So you want to build the best referral program, but you’re not quite sure what the program should be.
While you may have to get a bit creative with the details, all types of business can enjoy the benefits of a referral marketing strategy, including mobilizing existing customers as your promoters, building brand awareness, encouraging customer retention and customer loyalty, and increasing your customer lifetime value.
In fact, a business can run many referral programs at the same time. Some businesses may run a customer program and a partner program simultaneously. Referral programs can take on any form, and incentive options are endless. You can offer cash, store credits, upgrades, free products, or any reward that works for your business.
If you’re thinking about starting a referral program, but stumped on program ideas, we’ve created an amazingly awesome list of businesses that run a refer-a-friend program. The best part is, there are ideas for all business types, and they’ll work for all company sizes from startups to enterprises!
Check out the best referral program examples
We’ve collected the best customer referral program examples to inspire you. We’ve also broken down how these referral programs work, including what they do well (so you can steal their secrets) and what they can improve (so you know the potential pitfalls to steer clear of). Read through the list, or jump right to the referral program type you’re most interested in:
- Ecommerce and online retail
- Software services and tools
- Television, phone, and internet
Note: Although some of these referral programs are no longer active, they’re still great referral program examples that can help inspire your own program.
Best referral program examples: Ecommerce/online retail
Share the Omsom love: Give $5, get $5
Omsom offers bold starter packets to create authentic Asian dishes – and their referral program catches the eye with boldness that equals their flavors. Simply enter your email, and you’ve got your unique link. Then, you’re on your way to some fire rewards.
What they do well: The fire emoji and examples of dishes you can make with Omsom really draw in the eye, and we really appreciate the on-brand copy. Plus, the double-sided reward payouts motivate both the referrer to share and the friend to make their first purchase. We also appreciate that Omsom offers multiple ways to refer friends, including email, Facebook, Twitter, Messenger, and a referral link for sharing any way customers want to.
What they can improve: We can’t see much to improve here; this one’s neatly tied together. The only feedback we can think of is to place a link to the referral program page in the top menu of their homepage (they have it at the bottom of the homepage, but placing one at the top may make the program easier to find).
Become a Blume Buddy
Blume offers superfood lattes without the caffeine, and we think their referral program is super as well. It’s simple and uncluttered, so it’s easy for customers to understand how the program works. And like the Omsom program above, customers can start sharing in just a few clicks (enter their email, and they’re ready to go)!
What they do well: The uncluttered layout and simple explanation make it easy for customers to start sharing, and remove friction. The product image is elegant and catches the eye. And a double-sided reward is always extra motivating!
What they can improve: Although we love the catchy, friendship-focused headline, we’d suggest adding the rewards in the headline so they’re easier to spot.
You get a $20 Budsies coupon, and your friend gets 10% off
Budsies has a super simple referral program. A customer simply signs up and starts sharing their referral link with friends. If one of the referrals then becomes a new customer, they will get 10% off their Budsies stuffed animal. Plus, the original customer will get a $20 gift card for their next purchase. Looks like a great win-win situation!
What they do well: They offer a double-sided reward – which we find to be motivating on both sides of the process. We also like that they thank customers for spreading the word about their stuffed animals. And since each piece they make is unique, it’s really cool that they incorporate that into the visuals on the page.
What they can improve: If Budsies would break down the referral process into three steps with visuals, their program would be even easier to use. We’ve seen them use this best practice in the past.
Give 20% off a mattress, get $75
Casper, a brand that specializes in mattresses, hits you with a double whammy. They offer a two-sided referral program. If a program member sends their friend $50 off a Casper mattress, Casper will give the member a $75 Amazon gift card back. These rewards are not the only reason you’ll be sleeping well at night.
What they do well: We can’t say it enough – double sided rewards are awesome for conversion. We also really like the referral page used here, as it showcases the excitement of opening the product, and fills the member in on what to do and what they get. Visually, this landing page looks really nice. Plus, an Amazon card is a great reward for the member, since they probably aren’t in the market for a Casper mattress anytime soon.
What they can improve: This program looks great overall. This is a bit nitpicky, but Casper could add a benefit in the initial headline: “Refer a friend to great sleep.”
Get a $100 Visa gift card when you refer a friend!
