Word-of-Mouth and Referral Marketing Blog

Referral Program Examples – An Epic List Of 74 Referral Programs

What is a referral program?

A referral program is a deliberate, systematic way of getting people to make referrals to your business.

People do informally make referrals all the time. But studies have shown that people make far fewer referrals than they’d like to.

A referral program, then, is a way of purposefully encouraging referrals. Modern referral programs use software to detect referrals, keep track of them, and to pay out referral rewards.

What are the best referral programs?

  1. PayPal. They literally gave away free money, and it worked out great for them. And this was before social media!
  2. Dropbox. Modelled after PayPal, Dropbox’s referral program got 4 million users in 15 months
  3. Airbnb. A single user in China led to thousands of signups and hundreds of bookings in a single month.
  4. Uber. They’ve been in a unique position to run multiple referral programs at once – for users and for drivers.
  5. Tesla – $1,000 for both advocate and friend, with quite a start-studded list of advocates!
  6. Amazon Prime –Likely one of the most heavily-used referral programs in recent times.
  7. Google – When the front page of the Internet decides to run a referral program, it’s worth looking into.
  8. Evernote. Their referral program relies on a point system.

Thinking of putting together a customer referral program, and need some ideas or inspiration? Here’s a list of 74 referral program examples for businesses of all types.

Click on the following links to jump to your relevant topic:

A. “Best practice” referral program examples

1. Dropbox’s famous referral program gives you and your friends 500MB additional free storage space, up to 16GB

Dropbox invite a friend program example
This is a legendary referral program: Dropbox’s refer-a-friend feature permanently increased signups by 60%, with users sending 2.8 million direct referral invites by April 2010.

Why Dropbox’s referral program was so effective:

  • Prior to the referral program, Dropbox was using SEM and affiliate marketing, with a CPA of $288-$388
  • But the math didn’t work; their product was $99/year.
  • Inspired by PayPal, they added a double-sided referral program, where both referrer their friend get rewarded
  • The referral rewards were extra storage space, something that was key to usage and enjoyment of their product

Dropbox’s referral program results:

  • Permanently increased sign-ups by 60%
  • In Sept 2008 the service had 100,000 registered users
  • In Jan 2010 (15 mos.) the service had 4,000,000
  • 35% of daily sign-ups are via the referral program

We wrote an even deeper analysis about Dropbox’s referral program here:
How Referrals Built The $10 Billion Dropbox Empire.

2. PayPal’s referral program literally gave users (and their friends) cash – something payment platforms can get away with

PayPal's refer-a-friend program
Referrals helped PayPal achieve 7 to 10% daily growth, catapulting their user base to over 100 million members.

According to David Sacks, original COO of Paypal, Paypal used to literally pay people to invite their friends.

It turned out to yield better marketing ROI than traditional marketing channels.

Once they achieved a critical mass of early adopters they dropped the Refer-A-Friend bonus, but they kept it for Merchants. Then they dropped the Merchant bonus, once they reached their target numbers.

Further analysis on PayPal’s referral program here:
The Original #GrowthHackers: How PayPal Achieved 7-10% Daily Growth.

3. Airbnb’s referral program – the 2nd iteration was even more successful than the 1st!

Airbnb's referral program example
“Airbnb created a referral program […] launched in a private beta to 2,161 existing members and brought in 2,107 new members, nearly achieving a viral growth factor of 1.” [Source]

There’s a lot to love about this referral campaign! Successful referral programs bias the reward to the friend, since people tend to share more out of altruism than out of personal financial gain.

The image above is from what Airbnb’s Growth team calls “Referrals 1.0”.

They released Referrals 2.0 since– here are our notes and takeaways from their video:
Referrals at Airbnb: Our Notes and Takeaways

4. Uber’s referral program lets you give your friends the gift of discounted first rides

Uber's word of mouth referral campaign
Simple! And with a clear call-to-action to refer friends. The bar at the bottom is a cunning little piece of gamification — everybody wants to fill up progress bars.

(Also, check out the suits that they put you and your friend in. Great way to align their brand on this touchpoint.)

We’ve written more about Uber’s many referral programs here:
How Uber Covered More Than 50 Countries In 3 Years

5. Evernote’s referral program gives your friends Premium– and you get points that you can use towards Premium or increased monthly uploads

Evernote refer-a-friend program
Evernote has a dual-sided referral incentive program that gives people additional space and/or Premium membership.

