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Referral Tools

27 Best Referral Marketing Software & Tools to Drive More Referrals (Free & Paid)

We all know what a referral program is, but how do you implement one that's easy-to-use, and is jam-packed with features? These are my top providers I recommend looking into further for your business.
Dan Siepen
July 11, 2022
July 11, 2022
Updated on

If you’re reading this guide to referral marketing tools, there’s a good chance you know the importance of referral programs and why it’s one of the most valuable strategies and forms of marketing which can drive serious growth. 

Referral systems are used by some of the world’s biggest brands including Doordash, Dropbox, Uber, Groupon, Walmart, Gilt, and countless others. 

We’ve all experienced them, and now you’re wondering how you can implement one into your business. Well, I’m going to share some of my top recommendations of software you should look into for building a robust and effective referral program.

I’ve setup quite a few referral programs over the years primarily in eCommerce, but have also been part of the strategy and planning for a few SaaS startups. 

A question I get asked quite frequently (from clients, as well as inbound enquiries/messages) is, “Hey Dan, we’re thinking of building a referral program for our business, which is the best platform you recommend?”

There are quite that I recommend, so writing this post was a big motivator for me to share the various referral marketing software tools that exist in the market. Some are better for eCommerce, whilst some are better for SaaS or DTC brands. 

However, before you setup a referral program, there are a few factors and variables at play depending on the business operate, or the type of program you want to run.

In fact, these are the key questions I normally ask. 

  • What is your customer or user base? Note: A referral program won’t work effectively when you’ve got a low amount of customers. To make a system work for you, I recommend having at least 10,000 customers or users. Or, if you don’t have that user base, you need to have a decent budget to get that baseline. 
  • What type of program do you want to run? 
  • Which channels will you promote it on? 
  • Do you know your key metrics such as CAC and LTV?
  • Do you have the resources internally tgatho properly set it up?
  • Is there a specific campaign tied into your referral program?
  • What does the incentive structure look like?
  • Which software is best to help you build out your system? 

These are just some of the preliminary questions you need to have confidence in answering to invest the time and resources you need to make a referral system work for your business. 

Once you have the answers to these questions, now it’s about choosing the right solution. 

What are the key features and capabilities to look for when choosing referral marketing software?

Before we dive into the solutions available, here are some of the key capability, feature checks and questions to refer to when exploring through the providers. 

  • Does this platform have a native integration with my CMS? E.g. Shopify Integration
  • If not, how easy is it to implement? Do they have good documentation for developers?
  • How many reviews on the Shopify app store, G2, Capterra, or Trustpilot do they have?
  • Which companies are currently using the solution?
  • What does reporting look like for the user, and admin?
  • What does customer service look like? Hint: Check reviews
  • What sort of rewards / incentive-based schemes can you run?
  • Is it user friendly for marketers? Remember, it’s you as the founder or marketer running the system once implemented
  • What are the various programs you can run with ease? Newsletter, pre-launch, two-sided, etc. 

There are a few more factors depending on your current situation and what you’re specifically looking for, but this should be a nice baseline for those who are fairly new to building one. 

Okay awesome, it’s time to get into the best solutions I recommend. 

1. Gather

With Gather, retailers, direct-to-consumer companies, eCommerce brands and publishers can take advantage of peer-to-peer referrals to increase revenue, grow their customer base, and their brand presence. Gather's platform allows advertisers to personalise their messaging and attribution while rewarding users for referring others. This helps encourage your existing customers to become actively involved in your marketing efforts, thereby increasing conversions and referral bonuses. 

Cool Awesome Features 

  • Gather helps you turn your happy customers or readers into loyal brand advocates, which can contribute 2% to 5% extra in revenue without relying on expensive advertising campaigns. This is done in an automated context that helps you bring in excited leads and prospects.  
  • Using messages and prompts that match your customers' context, this referral program software enables you to personalise your customer's journey whenever and wherever they are in your marketing funnel. By strategically targeting your customers through personalisation, the platform can help your brand achieve opt-in rates of up to 40%.
  • You can set up an automated reward system for your referring customers that is scalable. The platform offers a set of solutions to help you expand unique reward distribution, rewarding your consumers and saving you time. This enables continuity by utilising customisable, tiered reward systems that provide incentives for your consumers to continue engaging as advocates.
  • It doesn’t just end there. Setting up advanced programs is easy to achieve. You can customise the messaging, emails, targeting settings, rewards, type of programs, and so much more.

Plans and Pricing

Currently, Gather has no free subscription plans or trial periods. However, you may request a free demo of any of their leads-based referral paid plans which starts at $350 p/m. 

Pricing for access to the platform varies depending on the size and growth stage of the business. It’s more applicable for mid-market and enterprise plans who want to build a robust referral program that actually delivers results.

From my experience, I use Gather with various clients and brands. Well worth the investment, where you get a dedicated solutions success manager ensuring you get the most out it.

Heads up - make sure to check out the Acai Outdoor case study, it’s pretty impressive.

2. GrowSurf

GrowSurf allows you to effortlessly develop a customer referral program and measure how many leads each referral generates. You may also provide referral incentives such as gift cards or unique discounts. It offers campaign features that include refer-a-friend, waitlists and gamified leaderboards. This simple platform is perfect for SaaS marketers and IT firms.

Cool Awesome Features

  • It automates the referral process from end to end, ensuring that all steps are taken automatically and that no referral information is missed. GrowSurf allows you to easily track referrals and measure the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns, making it an essential tool for tech companies looking to increase their referral base.
  • GrowSurf also offers plenty of customisation for a unique out-of-the-box campaign solution. With this platform, businesses can come up with the best referral programs designed to hit their marketing goals. This allows businesses to maximise the potential of their campaigns while ensuring that each campaign is unique.
  • GrowSurf offers a variety of referral portal templates to choose from that are aligned with your company name and brand. 
  • This referral marketing tool keeps you updated whenever there is a potential referral in real-time. This can help you to optimise your campaign and make sure that everyone who participates into getting the most out of it.

