Referral Marketing: How Is It Different From Affiliation?

Basically, Referral Marketing is focused on rewarding current customers to invite their friends to try your product/service. Whereas, Affiliate Marketing focuses on third-party brand advocates to send customers to your business for a flat fee.

As of today, Online Digital Marketing moves at the speed of light. To keep up, you need a strong foundation with the judgment to think critically, act independently, and be relentlessly creative. Businesses leverage digital channels such as Google search, social media, email, and their websites to connect with their current and prospective customers.

To maximize user participate, segment campaigns to specific user groups and create materials optimized for their communication channels. Brand ambassadors work mainly through social media platforms, text, email, and app interfaces.

Referral Marketing

What is Referral Marketing?

By definition, Referral marketing revolves around the shared relationship between your customers, their friends or associates, and your brand. Current customers personally promote your brand to new users to earn rewards, ideally for both themselves and their friends.

Successful referral campaigns motivate customers to share your brand with their family, friends, and associates in a straightforward, natural fashion. Encouraging happy customers to become active brand ambassadors is simple, so referral marketing sets your company up for conversions while rewarding users for their participation.

While affiliate marketing is like enlisting a reputable yet unknown salesperson to spread the word about you online, referral programs are based on personal interactions. It’s like bumping into a friend on the street and having them share a great tip or piece of advice with you. Often called word of mouth marketing, referral campaigns center around some basic facts.

Read Also: Friends with benefits: 3 steps for an effective referral marketing strategy

Is Word of Mouth useful in Referral Marketing?

Of course, Yes! Because we know and trust the person who’s referring us to a product or service, we are very likely to act upon their recommendation. As an example, those in-line with a value proposition and in a buying position act upon social proof.

In the end, they follow the lead of their associates. Whereby, each following customer acts in a similar fashion. Spreading the value and honest appraisal of your brand to those in their inner circle.

What do Research facts Showcase about Word of Mouth?

  • According to a Consumer report by Nielsen, the most trusted form of advertising is a friend’s recommendation. With 83% trusting the source for buying decisions. The report also found that people are 4X more likely to buy when referred by a friend.
  • Another Banking Case Study by a Wall Street Journal showed that referred customers are 18% more likely to stay. And also, they are 16% more profitable than customers acquired through other channels.
  • Also, in addition, a Study by Huzzah Media showed that not only do referrals improve marketing performance, but they also drive revenue. In the same study, 36% of small business owners noted that word of mouth is their best source of revenue. In that case, right behind returning customers at 44%.
  • Equally important, an Ogilvy Study says that 74% of consumers identify word of mouth as a key influencer in their purchasing decision.
  • Finally, another Case Study by Radius Global Marketing showed that millennials ranked word of mouth as the #1 influencer in their purchasing decisions. Particularly, on apparel, travel, electronics, financial products, and consumer packaged goods.
Referral Marketing Guides
The Beginner’s Guide to Referral Marketing – (zoominfo)

How does Referral Marketing work?

In the first place, customers or visitors who like your product or service refer people to your website, app, or a landing page. In return, there’s an ultimate reward. And this reward comes in two forms. Such as;

  • Altruistic Emotions
  • Reward Forms 

In reality, Altruism is the cornerstone of any referral program. Why? Because it feels good to help out a friend. When happy customers are incentivized to invite people along for the ride, between 2-3 new customers are created.

On the other hand, rewards in the form of discounts, credits, and upgrades are much like to increase leads conversion. Rewards can be tailored to suit user channels with the most engagement.

What Is Altruism?

Altruism is when we act to promote someone else’s welfare, even at a risk or cost to ourselves. Though some believe that humans are fundamentally self-interested, recent research suggests otherwise. Studies have found that people’s first impulse is to cooperate rather than compete.

That toddlers spontaneously help people in need out of a genuine concern for their welfare; and that even non-human primates display altruism. After all, research shows users aren’t as inclined to send invites just to gain an upgrade or an account credit. But, offering double-side incentives for both the sender and receiver is incredibly encouraging.

