We're frequently asked for blog posts that show referral program examples. We get it, you're hungry for ideas. In this post, we'll group the examples by the types of referral incentives (free merchandise, store credit, etc.) you may wish to consider for your own program.
Here’s an epic list of referral programs -- grouped by incentives -- to inspire you.
Yep, you can create a referral program that neither incentivizes the referrer nor the friend. This is straightforward social sharing, but with conversion and revenue tracking on the back end.
1. TileApp uses their referral program to spread the word about their Bluetooth tracking chips. We love the copy because everyone knows someone who loses things!
2. FreshGrade uses their referral program to invite teachers to try their educational platform.
Enticing users with more of what they already love is a smart tactic for increasing referral program participation.
3. Nice Laundry – Subscription sock service Nice Laundry offers a pair of free socks for every referred friend. There’s no limit on the amount of socks that can be earned.
4. SockFancy also offers a free pair for customers who refer a friend to their subscription service. Who couldn’t use more free socks?
5. Vinyl Me Please – Proving that everything old is new again, Vinyl Me Please is a record club that offers limited edition LPs pressed especially for members. Both the referrer and referred friend get a free bonus record. Here's a look at their stand-alone referral page that has a montage of music-related images for a background.
6. Foley & Agamo shoppers get a free bag when 3 referred friends sign up and purchase.
For brands that offer services on a monthly basis, offering a free month is a great incentive for attracting new customers.
7. Yoga Works – Friends referred to Yoga Works through their referral program get a free week to try classes. In this campaign, referrers are also entered to win a full year of Yoga Works.
8. Salted – Users who refer friends to Salted’s online cooking tutorials get a free month of service while their friend also gets a free month. Perfect for friends who cook together!
People love to win, so offering a chance to win a great prize will inspire people to share.
9. Xtreme Xperience – Referred friends get an impressive $50 credit for Xtreme Xperience while the referrer is entered to win a premium racetrack experience. Extreme incentives at their best!
10. LootCrate – During their Refer-A-Thon, customers who referred friends to LootCrate not only earned an enhanced $7 referral reward, but were eligible to win fantastic prizes if they referred the most new customers. Here's their program detail page that explains the contest rewards and timeframe.
11. Huckberry upped the ante this year by offering additional prizes (and booze!) to top referrers during their annual Spring Referral Contest.
If your site already has a loyalty or reward program, referring friends can be a great way for customer to earn more points.
12. Birchbox – Beauty sample subscription service Birchbox offer Birchbox Points to users who refer friends who then purchase a subscription. In a recent collaboration with AMC’s Mad Men, they also offered referrers additional entries into a special contest.
Store credit is by far the most popular referral incentive. Giving store credit in some form invites users back to your conversion funnel and make another purchase.
13. Dollar Shave Club, a challenger brand that delivers razors right to your doorstep, offers $5 store credit for every referred friend who purchases, but they say get free blades for life. An enticing proposition!
14. FreshNeck – Tie subscription service FreshNeck gives $10 credit to both referrer and friend. There’s no limit to the $10 credits you can earn as a sharer, so they promote their referral program as a way to earn free ties for life.
Another way to present store credit is to offer a percentage off discount. Depending on your product, this can be a very appealing reward for new customers.
15. MeUndies gives referred friends 20% off their first purchase, while the referrer gets $20.
16. SmartThings knows its customers are the best people to spread the word about their smart home devices. Friends receive 10% off while the referrer gets $10 off. Here's a Tweet they used to promote their referral program, driving traffic to their referral page.
17. Bear State Coffee – This independent coffee company gives an impressive 50% off to referred visitors while the person who shared gets $20 off a future coffee purchase.
18. Kill Cliff – Getting 10% off is a solid incentive for users who share Kill Cliff’s energy drinks and products.
19. Blenders Eyewear – Friends get 20% off their first purchase while the sharer gets $10 toward their next pair of Blenders Eyewear.
20. Dare Fashion ties their brand name into their invitation to share, giving 20% to the new customer and $20 to the referrer.
21. LSTN Headphones know that good sound is worth sharing. They give 15% off to the new customer and $20 to the referrer.
22. PupBox – For pet owners who spread the word about their monthly development box, Pupbox gives $10 store credit while the referred visitor gets 10% off their first purchase.
23. LootCrate – "Looters" who share LootCrate with friends get $5 for every new customer who signs up for their monthly box of geek and gamer gear.
