Whether you’re a software company, a DTC or e-commerce business building a community, or really any other organization looking to grow, a healthy referrals program is essential to continued success.
There are many components of setting up and maintaining a successful referral program, but the key is a strong referral reward program. Specifically, how swag, gifts or prizes can help you encourage, incentivize and increase engagement in your program. By the end of this article you should have a good idea of why branded gifts offer the a great reward when it comes to increasing your business through referrals.
Why set up a referral reward program?
When your friend recommends a good movie or new restaurant for you to check out, you’re far more likely to try it. The same holds true in the business world. Even in the age of digital marketing and targeted advertising, word of mouth still drives tremendous amounts of revenue for companies across all types of industries.
A strong referral program is like having an outbound sales team where every rep has access to a big list of hyper-qualified leads with whom they already have good relationships. Without a ton of active effort you can harness the power of your existing clients to drum up new business— provided your referral program is built intelligently and with the right incentives to encourage participation.
If you’re looking to build up a program from scratch, consider checking out of friends at Referral Rock. They have a huge suite of tools and knowledge that makes it easy to create a high performing referral program in no time at all!
The key to a strong referral program? Create and reward superfans.
Gift cards and discounts on future business aren’t always enough to turn your clients into bullhorns for your brand. If you want your referral network to be truly robust, enthusiastic and active, you’ll have to foster a relationship that feels more than transactional.
When your referrers feel connected to your company they are much more likely to participate more wholeheartedly in your program. A client is different from a fan, though ideally clients will eventually become fans. In order to achieve that you’ll need to create touch points outside of your normal business channels, and build relationships that are personalized and tangible.
Swag is the perfect way to grow your referral network.
Gifting swag as part of a referral program allows you to harness the power of physical connection. It’s true that people like receiving gift cards, but personalized gifts make more of an impact and get people more excited about your brand. You can use swag to turn a client into a fan, and eventually get those fans to act as referrals for your business.
Here’s a few ways how:
Create a tiered referral reward system with different swag prizes:
Depending on how your unique referral system works, there may be many different actions you want to encourage among referrers. Assuming more participation is better across the board, creating a tiered system of referral program membership and rewards is a good way to encourage more action by more people.
Each level can be reached by taking more actions in your program. Start it slowly with a low barrier to entry, but then make reaching the next level seem too exciting to pass up. The more you can make your program feel like a member’s only club house, the better! Swag helps by offering people items that prove they’re in the in-club. You can also vary the rewards between swag and traditional referral items for a more dynamic relationship.
For example, imagine using the following tiers and swag as prizes:
- Level 1: Custom socks
- Level 2: Gift card (try Greetabl to send them in a memorable package!)
- Level 3: Custom hoodie
- Level 4: Discounts on future business
- Level 5: Fully custom swag box with tons of items
Use custom swag giveaways to entice referral participation
Using the Swag.com giveaways feature, you can easily set up a custom webpage that will let referrers choose their own custom gift, enter their address, and have it delivered directly to their door. This is a perfect way to encourage the first action of a referral program, and preview the fun things that are to come with continuous engagement.
The gifts can be small: custom stickers, an embroidered patch or set of pins are all good choices. What matters is giving people agency, and getting them excited about the cool items they have in store if they keep participating in your program.
Have swag rewards on hand with an inventory and distribution platform
Swag makes good referral rewards only when you have a platform that can manage their distribution easily. No one wants to be shipping out every item by hand, especially in our era of remote work. Luckily, Swag.com lets you store and manage your swag and distribution through an online platform, for free.
When you order custom products through Swag.com, we’ll hang on to everything for you until the time is right. Whether it’s next week or next year, your items will be ready to go in a moment’s notice. You’ll be able to create distinct inventories for different teams, or different use cases. For example, you could easily set up a referral rewards specific “closet” (because we’re your online swag closet!) that’s fully of customized items you’re holding for people who participate in your program.
Manage referral rewards and internal company swag in the same place
Managing referral rewards no longer requires separate, and overly complicated software. Using Swag.com will let you customize, hold and send swag for referrals in the same platform you’d use to manage swag for the rest of your company.
No matter how your referral rewards program is structured, Swag.com can help you boost it by offering high-quality custom gifts that encourage participation and create superfans. As you look to grow your business, remember that custom gifts will always go a little bit further than gift cards. How will you get creative?
Want to know more about how we can help you grow your referral program? Fill out the form below to get in touch with an expert swag rep!