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The MOST VALUABLE Source of Traffic (It’s Not Google Ads)

Are you looking to get more clients and customers?

In the world of digital marketing, getting traffic is crucial. Before anyone ever converts, you must have a source of people interested in your services. 

That’s why we leverage different marketing channels (including Google Ads)—to ensure we have a steady traffic flow. 

Just because we’re a Google Ads agency doesn’t mean we think Google Ads is the most valuable traffic source. 

The most valuable source of traffic is the one that’s most accessible to you and doesn’t cost an arm and a leg: warm referrals.

In this blog post, we’ll show you how to build a strong referral program to get more of your ideal customers and clients without wasting too much time, energy, and money.

Let’s dive in!

Why Warm Referrals Are Your Most Valuable Traffic Source

Referrals are the single most potent traffic source for any business, and it’s not hard to see why. 

First, it’s easy to get referrals from people who are already sold, people who already trust you. Even in today’s digital age, word-of-mouth is still the most proven and powerful marketing tool. When customers have had positive experiences with your business, they become natural advocates, willing to share their satisfaction with others. 

These happy clients are more likely to refer people who are genuinely interested in what you offer, leading to a stronger customer base.

Second, you have immediate access to warm referrals. When someone recommends your business to their friends or acquaintances, the initial barriers to trust are significantly lowered. Instead of approaching potential clients with a cold pitch, you’re starting with a foundation of trust and credibility. 

And lastly, we spend more than $150k a month on paid traffic on Solutions 8 alone, and we still close more deals from referrals than any other marketing channel. 

Warm referrals are the cheapest and most valuable source of traffic you’ll ever have!

How to Build a Strong Referral Program

warm referrals

Reach out to your current and past clients.

Believe it or not, your best clients hang out with your best prospects. They are in the same groups, take the same courses, and follow the same thought leaders. 

Simply put, if you want to have more of the clients you love working with, just reach out to your best clients. 

After all, “birds of a feather flock together.” 

Send this template.

How do I reach out to them? What should I say?

We got you covered. Here’s a template you can use to ask for referrals. Feel free to edit it as you see fit. 

“Hey [name] – I need your help. I’m excited to grow this year and want more customers like you! If someone comes to mind that would benefit from [product/service], would you send them my way?

I’ll make sure to roll out the red carpet.

And I always share [gift] for anything that results in a closed deal.”

This may sound simple. But it works. Here’s why:

  1. You’re being honest and upfront – “I need your help to grow”
  2. A little honest flattery – “I want more customers like you!”
  3. You’ll make them look good – “I’ll roll out the red carpet”
  4. You’re clear about what they’ll get – “I always share [gift]”

We use this same message in our business to get more clients, speaking gigs, and even podcast interviews!

Now, just one thing about giving gifts. If you’re going to give something, indicate that amount right away. The last thing you want is people thinking you’re going to offer something higher than what you’re planning to. 

Want to surprise them? Then leave the last part (number 4) out. 

Find the right timing.

The template above is short, sweet, and effective. But keep in mind, you also want to consider the timing if you want it to work. 

In the dating world, it wouldn’t be advisable to invite someone to a date if you haven’t spoken with the person for a long time. There’s no connection, there’s no emotion, and most of all, there’s no reason. 

The same goes with asking for referrals. Before asking, make sure you build connection and deliver value first. Ideally, the perfect time would be to send it after you gave your client amazing results! 

But of course, this may not be possible all the time. That’s okay. 

Just make sure to send the message at the inflection point—when they’re happy and satisfied with your services.

Dos and Don’ts for Building Your Referral Program

DO send them a message via text. Make it feel ultra personal like you’re reaching out to a friend. Of course, this is ideal if you’re in a good relationship with your client. If not, then this may backfire. If you’re unsure, send an email instead.

DO pay attention to the industry norms. If you’re paying a referral fee, ensure it’s something you can afford. For agencies, referral fees are usually around ten percent. Otherwise, give them a flat fee (e.g., $500). 

DO follow up on their referral. Let them know how things went, and keep them updated. Following up assures them they did the right thing, knowing you’re taking good care of people.

DON’T make people sign up for fancy software or use custom links. Doing these will only make it feel like an affiliate program. Make it genuine and personal. That’s how building relationships work. 

DON’T offer incentives to specific industries. Sometimes, with industries with a high personal touch, such as midwives, therapists, and certain personal trainers, it’s better not to offer gifts. Doing so could raise ethical (or even legal) concerns.

Final Word

Now that you know how to take advantage of your current and past clients to get potential leads, we just want to clarify one thing.

The process and template we shared with you will work. But remember, success won’t happen overnight. It could take days, weeks, or even months before you get a new referral.

The important thing is you’ve already planted the seed—you’re already on people’s minds. 

If and when they come across someone who’s looking for services or products similar to yours, we promise you they’ll be in touch. 


Bryan is the marketing manager at Solutions 8, and has been on digital marketing since 2018. When he’s not working, you’ll find him working out at a local gym, reading personal development books, or playing music at home. He feels weird writing about himself in third person.

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