What do the best referral programs have in common?
Three things mainly:
You will find these three qualities in all successful referral programs.
But we also understand that every business is unique, with different needs and challenges. The referral program you implement should be targeted to your specific audience and fit into your overall referral marketing strategy.
Thankfully, there are many successful referral programs that you can draw inspiration from.
We have picked 15 of the best referral programs that you may consider implementing for your small business.
As a business owner, you may be using many lead generation strategies to generate qualified leads. Why not have your customers market your brand too?
Referral programs help you do just that, and more.
The best referral programs help to optimize your sales cycle, produce qualified leads, and use your trusted customer voices to take your marketing efforts up a notch. A referral program also generates better ROI than most other marketing activities as you only pay for each successful referral.
Here are a few reasons why your business needs referral programs.
Here is an example of a referral program.
Image Source: ReferralRock
Creating a referral program for your business could be a lengthy process. But, what if we told you there was an easy solution?
You can automate the process by using referral marketing software. All you need to do is input the details of your program in the software, and get going.
Let’s make it easier for you.
Here are 15 of the best referral programs in the market. Use these referral program examples to create the ideal referral program for your brand.
Dropbox is one of the most popular file hosting services in the market. With Dropbox, you can keep your personal and business files safe, whether you’re at home, in the office, or on the go.
Dropbox’s referral program rewards its customers with extra storage space for referring friends, as shown in the image below:
Image Source: Dropbox
Why does Dropbox’s referral program work?
Here are the reasons:
Tesla spends $0 on advertising.
Yes, you read that right.
Tesla does not have an advertising budget. And yet, it is one of the biggest companies in the world.
How did Tesla drive growth with a $0 advertising budget?
The answer is simple.
With an extremely powerful referral program. Yes, Tesla relies on its huge customer base to promote its products.
Tesla’s referral program is no longer applicable for its electric vehicles, as of September 18, 2021. However, you can still earn referral rewards for the Solar Roof and Solar Panel.
Image Source: Tesla
Tesla’s referral program rewards its customers $300 for each Solar Roof or Solar panels referral.
Now, why does Tesla’s referral program work?
Here’s what we think.
Bandier, the luxury activewear brand, has one of the best referral programs in the market. Besides curating emerging labels from around the world, Bandier also sells well-known sportswear brands such as Nike, Adidas, Reebok, and Under Armor.
brand gives its customers $25 (in store points) for every friend that they refer.
The best part?
The friend gets $25 off too on their first purchase.
Image Source: Bandier
And, it doesn’t stop there.
If you refer a friend, you will continue to earn points for all successive purchases that your referrals make.
Getting unlimited rewards. What could be better than that?
Why is it such a successful referral program?
Here are our thoughts.
Scribe Media is a professional publishing and media services company that helps entrepreneurs, experts, and executives write, publish, and market their books. It also has one of the best referral programs, offering significant rewards and referral points to its customers.
Here is how the Scribe Ambassador Program works.
Image Source: Scribe Media
The best part?
Besides the referral bonus, you also get referral points that can be used to earn attractive gifts, as shown in the image below.
Image Source: Scribe Media
Why does this referral marketing program work and why is it the best?
Google Workspace provides cloud storage, collaboration tools, and productivity applications for businesses of all sizes.
Their referral program gives you different rewards depending on your Google Workspace plan, as shown below.
Image Source: Google Workspace
The only downside to this referral program is that your earnings are limited to 100 users per referred account. If you want to avoid these restrictions and earn more, you may join their affiliate marketing program.
Why is it a successful referral program?
Our thoughts are:
T-Mobile is one of the leading names in the telecommunications industry, and one of the largest wireless network operators in the US.
To refer friends to T-Mobile, you must own a Sprint or T-Mobile postpaid smartphone plan, and remain in good standing with that plan throughout the referral process. T-Mobile’s referral program lets you earn $50 per referral, up to $500 a year.
Image Source: T-Mobile
Why is it one of the best referral programs?
This is what we think.
Moo is an online print and design company that designs and prints products for marketing or promotions. You can create and customize business cards, notebooks, and so much more with it.
With Moo’s referral program, you can earn between $20 and $150 per referral, depending on who you refer.
Image Source: Moo
Why is Moo’s referral program the best?
We believe the reasons are as follows:
Casper.com is an ecommerce website that sells sleep products online. Its award-winning mattresses, pillows, sheets, and more are high-quality and manufactured in the US.
