Good ideas and good businesses deserve to thrive, not just survive. That belief is at the core of Check This Out, and it is especially true as we move into a post-pandemic world. A huge number of restaurants and small businesses were hit hard by the pandemic, and finding a way to rebuild and thrive can feel daunting. As a business owner, you already have enough on your plate each day with HR, purchasing, finances, and more, and you shouldn’t have to sink hours into figuring out an effective marketing strategy on top of everything else. This is where referral marketing comes in. When you can leverage the power of referral software and word of mouth, you save yourself time and money. This means more feet through doors, more butts in seats, and less headache.
The Impact of COVID-19 on Small Businesses
While it’s difficult to measure, the Federal Reserve estimates that roughly 200,000 US establishments above historical levels closed during the first year of the COVID outbreak. Many of these closures were permanent though, again, the exact number is hard to pin down. Whatever the numbers look like, one thing is clear: COVID-19 had a staggering impact on local businesses and restaurants.
Yet there are silver linings. A huge number of businesses were able to migrate to an online setting or were able to adapt to fit the changing pandemic world. For example, there was a huge spike in web hosting subscribers and PPC marketing budgets as a result of the lockdowns and pandemic changes. The world has been constantly changing and evolving, and many businesses have adapted to stay competitive and to survive.
Effective Marketing Post-COVID
As more and more businesses have moved online, guests are spending more time on screens as well. Ecommerce, social media, and so much more are now happening online and on phones even more thanks to the pandemic and lockdowns. This goes hand in hand with the fact that people in the post-pandemic world are looking to the things and people that they trust.
All of this means that referral marketing is even more crucial. Referral marketing and referral software are not new. In fact, a study by Nielsen a few years ago found that 92 percent of consumers said they trust earned media— such as recommendations from friends and family— above all other forms of advertising. What is new is the increased value that referral marketing has. 2020 saw the pandemic coupled with a great deal of social and political upheaval, and now more than ever people are looking to the people they trust for recommendations. Loyal guests sending their friends and family to your business is like gold dust. If you can leverage the power of referral software, you can let your happiest guests spread the good word for you, bringing more feet through your doors.
Why Referral Marketing and Referral Software?
Restaurants and small businesses operate on finer margins than a lot of other business models, and spending dollars wisely is crucial for moving from survival to thriving. When you put money into a marketing effort, you need to be able to see the return on investment. So what are your marketing options? What are the best retail marketing tools?
Neighborhood mailers and coupons are traditional, yet they are also notoriously difficult to track and will likely not lead to a thriving marketing strategy. Trying to pin down who referred who and to know what you’re getting for your marketing spend can be like searching for a needle in a haystack. When you’re already operating on fine margins, this simply isn’t tenable.
Text-based referral marketing is a simple, effective answer to the challenges of neighborhood mailers, and a proven solution to the way that guests are leaning on word of mouth and to online browsing and buying.
How Can Check This Out’s Referral Software Help My Business Thrive?
Check This Out offers a text-based referral marketing software that is highly trackable and effective. You can track your return on marketing spend, see who your most vocal guests are, reward loyal guests, and get more lifelong guests coming through your doors. The goal is to save you time. Rather than sinking endless hours into traditional marketing efforts and hunting down your ROI, the best referral software will let your guests spread the word for you, and you can focus your time and energy on delivering excellent experiences.
For every dollar that guests spend on the platform, Check This Out has generated between $5-$12 in gross profit. It is one of the few marketing tools that shows the link between your marketing dollars and the revenue generated. Put simply, you will be able to track which sales come from word of mouth.
If you create great experiences, guests will spread the word to their friends and family. In turn, this grows your business and customer base, and so the cycle continues. This is why referral and word-of-mouth marketing is the most trustworthy form of marketing for thriving; it’s real and based on actual guest experiences and authentic relationships. Check This Out can help! Sign up for a demo of our referral program software.