[Webinar] The Referral Game

Webinar Overview

In this webinar Customer Success Manager, Keith McGregor, will show you how to maximize your member referrals to increase tuition revenue and beat the summer drought.

You will learn 5 strategies to get the most out of your referral program:

  1. What to offer to attract referrals
  2. When to ask for referrals
  3. Who to ask for referrals
  4. How to track your referrals
  5. And most importantly how to convert your referrals

About the Speaker

Keith McGregor
Keith owned and operated his own fitness and kickboxing club for 7 years before owning the title, Manager of Customer Success, at ChampionsWay. He has successfully set up over 400 membership based businesses and is often considered the retention expert and go-to man for business management solutions.

Video Transcript

Champions Martial Arts is the largest martial arts school in Canada, with over 700 active students. So much of this is actually directly from Connor at Champions Martial Arts. So we're going to start, we're going to go ahead and we move to the first slide.

So, Leads Versus Referral, we get this question a lot. A lead is just a name, you can get them through your website, your landing page, but it's typically a name, a phone number, and an e-mail address. Referral is much more. Now the referral is already sold /for it/ essentially. You have a student who love your school and they've already pitched the idea, they're coming to your school for you, so the sales process is already half-way done. You got that going endorsement, they know their friends, and they obviously have a good in with that friend, so typically what can happen here is referrals are obviously mean a lot more than a lead.

So, what to offer to increase referrals? So how much is a referral worth to you? Things like this depends on how much do you charge, what's your target demographic. I give you an example, there's a school that we have, one of our clients in Connecticut. He charges $225 per month, so referral to him are worth quite a bit. So this is determining ultimately what you can offer. So when we say referrals and we just don't want lead referrals, we're talking about actual lead that sign up, they actually convert. So if you're offering a concept, a referral concept to your students, typically what you say to them is if these students sign up, I will put you into a Drawer 4, you might be // with a PS4. Like that school in Connecticut, they're charging $225 per month, they might do the iPad. If you have a lot of female members, you might offer a spa package, etc. These are the things that can determine // what to offer. Essentially if you look at the cost of a PS4 and think about $300. Well, if you're charging an average of $150 per month, after two months, just of one referral student, you've already covered the cost of the price. So these are big things. I remember back when I had my fitness club and kickboxing school, we did it with a TV, we did it with a flat screen TV. We had numerous referrals come in and ultimately at the end of day, whoever have the most referrals that signed up, we gave away the TV to. So again it's what you charge, the demographic, who your targets are, which ultimately determine what you're going to offer for a referral pay contact.

Now, getting referral from birthday parties are huge. This is ultimately for the traditional karate schools, taekwondo schools, they offer birthday parties. These are huge lead generators. You can get a lot of referral leads from these. Now this letter that we're looking at here, it's the actual letter that goes out from Champions Martial Arts. So after the birthday happens, this is the letter that's ultimately sent. Now you can also send this VIP them, you can actually merge into people's name already have their names. You can actually send it to John, Jane, whoever, but essentially what it is is "thank you for participating in the birthday party." It's offering them a VIP Gold Card, free introductory program, 2-3 private lessons, a free martial arts uniform, and one free month of unlimited training. Now if you have questions about this VIP Gold Card that we do at our school up here, we can save them for the // and we'll have Connor on the line here, you actually fill them with questions about how this work.

So, the school system. This is a big thing, everybody talks about getting into the school system. Now one thing I know that's a little bit of border problem on the slide, but essentially with the school system, your students are the best way to get into the school system. This is ultimately how Champions gotten into local school system out here. What they do is they encourage students, they send emails to the younger students to talk to the actual people in the facility at their school to see if they can offer // at gym class over at Champions, in turn bringing the entire class up to Champions to do a workout on the mat. Obviously you can imagine that there's a huge referral leads gained there. This is something very successful at getting inside the school and getting the students from the school inside Champions.

Belt testing - this is huge. I've talked about this at other webinar. Belt testing at Champions is just huge, especially black belt testing. The place is packed, they get about 200 people in there, standing room only. And what they're doing is they're offering the VIP God Cards, Pre test forms and so on to the friends and family to come up with the testing. Now they test each and every month, so I no longer know school out there who doing testing once every three months. Champions is testing every single month and continuously get referral lead from the belt testing.


So for those of you who are only testing every three months, you might want to look at that and reevaluate it. Because ultimately what you may want to do is try belt testing each month. If you find the school fills up, you find you're getting people through the door every time you test, and typically you should be because friends and family always come along to watch it, then you're losing out on major lead generator and referral generator. So one thing is really look at your belt testing, utilize it. One thing I love to do one day is actually film Champions black belt testing, see it, and how they operate and how they do it. It's amazing and it's a great time for everyone.

