I frequently participate in forums on Alignable, asking and answering marketing questions. I occasionally bring bits of the forum here to the blog. Today, I’ll be expanding on a conversation I had with a bookstore owner about how to generate referrals.
Bookstore Owner : Looking for advice as to how best to market my audio bookstore to the local neighborhood and online. Here’s my issue. Our business model, that makes us unique to bookstores, is that we offer audio books for Rent. I believe we give a great value to our customers for the price we charge. But I have tried everything including radio ads, print ads, Facebook Ads and writing articles. Yet, most people find the store by accident. After 9 years in the same location, people still walk in and say to me “Wow, I didn’t know this place existed”. Thanks in advance.
Brianna at One Step: Do you have any sort of referral or rewards program? Often the best marketers are those clients who already love your business. Maybe you could offer a free month’s membership or a free book rental if they share your Facebook page, bring a friend to an event, tell a friend about your business, etc.
Bookstore Owner: We have tried several types of referral plans. Giving $5.00 credit for each referral. Offering a 1 Free month to our customers if they get a customer to sign-up to a plan. We usually advertise these referral programs for three months in a row. Out of the 300 customers we sent the offer out to only less than 1% referred anybody. That’s not say that we don’t get referrals from our customers, because we do. They just happen to be given organically. I don’t think our customers which skew in a older demographic care so much about getting a free month or receiving a dollar amount for each referral. Plus our business is so unique, I don’t think most people are thinking about it when they are out with friends.
Brianna at One Step Services: Rather than trying 3 month plans, I recommend thinking of ways that you can consistently and constantly remind your clients to refer you. You may be right that they aren’t interested in rewards and that organic referrals are best for your clientele. However, there is nothing wrong with reminding them to make those organic referrals. Many studies show that the more you remind or ask people to do something…refer you, like your social media post, write a testimony, etc…the more likely they are to do it.
So to increase those organic referrals, consider including a referral card in every book you mail out. Just a little something that a client could pass on to a friend with your info. Keep those same handouts near your cash register so people can grab them on their way out. Every time you send an email, make sure there is an obvious link so they can forward it to a friend. If you’re on social media, about once a week make a post asking for referrals or asking them to share your post/page with their friends. Here at One Step, we send out handwritten welcome notes to new clients and we include referral cards. We also send handwritten notes to our most consistent and loyal clients, people we think would speak highly of us.
It may sound obnoxious, but keep in mind one single person will probably only pay attention to one of these touch points. And it’s critical that you constantly stay top of mind to get those organic referrals. This is not a three month program, but something that is part of your long term marketing strategy. And I do think that you are off base in saying that your service is so unique people don’t think about it when out with friends. Media is a very popular topic amongst friends and movies, music and books are easy conversation starters. Your clients will refer people if you tell them to.
I frequently participate in forums on Alignable, asking and answering marketing questions. I occasionally bring bits of the forum here to the blog. Today, I’ll be expanding on an answer I gave to a landscape design business about generating leads.
Can anyone recommend good lead generating tools/techniques for a custom home building and landscape design business?
My boss got her backyard completely remodeled a few years ago. Just a few months later, the next door neighbors also redid the backyard. About a year later, the neighbors across the street revamped their front yard. Typically, when one neighbor does something to upgrade their home, it inspires others in the neighborhood to do the same. Therefore, if you work with homes, either as a contractor, landscaper, real estate agent, house cleaner, etc, your BEST place to find leads is in the neighborhoods where you are already working. So, here are some ideas for generating leads from the neighborhood in which you are working.
Numero uno is signage! Stick a sign in the homeowners lawn to let ALL the neighbors know who you and what you’re doing. If they want similar work, they know who to call. You can do a simple coraplast sign, or you can do a large sign with an attached box for flyers or business cards.
Do a direct mail or walk and drop campaign. I recommend doing one at the beginning of the job and one at the end. I once received a mailed card from a solar panel company. They told me they were going to be in the neighborhood installing and that they’d love to stop by and give me an estimate. This was an incredibly effective message, especially since I had been under the impression my neighborhood didn’t allow solar panels. Another effective mailing would have been if they had gathered a testimonial from that client and sent it out once the job was done.
Introduce yourself. You may not have time to walk the entire neighborhood, but you can take an hour and just walk the street. Even if you don’t consider yourself a sales person, you’ll be surprised how far a casual introduction and a business card can go. You don’t have to make hard sell, just introduce yourself, chat with people about their needs, and leave them with a card or brochure so they know how to contact you.
