Component 5: Refer
You’ve developed a well-oiled online marketing funnel. You’ve done the work to attract a steady stream of relevant traffic to your site. You’ve developed great content to engage your site visitors and refined your calls to action to successfully convert them. And, once you’ve got a customer, you have an ongoing communication plan to retain and grow the relationship.
Now it’s time to close the marketing loop and use your growing online customer base to attract the next wave of prospects. As with traditional sales and marketing, referrals don’t just happen magically – you need to put a plan in place to systematically generate referrals.
Generating referrals through online marketing
Here are a few key recommendations to generate referrals in your online marketing funnel:
- Make sure you “own” your name in search engine results. Your name is the most important search phrase for your agency. When a customer refers someone to you, they often just pass on your name. The referral is going to look for you by searching for your name. Make sure you are found.
- Gently keep in touch with your customers. If they’re going to refer you, your customers need to think of you whenever they think about insurance. Create a monthly or quarterly e-mail newsletter that focuses on education and relationship building, not selling.
- Request reviews on online service review sites. After you’ve helped a customer, follow up with a request for a review on a site such as Yelp, Judy’s Book and CitySearch.com.
- Ask for the referral. The rule from Sales 101 applies online, too. On your website, in your e-mail signature and anywhere else appropriate, politely ask your customers and prospects to spread the word about your services.