Both parties in this program get a pretty nice reward. The new friend gets both a discount on their system (which can range into the $100s and then some). Having a 40% off coupon to get a system picked out will save the referral a nice chunk of money. To add to that, they get a free indoor camera as well. This would be an easy referral request anyway, especially since people referring this type of service are probably sharing it with someone they know needs or has discussed wanting a security system. The cherry on top – a $100 gift card for the referrer.
What they do well: They offer a hefty reward for both individuals. SimpliSafe also provides a few easy sharing options like email form, SMS, and direct link. All in all, it’s a solid referral program.
What they can improve: Sometimes they offer specials that offer a higher discount. This could make a referral code seem not as appealing and the referral could fall through (even if the person becomes a customer). Unless, of course, the referral could get the double discount.
Best referral program examples: SaaS (software services)
Get $10 for referring a friend
PayPal is one of the pioneers in the referral program space, as they were one of the first (if not the first) to offer rewards for referring friends and the inspiration for programs like Dropbox’s. PayPal is built on the premise of sending money to friends, so it made perfect sense to encourage users to get their friends to sign up. The PayPal program is still going strong today, and offers a $10 double-sided reward every time a newly referred customer signs up.
What they do well: The double-sided reward is awesome, the program instructions are super concise, the layout is mobile-friendly, and users can go to a separate page for full program details if they have more questions. And of course, cash is a super-appropriate reward for a service where people send money to their friends.
What they can improve: This referral program is pretty well tied together, and it practically promotes itself since it’s so well-known. We can’t find flaws with this one.
Get up to 16GB of free space by inviting your friends to try Dropbox
Dropbox has a very cool spin on a referral program. Since their main goal is to provide users with a space to put digital files, they have created a program that will give users extra storage space by inviting their friends to try Dropbox. Pretty nifty!
What they do well: We like that they have two reward structures based on the different account options. For those who pay more for their account, they have the potential to gain even more space, so it’s a nice little extra bonus for Plus accounts. It looks like they also use one click access, so all users on their platform can refer without having to sign up for the program.
What they can improve: Currently, they only offer the mobile version of this referral program for Dropbox Basic users. Anyone on the Plus account will only be able to access the program on desktop – so users on this plan who only use the mobile app may not even know they can refer.
Hiver, a customer support tool that works through Gmail, runs a compelling referral program that’s both tiered and stepped. Advocates earn Amazon gift card rewards for both qualified referred leads and referrals that result in sales. But the milestone rewards are even more enticing (a Kindle for three referrals, a high-caliber evening out for five referrals, and an iPhone for 10 referrals).
What they do well: The reward structure is extremely compelling, and the “How it works” section of their program page simplifies the complex reward structure so it’s easy to understand. We also love the “get rewarded” button above the fold (so loyal customers can start referring right away) and the FAQ at the bottom to clear up any questions.
What they can improve: This is a personal preference, but displaying some of the specific referral incentives above the fold might make things even more compelling.
Refer ActiveCampaign and earn money
Email marketing and automation tool ActiveCampaign knows that every customer has the potential to be their ambassador. Their referral program encourages clients to share ActiveCampaign with other businesses that might benefit.
What they do well: Every ActiveCampaign client is automatically enrolled in the referral program and already has a referral link, so they can share with friends right away. We also like that they offer different levels of rewards (higher Amazon gift card rewards for higher-level paid plans). Plus, since referred customers must be active for 60 days before the advocate gets a reward, ActiveCampaign only pays when referrals have generated value. And the referred new user isn’t left out, as they get $10 credit when they sign up for a paid account.
What they can improve: Adding a small reward for the advocate when referred customers first enroll in a paid plan could make things even more motivating for the advocate.
GetResponse’s unique referral program is a great example of how to add a higher reward tier to your program. And you can only get some of the rewards from GetResponse, so the program offers unique value.
What they do well: We love the tiered structure: every successful referral earns subscription credits, but every three referrals lets a customer take a $200 GetResponse marketing certification course for free. The double-sided reward is also a great practice (the referred friend also saves on their subscription), and the program’s easy to follow.
What they can improve: There’s only a limited amount of certification courses available for GetResponse users (unless, of course, someone can take the same course every year and build more skills). So, the second tier of rewards ends eventually for power referrers.
Best referral program examples: Franchises
Your friends deserve better water. You deserve $100.