What we love about this is the clarity of what constitutes a referral — your friend has to sign in, not just sign up.

We’ve written more extensively about Evernote’s referral program here:
How Evernote Gained Millions Of Users Through Word-of-Mouth

6. Amazon Prime’s referral program is pretty well put together – no surprise, coming from a market leader like Amazon!

amazon-smiling-people

Prime members are a lucrative demographic, spending 2x more than others, and ordering more times per year.

  1. Evocative header image
  2. Effective use of social proof to make referred friends more comfortable
  3. Clear calls-to-action encourage visitors to move quickly to the next step
  4. Wide reach– the referral program is accessible even to non-Prime users

We did a thorough breakdown of Amazon Prime’s referral program here:
Lessons from Amazon Prime’s Referral Program

B. Ecommerce Referral Program Examples

B1. Fashion & Apparel Referral Program Examples

7. Flash sales: Amuze’s referral program gives you and your friends $25 off your next flash sale purchase

amuze-landing-page

amuze referral program

Amuze is a members-only fashion portal that gives discounts on authentic designer labels. $25 may not seem like a hoot, considering that Amuze is selling luxury items. However, Amuze’s flash sales and daily discounts allow the $25 to have a much better impact. Their insane discounts are part of their selling point, and their referral program helps to drive the prices down further, gaining more customers in the process.

We’ve written more extensively about Amuze’s referral program here:
Designer Fashion Referral Program Examples: Amuze

8. Adventure Gear: The Clymb’s referral program is very stylish!

the clymb homepagethe clymb referral program

The Clymb sells sporting and adventure gear. Interestingly, they’ve changed their referral reward structure– initially it was $15 credit for a minimum purchase of $50. At the time of writing, it’s now $10 credit, but for a minimum purchase of $50.

They now even allow you to mass invite your friends and send them a personalized message.

We’ve written more extensively about The Clymb’s referral program here:
Apparel Referral Program Examples – The Clymb

9. Accessories & Stationery: Erin Condren’s referral program gives away $10 credit to Friends and Advocates

erin condren referral programErin Condren sells clutches, t-shirts, notebooks, papers, stickers and all sorts of fashionable accessories. Her referral program works because it’s heavily focused on giving her customers a great experience.

We’ve explored Erin Condren’s referral program in greater detail here:
Fashion Referral Programs – Erin Condren

10. Lingerie: True&Co’s referral program has strong visual images

true&co referral programtrue&co referral program thank you

True&Co is an online lingerie store that uses a special algorithm to figure out a lady’s bra size, and then recommend lingerie that cater to their personal sizes. They even provide a home-fitting service, so that totally eliminates the trip to the dressing room.

Look at this:

Our resident referrer, Alice, only has to give her email address before she can refer her friend, Brenda (She’s not referring Bob this time, for obvious reasons). She can then share by entering her friends’ email addresses, sending a personalised link, or through Facebook.

Easy to share = referral program success.

We wrote more about True&Co’s referral program here:
Fashion Referral Program Examples – True&Co

11. Wool Products: Wool Overs’ referral program is pretty generous – offering referred friends 20% off and advocates £50 off.

woolovers homepagewoolovers referral program

Woolovers sells wool products of all kinds, all around the world. Their referral program is pretty generous as they offer you (the advocate) £50 off while giving your friends 20% off.

We’ve written more about Wool Over’s referral program here:
Apparel Referral Program Examples – Wool Overs

12. Designer sneakers: GREATS feature their referral program on every page– including their about page!

greats-foundersgreats=-referral-link

Greats is a Brooklyn-based brand that sells designer sneakers at an affordable price. They give both Advocates and Friends $10 off their next order.

Why does their referral program work so well? According to Ryan, CEO of Greats:

“They’re all about sharing. We give them social validation. Referrals just accelerate that, so they’re constantly referring people to the brand.”

We write more about GREATS’ referral program here:
Footwear Referral Program Examples – GREATS

13. Watches & Accessories: DapperTime’s referral program gives you 20% (in cash) of what your friends order

dappertime referral program
DapperTime has a very loyal (and stylish) following on Instagram, which pretty much guaranteed the inevitable success of their referral program. Its referral program is also pretty interesting – functioning more like an affiliate program than a referral program.

