Home » Uncategorized » 75 Referral Programs You Can Borrow In Every Niche (almost)

Finding the right method to acquire new, valuable customers for your business is hard work.

For this coming year the industry sees marketing leaders turning to personalizing customer journeys, and adopting machine learningto reach new consumers.  However the proven tactic that continues to bring in loyal customers for web-behemoths like Dropbox, Slack, and AirBNB is referral marketing.

Referral programs have helped each of these leading online businesses grow by engaging and leveraging their brand’s biggest assets: their customers. What started as great ideas for growing their business became well-executed programs that catapulted their customer growth.

Like all marketing programs, referral marketing is most effective when managed efficiently and optimized to attract the right customers. Building an attractive referral marketing program is only half the battle; ensuring that your marketing actively encourages the referrals — meaning that your loyal customers recommend your business to their friends and family — is the real challenge. Like other marketing programs, you can build it, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they will come.


Here’s Who Got it Right: Notable Referral Program Examples

These brands have tapped into the perfect blend of understanding their audience, offering rewards that their customers will value, and streamlined user experiences.

Table of contents

  • Mobile First Referral Program Examples
  • Travel Referral Program Examples
  • Health & Beauty Referral Program Examples
  • Retail & eCommerce Referral Program Examples
  • Fashion Referral Program Examples
  • Food & Beverage Referral Program Examples
  • Software Referral Program Examples
  • Finance Referral Program Examples
  • Transportation Referral Program Examples
  • More Examples


Mobile First Referral Program Examples


Robinhood is a mobile app designed to help users buy and trade stocks. Their referral program allows users to get free stock when a referral’s application is approved. Some available stocks include Apple and Ford. Advocates also get stock when their friends add funds to their new account. Right now, the program is only available to some users.

Referral lesson: Make referrals prominent for everyone but also your “elite” advocates  – power users who know your product or brand intimately.


Shyp is a shipping and fulfillment service company.  They provide services to individuals with e-commerce stores and SMB with online and brick-and-mortar stores. When advocates share their referral code using Shyp’s app, they get free shipping on their next shipment. Their friends receive a personalized invite to join Shyp and an offer to ship their first package for free.

Referral lesson: Personalize share messages to show who the invitation came from instead of sending referred friends to a generic landing page. Personalized messages are more meaningful and likely to get  attention.

Travel Referral Program Examples


HotelTonight is an app that helps users find last-minute discounted hotel rates. When advocates use the app to share their referral code with friends and family, they get $25 towards their next booking. Referred friends also receive $25 towards their first booking — provided the booking is at least $135.

Referral lesson: Even though advocates can share their referral code in places like email and social media, they only receive credit when their friends downloadsthe HotelTonight app and make a minimum booking. Use this technique as your goal is to increase engagement with your mobile app.


With Airbnb, users can book accommodations almost anywhere in the world. Since its 2008 launch, Airbnb now totes over 43 million users in the US alone. Their referral program is a huge part of their success. When users invite friends and family to use Airbnb, they can do so by email or through social media when they share a referral code. Advocates get a $20 travel credit when their friends use their $40 travel credit.

Referral lesson: Give advocates more than one way to share their referral code. The easier you make it for them to follow-through, the more likely they are to take part in the program. Figure out where your users spend the most time. If they’re primarily on Facebook and Twitter, allow them to instantly share the program there.


Advocates can earn up to 50,000 bonus points for sharing Marriott with their friends and family. When an advocate refers up to five new customers per year, advocates earn 2,000 points every time a referral books a stay to a max of 50,000 bonus points. Referred friends also get 2,000 per stay to a maximum of 10,000 bonus points.

Referral lesson: Encourage ongoing sharing. Tiers are one technique.


car2go is a car-sharing service that allows users to book and use a car when they need it. Their referral program gives advocates $10 in drive time credits for every new referral that signs up. In turn, friends get free registration — currently $5 — and a $10 drive time credit added to their new account.

Referral lesson: Get creative with rewards for referrals. In addition to savings, consider waiving applicable fees as one more way to encourage customers to share again and again.


Getaround is a car-sharing service that lets car owners rent their car to other users when they’re not using it. Advocates can offer friends and family members a $20 credit. When friends sign up for the service, advocates get a $20 credit and $200 if their friends share their own car.

Referral lesson: Don’t require login before sharing or to participate. If you do, follow Getaround’s example, and make it easy by not requiring a separate password, for example.  But really, refer-a-friend should be a natural part of the customer journey built-in to the consumer experience not separate from it.

