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12 Best referral software tools every marketer needs to know about_s

Marketing Tools — 25 Apr 2022

12 Best Referral Software Tools

12 Best referral software tools every marketer needs to know about

Today as consumers, we are pelted with a barrage of banners, pop-ups, promotional emails, tailored marketing campaigns, social media notifications, and much more. We’re prompted by smartphones and other devices like clockwork throughout the day and night!

And most of these interactions involve someone trying to sell something to us. Or, at least, trying to nudge us along the customer journey. There’s a reason for this. It’s because, many times, it works and it works well. 

But as a business owner, you know the competition to acquire new customers is stiff. The secret to get a leg up on the competition is to empower your best advocates. Referral marketing can help boost growth for your business by helping your best customers to promote your brand.

What is referral marketing?

Referral marketing is a form of partner marketing wherein a company rewards existing customers for referring potential new customers. This type of word-of-mouth marketing can help brands expand their reach and produce better leads than other methods. 

Referral Marketing

Referral marketing is related to but separate from affiliate marketing. Like an affiliate program, brand advocates are incentivized to refer others to your website. However, referral partners are empowered to promote your brand organically through their own social network.  

And the types of rewards for referral partners can vary much more widely than that for affiliates (which are generally paid a commission). These can be things like discounts, cash, gift cards, credit for future purchases, and more. 

Being able to build a successful referral process creates a win-win situation for both you and your customers. 

Benefits of doing referral marketing

Referral marketing isn’t for every business. But for many companies, referral marketing can provide many benefits.

Retention rate

Your best customers will give you higher-quality referrals with lower rates of churn. A study by Think Impact found that B2B referrals had a higher retention rate of 37%.

Building trust

Your customers are advocating to social circles on your behalf. In fact, word-of-mouth is the most trusted form of marketing. 

Increase client base

Referral marketing is an easy and effective way to grow your customer base. Each referring customer is likely to successfully reach out to more than one new customer, giving you exponential growth potential. 

Cost-effective

Unlike most other forms of marketing, with referral marketing, you are only spending money on actual conversions. This makes it much more cost-effective. 

Social enrichment

Referral Program

Consumers who successfully sign up for your product or service now have something else in common with their referring peers. This makes it easy for them to engage together with your brand both online and in-person.

Increase engagement

When a customer decides to partner up with your brand, they are more likely to engage with virtual spaces like social media. 

Why use referral software?

Referral marketing involves a lot of moving parts. You need to keep track of every customer partnership, and each person they refer to your business. And for each referral, you need traceability so that each new customer is attributed to the right person.

You also need a way for your brand advocates to be made aware of successful referrals. And to let them view and monitor the status of their rewards, as well as be well-informed on how to use them. 

Instead of having to set up a customer referral and reward system from scratch, modern businesses can opt for a software solution to make their lives easier. Referral software makes it easy to design and create referral campaigns. And partner platforms can also automate tracking and most, if not all, aspects of the referral process. 

How to choose referral software

With so many options available, you must consider several factors to guide your search for the right referral solution.

Pricing

“No duh!” right? It’s always about the bottom line. There’s no point in signing up for lengthy and expensive contracts if you’re tight on cash flow. For small and medium-sized businesses, the marketing budget may narrow down the list of pricing options dramatically.

Minimum commitment

Minimum Commitment

Small businesses or those that wish to stay agile may have a fear of long-term contracts. If that describes you, then look for solutions with monthly plans. And even better, find options that offer a free trial!

Seamless migrations and integrations

The wealth, or lack thereof, of third-party integrations can really throw a wrench into making a referral platform work with your existing systems. The ebay platforms, like Affise, can automate and streamline the migration process. This makes integrating with your existing tech stack a cinch. And you can be up and running quickly.

Customer service

For businesses that don’t have an IT department, or wish to lighten the load, there are providers with a full suite of customer support. Many offer hand-holding during the onboarding process. But for some businesses, knowledge bases and DIY assistance is all that’s needed.

Target market and nature of your business

There’s a lot of competition for referral marketing solutions to gain your business. And because of this, there are many services and providers geared towards specific types of business models. 