We’ve written about DapperTime’s challenges, success and their referral program here:
Watch Referral Program Examples: How DapperTime Grows Its Stylish Business

14. Lingerie: Leonisa’s referral program gives Advocates $15 off and Friends 15% off

leonisa referral program

Leonisa, the number 1 lingerie brand in Latin America, sells beautifully crafted and technologically advanced shapewear and lingerie, as well as sportswear.

Because they often do not have very “aggressive” offers or sales, they see these discounts as the ‘last motivation’ to make purchases.

Sebastian explains:

“We don’t want people to be interested primarily in discounts. We want people to buy the products because of the design, quality, and comfort instead, so we can earn brand loyalty. The discount should be a slight push factor, but not the main reason for the purchase.”

We’ve written about Leonisa’s challenges, success and their referral program here:
Lingerie Referral Program Examples: Leonisa

15. Sandals & Footwear: Okabashi’s referral program has Referred Friends spending 13.2% more on average!

okabashi-homepage Okabashi is the largest manufacturer of sandals and flip flops in the United States. The key to their referral program success? A great product that their customer loves.

Learn more about Okabashi’s referral program here:
Referral Marketing Case Study – Okabashi

16. Student Discounts: Perkla’s referral program gives students 20% off on various aggregated fashion products

PerklaPerkla Referral screengrabPerkla was a startup that provides a one-stop online shopping platform exclusively for students. Students who sign up are able to enjoy discounts from an array of online stores, including: Bonobo, Converse, Reebok and Apple. Exclusivity reigns supreme at this startup here — only students can sign up to use them.

(NOTE: Perkla has been acquired by ID.me)

We’ve written more extensively about Perkla’s referral program here:
Student Referral Program Examples: Perkla

17. Designer dress shoes: Beckett Simonon’s referral program gives $25 credit to both Advocate and Friend

Beckett Simonon Referral page
Beckett Simonon is an ecommerce shop that sells made-to-order shoes, bags and accessories. It reduces inventory costs by asking customers to pre-order goods before it is made.

18. Dresses: Sesura’s referral program gives discounts and coupons to encourage shoppers to buy more

sesura homepageSesura Referral page

Sesura is an online destination for Asian fast fashion. Their products are sourced all over Asia, e.g Taiwan, Hong Kong, Korea and Japan — and are available at an affordable price.

19. Ballet Flats: Rothy’s referral program gives $20 to both friends and advocates

Rothy’s is an online store that combines the ease of a sneaker and the polish of a feminine flat to create a unique ballet flat.

20. Yoga: YogaClub’s referral program gives both friends and advocates 25% off

YogaClub is a monthly yoga subscription box that allows customers to discover new yoga brands on the cheap.

B2. Beauty & Grooming Referral Program Examples

21. Shaving Razors: Dorco USA’s Referral Program gives Friends $5 off while Advocates get 5% of their friends’ purchase

dorco homepage

Famous for being the blades used by Dollar Shave Club, Dorco sells great razor blades at an affordable price. With 20% discounts, referred friends would be more motivated to get something from Dorco USA, especially since their products are already very affordable.

Learn more: Shaver Referral Program Examples: Dorco

22. Speciality Razors: Bevel’s Referral Program gives Friends and Advocates a free month each for every successful referral

bevel-referralbevel-successful-referral

Bevel sells shaving products designed specifically for people with curly hair, coarse skin and so on. For a subscription service like Bevel, it’s smart to give a discount rather than a cash reward to the Advocate– it encourages repeat purchases.

We’ve written more about Bevel’s referral program here:
Shaver Referral Program Examples: Bevel

23. Monthly Beauty Subscription Boxes: Julep’s Referral Program gives both Advocate and Friend $15 credit

julep referral program

Julep is an ecommerce store that sells makeup and cosmetics, while simultaneously offering a monthly subscription box. We think Julep’s referral program works super well because of great copy, for e.g “for every bestie that joins.”

24. Cosmetics: Dermstore’s referral program gives $10 credit to both Friend and Advocate

Dermstore is an online store that carries products recommended by dermatologists. Its simple referral program offers $10 every time a friend makes a purchase.

25. Adore Beauty gives both Friends and Advocates $10 off

Adore Beauty is Australia’s longest-running online beauty store, and an official stockist of over 165 leading global beauty brands.

