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Marketing Tools — 16 Nov 2021
Best Referral Software
More and more companies are turning to referral marketing as a way to increase brand awareness and acquire new customers. It’s a tactic that taps into your existing customer base and motivates your best customers to talk to others about your brand.
And setting up a referral program has never been easier due to the existence of referral marketing software.
A referral program is a program that incentivizes your customers to recommend your products or services to their colleagues, friends, and family. It’s a partner marketing strategy which involves you asking your happiest customers to become your brand advocates. In return they get rewarded for each successful referral.
50% of US citizens would choose word of mouth recommendations when they’re looking to buy a product or service. This is a figure that’s way higher than traditional advertising, so it’s no wonder this form of conversational, trust-based marketing is being ever more utilized by companies like Dropbox, Uber, and more.
Despite the proliferation of new media, including social media channels, many companies struggle to reach their target audiences. Customers are inundated with marketing messages and many lack trust in mainstream advertising. A robust referral marketing program can help you conquer these issues.
Not only will a referral program encourage more people to talk about your business, actually running and managing a program will result in you having a stronger relationship with your existing customers.
Here are some other benefits of launching a referral program:
Simply assuming customers will refer you to their connections is unrealistic. You need to give customers a reason for referring others to you, so you’ll need to develop a plan.
If you’re looking to expand your business and retain existing customers (as well as reach revenue goals) you need to feel confident that your services and team are good enough to warrant referrals. You also need to understand that customers need encouragement to go out of their way for you.
1. Make sure you know exactly what you intend to get out of your referral program and define your goals explicitly. Are your goals linked to growth and revenue or to retention? Are you working in an industry where an exceptional amount of trust is required?
2. Research how referrals are coming to you at the moment—or even if they are coming in at all. Ask your sales, marketing, and customer support managers how they’ve traditionally seen referrals coming in and how they’ve been dealing with them.
3. Determine the characteristics of your ideal referees. Build a detailed description of them. If you have a form for potential referees to fill out, describe what this “perfect fit” customer looks like. By doing this, you’re more likely to be referred leads who will actually lead to customer success—and buy from you—rather than simply be added to a list.
4. List possible referral sources. These can be people who you’ve connected with previously or to whom you’re connected at present. Start to segment them by current customers, past customers, leads that you didn’t close, vendors, and so on.
5. Identify your referral channels. Uber, for example, uses Facebook as a place where customers can share messages with the person they want to refer.
6. Refine your previous lists to a list of contacts you actually want to reach out to, and identify the right time to ask these potential advocates to take part in your program. Because these people are familiar with your company, this makes things a lot easier when you’re starting out. Once you’ve reached out, be patient. You may need to wait some time for people to respond. Make a plan to remind them again if they haven’t replied within a certain time frame.
7. Identify your incentives and whether they should be cash or non-cash. Non monetary rewards, such as gift cards, can help to boost customer outreach while cash rewards are a straightforward way to calculate customer acquisition costs.
8. Once you have a reward program, it’s time to create resources in terms of newsletter, blogs, CTAs, and product updates, so you can help promote your program. You can provide sales with scripts for explaining your referral programs and landing pages for contacts to leave you their friends’ information.
Whether you’re a one person outfit or part of a multi-person referral team, templates can be a big bonus. You can adapt them to fit your company’s tone of voice and brand so they can be used for a variety of purposes. You can use them for referral request emails, follow up emails, social copy and more.
9. Set up tracking to help you see who was referred and by whom, when they were referred, and whether or not they converted. You’ll also want to know how you’re going to follow up or nurture relationships with referees.
The referral program process can be a logistical challenge to say the least, which is why referral program software can become invaluable.
Without referral program software, there’s no real way for you to keep track of referrals. Customers won’t be able to see how many of their contacts have signed up, how much money they’ve earnt, or when they will be paid.
This will create a ton of confusion and frustration. With no visibility around the status of their referrals and payments, they will have an unfavorable experience which may lead to them abandoning the program altogether.
Referral program software can help you with all aspects of your program. From creating attractive branded landing pages and emails that describe how the program works, to automatically paying referrers and tracking when someone signs up.
Referral program software should also send out canned responses to both referrers and their friends as well, to thank them for playing their part. The best tools will integrate with popular softwares like WordPress and HubSpot, too.
Once set up, a referral program platform should pretty much run on autopilot.
Now that we’ve covered the “whys” and “hows” of referral programs, it’s time to look at some of the best referral software tools that will help ensure your referral program is a success.
