Mar 27, 2024

B2B Referral Program Examples You Can Copy to Drive Growth

B2B Referral Program Examples You Can Copy to Drive Growth

Many businesses want to grow their customer base but need help figuring out where to start. That's where referral programs come in.

In this article, we'll look at B2B referral program examples from businesses just like yours.

By seeing how others have done it, we hope to make referral programs easier to understand and implement for your own business. Before we dive in, let’s learn how referral programs can help your company thrive!

What Is a B2B Referral Program?

A B2B referral program is a marketing activity used by a business-to-business (B2B) company to incentivize its existing customers or partners to refer new clients to the business.

Let’s say a company called GreenTech specializes in eco-friendly office supplies. They launch a referral program where existing clients can refer other businesses in their network to GreenTech. For each successful referral, the referring client receives a 15% discount on their next purchase.

One of GreenTech's long-time clients, EcoSolutions, refers a neighboring business, Sustainable Designs, which needs sustainable office supplies. Sustainable Designs becomes a new client, and EcoSolutions earns a discount on their next order as a thank-you from GreenTech.

Good Reasons to Start a B2B Referral Program

You might be wondering, “Do referral programs work for B2B businesses?”

First, referrals help attract new leads and guide potential leads in their decision-making process.

According to Refer Reach, referrals kickstart the buying process for 84% of B2B decision-makers. Before deciding to purchase from a B2B business, 88% of potential customers seek word-of-mouth reassurance.

In business, maintaining a high conversion rate is essential for long-term sustainability. The good news is that according to referral marketing statistics, referrals lead to a 70% higher conversion rate for B2B companies. Sales are also closed much faster.

Moreover, there is data that 68% of businesses with B2B referral programs agree that their referral tools are effective, but only 30% of B2B companies have these programs in the first place.

B2B Referral Program Examples Worth Copying

Because of the benefits of having a B2B referral program, more and more businesses are using it in their strategy. Before we answer the question, “How do I create a B2B referral program?” let’s take a look at some business referral examples you can get inspiration from:

Saastronautics

Saastronautics is a platform that helps many businesses discover and use new Software as a Service (SaaS) tools. To get new leads, build partnerships, and build a strong relationship with SaaS companies, Saastronautics decided to run a giveaway using UpViral during Black Friday of 2020.  

It ended with more than 7,000 leads!

The reason it worked so well is because the prizes helped attract their target audience — SaaS enthusiasts. They gave away digital products, discounts, and other prizes to 10 winners. As a bonus, all participants also got a 15% discount coupon, so there’s no loss in joining.

Additionally, Saastronautics conducted its giveaway on Black Friday, which is a time when consumers are looking for discounted products. Joining the giveaway meant that they would automatically get a discount coupon!

Siddharth Pal

Siddharth Pal is an e-commerce dropshipping businessman who wanted to increase awareness for his brand. In a 22-day giveaway using UpViral, Siddharth achieved remarkable results: 4,691 leads, with 3,713 being referred. The giveaway, worth $13,000 in prizes, didn't cost him anything.

For his giveaway, Siddharth partnered with other businesses, offering prizes like Semrush accounts, web hosting, and software licenses. These prizes were tailored to aspiring entrepreneurs looking to start their businesses.

The success of Siddharth's campaign can be attributed to several factors:

The relevance of the prizes to the target audience, mutually beneficial collaborations with partners, engaging email communication, impactful custom actions, and the use of UpViral's One-Click Sign-Up feature.

💡The One-Click Sign-Up feature allows users to instantly join a campaign by clicking on a campaign link sent via email, streamlining the lead generation process.

Airtable

Airtable is a platform that helps businesses improve workflows and collaboration. Here's how their referral program works: whenever someone is referred to Airtable, the person who referred them earns $10 in credit.

Airtable's referral program is effective because of its carefully crafted email sequence. When someone receives a referral invitation email from a friend, it catches their attention with the brand logo and personalizes the message by mentioning the referrer's name. The email also effectively describes Airtable's benefits.

When the recipient accepts the invitation, they are brought to a sign-up page, which only requires basic information — email address, name, and password. Signing up is easy, quick, and can be done on mobile.