24. Spartan Race plays off team spirit by inviting previous racers to refer their friends in exchange for a $10 merchandise credit to their gear store. Here's a promotional Tweet Spartan posted to remind their followers to refer friends.
25. DailyLook offers $25 to referrers every time a referred friend signs up for their personal styling service.
26. Darby Smart – For every new customer who purchases a DIY project kit from Darby Smart, they offer the referrer a $15 store credit.
27. goTenna's wireless devices already come in pairs so they can be shared, so their referral program is a natural extension. Referrers get $10 for every referred friend who makes a purchase.
28. SpiritHoods' fans can earn a $15 credit for every friend who purchases one of their faux fur animal-inspired hoods.
29. Bohemian Guitars – Both sides of this asymmetrical incentive program get an impressive reward for sharing Bohemian Guitars - $50 for the referring friend and $30 for the new customer.
30. Huckberry encourages their customers to share the gift of the outdoors in exchange for a $20 credit. The referred friend gets $10.
31. ParentGiving – Friends referred to ParentGiving get $15 off and free shipping, while the person doing the referring gets $20.
31. Prize Candle – The excitement of finding a gemstone ring valued at up to $5,000 in a Prize Candle is completely worth sharing! Both referrer and the new customer get $10 when a new purchase is made.
32. BeGood Clothing – Customers who share BeGood Clothing's organic, environmentally friendly clothing line get $20 for every referred friend who purchases. The friend also gets $20.
33. Coveroo rewards friends who share their custom phone cases with $10, also giving referred customers $10 off their first case. Here's a promotional tweet to their followers, reminding them to participate in their referral program.
34. Diet Direct – Going on a diet is always more successful when you do it with friends. Diet Direct gives both referrers and referred friends $20 off their weight loss and nutrition products.
35. Exo Protein – Protein bars made from cricket flour? That's sure to pique interest. Exo Protein rewards customers who spread the word with $10, also giving $10 to new customers.
36. Flex Watches – Referred visitors and referrers alike get $10 for each successful new referral purchase at Flex Watches, interchangeable watches that also support charitable causes. Here's their promotional tweet that links back to their site, to their stand-alone referral page to be exact.
37. Hint Water gives $5 to the referrer and $5 to the referred friend who tries their fruit infused water.
38. Into the AM – Users who share Into the AM's premium apparel inspired by EDM and Festival culture receive $10 for every new customer, who also receives $10 off their first purchase.
39. NatureBox – Healthy snackers who share NatureBox's monthly snack box service get $10 for every new friend who joins. The referred friends also get $10 off their first box.
40. Nourish Snacks – Nourish Snacks is another snack company that offers new customers $10 off their snack collections when they're referred by someone, who also receives $10.
41. PetCareRx – Friends who try PetCareRx for pet's meds and supplies get $10 off their first purchase while the person who referred them gets $10.
42. PetFlow – People who refer friends to PetFlow get $10 for each new signup, which the referring friend gets $10. Their call to action is eye-catching and enticing - who wouldn't want $100 for free?
43. ScoutMob – Customers who tell friends about ScoutMob's inspired goods by independent makers get $10 when their friend makes a purchase. The referring customer also gets $10. Hipster mustache not included. ;-)
44. Serengetee – People love to share brands that incorporate charitable giving into their product line. Serengetee not only gives to global charities with every purchase, they offer $10 to customers who refer and $10 to referred friends who make their first purchase.
45. Stantt – People looking for a better options for dress shirts will love Stantt's wide selection. Both the referrer and referred friend get $10!
46. TeaBox – Fans of loose leaf tea who share TeaBox's international selection get $25 for each new friend who makes a purchase. The friend also gets $25 off.
47. Urban Remedy customers who refer a friend to their raw, ready-to-eat snacks, meals, and juices get $10 for each new friend who signs up. The friend also gets $10.
3 Bonus Examples!
48. Warby Parker encourages customers to tell their friends about Home Try-On (the ability to try on eyewear at home before you buy) an innovative feature that has taken the eyewear category by storm.
49. Try The World is a fast-growing startup that lets customer taste a variety of new flavors from around the world. Referrers get $15 for introducing their friends to the brand, who in turn get $15 bucks off to try the world.
50. 420 Goodie Box - your deserve a little something if you made it all the way down here to the end of this verrrrry long blog post. How about $5 off a 420 Goodie Box?