26. Thrive Causemetics gives $10 off their products for both Friends and Advocates + donates to a woman in need

Thrive Causemetics was founded by Karissa Bodnar who lost her close friend Kristy to cancer at just 24 years old. For every product purchased, they donate one to empower a woman thriving through cancer or domestic violence.

27. High-Tech Beauty: JeNu’s referral program gives $20 off for Friends and $50 off for Advocates

JeNu is an infuser uses ultrasonic energy to make skin care brands work better and faster.

28. Dental Products: Oxyfresh’s referral program gives Friends 10% and Advocates $10 off orders above $50

Oxyfresh sells safe, effective and gentle products for the home, body care and pet care that uses their patented advanced technology ingredient, Oxygene.

29. Brazilian Wax: Strip’s Refer-a-Friend program gives 50% off for Friends and redeemable credits for Advocates

Strip offers quality waxing services and advanced techniques when it comes to pre- and post-wax care with products.

B3. Electronic & Gadget Referral Program Examples

30. Smart Kitchen Robot: Mellow’s referral program– tell your friends about a super-cool smart sous vide machine

mellow-referral-program
Mellow sells a really cool smart kitchen robot that can cook sous vide for you while you’re not even at home.

We wrote a blogpost about Mellow’s success here:
How Mellow Made $200,000 In Preorder Sales In Less Than A Month

31. Bluesmart’s Referral Program – Give $40, get $40 when buying smart luggage


Bluesmart sells smart luggage that you can control from your smartphone. It famously raised $2.2 million dollars on Indiegogo when it first launched.

32. Wearables: Pavlok’s referral program – Advocates get 15% of friend’s purchase in cash

Pavlok is a wearable device that helps you change your habits. (Pavlok is one of Shopify’s Build-a-Business winners in 2015.) Why does it work so well?

Pavlok has a long blog post that teaches advocates effective sharing techniques, so they can get the most out of the referral program.

Learn more about Pavlok’s referral program here:
Wearables Referral Program Examples: The Habit-breaking Pavlok

33. Futuristic luggage: Trunkster’s referral program gives $20 cash to Advocates, and $20 off to Referred Friends

Trunkster makes intelligent, sleek and unique suitcases that uses a revolutionary sliding door mechanism instead of traditional zippersTrunkster, like Pavlok, is one of Shopify Build-a-Business winners in 2015.

This is what Trunkster founder Bryan says about his referral program:

“Cash speaks well to people – we want people to be rewarded for sharing and to be able to get 30 dollars is the biggest incentive we can give to someone for sharing.”

We’ve written more about Trunkster’s referral program here:
Travel accessories referral program examples: Trunkster

34. Hardy phone cases: Rhino Shield’s referral program – gives Advocates 15% off their next purchase when they successfully refer 3 friends

rhino-referral-program

Are you a clumsy person with a history of dropping and damaging your precious tech devices? Do you know somebody who is? Then EvolutiveLabs’ Rhino Shield is just for you. Klutzes know klutzes, so Rhino Shield is served well by a referral program.

We’ve written more about Rhino Shield’s referral program here:
Smartphone Accessories Referral Program Example: Rhino Shield

35. Super Thin iPhone Cases: Peel’s referral program gives Advocates 30% off all products, and Referred Friends 20% off

Peel is the iPhone case that’s so thin, you’d probably not notice it.

Giving out discounts work well for products that customers will likely purchase again. Since Peel also makes cases for the iPad Air and iPad Mini, customers who fall in love with their first purchases might decide to outfit their other Apple products with Peel cases too.

Apart from discounts, giving out credits is also a good solution for ensuring future purchases.

We’ve written more about Peel’s referral program here:
Smartphone Accessories Referral Program Examples: Peel

36. Ztylus’s Referral Program – phone cases designed specifically to improve your camera experience

ztylus-referralsZtylus sells incredibly versatile smartphone cases. While there are all sorts of phone cases available in the market today, Ztylus differentiates itself by selling cases that perform several different functions all at once.

We’ve written about their referral program in greater detail here:
Smartphone Accessories Referral Program Examples – Ztylus

37. Saleae Logic Analyzers Referral Program has an incredibly stylish referral email template

saleae-referral-program

We especially love the imagery of the envelope– it makes hitting the Submit button just a little bit more exciting.