Culligan Water’s franchise referral program saw a significant word-of-mouth boost when it launched a formal referral program and started giving double-sided referral rewards. Referring customers earn a $100 gift card to a brand of their choice, and anyone they refer receives $100 off their new Culligan water treatment system.
And thanks to Referral Rock, their program easily integrated with each of their dealer groups’ CRMs, making their reward management easier.
What they do well: Culligan ticks a lot of the boxes for a successful referral program. There are plenty of sharing options, including email, social media, and a click-to-copy referral link. There’s also a nice list of the types of friends who might benefit from a Culligan system, so it’s easier to think of friends to refer.
Plus, referrers can choose from over 100 gift cards, so there’s a reward that motivates everyone (and customers love the element of choice). Culligan also has reward tiers: after 6 successful referrals, a customer gets a $150 gift card for every referral, and after 12 successful referrals, each gift card they earn is valued at $200.
What they can improve: This referral program is awesome, and most of the elements are already extremely successful. Streamlining the “how it works” section slightly is all we can think of to improve.
Best referral program examples: Subscriptions
Invite your friends
A member just sends a bestie a referral, and if they join the member gets $15. Pretty straightforward. Plus the bestie will earn a free gift with their purchase. Everybody wins. There is a 40 referral cap per year. Luckily that’s a pretty impressive number, and it resets every year!
What they do well: We like the referral form and sharing options that are available. The prefilled message is super helpful for quick and easy sharing.
What they can improve: With the type of subscription they offer, they likely have users and even influencers on many platforms. They should offer a simple copy and paste link option so people can easily share outside of email and Facebook.
Give $40, get $40
Freshly, a meal subscription box company, makes their referral program easy to understand, and sharing super easy to do. And a background image of the yummy meals you could get for less doesn’t hurt either.
What they do well: Freshly offers the most sharing options we’ve seen (seven, including multiple social media platforms and copying and pasting the referral link). Their three-step referral process makes sharing easy. We also appreciate the double-sided, equal reward, and the inclusion of a “get $40” referral program button in their homepage’s top menu. You can’t get much easier than that!
What they can improve: Yes, the list of seven sharing options works well for Freshly, but there’s a bit of a risk that all those sharing options may make the referral pop-up seem a little cluttered. Maybe have only three or four of the methods visible at first, and then have customers click a button to see more.
Share Morning Brew –> Earn Rewards
Morning Brew provides the model for how to do a newsletter referral program right. They promote the program every day in their newsletter, and they offer a motivating slate of tiered rewards. And you’ve probably heard of their flash referral contests, where winning subscribers score a MacBook Pro for themself and their friend!
What they do well: The tiered rewards (with pictures of the rewards) are extremely motivating, and having a high-value reward for 1000 referrals means there’s always a driver for super-advocates to share. The promotion in every newsletter means the program’s always top of mind, and the reward tracker turns sharing into a game (just a few more shares and you’ll win the next reward!)
That’s not all… There’s a lot more brilliance in Morning Brew’s extremely successful referral program. Want to know how to steal its secrets? Check out our newsletter referral program guide.
What they can improve: Maybe add a reward for 500 referrals, in between the 100 and 1,000, so there’s another opportunity to recognize key advocates? We’re nit-picking here, there’s not really much to refine in this tight model.
Don’t leave your friends behind: Invite friends & earn product
Harry’s used a referral marketing program to drum up excitement for their shaving products before they officially launched. This tiered program helped Harry’s collect nearly 100,000 emails prior to launch day!
What they do well: The messaging focuses on letting friends in on exclusive info, great for a pre-launch program. The tiered structure, with free product rewards and a progress bar, entices advocates to keep referring, and the top reward (a year of free blades) is both compelling and attainable. And it’s easy to share the likk via Facebook and Twitter, to reach multiple friends at once.
What they can improve: Unfortunately, the Harry’s program got discontinued after the product launch. They could have tweaked and relaunched the program to keep uptheir impressive momentum, and drive purchases through referrals as well.
Invite friends and get Freeletics gear
Freeletics offers a subscription for fitness and nutrition plans. They also have a variety of fitness gear and athletic wear available for purchase. If an app user sends a referral, their friend will get a discount on their subscription, and the user can earn free gear. This is a pretty solid referral model.
