You might have often wondered, “what’s the best way to find new customers?”

While there is no one-size-fits-all answer to that, referral programs generally work for businesses of all types and sizes.

The good thing?

There are several referral marketing software up for grabs on the internet today.

A successful referral program can help you acquire high-value leads at a low cost, improve customer retention, and crush your revenue targets.

Sounds too good to be true?

Well, back in 2010, file hosting service Dropbox saw a whopping 3900% growth in its user base.

How, you may ask?

A kickass customer referral program.

So, in this article, I’ll take you through 5 of the best referral marketing software for your business. I have included as much product information as possible, and I’m positive that this will help you choose the tool that you need.

Ready to get started?

Best Referral Marketing Software to Consider for Your Business

Word of mouth marketing presents businesses with the unique opportunity to grow their revenue, along with bagging a shortcut to earn customer trust.

According to Ambassador, more than 80% of Americans look to friends and family for recommendations before making a purchase.

That’s a huge number!

It also goes on to explain why referral marketing programs are all the rage right now.

Now, kickstarting a referral program can be a lengthy process.

But what if you could outsource all that work?

A referral marketing software will help you do just that. Simply input the details of your program into the software, and start winning new customers!

Now, let’s go over some of the best referral software out there.

While I can’t give you a complete rundown of each tool, I’ll touch upon the most important aspects—enough to help you make a decision.

1. Referral Factory

Referral Factory

Image via Referral Factory

Referral Factory is one of the best referral marketing tools for small to medium-sized businesses. Widely touted for its spectacular templates, this tool embraces a simplistic approach to building referral solutions without the need for technical knowledge.

Features

  • It comes with more than 1,000 referral program templates that can be customized to include your logo, colors, and fonts.
  • Simple drag and drop program builder that makes it a breeze for anyone to build an effective referral program.
  • A visual dashboard that makes it easy to manage and monitor referrals easily.
  • Flexible rewards such as cash, coupons, goodies, vouchers, and more.

Pros

  • Several integrations that take the manual work out of your referral program.
  • The option to run referral programs in 19 different languages.

Cons

  • Users need to upgrade to higher-tier plans for basic features such as access to fraud alerts.
  • Referrers cannot see who they have referred.

Tool Level

  • Beginner/Intermediate

Usability

  • Extremely easy to use even for those with little to no technical knowledge.

Price

Referral Factory comes with a 15-day free trial with no need for a credit card. Check out its paid plans:

  • Starter – $95 per month
  • Basic – $200 per month
  • Pro – $300 per month

Pro Tip: Opt for a free trial, a free expert consultation, and a free demo to see how the tool works before investing any money into it.

2. Talkable

Talkable

Image via Talkable

If you are an eCommerce brand looking to improve your sales conversion rate, Talkable is the referral marketing software you need. This tool guarantees 1 in 10 customers to become a brand ambassador, with 52x ROI for enterprise customers.

So how does it help you achieve that?

Features

  • Talkable enables users to unlock powerful customer insights through in-depth data analysis.
  • Extremely advanced fraud detection so that nobody can bypass the rules of your program.
  • Users can easily A/B test hypothesis algorithms making it easier to monitor key performance indicators.

Pros

  • Talkable integrates with any eCommerce platform with the help of a simple Javascript tag.
  • Every Talkable user gets access to a team of growth experts that helps them launch and manage campaigns.

Cons

  • Talkable is a high-commitment tool that isn’t suitable for small businesses. It primarily works for eCommerce brands with $4M+ in annual revenue.
  • A bit pricey with no details on pricing plans on its website and no free trial.

Tool Level

  • Intermediate/Expert

Usability

  • Talkable is a bit difficult to use and generally requires expert developers to create campaigns.

Case Study

  • Human performance company WHOOP was looking for a cost-effective way to boost customer acquisition and retention.
  • The Talkable team had robust referral programs up and running for the company within 10 business days.
  • The referral campaigns now drive >10% of new subscription signs ups for WHOOP.