Plans and Pricing

GrowSurf offers two solutions for companies that seek to implement a referral marketing program. The first is a more comprehensive, done-for-you turnkey solution which is available upon request. While the other one is their more structured, monthly paid plans. The latter offers three paid plans which include the Start-Up Plan that goes for $200/month, their Business Plan for $400/month, and the Elite Plan for $600/month.

3. Viral Loops

Ideal for newsletter creators, fintech, startups, and eCommerce companies, Viral Loops is a robust viral marketing platform that enables you to run referral programs. Viral Loops does this through e-commerce referral campaigns, refer-a-friend programs, leaderboard incentives, and pre-launch referrals, among other methods. It is one of the more expensive products on the market, but its powerful marketing capabilities make it worthwhile.

Cool Awesome Features

  • Viral Loops offers a Campaign Wizard that helps you get started with your campaign. Follow the wizard's steps, and your campaign will be ready to go.
  • Different businesses require different types of templates to be successful. Whether you're a store owner and you need a bit of an online presence, or a tech startup planning to offer an innovative service, there’s a template that's right for your business. Viral Loop's newsletter and milestones referral templates, startup launches, giveaways, refer-a-friend, messenger bots, leaderboards, and more are all customisable to fit your specific referral marketing needs.
  • Even without your website, you can launch your referral program using Viral Loops' free Landing Page Builder. This lets you create custom pages without any programming required.
  • It offers several powerful integrations like exporting and importing your contacts automatically. These integrations with popular tools like Slack, Mixpanel, Mailchimp, Google Analytics, and Facebook make it easy to keep up with your customer base.

Plans and Pricing

Viral Loops offer three paid plans, with a 14-day free trial for each: the Start-Up Plan (34/month), Growing Plan ($69/month), and Power Plan ($208/month). They also offer customised solutions at an Enterprise level that features unlimited participants with a dedicated account manager.  

4. Vyper

Vyper is one of the best referral marketing tools available that makes it easy to create engaging campaigns and reward customers for referring friends. Sweepstakes and leaderboard competitions have long been popular methods of increasing brand loyalty and attracting new fans. And you can quickly develop and manage these sorts of campaigns with this platform, including a selection of randomised rewards for winners and free discounts or coupons for loyal consumers. Vyper's referral marketing platform makes it simple to target new clients while also rewarding existing ones.

Cool Awesome Features

  • You can use Vyper to build one-off campaigns that boost consumer engagement and revenue. These campaigns create fresh referrals and profits through viral sharing and social media behaviours. You can also use this app to enhance your existing referral program, by identifying and rewarding customers for referring friends.
  • You can conduct an evergreen loyalty, referral, or incentive programs. As an incentive for referring clients, you can award points for purchases, referrals, and social media activity. You can also offer discounts, free products, or other rewards to customers who refer others.
  • Vyper helps you make the most of your budget by increasing conversion rates, generating referral traffic, and gaining social followers through engaging contests and reward programs.
  • The platform allows users to create beautiful campaigns in three different display modes: a Thank You Dashboard, a Landing Page, Embedded Forms, and an intercom-style Widget.

Plans and Pricing

Vyper is free to use, and you’ll only be charged when you opt to start your referral campaign. After which, you may select from any of their paid plans: their Enterprise Plan for $149/month, or their Agency Plan for $299/month. The nice thing about these paid plans is that you also have a 15-day money-back guarantee if you are not satisfied.  

5. Talkable

Talkable, dubbed "the creators of business digital ecosystem referral marketing," guarantees to deliver sustained, incremental revenue growth for any company or service. Talkable uses customer data to identify and attract new customers, as well as refer others who may be interested in using the service. This allows Talkable to provide highly customizable, robust referral solutions that can drive more engagement and lead to the business.

Cool Awesome Features

  • Primarily for eCommerce businesses, Talkable promises to deliver a fully automated referral program that can be launched completely and successfully within 1 to 2 months. 
  • Brands can quickly identify their best-performing campaign configurations by using Talkable's statistical significance and powerful A/B test hypothesis algorithms.
  • With this software, you can clearly define your campaign objectives in measurable terms that can serve as your gauge in determining if you’re still on track. Their customer service is also commendable, especially in terms of providing assistance on which key reports you can utilise. 
  • Talkable enables brands in determining which critical marketing goals to focus on, and what primary success criteria they should be aiming for. Its customer success team also assists in creating insightful reports that are in line with your business objectives.
  • Using sophisticated segmentation, you may target distinct customer segments. You can also focus on specific variables like geo-location, product SKU, and behavioural data with laser-like precision. 
  • Integrations are where Talkable shines as well. You can easily integrate this referral marketing software solution with the rest of your marketing and eCommerce tech stack which includes Salesforce and BigCommerce among others. 

Plans and Pricing

Pricing is based on your business's annual revenue and is not available publicly on its website. However, they offer three structured, monthly priced plans that include the Standard Plan, the Plus Plan, and Premium Plan. Each plan includes varying operational check-ins and managed campaigns.  

6. Referral Factory

Referral Factory provides referral program management software that can help you easily launch a lucrative referral program. This software is easy to use and doesn't require any sophisticated steps or coding, making it perfect for beginner or novice marketers. Features such as an easy-to-use system, campaign tracking, and a powerful referral rewards program make this one of the top referral marketing solutions around.

