How Referral Marketing Can Benefit Web Hosts
Referral programs are the best way to promote a web hosting business. The niche of web hosting is already loaded with a number of companies. Yet web hosting businesses are easy to promote because you can write your own reviews. Many tools exist to determine the speed and reliability of your website server. The best part is, customers will stick with your web hosting business unless something particularly bad happens. Consider the Cox Internet Plans website. Cox sticks with its hosting service because it is reliable, fast and has minimal downtime. If the service were to be suddenly disrupted or unreliable, only then would Cox leave.
Customer referral benefits
When it comes to first time buyers, they are often looking for recommendations and reviews from people they know. Naturally, they trust them more than ads. This makes having a customer referral program a very effective strategy for marketing your business. In a web hosting company’s case, you need your customer to refer other people to you for hosting services. Referrals are specifically aimed at your target audience since people will only refer specific companies for specific services. One other important benefit of customer referrals is that it can turn into a cycle. Your first customer refers you to someone, that person becomes your customer and refers you to someone else in turn. As this goes on, your referral program will grow as well as your business.
How to set up a referral program
If you are convinced that a referral program will work for your web hosting business, the next step is to set up the program. Giving rewards in exchange for new customers is a very cheap price to pay. Firstly, you need to know what you can offer to make your customers happy. You can choose from a variety of incentives like discounts, cash rewards, free trials, etc. But you need to understand what your customer would be most happy with and incentivize that. Secondly, you need to make your customer refer you. If you want customer referrals, then the process should be quick and simple. Customers can post referrals on blogs, social media or other forums. You need to know which forum the customer is most happy with and let them choose it for referrals. Thirdly, choose the right referral software that meets your needs without draining your resources. Many such software exists that plug-in to your website or can be added on. Just make sure its compatible. Fourthly, you will need to promote your referral program, through social media, email marketing, invoice messages and texts among others. Finally, you need to make getting the reward an easy process. The few customers that do join your referral program should be given top priority. Give good benefits to them and make the process of giving these benefits as easy as possible.
Promoting a referral program
You can resort to a number of methods to promote your referral campaign. One way is to use email marketing, utilizing your email list of customers and other parties. It is important to include a call-to-action button to encourage readers to click. One good way to make email campaigns more effective is to categorize your email list into segments. Then target these segments separately. Another effective way to promote your program is to announce it on your landing page. Make sure it is prominently displayed with a visible call-to-action button to target all website visitors. There is much work being done on using bots to increase ROI. We can expect to see bots taking over the promotion and upselling of your referral program in the near future. Web push notifications are another great tool to use in promotions. It helps to tap into dormant users and makes sure it gets their attention. Finally, visit and post on forums that are specific to your niche. Forums that talk about web hosting are excellent avenues where you can promote your web hosting customer referral programs.
The long-short of it
A well thought out web hosting customer referral program can turn into a positive cycle. You can make both your existing customers happy as well as gain new customers in the process. The goal is to set up the promotion correctly so that it effectively builds your customer base. You need the right referral software, the right incentives, and an easy rewards process to make a successful referral program. One good example is the Realty Referral program that rewards agents who refer Cox Customer Support to people. This has successfully increased Cox’s customer base substantially. Make sure yours is equally effective.