15 Best Referral Marketing Software [2020 Full Review]

Do you want to spread the word about your business to large numbers of people and do it in the most effective way possible?

Well, referral marketing is certainly one of those sweet, hidden gems when it comes to marketing strategies. Referral marketing is fast becoming one of the most effective marketing strategies available today.

I think we’d all get very excited about trying to reach more people and in turning interested bystanders into loyal customers. That’s exactly what referrals do. So, what are we waiting for?

First things first, let’s take a deeper look into what referral marketing entails?

Here we will take you through all you need to know about referral marketing and knowing how to select the ideal software for you to run a perfectly, streamlined referral marketing program.

    What is Referral Marketing?

    Referral marketing is a marketing strategy that utilizes the word of mouth promotion to promote a particular brand’s product or service, using existing customers to bring in new customers.

    The existing customers are usually given an incentive to make them promote the business, where there is a win-win for both parties involved.

    Here the business or brand is brought a new customer and the referrer is rewarded with something from the store. This is also known as the reciprocity principle.

    The word of mouth strategy is not new to the business world at all. A friend tells a friend who tells another friend, and with time, a company has grown in leaps starting with just one referral.

    That process, however, can be incredibly slow, with customers often forgetting to refer your business. On the upside, the digitization of this process has helped solve this problem, making it a much smoother process. Now using referrals is a stress-free and efficient way of expanding and strengthening your client base.

    According to the Word of Mouth Marketing Association, 2.4 billion of the conversations daily are brand-related.

    People like talking about the things they have bought and the merits of the goods or services. Not only do customers talk about brands, but these conversations also affect the choices that potential customers make.
    Nielsen’s recent research shows that people are four times more likely to buy a particular brand when a friend advocates for the brand.

    Another study by Nielsen suggests that around 92% of people report trusting their friends’ and families’ recommendations more than traditional advertisements.

    In a recent statistic from the States- around 82% of Americans consider recommendations from family and friends when making a purchase.

    Like the Old Spice commercials that went viral with 23 million views in 36 hours, referral marketing promotes your business with speed and an ROI that you won’t get with other methods.

    With the right incentive and referral marketing software, you can build your brand name awareness, increase conversions, and make more sales.

    Are you wondering if referral marketing will be suitable for your type of business?

    Then, it might interest you to know that referral marketing works well regardless of the kind of business. Whether you are a small store or a large corporation, referral marketing is one of the cheapest ways you can promote your business.

    You can either ask your customers to advocate for you, train your employees to refer, join hands with a complimentary company, or do it all! The right incentive will also not cost you much.

    So let’s lay out clearly what the main benefits are when implementing a referral marketing program and when using the right software.

    What are the Benefits of Referral Marketing?

    There are a lot of benefits and here are just some of them:

    Higher customer retention rate: customers who join your referral program are more likely to remain with your company or business and become loyal customers.

    Customers trust a referral: people who receive a referral from another customer are more likely to trust the referral and to take action on a referral, leading to a new customer.

    Increasing your client base: this might be a given, but it sure is true! Every existing customer comes with a wide network of contacts and at just a single click of a button, you will be able to reach way more people. This also means you don’t have to sit there doing all the hard online marketing work yourself, allowing you to use your time way more productively.

    Valuing customers leads to more valuable customers– a bit of a tongue twister, but it makes sense if you think about it! Personalized marketing is the way to go for 2020 as every customer is looking for a unique connection and brand experience. By offering a personal marketing approach, chances are more customers will be drawn to your brand, turning them into valuable customers. You don’t want just any customer, you want a customer that will stick around a long time.

    Cost-effective marketing- while the incentives will cost a bit, this is a much more cost-effective marketing approach, compared to using traditional online adds. This in turn leads to a great ROI-value.

    Automation is wonderful– at the beginning, there will be work needed to get the program onto its feet, but once it’s running, you can sit back and enjoy the benefits. Apart from monitoring feedback and a few other aspects from time to time, when using referral software, things will be a lot easier for you to manage.