What they do well: It’s easy to find the referral program within the app (visible in two spots), so that is always a plus! We like the dual-sided reward system they have chosen. A discount to get someone new started, and for those already on their fitness journey some new gear to keep them going. Seems solid.
What they can improve: They mention a $15-30 reward. We’re unsure if that means each referral is worth $15 and they can only refer 2 people, or if the reward is based on the subscription the referred friend chooses. We’d like to see a little more explanation upfront.
Share the awesome. Give $5, Get $5
Loot Crate is a super fun subscription box… (we mean crate). The program is very simple. You send a friend $5 and you get a $5 credit. After you have 4 successful referrals you get a free crate – which makes this one cool referral campaign.
What they do well: We like that more referrals leads to a bigger reward. A whole crate for 4 referrals seems very achievable.
What they can improve: We wish there were a few more sharing options on there. Loot Crate has many boxes based on video games, film, tv, and pop culture. So, they probably have a long list of platforms their customers come from. Providing some other quick share options may be beneficial to their program.
Best referral program examples: Apps
Share the love and help the planet
Alltrails uses emotion to create powerhouse referrals. The good news is that anyone who is using AllTrails already loves the outdoors and nature, and probably knows a few people who do too. Referring someone to use the app is no harm as they have a free option. So outdoorsy friends gain an insightful app for trails and the referrer gets to feel good about being responsible for a newly planted tree.
What they do well: The program is easy to follow and there is really no downfall. Friends can share a useful app, and potentially get a tree planted during that process. AllTrails opted for a simple sharing option – by just providing a referral link for the user to share however they wish.
What they can improve: We love how simple this program is. And how users can track their successful referrals. What we’d like to see are some social sharing buttons.
Their referral program is short and sweet. $2 credit per referral is quite good considering that pays for a cup of coffee or at least makes a large latte cheaper. It’s a win for coffee lovers!
What they do well: Upon clicking on the ‘share’ button multiple sharing options appear. If you choose to text, email, or share on social, a prefilled message will appear, making sharing super easy. The message is editable too – so that’s a bonus for any one wanting to add or edit what’s already there. We also love the QR code -super convenient!
What they can improve: For a coffee app, this one is pretty standard and straightforward. It’s accessible on the app and easy to find. We’re getting super nitpicky here, but the ‘Share hAPPy rewards’, we know it’s intentional as you get the reward for sharing the app, but on first sight it looks like a typo.
Refer a friend: $10.00
The Tabbed Out app lets you pay restaurant and bar tabs right from your phone, and their referral program offers the same convenience. There are lots of features here that you can steal for your own mobile referral program, including an awesome gamified element.
What they do well: The referral option’s easy to find in the app menu, and the referral code is super simple to spot and share (via multiple ways, including email, social media, and texting). But our favorite part is the gamified element. Customers receive a “sharing rank” based on their number of successful referrals, and a cool progress bar tracks how close they are to reaching their next level. There’s even a lifetime earnings tracker for extra motivation!
What they can improve: It’s hard to tell if tapping on the referral code copies a trackable link, or if friends will have to enter the code manually when the code is shared directly. Be sure the referral link is directly copyable if you start a mobile referral program.
Get Free Stock
There are a ton of investment apps out there. Public is offering free stock for referrals. They want to get more users on their platform and you get a bigger piece of the pie out of it. In return, your friend gets free stock too!
What they do well: They have a clear indication of what the user needs to do. The CTA ‘refer now’ is up front and center, and we are loving it!
What they can improve: Once the user clicks to ‘refer now,’ they are led to a page where they can copy their unique referral link. What we’d like to see are social share buttons, or even a pre-filled email template to better help convey what Public is.
Invite friends, earn $10
Venmo is one of the popular digital wallets out there with over 60 million users. Its growth is formed from word of mouth. For example, you may have downloaded it yourself after being asked to pay for something off Facebook Marketplace or another type of sales page with it. Many others have downloaded because of this too. But, they do have a formal referral program. Meaning people are missing out on free money for using word of mouth (like they are already doing)!
What they do well: The program is visible from the user account, making the program easy to find and participate in (despite all the free word of mouth already happening). We also like that they offer a tracker for referrals
What they can improve: The language is a little confusing. Initially, people are told they can earn $10. But upon the next page they learn referrals are worth $5 per referral instead. But on the same page it mentions $5, it says ‘earn up to $100’ by sending to 10 friends. It’s a bit confusing.