This is also a pretty unique reward structure for two-sided businesses marketing both the supply and demand side together.


Backcountry is a retailer that sells outdoor clothing and gear. Their referral program gives advocates and their referrals $10 towards their next purchase.

Referral lesson: Use the share message as an opportunity to restate what you offer and the value customers get when they choose your product or service. Backcountry uses their sharing page and default share message to do just that.


Alaska Airlines offers discounted airfare and vacation packages. When advocates get friends and family to sign up for the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® card, advocates get 5,000 bonus miles added to their credit card account.

Referral lesson: This is another good example of offering a unique incentive to advocates. By partnering with another company, you can offer advocates a bonus on something they already use. The less advocates have to do to tap into rewards, the better.


Health & Beauty Referral Program Examples


Ulta Beauty is amazing with incredible customer experiences online and in its stores. When advocates give friends $15 towards a salon treatment, they also get $15 towards their next salon appointment.

Referral lesson: Instead of sending a link for friends to click on, let advocates customize their message in your referral experience. Even though people are four times more likely to buy a product based on a referral, a personalized note makes the experience more exclusive.


Birchbox is a monthly subscription box designed to provide users with skin and hair care products. They offer a loyalty program where advocates get fifty points when a referral subscribes to the service. As a bonus, advocates can refer friends through email and social media or by text through the Birchbox app.

Referral lesson: Add a gamification element to your referral program. Birchbox shows advocates how many points they’ve earned to date and the dollar value.


Julep is a cosmetics brand that offers skincare products, nail polish and more to customers. When an advocate refers someone who signs up for Julep’s Beauty Box, they get a $15 reward code to use on julep.com. In turn, referrals receive a free gift with their first purchase.

Referral lesson: Put the reward to advocates front and center. And make the whole user experience beautiful and on-brand!


Soylent offers meal replacement products that contain a mix of staple nutrients. Their referral program gives referred friends 50% off of their first twelve bottles of Soylent 2.0. Advocates don’t receive a reward or savings. However, Soylent donates $1 to World Food Program USA.

Referral lesson: There are a few lessons here:

  • Offer savings on specific products.
  • Offer help to the community in exchange for referrals.
  • Make offer redemption time sensitive — Soylent requires referrals activate their new account within fifteen days of the referral in order to receive the savings.


With their referral program, 24 Hour Fitness lets advocates offer friends and family a free pass to a local gym. The pass is good for seven days. In exchange, advocates get a $20 MyStore coupon or one free fifty-minute personal training session.

Referral lesson: Give advocates a chance to choose the type of reward they get. This way they’re bound to get something they’ll enjoy and be encouraged to share your product or service with others.

15. QUIP

Quip is a dental hygiene service that provides customers with electric toothbrushes. As a subscription service, referrals help Quip reach new customers by word of mouth and create a growing customer base. With their referral program, advocates get a $5 refill credit when they refer a friend who signs up. Friends also get $5 off.

Referral lesson: Be mindful of how you position your referrals. Quip refers to them as gifts. Who wouldn’t want to receive a gift?


Retail & eCommerce Referral Program Examples


Amerisleep sells natural memory foam mattresses. To access rewards, advocates can send a personalized share link to their friends and family. In return, advocates get a $75 Prepaid Visa card when their referrals make purchases.

Referral lesson: Give advocates an easy way to check their referral stats. Amerisleep advocates can get an email notification sent to them. You can also set up a dashboard for your advocates to track their progress. This also adds a gamification element.


Tomorrow Sleep designs and sells mattresses, bedding and accessories to that help customers enjoy a good nights sleep. When advocates offer their referrals $100 off of a mattress purchase, they get back a $75 VISA gift card in return.

Referral lesson: Reward advocates with something other than a discount on your product or service. Offer them gift cards — or the option to choose from a range of gift cards — to encourage them to take part in the offer.

18. MOO

Moo is an online company that offers printing products and accessories to customers. Advocates get a $15 Referral Gift Card when they refer friends and family. Advocates can bank their rewards and use them for large purchases. Referrals get 20% off their first order.

Referral lesson: Moo also gives advocates the option to refer more people at one time. They can refer businesses with employees who’ll likely need their service. It’s a great option because it’s an incentive to save more with minimal effort.


Casper has a catchy referral motto: “Friends don’t let friends toss and turn.” They’ve got a very impressive program. Advocates get a $50 Amazon.com gift card when they refer family and friends. Friends get $75 towards a new mattress and an additional product.

