10 Best Referral Marketing Strategies (Ultimate List 2024)

Best Referral Marketing Strategies

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Discover the 10 best referral marketing strategies for maximum impact. Improve your business with these proven techniques and drive success.

Satisfied customers are your best buddies. You can count on them to expand your business. 92% of consumers trust referrals from friends and family over other forms of advertising. One of the most effective strategies to create leads and expand your customer base is through referral marketing. Also, these recommendations imply free advertising for your brand and business.

What is Referral Marketing?

Referral marketing is all about motivating your consumers to tell their friends and family about your brand and business on a regular basis. We have talked about referral marketing in our blog, where you can also learn about its importance and how to use it successfully for your business.

Referral marketing converts your customers into trustworthy brand advocates who continue to promote you through word-of-mouth referrals. It is a win-win situation because you give your existing customers a reward if they suggest it and this brings new customers to your business. Referral marketing is effective because it uses your business’s existing customer base to produce new leads and convert them into customers. This also builds trust among your potential audience.

Purpose of Referral Marketing

The primary goal of referral marketing is to strongly persuade existing customers by word of mouth. People want to share their experiences with their friends, and peer recommendations are highly regarded. However, as a business, if you are not using referral marketing, you are losing your revenues. Although many people love your brand and are completely satisfied with your product or service, they might be willing to share your brand with their friends and family. A reminder to your customers would work so that they don’t forget to talk about your brand in front of them.

This reminder is created via referral marketing in the form of a reward or an incentive. As a result, it increases word-of-mouth and encourages consumers to recommend it to even more people. It retains you at the forefront of your customers’ minds, fosters long-term connections with your most loyal consumers, and generates a steady stream of new customers. All of this comes at little to no expense to your company.

10 Best Referral Marketing Strategies

Although the ideal referral marketing program is unique to your business and industry, there are a few best referral marketing strategies that may help guide you and maximize your referral experience. Here are the most effective referral marketing strategies for your business:

1. Exceed Your Customers’ Expectations

Customer satisfaction is essential for referral marketing. Most customers have learned to expect high-quality terms and courteous service. To truly differentiate yourself, you must develop methods to exceed your customers’ expectations. You may, for example, surprise them with a present on their birthday, upgrade their plan for a month, or conduct an act of kindness in their moment of need. These modest gestures of gratitude are an excellent approach to please your customers and urge them to suggest their friends. For instance, Plum Goodness has a reward program. They give cashback for signing up on every order.

Source: Plum Goodness

2. Build a Community

Building a community is one approach to create value, put your brand in front of customers, and give them an incentive to share. You may build a community around your business in a variety of ways. You could create interesting social media or blog content that generates a lot of comments, discussion, and buzz. Alternatively, experiment with various polls and contests to encourage consumers to contribute user-generated content promoting your product or service. It is one of the most effective referral marketing strategies that you can leverage to expand your business and build a loyal customer base. Here is an interesting example from Starbucks:


3. Understand When and How to Request Referrals

Referrals do not happen by themselves. Indeed, delivering products or services may generate some organic word of mouth. However, if you want a reliable source, you should seek out referrals. It is better to ask when customers are most satisfied with your products or services and when your brand is already big and front of mind.

If a customer has recently published a nice review or gushed about you on social media, this is an excellent opportunity to make the request since they have already proven their readiness to promote you publicly. This is one of the best referral marketing strategies to increase your brand’s awareness. Another effective opportunity to ask for recommendations is just after checkout (particularly after a repeat purchase or renewal).

4. Leverage Social Media

We are living in a social media world where our hands are just scrolling and our eyes are gazing at smartphone screens for entertainment, inspiration, and learning. Globally, approximately six out of every ten people use social media. This means that most of your existing and potential customers are on social media every day. So, why not reap the benefits? Multiple referral marketing campaigns are shared on social media every day, and these posts reach a large number of people at once. You can improve your chances of getting noticed by new customers if you make it simple for existing customers to suggest your brand on social media. This will also help to build customer relationships.

For instance: Revolut, created a FOMO strategy with the help of a reward program.

