Gifting Loyal Customers Increases Word-of-Mouth Referrals for Blinds.com
Challenge: How to drive business growth by increasing the word-of-mouth referrals of existing customers
It’s no wonder that word of mouth is a key strategy in many specialty industries where competition is fierce and the struggle to differentiate is fiercer: a recent Jupiter Media Metrix survey revealed that 45% of online shoppers choose their e-commerce vendors based on word-of-mouth recommendations. In another study, Baylor University found that customers who receive promotional gifts are 14% more likely to provide leads; salespeople who give promotional gifts receive 22% more referrals than those who do not.
Blinds.com, America’s favorite blinds, shades and shutter store, wanted to tap into those truths by using promotions to encourage its base of satisfied clients to spread the word about the Blinds.com family of products and services.
Solution: Say “thank you” to customers with a big, bold imprinted gift that boosts loyalty and encourages referrals
Since people are more likely to recommend a company they feel truly values their business, ePromos recommended gifting the Blinds.com customers most likely to tell their friends about Blinds.com—those who had provided positive feedback about their experience with the company. The gift also had to be substantial enough for customers to want to share with their friends and family, as well as tie into the Blinds.com product line. Our choice—promotional car shades—worked well:
• Being lightweight, they’re easy and cost-effective to mail
• Car shades are useful; who doesn’t like to keep the sun’s heat out of their car?
• And because they block out the sun, just like blinds, the shades fit hand-and-glove with the Blinds.com brand
• Car shades double as highly visible advertisements; when displayed in a car windshield, the Blinds.com name and Web site are in full view of passersby
• They’re big and bold, gifts customers want to show off and tell their friends about!
Result: Blinds.com gets a surge of new business as existing customers refer others to the Blinds.com Web site
To make the gifting as easy as possible for Blinds.com, ePromos also provided fulfillment services—Blinds.com gave us the customer list…we took care of the rest. The Blinds.com staff tells us that customers really appreciated the promotion and felt like the company really cared. Blinds.com also has proof that their small token of appreciation truly impacted word of mouth: shortly afterward, the company reported a marked increase in word-of-mouth referrals to the Blinds.com Web site.
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