With this in mind, you can use consumers’ innate desire to share good ideas within social networks against rewards. All in all, this motivates more strongly because giving brings more joy than receiving.

What are Marketing Rewards?

Surprisingly, what to offer as referral marketing rewards is variable but must remain relevant. For one thing, users are evolving from customers to brand ambassadors. Creating valuable introductions and generating goodwill in almost exponential fashion.

Compensating referrers (those making the introduction) with something valuable is key, but keep in mind that: Focus upon customer engagement foremost. Building a stronger relationship with customers is the priority. Bearing in mind, as every individual that networks your offering is involved in a trusting relationship with your brand.

Some will write reviews on your website, otherwise will post on social, but each referrer is becoming more loyal with each action. Not to mention, bold social sharing CTAs make referrals a one-click process for users.

Therefore, increasing rates of mobile use is a distinct advantage to referral programs. And especially, those taking advantage of in-app messaging, push notifications, and other mobile referral strategies.

Affiliate Marketing Beginners Guide

What is Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate Marketing centers around a business relationship between a brand and an affiliate. In this type of performance-based marketing, the affiliate is paid to promote the brand. These publishers are compensated for each visitor or customer earned through their own marketing efforts.

Basically, if you’re having a hard time reaching clients, you could hire an affiliate. In the end, who might be part of a larger affiliate network to approach consumers through their own tactics. These businesses act as agents, sending qualified traffic to your website. When one of these visitors converts, you pay the affiliate a commission.

But, important to realize, Affiliate program success relies on locating advocates capable of reaching and promoting your product to your target audience. Customers will not know the advocate personally, and this is the crucial difference between affiliate and referral programs. Businesses can employ a range of affiliate partners to bring in a robust supply of new customers.

Read Also:  How to Get Started with an Affiliate Marketing Program 

How is Affiliate & Referral Marketing different?

Both strategies rely upon incentives to drive revenue, but the underlying strategy and techniques vary significantly. Affiliate marketing has a similar structure to referral marketing as they both use incentives to drive new customer revenue.

On one hand, Referral Marketing revolves around the shared relationship between your customers, their friends or associates, and your brand. Current customers personally promote your brand to new users to earn rewards, ideally for both themselves and their friends.

On the other hand, Affiliate Marketing falls under a large umbrella of affiliate programs. The affiliate programs are also associate programs. In addition, professional affiliates handle the affiliation process during the marketing period. If you have ever asked yourself what are affiliates, and more importantly what they do, then keep reading.

What’re the Costs of Referral Marketing?

Generally, the ROI for referral programs increases as user engagement and new customers expand the network of satisfied customers. As your customers are driving conversions, you can save on sales expenses in the short and long term.

But, if your customer service is lacking, this will be an incurred cost of a referral marketing program. Creating satisfied customers is a business essential never more clear when running a referral campaign. So, be sure to shore up inadequacies and address areas where customers might not enjoy their interaction with the brand.

Above all, customer satisfaction is mostly about feeling listened to. And also, having support staff available, so investing in customer experience can reap huge benefits. In addition, it is important that you consider referral marketing software in your plans.

Benefits of Referral Marketing include;

You may be asking: “Why should I allocate time and resources to referral marketing when I have so many channels to reach potential customers directly?” To that I say, successful referral marketing yields results that no other marketing initiative can replicate.

Let’s look at some of the unique benefits of referral marketing:

  1. Customers trust referrals,
  2. Referrals convert at a high rate,
  3. They increase customer retention rates,
  4. Boost brand reputation awareness,
  5. Referrals generate more revenue.

How do you get the Most from Referral Campaigns?

It goes without saying, there’s no way to force your customers to give referrals. But, the right referral marketing program will motivate your customers and dramatically increase the number of referrals you receive.

