ShareSomeFriends Blog

5 Proven Ways to 10X Your Student Trip or Travel Abroad Program

Imagine this: you’re a student travel or tour company and you need to get sign-ups for the next season. The next trip is a few months away and you still don’t have the minimum required number of students signed up. What do you do?

Here at ShareSomeFriends, we’ve worked with numerous student trip and group travel companies that absolutely rock. We have been able to build a few awesome marketing strategies that they use to get everyone signed up before the new college semester even starts.

Luckily we wrote them all down in this step-by-step post that will 10x your college student travel trip.

Let’s dive in.

 

1. Create engaging social media posts

 

Students are building online communities everywhere they go and you have to learn how to speak their language. It’s not enough to throw some content up on Facebook or Twitter or Instagram and assume that it will stick. Your content has to be engaging enough so that the student will want to like it and comment on it and preferably tag their friends as well.

One great way to do that is by using Snapchat geofilters. A geofilter is a template that will show up on every single image or video that’s created for your event. You can create a quick geofilter, select the area and date of your event, and all your attendees will then be able to use that filter. Here is an example from cru.com:

 

snapchat-geofilter-cru-example-student-travel-group-10x-college-student-travel

 

Another great way to engage students on social media is by using an Instagram photo booth. You can get one on Etsy for only a few dollars. It’s basically a frame that you can use to take pictures with and every photo will show your profile and name of the event.

These are great to use for a stand on campus or as a cool activity at a recruiting event. Here is an example from Etsy:

instagram booth student college trip abroad 10x college student travel

2. Social media targeting

Another great way to get more student sign-ups is through targeting students on social media. One way to do this is to join online communities of various college organizations and clubs and ask if you could post some content about your upcoming trip.

Another way to do this is by targeting all the “friends” that have engaged with your past content. Look up and send a friend request to everyone that commented and liked your posts. Reach out to the student community as much as possible, stay active on social media, comment on peoples’ status updates and posts to get more eyeballs on your page and on your content.

If you are a tour guide, a recruiter, or a manager at your student travel company you need to start your own Facebook profile. You will get more organic reach (as per the new Facebook algorithm change) by posting on your personal profile rather than your business page.

Here is an example of a post from a tour guide from International Student Tours:

student trip to scotland facebook student group travel 10x college student travel

3. Increase presence on campus

If you want to successfully recruit enough students and grow your college student travel trip it is paramount that you have a presence on campus. Students need to see you in person as often as possible. There are a couple of ways to do this:

If you are based on campus: 

Set up tables in the beginning of each semester to talk to students
Set up interactive fun events several times a year to get students involved
Post fliers and posters around the campus
Sponsor an event by a related student organization

If you are a national company with no full-time staff on campus: 

Set up a few events close together so you can come and speak to multiple groups in 1 week.
Post fliers and information before your event
Set up tables before your event
Offer a trip discount for those students that attend the event
Offer a referral discount for students that refer their friends to the trip.

 

isv presenting at university of st. thomas travel abroad student programs 10x college student travel Source: isvolunteers.org

4. Create an intern sales team

Who is going to market you better than the students themselves? A number of the organizations that we work with pick a few student alumni from their trips and hire them as interns. They sometimes pay them per hour or per student that they are able to recruit. The interns put on events, table on the campus quad, and reach out to all their friends and classmates en masse.

Here is how you combine all the marketing tips in 4 easy steps:

1. Have your interns speak to people on campus and add their names to a sign-up sheet.
2. Target the list of leads you get from your interns on social media.
3. Use Snapchat geofilters and Instagram photo booths and have your interns post the content on social media.
4. Create Facebook ads using the user-generated content that you got from your recruitment events.

 

on campus events for your student trip 10x college student travel

source: Facebook

 

5. Get referrals from the last trip

 

The most massive difference we’ve seen is when our clients use the ShareSomeFriends app to get referral leads from their trip participants. The best time to get referrals is towards the end of the trip when everyone is super excited to tell their friends about it.