Affise is a partnership marketing platform that’s used by brands, agencies, and advertisers to help them create and manage affiliate networks efficiently. The software has advanced targeting settings so that program managers can match their products with perfect fit users, as well as a reward calculation feature which rewards affiliates for needed actions—email verification, paid memberships, and sign-ins, for example.
With configurable dashboards, smart targeting, and the option to oversee multiple currencies and flexible payouts, Affise provides an all-in-one solution to track and manage campaigns, partners, and traffic.
Referral Factory makes it easy for businesses to build their own referral affiliate program without the need for developers. Featuring 1000+ referral program templates, the platform allows users to create customizable brand-led campaigns from scratch.
The platform is easy to set up and deploy with a drag and drop interface and it integrates with many of the most popular third party tools from HubSpot and Salesforce to Intercom.
Once the program is built, you can upload referees from a database or market to your customers independently. After that, you’ll be able to track and monitor all users in the referral partner program from a client dashboard.
ReferralCandy is popular referral software for ecommerce stores, offering users the automation to set up a program, track results, and reduce fraud.
ReferralCandy can be connected to most of the popular ecommerce platforms, including Shopify, BigCommerce, WooCommerce, and Magento. The software features a custom API and advanced integrations with other marketing tools like Mailchimp and Google Workspace.
With Referral Candy, rewards are automatically paid out and you can track your referrals and see how many additional sales you’re making.
Easy to set up and implement for a good user experience, ReferralCandy is a cost-effective option for startups and SMBs.
Friendbuy is an advocacy marketing program for brands that’s aimed at accelerating customer acquisition and loyalty. The platform’s “refer-a-friend” programs enable companies to expand their reach and turn customers into brand advocates.
Friendbuy allows marketers to create sophisticated referral programs, refine user experiences, and test and validate what’s driving customers to purchase and share. It’s also geared towards developers, allowing them to connect Friendbuy into business intelligence and subscription billing platforms.
Friendbuy features flexible APIs and event-based triggers to provide a seamless experience when it comes to referral campaigns.
Referral Rock allows users to run referral and affiliate marketing programs that make it easy to share and build brand awareness. Not just an ecommerce solution, Referral Rock is affiliate software that works for B2B, B2C, enterprise, services, and SaaS companies. No developer experience is required to get started with the software and users get a dedicated success manager with their plan.
The off-the-shelf solution is easily integratable with third party softwares like Salesforce. Referral Rock offers built-in best practices and real-time audits to make sure the program is performing to its full potential.
Etole is referral program software that’s popular with financial services and retail organizations. It allows companies to turn customers into brand ambassadors so they can grow their bottom line.
The software can support thousands of advocates and reward them automatically at scale. Featuring on-brand consumer referral creative and capabilities to market programs widely, Extole also offers a three-layer fraud detection system and benchmark and analytics tools to help users understand and segment advocates.
Extole is a robust solution for companies in retail, financial services, and ecommerce brands.
InviteReferrals is a simple to use referral software option for mobile apps and websites. Customers can run referral program campaigns, grow market share, and acquire new customers with InviteReferrals tools.
The software integrates with multiple platforms, rewards on multiple events, and comes with a comprehensive referral strategy, design, and implementation. InviteReferrals also helps with inviting friends via customer referral programs that instantly unlock referral discount coupons, as well as identifying the most influential referrers.
InviteBox is a social reward program designed for businesses of all sizes to enable them to create referral campaigns with sweepstakes and instant rewards.
Users can set up two types of referral programs. The first has instant rewards where customers are rewarded right after sharing your link and promo message. The second is a referral program with goal-based rewards where customers are rewarded for bringing in new sign-ups, subscribers, and visitors.
This gives users complete control over ROI, since they can define referred goals so that the value exceeds the cost of reward.
Genius Referrals is referral marketing software that provides end-to-end solutions for building, designing, and integrating campaigns.
Featuring a range of tools, including in-depth tracking and advanced metrics all within the same platform, Genius Referrals makes it easy to optimize your growth strategy with appealing advocate rewards and automatic payouts.
Other features of the software are geared towards growing your customer base via word-of-mouth, creating high influencer marketing programs and building relationships with partners.
Mention Me is a leading referral marketing platform for ecommerce brands. Featuring sophisticated A/B testing functionalities, multiple integrations, and a trademark “Name Share” feature, Mention Me’s technology aims to bridge the gap between off and online.
The platform’s referral experts are on hand to help customers with all elements of the program and Mention Me helps customers to test different offers, with customizable copy and images.
