Word-of-Mouth and Referral Marketing Blog

How To Get More Customer Referrals Using Proven Methods

how to get more customers

A referral is the highest honor a customer can give a business. It also happens to be one of the most effective forms of marketing in existence.


According to one of many studies done by Nielsen, 92 percent of consumers believe recommendations from their friends and family over all forms of advertising.

Unfortunately, while most satisfied customers say they’d love to refer, less than half of them actually do.

So how do you get more customer referrals for your business?

Here are some tips:

1: Make sure that your product ‘Wow’s people so much that they want to refer others


A great way to tell if your customers love your product enough to refer it is to literally ask them. Net Promoter Score surveys are a well-established, effective way of doing this.

Check out How To Get More Word-of-Mouth: 40+ Successful Examples To Learn From for an extensive guide on how to make sure you’re on the right track.

2: Make sure your messaging is consistent with what your customers want

Referrals are supposed to be human, organic, natural. You never want to be spammy or annoying.
Referrals are supposed to be human, organic, natural. You never want to be spammy or annoying.

Clothing label Ministry Of Supply created a cutting-edge pair of socks that people loved, with all sorts of cool features. They emphasized the fact that the socks were “pressure-mapping”.

Their customers, however, were telling their friends about “coffee socks”– the socks had coffee grounds in them that made them odor-resistant.

Once Ministry of Supply realized this, they switched their messaging and found that they got many, many more customer referrals.

Pay attention to what your customers care about, and emphasize that in your copy.

Learn more: How To Get Your Referral Messaging Right

3: Feature your referral calls-to-action prominently on your site and other touchpoints


Customers are busy people with a lot on their minds. If you want them to refer their friends to you, you’ll want to make it as easy for them as possible.

Check out how sneaker brand GREATS places its referral call-to-action on every page– even their about page:

^ GREATS brand features prominent links to their referral program on their main site and even on their About page.

Pet gear store Kurgo, similarly, has a strong hero image:

Kurgo has a strong, delightful hero image in their carousel alerting you to their referral program.
^ Kurgo has a strong, delightful hero image in their carousel alerting you to their referral program.

The easier you make it for your customers to see that they can refer their friends to you, the more they’ll do it.

More: 10 Examples Of Prominent Referral Program Calls-to-Action

4: Ask your existing customers for referrals!


This can almost seem like a “cheap trick” because of how effective it is, but there’s nothing cheap about it.

If you’ve got delighted customers, you’ve earned the right to ask them for referrals– and if your product added value to them, they’ll be happy to pass it on to their friends.


5: Use post-purchase emails and/or popups

The best time to ask for a referral is after your customer has had a positive experience with your brand– after they’ve made a purchase, for example.

Here’s an example of what a referral email might look like:


You’ll want to make sure that the visual style of the emails are consistent with your brand’s visual style, so that your customers feel like it’s a part of the overall experience of engaging with your brand.

ReferralCandy even allows you to delay the sending of a post-purchase referral email, so you can time it to coincide with whenever your customer might receive your product in the mail:



ReferralCandy also allows you to enable a post-purchase popup widget, so that your customers are encouraged to make a referral as a nice finishing touch after they’ve made a purchase.


6: Post regularly about your referral program on social media


This evokes the familiarity principle, also known as the Mere-exposure effect– the more often your customers encounter your referral program, the likelier they are to keep it in mind, and recognize when they’re in a situation where they could delight their friends with a referral.

More: How To Keep Your Referral Program Top-of-Mind for Optimum Referral Sales


Customer referrals are one of the best sources of new customers, period.

Visakan Veerasamy

Visa is ReferralCandy's former Blog Editor [2013–2018]. He also co-founded Statement.sg, a fashion ecommerce label selling witty t-shirts. He's mildly Internet-famous for his elaborate Twitter threads. He hopes to enjoy a glass of scotch onboard a commercial space flight someday.


  • Customer referral is certainly a language of authenticity that the clients would always justify with their real comments. Others seeing them highly recommended is very usual. Unique and consistently the most valuable products with related offers would amaze the buyers inspiring them to go with good words! Great Write-up!

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