Cool Awesome Features

  • This referral tracking software offers plenty of templates to quickly launch your campaign off the ground. You can search by business type or industry to find the right template to align with your campaign objectives and brand.
  • Easily determine the benefits for your customers using Referral Factory. These can range from cash incentives to perks such as free coffee. You can monitor all the rewards and incentives that you offer by accessing your data in real-time.
  • The platform offers customisable campaign designs that don't require any coding. You can modify the visual appeal of your campaign using the platform's intuitive WYSIWYG editor.
  • Let your customers easily refer friends whenever, and whatever social media apps they’re using.
  • From its dashboard, it lets you keep track of your campaign outcomes, and the amount of referrals conducted.

Plans and Pricing

The software offers a trial period for 15 days for each of their structured paid plans. After the trial period, you can opt for their Starter Plan for 95/month, Basic Plan for $200/month, or Pro Plan for $300/month. You can also book a demo for their Enterprise Plan for a more customised referral solution. 

7. ReferralCandy

ReferralCandy provides several tools to assist you in managing your referral program. You may, for example, generate custom referral codes and automatically track outcomes. It also connects with popular eCommerce systems such as Shopify and WooCommerce, letting you simply follow your referrals and their activities in the backend of your shop. Finally, ReferralCandy makes it simple to spot fake referrals and instantly delete them from your program.

Cool Awesome Features

  • Working around Referral Candy is pretty straightforward: connect your eCommerce store; choose your rewards; integrate your tech stack; and watch how this referral marketing software boosts customer engagement and referrals via pop-ups, sign-up forms, and referral widgets.  
  • Upon purchase, customers can automatically receive tailor-made messages to encourage them to be part of your program. You can set it up in such a way that customers can immediately receive promotional rewards that engage them to become brand ambassadors. 
  • You can customise your rewards easily. From product discounts to limited-edition special gifts, you can choose what your successful referring customers will receive. 
  • Only new referral sales generate commissions. Referral Candy's pricing is not determined by the number of consumers registered or the income generated by your business.
  • Referral Candy is flexible enough to let you define your key performance indicators, so top-referring customers and brand ambassadors know exactly how and when they will be rewarded. 

Plans and Pricing

It is free to try for 30 days, then you have the option to sign up for their Premium Plan for $49/monthly, or their Enterprise Plan for $3,999 paid on annual basis. 

8. Yotpo

Created primarily for eCommerce, Yotpo is another popular referral program software solution that allows you to create customised rewards for referring customers and brand advocates. By allowing you to create custom offers, incentives, and messages, Yotpo helps you drive more traffic to your website and increase conversions by enticing your customers to refer their friends and family members. 

Cool Awesome Features

  • Yotpo integrates with every step of your customer's experience. It ensures that your referral program is incorporated into every step of the customer’s journey, from post-purchase, to customer accounts, and email notifications.
  • The ROI dashboard is easy-to-use and lets you see how much money your referrals are bringing in for both you and the people they've referred. This data can help you determine whether your referrals are generating enough revenue for both of you and if there are any areas where you could be increasing referrals' impact.
  • With Yotpo, you can keep track of individual customer behaviour and actions to help optimise future campaigns that are relevant to your customers. This detailed dashboard gives you a step ahead in managing customer relationships by providing context for past interactions. For example, if a customer has recently made a purchase or engaged in certain behaviours, it's easy to recommend similar products or services that may be of interest.
  • Through its comprehensive segmentation capabilities, granular performance metrics, and customer-level insights, Yotpo can help you identify which referrals are driving the most value for your business. 
  • You can use this platform to integrate with all of your marketing tools, including reviews, email, social media, and support. This way, you can reach a more engaged customer base and create stronger marketing messages.

Plans and Pricing

Yotpo comes with a free Bronze Plan that lets you incentivise up to 100 monthly orders, customise rewards, and build a loyalty page. To access more advanced features, you can either opt for their quick start plans which include the Silver ($29/month), and Gold ($249/month) plans; or their more flexible Platinum and Enterprise plans designed for larger businesses and enterprises.  

9. Genius Referrals

Genius Referrals is a referral program software (SaaS) designed to help you grow your business faster and easier via referral marketing. With Genius Referrals, you can easily manage your referral program, track referrals and campaigns, and gain insights into which referrals are driving the most value for your business. Genius Referrals follow three broad steps in driving sales - provide customers with a better user experience that encourages them to promote your brand; track the conversion metrics as they become your brand's ambassadors, and gain more referred customers with a higher retention rate.  

Cool Awesome Features

  • With Genius Referrals, you can drive customer loyalty by encouraging customers to become brand ambassadors by providing rewards that vary depending on the referral's actions. This encourages customers to share their experiences with others, which in turn helps promote your company and earns you more customers.
  • To get the most out of their participation in your referral program, you need to provide your customers with the tools they need to be successful. The Advocates Dashboard provides just that: an easy-to-use platform for tracking referrals, analysing data, and focusing on what works. This tool makes it easy for your advocates to stay on top of their program and make sure it's working as well as it can.
  • The app provides you with real-time notifications so you can keep track of any new referrals or bonuses that you offer. This way, your referrals know exactly what they need to do to earn rewards.
  • Genius Referrals is powerful referral software that allows you to easily share your rewards and other campaign announcements with a click of a button. You can do this via email with a CTA link, or share via Facebook, Twitter, and other social media channels. 
  • You can also set automated referral payouts in Genius Referrals to save you time and money. If you have a referral program that offers rewards for referring new members, you can set up an automatic payout via Paypal or in the form of product vouchers, once the referred member joins your program or makes a purchase.

Plans and Pricing

Genius Referrals offers a 30-day trial for all their paid plans. You can choose from their Starter Plan at $69/month, Silver Plan at $169/month, Gold Plan for $329/month, or their Platinum Plan for $649/month. 

10. Influitive

Like other referral marketing software, Influitive delivers the promise of turning your existing customers into loyal brand advocates. It offers users a variety of tools to help them drive real advocacy and social media buzz for their brands, products, or services. One of the most powerful features of Influitive is its community engagement and advocacy tool. This allows users to turn their customers into loyal brand advocates by engaging them in conversations and promoting their content on social media.  

