Clients tell us that a customer referral program is one of the most popular ways to get new business in the door. Referral business seems to hit certain dealerships hard around tax time, when folks are looking to get into a new vehicle, and their friends are looking to cash in on a referral fee.

A promotional calendar should be part of your overall marketing calendar, and should include promotions such as referrals. Incentivizing customers for bringing in friends and family – and making them customers – is a great way to increase your business and get extended groups engaged in your marketing.

What is a Decent Referral?

Think about it this way – every customer who walks through your door is going to invest tens of thousands of dollars. They often bring along friends or family who will help them make the decision to buy a car.

In many cases, this is someone who has previously had a great experience with your dealership. If a customer leaves in a new car, and the customer’s loved one leaves with a crisp hundred dollar bill, everyone’s happy. Incentivizing people who bring you more business doesn’t just reward friends or family of customers – it’s a process that rewards car buyers as well. When someone who just bought from you sees that you’re willing to reward friends and family for referrals, they’ll be on board. After all – who doesn’t want that free money?

Taking it to Automotive Direct Mailers

Many customers won’t know you have a referral program unless you bother to tell them. Automotive direct mail pieces are a great way to do this. You can get future customers on board by telling loved ones who have already purchased about the referral bonus.

Buying a car can be a long, tedious process, so it’s always a good idea to use automotive direct mail pieces to remind purchasing customers that a referral can translate into cash. Online or mailed surveys are also a great way to remind customers about your incentive program.

Try using large, blocky font in your mailers or on surveys with the words TELL A FRIEND and your general branding. Chances are many of your customers know someone who needs a new car, and if the opportunity is there to make a little extra cash, you could end up making a sale.

How will customers know you have a referral program unless you tell them? Use automotive direct mail and past/current customers to spread the word.