By Shannon Matson
***This blog post includes a free script & Canva pitch deck template so you can get started today!
Calling all high ticket programs! This referral program framework is going to be one of your favorite ways to reliably promote and sell your offer(s).
First and foremost, why should you deploy a referral program if you’re doing fine with lead gen? Why pay someone to bring in a clients that you could’ve kept 100% of the revenue from.
This Nielsen consumer report shows that the most trusted & followed form of advertising is a friend’s recommendation, with 83% trusting making a buying decision.
Which is great! But doesn’t move bottom line enough for me.
Here are the more enticing reasons:
Meaning – not only are you getting some support in the acquisition process, you’re experiencing a swifter conversion, a longer stay, and more purchases along the way – all due to the recommendation of your referrer. Win, win, win.
Now that you’re on board, let’s dive in –
Referral vs. Affiliate Programs
What exactly is the difference here?
While these terms may be used interchangeably around the online business space, there is a clear difference.
Referrals > A program open to your existing pool of clients and customers to incentivize them to refer new audience members to your platform and buyers to your offer.
Affiliate > Similarly, a program that offers incentives for bringing in new sales… except the person doing the promoting does NOT have to be a current client, customer, or graduate of your programs (unless you deem that a requirement).
There is a time and place for affiliates, but as mentioned above it is preferably kept to your low ticket offers.
The Tiered System
One of my favorite approaches to a referral program is using a tiered system for payment amount. This gives you the peace of mind that your program budget will grow right in line with sales, as it can be daunting to imagine major payouts when you haven’t yet seen the return, as well as continually incentivizes the referrers.
Creating a clear system allows for your participants to set goals and stay motivated to hit certain numbers over time.
Lets Talk About the Money
Referrals to a Pay in Full Contract
As with any traditional program, the payment to the referrer would come upon receipt of the full payment to the program host.
Be sure to give your referral program participants an expected timeframe in which to be paid, along with the understanding that bank processing might tack on a few business days to that.
Referrals to a Payment Plan
Payment Plan Option One:
When your referral program participant successfully refers a client who pays using a payment plan, the referral payout will come at the end of ALL client payments received. This is a stricter option but might be right for you depending on your program.
ex: Nat refers Lexi to a high ticket Bungalow Course, and she pays on a 6-month payment plan. Nat will receive her referral program payout after the six month is collected.
Payment Plan Option Two:
Pay the referer monthly with each received payment from the client. Of course, it comes as no surprise that if a customer misses a payment or defaults during those months, the referer does not receive that payment.
ex: Lexi has a 6-month payment plan for her high ticket Bungalow Course, so Nat receives a payout as the referrer each month once Lexi’s payment is received.
Please note, these are simply recommended schedules. It is critical that you deploy a contract to protect yourself and to create a clear understanding of expectations with referral program participants We will always recommend consulting with your legal advisor as your prep a program such as this. We work with Business and Trademark Attorney, Taylor Tieman of Legalmiga.
Your Ideal Referrer
Your dream referral program participant may come in many forms- hey, it’s like dating, don’t limit yourself to one type. 😉
You have a wide pool to select from, look for past clients, peers within your industry who have a different audience, or even big industry individuals.
However, we do want to filter for quality (Woah this is like dating!) Make sure that they have an understanding of your offer’s features, your tactics, and can be a positive example of what your particular offer can do. A word of caution: don’t worry too much about nabbing those with the same audience as you, even if you feel like it might put your name in lights within your micro-niche. It actually ends up costing you more as you’d really just be paying out a percentage to convert your own leads.
Your Program Referral Script
Don’t think we wouldn’t stack you up with everything you need to get started! Grab this script, much like the ones we’ve used ourselves for prior referral programs, and customize it to your own offer.
*Pssst, a great extra step is to add a “who referred you” section to your offer’s application page and give your referral program participants the heads-up!
COPY & CUSTOMIZE THIS SCRIPT:
Thank you for being a powerhouse in this community and for trusting [XYZ Offer] with your [niche] growth.
We were thinking about you and kept saying, “How can we get more involved with [their name] – they’re so awesome…” When it hit us – we could team up!
We’ve got a program, you’ve got the friends who need [solution your offer provides]- why not make it a payout party?
Here’s our private new referral program for [XYZ Offer]:
-1-3 referrals = 5% (Potential $X)
-4-6 referrals = 7% (Potential $X)
-7+ referrals = 10% forever (Potential $X)
*See the Attached Deck for a Full Breakdown
This referral program is exclusively for current or past XYZ Offer members, as we trust you all implicitly. We’ll be sending your commissions via PayPal. When someone applies + converts via your referral, we’ll reach out directly to get your info.
We’re currently enrolling for the next quarter, and your referees will just CLICK HERE to apply.
Are you interested? If so, we can get your officially onboarded + send over helpful marketing materials and program details. Please email us back with your interest or questions and we’ll hook you up!
Final Pieces of Consideration
While you’re putting this referral program together, don’t forget the extra touches that improve your overall clarity and professionalism (which = faster “YES YES YES!” responses in your inbox).
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