Cool Awesome Features

  • With social shares, comments, and likes, you can amp up your content with Influitive. You can objectively measure relevant interaction among customers and identify potential influencers that can help boost your marketing campaign. 
  • You can quickly ask for customer reviews with the app's Write A Review widget. This is a fantastic approach to acquiring unbiased feedback from people who have used and can attest to the quality of your product or service.
  • You can also connect Influitive with Salesforce for a streamlined process and ROI tracking across both platforms.
  • The forums on Influitive are an excellent opportunity to network with other influencers and gain from their knowledge. You may gain insights into how you might promote your company and uncover new ideas or methods to assist your business expansion by motivating customers to join in discussion forums.
  • The gamified Q&A platform from Influitive makes getting expert input on your queries entertaining and quick. You may collect the most beneficial responses and reward consumers with points, badges, or incentives.

Plans and Pricing

Influitive's pricing is somewhat on the higher tier as compared to other referral platforms. They include a Customer Advocacy price plan tagged for $1,499/month inclusive of reference automation, referrals, reviews, testimonials, social shares, pre-built campaign templates, and more. They also offer a levelled-up Digital Community Plan which includes everything in their previous plan plus the ability to have moderated discussion boards, a knowledge base, and a Q&A for advocates. 

11. SaaSquatch

SaaSquatch is designed to help you build referral systems for your SaaS businesses. It offers a user-friendly referral program that doesn't require your users to leave your app or sign up for a new account. With SaaSquatch, you can easily create and manage referral programs for your users, track referrals, and reward participants for their contributions. Plus, the app's easy-to-use interface makes it easy to get started.

Cool Awesome Features

  • The drag-and-drop builder or HTML/CSS customisation can help you create unique end-user experiences, while its API makes it easy for you to build your own referral program.
  • SaaSquatch allows users to create unique referral codes and links to share with their network. Its rewards system allows users to earn points for each new referral they generate.
  • You can configure points of conversion, giving you more flexibility to offer the perfect referral program that customers want. The app makes it easy to find and track your referral sources, as well as create custom microsites or landing pages for your referrals. 
  • SaaSquatch offers an automated reward fulfilment system that lets you automatically send rewards to your referrals after they sign up. This makes it easy to keep your referral program running smoothly and to ensure that everyone who signs up receives the rewards they deserve.
  • With SaaSquatch, you can set up referrals based on customer characteristics (such as age, location, or department), goals (such as increased revenue or customer retention), and rewards (such as discounts or free products). You can also create multiple marketing campaigns with multiple objectives (increased revenue versus customer retention versus new customer referrals) and track both individual and team performance metrics throughout the campaign cycle.
  • SaaSquatch leaderboards can help you add gamification elements to your referral program, giving your participants a sense of accomplishment and encouraging them to continue sharing the link with their friends.

Plans and Pricing

SaaSquatch does not offer a free plan and seems to be on the rather pricey side. But you have the option of booking for a free product demo of their Referral Plan that starts at $1,750/month. They also offer an enterprise plan which they refer to as the Lifecycle Plan, with pricing available upon request. 

12. Friendbuy

If you want to opt for one of the more cost-effective and scalable referral tools, then Friendbuy might be the best solution for you. Trusted by the world’s fastest-growing eCommerce brands, this referral platform is a great way to get more out of every customer. The Friendbuy Referral Program allows you to earn rewards for referring your friends and family to shop at select partner stores. 

Cool Awesome Features

  • The referral templates are a great way to allow your customers to refer friends, with customisable widgets that stay on point with your brand. This allows you to promote your referral program in a way that is consistent with your brand and looks professional, whether it’s via email or SMS, or any other means.
  • The referral dashboard from Friendbuy is a great way to see how your customers are doing and to keep track of their referrals. This helps you to increase program engagement and reduce customer service inquiries.
  • The platform overall has good security practices in place. You can be sure that referred friends are new customers, while returns and cancellations are accurately spotted. In addition, self-referrals can be prevented with the help of its fraud prevention features.
  • Friendbuy can save you time and energy by eliminating the need for manual reward intervention. Additionally, it can help you track your referral activity more accurately and ensure that all rewards are fulfilled promptly. 
  • Friendbuy integrates with more than 30 different platforms to make referrals a seamless part of your customer experience, making it easy for you to track and manage your campaigns.

Plans and Pricing

Friendbuy offers a free trial period for two of its structured paid plans. You can opt for their Starter Plan with begins at $249/month for companies that earn around $50,000 per month. Or their Deluxe Plan for $749/month designed for companies with earnings of $100,000 every month. For a more flexible solution, you can contact their sales and inquire about their Enterprise Plan.

13. ReferralMagic

With more than 1,500 companies worldwide trusting ReferralMagic for their referral marketing campaign, this next entry in our list is definitely one you should consider as well. Designed with developers in mind, it is an ideal referral marketing software choice for start-ups and even those that are established in their niche. It is also a full white-label solution, meaning that you can run your referral marketing campaigns in-house without any extra costs.

Cool Awesome Features

  • It allows you to create campaigns that run simultaneously, each with its own funnel, rewards system, and referring links. 
  • ReferralMagic's comprehensive referral tracking platform offers one of the most flexible and customisable tracking systems devised in a referral marketing platform. You can expect an easy installation via its pre-made widgets. 
  • ReferralMagic's features such as Referral Code Generation, Referral Identification, Pending Reward Management, and Referral Statistics ensure that you have access to critical data regarding your referrals. 
  • ReferralMagic has three campaign modes to help you promote and grow your business such as Selfie, Conversion Machine and Signup Boost. Each modality has its own referral funnels depending on your campaign objectives and metrics. 

