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How to Generate Sales Through Referral Programs for Travel Businesses?

As the online presence in the travel space has increased, so has the need to update your travel business via new strategies. One of the novel approaches in today’s market is the system of referrals. 

A referral programme is a technique where a company finds and contacts consumers who appreciate or adore its brand and requests that they spread the word about them to their friends and family. Sales through referral programs are vital to the expansion of the business, especially a newly opened one, and make sure to keep the business afloat in turbulent times like Covid-19 when the travel industry took a major hit. 

Sales through referral programs can deliver top-quality clients and potential customers to your organisation who already have some amount of faith in it. Because of this faith, these newcomers are likely to develop into devoted, frequent clients who are very useful to your company and its expansion because of the inherited trust they have in you. 

Referrals from customers are also far more indicative of your business’s quality and profitability than you may imagine. After all, a consumer won’t recommend a business that isn’t deserving of a referral, especially to friends or family.

Depending on your strategy, sales through referral programs may even be your highest hits in the space.

Why Use Referral Programs & Referral Marketing

Modern marketing is becoming more difficult and expensive due to a combination of factors including

  1. The rising costs and decreasing effectiveness of digital marketing, 
  2. The difficulty of reaching customers due to ad blockers, spam filters, banner blindness, 
  3. The need to comply with laws like GDPR and the CCPA, and 
  4. The fact that many consumers no longer watch terrestrial television or other conventional media like newspapers.

In contrast, referral marketing has a strong business case. This is due to the fact that research constantly demonstrates that customers place a higher value on recommendations from friends and family than they do on other types of advertising. Additionally, people frequently open and read emails and texts from reliable friends and family members. Thus, there is a strong case for you to generate sales through referral programs.

Types of Referrals

Sales through referral programs can be of various types, and you can examine the types that suit your travel business the most.

  • Customer Referrals

Existing clients are one of your best sources of new business and are by far the most popular. There is a good likelihood that they will tell others who share their pain points and desires about how much they enjoyed using your product or service. This is especially true in the travel industry, where memories are made for life. If a customer is genuinely fond of your business, it is almost a given that he will be your loudest admirer and will send friends and loved ones your way.

  • Partner Referrals

Long touted to be one of the biggest advantages of having established partners in the space during analogue times, the online era has made it easier than ever to partner with prospective providers. This type of sales through referral program could come from online influencers, collaborating to showcase your travel elements, or partnering with a company that operates in a similar space, and you both mutually agree to send customers each other’s way for a fee. Review articles or feedback from these may be of invaluable use in growing your company.

  • Vendor Referrals

Last but not least, keep in mind the suppliers with whom you have a mutually beneficial connection. Building relationships and networking both require this. Once you have dependable suppliers to whom you send business, they are more likely to do the same for you by sending you, consumers.

  • Employee Referrals

This might sound simple, but generating sales through referral programs via employees who genuinely trust in your company will build connections and pull strings to rake in customers. You may choose to do this by keeping an internal rewarding system in place. This is why it’s crucial to keep your staff informed about your entire mission—the “why” behind what you do and the impact you’re attempting to make—in addition to your product offers.

How Will Referral Marketing Affect Your Branding Efforts?

Not only is it important for generating sales through referral programs, but it also helps to build brand awareness and a reputation among repeat visitors to your tourism business.

  • Role of Brand Ambassadors in Referral Marketing

To increase brand awareness, marketers stress the need for high-quality content in blog posts, social media updates, ebooks, and other marketing products. But having a group of brand advocates who will stand up for your company is just as crucial.

Businesses can have brand ambassadors who are eager to introduce them to clients and promote their most recent products thanks to a referral programme. These brand ambassadors have a strong bond with your company instead of being compensated as influencers. Loyalists are guaranteed to put trust in them and this in turn will generate sales through referral programs. They adore what you do, therefore they’re more than happy to support your business by both purchasing your goods and promoting them.

  • Making a Good Reputation Helps Generating Sales Through Referral Programs

Referral marketing initiatives give you a sincere way to communicate your brand’s narrative and enhance your standing. Referred customers are four times more likely to make a purchase when done by a friend or a near one.

Customers that serve as brand ambassadors are more reliable and authentic sources of information for your company. Even though they only receive a meagre reward for their efforts, brand supporters will only devote the necessary time to a company that they truly adore. They do this because they want their friends and family to enjoy shopping. So it’s a worthwhile investment to keep your customers entertained to make sure you pull in sales through referral programs.

Ideas for Referral Programs

Be sure to keep the following things in mind before launching your referral marketing plan or programme:

  • Make it Easy to Find

If you do have an official programme, provide a link to it in your main navigation or place it in a sticky sidebar that always appears no matter what page or post a reader is reading.

  • Advertise it Regularly

Once your referral programme or promotion is live, you’ll obviously want to advertise it, but it’s also crucial to keep reminding clients over time. Every once in a while, mention it on social media, add it to emails, and maintain a sign or flier posted within your shop. This makes sure to leave an imprint on the mind of the reader and makes it easier for you to make sales through referral programs.

  • Be Specific

Be precise in your content creation when it comes to your referral programmes. Customers should be able to clearly understand what the programme comprises. Don’t forget to outline the following:

  1. What the gift or offer entails.
  2. How their data will be utilised or not used.
  3. How specifically they may recommend family and friends.
  4. How can they monitor their achievements or rewards?

Your clients will feel more at ease engaging in your programme if they have more information about it.

  • Keep Track of Your Referral Data

For concurrent use and generating more sales through referral programs, it is imperative that you track your referral data.

You can quickly determine who is truly sending over potential consumers and who is coming up empty-handed by tracking referral data. After all, you don’t want to spend money and time on something that won’t ever be profitable. You might be shocked to learn that your best recommendations come from customers who have bought a certain product or from a referral partner with a very specific audience. Gaining these priceless insights will enable you to maximise the effectiveness of your marketing and provide even greater outcomes.

  • Thank Referrers Directly or Otherwise

It cannot be emphasised enough, no matter how clear it may seem. It’s crucial to personally thank your customers who recommend you, whether through a straightforward card, a tailored email, or an in-person thank you. Giving the referrer a discount or some other form of present will undoubtedly motivate and reward them. This small act can significantly improve your client connections and promote ongoing referrals.

  • Holiday Referral Offers

The most popular time of year to shop is during the holidays. Consumers are emptying their wallets for gifts, winter goods, and more, starting on Black Friday and continuing through Christmas and the New Year. It’s a fantastic time to bring on new clients!

Despite the fact that this is a costly item, you can still get the same results by providing referrals with a special holiday-themed product or mini-service in exchange for suggesting a customer to your establishment throughout the holiday season. Or, in the spirit of giving, a portion of the reward could consist of a donation made in the referrer’s honour to a certain charity.


To stay up to date on new strategies and tactics to boost your economic turnouts in today’s cutthroat market competition, you need guidance. This is where AI and machine learning come into play and the best place to keep you updated on all things tech to boost your business is PathFndr

By combining strategies like website management, search engine optimization, and sales through referral programs, you are sure to win big this holiday season! Happy marketing!