6 Word-of-Mouth Referral Strategies That Actually Work

word of mouth

The saying “good news travels fast” is all too true, especially when it comes to word-of-mouth marketing (WOM). In fact, word-of-mouth marketing can be one of the most influential forms of marketing to boost brand reputation and awareness.

Think about it: Are you more likely to make a purchase decision based on the salesman shouting at you over the phone, or your best friend in your ear saying you just have to try something because you’ll absolutely love it?

The power of word-of-mouth marketing has been effective since the early days of advertising, and it’s reached new heights in the digital age. Now, there are countless ways to spark the WOM buzz.

1. Refer-A-Friend Discount

You’d be hard-pressed to find brands not employing the refer-a-friend word-of-mouth strategy. The idea behind this strategy is to encourage your loyal customers to refer a friend, and you offer both the customer and referral some sort of discount or incentive.

Refer-A-Friend WOM is usually executed by asking your loyal customers to sign a friend up for some sort of incentive you’re offering. This might be through email or SMS, but the objective is to get your loyal customer to sign up a friend that you can then convert to a customer.

Let’s say you own a yoga studio and you have an email list full of students who’ve taken classes. In your ManyChat dashboard, you can compose a Refer-A-Friend campaign in which your students sign up a friend to the email list. You can then give both your students and their friends a free yoga class, and you’ve gained a bevy of new students that you can nurture into paying customers (because hey, they’re on the email list!)

2. Send-to-A-Friend

The Send-To-a-Friend strategy is fairly similar to the Refer-A-Friend strategy, but in this case, you give your loyal customers a discount to pass along to someone they know, and in exchange, they’ll get something as well. 

The easiest way to employ a refer-a-friend discount is through SMS marketing.

In your ManyChat dashboard, compose a text that you can send to your subscriber list with an incentive to refer a friend. It’s effective to use SMS in this strategy because they likely have text message threads going with friends and family, which will make it easy for them to send along with your offer.

3. Bring-Someone Strategy

If you’re a restaurant, this one will be a no brainer, but anyone can get in on this.

The “Bring Someone” WOM marketing strategy incentivizes your audience to physically come to your business location toting someone, or a group of people, they know. The critical factor here is offering an incentive they can’t turn down.

Restaurants are notorious for implementing this strategy. You’ve likely seen, at one point or another, some sort of Mother’s or Father’s Day “Bring Someone” strategy in which the restaurant will offer you a discount on your bill if you bring your mother or father there. A “Bring Someone” strategy could be created around any major event, holiday, or just for fun. The goal is just to incentivize one to however-many people to come to the door.

4. Review/Testimonial Incentives

At the very least, you should employ a strategy to encourage reviews and customer testimonials online, either through a customer-nurture email campaign or by simply asking for one.

One effective way to drive reviews and testimonials (both of which are considered WOM marketing) is to build a flow in the ManyChat dashboard using the template that’s been created for you. You can ask subscribers to leave feedback, and build an entire sequence around encouraging a positive review.

chatbot flow

5. Employee Discounts

If we were to play the “which one is not like the other” game, you’d immediately choose this strategy. Employee discounts? How is that a WOM strategy?

Believe it or not, your employees can easily be some of the biggest advocates of your brand. If they have a good relationship with their employer, they’ll talk. They’ll tell their communities that you take care of them. One way you can encourage this is by offering employee discounts. Even if their friends or family use the discount, who cares? They’re still contributing revenue. Give your employees one or two employee discount cards and let the rest work itself out.

6. Social Media Giveaways

Social media giveaways are a WOM goldmine. The good news can definitely travel fast if you ask your audiences to like your page, share the post, and comment on it in exchange for something really worth it.

You’ve likely seen this before, but most of the time a company will post a picture of a grand prize of their choice (a prize box, catered lunch, etc.) and anyone who does what you ask is entered to win. One way you can execute this strategy to maximize results is to send your audience to your ManyChat chatbot to enter to win the grand prize. Then, not only will you up your subscriber count, but you can enter them in a flow that encourages them to share the post link to their audience.

facebook messenger ad

Here’s the bottom line: The power of word-of-mouth marketing knows no end. It’s one of those areas of marketing that allows you to get creative with whatever you have to offer in exchange for some good, old-fashioned brand awareness and engagement.

Increase your WOM strategy with a Chat Marketing strategy.

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