Seasonal referral campaign - these are huge. We do it // for those of you who do this, we love your campaign. We do a Mother's Day campaign, Father's Day campaign, Valentine's Day, whatever it is that you got coming up. And obviously for Mother's Day, Champions right now, they're offering the entire month of May free for all moms. So that's a huge promotion, each and every year they offer this, and same idea for Father's Day. You know dads train for free in the month of June. So these are things you can really take advantage of, things that don't cost you any money but essentially brings people through the door. And from there ultimately you // free months of training, obviously from that point you try to close them, and ultimately convert them into active students. One thing I'm // to just note for our PerfectMIND users, when you put people on this free trials, do not convert them to active students. We can talk a little bit more about that 'cause we're going to play on the ground a little bit with the software so I can show you how to maximize everything that you're seeing here. But anybody on a trial -- and I get this question quite a bit -- you keep them as a lead until they actually commit. So they committed to a 6-month package or a 12-month package. Otherwise they're still // as lead, even though they're actively training in school.

So, seminars - these are huge. Champions is always offering these seminars. The big one for Champions is Woman's Self-defense. // had Champions // and it's huge. She's very well known in the area so when she offered this, they pack the place, woman come in from all over, huge lead generator. That the biggest thing -- I was talking to Connor about this earlier this morning -- is they don't charge for these seminars. We've always stressed this. We've always told people through the years that offer these seminars not to charge. And I know some of you out there do charge for these seminars. We highly encourage for things like Bully Prevention, Woman's Self-defense, these are like giving back to the community-type of seminars. We don't charge for them. Now ultimately at the end of the day the benefit for you is you bring in more people, you bring in more awareness about your school, what you're doing for the community. You ultimately generate referral leads that you can then target and ultimately convert into active students. Kidnapping prevention is another one huge. The biggest two for Champions though Women's self-defense and Bully Prevention. And again Bully Prevention's ties into the school system as well. Obviously the school system, sees Bully Prevention seminars as very beneficial to their actual students from the school.

So this is a new one, we call it the Kardashian Effect. So it's the whole selfie thing and obviously selfie is huge right now. Everybody on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, taking selfie. So what Champions is doing now is they're offering selfie competitions, okay. So what they do they have their students go out, and they take pictures of themselves inside the school or outside the school, right at the front door. And essentially whoever gets the most likes wins the competition, gets a free month of training, gets a free pair of gloves, and so on. This is just creating awareness for the school. Their friends are obviously going to see this, and we use a hash tag to track it. So the one thing is if you create a hash tag, you make sure that the students use the hash tag every time they post the selfie, that's the most important thing. Because then what you can do is you can search this hash tag and you can ultimately see who gets the most likes. And likewise, the students could see that as well. It becomes a competition. They could see all their other friends on the hash tag and they can then promote themselves more to get more likes, so they can ultimately get that prize, the free pair of boxing gloves or get their free months. But this is huge and create a huge awareness through social media about your school. So selfie example that we use here, you know #SelfieChampions, right, or #LuvMyDojo. You know things like that, easy hash tag, you just make sure, you have to absolutely make sure they do not qualify unless they use the hash tag when they post their selfie. This is huge for kids, huge for teenagers as well, even we adults get into it.


So information is king! This is something that I've promoted before. This is really big. I'm going to show this. Probably a lot of you are aware of this. Now I know and realize not everybody here is using PerfectMIND. I know there's some other people in here that are using another software and that's fine. But once your software's able to generate landing page. Landing pages meaning enter your information, you know for this, a promotion of some word. So what it is is essentially you want to give your students their own landing page. Now how you can do this, you can create this in PerfectMIND, very easy, it takes literally about 30 seconds. We're actually going to create one on this webinar in just a moment so you can see how they work. You can create as many landing pages as you want within PerfectMIND, it doesn't limit you. So the idea's giving unique landing page to each one of your students. It's essentially just a link. So you give a link, you email to the student, "This is your referral landing page, okay, your referral form, and ultimately all you have to do is you can share it with your friends, they can enter in their own information, or you can enter in your friend's information for them." And you can then track how many leads you're generating, say for example from Haley. You would call the campaign on the landing page Haley's Referral Campaign, so you can see exactly how many leads you got from Haley and exactly how many leads you ultimately converted. But again we're not giving our prices for leads okay, because we don't know what kind of information we're going to get. You're only giving our prices and you're only giving out like free months to people that actually convert to active students. So by tracking this landing page through the campaign, you can accurately see how many leads Haley refer and how many leads actually convert.

