Word-of-Mouth and Referral Marketing Blog

Referral Program Ideas: Securing More Customer Referrals

So you’re thinking of setting up a referral program, and you’re looking for ideas.

One of the fastest ways to get ideas for a referral program is to look at existing successful referral programs to see how they’re doing.

On that front, we’ve got you covered.

Head over to our Epic List of 47 Referral Programs to learn from some of the best examples in the business:



The list is now split up by industry vertical, so you can more quickly find an example that’s relevant to you.

Beyond that, you’ll also want…

Ideas for setting up referral incentives:

Should you use one-sided or two-sided incentives?

  • As a general rule, we recommend using two-sided incentives – they incentivize both the advocate and the referred friend.

Learn more here: Getting More Referrals: Using Two-Sided Referral Incentives



How exactly should you set up your payments? Who should you reward? Should you use cash or discounts?

  • If your advocates are likely to make repeat purchases, give discounts to encourage them.
    • If your product costs more than $100, a flat discount is usually more enticing ($500 off a $2,000 laptop)
    • If your product costs less than $100, a percentage discount is usually better ($10 off a $50 t-shirt is better phrased as 20% off)
  • If your advocates are unlikely to make repeat purchases, give cash.
  • If you’re doing preorders, consider giving cash discounts on the advocates’ existing preorder.
  • Remember to focus on your customers’ interests and motivations.

Learn more: How To Set Up Your Referral Program’s Incentives (With 12+ Examples!)


Ideas for increasing referral rates:


How else can you increase your referral rate?

  1. Invite past customers to join your referral program
  2. Allow non-customers to benefit from referring friends
  3. Use two-sided rather than one-sided incentives
  4. Be generous with the Friend Offer
  5. Feature your referral program prominently on all your touchpoints
  6. Communicate the Friend Offer clearly to participants AND referred friends
  7. Keep your referral program top-of-mind with timely emails
  8. Communicate the conditions of your referral reward clearly

Learn more: 8 Best Things You Can Do to Boost Your Referral Rates and Get More Sales


Ideas for coming up with great emails asking for referrals:


We’ve got you covered on this, too. There are broadly 6 things that you need to be mindful of.

  1. Focus on the subject line
  2. Keep the email simple
  3. Make your call-to-action impossible to ignore
  4. Emphasize the motivation for purchase
  5. Highlight the benefit to Friend AND Advocate
  6. Include any additional conditions for the referral

Learn more: How To Write Great Emails Asking For Referrals


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.

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