How to Create a Successful SaaS Referral Program

SaaS Referral Program


SaaS companies often offer referral programs as an incentive for customers to promote their products and refer new customers and for good reason. 

According to Heinz Marketing, about 8 in 10 B2B decision makers begin their buying process with a referral. As such, by offering a referral program, you can help your SaaS company grow and make more money. By providing incentives for referrals, you can incent users to share your software with their friends and colleagues. 

In this article, we’ll explain how to use each referral marketing option and give you some tips on how to create a successful SaaS referral program.


What Is a SaaS Referral Program?


A SaaS referral program is a way to get new customers by offering users the chance to get a percentage of the new customer’s subscription fee, as well as a commission on any sales made through the referred user. Referred users can also earn rewards, such as free software or discounts on future purchases. 


What Are the Different Types of Referral Programs


People love getting free items, and referral programs make it easy for them to do just that.There are many different types of referral programs, but here are the most common: 


Cash Referral Programs


Cash referral programs are a great way to increase your business’ referral traffic. Referred users are more likely to become customers, and you’ll make money both when they sign up and when they renew their subscriptions.

There are many different cash referral programs available, so it’s important to choose the right one for your business. Some common features include sending commissions based on user referrals, awarding points for referrals made through social media, or providing bonuses for signing up new users quickly.

To get the most out of your cash customer referral program, it’s important to design a system that tracks referrals accurately and rewards users for their contribution. By using a well-designed referral campaign, you can increase your business’ referral traffic and profits significantly.

It’s important to note though that before you set up a cash referral program, it’s important to determine the goals of your business. Some common goals include motivating existing users to refer new customers, increasing customer acquisition and retention rates, or reducing churn rates. Once you’ve determined your goals, you can design a cash referral marketing program to achieve them. 

Note though that studies have shown that non-cash incentives are 24% more effective at increasing referrals than cash incentives.


Points Referral Programs


There are many reasons to consider using a points referral program when evaluating SaaS offerings. 

  • Referring friends and family is an easy way to get started with SaaS applications.
  • Points programs can provide incentives for users to share their experience with the software.
  • Points can be redeemed for discounts on future purchases or other rewards.
  • Points programs help build customer loyalty and promote word-of-mouth marketing.
  • Points programs are an effective way to attract new users and keep them engaged with the platform.
  • Points systems can help reduce churn rates by encouraging customers to stick around longer.
  • There’s no need to create separate marketing campaigns for referral rewards; simply include a link in customer correspondence and track results automatically.
  • Using a points system helps manage data privacy concerns by keeping personal information confidential.

To create a points referral program for your SaaS startup, first determine how many points will be given to each referral. The number of points awarded varies from platform to platform and varies on the type of referrals you’re looking for. 

For example, some rewards programs may reward customers for referring their friends, while others will only award points for referrals from site members.

You can also create different levels of rewards based on the value of the referral. For example, you may want to reward customers who refer a friend who signs up for a $500 monthly subscription or more.

 You can also base your reward system on the number of new users you receive. For example , if you sign up 1,000 new members and get 100% of them to refer one friend each month, you will earn a total of 200 points.


Gift Cards Referral Programs


Gift cards are a popular gift, but they can also be a great way to refer customers to your SaaS provider. Many SaaS providers offer referral programs that give customers a gift card when they sign up for the service or refer someone else to the provider. For example, you can offer a $25 Amazon gift card to all new subscribers and a $50 gift card for those who refer 10 people.

The key to successfully running a gift referral marketing strategy is making sure that you only use a gift card as your incentive for referring someone and that you don’t give the gift card to the person who signs up.


Rebates Referral Programs


Rebates are a common way for businesses to refer new customers. Rebates can be provided in the form of cash, product, or services. When referring a customer through a rebate program, it’s important to make sure that the process is simple and efficient. To start, you need to provide your new customers with an easy way to get the rebate. Most rebate programs can be accessed online and they will usually provide customers with a form that needs to be filled out in order for them to receive their rebate.

To make sure your rebate program works the best, you need to make sure that your customers follow the correct guidelines. For example, if you are providing a rebate of $50 to a subscriber , you need to make sure that their payment details are correct. If your customers have made a mistake in their payment, you will not be able to give them the rebate. Once you are satisfied with the information, you can send the customer their rebate.


How Can You Create a Successful SaaS Referral Program


A referral program is an essential part of any successful SaaS business. By rewarding your customers for referring their friends, you can encourage them to promote your SaaS product and increase your revenues.

