It is becoming common business knowledge that retaining existing customers is the foundation of every company’s existence and continued success. However, new customer acquisition still remains the most important driver of business growth, especially in the B2B industry. This is where referral marketing comes into play. Numerous studies have proven that referrals generate some of the highest conversion rates amongst all marketing channels. Continue reading to find out why referral marketing is powerful and valuable for B2B businesses, and how you can ask your current customers for referrals (10 B2B customer referral email templates included).
What is the value of referrals in B2B?
According to the Harvard Business Review, 84% of B2B buyers are starting the purchasing process with a referral, and peer recommendations are influencing more than 90% of all B2B buying decisions.
Statistics gathered by Influitive revealed that 69% of B2B companies with referral programs report faster time to close sales, 59% report higher customer lifetime value, and 71% report higher conversion rates.
Based on the research by the Wharton School of Business, a referred customer costs a lot less to acquire and has a higher potential for retention and loyalty, In fact, a referred customer has a 16% higher lifetime value than a non-referred customer.
In their own survey, CustomerGauge found that referral business accounted for at least 20% of new sales, while referred opportunities closed at around 20 days compared to 100 days on a non-referred deal.
IDC and LinkedIn reported that 76.2% of business buyers prefer to work with referred vendors, and 73% prefer to work with referred salespeople.
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10 B2B customer referral email templates
Asking for a referral from a loyal customer
Asking a new customer for a referral
Asking a one-time customer for a referral
Referral request following a customer satisfaction survey
Follow-up referral request email
Customer referral program invitation email
Referral email template to send to a customer, for their use
Thanking a long-term customer for a referral
Thanking a one-time customer for a referral
Follow up email when the referral was not successful
When should you ask customers for referrals?
The customer has been with your company long enough to know the value of your product/ service.
The customer is actively using your product/ service and tells you how happy they are.
You know you’ve exceeded the customer’s expectations based on their feedback.
The customer responded positively to your NPS survey/ left a positive review.
You’ve hit a key project milestone/ completed a project successfully.
The customer already referred others to you without asking (they are likely to do it again if you ask).
You’ve launched a new (or made changes to the existing) customer referral program.
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