We suggest changing it up so all the language matches, no matter what page someone is on. Also, the referral program seems to only be on the mobile app, and cannot be accessed or found via a desktop.
Best referral program examples: Automotive
Earn FREE Uber with Your Own Personalized Referral Code!
Uber has run a few referral programs in the past. They did a good job at catering to everyone, both drivers, and riders. Drivers can earn cash rewards between their drives by referring drivers and riders. Additionally, riders can earn free Uber credits for sharing with their friends.
What they do well: They’ve run a few types of referral programs, one for employees and one for customers – which we find impressive.
What they can improve: Their program changes a lot, but that is expected (especially with a program that’s been going strong for years). We actually like that they keep changing the program parameters as needed. We suggest just being sure to make sure all language stays consistent. It also appears that their referral program is limited time only as of now. We’d prefer if they kept their referral program going all year, as that would help them motivate and track sharing consistently.
Receive a $1,000 credit when you order a new Model S or Model X.
Tesla’s referral program embraced big rewards. The most recent referral program gave Tesla referrals $1000 credit towards the sale price of a car when using a referral code. The Tesla owner who sent the referral code then earned rewards based on how many qualifying referrals they had. The more referrals a user sent, the more perks they would receive. Everything from new rims to a new car!
What they do well: We like that they make the reward worthwhile. And it only makes sense as cars can be pricey.
What they can improve: The referrer’s reward is sort of based on a point system so the referrer will have to make a few referrals before earning bigger prizes. This may deter some people from referring. However, most people who own a Tesla know someone who probably wants one too – so referrals may not be that difficult to get.
Best referral program examples: Clothing
Be a hero. Invite your friends to MeUndies and they’ll get 20% off.
MeUndies rewards customers with $20 for free if they refer a friend. Plus, the referred friend will receive 20% off. This underwear brand offers both men’s and women’s styles, so everyone can get in on the reward action. Don’t be fooled by the name, as MeUndies offers a variety of loungewear too. MeUndies also utilizes an easy sharing option. The happy customer simply shares by email or Facebook. Easy, right?
What they do well: Their invite form is simple and easy as it utilizes a prefilled (but editable) message. This makes sharing super simple, which is what we like to see.
What they can improve: With this example we see email and Facebook as the only two options for sharing. They could add SMS or even just add an option for the referrer to copy their link to paste wherever for maximum promotion potential.
Free clothes! Share with friends, earn $25
StitchFix is a clothing subscription. They give $25 in Stitch Fix credit for referring a friend. Plus, it’s pretty simple to do. Users just invite their friends right from their account homepage. Users can just copy and place their link wherever they’d like. A user also has the option to refer people right from their phone app. StitchFix also offers an affiliate program – score!
What they do well: We like that they are utilizing multiple channels of word of mouth to grow their customer base (both referrals and affiliates). This means they have the potential to reach even more people than one program alone.
What they can improve: There isn’t much indication of what the referred friend will earn. So, current customers may not refer anyone if they aren’t sure something special will be given to their peer. Currently, they are offering the referred friend $20 off towards their styling fee, but this isn’t indicated anywhere until the friend clicks the link and lands on the referral page.
Get free socks, again and again
Sock Fancy gives you the chance to earn awesome socks for free! A program member sends a friend a 15% off coupon, and they get a free pair of socks if the referral signs up. How awesome is that? Double-sided rewards benefit everyone involved, so they’re an easy way to encourage more word-of-mouth marketing.
What they do well: We love that they offer a few options for sharing and that all rewards are known from the get go. We also like the simple copy and paste link available as not everyone may use the email and social sharing options they have. And the prompt for what to write in the referral message is also a plus.
What they can improve: It would help to know what “free socks” means. Is it an actual pair of socks, or a store credit? Honestly, though, this program ticks most of the boxes.
Friends and family program. $10 for every sign up
Trendy Butler is a clothing subscription, catered for men. Trendy Butler gives their program members $10 every time one of their referrals signs up. It’s a super simple process, members simply share their unique link and if someone signs up with the link, they are rewarded. Staying trendy has never been easier.
What they do well: They give a lot of program detail upfront. We think this is something anyone can appreciate.