Some may feature a one-size-fits-all platform, while others focus on niches like SaaS, B2B, SMBs, B2C, enterprises, ecommerce, or local business. You want a tool that best suits your business and your target audience.

Deep analysis and insight

If you’re looking to optimize your partner program and maximize your marketing spend, you’ll need access to a wide array of detailed reporting. The best platforms will let you and your team members collect, compile, and compare data to glean high-level insights. 

How do I set up a referral program?

Regardless of which solution you choose, you will need to take some basic steps to create your referral program. Many of these steps can be facilitated by referral software, while others involve you and your team doing your due diligence ahead of time.

1. Create a landing page for your referral program

A landing page is the most effective way to recruit existing customers to your referral program. Use clear and effective copy that outlines the program and its purpose. Many solutions will have templates or other tools to streamline this process. 

2. Incentivize

You need to decide on what rewards you’ll offer. This must be done with a cost/benefit analysis in mind. Referred customers are more valuable than non-referred customers, so don’t get cheap with your rewards program. But also, don’t break your business model by giving away too much! 

3. Track

Tracking

Use the tools available from your own IT resources and your referral software to track everything you can. Ideally, cookieless tracking via a tracking pixel on landing pages will help you track signups and referral behavior.

4. Create program emails

You will need a system to manage a database of partner and referral email addresses. Using email templates makes this process painless. You can create automated marketing emails for things like program invites, referral updates, rewards, and new customer welcome packages.

5. Streamline recruitment

Many referral tools will help you increase your referral marketing efforts with custom widgets. These can include things like banners and popup ads that will prompt and collect signups to your referral program. 

6. Analyze

Use your marketing and analytics tools to break down all of your tracking data. Track metrics like reach, participation rate, share rate, conversions, and your overall ROI. And use this information to tailor your marketing for success.

7. Put it on autopilot

Once you’ve got everything fine-tuned and running like a champ, it’s time to hit cruise control. Use your referral marketing platform to eliminate tedious and mundane tasks via automation features. 

12 Referral software options to check out 

We know as well as anyone that being spoilt for choice is the ultimate first-world problem. But when it comes to referral software, you want to get it right. You want an effective solution with a great ROI. 

The good news? We’ve spent the time and effort researching the referral marketing software options so that you don’t have to! 

Affise

When looking for robust and innovative partnership marketing solutions, look no further than Affise. Brands and agencies can find everything they need with a range of products and services in this all-in-one partner and affiliate software solution. 

The Affise Referral Marketing Platform allows you to manage referrals, track their results, and optimize word-of-mouth marketing. The service makes it easy to launch your referral program, give out rewards, gain new customers, and boost your brand affinity. 

Affise

The platform is designed with brands and brand advocates in mind. You get access to Affise Analytics and Business Intelligence (BI) tools for deep reporting and analysis with 50 different data breakdowns. And you also get loads of customization options, a feature-rich API, and plenty of third-party integrations.

The CPAPI service makes transferring offers a breeze and helps your business scale faster. And there is plenty of automation functionality including partner communication and email notifications. 

And don’t underestimate the value of onboarding. When you sign up with Affise, you get a free onboarding package. You will get a dedicated specialist to set up and customize your account for you. And they will also guide you through the interface and be your first line of support through the entire process. 

Other features include:

  • Software is fully customizable to fit brand style
  • Total budget control
  • 24/7 support and a personal account manager
  • Integrations for CRM, billing, and much more
  • AI tools to automate workflow
  • Convenient communication system to stay in touch with brand representatives
  • Secure payment system
  • Individual accounts for brand advocates
  • Each brand advocate has access to their own statistics and performance reporting

Referral Factory

Referral Factory is one of the more popular referral services on the market today. And it does make it easy to set up a referral program. You can have all of your channels up and running with just a few clicks.

Referral Factory
Source (referral-factory.com)

The platform comes with over 1000 program templates, so no prior referral knowledge is necessary. There is something for just about every type of business, and you can pick a template that you like and edit with the drag-and-drop program builder. 

While the templates make it easy to start a program, more is required to fine-tune and tailor your setup. There is a lot of customization here, but it may require a bit of time and IT resources.