Price

Talkable doesn’t come with a free trial. It offers three paid plans:

  • Self-serve
  • Managed
  • Enterprise

For further information on costs, you need to contact the vendor.

Pro Tip: Hit up Talkable’s Client Success Team for some juicy best practice insights.

3. ReferralCandy

ReferralCandy

Image via ReferralCandy

For those just getting started with customer referral programs, ReferralCandy is Godsent. Although its features aren’t as advanced as its competitors’, it is trusted by over 30,000 online stores.

Why, you may ask?

Well, ReferralCandy allows you to create your own referral programs at an incredibly low cost.

Features

  • ReferralCandy provides the option to automate referral programs by inviting customers at chosen times such as after checkout.
  • Unearth top referrers and see what they’re saying about your brand on social media.
  • Easily customizable design templates.

Pros

  • It connects easily to eCommerce and marketing platforms in just a few clicks.
  • An exceptional customer service team giving users even more bang for the buck.
  • Referral programs are designed to work beautifully across various devices.

Cons

  • ReferralCandy charges a set percentage of commission on referral sales which increases costs.
  • It doesn’t offer A/B testing.
  • It doesn’t have multi-campaign capabilities—you can only run one campaign at a time.

Tool Level

  • Beginner

Usability

  • ReferralCandy is extremely simple to use with no learning curve.

Price

Users can opt for a free trial for 30 days.The referral software solution comes with two paid plans:

  • Premium – $49 per month + commission (billed monthly)
  • Enterprise – $3,999 per month (billed annually)

Pro Tip: New to referral marketing? At ReferralCandy, you’ll have a dedicated account manager to ensure you’ve got support at every step of the way.

4. Ambassador

Ambassador

Image via Ambassador

One of the best referral marketing software, Ambassador comes with a fully loaded suite of features.

So, what makes Ambassador a leader in this space?

The fact that it isn’t just a referral marketing solution, but also helps maximize ROI on your affiliate program. In addition, it is also one of the most effective platforms for influencer marketing.

Features

  • Ambassador comes with easy-to-use templates that are well-optimized for mobile devices.
  • Out-of-the-box CRM, eCommerce, and billing integrations.
  • The software offers an ROI calculator that enables users to gauge the scope of referral marketing for their business. This also helps set a benchmark, making it easier to track progress.

Pros

  • Ambassador offers innovative solutions to reward clients.
  • It supports multiple currencies and multiple languages.

Cons

  • The options to customize campaigns are pretty limited.
  • It can be an expensive software if you only need to avail of some features.

Tool Level

  • Intermediate

Usability

  • Launching your own referral program can be a bit hard at first.

Case Study

  • Financial services organization StockX approached Ambassador in quest of reaching more people, acquiring more customers, and growing its revenue.
  • Thanks to Ambassador’s influencer promotion campaign—StockX was able to earn 11,737 website visits, 1614 new customers, and $441,488 in new revenue.

Price

No free trial is available for Ambassador. Check out the tool’s paid plans:

  • Startup – $500 per month
  • Pro – $1000/month
  • Enterprise – users must contact the vendor for a custom quote.

Pro Tip: Trust the Ambassador Developer Hub for comprehensive guides and documentation to get you acquainted with the tool immediately.

5. Mention Me

Mention Me

Image via Mention Me

Our list of the best referral marketing software wouldn’t be complete without talking about Mention Me. The platform has delivered 4 million referrals valuing £1bn for fast-growing businesses globally.

How?

Thanks to its spectacular features and its unique pricing model. Keep reading to learn more…

Features

  • One of Mention Me’s most unique features is name sharing. In a nutshell, this allows referrers to share their names as referral codes instead of complex, hard-to-remember ones.
  • The ability to leverage strategic customer segmentation.
  • Users can uncover rich referral data and get bespoke reports on metrics that matter.

