Crafting an Effective Customer Referral Program

At a time when very few new customers are physically coming through our doors, now is a great time to have your loyal customers help build your online business. Creating a referral program for your Wine Club or loyal customers is a great way to have friends tell friends about your brand, increasing awareness and sales.

Much like tasting room staff get rewarded for signing up new club members, you can extend that to your existing customer base. To determine how much a new wine club member actually adds to your annual revenue, calculate the annual value of a club membership and from there you can determine how much you can afford to “pay” the customer for a referral. While you are not actually sending them money, you can reward them the value in wine. One type of benefit is issuing a one-time coupon the customer can use on a future purchase (which is a win-win for both you and your customer, for they will have to place an order to use the coupon). You can also opt to include an extra bottle in their next shipment – note that you will need to manage this well in for it to go smoothly. It is important to make sure your systems support and are set up to manage this type of program before you begin.


Another thing to consider when setting up a referral program: will it be immediate? Or will the customer have to wait for a certain amount of time to receive the benefit? I have seen more than one referral program require 3 club shipments before the reward is made – while the economics of this make sense, the customer who is waiting for their reward can become frustrated. Make it an immediate benefit – the sooner they see a benefit, the sooner they will refer more customers.


Once you have established the parameters of the program, put it in writing. Make sure you communicate it to your customers via email, publish it on your website and include a note in their wine club newsletter. Get the word out that it is available and encourage your members to take advantage of the benefits of bringing their friends and family into the fold.


No matter how you set up the referral program, make sure you can communicate how it works easily and effectively to your customers. Keep it simple and straightforward and reap the benefits of customer referrals!


Need help in setting up a referral program? Give us a call at 707-738-1301 or email us at wdms@winedirectmarketing.com.

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Wine Direct Marketing Services, LLC

707-738-1301

wdms@winedirectmarketing.com

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