Referral lesson: This is another great example of using a gift card as an incentive. Offer gift cards based on how well you know your customers and their preferences.


When advocates give $20 to a referred friend, they get $20 in return. It’s a great introductory offer for new customers considering using their service.

Referral lesson: Keep your offer simple. This way it’s easy for advocates and referrals to understand what they have to do and what they get in return.


Boden is a clothing retailer with a primary focus on online sales. Advocates get a $15 coupon when they refer a friend. Their referrals get 20% off of their first purchase.

Referral lesson: Lifestyle imagery as part of the referral experience encourages advocates to share and then gives friends a glimpse into what they can expect as customers. Good job, Boden!


eBags is an online retailer and specializes in all things related to bags and travel. When advocates give $10 to a friend, they get $10 when their friends purchase.

Referral lesson: Keep the message short and to the point. The clearer the offer is to advocates and referrals, the better it is. It’s easy for them to follow through to take advantage of the offer. eBags referral program gets to the point.


Since its launch, Amazon Prime has grown to include a user base that outnumbers non-Prime members. While they don’t offer this exact program anymore, it’s worth noting because it’s so simple and easy to use. Both advocates and referrals get $5 credits. For advocates this is applied to a future purchase and for new customers, it goes towards their first purchase.

Referral lesson: You don’t have to offer expensive rewards to get advocates to participate. Your referral program is just an extension of your product or service — which speak volumes about your quality.


Fashion Referral Program Examples


Timberland offers advocates 20% when their friends purchase. Friends also get 20% off of their purchase.

Referral lesson: Give advocates  all the information they need to understand the program.


Advocates get $15 when they refer a friend. Referrals also get $15, but both advocates and referrals have to spend at least $75 to qualify for the savings.

Referral lesson: Keep the offer details short and to the point. Here Vera Bradley adds two sentences under the call to action (CTA) button to make sure program that the program details are clear.


When advocates give $20 to friends to spend at Rebecca Minkoff, they also get $20 when a friend buys.

Referral lesson: Have fun with your CTA button. Rebecca Minkoff’s referral offer CTA button says “Get $20.” We love the use of “Friend Zone” too!


Hunter specializes in boots designed for different occasions. Referrals get 10% off their first order and advocates get 10% off their next one.

Referral lesson: Keep the copy short and get to the point


Since 2013, Fabletics has grown in popularity. Their wide range of fitness wear caters to the preferences of their diverse customer base. Their referral program is a chance for advocates to share the benefits of the subscription service with their friends. Advocates get a $10 credit for every friend they refer to Fabletics.

Referral lesson: Have fun with your marketing. Fabletics uses lots of images to get customers excited about the product and ordering. The quizzes are also a fun way to capture customer information.


Based out of Japan, Uniqlo is a clothing designer, manufacturer and retailer. Advocates can share a 5% off coupon that family and friends can use online. Advocates get 7% when their referrals buy something.


Referral lesson: Make the CTA bold so that it’s clear to referrals what they have to do to take part in the referral program.


Hanna Andersson is a retailer that specializes in children’s apparel. Advocates save 20% on a future purchase when they refer friends and family. Referrals also get 20% off of their first purchase.

Referral lesson: Match the rewards advocates and referrals receive. This keeps the program simple but also shows that referrals are valued just as much as customers.


Refer-a-friend has  become a large part of American Giant’s customer acquisition strategy. Known for having the “best hoodies in the world”,  they’ve created a high-quality product that helps to attract more customers. Advocates get $15 off when they refer a friend who buys something. Friends get 15% off of their purchase.

Referral lesson: In the default share message, include your value proposition. For American Giant, it’s reiterating that they strive to make the best quality clothes out there.

32. GILT

Gilt is an online shopping platform that specializes in high-end products for men and women. Their referral program gives advocates and their referrals $25 each to use towards a future purchase. Referrals can either click on a link sent by advocates or scan a QR code to access the savings.

Referral lesson: Get creative with how you allow advocates to invite their friends and family to use your product. The less friction there is to sign up, the more likely new customers are to participate in the program.

Food & Beverage Referral Program Examples


HelloFresh is a growing subscription meal kit delivery service. When advocates share their unique code with friends, they get a $50 credit and their referral will get a $50 discount off their first delivery when they subscribe.

Referral code: Make it easy for advocates to find their referral code. HelloFresh sends it in an email confirmation and keeps it on the referral dashboard.


Peapod is an online grocery store. Referrals get $10 when a referral makes and picks up their order. Referrals get $20 towards their first order.