Get your group of students together and ask them to download the app and select those friends that will actually be interested in going on the trip. Phrase your pitch in such a way that the group knows to invite only the qualified or interested candidates. Also, offer a cool reward like a pizza party or an Amazon gift card. If you do it right and if your trip rocks then you will get thousands of students’ names and numbers before your trip is over and you will be all set for the next season.

Here is a story of how one of our clients got 20,000 referral leads in under 30 days.

 

Recap

 

We hope you’re super excited to implement all these ideas. The one thing to remember is that you do need a marketing budget. Talk to your team and set aside some money to hire interns, to advertise on social media, and to hire a designer if you don’t already have one.

If you have any questions about our app or have any marketing tips to add to the list then 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.

 

Why Traditional Marketing is Failing Political Candidates and How to Change That

Dear political candidates and campaign managers,

Before you spend another dime on traditional ads, TV ads, banners, and hungry door-knockers, read this post. You need this urgently.

There have been some massive studies of political campaigns recently that have shown that traditional ways used by politicians to promote themselves are showing zero (that’s 0) returns. That means the traditional ways don’t lead to more votes, and there might be no connection between TV ads and votes, as one study by Kalla and Broockman suggests.

This study used data from 49 political experiments – state, local, and federal campaigns – to examine the effectiveness of various marketing tactics.

Turns out that voters are most likely to be persuaded by the traditional marketing channels (TV, banners, door-knocking) early on during the primaries, but they don’t remember the candidate once the final voting time rolls around.

Here are some of the findings:

– “If a campaign action (phone call, canvass, etc.) happens within two months of election day, the average effect on voter preferences was effectively zero” (Vox).
– 1 out of 800 people reached was persuaded by traditional marketing and outreach methods.

So what actually works?

What marketing methods still work for political campaigns?

In contrast, things like live face-to-face meetings and in-person presentations proved to be incredibly effective in creating long-term supporters. The kind of supporters that will remember a candidate on election day and actually vote for them.

A really interesting experiment was conducted by Scott Meyer when he was running for City Council in his little town in South Dakota. Scott is actually the owner of a marketing agency so he tried out a variety of marketing initiatives to get more votes.

He literally tried everything – social media ads, fliers, posters, ads in the local newspaper, social media campaigns, blog content, radio mentions, live meetings, you name it.

Scott Meyer increase outreach of political campaign

His return on investment was as follows:

  • One-on-one meetings and live events (50%)
  • Digital content (20%)
  • Digital ads (10%)
  • Signs (5%)
  • Mailers and newspaper ads (5%)

That means that:

Half of the votes in this local political campaign came from one-on-one meetings and live events, and NOT from advertisements and traditional marketing. Click To Tweet

Literally half of the success of Scott’s campaign was due to him meeting his constituents in person. But for Scott, it wasn’t just a simple meeting, he actually conducted some brilliant marketing tactics while meeting these people.

Here are a few that we wanted to talk about:

A step-by-step approach to innovating your in-person meetings and live sessions

1. Conduct live sessions and host parties

Meeting large groups of community members is a great way to leave a lasting impression and create ardent supporters. You can either make those meetings in a public place – restaurant, meeting hall, bar – or ask local community leaders to host the gathering at their homes. Each route has its own appeal. Scott found that meeting people in a restaurant gave the feeling that the campaign is larger than what it was while hosting gatherings in private homes raised more campaign contributions.

2. Meet people one-on-one on coffee dates

Meeting people one-on-one is a great tactic to get votes. This is perhaps more effective for a local election rather than a state or federal one, but in the larger elections, it’s still very crucial to meet community leaders and influential people in person. These coffee dates are a great way to discuss your policies, ideas, and ask for donations, votes, and support.

3. Ask for referrals

Every time you meet people you can ask them who they know that would be interested in your campaign and would like to hear your positions on key policy issues. One way to innovate and automate this process is by using the ShareSomeFriends app. The app is a simple tool to get referrals from your constituents, here is how it works:

Step 1 – Get a group together.
Step 2 – Ask everyone to download the app.
Step 3 – Users input your campaign ID (a code of your choice).
Step 4 – Users select friends from their phone’s contact list and refer them to your campaign.
Step 5 – You get referrals.

