It’s easy to see why more companies are adopting referral programs. Every marketer has seen countless articles about how Uber, Airbnb, and other startups have used referrals to drive their astronomical growth over the years.

But many referral programs fail to grow due to inexperience and lack of promotion. The best referral programs harness the influence of enthusiastic customers and educated employees to create a successful referral program.

If you focus on making a complete culture change the referral program can help you make all aspects of your business customer-centric and genuine. We will show you how to integrate your referral program into your company for more conversions and a better experience for all.

Make your referral program part of your follow-up process

When you thank someone for their business, you can add value and build a new funnel of leads by ensuring that you bring the referral program to every customer. Choose rewards that you can afford but also that your customers will value.

Referral Program Tiers

One option is to consider creating different tiers to incentivize people to continually make referrals. Consider something like a lower amount of money for each successful referral up to three. Then, raise the incentive for subsequent referrals up to 10. Then above 10, they enter the elite referrers program and get a very large incentive for their loyalty. In addition to making these people rabid advocates for your brand, you’ll also reduce your time to work any inbound leads because, at this point, the people making the referrals understand what works for your business and are acting as an affiliate, which saves you time and money while increasing your close rate significantly.

Incentives Based on Stages

Another option is to break up the incentives you pay out to advocates based on the stages that your prospects go through on their way to becoming full-fledged customers. For example, if a referral schedules an appointment, a participant might earn $25, another $25 if they sign a service agreement, and then a final $50 when the referral pays their first invoice. You can also give your advocates options as far as the incentives they can earn to ensure you’re appealing to a wider audience.

Unique Incentives

Not all companies can afford cash rewards. If you do not have the means to justify them, consider other types of incentives unique to your company. You can send marketing promotional items or branded unique experiences like factory tours or early access to new releases.

Think about your customer’s motivations and what would make them share your company’s products and services with others. Focusing on what would motivate your customers to refer their friends is the best way to determine what incentives will work best for your company.

Employee Support Is Essential

One of the best ways to keep customers excited about referrals is to make sure the employees believe in and talk about the referral program all the time. If they love the service and love rewarding customers, then your employees will be a driving force for referrals.

Since they are the face of your company, your customer-facing team members may become one of the strongest sources of referrals. You need to provide them with the tools and education to support your referral program effectively. Lack of staff training is one cause of failure in referral programs.

All key employees for your brand should be coached and held accountable for utilizing and discussing the referral program. Integrate referral program mentions/asks into your call center scripts and don’t forget to actively encourage customers to join your referral program; your workers should be your most vocal advocates!

Your employees should be able to talk about all the main points of your brand when they promote the referral program to customers. Include the referral program into your sales scripts and make sure it benefits your customers (and not that it’s a selfish ask that comes off as asking the customers to do something that just benefits your business).

Everyone in your company, especially your customer-facing team members, should understand the referral program. Take some time to evaluate your employees’ understanding of the program. If there is a noticeable lack of knowledge, prioritize employee training.

Be consistent and frequent with your referral program promotion

Customers have short attention spans, so if you want them to continue their referrals, then you need to remain at the top of their minds. Promote your referral program in your email newsletter, receipts, your email signatures, and other places. Make sure they are eye-catching to gain your customers’ attention.

Social Media

A superb referral program allows customers to review their experience in social media and share their experiences throughout the app with each other. Create a shareable referral link so your customers can share with their networks and help you extend your reach. Coincidentally, WarmUp’s software can help you create these links and track referrals with them.


If a previous customer has no more contact with you, that does not mean they cannot be a potential advocate of your brand. By sending emails about your referral program, you can reach out to past customers and re-engage their interest. Use time-based or triggered email campaigns to reengage their interest and to encourage them to share their unique links with potential referrals.


Many companies hide the referral program on a random webpage on their websites. Instead of hiding it away, highlight your referral program on your homepage and in your primary navigation. It shouldn’t be buried somewhere in the “About” drop down, but rather a primary part of your brand promise to your customers. Consider saying something like “We care so much about our customers, that we want to take care of their friends, family and colleagues. If you know anyone that could use our services, please click here to join our referral program and send them our way!”

The Final Takeaway

When you create your referral program for your company, one key aspect to keep in mind is that people respect “authenticity” and are more likely to try a friend’s suggested product or service. Through training, multiple mentions of your program across your owned media, and consistent training and utilization of your referral program within your staff, you can ensure that your referral program is a success. Everyone wins when your previous customers are advocates for your brand, your employees are encouraging people to make referrals, and you take great care of all those referrals so they become loyal customers.

If you have any questions about how WarmUp can help you start your referral program, click HERE to set an appointment to chat with us! Thanks for reading.