Referral lesson: Frame the message sent to friends as a testimonial. This way it’s like they’re getting firsthand knowledge about what to expect.


Starbucks no longer offers a refer-a-friend program, but their previous offer was a great example of how to gamify referrals. Friends had a chance to get Gold Status after their first purchase and sixty stars as part of the loyalty program every time a new referral signed up.

Referral lesson: Starbucks includes a deadline date for when advocates can receive the bonus rewards. Consider adding this to your campaign to drive engagement and follow-through from advocates and referrals. Advocates will want to share and referrals will want to accept the offer.


Reserve is an app that lets users make reservations at different restaurants in the US. Their referral program used to be available in the mobile app. Advocates could give referrals a $5 credit to use the app and then get $5 back in return.

Referral lesson: When you let advocates share  in an app, make sure there are as few steps as possible to make it easy for friends to follow-through.


Farm Fresh to You uses customer testimonials in their referral program to get people to refer. Because the majority of people respond to referrals from people they know, testimonials are a genius referral strategy. Advocates get $25 per referral and referrals get $15.

Referral lesson: Use the great things people say about your company to help referrals.


Software Referral Program Examples


Quickbooks has a new and improved referral program. Advocates get a $75 Visa Prepaid Card for each friend who subscribes to the service. Referrals get a 50% discount.

Referral lesson: Put emphasis on the fact that advocates are helping their friends and family improve their user experience by partnering with you. Highlight the benefits you offer to make the offer more attractive.


DocuSign is an electronic document-signing tool. It’s never been easier to do business on a global scale. These types of tools make it easy to connect with the world at large and get things done. Advocates get a $20 Amazon.com gift card for each referral who buys an annual plan. Referrals get 30 days free & 10% off.

Referral lesson: Use bulleted points on your referral page to explain the program. It makes the process easy to understand.


Fleetmatics is a GPS tracking solution for fleet management. When advocates make referrals, they get a $200 Amazon gift card. This is a very enticing offer for advocates.


Referral lesson: Fleetmatics also blogs about referrals. You can use your blog to drive traffic to your site and attract new customers to purchase and become advocates.


When advocates refer friends back to Vonage, they get a $50 gift card that they can use at any retailer. This is like cash and a great incentive to get advocates to take action.

Referral lesson: Add a deadline date to the offer to create a sense of urgency.


Gusto is a payment management tool. When advocates share their referral link via Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or email, they get a referral bonus in the form of a gift card. Referrals get their first month free.

Referral lesson: Use a status bar to show advocates what they need to do in order to claim their reward.


Sling TV is a streaming service that let’s users find and watch shows that match their unique preferences. When advocates refer a friend they both save $15. Advocates and their referrals get a $5 credit on their next three monthly bills. Referred customers receive their credit after their free trial expires and they become monthly subscribers.

Referral lesson: For subscription services that include a free trial period, consider activating the advocate reward after this period is complete to ensure that referrals follow-through.


Airtable is a project management and organizational tool built to help SMB teams stay organized. Their referral program gives advocates $10 credit every time they refer someone new to the platform. With enough credits, advocates can upgrade their workspace to improve efficiency.

Referral lesson: It’s possible that your advocates are also your power users. Give them access to a more advanced area of your website or product.


For their program, Evernote offers advocates ten points for each of the first three friends they refer. Advocates also get five points every time a referral buys the Evernote Premium package. For their part, referrals get one month of Evernote Premium free.

Referral lesson: Make sure you have detailed referral terms available for advocates and referrals to access. Make it clear how the program works.


Dropbox offers arguably one of the more popular referral program available. With its simple and easy-to-use design, customers are more likely to want to share it with friends and family.

Referral lesson: The CTA doesn’t always have to be front and center. When you have a strong product that experiences sustained growth, a better approach is to make the CTA secondary. This way, you don’t distract from highlighting the benefits of using your product.

47. XOOM

Xoom is a service that lets users send money quickly and easily. When advocates recommend Xoom to their family and friends, they both get a $20 Amazon gift card — provided referrals transfer at least $400 using the Xoom app.

Referral lesson: Depending on your product or service, sometimes a discount isn’t what it takes to get advocates to share and encourage referrals to take action. Gift cards to popular stores are just as good as cash when you find the right one to promote.


Trello is a project management and organization tool used by businesses and individuals alike. Advocates get a free month of Trello Gold when they refer a friend and the referral subscribes to the tool. Trello Gold opens the door to more features like more storage space and access for users to customize their boards.

