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Best Referral Software

Marketing Tools — 16 Nov 2021

Best Referral Software

Top 17 Referral Program Software Tools To Drive Marketing Growth

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.

What is a referral program? 

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. 

Top 17 Referral Program Software Tools To Drive Marketing Growth
Source (convinceandconvert.com)

Benefits of launching a referral program

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:

  • As people become more and more desensitized to mass marketing, especially in the form of ads, an authentic recommendation from someone who’s already used a product or service cuts through the noise.
  • A referral program allows your customers to share on the platforms they already use, so it’s an easy promotional campaign for everyone. Every customer gets a referral link they can send to friends and family in order to share through Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and all other main social platforms
  • Referral programs also help you increase your marketing reach, since your customers will visit venues and take part in events that are usually off-limits for traditional advertisers. Because people have diverse social circles, customer referrals will help you expand your customer base.
  • Referral programs make customers feel like they’re part of your business. People who are already fans, will be happy to not only help themselves but contribute to your success. This will boost customer retention rates, and retained customers are worth more to your company than new acquisitions.
  • Gives you a clearer idea of how well your business is doing. People won’t send referrals your way if they are unsatisfied with your goods or services, because recommending a questionable brand will dent their reputation.
  • Access to valuable data. By tracking consumer referrals and engagement you’ll be able to give your customers more personalization. You’ll also get a good idea of market trends, so you can become better at meeting your customers’ needs.
  • Reinforces why customers love your brand. When a customer refers someone to you, they usually say why they prefer your product or service over another and why buying from you is the best option. This helps to remind them about why they love your brand.
  • Drives repeat purchases since the most popular incentives tend to be in the form of discounts or store credits, all of which go towards a customer’s next purchase.
  • It’s cost-effective because you don’t have to waste money on impressions or clicks, simply on customers who actually purchase. You can set your customer acquisition cost up any way you like, too.

How to start your 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.

Here are some steps to creating a marketing referral program:

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.

Top 17 Referral Program Software Tools To Drive Marketing Growth
Source (extole.com)

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.

Top 17 Referral Program Software Tools To Drive Marketing Growth
Source (business2community.com)

Why use referral program software?

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.

Top 17 referral program software tools to watch out for

Affise

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. 

Top 17 Referral Program Software Tools To Drive Marketing Growth
Source (capterra.co.uk)

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. 

Notable benefits

  • Affise customer support is “always on” 
  • One of the easiest referral softwares to set up and run, with a user-friendly interface and easy to access tabs 
  • Customers can also integrate Affise with their own third party apps since the software comes with a wide range of API integrations
  • New customers can start with a free trial and their own dedicated onboarding executive

Referral Factory

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. 

Pros

  • Competitive pricing with free trial option
  • Large number of templates that can be duplicated

Cons

Referral Candy

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. 

Top 17 Referral Program Software Tools To Drive Marketing Growth
Source (g2.com)

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. 

Pros

  • Good customer support to help customize workflows
  • Helps you deal with fraud and spam 

Cons

  • Could use more insights to help see where referrals were captured
  • Some users would like to see more variation in incentives

Friendbuy

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. 

Top 17 Referral Program Software Tools To Drive Marketing Growth
Source (friendbuy.com)

Pros

  • Good range of integrations with CRM programs and analytics tools
  • Widget templates that are optimized for sharing

Cons

Referral Rock

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.

Pros

  • Good customer support 
  • Affordable solution

Cons

  • Artwork could be better
  • Limited reporting features

Extole

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. 

Pros

  • Responsive customer service team
  • Highly customizable

Cons

InviteReferrals

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. 

Top 17 Referral Program Software Tools To Drive Marketing Growth
Source (dealmirror.com)

Pros

  • Good support to help create referral strategies 
  • Provides the ability to run multiple types of referral programs

Cons

InviteBox

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. 

Pros

  • Easy to set up and use with good support

Cons

  • Difficult to customize the widget to fit the site design

Genius Referrals

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. 

