Top 7 Referral Marketing Software to Look for in 2020 and Beyond

/ November 25, 2020 | 8 Mins Read

Top 7 Referral Marketing Software to Look for in 2020 and Beyond

The best referral marketing software to buy in 2020 and beyond to enhance your referral marketing efforts.

Did you know that literally, everyone (92% of customers) get referrals from their friends and family? This holds true for every form of business, B2B or B2C. 

Since time immemorial, referral marketing or word-of-mouth-marketing is the best form of marketing there is, as it tends to most quickly and effectively tend to touch the core of people and motivate them to buy from you.

Here's more empirical evidence to back this up: 

  • Word of mouth marketing is believed to be the reason behind 20-50% of all purchasing decisions. --McKinsey and Company

  • B2B businesses with referral programs have 69% faster closing times on sales and approximately 70% higher conversion rates than those who don't. --Influitive

  • Customers that come through referrals have a 37% higher retention rate than those who become customers in other ways. --Forbes

So, how can businesses leverage the power of referral marketing? 

The only way businesses can leverage the power of referral marketing is --through referral marketing software. 

What is referral marketing software?

As a concept referral marketing sounds easy but it can get complicated as businesses need to manage multiple variables of the diverse customer population. Referral marketing software brings essential control to your referral programs, for instance, by automating activities like enrollment, referral commission payouts at scale, workflows across different systems such as Magento and Shopify. It also makes your referral program customer-friendly through enhanced cross-device customer experience and gives your detailed reports.

Let's get into the nitty-gritty of what benefits does the best referral marketing software house.

Benefits of Referral Marketing Software

Here are the key features that any best referral marketing software would consist of.

  • Implementing referral programs in an easy way

Referral marketing software fully supports deploying referral marketing tasks online. This helps businesses across their reward program administration. It improves conversion rates, sales, enhances customer experience, and reduces bounce rates. Many software also offer A/B Testing that gives businesses the benefit of knowing what referral communication works better.

  • Attracting highly converting visitors  

Referral marketing is carried out for your business by your happy visitors and customers. When they are happy with your services and products, they'll recommend you to their friends or relatives who are on the lookout for the kind of product or services you offer. The footfall of the people that will visit your business will be highly converting for two reasons. 

  1. They trust their friends and family and their first-hand experience
  2. Your business has gained social validation because of point 1

Not only are those people looking for your product or services, but they are most likely to buy since the recommendation by their friends and family have instilled a deep trust in them for your brand. 

  • Helping you make data-driven decisions

Businesses gather data routinely through loyalty cards, POS software, e-commerce websites, etc. but this data is mostly ignored. Referral marketing software allows you to analyze your gathered data.

  • Gamifying Reward Programs

Referral Marketing helps in gamifying reward programs, which makes reward programs fun and ups customers' interest level by bringing in the competitive spirit to motivate people to indulge more in referral activities. 

  • Preventing fraud 

Because of their function of dealing with referrals of existing customers, Referral Marketing platforms ensure zero fraudulent transactions. Fraudulent transactions are a menace for all business, and since referral programs are run through actual customers, the possibility of fraudulent activities become nil. 

Some of the best referral marketing software 

Here is the list of Referral Marketing Software:

1. Friendbuy

Friendbuy is a powerful SaaS-based platform that powers referral programs for the world's leading recognizable e-commerce companies. They have bagged clients like Club, Outdoor Voices, ClassPass, AWAY, and Casper, and global Fortune 100s such as Walmart, Intuit, Disney, and Nestle. 

Friendbuy prides itself on its technological proficiency. It allows brands to grow and deepen customer loyalty, along with quick customer acquisition. 

Friendbuy has a fun User interface and is easy to deploy and integrate with other tools.

