7 Referral Based Marketing Strategies For Easy Revenue Wins

Every month Summit Web reaches out to local experts to get their views on certain industry trends within the digital marketing realm.

This month we bring you 7 expert strategies to help boost your referral-based marketing, easily one of the cheapest ways to generate more revenue for your company.

So let’s get straight into it…

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Dawn Russell – Referral Selling Taps Into Business That’s Right Under Your Nose

Are you doing everything you can to delight your current customers?

It costs 7 – 10 times more to win a new customer than it does to keep an existing customer.

And without the advocacy of your existing customers, a referral-based marketing strategy is never, ever going to fly.

Gaining referrals is predicated on two things:

  • the person you are asking knows, likes and trusts you
  • that you actually ask for them!

Referral-hunting is very low on most customers’ radar. They’ve got lives to live, businesses to manage. Helping you grow your business is not their responsibility. But most customers are happy to help – if you ask. All you need is a referral strategy that regularly and systematically asks existing customers to recommend you.

So how do you do that?

Ask for referrals when:

1. You’ve just closed the sale. After taking your prospect through your sales process, and they’ve bought, it’s a perfect time to ask if they know someone else who would benefit from the same process.
2. Your prospect says “no.” That’s right! “No!” Because, while your offer may not be for them right now, they may know someone who would benefit from the process they’ve just experienced.
3. Your customer has achieved significant results. Success from working with you is a great catalyst for asking who else in your customer’s circle would place value on achieving similar results.

Including systematic referral selling in your sales cycle is one of the lowest cost, highest return marketing strategies you can employ.

Ryan Jenkins: 5 Steps To Increase Reviews

Founder and CEO of Digital Eagles.

Ask for reviews

Don’t be afraid to ask your customers for reviews – make it easy for them by building email templates to send to your clients including your Facebook reviews page and Google My Business listing. If you do have a customer and have provided them with great service, let them know you will be following up with an email asking for their feedback.


The email you send to your client should be simple by thanking the customer for their business, ultimately getting right to the point about what it is you’re asking them to do (a great review). If you do want the customer to leave a review on either Facebook or Google, include the direct link to these pages. The clients will more likely follow through the easier you make it for them.


off-boarding email for Summit wEB

Summit Webs Offboarding email to website clients.


Make the experience personal

The emails you send should include the customer’s name, the business name and if possible, make sure the email is coming directly from the company owner.

Your Email Signature

When you are talking to your customers, mention to them you have a direct link in your email signature. This will allow them to click directly to your profiles if they ever to view your sites.

Make Sure you Respond to Reviews

Always make sure you spend the time to respond to your reviews – both positive and negative. This will show to your current (and future) customers that you’re supportive and appreciative of their business and their time.

Jane Anderson – Use The Law Of Reciprocity

Hi there, my name is Jane Anderson. I’m a Marketing Expert. I work with businesses to help them increase their leads and have created a diagnostic to help them increase their referrals and word of mouth for business growth.

The first thing is you have to build great relationships with your existing clients. If you could build really good relationships with them they’re far more likely to refer you to other people so shift from focusing on just having a transaction with people to keeping connected and building a tribe of loyal customers.

You definitely will get more referrals with that.

The second strategy is to do a really great job. It sounds simple but if you’re doing things that are not very thorough, that they’re not really done as well as they could be or you’re lacking customer service, you’re not going to get a referral.

refferal based marketing in Western Australia

So really look at what you’re offering already and is that as best as it possibly can be and is it a great customer experience because if it is, they’re far more likely to refer you.

The third one is to refer others. The more likely you’re referring people to others, the more likely you are to get people referred to you.

It’s called the Law of Reciprocity and it was written about in Dr. Robert Cialdini’s book “Influence: the Psychology of Persuasion.” And always thank people who send you a referral. Without saying thank you, you’re far less inclined to receive referrals.


If you receive a referral, make sure you send a gift for clients and for people who refer customers to you. With gifts, they need to be meaningful. Avoid last-minute generic gifts like lotto tickets. Be thoughtful. Consider the person you’re buying for. How have they helped you? Keep this in mind as you search for a present that will help you return the favour.

Be memorable. Give a gift that will be cherished for years to come. Flowers and chocolates sometimes have a short shelf life. If it’s possible to buy something special. It might be a monogrammed picnic blanket or a book on a subject they’re really passionate about.

Be personable. Choose something that speaks to the person’s unique qualities. If you don’t know their likes and dislikes, find out. Not everyone drinks wine or eats truffles. What would they appreciate?

Trigger events

Trigger events are a fantastic way of increasing referrals. This process involves knowing what the trigger event is before the sale of working with you or the sale after working with you.