Who says logic analyzers need to be boring? We’ve written more extensively about Saleae’s referral program here:
Hardware Referral Program Examples – Saleae Logic Analyzers

38. WiFi: Skyroam’s referral program gives $20 off for both Advocates and Friends

Skyroam developed and patented the virtual SIM technology in 2008 and enabled mobile data on-demand worldwide through local connectivity.

39. Light: LIFX’s referral program gives 15% off all products

LIFX pioneered the smart light in 2012 with the first Wi Fi-enabled, multi-coloured LED that’s controllable via a smart device. Designed to last over 22 years, LIFX offers the brightest, most flexible smart light for your home or office.

40. Headphones: Sol Republic’s referral program gives both Friends and Advocates 15% off

Sol Republic is a global consumer electronics company dedicated to enhancing people’s lives through better-sounding headphones and accessories.

B4. F&B and Supplements Referral Program Examples

41. Meal Delivery: 22 Days Nutrition’s referral program gives Advocates 15% off their Friends’ purchase in cash, and gives friends 10% off

22 Days Nutrition Referral page

Founded by fitness expert and trainer-to-the-stars Marco Borges, 22 Days Nutrition promotes healthy living through plant-based lifestyles.

22 Days Nutrition has built a large, active presence on social networks. At time of writing, they’ve built a following of 171,000 on Facebook, 51,400 on Instagram and nearly 10,000 on Twitter.

22 Days Nutrition notes that word-of-mouth is a key part of their business, so adding a refer-a-friend program to their customer acquisition plans was a natural fit. People were already talking about their brand and referring their friends to 22 Days Nutrition.

We’ve written more about 22 Days Nutrition’s referral program here:
Referral Programs for Healthy Living: How 22 Days Nutrition Uses ReferralCandy To Tap Into Their Fanbase

42. Kitchensurfing’s in-house referral program has multi-tiered rewards

kitchensurfing pagereferral-kitchensurfing
Kitchensurfing has been described as a sort of Airbnb for kitchens and chefs.

(NOTE: Kitchensurfing has since shut down.)

43. Munchery’s referral program allows you to give and get $20 of credit for every referral you make.

Munchery is the food delivery app that makes it easy to eat without compromise, delivering delicious, all-natural, chef-crafted dishes right to your door. By giving away $20 for every referral, it covers 1 meal for the advocate’s friend — who can then be converted into a paying customer based on the deliciousness of the food.

Check out more examples of referral programs in the F&B industry.

44. TeaGlad’s referral program gives Advocates $10 cash and Friends 20% off their purchase of cleansing detox tea

teaglad-landing-pageteaglad-referral-program

Teaglad is a tea company that sells both tea and detox tea. Its main mission is to make finding high-quality tea easy.

45. Nootropics: Powder City’s referral program gives Friends 10% off and Advocates a 6% cash bonus

powder-city-landing-page

Powder City is an ecommerce store for health supplements. They sell all sorts of supplements, with categories including “Nootropics”, “Energy”, “Relaxation”, “Pre-workout” and more.

By using customer referrals, it allows Powder City to build credibility with potential customers– we’re far likelier to try something if a trusted friend says they’re satisfied with the experience.

(NOTE: Powder City has since closed.)

Learn more about Powder City’s Referral Program here:
Supplements Referral Program Example: Powder City

46. Fresh Meals: Youfoodz’s referral program gives away free meals

Youfoodz is an Australia fresh meal delivery service. Great copy on their referral program, emphasizing the world free.

47. Coffee: Craft Coffee’s referral program gives away free coffee delivery for Friends

Craft Coffee is a coffee subscription box that makes it easy to find good coffee at fair prices.

48. Spice Blends: Jaswant’s Kitchen’s referral program gives 10% off for Friends and Free Shipping for Advocates

Jaswant’s Kitchen is an online store that makes authentic Indian cooking easy.

49. Pretzels: Fatty Sundays’ referral program gives Advocates 20% off and Friends 15%

Fatty Sundays is an online store that sells gourmet chocolate covered pretzels.

50. Primal Food: Barefoot Provisions’ referral program gives Friends 10% off and Advocates a $5 coupon

Barefoot Provisions is the online store for paleo and primal foodstuffs, curated for the conscious foodie.