SaaSquatch is cloud-based loyalty, referral, and rewards marketing software that offers a centralized platform for tracking, managing, and rewarding referrals from customers. With built-in analytics tools, reporting capabilities, and flexible themes, Referral SaaSquatch features include mobile-optimized email notifications and security management.
Users can design and integrate digital referral touch points across their marketing channels and customize programs to match their brand aesthetics. SaaSquatch’s automated detection algorithms also help to detect fraudulent behaviors and allow users to control personalized customer rewards.
ReferralMagic is a simple and user-friendly referral marketing solution designed for SaaS companies.
The platform comes with a range of tools to enable users to build multiple referral marketing campaigns simultaneously in just a few minutes. ReferralMagic can be integrated with numerous third-party software solutions and can be customized so that businesses can offer various rewarding options and scenarios in their referral programs.
ReferralMagic enables organizations to offer either money or custom giveaways. Custom rewards are flexible, allowing users to reward referrers with credits, modules, add-ons, and discounts.
Amplifinity is referral marketing software that’s best suited for companies with over 250 employees. The platform provides a steady stream of leads from referral sources including customers, non-reseller partners, consultants, and agents.
Amplifinity enables the tracking and management of referrals and the handling of reward fulfilment with the potential to offer various incentive structures. The platform dashboard provides useful insights from different referral sources and enables users to create custom reports to help them spot trends and target customers.
The software also integrates with a host of third party tools including Salesforce, LogMeln, and Citrix.
Hello Referrals is easy to use referral marketing software that allows users to track referrals, helping them to acquire new customers and boost revenues.
There are plenty of tracking and reporting tools, as well as a place to manage all partners and leads, and communicate securely with the entire network. Hello Referrals also includes notes and information to help network partners close deals, along with instant email updates when referrals are received from a partner.
Hello Referrals is ideal for Chambers of Commerce, Rotary Clubs, small business associations, and business networking groups.
The Buyapowa referral marketing software offers refer-a-friend programs for leading ecommerce brands in fashion, beauty, home, telecoms, and gaming, enabling them to identify their biggest advocates and motivate and reward them for bringing in new customers.
The software plugs right into a user’s site or app and allows marketers to view performance to help find ways to enhance their programs. Multiple tools are available to help engage members at every stage of the process to ensure they complete the actions required to sign up.
Talkable offers referral marketing technology to empower online stores to acquire and retain high-value customers via their referral and loyalty programs.
The platform offers comprehensive segmentation capabilities, built-in A/B testing, and best-in-class fraud prevention intelligence. Users can identify, reward, and track valuable customers with in-depth data analysis to support higher customer lifetime value (LTV) at significantly lower cost per acquisition (CPA).
More than simply a technology solution, Talkable aims to become a partner with customers, and each client has a dedicated team there to help them with strategies as well as expertise to enable them to optimize their campaigns. Talkable’s solution is ideally suited to companies with over $4m in annual revenues.
Viral loops is an automated online referral marketing platform that aims to make customer acquisition easier and more affordable.
The software allows users to launch their campaigns in just a few minutes using templates inspired by top brands. Viral Loops offers a two-click inviting and sharing solution so that participants can invite their friends on whichever platform they choose from Messenger to Whatsapp and more.
There’s the option to customize your campaign widgets to match the look and feel of your brand and create dedicated landing pages. Viral Loops also provides a campaign dashboard to help you track and analyze the performance of campaigns and reward superfans.
Affise knows that customers are the most powerful way to market your brand, and that you need a way to manage your referral program network.
Affise’s referral marketing platform helps you manage your referrals, track results, and optimize your word-of-mouth marketing so that you increase your affiliate sales. Just as you’d use a CRM for managing your customer relationships, Affise offers you a way to scale your partnerships and drive revenues with partner marketing channels around the world.
You can launch programs, gain new customers, and reward customers and ambassadors all from one dedicated centralized place. By signing up for a free trial, you’ll get a free onboarding package with a specialist dedicated to customizing your account the way you want it—and guiding you through Affise’s intuitive API.
Affise offers a host of useful tools and features to enable you to achieve your marketing referral objectives, these include:
A referral program is a growth marketing strategy aimed at encouraging customers to recommend your brand to their peers. It provides new customers with social proof that they can trust you.
Referral marketing software provides you with invaluable assistance to run your referral process. It can help you when it comes to tracking, rewarding, and managing your customers, influencers, and affiliates.
Look for a referral marketing software solution like Affise, that offers you lots of customizable features, a flexible API, and multiple integrations. This will help you acquire new, good customers faster by leveraging word of mouth marketing.
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