8 Referral Program Examples (& the Referral Marketing Strategies You Can Steal)

8 examples of world-class referral programs to get your customers referring and their friends shopping.

NOTE: We’ve updated this article to include yet more fantastic examples of brands that are deploying creative and innovative ways of maximizing the performance of their refer-a-friend program.

What is a referral program? A referral program is growth marketing tactic that seeks to encourage existing customers to recommend a brand to their friends, family and colleagues. Often called word-of-mouth marketing, it seeks to supercharge natural or latent word of mouth with easy to use sharing tools and referral rewards.

Finding the right method to acquire new, valuable customers for your business is hard work. That’s where referral marketing companies come into their own.

Due to that fact that 9 out 10 customers trust peer recommendations, a figure much higher than that achieved by traditional advertising, more marketing leaders are turning to conversational, trust-based marketing, and continuing to adopt new marketing technology to reach new customers.  However, the proven tactic that continues to bring in more loyal customers for titans like Dropbox, Slack, Uber and so many more is referral marketing.

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The Guide to Customer Retention, Loyalty & Referrals

While surely everyone knows the famous quote that acquiring a new customer is anywhere from five to 25 times more expensive than retaining an existing one, it’s strange why so many brands still focus so much on acquiring new customers instead of focusing on their existing ones. Because improving the experience for existing customers will not only increase customer retention and the bottom line, but also create satisfied customers that can become brand ambassadors to help acquire new ones.

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Motivation behind Referrals; what makes people refer others and how to increase those referrals?

What is motivation? When I ask my good friend Google, it tells me motivation is: “the reason or reasons one has for acting or behaving in a particular way, or the general desire or willingness of someone to do something”. Sounds about right… but the question is why?

What motivates us? Why buy that pair of jeans? Why go see that movie? Why try that restaurant?

A lot of the time why we do things really doesn’t have much to do with us at all, but what others are telling us or encouraging us to do. Motivation involves biological, emotional, social and cognitive forces. The combination of these things activates our behavior and we have very little personal effect over them.

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