Referral lesson: Who says that advocates should only get one thing in exchange for their referral? Consider giving them premium access to your product or service in return for referrals.


DocSend helps salespeople store, share, and edit documents so that sales teams run more efficiently. Everything they need is stored in one place which takes away the pain of searching for information in multiple places. Their referral offer gives advocates $15 off of the plans DocSend offers.

Referral lesson: Like DocSend, if you offer tiered plans, consider discounting each of them. That way, regardless of the advocates’ needs, there’s an affordable option to motivate them to share.


TaxAct is a tax accounting software platform available for personal and SMB tax filings. Advocates get $20 when they refer a friend.

Referral lesson: If you have a tiered program, make the referral offer available to all advocates regardless of the plan they’re on. This is especially key because users on the free TaxAct plan can actually bring in paying customers based on how the program works.


It seems like Google’s suite of products is always growing. This is a great thing because it gives advocates a chance to share these new products with their family and friends. Their program is actually quite lucrative. Advocates get $15 for every new user they get to sign up.

Referral lesson: Follow Google’s lead and create a program that encourages advocates to share as much as possible. There aren’t any caps on how much advocates can share or receive.


Windscribe is a desktop application and browser extension that is designed to block ads and trackers, and safe guard user information. Advocates earn free data each month when they refer friends and family to the service.

Referral lesson:  Offer reward tiers. Windscribe offers three types of advocate rewards depending on the reward referral activate. For example, advocates can get one month of Pro access when a referral buys a 1-month Pro account.


Vivint offers smart home services like security and automation solutions. Their referral program gives advocates and referrals a $50 credit towards their next bill.

Referral lesson: Personalize your referral codes so that every advocate gets a simple, easy to remember code that they can quickly share with their friends and family.


Finance Referral Program Examples


When advocates refer a friend who then opens an account with Union Bank & Trust, they get $50 and a free upgrade to a designer debit card. Referrals get a $50 credit when they open a checking account and have ten debit card purchases posted to their account. They also get a designer debit card of their choice.

Referral lesson: Create a referral landing page that speaks to both advocates and referrals. The way Union Bank & Trust has set theirs up makes it easy for advocates and referrals to know what they have to do and where to find answers if they have questions.


Credit card companies are known for their customers high lifetime value. Once a customer signs on with a company, chances are they aren’t going anywhere for a long time. This is why referral programs offer a tremendous opportunity for these businesses. If they can attract enough new customers, companies like American Express can enjoy long-term retention. Their program gives advocates 5,000 Starpoints on their Starwood Preferred Guest Business credit card — a value worth around $125 — for every referral.

Referral lesson: Points are a great incentive for advocates. They can share and accumulate points before using them for a big purchase.


Wells Fargo puts a spin on its referral program and offers advocates a tangible product vs. virtual rewards or credits. When an advocate refers a friend, they get a free remote control stagecoach.

Referral lesson: Replace forms with digital sharing but still support in-person referrals. And be careful about schwag as a reward!


Capital One doesn’t offer this referral program anymore, but it’s a great example of creating referrals based on the types of products you offer. Advocates get $25 when referrals open a checking or savings account.

Referral lesson: Make the details on your referral page as simple as possible. Even if you offer multiple products with different types of referral rewards, display the information in a way that doesn’t overwhelm customers.


Advocates can get between 5,000 and 10,000 ($50 and $100) points when they refer friends and family. To find out if they qualify for referral promotions, advocates enter their card information online, and Chase sends program details.

Referral lesson: Make sure that you have a dedicated dashboard so that advocates can easily check the status of their rewards and referrals. It’s a better user experience if they can find the information they need vs. waiting for an email update.


Coinbase is a bitcoin exchange company. Advocates refer friends in exchange for bitcoin. With the recent surge in exchange, this tactic works out to be quite lucrative for customers. Advocates get $10 worth of bitcoin for every friend they refer and buys $100 worth of bitcoin.

Referral lesson: Make your reward based on your product or service. Instead of rewarding cash, give advocates a reward that ties directly to what you offer.


Both referrals and advocates get a $50 credit with this program.

Referral lesson: Use customer testimonials from people who’ve used the referral program to help “sell it” to potential new customers.


Transportation Referral Program Examples


Advocates get $10 when they refer friends and family. Referrals get $30 off their first order.

Referral lesson:  Notice the referrals get a larger reward than advocates. This strategy promotes generosity and shows new customers that Advance Auto Parts has their best interests in mind.