    Here’s a snapshot of some companies who are successful at referral marketing –

    • DropBox- by offering users with extra storage space at no extra cost, should they refer Dropbox to a friend, they were able to increase signups by a giant 60%.
    • Uber- offers different rewards depending on the type of referrers, such as cash and free rides, turning Uber into a sought-after service across the globe.
    • PayPal- offered existing customers free cash, if they referred them to a friend, allowing them to achieve a 7-10% daily growth.
    • Evernote- uses a successful point system, so that existing users who refer them to a friend, can unlock certain app features and unique capabilities.

    What’s Referral Marketing Software?

    One major factor that can determine your success or failure in referral marketing is the type of referral marketing software you decide to use. The software is the digital tool you would use to help you implement and manage a referral marketing program.

    If the software requires your advocates to take a lot of time to refer your business, despite the incentive, they might decide not to mention you. So it is best to find suitable software that is easy for you to manage and clear and user-friendly for the customer at the same time.

    Our review of some of the best referral marketing software below will help you choose what is suited to you, your business, and your target audience. But first, let’s take you through the decision process of finding the best software.

    A Buyer Guide: How to Evaluate Referral Marketing Software?

    When it comes to selecting the best referral marketing software, your choice will mostly depend on the size of your business as well as your business’s priorities.

    There is also no clear, cookie-cut answer to finding the right software and it may require a few trial periods to finding the perfect one! But here’s a buyer guide to help you through the process-

    1. Determine your industry-specific solutions– different industries will require different software to meet their specific objectives. Before searching for software, make sure you identify what your business needs it for, such as for e-commerce, retail, or as a financial service.
    2. Seamless integration– be sure to check what third-party integrations are incorporated into the software, such as CRM, email marketing, and automation. You must be able to track the referral journey clearly from the sales pipeline to acquisition.
    3. Omnichannel support– evaluate the channels which support the referral marketing software and make sure that they meet your marketing strategy.
    4. Capacity and scalability– it is important that the software can support your company’s campaign loads, so check details such as how many referral programs can be applied simultaneously, the number of transaction limits, customer communication, what the different peer communication options are, and wallets, etc.
    5. Flexibility and customization– how versatile is the software? Does it allow you to add or remove different features without affecting its capabilities? It is best to find a software that you can customize according to each type of referral campaign.
    6. User segmentation– the software should allow you to manually arrange and categorize your users, over and above its automatic segmentation.
    7. Analyzing Campaigns– ensure the software includes different analytical functions, both scheduled and random so that you can manage your marketing campaigns efficiently. This includes measuring program participation, top influencers, total revenue and referral rates, etc.
    8. Customer Support– you will need to find a reliable software vendor, who responds promptly to your queries and who is always available to resolve issues. So make sure they have a strong customer support team, as referral programs are continually improving and updating from season to season.
    9. APIs and Data Usage– check the genuineness of the referral solution. This means that it must have the right API capabilities and legal rights for businesses to run the referral program at its full potential. Here you want to make sure you own the information and data collected, as you don’t want to have any unwanted legal issues in the possible future.

    5 Best Referral Marketing Software for SaaS 

    Post Affiliate Pro 

    Post Affiliate Pro is a comprehensive software that runs the entire affiliate marketing for you. It offers a variety of functions that increase your referral audience and visibility. 

    You can create one or more campaigns at the same time and follow the detailed statistics on the achieved results. Plus, PAP is designed to be easily integrated with other platforms.

    If you are not yet savvy about using a tool like this, PAP has very good customer support that will lead you step by step through the software. 

    The software will pay off very quickly as it is very reasonably priced compared to the number of features it contains. 

    Post Affiliate Pro- Referral Software

    Pros 

    • A comprehensive referral marketing tool
    • Variety of available features 
    • 24/7 customer support 
    • Good value for the price 

    Cons

    • Longer learning curve 
    • Difficult to use for beginners 
    • Requires some technical knowledge 

    Price: starts at $97 per month 

    Capterra Rating: 4.5/5

    Ambassador 

    Ambassador is a multifunctional software that allows you to reach a bigger audience, offer all kinds of rewards and track the performance. 

    You can easily set up several different and fully personalized campaigns to engage your referrals or even influencers to spread the word about your business. If needed, you can also test some of the reward systems and see how successful they are before you decide to start a bigger campaign. 

