9 Referral Marketing Strategies That Convert in 2022

Trying to generate revenue? These 9 actionable referral marketing strategies will help draw traffic and convert sales.

Referral Marketing Strategies

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Referral Marketing: 9 Actionable Strategies in 2022


Word of mouth or referral marketing is extremely effective at growing any kind of business. Of course, it is important to point out that today; referral marketing is not just one person telling another about a product. Rather, there are many online and offline methods for delivering a word-of-mouth experience.


Now you might be wondering, is it worth the effort though? Is it not better to focus on proven channels like social media, SEO, or email marketing for your business?


Well, statistics suggest that, yes, it is worth the effort.

Benefits of Referral Marketing For Businesses

Here are a few referral marketing statistics.

  • The average business spends 5x more money on trying to acquire new clients than they spend on retaining an existing customer.
  • Word of mouth is the primary factor behind 20% to 50% of all purchasing decisions.
  • 83% of consumers, would only choose one source of information about all the companies would pick referrals or word of mouth


Also, leads that come from a referral convert a lot faster and easier than the cold lead, someone who just found you on the internet.

Referral Marketing Examples

I hope you now understand what referral marketing is all about and why it’s crucial for your business. I’ve listed some of the best examples of referral marketing strategies in action.

Paypal Referral Program Case Study

PayPal’s refer-a-friend program literally gave users free money, allowing users to get used to using their product for free.

paypal referral program

PayPal’s referral program is one of the most rewarding referral program examples that helped them achieve 10% daily growth, raising their user base to over 100 million active members.

They gained 400 million users within a few months in 2000 as a direct result of their referral program.

Uber Referral Program Case Study

With its millions of users around the world, Uber deserves a spot in the top referral marketing examples. What makes its success different is its decision is incorporating referral marketing via a mobile app.

They provide affordable and convenient transportation to anyone who has a mobile phone. All they had to do was help people discover their services.


Uber’s referral program is based on the free ride concept. This model is open to drivers as well, which has been picked up very well by users.

Airbnb Referral Program Case Study

Airbnb created a first email opt-in referral marketing campaign, where users could connect with their existing contacts by sending them an invite to use Airbnb services.


They also made a specialized API that read contact internet behavior to determine which of the contacts were most likely to need a service like Airbnb and then recommended sending referrals to those contacts only.

It proved to be incredibly successful. Then they tested the copy, making sure that each part of the referral email was the most successful version.


So, as you can see, referral marketing does work.

Referral Marketing Strategies That Work in 2022

Now it’s clear that referrals should be a huge focus for your brand. So, how can you get more of them? 


Here are the 9 referral marketing strategies to increase word of mouth for your business.


1. Create a Dedicated Sales Page

The first strategy is to create a dedicated page for your referral program on your website.

You want to make sure that it’s highly visible on your website, that there’s a big button, refer a friend for cash, or something of that nature that people don’t have to dig and then go through multiple pages to find it. It needs to be visible on the homepage.

sales page

That page should clearly define the terms and conditions of your referral program. The key is to not make it too complicated, but at least explain to people how it’s going to work, you might want to explain to them when they’re going to get paid and how they’re going to get paid.


I would also include a very simple form that someone could use to refer a friend that would include their:

  • Name
  • Email
  • Phone number


And a box with notes where they could explain something about that client that they’re referring to you. But make sure that that page is a dedicated page strictly for a referral.


And that little tip right there may generate like 10 to 20 referrals in the quarter and that’s great news for you.

2. Have a Referable Plan With Other Non-Competing Businesses

The next strategy is to have a referral plan with other non-competing businesses in your area. For every single business in your area that is targeting the exact same types of customers, you should have a referral program in place with them.


And same here, keep it super simple. For each new customer you send me, I will give you a 10% discount or I’ll give you $50 cash, but just make it super simple. And that strategy by itself for most businesses is a no-brainer. it’s so easy to do.


3. Schedule an Exit Interview

The next strategy is to schedule an exit interview with all your clients. And when you conduct your exit interview, this is when you’re going to ask them for feedback and what worked and what didn’t work.


One of the great questions to ask during an interview that may help you with getting more referrals is, “Based on your experience with us, would you recommend us to any one of your friends?”


And if they say yes, then you can ask them, “Well, who did you have in mind?”


Another way to ask that question is, “Who do you know that would be a good fit for our services?”


That simple strategy could pay off big time for you by simply asking the question at the right time.

4. Make Your Referral Offer Simple

The next strategy may seem obvious but hear me out. I recently stepped out of a retail store where they gave me a coupon receipt, that if I went to a website and registered then enter an 18 digit number I could have a check for $10 being mailed to me within 6 weeks.


That’s not a reward. Your offer should sound something like “Refer a client, get $100 cash!

In order for you to know the proper amount to give for referral, you need to be super clear on your cost of acquisition.


So if you’re not sure about what is the right amount to offer for a referral, I would suggest you read a great article from Investopedia about the cost of acquisition.


It will help you to understand what is your cost of acquisition and that will give you what is the right amount for a referral.

5. Reward Your Referrals

Rewarding people for sending you referrals is key. Don’t just send them an email saying “Thank you for the referral.” 


Shoot a video, take one minute to express your gratitude, and send them flowers, or cookies. Don’t do that at home, do that at work so everybody knows that they’re getting a reward, but best of all, it will tell them, please do it again. I love that.

6. Give a Certification or Award For a Referral

TubeBuddy, a marketing tool that helps people grow their YouTube channel does a great job with that.


Every time someone a milestone, they make available for them a graphic certifying that they’ve reached that milestone and of course, it has their logo on it.

And guess what people do with that certification? They post it on Facebook and Twitter and Instagram because they are so proud of it. 


People are more likely to share some good news or some type of certification on social media and brag about your services.

7. Provide a Great Customer Service


The most important part of marketing is not to ruin your existing business. Every customer you come in contact with needs to be treated as if they are the most important customer for your business.


Although this may seem difficult to do, it is all about delivering a high-quality service for your existing customers.


If you have a bad experience at a restaurant, you tell your family and friends, and they probably stop going there.

Not only do they lose your business, but they also lose your family and friends’ business, too.


If you don’t know what you can do to improve your customer service, go right to the source: your customer. Ask them how you can improve their overall experience.


You do not want to do the bare minimum or accept the bare minimum. Rather, you want to focus on exceeding their expectations so your business can grow when they come back again and again so you can take advantage of anything you have to offer to them.

8. Leverage Social Media

You probably already know social media is a great marketing strategy. If you already amassed a large audience either on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram why not use it?


Use these channels to let your followers know you have a referral program and invite them to join.


Focus on the benefit to your audience. You don’t have to be spammy. If you don’t actively promote your own referral program, who will do it for you?

9. Try To Satisfy The Unhappy Customer

Customer is always right, even when you know that they are wrong. Every business has this problem. Confrontation results from misunderstanding. You don’t want to back down or lose business.


How do you handle an unhappy customer? Simply do what you can to satisfy them. 


Statistics show that when an unhappy customer is satisfied with the business, they become a lifetime customer, simply because they were listened to and the problem was solved.  



In conclusion, referral marketing can be an extremely effective way to grow a business. By providing incentives for customers to refer new customers, businesses can see a significant increase in sales and brand awareness. There are a number of different referral marketing strategies that businesses can use, and the best approach will vary depending on the company and its customers. By using referral marketing, businesses can see a significant return on investment and increased profits.