For a good period of time, referral marketing has been a cost-effective way to obtain new customers. At its core, a referral program is when brands give their current customers incentives to personally promote them to new users by giving rewards for both referrers and referees. Thanks to this win-win situation for everyone involved, there have been a plethora of businesses adopting this marketing strategy to acquire more customers. To help you make full use of this kind of marketing, in today’s article, we’ll present you with the 5 best referral program ideas and examples to inspire your campaigns.
One of the most classic yet still effective referral program ideas is giving your customers free cash for referring your brand. The idea is simple and straightforward, and it works perfectly under certain circumstances. Since this idea costs money, you might not want to do it for a long period of time. Additionally, it’s beneficial to adopt a referral program software that is secure enough to protect you from hackers and ensure the profitability of the money spent.
Google takes the cake when it comes to successful referral programs. The referral program focuses on their G Suite programs, in which Google entices businesses to recommend G Suite to other businesses by giving referrers free cash for each new customer. For instance, a referrer can earn $15 for every person they refer to G Suite Basic successfully. As Google caps off the maximum amount at $3,000, it means that a business can refer up to 200 people to use Google G Suite. This helps Google attract an incredibly large number of subscribers.
Sometimes, businesses can utilize the resources that they already have in hand for their referral programs. If you’re a business and have features that require costs for upgrades or products that have upgraded versions, you can consider offering them as rewards for your referral marketing campaign. This way, you will encourage people to participate efficiently as no one can resist the temptation from the offer of a better version.
Being among the most cost-effective referral program ideas, offering upgraded services has been utilized by many businesses, one of which is Dropbox. With the referral program, customers earn more space in their accounts by inviting friends to join Dropbox. Subscribers see it as a good deal because instead of having to pay for additional storage, they can simply refer to a friend to earn up to 500 MB on each successful referral.
You can make people more motivated towards your marketing campaign by offering a tier-based rewarding system. This program involves dividing the rewards into milestones that customers try to reach. The awards get bigger as they reach each milestone, encouraging them to do more for your brand. However, you will soon run out of tasks for your referrers or reach your target customer limits. Thereby, this idea is one of the effective referral program ideas for the short term only.
Take Harry’s referral program as an example, they created an incremental awards system which earned them around 100,000 email subscribers from this campaign. There were 4 milestones in total:
- Refer 5 friends for free shave cream
- Refer 10 friends for a free razor
- Refer 25 friends for a free premium razor
- Refer 50 friends for free shaving for a year
When talking about referral programs, people tend to focus more on the rewards that the referrers will receive and forget that sometimes, rewarding the referees is just enough. Social gifting involves gifting the referred friends instead of the referrers. It’s not always the reward that moves people, but the pleasure of giving their friends something thoughtful, especially on occasions like Christmas or Valentine’s Day can. Social gifting can help create hypes for your campaign more than other referral program ideas.
Try The World used this idea for their anniversary celebration. It is a subscription service that provides cultural tastes through boxes. Each box comes with 7 to 10 local gourmet goodies as well as cultural finds representing the city. Try The World’s referral program lets the advocate send a free box to three friends, and get nothing from this action other than the satisfaction of gifting their friends.
A little bit of competitiveness can significantly spice your referral program up. A referral contest is not just a fun referral program idea, but you also save a little bit on the rewards because there are just a few ones to give out. Asking your customers to post a photo featuring your brand on Instagram and rewarding the one with the most likes will do the job. With that, you can effectively increase brand engagement as well as your reach to other customers.
Huckberry used this referral program idea in their popular contest that rewarded the highest referrer with $1,000.
Wrap it up
With the 5 best referral program ideas and examples above, we hope that marketers or business owners like you can find a suitable one if you’re considering utilizing this kind of marketing for your business.
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