Contribution from Courtney Wylie, Mention Me. Originally featured here.

It's a new year. Time to start afresh, put that new marketing strategy into action, and drive your best results yet.

But if you're still wondering how you'll hit those ambitious targets, don't panic.

Here's how referral can drive your business – regardless of its size, sector or target demographic – to achieve six key objectives for the coming year and beyond.


New customer acquisition is tough. Advertising costs are rising, budgets are tightening and consumers are bombarded with countless marketing messages every day.

Against this challenging landscape, referral marketing presents a cost-effective solution that increases new customer acquisition by 10-30%. It's delivered powerful results for 400+ brands, ranging from challenger startups like Nutmeg to international giants like PrettyLittleThing.

But the truth is, referral requires work.

AB testing is crucial to finding the offers, creative and sharing options that resonate with your target audience. Are your customers generous or selfish? Aspirational shoppers or bargain hunters? Keen Facebook users or in-person conversationalists?

Launch a referral programme and find out. Then convert those learnings into seriously impressive results.


Acquiring new customers is well and good. But it can also be inefficient and expensive if they turn out to be one-off shoppers who disappear after their first purchase.

That explains why 97% of marketers now consider retention a key priority, rather than a secondary consideration to acquisition.

While the likelihood of customers returning varies between sectors – people are a lot more likely to buy clothes again than mattresses or luxury holidays – you can still take steps to increase your chances.

Implementing an effective referral is one such step. Referred customers are 54% more likely than other customers to make a repeat purchase.


Every marketer's dream is a huge database of customers matching their target profile who have actively opted in to receive emails.

But achieving this is no easy feat. In a world bursting with content – much of it pointless or irrelevant –customers are discerning about what they agree to receive. On average, just 1-5% of customers opt-in to receive emails.

Referred customers are 5x more likely to opt in to receive e-marketing.

That's right. On average, 25% of referred customers sign up to receive emails.

And this figure remains strong even among those yet to make a purchase. Their friend's recommendation means they approach your brand predisposed to liking and trusting what you have to say. Take this opportunity to send quality content, and it likely won't be long before they convert into a loyal customer for your brand.


If your brand provides a good product and/or service, it's likely there's customers out there recommending you to others. But do you know who they are?

Identifying and engaging with these individuals is key to unlocking significant growth for your brand.

There's a number of ways to do this. You can monitor who's talking about your brand on social media. You can send out surveys asking customers how likely they are to recommend you (and if they already have). And you can run a referral programme that not only tracks recommendations, both on and offline, but incentivises them, too.

The latter incorporates the complex psychological processes involved in recommending brands and tailors your approach to drive desired results from your audience.


We all know the disappointment of having hard-earned customers disappear.

But if you want to avoid those people falling firmly into your competitors' funnel, it's crucial you re-engage them.

The first step of a successful win-back cycle is segmentation. things first, you need to segment your lapsers to identify those that you can re-engage. If you're a maternity fashion brand, for example, your efforts are likely wasted trying to re-engage women who are no longer pregnant (although it's worth considering they may be in the future).

Next, hone in on your messaging. Tell your lapsed customers why they should return. Communicate your USP, what makes your products and/or service better than the competition, and why they should come back.

A referral incentive, from a discount to VIP invite, may be just the thing that compels people to return. And you never know, they may turn out to be your biggest brand ambassadors.


Referred customers aren't only easier to acquire, more likely to stay, and be more engaged. They also could be your most valuable customers.

On average, referred customers spend 10-25% more on their first order. They're more likely to shop again and they're 3x more likely to go on to refer others.

All that adds up: referred customers have double the average lifetime value of other customers.


Download our free step-by-step guide on how to run a successful referral programme to get the ball rolling. Or you can jump right in and request a free demo via the form below.

For more information on the services offered by Mention Me, head to their website.