The app actually displays the user’s contact list and prompts them to refer people that they think will benefit from your campaign. As soon as they click on the button you get a list of people on our backend, and can easily extract all of them in a matter of seconds.

Let’s say that each of the people you meet refers 10 people they think would love your campaign. If you meet 1,000 people throughout your campaign and ask them to use the ShareSomeFriends app, then you actually get access to 10,000 people that you can call, email, target on social media, etc.

ShareSomeFriends can really supercharge your political campaign and bring your game to the next level.

4. Give out campaign cards

A great addition to the ShareSomeFriends app is to give out a card to each person that you meet with some information about you and your campaign. You can also put the name of the app and your campaign code (that code that the user enters on the app). That way people can hand out your cards and tell their friends to use the app.

Recap

Dear political candidates and campaign managers,

The bottom line is – traditional marketing channels and canvassing techniques don’t work anymore. People are set in their ideas and they don’t want to change, and the big dollars that you are spending on your campaigns are not bringing in the votes.

The most effective strategy is meeting people face-to-face either by conducting large live sessions and get-togethers or by meeting people individually on coffee dates.

One of the most effective tactics is to get your constituents to refer their friends to your campaign, and you can use the ShareSomeFriends app to do so effectively and effortlessly. If you are curious and want to know more – check out how the referral app works.

Cheers =)

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 him at – ben@sharesomefriends.com or connect on LinkedIn.

11 Surprising Statistics about Referrals And Why You Need a Referral Program

Referral marketing gets confused with so many things nowadays. So many people think of pyramid schemes when they hear that word. The reality is, referrals marketing is simply word-of-mouth, and it has been there since the first human transaction was ever made.

Truth is – when someone makes a purchase of a product or service and are happy with it they want to recommend it to their friends.

It’s as simple as that. If your business has a referral program in place then you are able to capture more of that word-of-mouth goodness and get more loyal customers. If you don’t already have a referral program, then you are simply losing money every year.

How much money are you losing by not having a referral program?

Check out these 11 surprising stats about referral marketing and find out.

Let’s dive in. 

 

1. Referral leads convert 30% better than leads generated from other marketing channels (R&G Technologies)

 

Referrals simply convert at a higher clip than any other acquisition channel out there. Have you heard the phrase “happy customers make happy customers”? If your customers like your product they will refer more people. If you put all of your efforts into getting more referrals and abandon all other forms of customer acquisition (don’t try it at home kids) your business will eventually grow by 30% more when you ramp up.

That’s perhaps the immediate result but what about across the lifetime of the relationship?

What’s the value there?

 

2.  Referred customers have a 16% higher lifetime value (Journal of Marketing)

 

Referral leads are not only easier to close but they help your business long-term. Think about it, if Sally referred Harry and he continues to refer more people (assuming you have a referral rewards program in place) a big chunk of your customers are going to know each other. In the event of a mistake, a shipping delay, or any type of mishap on your part your referrals will trust you and have more patience with your process because they know that their friends were happy with your business.

 

3. People are 4 times more likely to buy when referred by a friend. (Nielsen)

 

This is another mindblowing statistic. Every time you get a new referral lead the likelihood that they will buy is four times greater compared to a lead that was not referred to you. We’ve found that people that were referred through the ShareSomeFriends app were more likely to sign up and did so at a higher percentage than non-referred leads.

So if referral leads are so great, how come they are so hard to come by?

 

4. 83% of consumers are willing to refer after a positive experience—yet only 29% actually do.

Texas Tech University

 

This statistic is a good indicator of the current state of referral programs everywhere. Only 29% of consumers actually refer people. Why is that? We believe that most businesses lack good tools and processes to ask for and collect referrals. A lot of companies avoid directly asking for referrals and instead put their money into social media ads and PPC. While these are valid strategies, the use of a simple referral app can help them ask for referrals and provides an easy way to capture referral leads.

