Use word of mouth to power your referral program

Word of Mouth Marketing

There’s a way of reaching customers that most marketing execs haven’t mastered, despite 64 percent of them believing it’s the most powerful marketing there is. That’s Word of Mouth (WOM) marketing. WOM marketing is a vital part of referral marketing. Together they work to turn your customers into your advocates and increase trust and engagement with your business.

Traditionally, WOM marketing hasn’t been easy for most execs to control, once a word of mouth strategy and referral program goes live, much of it is out of their hands. It’s difficult to measure because WOM marketing relies on connecting with customers, and customers connecting with their friends. That’s notoriously difficult to analyze. It’s impossible to tie marketing spend back to actual results and to prove a return on investment.

These challenges shouldn’t stop you, in fact, they should encourage you. Many execs can’t leverage the power of word of mouth marketing. If you can, it gives you a substantial advantage. Extole’s refer-a-friend platform can help. 


Word of mouth marketing is the art of connecting with your customers, and referral marketing is the science and technology that lets you do this at scale. Combined, they connect you with your customers and encourage them to spread positive information and recommendations about your business. This inspires their friends and others to buy from you and increases your reputation and visibility.

To work effectively, word of mouth marketing involves connection — between you and your customer, and your customer and their friends. It relies on your customer being incentivized (by their passion for your business, products, and promotions) to share recommendations with their friends.


The power of word of mouth and referral marketing is in the “filter” it provides. We’re all bombarded every day by messages and advertising — it’s everywhere, traditional media, new media, newsfeeds, native advertising. We’re so accustomed to it; we block almost all of it out.

In this environment, it’s incredibly hard for brands and advertisers to get noticed. But, everyone trusts their friends. If they say something positive about your business, your friend has already done the filtering. They’re speaking based on their experience, and that gives their recommendations much more weight. Consumers take word of mouth advertising seriously, and you can benefit. That’s the real power of referral marketing.


It makes sense to use referrals to leverage the organic WOM already happening around your business. Here’s what to do to help ensure success:

Understand the Principles Behind Great Word of Mouth Marketing

Every good word of mouth strategyneeds to be honest, respectful, credible, and measurable. Never be tempted to be dishonest or to force your customers into doing anything. That will create more bad word of mouth than anything else.

Although WOM marketing thrives on positive referrals, even negative referrals are a good interaction for your business, because someone has referred you and passed the offer on.

Make Every Part of Every Customer’s Experience Awesome

Think carefully about all of the ways your customers connect with your business. Each interaction needs to be polished so it’s as easy, effortless, and satisfying as possible. You want to create experiences they want to share with others. This will enhance the reach of your referral marketing and ensure positive word of mouth.

Incentivize Your Customers to Spread Positive WOM

You don’t just need to rely on your customers having a great experience for your word of mouth marketing to work. Offer them incentives to promote your business — whether that’s a refer-a-friend program, early access to new products and services, discounts, or something else.

Use Extole — the Perfect Referral Marketing Platform

Great word of mouth marketing relies on having the leading WOM and referral tools. Next to your overall WOM marketing strategy, the right referral platform is one of the best investments you can make.

Extole can help — our refer-a-friend platform makes it easy for your customers to share their experiences and lets you create powerful incentives. We’ll measure how your program is doing, making it easier to track your referrals and ROI. Fill out the form  and find out how we can boost your marketing to the next level.

Download Our Guide Now

Experience Extole for Yourself