Features include:

  • Reward options include discount codes, coupons, cash
  • Dashboard with real-time data monitoring
  • CSV exporting
  • Automate communication for invites, referrals, and rewards
  • 19 Languages for a broader reach
  • Integrations including HubSpot, Salesforce, and Intercom

Referral Factory is for businesses looking to get a quick start on their referral programs. Pricing starts at $95 per month for up to 2500 users and you can sign up for a 15-day free trial. 

ReferralCandy

ReferralCandy is one of the older tools available in partner marketing. The software has been well-developed to focus on boosting sales for online stores.

By focusing on ecommerce, the platform has become efficient and easy to use. It’s easy to navigate and set up, and it integrates with the major ecommerce platforms available today.

ReferralCandy
Source (referralcandy.com)

The way it works is that customers are prompted to become a marketing partner at your store checkout page or via post-purchase follow-up emails. Once they sign up, all referral tracking and reward sending are done automatically. Any type of fraudulent activity gets marked for action or automatically dealt with by Fraud Center v1.0.

Features include:

  • Landing page and email templates optimized for mobile
  • Customizable reward options—cash, store discounts, custom gifts
  • One-click integrations to ecommerce and marketing platforms including Shopify, WooCommerce, Google Analytics, and Mailchimp
  • Live chat support
  • Analytics dashboard with data like benchmarks and top referrers
  • Custom developer integration—JS and API integrations
  • Subscription app support for ReCharge, PayWhirl, and Bold
  • Pricing based on a flat rate or commission-based

ReferralCandy is suited to ecommerce businesses that want word-of-mouth marketing with a high ROI. Pricing starts at $49 per month plus tiered commission rates, but you can try it for free for 30 days. 

Referral Rock

Referral Rock is a platform to help businesses put their referral programs on autopilot. It’s designed to empower businesses to get more customers by using their own networks.

Referral Rock
Source (referralrock.com)

The Referral Programs 2.0 software lets you create personalized referral programs to maximize customer engagement. It does this with many different features like one-click social media sharing and dual-side rewards (both the customer and the referral receive a gift). 

Referral Rock is user-friendly and has automation features. You can design incentive based programs to capture new leads and sales, and then issue rewards automatically. 

Features include:

  • On-brand customization for every step in the customer journey
  • Can run through widgets
  • Rewards options—coupons, gift cards, custom rewards, cash
  • Two-sided, tiered, and time-based reward structure
  • Build and automate email campaigns, promotions, ans notifications
  • Customer support with a dedicated customer success manager
  • 25 plus integrations including Salesforce, Stripe, and Zapier

Referral Rock is a good option for businesses wanting a robust and flexible platform. Pricing starts at $200 per month with 500 members and one program.

Amplifinity

Amplifinity is referral tracking software with a focus on B2B enterprises. The software helps businesses automate the tracking and management of their partner referral programs. And it especially focuses on boosting your existing referral channels to produce consistent and quality leads. 

Amplifinity
Source (forbes.com)

With Amplifinity, you get strong and automated rewards management. Reward amounts are tracked and updated in real-time, and delivered when user-defined conditions are met. All partner communication is automatically handled by activity-triggered events. 

With the deep rewards system, you can create tiers with escalating rewards to motivate your marketing partners. This includes allowing partners to choose their own rewards at each level of success.

Features include:

  • Rewards management
  • Automation of referral tracking and rewards system
  • CSR portal and widgets
  • Employee referral management
  • Integrations for ecommerce, CRM, and online payment solutions including Marketo, Amazon, and SilverPop.

Amplifinity is for large businesses and enterprises looking to inject new life into their referral marketing programs. There is no free trial available. 

Genius Referrals

Genius Referrals is referral program software designed with smaller businesses in mind, so that any user can set up a successful referral program on their own.

Genius Referrals
Source (geniusreferrals.com)

In fact, with Genius Referrals, you can create and personalize your campaign within minutes. Further customization can be done through code snippets and API integrations to connect to your other business programs.

After that, all you need to do is choose your reward system. You do everything from an intuitive dashboard that lets you peruse a wealth of data and find out what’s working. And your customers can also access information to see how they are performing.