When to ask for referrals. This is something, we talk about this quite a bit with Champions. They say make it special. So if it's constant, you're constantly having this contest and so on, it starts to lose values. People become like "well yeah, we get it! We know if we bring in more students yeah I get this" and it loses the impact of everything. So we've given kind of an example here, like "Month of May ONLY, Refer a friend and receive two free months." Typically, I'll give you an example, even at ChampionsWay, for us as the software marketing provider, if you as a client refer another client to us, we'll give you a free month, we've always had that rule in place. Say I have a friend, he wants to go to martial arts school, he's going to sign up with you guys, then we give you a free month, for whatever value of the package that the person signs up. Now offering a free month for somebody who refers a student is a no-brainer. I think it should always be there but you should have this month or you double it. It increases it. It has that impact and it starts driving in more referrals, so this is something. Make it special, don't do it every single month, and // different options, different price, different promotions, keep it fresh.

Now, who to ask for referrals. So this is the biggest thing and I know you guys have heard me like a broken record talking about attendance. And I hope everybody's taking attendance, no matter what system you're using. Obviously if you're using PerfectMIND it's very easy. You should definitely be taking attendance. Now obviously the benefits for retention are huge. We know that if you're not taking attendance, your back door's is completely wide open, you're losing students that you can easily be keeping as you track the attendance. So we know that and I talk about that numerous times. But really what it is is the students who are attending regularly, those are the ones that you ask for referrals. So I always say this, are you rating your students? Because they are rating you! Now they speak to you through attendance. So people who are happy, those are your students who are coming twice a week. Now those who I call again the A rated students, and again PerfectMIND does track this for you. There's a view for it so you can actually see your A, B, C, and your inactive students. So your A and B students are the ones you want to target for referrals. So if you're sending out things for referral campaign-type email, you're going to offer promotion for a PS4 or iPad, or whatever it's going to be that you're offering, well you'll be crazy to send that email off to people who are not attending your school regularly. Somebody who doesn't attend your school, they're not going to refer other people to it. They ultimately may have issues and you're going to want to have a different conversation with those people. Well, your A and B students, those are the ones who love you and your school. Those are your biggest advocates. Those are your best sales people as well, because those are the ones that are going to promote it. If they love your school, they're going to promote it to your friends, and they're going to be the ultimate people for you. So again we talked about this, referrals are better than leads because they've already gone through the sales process with their friends. So again targeting A and B students for referrals is the ultimate way to generate the most referrals, and not check off the students who are not happy with your school, because why would they want to refer someone when they're not even happy.


And again you want to target those people differently, have a conversation to find out why they're not happy and why they're not attending. And again it's very easy to send out an SMS or an email blast to your A-B students, start your referral campaign and take it off.

How to track your referrals. This is obviously the // where it comes in PerfectMIND. It's the proper tool, it's ready at your finger tips, for most of you in this webinar, I know we have a ton of attendees in this webinar, that you're one of our biggest webinars. So I know there are a lot of people in here who don't use PerfectMIND, that's okay, I won't hold it against you. I'd like to see you start using PerfectMIND. But I want to show you a couple trick here within PerfectMIND, to show you how different is one set up this landing page, so you guys can actually start sending these out to specific people. So ultimately what you're doing here is going back to where we had Haley's referral campaign. We're ultimately setting up a landing page for the student, Haley Stich that goes to your school, so they have their own link to their own landing page so you can track all of the leads and all of the lead conversion that Haley brings in for you. So bring up the software. I know there's going to be some questions and like I said, Connor Brown is actually with me right now and he'd be happy to fill question from the school's perspective. Again he is the Operations Manager over at Champions. I'd like Connor to say hello, I've actually going to let him speak, so Connor, I let you say hello.

Hey everyone, it's great to be here. I am sure everyone's learning a lot today and Keith is doing a great job so far.

Perfect. So where we are now right now, we're actually in the Forms area, okay. So we're in the Manage Forms area, so Creating a Form, under the Marketing tab, we Create a Form. Now if anybody see something here and we go through this quick 'cause you know we don't have all day, the one thing is we will get your training on. So if anything you see here you don't quite understand, 'cause again we move through here quickly, email marketing@championsway.com, and we'll do is we'll have one of our success coaches contact you and walk you through this, okay. So we can walk you through the landing pages. And if anybody is not currently attendance, email marketing@championsway.com and we will set it up for you. We will talk a little bit about check in today as well, but for those who aren't taking attendance and want to - and you should, absolutely by all means - just send that email marketing@championsway.com. Our success coaches will contact you and they will take you through the training, they can have you attending by the end of today.

