Grow your audience by encouraging referrals
We trust our friends and family, that’s why word of mouth marketing is so effective. Take it from Rapp News reporter Sara Schonhardt, the host of the Subtext campaign Rapp News texts Rappahannock. This campaign serves residents of western Virginia with daily local news updates impacting their community and has seen a consistent trend of upward growth and engagement since its launch earlier this year.
Sara does a stellar job collecting and answering questions and has been simply blown away by the personal and thoughtful responses she receives from her audience. Perhaps that explains why she’s become a master at taking questions from her subscribers and turning it into content. Sara replies to her audience directly over text, but also in the form of stories and news articles. Genius! This enthusiastic and personal approach has clearly helped win the trust of her subscribers.
How do we know? Well, when asked how she’s kept up the momentum, Sara credited a portion of it to referrals from her loyal audience: “I’d like to think word of mouth counts for something, too, in this small county of just 7,000 people. I’ve had several subscribers say a friend pointed them to the service, and I’ve gotten feedback that they’re enjoying getting daily updates this way.”
A strong promotional strategy has also played a role in her success. “We’ve been running a formal promotion of some sort through the print paper every week since we launched the service. We also promote it through our daily newsletter, which now has just over 1,000 subscribers”. There you have it, straight from the horses mouth.
Want to try growing your own campaign by encouraging referrals with your existing audience?
Try it these ways:
- Update your welcome message to include a line like the one below encouraging people to share your service with their family and friends.
i.e. Have your friends and family join us here by sharing this phone number. They can sign up by texting anything to XXX-XXX-XXXX.
2. Remind your subscribers of this in a bimonthly broadcast and persuade them with a promotional offer. If a subscriber can confirm their referral’s number, then simply verify that number is your subscriber list and return the favor with said promo. Click here for technical instructions on how to create a promo-code and here to learn how to schedule a broadcast (you could schedule for the next three months all at once).
**Remember** Your reminder text should:
- Include something personal or anecdotal
- Thank your audience for support
- Offer a promo
- Include a call to action — including number they can text to get started
Sample reminder text:
Questions about this strategy or anything else? Want to start your own Subtext campaign? Please don’t hesitate to reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Let’s move this convo to text
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