Nothing brings in business like a quality referral marketing plan. Other companies and marketers love hearing about tools and services to help make their own efforts more successful.
Let’s take a look at a few SaaS referral marketing examples to learn how they use in-app marketing and a streamlined user experience to get results.
Typeform – In-App Referral Marketing
Typeform is an online platform for building forms, questionnaires, lists, and simple apps using templates and tools.
The Typeform referral marketing plan is simple. For every referred customer upgrading from a Typeform BASIC plan to PRO or PRO+ using discount codes sent from your account, the Typeform team will reduce your PRO or PRO+ bill by 10%.
Typeform has placed a number of restrictions around their referral marketing program. Referrals can only be sent by PRO and PRO+ users ensuring that customers are getting value from their platform before asking for a referral. Typeform has built their referral marketing strategy around using pro customers to refer other potential pro customers.
Typeform’s referral page is hard to beat for a number of reasons. This area of the app breaks down the Typeform refer a friend program into its core components: discounts, rewards, and sharing.
Across the top, the details of the referral plan are laid out in three easy to understand steps. The “Have questions?” link at the top right is a nice touch for customers wanting to know more.
The bar in the middle tracks rewarded discounts. This is a great way to show the ongoing success of the customer’s sent referrals.
The bottom has a customizable message that can be shared by email, facebook, twitter, or by using personalized links. By giving so many options to share Typeform makes it easy for customers to spread the word.
Shoeboxed – Personalizing the Onboarding Experience
Shoeboxed helps small businesses and accountants streamline their expense/receipt tracking effectively turning customer’s paper clutter into organized digital data.
The Shoeboxed referral program is similar to that of Typeform’s in that they offer a ten percent discount for any successful referral. Both the new user and the referring customer get this discount.
Before we get deeper into the referral system, I’d like to call out that Shoeboxed has done a great job of sprinkling links to their referral program throughout their user experience. Most notably is the “Your account could be free” box that appears here and there on the page. It’s short, displays the benefits of referring, and offers a link to get started.
Again, Shoeboxed has a great one-page referral program. Everything that the referrer needs to know is included. The benefits are clearly laid out following a big header “Share Shoeboxed & get 10% off!.”. Social sharing buttons, links, and codes are easily accessible for a quick share. And rewards are tracked in an easy-to-read manner.
Twitter loving customers can share a customizable message directly through their active account. The remaining 19 characters gives a little room to add that personal touch.
The option to share by Facebook gives customers a quick and easy way to spread the word to their followers. Smaller businesses
Having the referral email option, as always, is a great fallback. Larger companies with a more traditional outward presence prefer sharing information about services privately.
Clicking through any of Shoeboxed’s referral links brings the new customer directly to a Shoeboxed referral landing page with a welcome message, a quick run down of the referral bonus, and easy sign up options.
Another thing Shoeboxed has done well is to include directions on how to share a referral with a friend in their Frequently Asked Questions area. Doing so gives more opportunities for interested customers to learn about the program and also makes it easy for potential customers to find this referral bonus using search engines.
Great job Shoeboxed!
Hubstaff offers a selection of tools to manage remote teams. These services range from time tracking and project management to progress tracking through screenshots and releasing final payments.
Unlike some of the other online referral marketing strategies we’ve looked at today, Hubstaff offers two different options in their referral marketing plan. The first, is more of an affiliate program where frequent Hubstaff users can get paid for acting as brand advocates. Unlocking this option requires the Hubstaff user to submit an application to become an affiliate. Bonuses are paid for any new customers who start a Hubstaff account through the referrer and bonuses earned from customers they bring in trickle upwards to you as well.
The second portion of Hubstaff’s referral marketing plan can be found while logged into the service. Notice that little gift box in the top right. Hovering over it prompts the user to earn a 10% discount. Clicking through brings us to the Hubstaff referral program.
Hubstaff referrals benefit everyone involved. Once the invitee has subscribed as a payer, both parties save 10% on their bill for a full year. This system, set up by Referral SaaSquatch, is flexible, brandable, and easy to implement.
Evernote – Refer Friends and Get a Free Plan Upgrade
Evernote’s service provides an online workspace to better create notes, manage research, and keep project-related files together.
Instead of offering a percentage discount, Evernote motivates referrals by giving points that can be redeemed for months of premium services. These points can also be earned by purchasing premium subscriptions. Going premium opens up additional services which gives more syncing options, larger storage, and additional tools.
The Evernote referral program has no limit to the amount of points a customer can earn through it; however, the first three referrals reward more (10 points) than those beyond those initial few (5 points). Giving greater rewards early reinforces the value of the service and gets Evernote used to premium services, meaning a higher likelihood of paying for premium once free subscriptions run out.
Inviting friends, followers, and colleagues to the service is easy. Clicking on the social sharing options opens pre-written posts for Twitter and Facebook. Email can be sent to single or multiple addresses using the shown bar and the clever folks at Evernote have also included an option to import mailing lists.
Selecting the hyperlink symbol to the far right reveals your account’s shareable link which can be shared or embedded wherever you’d like.
The referral email sent by Evernote summarizes the services offered and tempts the invitee to sign up by offering both people one month of Evernote premium.
Evernote also includes a lengthy article on the ins and outs of referring a friend in their self help and support section. Throughout the article they’ve done a fantastic job of linking back to different parts of the program, step by step directions to inviting friends, and explaining what counts as a referral.
All in all, Evernote’s built a simple and sticky online referral marketing program that is sure to speed their success.
Postcron – Streamlined Refer a Friend Promotions
Postcron’s service allows users to automate scheduled posts across Facebook, Pinterest, Linkedin, Twitter and Google+. It’s a great service for social media professionals setting up bulk messages across multiple platforms.
Since a link to the referral program is clearly placed in the site header, Postcron customers have a constant reminder of the option to earn rewards. Another plus: clicking the referral button doesn’t cause the customer to step away from their current task, it brings up a simple pop up that referrals can be sent from. Referring or closing the pop up returns the user back to what they were doing before sending an invite.
The Postcron referral program offers a 10% discount for every referred sign up when the new user’s first bill is paid. Signing up ten referrals grants a 100% discount!
The sent Postcron referral message is quick and to the point (also bonus points for meme usage). It gives a quick outline of what Postcron’s service is about and frames the referral as a gift from a friend. Interested new customers can take advantage of the deal using the “Join your friend on Postcron” button which brings the user directly to a sign up page.
Occasionally a referrer may ask themselves “I may like this service, but would others?” Postcron shows a great way of getting around that by including a short list of high-profile companies who subscribe to their service. They also include short testimonials to further build trust.
Here are a few suggestions to work into your current referral marketing strategies:
Show rewards. Be clear in laying out the benefits of your referral marketing plan. Giving an ultimate goal and displaying progress to it is a great way to keep referrers happy.
Give options to share. A customer interested in your referral program may be more inclined to share it on one platform over another.
Write a FAQ. Include a section about your referral program in your FAQ. It provides a resource for anyone wanting to know more about the benefits of sharing and also improve your referral marketing SEO.
Be transparent. By bringing terms and conditions to light, referrers have a better idea of the limits they’ll be working within. This helps prevent frustrations down the line where a referrer may believe they’ve earned something outside of the program’s agreement.
Image sources –
Evernote, Typeform, Postcron, Shoeboxed, Hubstaff
Read more: 4 SaaS Video Marketing Tips