12 Types of Referral Incentives

referral incentive types

Looking to brainstorm and ‘strategize’ a bit? Well, we’ve got a pretty comprehensive list of referral reward ideas below. If you’ve already thought through and selected your incentive structure, it’s now time to peruse the types of referral incentives you can put to work.

The list of referral incentives below will help you get started, however you may wish to revisit this post from time to time; it behooves you to vary (A/B test) your incentives reward offers periodically to make the most of your program. Each campaign metric — sharing rate, referral rate, referral conversion rate and your ultimate ROI — will be affected by the offers you make to both your sharers and referred visitors (their friends).

Here’s a list of incentives to help get your creative juices flowing. You have many options at your disposal.

12 Types of Referral Incentives

  • Loyalty points
  • Cash back
  • Coupons
  • Store credit
  • Free month (subscriptions)
  • Gift cards
  • Discount (10% off for you and 10% off for friend)
  • Access to special content (White papers, ‘How To’ guides, etc.)
  • Upgrades – access to special features (SAAS and web apps)
  • Donation to charitable cause
  • Special events (in-store/brick and mortar)
  • Premiums or Gifts (physical items like a tote bag or store merchandise)

As stated before, the biggest performance gains often come when you deploy a two-sided incentive structure (a reward for the sharer and a incentive for their friend).

What else is ‘shar-able’ or ‘share-worthy?’

  • Limited time offers
  • Sales
  • Seasonal initiatives such as Valentine’s Day, Mothers/Fathers Day, 4th of July, etc.
  • Temporary offers (free shipping weekend)
  • Blog posts
  • Videos
  • Products (from detail page or order confirmation page)
  • Coupons, promo codes (single and multi-use)
  • Deals
  • Sweeps/giveaways
  • Ebook or whitepaper
  • Contest entry
  • Free trial
  • Notification of a future product launch

There you have it.  A handy list of suggestions.

Tony Mariotti

Tony Mariotti is COO at Friendbuy, the marketing platform that makes it really easy to launch a customer referral program. A/B test and optimize your refer-a-friend campaigns without developer headaches. You can follow him on Twitter.


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