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Written by Megan Denny
Referral Candy, an international marketing firm that specializes in word-of-mouth marketing reports, “Marketing-induced consumer-to-consumer word-of-mouth generates more than twice the sales of paid advertising in categories as diverse as skincare and mobile phones.”
McKinsey and Company, a renowned worldwide consulting firm, found, “old-fashioned kitchen table recommendations and their online equivalents remain so important. After all, a person with 300 friends on Facebook may happily ignore the advice of 290 of them. It’s the small, close-knit network of trusted friends that has the real influence.”
If you’re tired of spending time and money on marketing and advertising efforts with a low return, try referral marketing. Visit the PADI Pros’ Site to download free marketing collateral and launch your campaign.
Here’s a few ideas for using PADI referral marketing materials:
Around the Store
- Put a stack of postcards by the register
- Insert a postcard in each student Crew Pak
- Hang a poster in the classroom
- Tape up a flyer in the dressing room and bathroom
- Drop a postcard into each student’s certification card envelope
When promoting your program, create a sense of urgency. Customers are the most likely to refer someone within the first week or two after being certified. After 30 days, that likelihood drops off dramatically. Consider stamping the postcards and flyers with a date and the words “valid for 30 days.” You can also reach out to recently-certified customers, and customers who are very active with your business.
In Google or Facebook Ads
Both Facebook Ads and Google’s AdWords allow you to upload a spreadsheet of customer email addresses and target ads to people who are already familiar with your business. Use the PADI web banners to quickly create clickable ads.
Create a web page that explains your referral program and how customers can refer friends. Compose an email to your customers with a link to this webpage and include ideas on who they might refer. For example: “Do you know someone who loves to spend time in the water? A co-worker who loves to travel? A family member who enjoys outdoor photography? Change someone’s life by inviting them to try scuba diving!”
On Your Website and Social Media
Create a link to your referral program webpage from your homepage, include it in your email signature, and post about it regularly on social media (at least every 2-3 weeks). You can use the PADI referral program images on Facebook, Instagram, etc., or showcase some of your favorite divers who are lifelong friends.
Via a Customer Service Survey
Sending a customer service survey to your customers can be a goldmine of information and ideas. Read this article for more information and question ideas. When building the survey include a question along the lines of, “How likely are you to recommend us to a friend, family member or co-worker?” and put it towards the end of the survey. Make the answer choices, “very likely, somewhat likely, unlikely.”
If using Survey Monkey (free for up to 10 questions), you can automatically direct low scores to a blank text field where they can answer “How can we improve?” Positive answers can be directed to a page of information about your referral program.