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8 Best referral program ideas to attract more customers

8 Best referral program ideas to attract more customers

Referral program is mainly a marketing strategy where businesses incentivize existing customers to refer friends and followers to their products or services in exchange for rewards or benefits. 

It can be a highly efficient and effective strategy to promote a business if executed correctly. Because people are 90% more likely to buy from a brand their friends or family recommended them rather than a random brand. 

General consumers tend to trust more words from their friends, family, or someone they value before engaging with a business, rather than trust claims on a brand’s traditional advertising. Referral programs take advantage of this trait, which makes it highly effective.

Now if you are interested in executing this marketing strategy, this article is exactly for you. Let’s discuss more on this and look into 8 best referral program ideas you can use to start your own successful referral program.

Why you should have a referral program?

Referral programs have been gaining traction lately. With the rise of social media referral programs is now slowly making their way into mainstream marketing strategies. Because:

It’s cost-effective 

Referral marketing is often more cost-effective than standard advertising strategies. Generally, you have to pay a share of sales made using a referral. So, it’s not like you are paying in advance not knowing how much it will bring you like on traditional marketing

Give you better access to target customers

In this tactic, referrals mostly come from people who share similar preferences and are a part of a group with similar interests. So, a referral program gives your business access to customers who are more likely to be in need of your product or service.

Better reach for your business

Referral programs use the networks of existing consumers, allowing the company to access new audiences and markets easily through their connections or following. Which otherwise may have taken time to reach them by collecting leads and other complex procedures.

Create brand reputation

Positive referrals and recommendations from existing customers help to build a favorable brand image and reputation. Because people tend to trust customer’s words more than advertisements from the company itself.

Competitive edge over others

A well-executed referral program can set a company apart from competitors and establish it as a trusted and recommended alternative in the industry.

Now let’s dig into some referral program ideas that can make people join your program and bring more customers to your business.

Best referral program ideas to attract more customers

You can try different things to engage people with your referral program. Not every time a referral program gets attention from people.

Here are referral program ideas to grab people’s attention to your referral program and attract more customers.

Offer exclusive access

Referral program ideas: Offer exclusive access

Exclusive access involves offering specific privileges and incentives to clients who recommend their friends, instilling a sense of exclusivity and value. 

This could include one-of-a-kind offers like limited-time discounts or special promotions, VIP treatment like priority customer service or personalized recommendations, early access to new products or features, invitations to exclusive events, customized rewards based on individual preferences, and early access to content.

This exclusivity creates a sense of pride and belonging that motivates them to share these rewards with their friends and followers which leads to awareness of your brand.

Offer double-sided incentives

Referral program ideas: Offer double-sided incentives

Implementing double-sided incentives in a referral program entails providing prizes or benefits to both the existing customer who refers a friend and the new client who receives the reference. 

This method results in a win-win situation in which both sides are encouraged to engage. Businesses may efficiently leverage the power of word-of-mouth marketing by offering rewards to both referrers and their friends. 

This way, existing consumers are incentivized to actively promote the brand to their network, while new customers are tempted to try the product.

One of the easiest ways to implement this double-side incentive in WordPress or WooCommerce is by using EchoRewards. EchoRewards enables one to launch a referral program for their customers within minutes where customers can simply share unique deals with their friends and family. When someone uses a coupon, they not only enjoy a great discount but the person who shared it is also rewarded.

This kind of referral program not only increases customer loyalty and involvement but also expands the reach and chance of success of the referral program because both parties here have some motivation to try out the product or service.

Arrange a contest

Referral program ideas: Arrange a contest

Running a referral contest as part of a referral program may greatly increase client acquisition by introducing excitement and competitiveness. 

Businesses may enhance engagement and involvement by creating clear goals and providing appealing incentives or awards to participants who refer the most friends within a given time limit. 

These contests instill a feeling of urgency and desire in current consumers to aggressively promote the brand to their networks in order to win prizes. Furthermore, the competitive nature of the game motivates participants to go above and beyond in their recommendation efforts, resulting in a bigger volume of referrals and, eventually, attracting more new clients. 

Also, the buzz and excitement produced by the contest might attract attention to the company.