B5. E-cigarettes and Vaporizers Referral Program Examples

51. VaporDNA’s referral program gives both friends and advocates $10 off if they spend over $35 storewide

VaporDNA is the absolute premier online vape store offering an industry leading selection of electronic cigarettes, e-liquids, and accessories. They are the only vape company to earn the circle of excellence award from BizRate in 2016, a distinction earned by retailers who go above and beyond the norm to provide exceptional service to their online customers.

52. eJuices.com’s referral program gives Friends 15% their first purchase and payment in cash for Advocates

eJuices.com is the world’s largest eLiquid retailer offering over 1300+ brands.

53. Grenco Science’s referral program gives Friends 15% off and Advocates 20%

Grenco Science is the first vape company to market a tank system specifically designed for essential fluids and personal aromatherapy regimens. To continually give back to the community, Grenco Science established the Charity Series, a collection of products tied to nonprofit organizations wherein a portion of net proceeds are donated with each purchase; and the Artist Series, an installment of collaborations with industry leading artists and brand ambassadors.

B6. Home and Pets Referral Program Examples

54. Mattresses: Leesa’s referral program gives friends $75 off a mattress and advocates $50 in cash


Leesa is a mattress company whose mission is to help people sleep better. Leesa also has a “giving back” program where they donate 1 mattress for every ten sold.

Learn more about the results of Leesa’s referral program here:
How Leesa Uses ReferralCandy to Get a Steady Stream of Customers in a Competitive Industry

55. Furniture: Made.com’s referral program gives Advocates and Friends £15 off

made-referral-programmade-referral-program-2

Made.com is an online furniture retailer based in the UK.

They’re focused on selling original furniture designs at affordable prices, which they accomplish by cutting out the middlemen from the process and connecting consumers directly to designers. The most interesting part about Made.com’s referral program is that they gamified it with incentives.

We’ve written more about Made.com’s referral program here:
Furniture referral program examples – Made.com

56. Pets: Pet Mountain’s referral program gives both Friends and Advocates 10% off when order is above $25

Pet Mountain is the online leader in discount pet supplies, aquariums, wholesale dog supplies and so on.

57. Sheets & Towels: Canningvale’s referral program gives Friends 20% off and gives Advocates store credits

Canningvale is an online store that provides premium bathroom textiles, luxury bedding and beach towels at affordable prices.

58. Sit-Stand Desks: Flexispot’s referral program offers Advocates 10% of their Friend’s purchase amount

Flexispot offers height adjustable desks and desktop workstations, providing easy transition between sitting and standing.

B7. Education and Toys Referral Program Examples

59. Toys: GoldieBlox’s referral program has advocates sharing for a cause– 20% off the next purchase for both advocate and friend.

goldieblox-referrals

GoldieBlox sells toys designed to teach girls engineering skills, and to get them engaged in building and learning. Very strong branding.

Learn more about GoldieBlox’s referral program here:
Educational Toys Referral Program Examples: GoldieBlox

60. Flashcards: CriticalPass’s referral program gives you $10 for each friend referred

CriticalPass sells bar exam flashcards that will help law students pass the bar exam, written with key MBE concepts & elements to help them memorize for the MBE.

61. Educational Activity Box: Flintobox gives away free Flintoboxes for successful referrals

Flintobox is an India-based company that produces educational activity boxes for children. Based on a theme, the company makes resources for Early Child Development on a monthly basis.

C. Other Referral Program Examples

C1.  Software and Digital Goods Referral Program Examples

62. Business Management Software: Booker’s referral program gets business owners referring each other – (an iPad mini for the first referral!)


There’s some nice copywriting and visual communication on this one.

We’ve written more extensively about Booker’s referral program here:
B2B Referral Program Examples: Booker, Business Management Software

63. Crowdfunding: Seedr’s referral program brings all the crowdfunders to the yard, giving Advocates a cut of Seedr’s earnings from Referred Friends

Investors refer other investors all the time already– so a referral program makes perfect sense for Seedrs.

We analyzed Seedrs’ referral program in greater detail here:
Investor Referral Program Examples: Seedrs, the Equity Crowdfunding Platform

64. Cloud: Carpathia’s referral program gets businesses into the cloud

Carpathia Referral Program
Very suave, with very polished design.

We’ve written more about Carpathia’s referral program here:
Enterprise Referral Program Examples: Carpathia, Cloud Hosting Provider

65. Graphic Design: 99Designs’s referral program gives Friends a $99 PowerPack for boosting and a $50 in cash for successful project completion

99designs is the world’s largest online graphic design marketplace. They connect freelance designers with creative people, genius entrepreneurs and savvy businesses.