Pros

  • A highly flexible platform means easy adaptability to changing market trends and business objectives.
  • A revenue-based payment model making sure you only pay for what you gain.

Cons

  • This referral marketing software doesn’t let you launch or edit your campaigns yourself. Once they take account of your requirements, the Mention Me team handles everything, which can leave you with less autonomy.
  • They have minimum sales volume requirements.

Tool Level

  • Intermediate

Usability

  • Since Mention Me has a different approach to building campaigns and pricing models, using the software can be a bit tricky.

Price

  • Users typically pay a certain fee for each new customer that comes through the referral program. In addition, there are one-time setup costs for launching the referral marketing program.

Pro Tip: Mention Me offers 16 sharing methods for its refer a friend program. Make sure you test all of these over time.

FAQs

Q1. What is referral marketing?

A. Referral marketing is a tactic that relies on word of mouth and recommendations. In simple words, referral marketing involves a person recommending a product (or service), and the referee making a purchase based on that recommendation.

Q2. What is the best referral program software?

A. Some of the best referral program software are:

  • Referral Factory
  • Talkable
  • ReferralCandy
  • Ambassador
  • Mention Me

Q3. How do I set up a referral for marketing?

A. Referral marketing is a powerful tactic to win new customers and grow your business. Here are some steps you can follow to set up a referral for marketing:

  • Chalk out your goals.
  • Find out how referrals are currently coming to your business.
  • Determine what the ideal ‘referer’ for your company looks like.
  • Invest in a referral marketing software.
  • Come up with an outreach plan.
  • Decide on the referral incentives you’ll offer.
  • Tell your customers about it.
  • Track the referrals.

Q4. What are the top 3 referral marketing software?

A. The top 3 referral marketing software are:

  • Referral Factory
  • Ambassador
  • Talkable

Q5. What type of marketing is referral?

A. Referral marketing is a type of word-of-mouth marketing. It’s a tactic that focuses on incentivizing existing customers to introduce a business to their friends, family, and contacts.

Q6. How do you automate referrals?

A. Automation can help you scale your referral programs seamlessly. While there are several ways to do this, the easiest and most effective one is to invest in a referral marketing platform of your choice.

Q7. How do you market a referral program?

A. There is no one-size-fits-all solution for marketing your referral program. However, here are some ideas you can consider:

  • Reach out to existing customers to join your referral program.
  • Talk about your referral campaign on social media.
  • Feature the program on your website.
  • Have influencers create a buzz around your referral program.
  • Leverage email marketing to create awareness about your program.

Q8. Are there any free referral marketing software?

A. There are several free referral marketing software you can choose from. However, they might not be as effective as paid ones. Paid tools not only come with better features but will also ensure that your data is secure.

What’s more, the new customers you acquire through these software will compensate for the costs.

Q9. What are the benefits of referral marketing software?

A. Referral marketing software can help you set up and launch a referral program in just a few hours. They can track each referrer’s performance and payments. What’s more, they can generate new quality leads for your business in a way that’s both easy and cost-effective.

Q10. What makes for a good referral incentive?

A. It is important to thank loyal customers every time they get you new customers. Here are some of the most common referral incentives:

  • Cash rewards: A safe and universal option you can’t go wrong with.
  • Store discounts: A valuable tool to boost customer retention.
  • Custom rewards: A unique customer experience such as an invite to an exclusive event. Such rewards transcend the monetary value of a transaction, making the referrer feel truly special.

Start Building Your Referral Marketing Program Today

Referral marketing is an extremely powerful tactic for businesses to grow.

Still wondering why?

Long story short: it’s a win-win situation for all—the referrer, the referee, and of course, the business itself.

So, the sooner you start building your own referral campaigns, the better.

To ease the process, invest in a referral marketing software of your choice.

Lay down your needs and budget, and compare the best available tools using this listicle.

Think we’ve missed any tools in this article? Tell us in the comments below!