    In order to get the price for a certain plan, you must first contact the company and schedule a demo. 

    Ambassador- Referral Software

    Pros 

    • A fully automated reward system 
    • All-in-one platform 
    • Responsive customer support 
    • Personalized campaigns 

    Cons 

    • Takes time to set up 
    • Requires scheduling a demo prior to purchase 
    • Lack of some of the customization tools 

    Price: requires scheduling a demo to get the price

    Capterra Rating: 4.5/5

    SaaSquatch

    SaaSquatch is a cloud-based referral marketing system suited to SMBs who are wanting to implement an efficient referral marketing platform. This software is ideal for companies with 10,000+ customers, who are B2B and B2C startups, Unicorns or Fortune 500 companies. SaaSquatch can be a great way of offering rewards to customers across their journey, from acquisition, and referral, to retention. 

    SaaSquatch includes built-in analytical tools and user-friendly data-handling and reporting capabilities, to help you track your referrals. By incorporating security management measures, it also allows you to prevent any unwanted activities from occurring, such as fraud. The software also incorporates customized themeing, as well as mobile designed email notifications.

    SaaSquatch web page

    Pros

    • Manual customer segmentation
    • Efficient customer support
    • APIs are clear from the beginning

    Cons

    • Limited 3rd party integration for small businesses.
    • Could be challenging for first-time users with no prior software knowledge.
    • Limited customization of reports

    Pricing: Request a demo to receive a quotation

    Capterra Rating: 4.5/5

    Partner Stack

    Partnerstack screenshot

    Formerly known as GrowSumo, Partner Stack makes a powerful tool for connecting with partners and strengthening the relationship with affiliates.

    Additionally, it allows you to build referral partner lists and increase your audience. You can customize your campaigns to match the interests of a specific niche. 

    PartnerStack is optimized to provide both you and all of your partners very good experience. They can create accounts in just a few steps and join you in your efforts to expand your audience.

    Compared to other software, PartnerStack is more expensive. However, once you weigh in all of the benefits, it makes a good long term investment. 

    Partner Stack- Referral Software

    Pros

    • Easy setup process 
    • Saves time for your partners and affiliates 
    • Allows to create customized campaigns 
    • Facilitates building strong partnerships 

    Cons 

    • More expensive 
    • UI can be a bit complicated 
    • Fewer email customization options 

    Price: $500 per month

    Capterra Rating: 5/5

    Tapfiliate

    Tapfiliate is a wonderful, cloud-based affiliate tracking software that can be used for setting up a referral or affiliate marketing program for your business. 

    From the get-go, you can implement your unique tracking code onto your website and start attracting affiliates. This software also allows you to share short and attractive links with your group of affiliates, without it looking cumbersome. 

    Tapfiliate supports multiple languages and currencies, enabling you to comfortably run a global marketing campaign. You can also custom design your emails, affiliate pages, and referral links according to your unique brand.

    The software includes over 30 different integrations, including Zapier, Shopify, WooCommerce, Squarespace, Wix, Stripe, and more.  

    Web page Tapfiliate

    Pros

    • Appealing user interface.
    • No transaction fee charged as different pricing models are based on the number of affiliates you have, clicks made and conversions, etc.
    • Able to manage several affiliates at the same time.
    • Can pay affiliates in different currencies.

    Cons

    • Could be challenging to set up for first time users.
    • No inbuilt newsletter feature, so need to use Mailchimp on the side.

    Price: from $69,00 to $149 per month

    Capterra Rating: 4.5/5

    10 Best Referral Marketing Software for E-commerce

    Refersion

    Refersion is a software that enables you to easily track referral sales and engage people in recommending your business. 

    It connects very well with other platforms and even allows you to complete payments directly from the software. 

    If you are focusing on affiliate marketing as well, you can show your partners sales record and keep them motivated to collaborate with you. 

    The tool is very precise and offers detailed reports to help you analyze the progress and plan future campaigns. 

    Refersion- Referral Software

    Pros 

    • Easy to track sales
    • Fast integration 
    • Strong customer support 
    • Suitable for beginners

    Cons

    • Limited affiliate features 
    • Fewer payment methods 
    • More expensive than other alternatives 

    Price: $89 per month

    Capterra Rating: 4.5/5

    Referral Candy

    If you are just getting started with referral marketing software then Referral Candy can be a great option. It is very easy to set up and navigate afterward. 