Always remember, not every satisfied customer will be willing to refer your business. The customers you reach out to first for referrals should be the ones who have demonstrated the most loyalty to your company.

Here are some key steps to consider.

1. Segmenting Your Users: 

Segment your audience based on how likely they are to give referrals. Keep in mind: a customer who doesn’t demonstrate strong loyalty might still end up giving a referral. Prioritize your most loyal customers, but continue to incentivize referrals for the rest of your audience, too.

Referral programs work best in targeted campaigns that speak to a segmented group of users. Break your lists down into chunks such as:

  • Users with the highest lifetime value (to attract other spenders),
  • Influencers with large social followings,
  • Users with high levels of engagement,
  • And also, users in specific geographic regions.

2. A/B Test Copy & Rewards: 

As an example, when Airbnb ran A/B tests that offered a $25 incentive to both users and new friends – instead of just users – they saw referrals increase by 300%.

So, spend time to test and optimize copy and offers to suit your users.

3. Mobile Audience Targeting: 

According to a recent survey, 79% of people 18-44 have their phones with them 22 hours a day.

This means that; using mobile-mania to your advantage can reap huge rewards in the right referral market.

4. Feedback and Purchase History

Use surveys to collect direct feedback. The most common method is a Net Promoter Score survey, which directly asks customers how likely they are to refer your brand and products on a scale of 1 to 10. Simply ask customers for their feedback using your business website or customer marketing channels.

The strongest sign of loyalty is a customer who buys from you again and again. These customers trust your brand and the quality of your products, and they’ll be much likelier to spread the word if you give them the opportunity.

What is a Referral Marketing software?

To enumerate, Referral Marketing Software and Solutions are an economical way to minimize the costs of staying updated of all the customer actions within campaigns.

With 2020 rapidly approaching, it seems an excellent time to consider your referral marketing options. As with most types of marketing, you can simplify your workload. By automating the process, using specialist referral marketing software tools.

Benefits of the Referral Marketing software include:

  • Flexible themes to support your brand’s look and feel
  • Analytics to measure customer interactions
  • Security features to protect against fraud
  • Triggered email notifications to keep users engaged
  • Seamless mobile platform integrations

Here: Top 10 Referral Marketing Software Tools to Look at in 2020

What are Marketing leads?

Marketing Leads Conversion is the process of turning an online lead (visitor) into an opportunity, deal or even customer. Usually, lead conversion is generated from marketing inbound or outbound activities. As an example, getting someone to open an email is an act of lead conversion.

Then again, having them click on the call-to-action link inside that email is another lead conversion.  Also, going to the landing page and filling out a registration form to read your blog content is another lead conversion.  And, of course, buying your product is the ultimate goal of some if not all lead conversion.

For consumer marketers, conversion can be relatively fast and simple. A possible customer scans a QR code to get a coupon (that’s a conversion right there). Again, they immediately go to the restaurant to get their free french fries.

Read More: Marketing Leads: How Do You Generate Conversions

What is Online Digital Marketing?

Digital & Online Content marketing has now evolved out as the simplest way to get more and more marketing leads. Especially, without putting pressure on the company’s owner and treasury department. And eventually, guide them down the sales funnel with relevant content and offers towards the purchase.

Online Digital Marketing is the process of marketing brands, products, services or solutions using digital technologies. Particularly over the Internet, but also including mobile phones, display advertising, and any other digital medium.

The reality is, people spend twice as much time online as they used to 15 years ago. And while you say it a lot, the way people shop and buy really has changed. Meaning offline marketing isn’t as effective as it used to be.

Here: How do you Get Started with Online Digital Marketing?

Related Sources;

I hope you enjoyed reading and understood more about the difference in Affiliate & Referral Marketing. However, if you’ll have more additional contributions, questions or even inputs, please feel free to Contact Us.

But, you can also leave your thoughts in the comments box below this post. All in all, below are more useful and related topic links.

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