that other conference. Then you will have a better chance of getting the same attendees to come next year. With a strong base of repeat customers your conference attendance will see a dramatic increase year-to-year.

 

5. Make the registration super simple

 

 

Take away the hassle of your registration process. Have as little fields as possible to fill out, and make the checkout/paying process super quick. This will increase your conversions and bring more reservations.

 

6. Have the speakers promote your event

 

In the marketing world, we call this influencers or influencer marketing. If you have invited some well-known people to speak at your conference/event, chances are that they have medium to large social media followings. Ask them to promote your event, to post it on all of their various social media channels., early and often.

 

7. Provide networking opportunities

 

Aside from all the hands-on learning, conferences are the best place to network and meet people. The best conferences out there schedule time for people to meet together in a smaller setting. Whether it’s small workshops with investors, or meet and greets, this is a super important part of your conference strategy.

 

8. The magic is in the follow-up

 

As great as your conference might be people are going to forget about it. That’s why you need to email and follow up with all of your attendees regularly throughout the year. Here are some good ideas for what to send:

 

  • Send some recordings and videos of the speakers’ events
  • Send an invitation to an exclusive Facebook group to continue the conversation
  • Send a post-conference survey
  • Send some pr, guest blog, or an article that covers the conference
  • Send an online course that you developed as a result of the conference

 

9. Use a referral app

 

Last but not least, you can use an awesome app that lets your attendees refer a select group of friends to next year’s conference. You guessed it, the ShareSomeFriends app does just that. It allows your attendees to access their phone lists and pick those friends that they think would be interested. So you can get access to thousands of qualified referral leads within minutes.

 

ShareSomeFriends takes seconds to install, is super easy to use, and has a powerful CRM on the back end that allows you to easily export all of your leads.

Ben Kazinik is a marketing manager for ShareSomeFriends, the #1 app to get referral leads for your business. I enjoy hiking, cooking, soccer, and visiting his family around the world. Email me at – ben@sharesomefriends.com or connect on my LinkedIn.

 

Reach Referrals Using Custom Audiences

So you’ve recently generated referrals using ShareSomeFriends. Great!  You have scrubbed the list and your team is now working through the qualified leads doing their utmost to turn them into new customers.

The question is: What else can you do?

Answer:  Create a custom audience using the contact information of the referrals gathered to advertise to these new leads via Facebook, Pinterest and Google Adwords .  This is an effective way to ensure your message reaches these potential customers before and after your sales team has made contact. Moreover, once you have a custom audience in any of these platforms, you can create “lookalike” or “similar” audience to serve your ads to a similar demographic.

Creating a custom audience on Facebook is quite easy. In the upper left of the Ads Manager page, click the menu icon and select Audiences. Then click Create Audience > Custom Audience > Customer File > Add customers from your own file or copy and paste data. You can use the cell phone numbers alone as the identifier that will allow Facebook to match the numbers with active accounts. Then you can give the audience a name and hit Next.

Facebook will automatically match those phone numbers with the associated Facebook accounts and you can then create an ad that targets those specific people. What’s more, you can ask Facebook to create a “lookalike” audience based on your new custom audience, a feature that might help you uncover even more business. It just takes a few minutes to create the audience and then you have an effective way to re-market to these leads. There is a minimum audience required of 200 people. Learn more about creating a Custom Audience on Facebook.

By creating a custom audience from your list of referrals, you’ve just amplified the positive impact your direct phone and SMS follow-up methods can have.

The process of creating a custom audience is similar on Pinterest. Here’s a resource article from that platform.

For Google Adwords, read this article. With Adwords, you can also create “similar” audiences which expand your reach!

All of these methods are simple to implement and help you reach your growth goals!