Word of Mouth
Did you know that 92% of people believe recommendations from friends over all forms of advertising? It makes sense - you’re much more likely to pick the party company that your friend used and loved over one that you simply saw online. When it comes to successful referrals, you just can’t beat good old word of mouth marketing.
We’re not suggesting that you abandon all of your modern marketing and take to the streets with a megaphone. After all, online marketing is still a great way to reach potential customers who have no previous connection to your business. However, every happy customer of yours holds the potential to unlock even more sales for you and that’s something that you’ll want to leverage as well.
An instagram post by BAPIA member @for_every_occasion_balloons (Instagram) in Rhyl.
It’s so simple that it sounds silly. Many customers simply just forget that a recommendation would be helpful to you. Every time a customer gives you good feedback, thank them kindly and then politely ask if they’d recommend you to any family and friends who may be looking in the future. They’ve nothing to lose and most people would be happy to pay you back for your great work.
BAPIA member @creativedecorations (Instagram) in Houghton Regis sharing their glowing customer reviews on Instagram.
Making It Extra Easy
For word of mouth advertising to work, your details need to be readily available and easy to pass on. Partygoers will often ask the host who did the decor so be sure to leave them armed and ready with some beautiful business cards to share, making sure that they know your social media details for anyone who asks.
When Jane’s sister asks who did her wedding balloons last year you want Jane to be able to remember and pass on the information immediately, even if she’s since lost your business card. This means having an easy business name that people can recall and pronounce. Regret naming your business Penelope’s Punctilious Party Practitioners now? That’s ok, why not give your business a nickname online like ‘Penny’s Parties’? Something short and unique that they can search to find your full details.
Balloon work by BAPIA member @Doodles_Balloons (Instagram) in Essex.
Sweeten the Deal
You can also offer an incentive to further encourage past customers to pass on your details. Maybe a discount on their next order for each new customer they send or even a freebie like a personalised balloon for their next celebration when someone who they’ve referred books you within three months. To keep track, simply assign each invoice or receipt that you produce a referral code e.g. ‘SMITH1’ and ask Mrs Smith to give this code to her friends and family to use if and when they book. Then, keep a simple spreadsheet to track the sales that come back from each code so that you can reward that customer and watch your business grow.
BAPIA members, remember to tag us in your posts using #bapiaparty so that we can see and share your great work!