One of the most effective means of broadening your customer base is through referral marketing. Referrals are essentially leads that you obtain for your business of people who are interested in the products or services that you offer. This form of marketing has been in use for many decades and is considered one of the best ways to increase your customer base.

However, finding the right methods to increase the number of referrals to your business can seemingly be difficult in this day and age. Fortunately, there are five simple techniques that you can use to increase the number of referrals to your business.

Arguably the oldest method of increasing referrals is the use of incentives. This generally means offering a discount or access to a new product or service not available to the general public. One popular method is offering a discount to a customer who signs up a friend for your email newsletter who follows through. Offering coupons and other incentives is a great way to expand yourbase of referrals through the friends and acquaintances of your established customers.

Use the Best Social Networks
Social networks are where people gather on the internet, and you need to find the right one that best reflects the target audience for your products or services. Social networks like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and others have audiences that are made up of different demographics. So, finding the one or two that best reflect your customer base is key to expanding the number of referrals you can make.

Customized Messages
You can create a pre-made message designed specifically for customers to share with others. This saves the customer time in telling others about your products or services as all they have to do is share the message. The more work you do for your customers, the easier it will be for them to promote your business. The message you send should be interesting, informative, and offer a call to action to help entice people to look and perhaps buy your product or service.

Be Exclusive
Another simple, yet effective method is promoting an exclusive account, something that is by invitation only or when using the referral code from a friend. An exclusive platform encourages the feeling that your site is special and only for a select few even if many thousands of people are visiting your site. This method helps to promote your site by customers sharing with friends and creates an atmosphere that is more conducive for people to purchase your products or services.

Encourage Word of Mouth Advertising
Research has shown that word of mouth advertising from trusted sources like friends and family is the best type of marketing. This is crucial for your referral marketing efforts as your customers become sales reps thanks to their satisfaction generated from the experience they had with your company. You need to gently encourage customers to help promote word of mouth advertising.
By expanding your referral marketing, you will broaden your customer base and increase sales to your company.