Are You Asking for a Referral When Taking an Online Order?

When we make really good offers to customers or prospects and they buy, that’s the moment to ask for a referral. After all, they want their friends and business associates to get the same great offer they just got, right? Below is an example from www.photostamps.com, which has a great idea and offer. Please scroll down, click on the postage-stamp-size image and note how the marketer makes it so easy for me to give it a referral e-mail address or two. The only thing that’s missing is the ability for responders to upload their personal distribution list.

The better you make your offer, the more e-mail referrals you can get. After all, don’t we all have “online shopping friends” who delight in e-mailing us when they find an “unbelievable deal” on the Web? One friend of mine recently e-mailed me when Spirit Airlines had a $5 airfare to San Jose, Costa Rica. (Crazy, but true!) It was a real deal! My “Bargain Betty” Internet-shopping wizard friend took great delight in e-mailing hundreds of her closest friends and associates about the deal. She maintains a distribution list just for such occasions.

Create a Buzz

I’m sure this is what Spirit Airlines had in mind when it came up with the lost leader offer. It wanted to create a viral, online buzz. And it sure did thanks to all the “I can’t wait to tell you what I got!” shoppers out there. (By the way, I had never even heard of Spirit Airlines until that day.)

So test this: Come up with an unbelievable offer — good for one day only. Think of it as an online, B-to-B version of Kmart’s famous “blue-light specials.” And it must be drop-dead good. Try to do more than just discount yourself into oblivion. “Buy this and get that” offers are good. So, too, are bonus offers on newly launched products, much like Spirit Airlines did with its new route to San Jose, Costa Rica.

Always Make it Easy

In all your online promotions, make sure it’s easy for your readers to tell their friends fast because offers like yours won’t last past, say, midnight. You get the picture. The value is in the referrals and making a splash.

Let me know how you make out, and if anyone from www.photostamps.com or Spirit Airlines reads this, I would love to hear your feedback.

Terence Jukes is president of B2B Direct Marketing Intelligence Inc., a strategic consultancy based in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., that services clients in the U.S., Canada, France, the U.K. and Germany. You can reach him at www.b2bdmi.com or (954) 566-4451.
Terence Jukes is president of B2B Direct Marketing Intelligence LLC, a strategic B2B direct marketing consultancy based in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., that services B2B catalog company clients in the U.S., Canada, France, the U.K. and Germany. You can reach him at tjukes @ b2bdmi.com or (954) 383-5221

Comments or questions are welcome.

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