What they can improve: This one looks like customers have to sign up for the program. Since it’s a subscription service, we would recommend offering the program as soon as the customer subscribes to their service. One Click Access or Single Sign On makes a lot of sense in this scenario.
#DoingThings is more fun with friends. Give $25, get $25.
Activewear brand Outdoor Voices skillfully embraces the fact that working out and getting active really are more fun with a friend by your side. This makes them a great fit for a give-and-get referral program, with equal rewards for referrer and friend.
What they do well: The program’s easy to understand, the terms are clear, and the double-sided reward is attractive and easy to spot. We also love how Outdoor Voices incorporates its signature hashtag, and only requires emails before someone can start sharing. The easy-to-spot CTA, and the program promotion in the site’s bottom menu, is also a plus.
What they can improve: This one’s pretty solid, but we’d suggest adding a referral button into the website’s top menu, so people don’t have to scroll down to find it.
Best referral program examples: Gym and fitness
24 Hour Fitness
Fit for all your friends
24 Hour Fitness gives program members a few reward options, which is always a bonus! Members can opt for either a free 50-minute training session or a $20 MyStore coupon. All they need to do is invite a friend. If the friend joins then they are on their way to rewards. Plus their referral will receive a 3-day pass. Double sided-rewards are the best!
What they do well: They incentivize referrals with a double-sided reward, which we think is a great way to motivate sharing. It also seems to be a pretty cut and dry referral process.
What they can improve: The referring reward may not be worthwhile for all. Some people may not need or want a training session, especially if they are already comfortable with the gym. And some people may not be motivated enough by the $20 store coupon. An option for a universal gift card may be more motivating.
Turn a friend into a training buddy
Gold Gym runs a few different referral programs. They have one specific for their program members and they also run a program for their franchise owners. Pretty cool of them to offer a little bit of something for everyone.
What they do well: They offer multiple program types. We love to see brands growing and expanding by using both a customer and employee referral program.
What they can improve: For customers, it may not be immediately clear what the program is offering them. Though the headline is catchy, we’d like to see possible rewards mentioned up front.
The Little Gym
Referral bucks are back
Parents are always discussing children’s activities and events with each other. So it makes sense that a children’s gym would host a referral program. Members of the gym can refer other families and earn money towards their membership fees or Little Gym swag.
What they do well: They tap into a community who spends a lot of time already talking to one another. By providing an added benefit – referral bucks – the topic of The Little Gym is an easy topic for parents to discuss – and it benefits the kids.
What they can improve: They don’t have a formal referral program. It’s more of a word of mouth sort of thing. It seems that the process is not automated, so new referrals have to go in and inform the business of who referred them to sign up. If the process was automated, they may have even more referrals happen.
Save up to 20%
The YMCA has plenty of locations and many of them have their own referral programs. This one is specific to Atlanta, but if a program member refers a friend both the program member and their referral get 20% off their membership! Double sided rewards are great.
What they do well: We love to see both parties getting rewarded. This really is a great way to motivate sharing and having the referral actually get interested in your company too.
What they can improve: We like that they make it easy to find more details about the program. But it might be good to add this either after they click to refer or add this link below the CTA. That way the CTA remains as the main focus.
Best referral program examples: Television, phone, and internet
Get more than a year free!
Hulu, a subscription video on demand service has a pretty epic referral program. Referral program members can earn free Hulu for over a year just by referring enough friends. If a friend registers and pays for their first month of Hulu, the member will earn 2 free weeks. That sounds like one of the best referral marketing campaigns!
What they do well: Although they don’t have an unlimited cap on referrals per program member (the limit is 30), the enticement of potentially getting over a year of Hulu free means they can potentially get the customer to refer multiple times.
What they can improve: It seems their program has changed every so often. Which is great. But, during this specific campaign, they were not offering the referred friend anything. Unfortunately, with there being so many television subscription options, a customer may take a referral elsewhere if they get a reward from it as well.
Refer a friend and earn up to $500 a year
T-Mobile lets existing phone plan users refer a friend to any plan and reap rewards (up to $50 back for every friend who joins). And who doesn’t want to help a friend, especially if that helps them save on phone services?
What they do well: We like the images and wording that focuses on friendship and community. And even though the program caps at $500 per year, that’s probably not an issue as it might be difficult to get 10 friends to sign up for a new phone service. So that’s still a generous and well-paced reward.