Plans and Pricing

ReferralMagic offers a 7-day, no-risk free trial period. You can choose between their Month and Annual Plans, which are priced at $245 per month and $2,205 per year respectively. If you wish to run it locally on your server, then you can purchase their software for a one-time licensing fee of $9,700. A bit steep, but it will guarantee that your referral program operates without any issues.

14. InviteReferrals

If you want referral software that optimises every aspect of your campaign automatically, then you may want to take a look at InviteReferrals. It offers a 360-degree perspective of your referral campaign, offering a complete referral strategy package. It helps track referral actions, such as shares, clicks, and successful conversions. This data can then be used to provide rewards for both the referrer and friend on successful conversion.

Cool Awesome Features

  • InviteReferrals works well on any device or OS. It comes with widgets that intuitively adapt across multiple platforms. This makes it easy for businesses to run their own referral program without having to worry about compatibility issues - whether on mobile or desktop.
  • InviteReferrals provides you access to insightful customer referral program analytics, including invites filtered via referral channels. This data includes shares, clicks, and conversion rates for referrals who participated in the program. Additionally, InviteReferrals can also identify the most influential referrers in your campaign and track data even down to individual customer levels. Daily or weekly notifications are also available. 
  • You can also customise your campaign with InviteReferral's WYSIWYG editor. Give your refer-a-friend widget or email invites a personal touch without typing any line of code.   
  • InviteReferrals offers multiple ways for your customers to jump into your campaign: via email, social media, messaging apps, and more. The best part is that you can personalizse your message in a multitude of ways that matches your brand’s personality. 
  • Referrers who refer to multiple events like registrations, sales, and mobile application installs will be rewarded with points. Friends of the referrer will also earn points.

Plans and Pricing

You can try any of InviteReferrals' paid plans for 14 days. Then you can opt for either its Basic Plan ($99/month) or Standard Plan ($249/month). You can also inquire about their personalised Enterprise Plan by sending them an email via sales and marketing.  

15. ReferralHero

One of the most important aspects of any referral marketing campaign is ensuring that the individuals who are referred are happy with the experience. Both the referring customer and the referred individual should feel like they're part of something special and have a sense of ownership over their involvement in your brand's campaign. ReferralHero makes it easy for customers to be brand ambassadors by tracking all activity associated with referrals, including how many people have opted-in to receive updates about the campaign, made purchases using incentives provided, and rated products according to satisfaction levels.

Cool Awesome Features

  • ReferralHero comes with features that add value to what it has to offer. Site integration allows for easy connection to other apps, floating buttons make it easy for participants to find the referral link, broadcast emails send automated emails to participants after they have referred someone, and extra rewards for participants to name a few. These features make ReferralHero an attractive choice for businesses looking for a robust platform with added value.
  • ReferralHero allows users to easily share links with their friends and family. Viral sharing is well-optimised for good results, as it amplifies the reach of the referral link and helps spread the word about a product or service.
  • It is also an excellent tool that seamlessly integrates well with social media platforms. This makes it easy for users to share referrals with their friends and family whether they're on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or any messaging app of their choice.
  • The automation emails are a great way to keep your customers informed and engaged. By sending behaviour-triggered automated emails, you can be sure that they know about new products, deals, and updates right when they need them the SDKsmost. 
  • ReferralHero automatically assigns users to different groups based on their activity and engagement levels, so you can personalise incentives and messages to each group.

Plans and Pricing

You can try ReferralHero for 14 days. At the end of the trial period, you can opt for their Basic ($49/month), Pro ($99/month), or Premium ($199/month) paid plans.   

16. Ambassador

Ambassador is perfect for managing referral, affiliate, influencer, and partner marketing programs for SaaS industries. With Ambassador, you can manage all your programs in one place and track your data in real-time. The platform's easy-to-use interface allows you to create new campaigns in half the time. Its easy-to-use visual editor ensures that your customer's experience is seamless wherever they are on their journey, no matter how complex it gets.

Cool Awesome Features

  • With Ambassador, you can quickly determine who your brand advocates are and segment them by type. This includes customers (and potential future ones) as well any affiliate/influencer partners that may be working with or representing your business.
  • Not only does this platform help generate organic word-of-mouth advertising but also tracks how many people were referred by each user which gives marketers valuable insight into what works best when marketing through social media channels or personal contact info. 
  • Ambassador is the only rewards platform that automatically tracks all of your purchases and sends you rewards based on what you have earned. This makes it easy to get the most out of your shopping experiences, whether you're looking for discounts and account credits, or gift cards and cash.
  • It offers powerful analytics that make it easy to see which KPIs are important, and how your programs are performing over time. 

Plans and Pricing

Ambassador does not publish its pricing publicly. Instead, it encourages potential clients to book a demo of any of their plans: Pro (up to 100,000 ‘ambassadors’ and up to 5 campaigns, Pro Plus, or Enterprise. 

17. Revetize

The power of Revetize lies in its ability to give you all the tools necessary for building a referral program. From lead generation and reputation management, customer interactions can be streamlined with this cloud-based solution. It claims to offer a variety of features and integrations that give you the ability to track your referral program's progress and measure its effectiveness. 

Cool Awesome Features

From the get-go, Revetize does not offer much information about its referral program and services. Instead, they seem to create an "exclusive" image by claiming that they only work with about 12% of the companies that they talk with. Their strategy is to completely get in touch with potential customers from the very moment that they land on their website. However, here are some of the things that we can know about Revetize based on their website. 

