You might have come across the term ‘refer and earn’ several times in your life. After all, it is a marketing method that has been used by most companies in the past. But what exactly is refer and earn?
It is simply a word-of-mouth marketing strategy wherein the referrer spreads the word about your course to his friends, families, and peers and in turn, gets rewarded with bonus points, cashback, discounts, etc. for each referral. It is a win-win-win situation for all – you can build your audience strength, while your referrer gets rewarded monetarily.
Refer and earn can be pretty useful for your online courses as well. However, not many course owners do it or use it effectively. Many fail to continuously encourage people to share about their course and its benefits with their peers and colleagues.
In this post, let us understand some tips and strategies about how to use refer and earn to market your course. But first, let us start with its benefits.
Benefits of refer and earn program
The foundation of any refer and earn program is a sense of trust that you infuse in your audience, making them refer your course to others. On that note, here are two important benefits of it –
Your course will reach far and wide
As pointed out earlier, a referral is a word-of-mouth marketing strategy. It spreads far and wide and you might get audiences for your course from places that were never under your target geography.
Your course will enjoy improved ROI
As a course creator, you need an audience for your course. The only major expense for you in such a strategy would be giving small rewards and bonuses for your referrer. But when you look at the big picture, these paltry discounts and offers will be nothing compared to the huge number of new sales you will get. This enhances your ROI like anything.
Supporting your ‘refer and earn’ strategy
Implementing refer and earn strategy is one thing, but making it work is completely a different ball game. Support your refer and earn strategy with the below ideas –
Give sufficient benefits
Making people talk about your course is never an easy task. As a course owner, you have to entice them with a lot of carrots to spread your word. In other words, give them sufficient monetary benefits and do not be frugal about it. But more importantly, give them benefits that they can use and not some random coupon codes for a store that they will never visit in their life.
Create a continuous memorable experience
Any marketing strategy is not a one-time task and it should be done continuously. A continuous experience will be etched in the learners’ minds forever so that your course will be the first thing in their minds when they talk to their friends next time. To create a continuous experience, keep updating the benefits and pick those that are most popular at a particular time.
Make a ‘refer and earn’ policy
Customers never like to be kept in dark even if it is about the policies of a small refer and earn program. Draft a clear and transparent ‘refer and earn’ policy and place it at a prominent place on your course website. The policy should clearly define what a learner will gain, what is not covered as part of the policy, and so on.
Act on learner feedback
All marketing programs have to be gauged for their success and a refer and earn program is no exception. Talk to your learners constantly about your existing refer and earn policy. Ask them what they like and what they do not like about it. Try to find out the answers to the million-dollar question – what would they prefer as a benefit in the future. The best way to do this is by sending a feedback survey form over an email that they can respond to.
Related: 5 Best Ways to Use Students Reviews in Your Course Marketing Campaigns
Do not ignore the new joinees
Do not think that your job is complete after finding a new audience for your course via a refer and earn program. Give them a learning experience that they will cherish. Create content that is always unique and at the same time adds great value to your learners. When learners find something interesting and unique in your course, they will immediately share it with more friends. This will accelerate the success of your existing refer and earn program.
Types of Refer and Earn Rewards
Confused with what to offer for your referrers? There are various types of referral rewards you can offer to your learners. It can be either monetary, a product, or simply a value addition. Here are the top rewards that are perfect for your referral programs –
Discounts and Cashbacks
These are probably the most commonly given rewards in any referral program. Your learners will value discounts and cashback on your course more than any other rewards as they already like your courses and would love to try out more of your courses. And a discount or a cashback would be helpful for them to save some money on their next purchase. On the other hand, it is an excellent opportunity for you to sell more courses. In this stage, consider conducting referral tracking to check and increase the efficiency of your referral programs.
This is another popular type of referral reward that is often given to the customers for their referrals. These are third-party gift cards from companies like Amazon, Flipkart, etc. If a student finds someone for your course, you can offer him/her such a branded gift card, which can be used for shopping.
This is a ‘value-addition kind of reward and works well if your course has a premium version. Learners who bring in referrals can be offered a premium upgrade for your course for a limited period. During this time, the learner has an opportunity to explore the features of the premium version and can even purchase your premium package once it expires. This reward has a double benefit for you – not only do you get a new learner, but the existing one has also upgraded.
Further Reading: Course marketing in a pandemic: Tips and Strategies
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