SpotHero is a parking reservation service that connects drivers to available parking spaces. This is an invaluable tool in busy cities where parking is hard to come by. Referrals and advocates both receive $7 credit as part of the referral program.

Referral lesson: You have the option to add a cap on how much advocates can earn through the offer.


Annual members have access to refer friends. Advocates and referral can both receive an extra month for free added to their plans. Citi Bike’s terms explain that advocates can earn a free month reward for up to 24 referrals, which translates into two free years of service. This is a great incentive!

Referral lesson: Spell out the long-term benefits advocates stand to gain from participating in the program. The more they see the long-term benefits, the more likely they’ll be open to participating.

64. UBER

Uber’s referral program has played a huge role in its growth spike. They’ve made it easy for advocates to share by keeping the referral function on the mobile app. When an advocate clicks on “Free Rides,” they’re on their way to saving $10 on their next ride when they refer someone.

Referral lesson: Uber’s app also includes a “How It Works” section, which serves as a quick, one-stop shop for advocates to learn more about the program before sharing it with others.

65. LYFT

When users click on the Free Rides section of Lyft’s mobile app, they’re given the option to give $20 off a Lyft ride to a referral. The advocate also gets a $20 credit.

Referral lesson: Build your mobile app to make it easy for advocates to share and track their rewards. Also, if you have different types of users, make sure that they all have access to the same referral program. Lyft’s program applies to driver and passenger advocates.


More Examples


Shoes for Crews sells shoes to workforces that require slip-resistant footwear. Their referral program lets advocates share Shoes for Crews with family and friends so that their referrals save $10 on their first purchase.

Referral lesson: Put the referral first to show them that their happiness is also important to you.


When advocates refer their friends and family, they all get one month of access.

Referral lesson: Use your referral notification to set up reminders. It’s one thing to send an invite, but it’s important to follow up if there isn’t a response after a week or two.


Pottery Barn lets advocates and referrals get $25 off a purchase when they spend $100 or more.

Referral lesson: If advocates and referrals can save on purchases, make sure it’s clear which products are included, and if sales items qualify or regular priced items only.


Advocates get $10 every time one of their referrals signs up for a Student Advantage card. Referrals get $10 credit towards their first purchase.

Referral lesson: Follow Student Advantage’s lead and include deadlines for when referrals have to redeem the offer and how long advocates have to wait until their reward takes effect.


Advocates earn $10 in Groupon Bucks when a referral signs up with Groupon and buys something. This credit can be used towards the purchase of one of Groupon’s many gifts.

Referral lesson: Credit is a good incentive without having to give away actual cash.


Tesla’s referral program gained notoriety when a single advocate referred 188 people and made $135,000 in rewards. Tesla made a whopping $16 million in sales from this effort. They’ve modified the program since then, but it’s still an attractive offer. When an advocate buys a Model S and Model X, they can give five friends free, unlimited Supercharging. If they buy a Solar, they can give referrals a 5-year extended limited warranty on a new solar energy system installation. In exchange, advocates get to choose from a range of features based on how many people they refer.

Referral lesson: Offer a tiered referral system that rewards advocates based on how many referrals they send your way.


Minted sells cards, design pieces, and personal art created by independent designers. They offer lots of designs and customization, to help ensure that customers get the end product they want. Advocates get a $25 credit when their referrals spend $100 or more on their first purchase. Referrals also get a $25 credit.

Referral lesson: In the message sent to referrals, position it as though they’re helping advocates instead of the other way around. Use this to make referrals feel as though they’re part of something exclusive and have the opportunity to thank their friend uniquely.


T-Mobile’s approach to referrals is truly unique. Instead of offering discounts, credits or gift cards, T-Mobile offers advocates stock — up to 100 shares if they refer their friends and family.

Referral lesson: Your referral program is your chance to be as creative as you want to be. There isn’t a formula for what a program should look like, so ask your customers and listen to their feedback to figure out what kinds of programs will meet their needs and encourage them to share.


Verizon’s referral program gives advocates a $100 Visa rewards card and referrals a $50 card. What makes this program different from others is it drives advocates to social media.

Referral lesson: Promote your referral program where your customers spend the most time. This way, you’re more likely to get their attention and entice them to share.


Vistaprint is a print company that helps small businesses create customized cards, marketing materials, clothing, and more. Referrals have proven to be a great way for them to grow in their market. Advocates get $10 when they refer a friend and their referral makes an order.

Referral lesson: Just like Vistaprint does, play around with the styling of your copy. Here the $10 stands out from the rest of the referral details.