So two of the most important networks you can build are people who get the sale of the client which is the problem that the person is solving before they come to you or the person after.

For example from time to time, I receive enquiries from people looking to make changes in their careers. This is because I used to be a career practitioner.

I’m not a career practitioner anymore so nowadays I refer these people to other career practitioners in my network. This is a trigger event before my sale. Sometimes it’s better for my clients to talk to a career practitioner, explore their career options before deciding if they want to be an influencer in their particular industry and leave their job to do so.

So after they talk to that person they may come back to me and we can create a strategy that positions them to become an influencer. I then might refer them to a copywriter or someone who can help them with their blogging.

Cat Holmes – Keep Adding Value With Your Database

The most important thing to begin with when building a referral strategy is to ensure you are collecting your customers’ details in the first place!

Without a database, you are only “hoping” that customers come back. WITH a database, you can apply many strategies to build your business and ensure repeat purchasing.

Hubspot can be used to keep a database of your users

Hubspot can be used to keep a database of your users

And then, keep in regular contact, but make sure you’re ADDING VALUE at least twice as much as you are asking for business. This means sharing relevant content, helping them solve problems, providing tips for them, sharing your own stories and building trust and likeability.

When it’s time to ask for more business, here are some ideas:

1. Find a complementary business and offer a cross-promotion. For example, a healthy restaurant could team up with a gym, and they could create an offer specifically for each others’ lists. The restaurant could offer all dinners a free PT session (and the PT then gets to upsell their services), and the gym could offer it’s database an exclusive 20% discount when dining in the restaurant.

2. Send birthday cards, or Christmas cards, as a thank you for being a valued customer. Include a voucher for your shop as a gift.

3. Rebook their next appointment when they are leaving. Especially applied to hairdressers, beauty salons, coaches, health, and any consumables. “Let’s book your next appointment now, 6 weeks away right? Would you prefer a morning or afternoon appointment?”

If you want to work with a business coach to help you implement these strategies and more, then click here to check out Benchmark Business Coaching

Robert Gerrish: Continue To Build The Relationship

Website link: www.robertgerrish.com

Often when we think about how to get referrals from existing clients we group them together instead of carefully considering the nature of each individual relationship.

When you start to think of your approach and actions based on where your relationship stands, it soon becomes clear what you should be doing and when.

When Promoting

Do you promote heavily to those with whom you have little understanding of or friendship? No, of course not, you’ll repel them. Instead, consider fixing up a coffee catch up or take steps to help them in their life and business. Just don’t start selling!

Housing an Event

For those who clearly like and support who you are and what you do (but are not actively opening doors for you) consider hosting a small event, creating an opportunity to ‘give back’ to those who already feed your confidence and provide warmth when you meet. Again don’t sell, but instead, give thanks.

Use eventbrite to create your event's for free and share it to your audience

Use eventbrite to create your event’s for free and share it to your audience

At your event, you can thank fans for their support AND invite them to become advocates, to take the next step.

An advocate is someone who actively creates opportunities for you...you could call them champions or raving fans.

If I had a roomful of fans, I might say:

“I really appreciate your support of my work and I’d like to invite you to help me help others. I’m looking for three creative industry startups who would like to build a clear vision for their new ventures. I’ll happily spend an hour on the phone over the next month with anyone you nudge my way, at no cost.”

Does that sound clumsy or pushy? I don’t think so, because I’m saying it to the right people at the right time.

Jen Henson: Post Testimonials On Your Website

Testimonial referral about summit web

Hello! As an entrepreneur, I know first hand the need and also the wonderful benefit of referral-based marketing.

In my business I tutor high school students ACT prep.

With technology such as Skype and Zoom, I am able to tutor students from all over the country which benefits even more students and grows my business.

My referral-based marketing strategy is super simple and free, but the pay-offs are huge.

Generally, after the ACT is taken by a student, parents and students alike often send me emails, texts and/or Facebook messages thanking me for my help and are excited about their increased scores and achieving their academic goal.

I simply take those written testimonials/referrals and post them on my Facebook and Instagram (covering up the names for privacy).

It works! This technique creates a wonderful conversation starter on social media with potential new clients, who, more often than not, become happy and satisfied clients.
Website: http://jenhensonactprep.com/

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Chris Dinham

Chris Dinham

Chris is the co-owner and head of operations at Summit Web. He started his marketing career by buying and selling digital businesses. With a background in creating lead generation strategies, he is an expert when it comes to planning and building full marketing funnels for our clients. Look out for him surfing at Trigg Point or creating informational videos on our youtube channel.

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