Referral program ideas: Donate in the customer’s name

Making donations in the customer’s name may be a potent motivator to attract new customers by linking the recommendation process to a sense of social duty and generosity. 

Some people may not be interested in being entitled to cash rewards publicly. In this case, businesses can tap into people’s inherent incentive to make a good influence in their communities by giving a charity.

Offering a donation in the name of the customer who brings you business by referring your products or services to friends can be a great way to influence your customers to spread the word about your business and make them feel good about it. 

These kinds of referral program ideas not only encourages clients to join the referral program but also improves the brand’s reputation and creates goodwill among current and future customers. 

Launch a brand ambassador program

8 Best referral program ideas to attract more customers

Businesses can expand their reach and reputation by discovering and enabling enthusiastic brand advocates to become official ambassadors. 

Brand ambassadors are frequently very engaged and outspoken about their great experiences, which naturally leads to genuine recommendations and referrals from their networks.

Find persons among your regular customers who have a substantial amount of followers and friends on social media and are satisfied with your service. Offer them to be your brand’s ambassador.

You may reward ambassadors for aggressively promoting the brand by providing them with specific incentives, special privileges, and promotional tools. Furthermore, ambassadors act as genuine spokespeople, providing useful insights, testimonies, and social proof to potential clients, so increasing trust and loyalty to the company.

Offer mystery rewards occasionally

8 Best referral program ideas to attract more customers

Offering mystery rewards occasionally can be an excellent method for attracting more consumers by creating a sense of excitement and expectation. 

This can generate a feeling of curiosity and engagement among referrers by surprising them with secret prizes or incentives for successful referrals on a regular basis. The element of surprise adds gamification to the referral process, motivating consumers to actively suggest their friends in the hopes of earning substantial incentives. 

Besides, if implemented well this can create a buzz on social media and other platforms motivating others to join your referral program and spread the word about your business. 

Generally, on a referral program, participants prefer to know about the incentives beforehand. However, arranging mystery rewards can bring uniqueness to your program and may attract people more.

This method not only encourages existing consumers to continue promoting the company, but it also piques the curiosity of future buyers who may be intrigued by the surprise incentives on offer. 

Partner with other businesses

8 Best referral program ideas to attract more customers

Partnering with other businesses could be an effective referral program technique to get exposure to different sets of consumers with similar interests. 

Collaboration with similar firms allows enterprises to tap into one another’s consumer bases, utilizing existing ties to reach new audiences. This method not only broadens the business and the referral program’s reach but also increases its efficacy by utilizing the partner firms’ goodwill and reputation.

Having been referred by a reputed business can create a sense of trustworthiness in your products and services. People could take you more seriously and would feel safe to engage with your business if you are already engaged with an established business.  

Furthermore, partnering provides cross-promotional possibilities, such as rewarding consumers with unique deals or discounts, building a feeling of mutual benefit, and generating improved engagement across both groups of customers. 

Grab attention on Social Media

Referral program ideas: Grab attention on Social Media

Social media are now huge. They have some of the biggest audience bases in today’s time and it’s a great platform to reach a huge amount of potential customers at a considerably lower time. 

Because of the platform’s broad reach and participatory character, attracting attention on social media is an effective strategy for engaging additional clients. Businesses can pique their social media followers’ attention and urge them to engage in the referral program by creating captivating material, such as eye-catching graphics, fascinating subtitles, or entertaining videos. 

Besides lots of influencers and celebrities are primarily on social media to engage with their followers. So it’s now the easiest platform to attract influential people to join your referral program and promote your business in the platform.

Furthermore, using social media platforms enables direct connection with customers, resulting in individualized replies and developing a feeling of community around the referral program.

You utilize hashtags, competitions, and influencer collaborations strategically to not only attract attention but also nurture meaningful interaction and drive referrals from a variety of sources on social media.


A Referral program can be a great way to promote a business efficiently and at a low cost. Making it acceptable for the masses is the challenge on which the success of the program relies.

Try out different referral program ideas to attract people to join your program. Also, make sure to fulfill your promises in the program. A successful strategy can bring a great revenue stream for your business.

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