    The idea behind Referral Candy is to help online stores increase their sales. This is achieved by starting a variety of rewards campaigns that attract new customers. Moreover, integrating Referral Candy to major shopping platforms such as Amazon or shopify is very easy.

    The software contains pre-made email templates that you can easily set up. You will have all of your contacts, rewards, and statistics displayed on the dashboard. 

    Perhaps one of the biggest advantages of Referral Candy is its reasonable price compared to similar software on the market. 

    Referral Candy- Referral Software

    Pros 

    • Great for beginners
    • Easy to navigate 
    • Quick integration with major shopping platforms
    • Inexpensive 

    Cons 

    • Limited features 
    • May not be effective for all businesses 
    • Occasionally takes more time to upload things

    Price: starts at $49 per month

    Capterra Rating: 4.5/5

    LeadDyno

    LeadDyno is a dynamic affiliate marketing software, used to attract loyal affiliates and can also be used as apart of an influencer marketing campaign. This software has several useful functions and features to streamline your unique referral marketing strategy.

    By embedding social media links into applications, or sign up pages, as well as taking advantage of their personalized email followup system, you will be able to reach a wide range of customers way more easily. You can also comfortably manage your social media campaigns with very little effort. LeadDyno boasts a customizable and embedded dashboard, which you can design according to your brand, while also making use of the software’s functionalities.

    LeadDyno front page

    Pros

    • Easy to integrate into e-commerce, payment processors, email marketing apps, and CRM.
    • Transparent commission system.
    • 30-day free trial available.

    Cons

    • Setting up multi-level commission rates might be challenging for new users.
    • Customer support can sometimes take time to reply.

    Price: starts at $49 per month

    Capterra Rating: 3.5/5

    Referral Rock 

    Referral Rock enables you to completely automate the referral marketing process. You can do so by setting up personalized campaigns that engage your customers in social media sharing, dual-side rewards and many more. 

    This software is suitable for any type of business, especially the ones that are just getting started. 

    If you want to track your performance, you will be able to access Google Analytics that contains all of the important statistics. 

    Referral Rock- Referral Software

    Pros 

    • Useful for any business
    • Quickly engages referrals 
    • Friendly user interface 
    • Easy to navigate 

    Cons 

    • Limited customization features 
    • Basic reporting system 
    • Higher price 

    Price: starts at $200 for a basic plan

    Capterra Rating: 4.5/5

    Revetize

    Revetize is a user-friendly referral software designed primarily for small or local businesses to manage online reviews, referrals, promotions, NPS (Net Promoter Score), customer follow-ups, and loyalty campaigns. Revetize is known for being a very effective tool for increasing customer communication and interaction, lead generation, and managing a brand’s reputation.

    This software is very affordable and if you are worried about learning how to use new software, there are reps available who can take you through each step of setting up the program.

    To see what Revetize can do and whether it is suited to your brand, you can book a demo via SMS with one of their operators.

    Revetize web page

    Pros

    • Functional and easy to use.
    • Affordable for small businesses.
    • Great customer support, prompt communication, and quick to fix any glitches.
    • Able to customize your reviews requests.

    Cons

    • Limited templates.
    • Does not offer a free trial.

    Price: Contact them for a demo to receive a quotation

    Capterra Rating: 4.8/5

    Amplifinity

    Amplifinity is a referral partner management software, suitable for midsize to large companies. This software is ideal for those looking for a software that can run multiple marketing campaigns simultaneously and that is user-friendly for multiple users at one time.

    Amplifinity is integrated with Salesforce which automates the process of tracking and managing referrals from acquisition to follow up. The software is known for its accurate data collection and analytics, enabling you to always accurately track how your programs are functioning and where improvements can be made. It also boasts flexible features, allowing you to customize the software according to your unique objectives.

    Amplifinity front page

    Pros

    • Continued support and guidance – each client is set up with a personalized Success Manager to guide them through their process of using the software.
    • Flexible features.
    • Able to customize incentives unique to each deal or client.