Besides award-winning products, Casper also has one of the best referral programs in the industry. Casper has had incredible success with their referral program, generating higher returns than their marketing investment.
Image Source: Casper
Why does this referral program work?
Here are our thoughts on this.
Fabletics is an activewear brand that offers high-quality, stylish workout clothes at affordable prices. From loungewear to Yoga gear, you can find a wide range of clothes and accessories on this ecommerce platform.
Fabletics’s referral program gives referring customers $40 in store credits for referring their friends and family.
Image Source: Fabletics
Why does the Fabletics’s Refer-a-Friend program work? And why is it the best?
Uber is well known for its ride-sharing app. Besides ride-hailing, it also offers mobility-as-a-service, package delivery, food delivery, and freight transportation.
It also has an incredible referral program.
What makes it one of the best referral programs in the market is that the program is built into the product itself. Every customer gets a personalized referral code as soon as their Uber account is activated.
When other customers sign up using their referral code, they get $5 off on their next ride.
New customers also benefit because they get $2 off on their first three rides.
Image Source: Voucherify
Why is it one of the best referral marketing programs in the market?
FreeAgent is one of the best finance referral program examples there is. It is a cloud-based accounting software designed specifically for small businesses, freelancers, and contractors.
FreeAgent’s referral program gives a 10% discount to the referring customer as well as the new customer. As long as you and your referred friends are subscribers of FreeAgent, the discount continues. So effectively, you can have discounts for life.
Image Source: FreeAgent
Here’s why this referral program is the best and working well.
PayPal‘s referral program is one of the best because it gives customers cash rewards.
To refer friends to PayPal, customers only need to send 1 cent to someone who does not have a PayPal account. The friend needs to register on PayPal, linking their bank account and spending $5 within the next few months.
When the friend they have invited has spent $5, both the customer and their friend get $10. If that doesn’t motivate you to invite friends, what will?
Image Source: PayPal
Here’s why PayPal’s referral marketing program is the best.
MeUndies is an apparel company, specializing in loungewear, underwear, and sleepwear for both men and women.
It also has one of the best referral programs because it uses a simple but tried and tested approach. The MeUndies referral program gives existing customers store credit toward future purchases.
Giving discounted products, store credit, or cash is a proven referral marketing strategy that has been known to work.
MeUndies runs one of those refer a friend programs that gives two-sided incentives. A referred customer needs to make a purchase of $12 or more and both parties receive a tidy sum as incentive for future purchases.
Image Source: MeUndies
Now, why is this among the best referral programs?
Here’s what we think:
Next in line on our list of the best referral programs is Marriott Hotels. Customers can earn referral points when they refer other customers to the hotel’s loyalty program or credit cards.
If you are a Marriott Bonvoy member, you can earn up to 50,000 points for referring your friends and family. Of course, the friend you refer must complete a stay in one of the Marriott Hotels before you can earn any points.
You can earn 10,000 points per referral. Plus, whenever a friend you refer completes a stay in the first 365 days, you get 2,000 bonus points.
Marriott Bonvoy members can refer up to 5 new members per year.
Image Source: Marriott
Here are the reasons that make it one of the best referral programs:
Alaska Airlines is another one among the best referral programs you may take ideas from. You can refer friends and family to the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Card and get up to 10,000 bonus miles per referral. You may earn up to 250,000 bonus miles a year.
Image Source: Alaska Airlines
Here’s why it’s one of the best referral programs:
1. What is the difference between a referral program and an affiliate program?
A. An affiliate program uses influencers on YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok as well as third-party advocates to refer your brand to other people in exchange for a commission.
On the other hand, a referral program rewards existing customers to refer their friends and family to your brand.
2. How do you improve the referral process?
A. Here are a few tips to improve the referral process:
3. What kind of referral rewards work the best?
A. It’s best if the referral reward you choose relates to your business. For instance, Dropbox offers extra storage but PayPal offers hard cash. You will also need to decide whether you want to offer the reward per referral or for referring a specific number of people.
Some referral incentives you may choose are:
4. What are some effective referral marketing ideas?
A. Here are a few referral program ideas you can use to create the best program:
5. How to create your own referral program?
A. Follow these tips to create a customer referral program:
The best referral programs are extremely effective because they are a direct and authentic way to promote your business. Unlike other marketing methods, referral programs leverage your current customers to share your products and services with their network. And, there is no better brand advocate than a happy and satisfied customer.
What do you think are the best referral program examples you have come across? What is the most generous referral program you know of?
We would love to hear from you in the comments below.
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