Here are few tips for creating a successful referral program:


1. Start with a clear referral marketing campaign policy


Starting a SaaS business is hard enough, but when you’re trying to build something from the ground up, it can be even more difficult. One of the most important things you can do to help your business succeed is establish and enforce a clear referral policy. For example, you should clearly define the referral program’s terms, including the amount of money that will be paid out to the referred customer, and how often you’ll pay it. Make it clear how much money participants can earn by referring new customers. Set a threshold (e.g., 10 new customers) or limit (e.g., $100 per referral) so that everyone knows what they need to do in order to reap rewards.

You should also establish a clear referral process, so that your customers can refer their friends easily.

If you’re looking for a way to encourage participation in your SaaS community, make it easy for participants to refer friends.

Here are few tips on how to do just that: 

  • Make it easy to sign up and join your community. You can provide a sign-up form or allow members to join automatically when they subscribe to your email list.
  • Offer referral bonuses for forwarding friends into your community. This will incent users to refer their friends and promote growth in your SaaS community.
  • Constantly communicate with participants about new features and updates related to the community. Keep them up-to-date on what’s happening and why it’s important.
  • Reward participants who participate regularly by giving them access to exclusive content or discounts on products within the community.


2. Set up a referral reward system for participants


Creating a referral marketing program can be a great way to increase customer loyalty and grow your SaaS business. But it’s important to set up a rewards system for participants so that they feel incentives for referring friends and colleagues. Here are three tips for setting up a rewarding system: 

  • Choose the right rewards: Rewards should be something that is desirable, fun, or satisfying to participants. There are many different types of rewards available, so choose one that will incentivize your participants to refer their friends and colleagues. Consider offering bonuses or other benefits for referrals who sign up first, referrals who refer multiple people, or referrals who refer the most people overall. 
  • Give away useful incentives, such as free software or discounted services, to encourage people to refer their friends and family members. You can also give out exclusive perks, such as early access to new features or special deals reserved for those who refer others.
  • Make it easy to redeem rewards. Rewards should be easily accessible and transparent so that employees know what they need to do to claim them. This includes creating a centralized redemption system as well as making sure all rewards are easily identifiable on company websites and in employee communication materials. 
  • Be consistent with your reward program across departments and locations. Rewards programs are most successful when they are consistent and not reliant on local cultures or traditions. This is especially important in countries where employees may not have the same cultural sensitivities or understandings of the company’s policies.


3. Promote your referral program regularly


Be prepared to actively promote your referral program throughout your company as well as online and social media channels. For example, you could include these messages in your marketing materials, emails, and social media posts: “Praise from a satisfied customer is the best kind of recommendation. Refer a colleague to us and we’ll reward them with a free gift card worth $50.”

There are many ways to promote your referral program, and the most important part is to make sure that everyone who joins your program knows about it. Here are a few tips to get started:

  • Make sure your referral program is prominently displayed on your website. Include a banner or footer referral link, and make sure all of the information is clear and concise.
  • Make sure you have a good referral recruitment strategy in place. This means creating incentives for participants (such as discounts, exclusive access, etc.), as well as ensuring that referrals are properly rewarded.
  • Stay top of mind with current and potential customers by regularly communicating about the program updates and news.
  • Make it easy for customers to refer friends and family members. Make it easy for them to enter their referrals’ email addresses or contact information. You can also offer rewards or bonuses for referring new customers. 
  • Keep a tally of how many referrals you receive. This will help you track the success of your referral program and make necessary adjustments as needed. 
  • Send thank-you emails to those who refer new customers. Thank them for their support and let them know how their referrals have helped your business grow. 


4. Monitor and adjust your referral program as needed


Monitoring ensures that your referral program is effective and generates the results you want. Here are some tips for monitoring and adjusting your referral program as needed.

  • Set goals for your referral program. Make sure that you have clear objectives for your referral program, such as increasing sales or signing new customers.
  • Track referrals closely. Keep track of who is referring people to your company, how many people each person has referred, and what outcomes those referrals have produced (such as new sales or leads). This information will help you determine whether your referral program is working and where you can make adjustments.

For more tips, check out our artice on The Best Way to Use Referral Marketing to Grow Your SaaS Business


Final Thoughts


A successful SaaS referral program can be created through effective marketing, rewards, and communication. By setting up a system that engages users and encourages them to share the platform with their friends, businesses can create a powerful force in attracting new customers.

There are also a number of ways that you can market your referral program. Choose the approach that will work best for your business and your customers. Make sure though that you are tracking and measuring results to ensure that your program is achieving its goals.

Should you need more tips on growing your SaaS startups, check out our blog regularly. We will help you find the best practices to get your business off the ground.


Get fresh updates in your inbox 👇

Ken Moo