66. Project Management: Trello gives a free month of Trello Gold for every person recommended to join

Trello is a web-based project management app that makes project collaboration simple and enjoyable.

67. Stock Photos & Videos: Videoblocks’ referral program gives Advocates $20 off and referred friends a staggering 90% off

Videoblocks member referral page

VideoBlocks is a subscription site that provides studio quality, affordable stock footage, motion backgrounds, and even After Effects templates. Unlike other stock footage sites that charge per download, VideoBlocks members enjoy unlimited downloads for a monthly/yearly subscription fee.

The interesting thing about their referral program is that they only allow members to refer — which is good. Most of paying customers are likely professionals in the media design field. By only allowing members to refer, it reduces the total amount of referrals, but ensures that they are mostly high quality referrals made by professionals.

We explore Videoblocks’ referral program in detail here:
Stock Video Referral Program Examples: Videoblocks

C2.  Service Referral Program Examples

68. Sunworks’ referral program offers $1,000 for each friend referred.

It’s a new, emerging industry, so they went all out in their efforts to educate their potential customers. Previously, they rewarded advocates for throwing parties, and even give away chances to win free a free Tesla Model S!

They have since changed their referral program to a simpler one – offering a $1000 bonus.

We’ve written about Sunworks’ Referral Program more extensively here:
Solar Energy Referral Program Examples: Sunworks

 69. AirPartner’s referral program made you a #thousandaire – free 30 mins of flight time for Advocates and Friends

airpartner-ambassador-page
You never know when you’re going to need to charter a private jet!

We wrote more about AirPartner’s referral program here:
Air Travel Referral Program Examples: AirPartner

 70. Travel: Go-Today’s referral program gives Friends $25 off and Advocates 5%.

Go-today is a travel provider offering vacation packages and customized itineraries.

71. Bookings: ZEN Rooms’s referral programs gives both Friends and Advocates a US$20 discount

ZEN Rooms is the leading budget hotel chain in Southeast Asia with over 5000+ rooms across 35+ destinations. They provide value-for-money accommodation by guaranteeing all the key essentials at the lowest rates.

C3.  Other Referral Program Examples For Inspiration

72. Lunatik’s referral program is significantly more involved than most

referral-lunatik
Lunatik’s referral program is a little more “involved” than most. It’s more accurately described as an “ambassador” program, looking for greater commitment from its participants, with a greater payoff.

This sort of system works better with more “intense” brands that would-be ambassadors enjoy being associated with.

We’ve written about Lunatik’s referral program here:
Hardware Referral Program Examples – Lunatik

73. MMORPGs: World of Warcraft’s referral program rewards you with exclusive in-game items

Warcraft recruit friends example
Interesting use of language. You RECRUIT a friend. Great way to match the “clan” and “team” language within the product. You’ll get free game time when a friend signs up, which is pretty lucrative. The reward is saving money.

We explored World of Warcraft’s referral program in greater detail:
Social Referral Programs: World of Warcraft.

74. FantasyDraft’s referral program is uniquely multi-tiered (with up to 6 degrees!)

fantasydraft-my-referrals
FantasyDraft has a rather unique setup– they actually reward advocates for the referrals that their referred friends make, and the referrals that THOSE people make… up to 6 tiers! This would be overkill in many industries, but it makes perfect sense in a Fantasy Game setting, where friends-of-friends greatly enrich the experience.

We’ve written more extensively about FantasyDraft’s referral program here:
Gaming Referral Program Examples: FantasyDraft’s Multi-Tiered Referral Program

Further Reading:

Want a referral program of your own?

This post barely even scratches the surface of referral programs.

Ecommerce stores, countless gyms, yoga classes, banks and other service providers have referral programs.

If you have a great product worthy of referrals, then you should do like Dropbox and add a refer-a-friend feature to your business.

Check out what we do at ReferralCandy. We’d love to get more people talking about you!

Visakan Veerasamy

Visa is ReferralCandy's Blog Editor. He also co-founded Statement.sg, a fashion ecommerce label selling witty t-shirts. He's been thrice named a Top Writer on Quora. He hopes to enjoy a glass of whiskey onboard a commercial space flight someday.

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