 

5. Offering a reward increases referral likelihood, but the size of the reward does not matter.

American Marketing Association

 

A big part of what we’ve done is offered a reward to every customer that refers their friends to the business. We were working for a student tour organization and met with the students to show them the ShareSomeFriends app and ask them for referrals. We gave each student a $5 Amazon gift card if they chose to refer people, and multiple cards for over 30 or 50 referrals. The friends were so happy with their experience on the tour and partially motivated by the reward, that they gave us 500-700 referrals.

 

6. 87% of frontlines sales reps, 82% of sales leaders, and 78% of marketers surveyed agree that referrals are the best leads your business can get.

Heinz Marketing

 

When I was working in a sales organization, referral leads were our greatest possession. If you would get a referral lead you had bragging rights for an entire week! There are a few reasons for that:

– referral leads close at a higher clip.
– referral leads have a better idea of your product or service.
– referral leads already have a good first impression before they talk to you.
– if you can’t reach the referral you could always reach out to the person that referred them and ask for a favor =).

The only thing you need to have in place is a referral program with a process of getting referral leads. Which brings us to the next incredible statistic.

 

7. Companies with formalized referral programs experience 86% more revenue growth over the past two years when compared to the rest.

 

Companies that have referral programs in place actually experience 86% more growth in 2 years. That’s like having your $100k company do $186k in revenue in 2 years without doing anything else other than starting a referral program.

And yet…

 

8. Only 30% of companies surveyed have a formalized referral program.

 

Not a lot of companies have referral programs. This is probably the most powerful and surprising referral statistic. It’s not that businesses don’t ask for referral enough, they don’t establish referral programs. Perhaps they think that they are lacking a dedicated team to do it, or the funds, or both.

Starting a referral program is actually very easy.

Here is what you would need to get one going:

1. The ShareSomeFriends app

2. A list of customers you would want to outreach to

3. A couple of emails and signs around the office or place of business

4. 10 minutes.

That’s all.

 

9. When referral tools are used, companies are 3x more likely to accelerate referral generation and conversion.

A lot of companies think that they need to have a robust team managing a referral program, or some magical formula to talk to clients, or maybe more dedicated customers. The reality is if you have a tool that you use for your referral program you will have 3 times the referral leads (and 3 times the conversions according to this statistic).

 

10. Yet only 22% have a tool in place to effectively scale their programs.

 

So we find that the adoption of referral tools is slow. There are numerous tools that are used on social media to get leads, but those are not full-fledged referral tools. When we started ShareSomeFriends we realized that many businesses don’t have referral programs set up. We also realized that many don’t have a tool to simply collect referral leads from their clients. Even if customers do refer someone, they don’t get a reward, or the referral is not registered in the system so the business has no way to track its referral rate. That’s when our app was born.

 

11. Every referring customers makes an average of 2.68 invites.

Referral SaaSquatch Data Science

 

That’s an incredible statistic. If you ask those happy customers you have to refer their friends to your business you will find that on average each person will bring 2. It really depends on the industry that you’re in. With ShareSomeFriends we find that our clients are getting 20 referrals from each client on average.

Wait, are we 10X better than the national average? 

Regardless, if you calculate your per customer acquisition cost and multiply by 2.68 that will be how much money you are losing if you don’t currently have a referral program.

We hope that this post has been helpful, what do you think? How hard would it be for you to create a referral program for your business?

Let us know in the comments.

ShareSomeFriends Logo

Cheers =)

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.

 

3 Tips to Get Massive Traction on Your LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a completely different game in 2017 then it was even a few years ago. Why? If you’ve not been using LinkedIn recently this is probably how you remember it:

  • You can only connect with people you know
  • If you connect with a stranger they shame you
  • Endorsements are the most important currency

Right? Am I exaggerating?

There were literally people that said to me: “If I don’t know you please don’t connect with me”. When I was a student this just wasn’t the place for me to meet new people. But it’s completely changed now.

Why?

1 word – content. 

Content changed the platform completely. People started sharing their work experiences, their stories, their victories and it became a more open platform. Granted, it still says “only connect with people you know” in the LinkedIn terms and conditions, but no one pays attention to that.

Here is how LinkedIn is different nowadays:

  • You can connect with ANYONE you want
  • You get views from your content, not from endorsements
  • You can build massive networks using content, native video, groups, and pods.