  • Revetize's Loyalty Programs include rewards for reaching daily or monthly goals, and an automated system that notifies you when a referred customer makes a purchase. It also offers the ability to add custom messages to email notifications, which is great for building relationships with customers.
  • Besides the referral program that is mentioned on their website, the app also offers drip campaigns. A drip campaign is a strategy where a company intermittently releases new content or products to increase web traffic and conversions. So, if you're looking for referral software that can help you grow your business by providing new content regularly, then Revetize may be the perfect option for you.
  • Referral tools as we know are very helpful for businesses and great for driving more loyal customers. One of the more effective styles of campaigns are review campaigns. It's a marketing strategy where an online business rewards customers for writing positive reviews about their products or services. By offering incentives for customers to write reviews, businesses can cultivate a positive online reputation and attract new customers.
  • The platform also offers strategic coaching that can help businesses of all sizes to increase their referral efforts. Their team of experts can guide how to design and launch a successful referral program, as well as how to track and measure the success of your campaign. With the help of Revetize, you can increase your web traffic and conversions by optimising your referral marketing strategy

Plans and Pricing

Revetize seems to follow a personalised model in pricing their services. In what they refer to as a price audit, Revetize does a way with pre-structured pricing and encourages interested customers to give them a call. They assure everyone that it only takes around ten minutes for them to determine what you exactly need in a referral program. 

18. Referral Rock

Referral Rock's Software 2.0 allows you to manage referrals in a centralised location, and the all-in-one software helps you run your campaigns automatically. Referred customers are automatically added to your email marketing list as well as your social media accounts, making it easy for them to follow your campaign and share it with their friends. This software also makes it easy to track the success of your referral program, so you can see which campaigns are performing best and make necessary adjustments.

Cool Awesome Features

  • Referral Rock is different from your average referral widget. It’s a feature-rich platform that is 100% customisable depending on your marketing objectives.
  • This online referral marketing software allows online stores and local businesses to promote their referral program in a variety of ways, including on social media and other marketing avenues preferred by customers.
  • It is flexible enough to be integrated seamlessly with any of your existing CMS. This allows you to easily manage and track referrals, as well as reward your Referrers for their contributions whatever system or device they are on. 
  • Referral Rock can automate routine tasks, so you can see results faster, while providing integrations with your stack of marketing tools, such as email campaigns and CRM systems. This way, you can track your referral leads and conversions more easily.
  • The platform provides you with intuitive analytics that show you how many new customers you have brought in, as well as a pool of dedicated customer success managers who can help ensure that your referrals are successful. Its user-friendly dashboard allows you to monitor real-time results so you can adjust your program mechanics as needed.

Plans and Pricing

It has a free 14-day, no-risk trial of any of their 3 paid plans. Though their pricing is rather steep, each of their plans offers a dedicated success manager to help you get the most out of your chosen plan. You can opt for their Starter Plan for $200/month, the Growth Plan for $400/month, or the Established Business Plan for $800/month. 

19. Mention Me

Anchored on what it calls referral engineering, Mention Me levels up referral marketing into a scientific, high-performance channel that enhances your referral marketing efforts. This platform can help you create a tailored customer referral program that are aimed at your target audience, your type of business, and marketing objectives. It’s customised to the needs of your business, in contrast to pre-determined and structured features offered by other platforms. 

Cool Awesome Features

  • Mention Me offers what it calls its Acquire program. One of its features includes a dashboard to easily track referrals. It also offers referrers the flexibility to choose from various rewards such as coupons, free products, third-party rewards, and anything else that you wish to throw in. 
  • Mention Me lets you do split-testing experimentation with every element of your referral customer journey, from incentive planning to design, copy, and imagery. You'll learn what resonates with your customer segments so you can optimise your program’s performance.
  • NameShare is another unique feature of the software. It enables users to share personal invites.
  • It also enriches your existing data with insights generated from its Referral Intelligence feature, which is pretty epic.

Plans and Pricing

Similar to Revetize, Mention Me is also a firm believer in a customised approach in referral marketing programs. As such, they don't provide pre-determined price plans and will only quote you depending on your company size, earnings, and desired KPIs. Interested parties are encouraged to get in touch with their sales to know more about how they can benefit from Mention Me's referral marketing software tool.  

20. Buyapowa

Buyapowa may likewise be the only marketing referral software that caters to all types of business enterprises, including those within regulated industries. It ensures timely delivery of its fully-compliant, secure, and flexible referral programs that can be instantly deployed anytime, anywhere. It taps both customer referral programs and employee advocacy to boost revenues, increase sales and nurture brand loyalty.

Cool Awesome Features

  • Buyapowa offers a variety of highly customised referral programs that matches any brand or product. It does this via omni channel promotions, multiple touchpoints on every customer's journey, referral status monitoring, email automation, and more. 
  • It offers flexible integration with any existing website, via app or API. Buyapowa is also optimised for mobile viewing with accessibility support. Plus, there's also the option of having hosted solutions depending on your need.  
  • Programming your referral rewards and incentives is relatively easy with Buyapowa. You can set up and determine loyalty points, how many accounts credits will be given, and offer coupon & voucher codes. Payout cycles can also be pre-determined and automated as well so you don't have to worry about any customer missing out on their rewards. 
  • It offers a complete white-labelled package so your business is always in front and centre. 

Plans and Pricing

Since Buyapowa offers a customised approach to reward programming, it does not offer structured price plans. You are instead asked to click on a CTA button on their website that asks for your full name, company name, and email address. 

21. Prefinery

Prefinery helps you leverage what we refer to as "word-of-mouth" referrals. It’s a no-code platform that offers waiting lists and word-of-mouth referrals to boost your brand visibility. Prefinery is the perfect way for your business or organisation can reward those who refer others by giving them points that they then use when performing goal-based actions like purchasing products from your website, subscribing to a newsletter, downloading content, and more. 

