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Monday, December 7, 2009

Does Your Camp Have a Customer Referral Program?

Do you have an active referral program for your camp? One that's meant to generate a constant stream of new campers? I'd recommend starting one if you don't.

With an effective customer referral program, you can turn your customers into salespeople. They'll spread your word to the masses.

There's lots of ways you can set up your referral program. But since most people are motivated by money, one of my favorite ways (and perhaps the easiest to implement) is simply by paying your customers a nominal fee for every new customer they refer to you.

Not only that, you can also pay the new customer a little something, too (or even offer a "new customer discount) as an extra incentive to sign up now.

Bank of America has a very straightforward customer referral program like the one I'm describing.  They'll give you $25 for each new customer you refer. And pay your referred customer $25, too. Check out B of A's customer referral program here and see if you can model your camp's referral program after it.

The great thing about this is everybody wins. You win because you just picked up a new customer for only $25 bucks. Your exisiting customer wins because they just made an extra $25 for turning on their friend to your camp.

And your new customer wins because they might also make or save some money (if you decide to pay them or give them a discount), AND they get to experience your wonderful camp program, which they might not have ever known about without their friend's referral in the first place.

It's well worth starting your own customer referral program for your camp if you don't already have one. Let me know how it goes.

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4 comments:

  1. At Mountain Day Camp & Altogether Outdoors (same company, different markets) we have been using a referral program since our start. Currently, we give a $40 credit when there is a referral-$20 to the new family and $20 to the referred family for taking a chance-a good one we think!

    We used to give a little more and not limit it. Now we limit it to 2 referrals per family. This way people know we want to refer them, but we don't give away the bank and give the impression that we want to discount our product too much.

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  2. Hi Eric! I've commented once before and am doing so again with a quick question for you--what kind of difference did your referral program make for you? Was the payoff worth it? We're thinking about starting one at our camp, but are wondering what other camps' numbers are like for trying this.
    Thank you!

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  3. Hi Alyssa,

    Thanks for the comment. (I'm sorry if I missed your previous comment.) I would say ANY referral program you get going is more than worth it. I'm a big fan of referral systems because 1) you automatically get a built-in sales force with others selling camp for you, and 2) when folks give referrals to their friends about your camp, it's much more credible since its coming from a third party compared to you telling them yourself. Here's what I suggest: Go to google and type in, "how to start a customer referral program." You'll get TONS of great results. See if you can't find 3 or 4 you like the best, then incorporate them into your own program for camp. It'll pay off in spades, I assure you!
    -Eric

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  4. Awesome, thank you so much Eric! (And you didn't miss the previous comment :))
    Have a great weekend and summer!

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