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9 Referral Marketing Strategies for Growing Your Construction or Trades Business

Written by on September 04, 2023

An effective marketing strategy is vital, especially in competitive industries such as trade and construction. Word of mouth holds paramount importance in these industries, and investing in referral marketing seems like a natural thing to do.

More specifically, in an industry where trust, reliability, and credibility reign supreme, the genuine praise of satisfied customers holds immeasurable value.

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That said, this article aims to unveil nine practical referral marketing strategies construction and trade businesses can use to improve their operations. We will show how each referral marketing strategy can help you foster long-lasting relationships with clients and stakeholders and set you up for success.

The power of referrals in the construction and trade industry

As we mentioned, word of mouth plays a huge role in the success of construction and trade businesses. The power of referral marketing, thus, shouldn’t be overlooked. That said, let’s break down and highlight the benefits of referral marketing for businesses in this sector:

  • Referral marketing improves trust and reliability: Construction and trade projects are usually complex and involve substantial investments. Companies with customers ready to vouch for their expertise and quality are likelier to increase their client base as they have proof of their quality.
  • Referral marketing improves reputation: Reputation is vital in construction and trade businesses. Referral marketing can significantly enhance a company’s reputation since customers testify about their quality and expertise. First-hand experiences from satisfied customers are guaranteed to increase the importance of any business. This is why companies should work on incorporating referral marketing as a part of their strategy.
  • Referral marketing improves the quality of leads: Besides being cost-effective, referral marketing brings higher-quality leads compared to more traditional marketing methods. To be more specific, leads that come through referral marketing are more likely to become paying customers since they came to you by recommendation and already trust your expertise.
  • Referral marketing is cost-effective: We can say that referral marketing costs less compared to traditional advertising since it depends on word-of-mouth of satisfied customers. By nurturing the relationship with the existing customers and providing quality service, construction, and trade businesses can acquire new ones without spending a dime on advertising.
  • Referral marketing secures long-term sustainability: The true power of referral marketing hides in its ability to host long-term sustainability for construction and trade businesses. By nurturing customers and ensuring their satisfaction, these businesses can create a solid customer base that provides a stable stream of projects and revenue over time.
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9 Referral Marketing Strategies for Construction and Trades Business

After we’ve listed the benefits of referral marketing for construction and trade businesses, let’s see some proven strategies these businesses can use to skyrocket their business goals.

Use invoicing for referral marketing:

Construction and trade businesses can effortlessly create a referral marketing campaign by doing what they already do each month: sending invoices. What do we mean by that?

They can personalize their invoices using software such as InvoiceBerry and include tailored offers to their customers with each invoice they send. They can, for instance, place discount codes, cash rewards, and gift cards and incentivize customers to become a part of their referral program.

Furthermore, construction and trade companies can include reviews and testimonials from satisfied customers that will act as social proof, reinforcing the value of customer referrals.  

A well-executed referral marketing strategy through invoices can help businesses tap into their loyal customer base and attract new business, driving growth and success.

Implement a customer referral program:

Construction and trade businesses should implement a customer referral program as a marketing strategy. To do it successfully, they should first set clear goals. For instance, this can be either increasing the number of leads, acquiring new customers, or enhancing customer retention. 

The next thing they should do is to determine initiatives that would appeal to their customers. This can be giving discounts, gift cards, free services, etc. Once they’ve found what appeals to their customers the most, they should use software that would allow them to track referrals more efficiently and then promote their program through various marketing channels.

It’s important to mention that companies should train their staff about the program and how they can encourage customers to engage with their company effectively. Once the referral program is set, tracking and improving results based on customer feedback is vital.

Leverage social media for referral generation:

Social media can be a great place to promote your referral program. To do it effectively, companies should first create profiles on social media, post regularly and consistently, and communicate with their followers.

They should encourage customers to share their positive experiences, which can help them organically generate referrals. Furthermore, companies can create referral contests and incentives where customers can refer their friends in exchange for exclusive offers or discounts.

If they actively monitor the sentiment of their audience on social media, construction and trade businesses can nurture relationships and increase the chances of turning satisfied clients into brand advocates who willingly refer their network to the company.