Features include:

  • Double-sided, fixed, and percentage-based rewards
  • Comprehensive dashboard with real-time analytics
  • Create multi-tiered and multi-level campaigns
  • Automatic payouts with methods like Paypal and Shopify discount codes
  • Loads of easy to customize templates so your program is on-brand
  • Generate custom links and promo codes

Genius Referrals is particularly tailored for small and local businesses. Pricing starts at $49 per month for up to 10,000 advocates. You can save money by opting for an annual payment. But try it out free for 30 days first.

Viral Loops

Source (viral-loops.com)

Viral Loops is a template-based referral marketing solution that has included features to help business growth during pre launch. 

Currently, there are 47,000 campaigns generating leads on the platform. This is because the templates make it easy to launch a full-blown referral campaign in minutes. The templates are based on successful programs from companies like Airbnb, Dropbox, and Mailchimp.

However, most of the customization comes from choosing your template. After that, there isn’t much you can alter. But your customers will be able to invite their friends from the channel of their choice, such as WhatsApp. 

Features include:

  • Dedicated landing pages with templates
  • Campaign dashboards with real-time analytics
  • Gain newsletter referrals
  • Ability to create a waitlist for startup pre launch
  • Contest giveaway referrals
  • Integrates with Shopify
  • In-app chat and email support

Viral Loops is a good option for startups and businesses looking for a quick solution to creating a customer referral. Pricing starts at $49 per month but you can sign up for a free trial. 

InviteReferrals

InviteReferrals is simple and one of the easier-to-use marketing tools, but does still have powerful tracking tools and detailed analytics.

InviteReferrals
Source (invitereferrals.com)

The software is designed to work across all devices and platforms. And it can do this through its robust Referral Program Widgets that adapt themselves to each user’s platform. This even works for customers on their Facebook timelines.

The application comes with an intuitive “What You See is What You Get” editor that makes it easy to build your referral campaign exactly how you want it. And your customer gets referral options including Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Google+.

Features include:

  • In-depth analytics of referral program and its channels with daily or weekly updates
  • Track shares, clicks, conversions, and more
  • Gain referrals from WhatsApp and SMS
  • Import email from any provider
  • Simple one time integration via Javascript code snippet
  • Full automation referral tracking and rewards
  • Spam and fraud prevention
  • 25+ languages available
  • Role-based collaboration for your program
  • Integrations with WooCommerce, WordPress, and Bigcommerce
  • Run different referral programs including giveaway, contest, and goal-based

InviteReferrals is great for businesses looking to build a referral network focused on social media sharing and referral events. You can try a 14-day free trial. 

Extole

On their website, Extole introduces itself as “the leading enterprise advocacy platform.” And as expected, the platform is built to help enterprises build large-scale referral programs to power new customer acquisition.

Extole
Source (extole.com)

Extole’s referral marketing software comes with pre-built sharing and referral templates. These templates allow for visual editing with designs optimized for mobile devices and apps.

And when you create a program with Extole, it can automatically integrate with all platforms, devices, and channels. The turnkey SaaS platform includes campaigns for refer-a-friend, nominate-a-friend, influencers, brand ambassadors, and more.

Other features include:

  • Rich and automated reward engine—coupons, loyalty points, gift cards, international rewards
  • Customize rewards for each campaign to test and discover what works
  • A sophisticated rule set to detect and prevent low-quality referrals
  • Advocate profiles with detailed segmentation and reporting
  • Real-time reports
  • Automatic discovery of influencers, brand advocates, and networks
  • Targeting and testing tools

Extole aims to offer any enterprise a complete package. 

Friendbuy

Friendbuy has been around as a referral program solution for longer than most. And it’s customer base includes clients like Walmart and Nestle. The heart of the service is found in lightweight code snippets that can quickly get your partner program live with popup widgets.

You can create branded widgets with Friendbuy widget templates. And these widgets can be placed anywhere on your website or mobile app. More customization can be done for those who want to venture into APIs and event-based triggers. The software also comes equipped with email templates for the complete automation of referral tracking and rewards.

