How You Can Grow Your Business With A Referral Programme


How You Can Grow Your Business With A Referral Programme

Getting new clients. It’s possibly the most challenging, and most important part of running a business, small or large. It can be easier said than done, but word-of-mouth marketing is a powerful tool, which anyone can use.


Referral programmes work.

The principle of a referral programme is simple: if your customer loves you, they’ll be excited to recommend you to their network. That could be clients, friends and family.

Think about how many people you know. At least a few hundred, right? Probably more. If you recommended a service or product to them, they would be much more likely to try it, than if they came across it on their own. And when they start recommending it to their network, you have a powerful wave of brand ambassadors, as your fans effectively do the advertising for you.


How can you get your clients to refer you to their network?

Sometimes, it can be as simple as asking. For example, next time you follow up with a business contact, you could sign off the email with a friendly “If you have enjoyed your experience with us, please think about recommending us to your friends and family.” If you don’t ask, you don’t get.


Giving your customer an incentive for sharing your product or service is the best way to spread the word.

There are many tried and tested ways to build your customer base with a referral programme. Flash discount sales and free delivery are quick and easy ones you’ve probably used yourself when shopping online.

Dual-sided referral programmes are more sophisticated and likely to build longer-term return on investment and build brand awareness at the same time.

Dropbox has a very successful dual-sided referral programme, which gives both their existing customer and their friend a great incentive for sharing their business. For every friend who joins and installs it, the first referring customer gets 500 MB of extra storage space.

Uber lets customers give their friends discounted first rides, and subscription services will often give existing customers money off their next month when a friend signs up.

You’ll need these three things for a successful referral programme:

  • An enticing offer for both your current customer, and their friend
  • A simple benefit your target market will actually want – don’t make it too complicated
  • A clear call to action to encourage clients to sign up

Follow these steps and you’ll be well on your way to growing your business.


To give you an example of how how this is used in smaller businesses, our referral scheme simply offers the first months fee of any new client to the person who referred them.   (Terms and Conditions apply)

If you would like further information on how to implement in your business or would like to know more about how our scheme works please get in touch on 01908 268 877 or email