Recipe: Creating a Referral Partner Program
The easiest prospects to close are those that have been referred to you. That’s why a Referral Partner program is such an important strategy for growing your business.
And if you have friends, family, colleagues, and customers who love what you do, creating a successful program should be no problem. Just bear in mind that the easier (and more enticing) you make it for partners to refer you, the more likely they are to help you grow.
- Recruitment Emails
- Details Page and Sign Up Form
- Resources for Promoting You
- Welcome Email
- Emails Encouraging Action
- Emails to Promote Product or Service Launches
About 4 solid weeks
You’ll only spend about 1 week recruiting your contacts to sign up as referral partners. Once they’re signed up, you need to make sure they sign into your Referral Partner center and find the resources you’ve created for them.
Spend another 3-4 weeks following up (1-2 times a week) and encouraging them to refer you. Remind them of your commission structure and resources. After the first month, follow up, on occasion with friendly reminders.
Also, don’t forget to include your referral partners when launching a new product or service. Just be sure they get in on the launch before it starts.
You’re going to want to fill your Referral Partner center with plenty of emails, social media ads, images, and other content before you invite contacts to sign up. The more you can give your referral partners, the more successful your program will be. Ready To Go Copy has provided more than half a dozen pre-written templates for you to use, making the preparation easy and fast.
Referral Partner Program tracking system
It’s not critical to have an Referral Partner Program tracking system. But if you don’t get one, you’ll need to find
1) a way to provide your referral partners with resources, and
2) an accurate way to track sales and commissions. We recommend using the referral partner program within Infusionsoft as it ties directly to your automated emails and shopping cart.
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1. Set up a sign-up page that clearly explains your program and commission structure.
While it would be great if everyone promoted you out of the goodness of their hearts, it’s very rare. Entice referral partners with a percentage of your sales. Include that information (as well as an explanation of the resources you provide) on your sign-up page. Need help writing a sign-up a page? You can find a pre-written sign up page in our Referral Partner Sign Up and Resources Campaign .
2. Find people willing to promote you.
Assuming you have a great product or service, this should be easy. Happy customers will probably be your greatest advocates. But also reach out to friends, family, vendors, networking groups, and complementary businesses. You may want to include a link or form at the bottom of your website - which is where "affiliate" marketers will look if they want to promote you. If you need help with recruitment emails, see our Referral Partner Recruitment Campaign.
3. Welcome your new referral partners to your program.
Just like your customers, prospects, and other people you do business with, referral partners want to know you are there for them. Be sure to welcome them to your program and let them know what to expect from you as well as the best way to stay in contact. If you need help writing this email, see our Referral Partner Sign Up and Resources Campaign .
4. Provide your referral partners with resources.
The one thing your referral partners absolutely need is a tracking link to make sure they receive their commissions. If you are not using an Referral Partner program, make sure the system you set up easily identifies who should get credit for your sales. Additionally, provide your referral partners with emails, Facebook copy, LinkedIn copy, banner ads, logos and other resources that will make it easy for them share the news about you. If you need help creating this resources, see our Referral Partner Sign Up and Resources Campaign .
5. Remind your referral partners to promote your services or products.
People are busy. And, while they may have grand intentions of sharing information about you, they’re likely to forget. For the first few weeks, email your referral partners frequently so they 1) remember to promote you, 2) feel supported by you, and 3) get in the habit of sharing information about you. If you need help writing reminder emails to your referral partners see our Referral Partner Long-Term Follow Up Campaign .
6. Include your referral partners in product/service launches.
This will help your referral partners feel they are appreciated and an important part of your program. Let them know in advance what’s coming, provide them with resources to promote your new offering, and consider giving them a significant discount if they choose to buy the product or service. People are always more willing to promote something if they have experience with it. If you need some help creating referral partner emails for a product/service launch, see our Product Launch for Referral Partners Campaign .
7. Regularly pay out on commissions.
To maintain the trust of your referral partners, be sure to get commission checks sent out in a timely manner. Once a month is a great plan. Make sure you’ve included the details for when you pay commissions on your referral partner sign-up page so there’s not confusion or discrepancies.