Give your client a referral discount. Your customers are your best sales people. Do a great job on their house, and they’ll naturally recommend you when asked. But if you offer some sort of incentive, they’ll talk about you even when they aren’t asked! And their personal testimonial will go a long way in convincing neighbors to pick up the phone.
Do you have any other tried and true lead generation strategies for people working on homes? Let us know in the comments below. And if you need signs, postcards, business cards, brochures, flyers or ANY other print marketing to promote your real estate business, landscape business, or home contractor business, talk to us! We offer free consultations, competitive pricing and high quality custom design products that cannot be beat.
Our Halloween postcards are fun and festive, with carefully crafted messaging to generate phone calls or drive traffic. They are an eye catching relevant way to tell people about your real estate business.
Here are 5 ways to use Halloween postcards:
- Send to your real estate farm.
- Send to list of past and current clients.
- Having an event? These can easily convert to invitations
- Hand out with candy to trick or treaters
- Use digital versions in emails and on social media
Plus, if you place a mailing order of 300+ before by September 29th, you’ll get 100 free print and return postcards. Download the order form Halloween Postcards fill it out, and email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Do you have a farm with many first time home owners? They may be wanting to sell but are nervous about the process since they’ve never sold before. Send them this postcard to assure them that you will walk them through the process and give them all the info they need to make an informed decision.
Download First Time and Fix It order form
Not every postcard needs to be a sales solicitation. It’s a good idea to send useful, relevant information to your recipients in order to build brand trust and recognition. This Fall Fix It postcard is perfect for just that.
Download First Time and Fix It order form
Nonprofits always receive 20% off list prices at One Step Services
#GivingTuesday is a social media movement intended to kick off the holiday giving season by raising awareness of charities, their specific missions and needs. We’ve created a series of pre designed printed and digital products you can use to participate in #GivingTuesday and increase awareness, engagement and fundraising for your organization.
Check out products. You can see bigger version of each one by viewing the order form. To place an order, simply fill out the form and email to email@example.com. You can also call 949-587-5301 with any questions.
This 3 postcard mailing campaign educates recipients about #GivingTuesday and drives them to your specific website where they can donate or learn more about your organization.
Choose from 3 different designs, but the messaging is the same. These handouts invite recipients to participate in #GivingTuesday by donating to your organization or volunteering. The piece drives people to your website and social media channels.
Download the Giving Tuesday Handouts order form
#GivingTuesday is a social media campaign, so to take full advantage of the movement you need to have a presence on social media! Purchase these images and use them in emails and across social media channels to increase engagement.
Download the GivingTuesday digital images order form
Do you have your own real estate app? It’s such a valuable tool for your buyers and sellers. But have you ever thought about using it for lead generation?
Using our promotional products, you can advertise your app to people who aren’t even clients yet. It’s possible that a valuable app like yours is just the thing that convinces them to list or buy with you.
We have three different products: postcards, business card backs and sign riders. Order just one or all three and we’ll customize with your information.
Download Agent App Order Form
The summer is already coming to an end. Time to pack up the beach gear, get out the school supplies, and get back on a regular marketing schedule. These back to school postcards are a great way to connect with your geographic farm or social list. Your clients are getting back into a routine, time to get back on their radar!
Download Back To School Order Form. Fill it out and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org
Are you a real estate agent going after expired listings? Check our latest batch of content ready postcards, with postcards aimed specifically at owners of expired listings. Let them know that you have the tools and expertise needed to get that home sold.
Download Expired Listings Postcard Order Form
Not going after expireds? Not a problem. We also have a new traditional listings lead generation postcard. This “Choose Your Selling Adventure” postcard shows people that regardless of their situation, they need to give you a call!
Summer is in full swing! And we know the beach is calling your name and you’re finding it hard to choose work over Pina Coladas, but it’s so important to keep marketing and prospecting even during the slower summer months. Our content ready postcards make it so easy. Just pick one, give us your info, and we’ll plug it in and mail it on your behalf. So go ahead, download an order form and submit it, then take a well deserved lounge by the pool.
Download the Pool Tips + Whats Your Next Move OSS Order Form
Download the Summer Bucket Order Form
Download the 4 Reasons and Navigate Order Form
Download the Summer BBQ Order Form
Download the HighDemand+SecureHome_OSS-OrderForm
School’s out and parents are looking for activities. Be a helpful resource with this Summer Bucket List postcard. Choose your county and we’ll provide 5 county specific activities. Or, if you have your own activities, we can plug those in as well.
These postcards are great “sticky pieces” meaning they are likely to stay in recipients’ hands for a while, giving your name and brand repeat exposure.
Download Summer Bucket Order Form