Okay, so the Name of this we're just going to give it "Haley's Referrals".
The Member Profile is always going to be No Profile, okay, because they don't have one yet.
The Object is Contacts, because when she enters in information, they're going to be entered and then stored in the Contact area.
Now the Page Layout is huge, okay. You need to select the proper page that we have one built for you already. It's called Online Form - Simple. This is very important because this is the information that ultimately is going to be tracked. So Online Form - Simple ask for a first name, last name, email address and phone number.
Now the Campaign, this is important. When you click Campaign, you see a list of the current campaigns that you have in the PerfectMIND system. Now we won't do those 'cause we're creating a new campaign to track Haley's leads. We click New Campaign and we'll call it Haley's Referrals. We can put a description and all that but the one thing that we want is make it active, 'cause it's an active campaign, okay. Say if for instance if Haley were to leave the school for whatever reason, you can deactivate the campaign. Now we simply save it and now it's attached to that campaign.

So now we can track it in the Campaign area and see how many leads we're getting from Haley, ultimately how many leads are converting to active students.
The Submit Button - that's only the button that you're actually going to click when you want to enter the information. You can change it to whatever you want, that's fine for this.
Now you add Terms and Conditions for this. I'd make it simple, I won't even ask for this, especially what we're looking for here are numbers. You could add this and put terms and conditions there if you wanted to. For this particular campaign I don't think we would.
Okay so we go to the top and click Save.

So now it needs to happen, we scroll down on the page, we get two things. We get a URL link, this is the link that we ultimately want to give to Haley okay, because after she clicks this link --and we'll just click it-- this is the form that she has - Haley's Page: First Name, Last Name, Email Address, Phone Number is not generally a required field. At the very least // we need their name and their email address, and we can enter in information and so on. Enter the information in the field and clicks Submit.


And ultimately from there, you as the school owner should be notified by email that you got a new lead from Haley, because it will actually merge in the campaign. We'll just click Submit and that information is now there. Now if we go to the actual Manage Campaigns area, we can go down to Haley's Referrals, and we can see how many contacts she got. You can see there I am, Keith McGregor as Lead. I've been added under Haley's referral campaign. So everything is easy to track.

Now every student that wants to participate in the referral contest should have their own campaign and their own landing page, which you can easily create. You saw how quickly we created that one landing page in literally took about 30 seconds to create that landing page. So for your A-B students that you contact to get them interested in your referral contest campaign where you're going to give away a PS4 and XBox1. Well then ultimately what you want to do, everybody who show interest in this campaign just send them a link then. It's easy to track, it's one for the student as well, and always have that link to send in more people, and ultimately generate more leads.

Now one thing I want to show here, we do have a view in the Contact area, which is very simple. We have students by attendance rating. So this will actually group all your students together by their attendance rate. So you know who your A and B students are. It's just a demo database, hopefully you got a lot more A-B students in yours. Now you can create a smart list and send the email blast out to them, or you can just highlight all your A-B students right in the Contact area, and then just go to the arrow on the top right --sorry guys, I hurt my hand actually-- and we can send an email directly from here, or we can send a voice broadcast, or we can send an SMS. So it doesn't have to be email and so on. We do have the Broadcast area as well. So you can go directly to or you can create a smart list as well. From the Email area, just saying contacts times equals active students, and then contacts attendance rating equals A or B. Now you may know how to get into the specific of this 'cause that you want to take a lot of questions here, I want to take advantage of this time 'cause we have Connor Brown from Champions here as well. I'm sure most of you do as well.

So the one thing is if anybody want training on this again, email marketing@championsway.com, I want training on Smart, I want training on creating forms, I want to set up an attendance. Anything // PerfectMIND, if you feel that you need training, or you feel you might just need a little update, a little refresher on it if you're not utilizing it properly, no problem, email marketing. They'll send it over to my team, we'll be in contact within the day, and we'll get it all set up for you.

What I wanted to do, I wanted to open it up for some questions for everyone, while I wait for those, I'll let Moira, I'll you re-// some questions. So I do want to talk about a couple of things, just for waiting for the questions here. There are other aspects obviously on PerfectMIND. There's one I definitely want to show the landing page area, top of that should be // and email, there are tons of aspects to PerfectMIND. So if anybody got any questions about it again email marketing@championsway. We can get you the training you need on, but if you want to open it up so I'll let you take over, Moira.