Cool Awesome Features

  • Prefinery gives you the option of rewarding both people the referrer and the referred person when a referral happens. 
  • As a 100%% white-labelled service, referral tracking software allows you to fully customise all aspects of your referral program from its design, brand customisation, and more. 
  • With this platform, you can dive into your data and find exactly what's needed to make an informed decision. With more than 55 data points that you can utilize, it’s a promising referral program provider that offers a wealth of marketing insight to its user. 
  • With Prefinery's gamified leaderboard, referred friends are automatically placed at the bottom of the leaderboard, and receive a special badge. This motivates users to refer to as many friends as possible to stay ahead of the competition and rank higher on the leaderboard.
  • You can automatically block or flag suspicious behaviour while keeping your users safe. You can also avoid being targeted by malware and other online threats on Signup forms as it includes built-in security features that protect all of those involved during registration!

Plans and Pricing

Prefinery offers a forever-free plan that lets you manage up to 200 subscribers, with the ability to send a total of 500 emails. Core referral features are also built-in, but if you wish to have more advanced features, then you can opt for any of their paid plans: the Starter Plan for $69/month; the Growth Plan for $129/month, and their Business Plan for $259/month.

22. ViralSweep

One of the best referral software choices that made it on our list is ViralSweep. This platform offers a variety of features to help you boost your current marketing efforts and leverage your current referral system. For example, you can use Viral Sweep's social media management tools to track the performance of your campaigns and adjust strategies as needed. Additionally, Viral Sweep offers retargeting tools that let you continuously reach your target audience.

Cool Awesome Features

  • ViralSweep's web forms, skill contests, award management, fraud detection, and multi-channel marketing features make it an ideal tool for businesses looking to boost referral traffic. The web form feature allows businesses to easily gather contact information from their referral sources, while the skill contests and award management tools make it easy to reward participants and keep track of progress. Additionally, ViralSweep helps businesses detect fraudulent activity and increase brand awareness through its marketing features. With these powerful tools at their disposal, businesses can increase referral traffic significantly and improve their bottom line in the process.
  • It’s also a user-friendly and easy-to-navigate referral software that helps you track ROI for your referrals. You can see how many new referrals you've generated, how much money they've made, and what channels they came from. Additionally, it provides you with powerful tracking tools so that you can see which of your referral campaigns is working the best.
  • ViralSweep makes it easy for you to share links with your friends and family, as well as post referral codes on your website and other social media platforms. It includes a pretty neat Waitlist feature where customers are encouraged to promote your brand within their social circle so they can move up the line.  

Plans and Pricing

ViralSweep comes with a 7-day, no-risk trial period for any of their four paid plans: Starter ($49/month), Business ($199/month), Premium ($399/month), and Elite ($999/month).

23. UpViral

UpViral offers businesses a way to connect with their customers and promote their products or services by turning them into referrers and brand advocates. This easy-to-use platform makes it simple for businesses to create engaging content, track referrals, and gain insights into how their marketing is impacting customer engagement.

Cool Awesome Features

  • UpViral allows businesses to give incentives to virtually everyone, including customers, employees, and partners. This can help work towards rapid business growth.
  • Participants or referrers can share their links anywhere other people are. This makes it easy for people to refer others to your business, whether they are friends, family, or strangers.
  • You can assign specific points for every kind of referral. This way, you can guide people to share your preferred platforms to maximise your campaign. You can easily track the success of each referral and see how your efforts are benefiting your business.
  • UpViral's social media optimisation ensures that your campaigns look great on Facebook and Twitter feeds.
  • Run fully automated campaigns in UpViral with features such as auto-selection of winners and rewards, automatic sending of prizes and notifications, and even an automated campaign scheduler. 

Plans and Pricing

UpViral offers a paid trial for 14-days of any of its structured plans for just $1. What I like about this setup is that it allows you full access to all of the plan's features in contrast to those that only permit access to their core services. After this, you can then decide to continue with your chosen plan with a paid subscription. You can choose from their Starter Plan for $79/month; their Business Plan for $119/month, or their Premium Plan for $299/month.  

24. FirstPromoter

If you’re a SaaS startup that is looking for budget-friendly referral software that can quickly optimise your campaigns, then FirstPromoter might be the best candidate. FirstPromoter's referral marketing tools allow businesses to easily identify who referred a customer, how many customers they referred, which products or services they referred, and how much money was generated from those referrals. This software also provides powerful payout and reporting tools that help businesses see where their referral marketing efforts are paying off and make necessary changes and adjustments to their campaigns. 

Cool Awesome Features

  • FirstPromoter is a great tool for those who are new to affiliate and referral marketing. It makes launching campaigns relatively easy, with step-by-step instructions. 
  • You can send money to your affiliates directly from your FirstPromoter account with no commission. This is different from Paypal MassPay, which requires you to log in and upload CSV files, and then mark payouts as completed. You can send your rewards via Wise so affiliates can directly receive their benefits in their local banks of choice.   
  • FirstPromoter's reporting tool gives you a clear and in-depth view of the performance of your affiliate program across 17 data points which include among others:  the total number of referrals generated at a specific period in your campaign; referred users who completed a purchase; and referred users who generated leads, and many more. 
  • FirstPromoter offers pre-made drip email that you can activate and use to onboard your new affiliates. Additionally, it keeps track of your promoters' activities and notifications them whenever something noteworthy happens such as when they receive a new reward or commission, when they reach a campaign target, or when they refer customers.
  • FirstPromoter offers a customisable affiliate dashboard that is both gorgeous and functional. It’s a portal where your promoters can view their stats, and rewards and share links. 

Plans and Pricing

All plans under come with a 14-day trial period. You can then opt for their Starter Plan which costs $49/month, their Business Plan for $99/month, or their customisable Enterprise Plan which starts at $149/month.  

25. AppVirality

AppVirality is designed to help businesses boost customer acquisition at a reduced cost of action (CPA). AppVirality automates the referral process by creating and implementing referral campaigns that are suited for mobile apps and SaaS. This allows businesses to focus on their core mission while taking care of the necessary tasks to promote their product or service. Built for both eCommerce and B2B SaaS companies, AppVirality maximises word-of-mouth referral campaigns by automating its entire process across multiple platforms and devices. 