What they can improve: It doesn’t appear that the friend earns any referral rewards for switching to T-Mobile, although they might be eligible for new customer deals. In addition, having the terms and conditions above the fold makes the program look a bit cluttered. It’s better to keep them below the fold or on a separate page. Based on the terms and conditions, it also appears the program is limited in time. It’s better to keep a referral program active, so you can motivate and track refereals across a long timeframe.
Share the awesome. Refer-a-friend
Xfinity is a cable and internet provider and they will give program members a whopping $100 for referring their first friend. Then a member can earn $200 for their 2nd friend and another $200 for their 3rd friend. That’s a lot of dough for simply getting a friend to join!
What they do well: We like that they offer a tiered reward system. Not many utilize this type of program, but if you want to continually earn referrals – why not make the stakes higher each time?
What they can improve: Tiered programs have to cap off at some point. It looks like this one stops at 3 referrals. With $500 being the reward cap, they could break up the rewards a little more (or add different incentive types) to gain an even higher number of referrals.
Want to run a tiered referral program? You’ll need the right software. Not all referral program software has the functionality to handle this type of referral program. But Referral Rock is robust enough to run tiered referral programs.
Best referral program examples: Travel
Share your love of travel
Airbnb is the gift that keeps on giving. You invite a friend, and when they travel you get a credit. Then, if that friend invites a friend to use Airbnb, you get a bigger credit! How neat is that?
What they do well: This campaign took a different approach, which we are all for. Referrals keep building from each other, and it seems like the possibility to earn credits is endless. Plus, the “give $30, get $30” format is easy to understand, and the call to “share your love for travel” appeals to friends’ common interests.
What they can improve: We think the program looks great. The one concern is that the endless rewards, though great, could become overwhelming.
Best referral program examples: Other industries
Invite friends, get $30 Grover bucks.
Grover, an electronics rental service, offers a flexible and sustainable way to access the latest tech. Their referral program is awesome, too, as it’s both easy to share and track referrals of the service.
What they do well: The Grover referral program page is streamlined and uncluttered. Eye-catching images show customers sharing Grover with friends, and the three-step process makes the referral process simple to follow. The rewards are double-sided and tie right back to Grover: referred friends get a free month rental, and referring customers get $30 to spend on a future Grover payment.
What they can improve: Nothing much to improve here; this one’s very well-designed.
They’ll get 10% off your first order and you can earn up to $500 in Fiverr credits…
Fiverr is a huge online marketplace for a variety of freelance services, be it from graphics to web design. In fact, many businesses already know all about Fiverr. Part of that may be because their referral program is well-shared among many marketing communities (especially in the remote world).
The program offers a pretty sizable reward, especially if you consider how many jobs are listed for just $5 on Fiverr. This double-sided reward leads to a great opportunity for sharing!
What they do well: The offer is pretty substantial, considering how far you can stretch $100 on the Fiverr platform. Aside from that, they add a nice image to raise the visual appeal, and offer multiple sharing options whether someone wants to share publicly or via dark social.
They also make the program really easy to understand, thanks to the three-step explanation with images.
What they can improve: The email form (visible after login) is simple: you add the email address and it sends. But, in a perfect world, adding the ability for the user to add to or edit the message would be nice.
Provident Bank is an awesome example of a financial referral program. Their rewards are spelled right out right away, and they make sure they express heartfelt gratitude for their referrals.
What they do well: Provident Bank breaks the referral process into three easy steps so it’s simpler to understand. Also, rewards vary based on the value of the new account the friend opens, with the higher reward reflecting the higher value of a business account. Plus, they focus on relationships and how referrals are a way to help friends.
What they can improve: The form is pretty long, even though breaking it up does make it a little less overwhelming. Provident Bank might also consider putting their detailed terms and conditions on another linked page, and/or reformatting them into an FAQ.
Do you need more referral program examples?
Referral rewards programs are an awesome marketing channel. They both encourage customer acquisition and customer retention, as long as you follow best practices that top referral programs nail down.
Do you need more ideas for creating your referral program? Don’t worry, we have you covered. We have plenty of referral program ideas to share with you. And if you’re looking for the right referral marketing software to run your program, we’ve got that covered.
Are you a small business? Take a look at these small business referral examples too!