How does all that work?

It’s more acceptable to connect with random strangers, that’s one side of it. The other aspect is that the content that I publish gets consumed by a wide range of people – most of them are not my connections on LinkedIn

When someone likes or comments on my post then their entire network of friends can see it on their feed. 

That means you can reach tens of thousands of people in a matter of days. Here is how:

 

1. Post a ton of content

 

Content is the way to get more views on your profile, engage with people, and build an audience. I tried this strategy out on a post I wrote a few months back. It was a story of how I used a content strategy, with a link to the written article. Here is the post:

Linkedin Post Ben Kazinik

Here is the full post: https://goo.gl/edNscC

Within a week that post had over 27,000 views and 100 comments. That’s 100 people I could connect with.

Here are a few strategies that I used to make it go viral:

  • Asked for LIKES in the first few hours that the post is live.
  • Use the wave template by Josh Fechter, you can find it here.
  • Told my story in a personal way.

So let’s say you set up some content, how do you make people see it?

 

2. Interact by liking and commenting

 

When you interact with people’s content they are very likely to click on your profile and read about you. LinkedIn sees their engagement with your profile and starts to display your posts on their feed.

It’s as simple as that. 

This is especially effective on LinkedIn because most posts get 1-4 comments each, and if your comment is one of them it is very visible to the hundreds of people that see that post. Now you can click on every single person that interacts back with you and connect with them.

Wait, but how do I connect with absolute strangers?

 

3. Expand your network with LinkedHelper

 

It still seems a bit funny right? We are all so used to only connect with people we know.

Let’s go back to the basics.

Let’s take somebody who is a 2nd connection. Here is my friend Deepak Shukla, the CEO of PurrTraffic, he is a really great marketing professional, his profile looks interesting, so I want to connect with him. Just click on the connect button and you’re done.

 

Deepak Shukla - LinkedIn profile

 

Now what about 3rd connections? LinkedIn didn’t use to allow you to connect with them at all. So the strategy was to find mutual friends and start with them to get to your desired contact. This was made much simple now.

Here is Gary Vaynerchuk’s brother that runs VaynerSports. All I do is click on the 3 dots and then click connect. BOOM. Now we’re BFFs.

AJ Vaynerchuk _ LinkedIn Grow Strategies

 

What if you wanted to automate this whole process? What if you wanted to have a tool automatically connect to 50 profiles every day without you moving a finger?

I found a great tool called LinkedHelper that does exactly that. It’s a Chrome extension that plugs in to your LinkedIn page and automatically does any task for you. It can endorse all your contacts, connect to people, send message blasts, invite all your contacts to your LinkedIn group, and tons more.

Here are my favorite features: 

LinkedHelper features= EPIC

How to automatically connect with 50 people per day: 

Step 1 – Search for specific people to target using keywords or the job title like “marketing manager”, “growth hacker”, “sales manager”.

Step 2 – Create a list for your contacts

create a list in LInkedHelper

Step 3 – Conduct a search and start collecting contacts

 

After you’ve collected your contacts click on Message and write a nice message for the list. This will show up on the contact request that each person will receive from you.

LinkedHelper message box

You’re almost done. Just click on Invite and start inviting all the contacts on your list. Simple as that!

 

Recap

 

LinkedIn is like Facebook but for networking. All the recent changes they implemented – like allowing people to post content and native videos – add to your ability to interact with people and to be discovered. It is also a great place to find leads, partners, and jobs. But it’s not just about building a massive network of connections anymore. It’s about building an engaged community of followers and converting your leads.

The first thing you need to do for that is to write a lot of good content. Then, interact with others like crazy. And third, use a tool like LinkedHelper to put your growth on autopilot.

Pro tip – always send a second and third message to your new connections, and always talk to every single person no matter what. You never know where a relationship can lead you to.

That’s it!

I hope you enjoyed our tutorial and please let us know how LinkedIn has worked out for you. Have you tried any of these tactics? and what’s an awesome “win” you’ve had on the platform?

Cheers =)

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.

 

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!