Cool Awesome Features

  • AppVirality provides a simple way for developers to integrate their SDKs into their websites or apps. This integration is easy, without the need for any coding. The SDKs are available both on mobile and desktop platforms.
  • This app makes it easy to set up rules that reward your brand advocates. You can determine what type of rewards to give, when and how these will be given, and how they can be shared across multiple channels. They also makes it easy to see how effective your referral program is by tracking user engagement data such as shares and likes.
  • AppVirality's WYSIWYG dashboard makes it easy to emphasise your brand's look and feel. This allows you to customise end-user experiences quickly and efficiently.  
  • With the ability to track campaigns through their entire lifecycle, including engagement data, conversion rates, and more, AppVirality enables you to make informed decisions about future marketing directions.

Plans and Pricing

They only offer one structured paid plan for their SaaS referrals, with an option to customise the features that you require. You can try their Basic Plan for free for a limited time, and you can then choose to signup for a monthly fee of $249. You can also request a demo of their customisable Growth Plan    

26. RefMonkey

RefMonkey supports a variety of website builders and programming languages, so you can easily create links for your website, blog, or social media accounts. The software platform also provides powerful analytics that helps you understand which campaigns are working best and where you can improve your referral marketing efforts.

Cool Awesome Features

  • RefMonkey's powerful APIs help you build exactly what you need.  It’s flexible enough to help you deploy campaigns across all of your channels simultaneously, without needing to spend time customising each one.
  • Several different CMS platforms are supported by RefMonkey, including Wix, Webflow, Shopify, Zapier, Ecwid, and WordPress. Whatever your content is, this app can help you generate referral links for your eCommerce site website or blog.
  • The platform also features a uniquely branded affiliate dashboard. With its affiliate dashboard, businesses can track referrals and payments, as well as rewards and commissions. RefMonkey also offers a wide variety of other features, such as social media tracking, email marketing tools, and A/B testing.
  • You can set RefMonkey to push email notifications when new affiliates sign up. It keeps you in the loop so you can better understand your referral marketing program and make the most of every referral anytime and anywhere.
  • You can also set up calls and workshop sessions with RefMonkey's support team whenever you hit a learning curve in working around their software, how to get more affiliates and everything you need to know to create and manage successful campaigns.

Plans and Pricing

RefMonkey offers a free-to-use plan where you can get up to 5 referrals, and the ability to send payouts via PayPal. If you need a higher requirement, you can then choose to sign up for their monthly plan for $49/month.

27. GoViral (Growth Tools)

This last referral program software deserves a spot here on our list. GoViral is a free (yes, absolutely free) referral marketing solution that lets you quickly create campaigns that get people to share their content or site to generate authentic web traffic. Setting up your GoViral campaign is relatively quick and easy. You just need to set up your free account by providing your email address to get you on board. You'll then be asked to answer some questions like your company size and how you intend to use GoViral. You can then have access to their campaign templates where you can choose what type of campaign you will be running, which includes an opt-in referral social media campaign. 

Cool Awesome Features

  • GoViral's most obvious cool feature is its free campaign templates. These templates are ready to be used right out of the toolbox so you can immediately launch your campaign. 
  • You can pick from any of GoViral's proven campaign templates. These include homepage referrals, social media opt-in referrals, viral email campaigns, instant audience from your social media network, viral blog posts, and viral Facebook ads.
  • Setting up a campaign is straightforward. The user dashboard features a clear, step-by-step guide on how you can set up your campaign from identifying your target audience to the rewards that you can provide them. 
  • It also offers its version of a landing page which is at the centre of any of its campaigns. You can give away gifts to people whenever they respond to your CTA which in turn gets you more traffic, shares, and audience growth. You also have the option of embedding this landing page on your website or blog if you wish to integrate GoViral on your site as well. 

Plans and Pricing

As previously mentioned, it’s free. It’s a cost-effective alternative if you're a start-up, or you just want to learn the ropes of viral referral marketing at no extra cost.

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⚡ Frequently Asked Questions ⚡

What are the four (4) types of referral programs?

The four main referral systems you should know about for your eCommerce or SaaS business are; WOM (word-of-mouth) and direct referrals, email referrals, social sharing (e.g. sharing links via social media), as well as review referrals. There is another popular type of referral which are incentive-based programs. A good example of this Casper’s famous program which I recommend looking further into as a case study.

How do you automate a referral program?

The primary way to accelerate the process from ideation of a referral program, to then actually getting it live, is using third party integrations (referral software) which focuses on what they preach - referrals. Building a custom system from scratch is tough work (been there) and only makes sense if you want something truly custom and have the development resources to execute. Using a third party can help you automate everything that you normally find within a referral system, such as tracking analytics (e.g. source of website visitors), sms marketing, reward and incentive levels, contact information, email marketing integrations, and lots more. All the platforms mentioned in this post cover the key components of running a successful system that can scale.

What is the best referral software solution for an ecommerce marketing platform?

The best referral app and platforms that integrates with Shopify from my experience is Gather, Viral Loops and Referral Candy. Each of them have robust features and are on the Shopify app store.

What is the best referral program you've seen in eCommerce?

Having been in the eCommerce industry for a while now, I’ve certainly seen some amazing eCommerce referral programs that you should definitely take inspiration from. The brands who have executed referrals well (and those you should check out, try and research more into) are; Casper, Bombas, Saje, Parade, Hydro Flask, and many others.

Which SaaS & Startup companies have the best referral marketing programs?

We all know the classic and famous referral marketing programs from the likes of Dropbox, Airbnb and Paypal, but there are some others you should check out and learn from. Some of my favourites include; iStock, Evernote, Morning Brew, Google For Work, Moo, Fiverr, and many others.
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