Originally published on MarketingProfs.

The most effective method for a current customer to refer a potential customer to a business is a verbal recommendation, according to recent research from Amplifinity.

The State of Business Customer Referral Programs report was based on data businesses that use the Amplifinity platform. Respondents came from a mix of B2B and B2C firms.

The most common referral methods employed by the surveyed firms surveyed are lead forms (77% use them), email (73%), verbal (54%), social media (50%), shareable URLs (41%), and print cards (18%).

The highest volume of referrals come from social media (29%) and email (23%), respondents said. Below are additional findings from the research.

Verbal referrals have the best conversion rate of any referral method (32% of referrals lead to sales); lead forms rank second (19%), and email ranks third (17%).Referral programs most successful use, referral software, referral program software
Among current customers who make referrals, 61% make one referral per year, on average, and 34% make 2-10 referrals per year.

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The most popular incentive for referrals is gift cards (52% of businesses surveyed offer them); checks rank second (29%).

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About the research: The State of Business Customer Referral Programs report was based on data businesses that use the Amplifinity platform. Respondents came from a mix of B2B and B2C firms.