Image Source: Buyapowa

5. Make Available Referral Incentives

Customers like your brand, but that might not be enough for them to willingly suggest others. What could be of help? A referral incentive could potentially get people talking. The incentive does not have to be expensive or provided in cash. You may provide free early access to your new products or services, an invitation to your next webinar, shop credit for a purchase to be made in the future, or discount coupons.

If the content and experiences are unique enough, they can also act as rewards. You may create an appropriate incentive that suits your budget and business with a little creativity. You should also think about whether your customers and their friends will be rewarded, which is also known as a double-sided referral plan. Customers may be more likely to recommend their friends if they receive something for themselves while also giving something to their friends. Furthermore, rewarding the recommended friend encourages them to make their initial purchase.

6. Leverage Email Marketing

Email is more personal and trusted than social media. It is delivered directly to the receiver. Sending customized emails is an excellent way to promote your referral program and its incentives. With the help of an email, you can urge your existing customers to share your brand with their friends and families. Email marketing is one of the best referral marketing strategies to connect with your existing customers and attract a potential audience.

Furthermore, referral marketing complements your present marketing campaigns. A brief referral message may be effortlessly included in the emails you send. When you collect reviews, you can also request recommendations. A link in your email signature or a CTA at the bottom will also help your business gain more customers. It acts as a reminder about your program without being too obvious.

7. Leverage Referral Links

Leveraging referral links is one of the best referral marketing strategies a business can use to expand its customer base. It is extremely simple. Customers can easily share the link with their friends and families because they can copy and paste it anywhere. You can simply add incentives to the link for the referrer and their friend, and these incentives will be activated when their friend makes their first purchase.

Also, each customer’s referral link is unique. They track every recommendation back to the individual who made it, making it simple for your business to identify who made the referral and give them appropriate incentives.

8. Make a Simple Process for People to Refer

Referral marketing is meant to be simple. If someone needs to go through a lengthy process before they can submit a reference (or even join your program), they are unlikely to do so. Make it simple for people by incorporating referral marketing automation into your program. Make it feasible for them to talk about your brand in a few steps.

It is also a good idea to provide multiple channels for consumers to suggest their friends by including email and social media.

9. Simplify your Referral program with a Referral Software

Starting a referral program created with referral software is one of the simplest methods to include all of these best referral marketing strategies. Referral software makes it simple to create a traceable referral experience, send referral links, and immediately reward successful referrals. The ideal software will also automate engagement reminders, so consumers will be reminded to provide more recommendations at the appropriate moments.

Also, because of the extensive data available to you, you will always know how effectively your referral marketing campaign is functioning. This helps you increase what works and modify the parts where they need improvement. There are various software such as Referral Factory, CrewFire, Friendbuy, and more that your business can use to launch a referral marketing strategy.

10. Explore other Referral Program

Customer referral programs are strong word-of-mouth techniques. However, businesses should consider using one in combination with other sorts of referral marketing schemes. To quote an example, you can implement an employee referral scheme that encourages employees to suggest your business to their network.

Also, you can develop an influencer or ambassador program that teaches and encourages a select group of consumers to promote your brand as your advocates.


In this blog, we have explained the 10 best referral marketing strategies. It is the ultimate list that can be used by your business in the upcoming year.

As a business, now is the right time to build your referral marketing program. There is a lot of management and tracking involved in this process. Make sure to streamline the process for people and yourself to easily monitor the metrics. Referral software will make it easy for you. Ensure to combine one to two referral programs to reap the benefits of a referral marketing strategy. Stay in touch with your customers by using email marketing and providing them with valuable information from time to time. Also, do not forget to add a CTA for your email.

Make use of social media to share your referral programs and take advantage of different platforms. It helps to retain your existing customers and attract potential customers.

Also read:


What are the top 5 marketing strategies?

1. Social media marketing
2. SEO
3. Affiliate marketing
4. Email marketing
5. Influencer marketing

How can I attract referrals?

1. Develop a referral marketing strategy
2. Ask at an appropriate time
3. Offer different ways to recommend you
4. Thank your sources
5. Be unique
6. Educate your existing customers with new launches

What makes a successful referral?

A recommendation from a friend may be the first time someone hears about your company, so it is important to make a solid first impression with your program’s landing page. Your referral program messaging should be clear and simple. The style and tone of the campaign should be consistent.

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