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8 tips how to implement referral program in SaaS

Today’s business world is characterized by a striking dichotomy: on one hand, there are firms striving to attain maximum customer satisfaction; while on the other hand – those eager to gain more clients through innovative marketing techniques.

Gaining new customers has become an alluring objective for many businesses, with the most effective approach being through word-of-mouth recommendations from satisfied patrons. After all, why stick around when others have already experienced your service or product and found it enjoyable? This phenomenon is known as ‘word-of-mouth marketing’, also known as simply ‘viral marketing’ – it can be defined as any kind of promotion that originates from people who have already utilized products or services for themselves or through their social circles.

If you aspire for business success, then we highly recommend investing in referral programs. These incentives can yield significant benefit for both parties involved – especially those who seek help in expanding their enterprise and those who provide such assistance. Here are some suggestions on how best to implement these programs within your company!

1. Make it easy for people to refer

For effective referral marketing, you must ensure that it is both easy and rewarding for customers to share experiences with others. You should consider using modern technology services and be cognizant of all the potential obstacles that could arise when prospects are asked about their referrals – from apprehension about making it known which businesses they have connections with to concerns over whether such actions will prove beneficial in any way!

The absolute best solutions don’t come from consumers just giving away the keys of their success – rather, it’s through a thoughtful and deliberate process wherein they create value and provide what they can offer before asking those who may benefit from that assistance.

2. Make sure you are onboarding new users with referral links

Onboarding new users with a referral link is an excellent way to accelerate growth. There are three distinct pathways for acquiring new customers: investment-free, self-funded or paid advertising.

Investment-free refers to acquiring customers through word of mouth and referrals from existing users in exchange for a token of appreciation.

Self-funding stems from paying out the cost of acquiring new clients rather than relying on outside financing. It’s imperative that you do not forget about your company’s bottom line – no matter how tempting it may be!

Paid marketing encompasses the acquisition channels utilized by advertising agencies, such as Google AdWords and Facebook Ads.

3. Set up a referral program early in your startup’s life

If you’re just getting started with your venture, it may be prudent to introduce a referral plan sooner rather than later. This provides an opportunity for those who have helped you along the way to reap some rewards!

Don’t allow this chance pass by unnoticed. Consider it a golden ticket!

With so much power at stake, it’s essential that you create a rewarding experience for all parties involved. Here are some useful tips on how to make sure – from providing access to exclusive benefits and even upgrading customer success teams’ perks – they can obtain something worthwhile in return for their efforts.

4. Talk about referrals in your marketing materials

After carefully crafting your referral program, make sure you include it in all your marketing materials. Make use of banners, emails or social media posts to remind people why they should refer customers or give them a little nudge if they’re hesitating.

By making it an integral part of your marketing strategy, you can increase the impact of the campaign and forge stronger relationships with potential partners. This is a win-win situation which promises exponential returns!

5. Work with your CRM to track and thank your referrals

Even if a person you refer to your startup business cannot take advantage of your referral program, they may still provide reviews and testimonials on social media or elsewhere in an effort to help promote your brand.

Maximizing the value of this outreach can be a significant boon for your positioning and livelihood as a business. Therefore, it’s essential to ensure that you are accessible and prompt with responses whenever prospective customers have inquiries about your platform.

To find out how you can best optimize your time as an expert on customer success, take a look at our guide: Maximize efficiency with customer success optimization

For those who may not yet know what CRM is, I’ll just let you in on one secret; it’s an acronym for Customer Relationship Management! This system stores data about the interactions you have with clients, whether it be email communications or phone calls – all from one place! Now that we’ve got that out of the way let’s discuss how it could prove helpful for some of your more unique referral campaigns.

6. Implement a referral program across platforms and products

It is a common practice for businesses to offer incentives for referrals across their respective platforms. However, the maximum efficacy of these programs rests upon how deeply you connect with your customers; by offering them bonuses on another platform or product could prove to be more beneficial than providing just one-time rewards!

For instance, in the event that a prospect makes a purchase on your website, they may be prompted to share that information with friends in order to earn up to 10% off another purchase. Or, if they’re seeking investment funding – perhaps they can refer their friends who might be interested in investing alongside them!

7. Build excitement around your referral program

If your client base is comprised largely of fresh prospects, it could be difficult to attract them to the process.

Consider your options for increasing the excitement around referral programs. Create a campaign or create an opportunity where hopeful referrers can redeem themselves and earn rewards for their efforts! Maybe include special discounts or codes that will be shared with all participants; or perhaps even incentivize social media shout-outs – there are endless possibilities!

8. Think about incentives

You can offer incentives, such as discounts or free services, in order to entice your referrals. Utilize them judiciously, though – all too often businesses are tempted to offer giveaways without any rhyme or reason whatsoever!

If you’re uncertain about how many new customers to expect, don’t despair! Utilize your analytics data to calculate the cost of acquiring a customer versus that of attaining a referral; then decide which one will be most profitable for both parties involved.


Implementing a referral program is an excellent means of rewarding customers who actively promote your brand and also provides motivation towards potential new clients. Allowing them to share their experience with others can lead to increased awareness of your organization; thus making it easier for more people to come in contact with it!


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