Features:

  • Seamless integration with all major e-commerce platforms and third-party apps

  • Customizable referral templates

  • Fraud detection  

  • Event-based triggers and Reports to communicate with prospects better 

Pros:

  • Allows a free trial
  • Easily integrates with major e-commerce platforms and services
  • Provides for necessary design customization
  • A/B testing available in limit
  • Basic analytics & reports
  • Event-based trigger campaigns

Cons:

  • Fraud-prevention not very potent

  • Problems with customer support for DIY-plans

  • Limited customization options

  • Loyalty programs not supported

Price:

Basic DIY-package costs $249/month for businesses up to $50K in monthly revenue. Another package costs $749/month. Know more about pricing here on their pricing page.

2. Viral Loops

Customer acquisition is one of the most challenging tasks which requires a lot of investment in terms of time and money. We all know the easiest way to acquire customers through word of mouth marketing. Viral loops gives your product the boost it deserves with the right branding through the power of word-of-mouth and referral marketing. 

Along with the acquisition, it also helps with customer retention by turning them into motivated brand ambassadors.

Features: 

  • The only basic setup is required. The Viral Loops team handles the rest

  • Huge library of templates for your specific needs

  • Can use their free Landing Page Builder without coding a single line

Pros:

  • Cost-effective
  • Lots of campaign templates
  • Pre-launch and Milestone campaign options
  • Burst & Leaderboard referrals
  • Free Landing pages

Cons:

  • Frequently crashes
  • Bad documentation
  • Basic dashboard
  • No A/B testing features

Price:

It comes with three different pricing plans $49, $99, $299 per month.

3. Talkable

Talkable helps companies with word-of-mouth marketing through precisely-targeted referral and loyalty programs. It leverages insights from customers’ behavior and tailors reward programs accordingly. 

Its A/B testing feature helps you maximize the impact of referrals and find the right segmentation of people to target. 

Talkable’s Referral Marketing Platform will help you acquire high-value clients at a low cost, get more sales and increase ROI.

Features:

  • An independent marketing team through Talkable helps you 

  • Customization tools help you launch, run, optimize, and A/B test referral campaigns without needing designers or developers

  • The dashboard features hundreds of customization options and analytics tools

Pros:

  • You don't have to be too involved
  • Low technical commitment
  • Assigned account managers
  • Name sharing feature
  • Revenue-based payment model
  • Easy integration

Cons:

  • Everything has to go through their managers
  • Limited control over referral campaigns
  • Minimum sales volume requirements
  • Limited analytics

Price: 

You can find the customized price here. 

4. Mention Me

Mention Me is another powerful referral marketing platform. It is a choice of 400+ leading brands globally. This software allows users to share brands with friends and family using a wide range of social media channels, plus their unique "share by name" feature. 

To cater to a global audience, they support 19 different languages and multiple currencies. Their customer support team is yet another pro. 

Features: 

  • It's name sharing feature lets customers share their names as referral codes instead of a referral code or link

  • Allows to capture referrals with 16 odd methods, including WhatsApp

  • A/B testing available 

Pros:

  • Cool name-sharing feature
  • Revenue-sharing payment model
  • Easy integration with third-party apps
  • Designated account managers

Cons:

  • Limited analytical reports
  • Not full control over referral campaigns
  • Everything has to go through their managers
  • Campaigns are optimized for audiences which are most likely to make the first purchase

Price:

It is a revenue-sharing model. They will take between 10-20% of the first purchase by a new client. The exact amount will depend on their forecasts based on your sales volumes and AOV average order value.

5. Referral Rock

Referral Rock prides on the ease of use and smartness of their referral programs. Their goal is to make the customers' word-of-mouth programs run on autopilot, where they can also audit the referral program as and when needed, according to their choice, easily.

With Referral Rock, businesses can automate the tasks, gain more visibility and visitors, align smart incentives to referrals, and boost sales. 

Features:

  • Allows you to release rewards right from the system

  • Customize workflows as per business needs

  • Good fraud prevention ability

  • Promotes your referral program on different channels using iFrames, widgets, access links in your email, social media networks, etc.

