Friends Don’t Let Friends Yoga Alone: 11 Tips for Successful Referral Marketing
Let’s face it–– as a studio owner, your best shot at growing your business is through referral marketing. Do you doubt that? Well, take a look at these statistics:
92% of consumers trust referrals from people they know (Nielsen)
One offline word-of-mouth impression drives sales at least five times more than one paid impression (WOMMA)
People are four times more likely to buy when referred by a friend (Nielsen)
Word-of-mouth has the ability to improve marketing effectiveness by up to 54% (MarketShare)
Hopefully, any doubts you had before have been cleared now, because if you are serious about growing your yoga business, you need to be ready to harness the power of referral marketing. So how exactly do you do that? It’s not always as simple as just asking your customers to spread the word about your studio–– you need to motivate and incentivize people to help you grow your studio.
People generally care more about helping you grow your business when the referral has a positive effect on them too. So what motivates people to refer? Here are 11 tips to help you reap the benefits of successful referral marketing:
1. Always Think of Your Existing Customers First
There’s an old business rule out there that still tends to statistically apply today: the 80/20 rule. 80% of your business comes from 20% of your customers. That 20% of your customers may like your studio, but they love you. If you build on those relationships with your biggest studio supporters, they can become strong brand advocates. These students are key to growing the rest of your business, so treat them well. Such is the Law of Karma–– if you help your existing customers, they will help you.
2. Give People a Reason to Refer
The only reason referral marketing takes off for business is because people want to refer. If you want referrals, you need to provide a stellar studio experience and fantastic customer service. This, in essence, is what drives your business and if you don’t have a sturdy base of quality service, everything you try to build from referral marketing will crumble. So try to provide as many resources to your customers as you can so you never leave a question of theirs unanswered–– people love referring to businesses that are on top of their communication.
3. GIVE Referrals to Get Referrals
One of the absolute best ways to approach referral marketing is with the giver’s gain mindset. Acting as a referrer for other businesses will motivate them to reciprocate. You have nothing to lose by supporting other people’s businesses and everything to gain. Having good relationships with other local businesses will also help corner the local market as a studio owner.
4. Get Analytical
Don’t just throw money at referral marketing–– measure what works and re-invest in the best methods. People show their support with their wallets and this is great for seeing which referral techniques work and which don’t. Track your referral campaigns to determine which strategies work best. Use analytics like web traffic, Facebook engagement, email open rates, etc. to get a scientific idea of how well (or not well) your referral programs are doing.
5. Never Stop Engaging
Stay in front of your current customers with messaging through blog content, emails, social media posts, promotions, and contests. That consistent communication will reinforce your brand in your customers’ minds so that you’re the only studio they think of when making yoga referrals. The constant engagement should serve as a constant reminder to refer, refer, refer.
6. Ask for the Referral at the Right Time
You should definitely ask for referrals from your customers, but your timing is very important in yielding the best results. The best time to ask for a referral is right after you’ve impressed your customer. Whether it was after an amazing class, after paying an affordable price or simply after receiving great customers service, the most opportune times are when you’ve made your customer very happy. Give good service before asking to take a good referral.
7. Make Referrals Easy as Possible
You’ll get more referrals if you make the referral process painless for your customers. Make it something simple such as filling out a short form, sending a pre-written email, or just sharing a Facebook post. The easier, the better for promoting your business.
8. Offer Rewards for Referrals
People go nuts for incentives around referrals. Reward your customers and their networks for the referrals they bring in! Think of the incentives you can provide–– a discount on a future class? A free product? An entry into a giveaway? Get creative with your rewards system! And then pay attention to which incentives drive action.
9. Work with Influencers
When you’re first starting out with a referral program, it can be very slow going. Nothing zaps the program into action like working with an influencer. By seeking out partnerships with influencers in the yoga space who have a strong presence online (or in person), you can grow your referrals quickly through social media, blogs, or other publications. Research and reach out to influencers who are right for your brand–– as in, the people who influence the community that will generate revenue for your studio.
10. Testimonials & Reviews = Passive Referrals
Testimonials are not just great for content to prove your ethos on your website. They’re also fantastic used as referrals. When you scatter your customer testimonials across your social platforms, you’re basically delivering snippets of referrals to your network. These may not result in immediate referrals but they seriously build up your reputation online and in the fitness community.
The same goes for reviews. People trust what other folks who have been to your studio are saying about your business. Potential customers will specifically seek out reviews before committing to a brand. So incentivize your current customers to leave reviews on Google, Facebook, or Yelp. It’ll help with your SEO and build up your reputation to make you an even better referral.
11. fitDEGREE’s Social Share Feature
fitDEGREE offers a new special feature through our platform that makes referral marketing as easy as Shavasana! With the social share feature, your customers can easily share their fitness experience through the app, make friends through the app, and see what classes they’re attending. fitDEGREE also allows you to invite someone to register for a class directly, filling more mats and making more money. It’s the perfect storm for making referrals to your studio!