Launch Successful Referral Marketing Programs with the Best Referral Marketing Software

What is referral marketing?

referral marketing referral program icon Viral Loops
Referral marketing is a tactic that allows loyal customers to refer their network to a company in exchange for rewards. The company manages and tracks a referral program, unlike word-of-mouth marketing that occurs naturally when people share a brand and is not trackable.

You might have already participated in a referral marketing program yourself. For example, have you ever referred a friend to Airbnb, and you both got $25? - that was a referral program. Perhaps you invited a friend to join Dropbox in exchange for free storage space - again, a referral program.

What are the Benefits
of Referral Marketing

🗣  Utilise word of mouth

Most people would rather listen to a friend about a product than trust an ad that popped in their social media feed. Tactics like influencers, affiliate marketing, email marketing, work but word of mouth have been the most effective marketing method since the beginning of humanity.

🎯  Target qualified customers naturally

A customer referral program relies on one thing - your current,  loyal customer. Their networks are most likely people similar to them that can be your new customers. Essentially they target your brand to your most desired audience naturally without you having to look for them.

🙌  Works for ecommerce, SaaS, newsletters, and any industry

In ecommerce, a razor blade company, Harry’s, gathered 100K leads in a week. In SaaS, Dropbox grew to $1B thanks to referral marketing. In newsletters, Morning Brew brought 1.5M subscribers with their programs. From startups to big tech, it works for everyone. See more examples of referral marketing campaigns of all sizes and budgets.

💸  Better results for your money

Referral marketing programs use word of mouth to work, a free resource, and thus require very little investment compared to the results they can bring. Unlike paid marketing or affiliate programs with an apparent investment-to-results ratio, referral marketing programs bring new customers and only need resources for the rewards—much cheaper than paid ads.

📈  Performance tracking & customization

Since referral marketing is word of mouth controlled and monitored by your company, you can track the most delicate details of how it performs (ex. Successful referral, k-factor, etc.) and customize it to improve. For instance, marketers can run a/b testing on their messaging or play around with the rewards.

👏  Increase LTV by rewarding your loyal customers

Give back to your best customers by rewarding them for staying loyal and generating brand awareness. The result will be a deeper connection with them that ensures retention and a steady flow of new customers.

How Does Referral Marketing Work?

Step #1: Understand your business goal

Priority number one is to figure out your goals and why they're beneficial to growing your business. For example, do you want brand awareness about your brand, create hype about an upcoming product or boost sales? Every goal needs different rewards and strategies to lure referrers.

Step #3:  Choose rewards

There are many forms of referral campaigns to choose from—Sweepstakes/giveaways, milestone-based campaigns, refer-a-friend, prelaunch programs, and more. Your business goals will determine which is best and can drive the most new referrals.

Step #5: Introduce campaign to existing customers

Your existing customers will be the driving force behind your campaign. Let them know with well-made email campaigns,  build a dedicated landing page, or even set up a chat messenger system. Only will they start spreading the word through social media. Learn more about campaign promotion.

Step #2:  Choose a strategy

There are many forms of referral campaigns to choose from—Sweepstakes/giveaways, milestone-based campaigns, refer-a-friend, prelaunch programs, and more. Your business goals will determine which is best and can drive the most new referrals.

Step #4: Choose software and build a campaign

A referral marketing platform can make or break your campaign. Choose something reliable that can adapt to your strategy and support your business goals. Think of integrations, customization, fraud prevention, referral tracking, pricing, and more that we'll discuss further below.

Step #6:  Observe metrics, evaluate & iterate

What gets measured gets done. A referral campaign generates many data points but you should mainly focus on these: K-factor, Participant share rate, Invitation CTR and Conversion Rate.  A good referral tracking software tells you what aspects of the campaign to improve in real-time.
steps of referral programs Viral Loops

Features of our
Referral Marketing Software

template based referral program campaigns

Plug & play campaign templates based on successful brands

We reversed engineered the referral marketing programs of the most successful brands like Dropbox, Harry’s, Morning brew, Airbnb, and more.  From that, we created plug & play campaign templates that fit every strategy and allow marketers to customize them as they want.
Viral Loops quick & easy setup

Quick & easy setup

Set up and launch your campaign in minutes with an intuitive campaign builder. Pick the template you want, set your rewards, activate the website widget and you’re done! Our customer success team will be there every step of the way.
Viral Loops referral program landing page creation tool

Referral page creation

If you're a small business or don’t have the resources to create a dedicated landing page for the campaign yourself, fear no more—use Viral Loop’s landing page creation tool to add an effective page without even touching your current website.
Viral Loops referral program referral tracking

Referral tracking

Our referral marketing platform tracks your campaign’s performance in real-time down to the finest detail in a single dashboard. See new referrals and shares per participant, who awaits rewards, who might be committing fraud, and more.
Viral Loops referral program integrations

Integrations with marketing tools

Connect your campaign with your current marketing tools to avoid manual contact exports to your CRM and newsletters, track its performance in your current dashboards, build automations, and much more. See the list of integrations.
Viral Loops referral program fraud prevention

Fraud prevention

Sometimes referral programs tend to be abused, but Viral Loop’s referral marketing solution lets marketers review who might be cheating and decide if they deserve a reward or not—thus saving you money.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is referral marketing worth it?

People value each other’s recommendations above any form of advertisement—that’s word of mouth, the most effective form of customer acquisition. With a referral program, marketers ignite word of mouth by offering people incentives to refer friends to a brand and become brand ambassadors.  Running your own customer referral program lets you track and collect data on your virality.

What is a B2B referral program?

It’s referral marketing, but through businesses instead of generating word of mouth through consumers. They work best with 2-sided referral programs, instead of giveaways or leaderboards, since organizations want the product and their rewards without waiting for competitions.

What are the advantages of referral marketing software?

Instead of trying to build a system of your own, reliable referral marketing software lets you create and run a referral campaign in minutes without much work. It helps your marketing strategy by tracking how your campaign performance to make the right optimizations. Referral software gives marketers customization, fraud prevention, and more all without a single line of code.

How do you make a referral program?

Start by looking at your goal—is it to promote a product? Grow your email list? Or awareness about your business? Then you select your strategy and rewards—milestone-based campaigns may need multiple small rewards while giveaways might need a single valuable one. Lastly, pick the right referral marketing software and launch your campaign! Read the complete guide.

How is referral marketing software different from a referral program?

They are not that different. One constitutes the other—with an all-in-one referral marketing software a business is can run a referral program. You plan your program, also called a referral campaign, and the right software allows you to deploy it to your customer base.

What is the best referral program software?

There are several good referral marketing software solutions like Referral Rock, SaaSquatch, or ReferralCandy. However, Viral Loops is the best referral marketing software because it lets you build referral programs based on templates of the most successful referral campaigns out there. You can work closely with our team. We offer onboarding, and we do that for free. Get a demo personalized to your campaign needs.