    Cons

    • Salesforce integration can be prolonged.
    • Not enough reviews were available to gain a clear understanding of the software’s features.

    Price: Requires scheduling a demo to receive a quote.

    Capterra Rating: 4.8/5

    geniusreferrals

    geniusreferrals is a great referral marketing software for any type of business, whether you are looking for a traditional or online marketing program. They are also a trusted brand, used by a wide range of companies across the globe.

    genuisreferrals offers a broad range of incentive types that you can tailor to your unique customer base and marketing campaigns, such as single and double-sided rewards, and fixed or percentage rewards. It also allows you to design multi-tiered and multi-level campaigns. You can then schedule your payouts to customers, such as through PayPal cash, or offering gift cards, products, account credit or Shopify discount codes.

    Geniusreferrals front page

    Pros

    • 30-day free trial.
    • Affordable.
    • Great user-interface.
    • Personalized affiliate codes.

    Cons

    • Can be difficult for first-time users to implement.
    • Does not integrate with BigCommerce unless you buy your SSL.

    Pricing: starts at $49 per month for a basic plan

    Capterra Rating: 4.5/5

    Viral Loops 

    Inspired by major referral marketing ideas and campaigns such as Amazon or Dropbox, Viral Loops offers a variety of templates to help you spread the word about your business. 

    The design of templates is very modern. Using these, you can start competitions, referral campaigns, or social media shares. 

    There is a variety of ways of integrating your campaigns into any type of platform in a matter of minutes. 

    If you’re looking for a simple, time-saving yet highly effective referral marketing tool, this may be the choice for you. 

    Viral Loops- Referral Software

    Pros 

    • Numerous pre-made templates 
    • Easy to integrate 
    • Fast customer support 
    • Inspired by successful campaigns 

    Cons 

    • A limited number of templates 
    • Limited customization features 
    • Takes time to learn how to use 

    Price: $49 per month 

    Capterra Rating: 4.5/5

    Invite Referrals

    Invite Referrals is a very simple software to use, but it provides a full referral strategy, tracking tools and detailed analytics. 

    You can start different campaigns with it and encourage customers and affiliates to recommend your business. 

    Everything you need is easily accessible from the dashboard which has a very friendly user interface. 

    Moreover, the platform is carefully optimized for social media and allows you to create highly interactive competitions and quests to quickly reach a large audience. 

    Invite Referrals- Referral Software

    Pros 

    • Powerful dashboard 
    • Easy to set up and use 
    • Optimized for social media 
    • Detailed reports

    Cons 

    • Only a web version 
    • Fewer designs 
    • Fewer participants allowed 

    Price: $79 per year for the Basic account, $199 per year for Standard

    Capterra Rating: 5/5

    Rex

    If you’re looking for a way of collecting positive feedback, Rex can serve as a useful tool. It enables fully automatic campaigns which invite customers to rate your business and recommend it to friends. 

    The fact that it takes just one click to leave feedback is probably a reason why people respond very well to it. There are no complicated tasks and multiple steps to take. You can have your recommendations in a matter of seconds. 

    Have in mind that this is very specific software that won’t allow you a whole lot of versatility in campaigns. However, it can bring you great results in terms of rating. 

    Rex- Referral Software

    Pros 

    • Fast and effective for getting feedback 
    • Easy to set up and manage 
    • One-click campaigns 
    • Highly interactive

    Cons 

    • Limited types of campaigns 
    • More expensive than other alternatives 
    • Basic reporting system 

    Price: $240 per year/user

    Capterra Rating: 5/5

    How to build a referral program?

    Our friends at SaaSquatch published a video that explains to you how to build a referral program in 90 seconds and the most important aspects you should pay attention to.

    Conclusion

    Now that you have useful tools to help you grow your business, the only thing left to do is get on to work and start spreading the word about your business.

    References

    https://www.annexcloud.com/blog/39-referral-marketing-statistics-that-will-make-you-want-to-start-a-raf-program-tomorrow/

    https://www.trustradius.com/referral-marketing

    https://learn.g2.com/referral-program

    https://www.nielsen.com/us/en/insights/article/2013/under-the-influence-consumer-trust-in-advertising/

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