7 Creative Referral Programs to Step Up Your Game

Marketing
-
Apr 7, 2020
Kateryna Kozachenko
Marketing Manager
4
Min to read

You most likely know that running a convincing referral program is an essential part of every business. But just in case you’re not on board already, just take a look at these stats:

  • 92% of consumers trust referrals from people they know 
  • 84% of them would seek recommendations when considering a purchase - Annex Cloud
  • According to 78% of marketers, referral marketing-generated “good” or “excellent” leads - Entrepreneur 
  • 77% of consumers are more likely to buy a new product if their friends or family recommend it
  • An offline word-of-mouth impression can increase your sales by at least 500% compared to a paid advertising impression. - Think with Google

With that in mind, we’ve come up with a list of our top 5 referral program ideas that we find particularly creative for your marketing & sales. 

1. A referral program built into the buyer’s program by Rocky Mountain Oils



This is a really engaging and cleverly gamified way to refer a friend and create a deeper connection between you and your customers. As a result, you’ll turn them into your biggest brand advocates. 

In fact, if we take this just one step further and start giving customers points for completing different actions on your website, you’ll have yourself a great example of a loyalty program. This process is very easily set up in Talon.One’s Campaign Manager. 

2. A criteria dependant referral bonus from Airbnb

So, although not outrageously creative, Airbnb has a very nice example of how to encourage customers to go through various onboarding steps. 

Source: AirBnb

Sign up, pay for a stay & buy an ‘Experience’. 

Both the current customer and the referred friend receive their money in the form of a coupon code with credit assigned to it and in their terms and conditions it reads:

“Coupon codes may not be transferred to another person, exchanged for cash, or combined with other Airbnb referral programs or incentives.” Airbnb Terms & Conditions 

To make sure customers can’t give their coupons to friends a very simple solution is to link each coupon code that’s triggered by the referral to the customer profile IDs. In this way, the coupons can only be used by that specific ID number.  

3. Uber’s got a great one too 

Uber’s referral program is simple and clear for riders.

Sign up for an Uber account, get your cash credits and enjoy your first ride. Refer a friend to sign up with your code, and both of you can enjoy referral credits.


Uber also offers a referral reward for drivers who used to drive for Lyft, which is one of Uber’s biggest competitors. This is a great trick to onboard good leads for your business (and steal your competitor’s customers). 

Learn more about Uber’s loyalty program, Uber Rewards here.


4. Tesla’s out-of-the-box referral solutions 


Tesla’s approach and creativity are outstanding when it comes to referral programs. 

The company has been constantly changing its referral program to mirror its client base that keeps on developing as the years roll by. 

Initially, they offered clients $1000 to refer a friend. 

Then, they adapted their strategy to give their customers, who refer a lot of friends, a chance to win more exclusive prizes. 

Some referral rewards include invitations to a special event and an opportunity to get special edition items that aren’t accessible to the public.

Furthermore, the first to refer twenty people in their region will get a free Model X or Model S

And each Tesla owner can give their friends up to ten $1000 discounts. 

When considering referrals, we think the best rewards are the things that money can't buy. Regardless of whether they’re unique items, VIP treatment or an invitation to a private event, your customers will feel valued and a part of something bigger. 

5. Harry’s referral rewards, or why stop after referring just 5 friends?

Harry’s referral program is pretty straightforward and most importantly, it works. 

The more friends you refer, the more benefits you receive. 


  • Refer 5 friends, get free shaving cream
  • Refer 10 friends, get a free razor
  • Refer 25 friends, get a free premium razor
  • Refer 50 friends, get free shaving for a year 


Simple, but great, right? Why should your customers be limited by a certain amount of referrals really?

6. Huckberry’s referral competition! 


Whoever refers the most friends that sign up during the campaign wins $1000 and a bottle of bourbon. Yes! 

Plus, $500 for 2nd and $250 for 3rd place. On top of this incentive, like always every friend who gets referred will receive $10 when they sign up. 


So just to sum it all up. 

Incentivize your customers to spread the word about your business in a smart way and you’ll save a lot of money on your marketing budget. 



There are probably a few things you didn’t know about referral programs, but don’t worry we’ve done our research. 

If you want to learn how to improve the success rate of your referrals, simply book a demo with us to see how easy it is to integrate, and build data-driven referral programs with Talon.One. 


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Best Practices for loyalty programs
How to gain a competitive advantage
Your definitive guide to loyal customers