College students are one of the top customer groups that many businesses have been targeting– they not only are more likely to become a repeated customers but have the power to influence their friend’s buying decision.  For many brands, this is the target demographic. 

In addition to college marketing strategies from discounts to online ads, What if you adapt referral programs that reward those for showing loyalty? There are some easy ways you can implement in your businesses to take advantage of referral marketing, like a referral program. By integrating referral marketing to your business, you will see its larger impact on revenues, brand awareness, and engagement with college students. 

Here are 4 reasons why your local shop should launch a referral program that helps you grow your student customer base 

Great word-of-mouth influencers in the neighborhood

According to SheerID, “[c]college students are the masters of the word of mouth marketing”. They are more likely to spread the word on shops that offer discounts and/or friendly services to their colleagues. Nielsen found that 83% of respondents believe recommendations from friends and family are the most trusted source- this means more than half will make decisions based on their close ones’ opinions. Furthermore, “83% of Gen Zs read reviews before they make a first-time purchase at a brand”, reading online reviews extensively. When a student tells their friend group that your brand offers cash rewards for every new referral, they will feel incentivized to refer to other friends because who doesn’t want extra money in college? You will be surprised by the number of conversions through word-of-mouth!

Moreover, a survey shows Gen Zs have the highest trust in the word-of-mouth in online or offline form compared to any other generation; they recommend brands to their other friends that their families and friends have recommended, and even they suggest brands, which they overheard from third-person. Therefore, using a multi-channel is the best approach to appeal to the student demographic in your area.

Cash rewards to loyal student customers

Customers deserve rewards for showing loyalty to your brand. The common types of rewards are coupons and point systems: they can motivate customers to repeat purchases. While the tactics could be effective to drive more sales, the major disadvantage for these rewards is that they are limited only to your brand. Cashback is the most ideal reward to build customer loyalty because it provides a “real financial benefit” to customers, according to Dealoyal. College students have limited funds, so they prefer incentives that allow them to purchase anything they want, or save up money. Cash will motivate them to not only buy at your store more frequently but talk to their friends to be your customers as well. With our solution, you can send cash back rewards to loyal customers that refer their friends automatically, hassle-free, and easy for your customers.  

Easy to track Return on Investment (ROI) data

Another advantage of a referral program is that you can keep an eye on return on investment (ROI) data. Without immediate ROI, it is challenging to calculate your business’ performance and customer behavior based on the frequency of visits and/or referrals. With a clear ROI, on the other hand, you can analyze customer groups’ buying patterns and learn how you could incentivize them to promote your business. If you choose to use our solution, whenever your customers join the referral program, you can easily track their customer behaviors through our dashboard

The cost-effective program that will reduce customer acquisition costs (CAC)

By enrolling in a word-of-mouth referral program, you will save money on customer acquisition costs (CAC). Paid advertisements could help get your store noticed instantly on various platforms; however, they are not so effective to increase conversions. Your brand would want to aim for retaining loyal customers as you gain new customers at the same time. When you integrate a referral program into your business, you can add more incentives such as free samples, coupons, and even cash to build long-term relationships with student customers. 

It is never too late to install a cash-back referral program. Using btwn, your business can leverage word-of-mouth referrals and increase revenues through customer referrals. Sign up for our free, universal program now!

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