  • Quick integrations with third-party apps like Leadpages, campaign monitor, and Zoho

Pros

  • A unique code and URL link for all members to share

  • Pre-designed social media messages, emails, and mobile text messages

  • Allows to keep members engaged with dashboard notifications of their activity 

  • Track referrals to know who advocates for you more

Cons

  • Only limited reporting

Pricing:

There are three pricing plans. Starter – $200/month, Growth – $400/month and the Established business – $800/month

6. Referral candy

ReferralCandy is a referral Marketing software connecting with popular eCommerce platforms like Shopify Magento, Woocommerce, and BigCommerce with plug and play simplicity.

To enhance your word of mouth marketing efforts, it also easily connects with other marketing tools such as AdRoll, Klaviyo, Mailchimp, Google Analytics, ReCharge, Fomo, and Chargebee.

Features:

  • Allows for tracking referral engagement and revenue from a single dashboard

  • Automatically share rewards with your customers

  • Easy integration with third-party tools

Pros:

  • Supports all major e-commerce platforms
  • Smooth UI
  • Cost-effective
  • Allows for a free 30-day trial

Cons:

  • Lacks any advanced settings
  • Design templates not up to the mark
  • Doesn't allow you to run multiple campaigns at a time
  • No A/B testing 

Pricing:

This referral marketing software has two pricing options. The first is the Premium, which is $49/month + monthly commission, and the Enterprise, which is $3999 / month.

7. Smile.io

Smile.io has given a platform to more than 30,000 online merchants across the globe. This makes it one of the most sought-after eCommerce rewards platforms in the market. The user experience of Smile.io is engaging and fun; it motivates by rewarding your customers with points, VIP status, and other referral bonuses. It is also mobile-friendly. Smile.io helps you make unique reward programs with their API, in-house templates, and designs. 

This referral marketing software is best for any retailer looking to increase customer loyalty with a smart and attractive rewards program only.

Features: 

  • Easy and intuitive program management

  • Integrates easily with MailChimp, Privy, Gorgias, Okendo, and more 

  • Better options for building greater UI

Pros:

  • Easy set up for Big commerce and Shopify
  • Cost-effective
  • Several systems of incentives available
  • Different features for VIP customers
  • Intuitive UI
  • Fixed-price plans

Cons:

  • Only works with Shopify and BigCommerce
  • Can't run multiple campaigns
  • Limited reporting
  • No A/B testing
  • No real design customization

Pricing:

Prices start at $49/month. Pro plan costs $599/month. 

8. OSI Affiliate Software

OSI Affiliate Software is a user-friendly and dynamic solution that will allow you to set up and manage your own affiliate and referral programs for your business. It can be integrated into virtually any ecommerce site and shopping cart solution. With the creation of your affiliate and referral programs, you will be able to leverage the reach of your existing customers as well as outside affiliates and influencers to expose your business to a new audience. This will in turn greatly increase your website traffic and sales.

OSI Affiliate software includes tools and resources that will allow your affiliates and brand advocates to easily promote your business across any social network and online platform.

Features:

  • Allows affiliates to promote using promo codes
  • FREE integration into any ecommerce platform
  • FREE promotional tools to help you promote your program
  • Auto sign up feature to instantly onboard all your new customers
  • Easy integration with many third party apps and tools

Pros:

  • Dedicated account manager included on all pro-accounts
  • Intuitive administrative and affiliate user interface
  • 15-day free trial
  • Thank you page pop up survey tool for recruiting new customers
  • Easy commission payout management

Cons:

  • Limited customizable reporting
  • No loyalty program features
  • Could include more help documentation
  • No affiliate leaderboard available for affiliates

Pricing:

There are two pricing plans. Basic - $47/month and Professional plan - $97/ month

Conclusion

So, now that you are aware of referral marketing, its effectiveness, and how you can as a business person leverage it and the features of some of the best referral software--you can implement these into your marketing endeavors.

I suggest you visit all the referral marketing software websites mentioned above and see which referral marketing software suits your business needs the best.

Shubham is an aspiring clinical psychologist, who also happens to be a blogger for corporates and startups.

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