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 Partnering with complementary businesses:

Another excellent referral marketing strategy involves partnering with a complementary business. Construction and trade businesses should identify which companies have products and services that complement their own (for instance, architects and interior designers) and contact those businesses to create a mutual referral marketing program. 

They can either promote each other’s services to their customer bases, offer discounts for each other’s services (based on the principle if you hire us, you can get a free consultation with a real estate agent or architect), and so on.

Partnering with complementary businesses can help construction and trade companies tap into new markets, expand their reach, and grow a strong partner network that amplifies their referral marketing efforts.

 Collaborate with influencers and industry experts:

Collaborating with influencers and industry experts is another excellent way construction and trade businesses can leverage referral marketing. 

In this case, the first thing to do would be to identify relevant influencers and industry experts who have a significant following and influence in the construction and trade sectors, such as architects, designers, contractors, or famous social media personalities known for their expertise in the industry. 

After they create the list of these people, construction and trade businesses can approach them for partnerships, offering value in return, such as exposure and trust among the customers. Furthermore, allowing influencers to have and share referral codes with their audience can bring more leads to the business and promote business growth.

Offer incentives for repeat business and referrals:

Offering incentives for repeat customers and referrals is another excellent referral marketing strategy. Construction and trade businesses can implement a loyalty program for repeat customers to incentivize them to shop or use their services more and discounts to referrals to increase their likelihood of purchase.

If companies make their referral process seamless, they’re more likely to have a customer base that will voluntarily advocate for their business and help them increase their revenue much faster than with other traditional marketing methods.

Optimizing a website for referrals:

Optimizing a website for referrals is one referral marketing strategy construction and trade businesses shouldn’t overlook. First, they should actively ask their customers for testimonials and reviews and showcase them on their website as social proof, encouraging leads to purchase or hire them.

Construction and trade businesses can also create a dedicated page or section on their website that explains their referral program and how customers can participate.

This page should outline the incentives for both referrers and referees and provide clear instructions on referring others. Including a simple and user-friendly referral form or link on this page can make it easy for customers to refer their friends and acquaintances directly through the website.

By streamlining the referral process and providing a positive user experience, construction and trade businesses can maximize the potential for website-generated referrals and boost their overall referral marketing success.

Personalize referral requests:

Personalization of referral requests can significantly improve the effectiveness of the referral marketing strategy. That said, businesses should take time to craft a referral offer that appeals to individual customers.

This means addressing customers by name, acknowledging their specific projects or past interactions with the business, and expressing genuine appreciation for their loyalty.

By making customers feel valued and understood, construction and trade businesses can establish stronger relationships, leading to a higher likelihood of referrals and an overall more successful referral marketing strategy.

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Utilize email marketing for referral campaigns:

Email referral campaigns are a powerful marketing tool that can help businesses skyrocket their goals much faster.

Companies can segment their email list to target customers, such as frequent customers, past clients, those who just showed interest, and so on, customize each email to address specific needs and preferences, and highlight benefits and incentives their referral program brings.

Furthermore, companies can send automated email sequences to follow up with customers who have received the referral request but haven’t taken action. They can offer exclusive incentives or time-limited promotions for successful referrals that can further motivate customers to participate in the campaign.

Businesses can effectively leverage email marketing, construction, and trade to reach a wider audience, nurture customer relationships, and drive more referrals.

Final words

An effective referral marketing strategy is vital for industries where word-of-mouth plays a significant role, such as construction and trade. Companies in these industries shouldn’t overlook the power of referrals, mainly because we know that they increase trust, improve reputation, and bring quality leads.

Furthermore, besides being highly effective, referral marketing is one of the cheapest marketing methods that successfully promotes long-term sustainability by nurturing a loyal client base.

In this article, we showed some of the most effective referral marketing strategies you can try for your construction and trade business that will help you elevate your operations and foster long-lasting relationships with clients and stakeholders.

From implementing customer referral programs and leveraging social media to collaborating with influencers and optimizing websites for referrals, each strategy can boost customer engagement, increase referrals, and ultimately set the businesses on a path toward success.

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