Features include:

  • Custom reward options
  • Automatic reward fulfillment
  • Easy A/B testing of components like offers and messaging
  • Personal referral links for advocates
  • Real-time referral funnel tracking and performance analysis
  • Extensive integration library including Shopify Plus, Chargebee, and Attribution

Friendbuy is a good option for ecommerce and SaaS companies. For those who are happy with a lot of DIY, the starter program is available at $249 per month with unlimited campaigns. For API access, pricing starts at $749 per month.

Mention Me

Mention Me
Source (mention-me.com)

Mention Me is a solution built for “referral engineering” of brands focused on growth. Their customers include over 450 brands including Zipcar and PrettyLIttleThing. Essentially, it is a plug-and-play referral platform with sharing features.

Mention Me is designed to integrate with your existing marketing stack. And from one place, you can manage, track, test, and optimize your referral campaigns. You get access to a wealth of referral data. Gaining insights isn’t difficult, but you can also get actionable advice from the provider’s client success team.

Features include:

  • Create highly targeted messages at each point of the advocacy journey
  • Create thoughtful user experiences
  • Easy customer segmentation
  • Live support for onboarding and continual optimization
  • Bespoke reporting 
  • Integrations with Magento, WeGift, Klaviyo, Dotmailer, and more

Mention Me can work well for businesses looking for a fast start on their referral program with lots of customer support. 

SaaSquatch

If you’re ever alone in the woods, a sasquatch might be the last thing you want to see. But SaaSquatch might be what your business needs to get out of the woods and onto the trail of successful referral marketing.

SaaSquatch
Source (saasquatch.com)

The platform is a trusted referral marketing partner focused on SaaS and B2C brands. The software is designed with on-demand businesses in mind including consumer service/box subscriptions and large online marketplaces. It has a package of tools and features to help your business build brand loyalty, gain referrals, and deliver rewards. 

Features include:

  • Multi-program and multi-tier campaigns
  • Out of the box designs and templates
  • Pre-configured growth programs
  • End-user rewards portal
  • Segmentation and dynamic rewards
  • Web and mobile deployment
  • Analytics, testing, and reporting capabilities
  • Customizable emails and widgets
  • Enterprise-grade security
  • Fraud screening

SaaSquatch is good for large businesses and enterprises looking to build a referral program around their subscription services. Pricing starts at $1750 per month with up to 200k participants.

Get your referral marketing started with Affise 

With Affise, you get everything you need to start your referral marketing program. Affise Reach helps you build innovative partner marketing relationships. Meanwhile, Affise BI integrates with market leading AppsFlyer to pull and compile high resolution data slices so you can gain truly unique insights. 

Affise Referral Marketing

But that’s just the beginning. Our referral marketing software will help you:

  • Launch a program
  • Reward your customers and ambassadors
  • Acquire new customers
  • Boost brand affinity

With the Affise platform, you get so much more than just efficient referral tracking and reward management. Our robust software is rich with features including:

  • Granular tracking that helps to reach your target audience and track new referrals. 
  • Multichannel analytics to find growth opportunities and forecast risks for your campaigns
  • Intuitive dashboards that are fully customizable so you can fine-tune layers of statistics according to your needs.
  • Powerful reporting that ties several pieces of data together in one place to gain deeper insights.
  • Partner management to handle all aspects of your relationships with affiliates, advocates, advertisers, and more from one space.
  • Automation that saves time and money by eliminating the need to fulfill repetitive and monotonous tasks.
  • Fraud prevention via several methods to protect your campaigns from suspicious and fraudulent activity.
  • Customization options and multiple integrations with popular tools and a feature-rich API for custom integrations.
  • Customer service that cares—we always give personalized attention and efficient 24/7 customer support to help you get better results
  • CPAPI accesses raw data and makes offer transfers instantaneous. 

Conclusion

Referral marketing is a proven word-of-mouth marketing channel to help any business grow. It really works for just about anyone. Rather than list who referral marketing is for, it’s easier to make a list for those who should avoid it. The list: No one.

And if you want to empower your customers as brand advocates today, you need referral marketing software. Referral platforms make it easy for you to build win-win relationships with your customers while growing your business. And all that for a lower cost per acquisition (CPA) and great ROI. 

So the question is, what are you waiting for? Get in touch with Affise and launch your referral program today.

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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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