Pros

  • Provides easy to use templates and simple tracking features
  • Customizable solution 

Cons

  • Chat support is not as good as it could be according to some users

Mention Me

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.

Pros

  • Great customer support
  • Intuitive platform and easy to use insights

Cons

Referral SaaSquatch

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. 

Top 17 Referral Program Software Tools To Drive Marketing Growth
Source (g2.com)

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.

Pros

  • Support always there when needed
  • High flexibility to enable users to set up different programs based on their goals

Cons

ReferralMagic

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.

Pros

  • Users can have an unlimited number of campaigns in their account
  • ReferralMagic has a free version

Cons

Amplifinity

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. 

Pros

  • Easy to use with a straightforward dashboard 
  • Ability to track all new referrals

Cons

Hello Referrals

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. 

Pros

  • Works and looks good on both mobile and laptop
  • Intuitive platform and low learning curve

Cons

  • Could use a native app as well as the mobile website app

Buyapowa

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. 

Top 17 Referral Program Software Tools To Drive Marketing Growth
Source (buyapowa.com)

Pros

  • Self-service portal to access metrics and resources to manage program daily
  • Good customer service with knowledgeable support team quick to respond to requests

Cons

  • Some users report limitations in terms of design 

Talkable

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. 

Pros

  • Flexible and intuitive dashboard with the ability to see everything in one place
  • Good account management

Cons

  • Can be confusing when looking for answers to questions
  • Takes time to become familiar with the software

Viral Loops

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. 

Top 17 Referral Program Software Tools To Drive Marketing Growth
Source (blog.appsumo.com)

Pros

  • Good for anyone seeking to launch an app
  • Easy to set up and affordable

Cons

What sets Affise apart from other software?

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. 

Work with Affise and your brand will benefit from:

  • Easy to use referral tracking software that can be customized to suit brand style
  • Total budget control
  • 24/7 customer support and a dedicated account manager
  • Comprehensive statistics and analytics tools
  • Multiple third-party integrations with CRMs, billing solutions, and BI services software
  • A host of useful tools to enable you to automate your workflows and processes

Affise offers your advocates a superior experience with:

  • Individual intuitively designed accounts
  • Performance reports
  • A convenient communication system to keep in touch with your success team and brand reps
  • Secure payment software
  • The opportunity to enter contests and obtain special offers and bonuses

Affise let’s you easily set up your referral program

Affise offers a host of useful tools and features to enable you to achieve your marketing referral objectives, these include:

  • Intuitive dashboards: Affise allows users to measure marketing performance on a granular level with multichannel analytics and smart dashboards. Customers can find growth areas and forecast risks by using Affise’s feature-rich API. Dashboards are easy to configure and you can also use smart targeting and cap systems, multi currencies, and flexible payouts.
Top 17 Referral Program Software Tools To Drive Marketing Growth
Source (capterra.co.uk)
  • Smart Tracking: Affise offers more than 50 data breakdowns to help you monitor your referral program’s performance and collect all the data you need to gain a comprehensive view of all the metrics that matter. Reports are fully customizable and you can put multiple sets of data together on one page. You can view reports by account manager, affiliate, advertiser, offer, and more. And, view specific detailed data for any particular time frame. It’s also easy to share reports with all members of the team. 
  • Customization options: Referral marketing programs often require multiple integrations with all kinds of software. Affise offers integrations with most popular tools, and has a clear and feature-rich API through which to conduct all custom integrations.
  • Fraud Prevention: Affise offers multiple ways to protect your referral campaigns from fraudulent activity. You can use click-level fraud prevention and third-party fraud prevention, as well as block fraud by monitoring IP addresses, time-to-conversion, CR rates, and other metrics

Conclusion

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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Affise Academy

Affise is a partner marketing platform for brands, advertisers and agencies to scale via all possible performance marketing channels. Synergy of technology and our long standing experience lets you expand your partnerships, automate every step of the campaign lifecycle and make data-driven decisions.

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