Marketers have readily accepted the power of referral programs. Their reach, trust factor, and ability to target the right people combine to quickly and effectively boost customer acquisition.

The way they work is deceptively simple: You reward customers for being vocal advocates of your brand when they refer your brand to their friends and relatives.

Still, many referral programs do not cover ground that's very much within their reach; easily avoidable mistakes hold them back. Let's look at a few of those common errors...

Mistake No. 1: Disparity Between Your Offerings and Your Customers' Needs

You must important understand which sorts of rewards appeal to which sorts of customers.

If your customers buy from you on a weekly or monthly basis, then it's logical that your referral incentives include account credits and discounts off future purchases. But if they aren't regular customers, then those types of rewards would likely not appeal to them. Instead, a better approach might be to reward them with something of immediate value. You might think about providing access to not-yet-released products, or giving out gift cards.

So, the first step is to know your customers well so you can give them sufficient motive to refer your brand to their friends. Your referral incentives should also provide immediate, tangible value, else your program won't succeed.

Website builder platform Strikingly provides a good example of instant gratification and knowing your target audience.

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Prasad Dhamdhere is a content writer at Social Annex. He creates content, including blog posts, articles, whitepapers, and case studies, to help e-commerce companies acquire, convert, and retain shoppers.