Even if the niche of web hosts are fully loaded with a lot of companies they are still one of the easiest to promote because you could write your own experience about them. There are also tools like GTMetrix, to help you see how fast and reliable your site is. And for web host businesses your customers usually stick with you unless something bad happens. Referral programs are the best way to promote this type of business.
The benefits of customer referral programs
Even statistics show that when it comes to buying or trying anything, people would consider recommendations from people they know over ads. And that makes referral programs a very powerful marketing strategy. Online reviews could also help boost the power of a referral program.
When it comes to referral programs, it’s more likely that your customers would be referring you to people who are looking for web hosting. Just like when you’re a wedding planner, your customer would refer you to another person they know that’s planning to get married, they definitely won’t refer you to a person looking for a house as it’s not the slightest bit related. When it comes to referrals, it is more aimed at your target audience which makes it more effective.
And the last best thing you could get from referral programs is the fact that it could turn into a cycle. Your customer referred you, the referred person enjoys your service so they refer you, and it goes on and on. Eventually, your program would grow and so would your business.
How do you setup a referral program?
So, are you finally convinced that referral programs could really make a difference for your web hosting business? Giving rewards in exchange for customers is totally worth it, especially if you get to prove that they will be happy with your service. So here are some things you should do as of setting up a referral program.
There are five things you should do when you are planning to start a referral program.
- Find out what your customer would be happy for you to offer
If you have the right incentives, your referral program would definitely work. And they type of incentives would vary from your target audience to another. You have to make your reward one of the reasons why they want to promote you (aside from being happy with your service, of course). In order to know what incentive to use, you have to be able to understand your customer, and in order to achieve that you have to build a relationship with them and ask them or give them choices to choose from.
Rewards vary from cash, discounts, free trials, etc. You can offer them free services depending on their payment method whether they pay monthly or not. Just don’t forget to plan everything out before even starting.
- Make your customer want to refer you
Your customer would more likely promote you if it’s simple and quick to do. Everybody has their own preference when promoting, some prefer their blog, some on social media, some on forums, etc. So make sure that you allow them to choose where they are more comfortable to promote you in an easy way. But remember to always make your customer happy because that would be the main reason why your customers would want to tell their friends about you.
- Choose the referral software that would match all of your needs while still being good to your pocket.
There are a lot of referral programs that you could run on your own website. You can usually add them as a plug-in or add-on. But make sure that whatever you choose is compatible with your website or else it would be useless. When you have figured how your customer would want to refer your business, you can start looking for referral program software that could do what your customer wants. Every referral software has their fair share of uniqueness when it comes to features and interface, so It’s usually more of a personal decision that should match your needs.
- You’ll have to promote your referral program
Not all of your customers would know if you have a referral program or not, having one wouldn’t mean they would automatically know. You’ll have to advertise and promote it.
You could advertise it by sending out emails, through social media posts, texts, invoices and so many other ways. You could also create a landing page for your referral program that entails details about what you offer, what they could expect as rewards, and what your customer needs.
- Make getting a reward easier
Some of your customers could be too busy or just not interested in joining a program. And those that do, should be prioritized to be kept happy. The more that they become happy with the benefits you give, the more that they continue in promoting you.
Another way to make getting rewards easier is by making the process simpler. Set up automated transfers if you are paying cash to make it quicker. No matter what your reward is, make sure that you keep it simple to achieve and be released.
How to promote your referral program
Make use of your email list
When you’re still starting to promote your referral program, you could make an email blast that would share all the necessary details. You should include a call to action button in it that would attract your customers by clicking on it and signing up. Email marketing is a way to market what you offer and at the same time keep your audience engaged. You also have to make sure that you use it to share new updates as well as upcoming updates to your email list. To make your email list better, it’s ideal to divide them into segments. That way, whenever you send out emails you could make it more targeted to their interests.
Let your website proudly wear it
Your referral program should have a real estate on a landing page. You can achieve this by adding a call to action on your website. There are many ways to do that, you could add a link on your header, a sidebar, and even a smack dab in the middle of your page to make customers sign up would do its work.
You could use website menus
If nobody is aware of your referral program then obviously it won’t work, right? So go ahead and make everyone aware that it exists! In the last 5 years, referral programs have been the bomb, people today aren’t just aware of it, they’re even aware of how to use them and what they’re for, actually, they even search for it! So if you don’t have a menu item or a section on your page dedicated to, it’s such a shame. You have to spark the curiosity of your visitors in order to increase your chance of turning them into your very own ambassador.
There’s a shift in paradigm in the world of technology as it’s being swept by a revolution of bots. Every brand are putting an effort into adding a bot interaction with its users. While many people who are focused on marketing have considered bots, there’s more focus on the ways it could boost ROI. But can you imagine if bots have the capability to upsell your referral program instead of just customer support and bookings?
Web Push Notification
For marketers around the world, web push notifications are such a fancy. Even when there’s obviously a debate on the rise of mobile between this, the web still is continuing to thrive. Web push notifications come in to get the attention of dormant users and also works as a playground for people who are promoting referral campaigns.
Bonus strategy to get more customers
Join Forum Discussions
For every niche, there are different forums, and in this forum, you will see people that are more likely interested in you. Join forums that talks about web hosting, try to contribute as much as possible and build a relationship with people in there. On your signature, you can use your URL to your website or to a page where you post special offers so when they click it could spark an interest. While helping people in related forums you are making more people know that you exist, meaning you are bringing more traffic to your business. Remember, be active and don’t just go there to invite, that could turn out negatively.
A referral program could work like a cycle that actually grows. You also gain the ability to keep and make your customers happier but at the same time attract new customers into your business. Your goal should be to set it up right to make sure it would work as an effective way to grow your customer base and lead to a bigger brighter business. So make sure that you choose the software that matches what you need, the right incentives, and an easy to use referral program to achieve more success.
Even if the web hosting industry is packed with a lot of companies, you still have the chance to grow if you have a successful referral program. Each person is looking for something different from hosts they use, problems could arise with some that could lead to their customers to look for another web host. As long as you make sure that your customers are promoting you and having a positive experience with your service, there’s a great chance that more people will know and try what you have to offer. Good luck!