Zoho Mail

Zoho Mail is an email hosting service provider that started its referral program in 2013. Customers who referred new users could get up to 20 free users added to their email plan while new businesses referred could also receive up to 20 new users.

They made a webpage where people could sign up easily. They put buttons to invite friends and just asked for their email and name.

This helped small and medium-sized businesses save money when adding new employees to their email accounts.

It was a hit, with over 10 million business accounts signed up by 2017.

Bench Accounting

Bench Accounting, a fintech firm catering to small businesses, offers online bookkeeping services.

In their referral program, referring a business owner earns you a $150 Visa gift card and a free month of service for each friend who signs up. Referred friends also get a free trial month.

The program works well because it addresses the hassle of bookkeeping for small businesses. Their catchy slogan, "You run your business. We'll do your bookkeeping," resonates with users.

G4 Educaçao

G4 Educaçao is a Brazilian business education firm that launched its "G4 Pass" bundle to celebrate its third anniversary.

To generate 50,000 qualified leads for the launch, they offered a free entrepreneurship course, leveraging a referral program through UpViral.

The program incentivized referrals with rewards like ebooks, Leadership Playbook, sales kit, and in-person training. The campaign exceeded expectations, generating nearly 60,000 leads, with approximately 20,000 direct leads and the rest from UpViral referrals.

The referral program by G4 Educaçao was successful because it effectively tapped into the power of incentivized referrals, offering valuable rewards like ebooks and training sessions.

They also simplified the lead form process and used psychological motivators on the share page, such as a progress bar that showed people how many referrals they needed to reach a milestone. This encouraged widespread participation.

Considerations When Starting a B2B Referral Program

Now that you know the benefits of referral marketing for your B2B business, your next question might be, “How do I create a B2B referral program?”

Here are some things to consider:

Understand your audience

Understanding your target audience is an important step so you can tailor the referral program to appeal to their interests and preferences.

Analyze data from your existing customers to identify patterns and trends. Look at factors such as purchase history, feedback, and other metrics to gain insights into their preferences and behavior.

Interact with your audience through various channels, including social media, email, forums, and events.

Engage in conversations, ask questions, and listen to their suggestions to gain a deeper understanding of their needs and interests.

Regularly collect feedback from your audience through surveys, polls, reviews, and direct communication. Ask about their experiences, preferences, pain points, and suggestions for improvement.

Use this feedback to refine your offerings and tailor your marketing efforts.

💡Read more: Why Online Customer Reviews are Essential and How to Collect Them

Choose an incentive your audience would find attractive

Once you know what your audience prefers, you can choose the B2B referral program incentives and rewards you will offer that will lead to successful referrals.

Consider offering rewards that are valuable and appealing to both the referrer and the referred business, such as discounts, credits, cash bonuses, or exclusive perks.

For example, you could offer a percentage discount on the referrer's next purchase or provide credits that can be redeemed for additional services.

Another option is to provide complimentary access to premium features, additional user licenses, or enhanced support services for referred customers.

You could offer VIP invitations to industry conferences, exclusive training sessions, or premium content that is only accessible to referred customers.

Let’s say you have a marketing agency targeting B2B companies in need of digital marketing solutions. You can give a 10% commission on the first three months of services for each new client they refer.

Promote the referral program through various channels

Promotion is essential because it ensures that everyone is aware of the opportunity to refer new business. Moreover, by reminding people about the benefits of referring others to your business, you're more likely to motivate them to take action and make referrals.

There are many ways you can promote your referral program, such as through email campaigns, social media posts, a dedicated page on your website, or in-person events.

Using a combination of strategies can help you effectively spread the word. 📣

Make sure to highlight the incentives, such as discounts, rewards, or exclusive perks, and explain how easy it is to participate.

Offer support and assistance to participants who have questions or need help with the referral process.

Choose the right referral software

Choosing the right referral software is important because it can make everything more efficient. The right software will provide you with features that can make it easier to run a referral program.

UpViral is known for its user-friendly interface and useful features, so you can customize your referral campaigns to match your requirements.

Moreover, UpViral is also cost-effective and affordable, so even small businesses can use it without breaking the bank. Different pricing plans are available to accommodate businesses of different sizes and budgets.

Conclusion

Remember, your satisfied customers are your best advocates.

By incentivizing them to refer others, you're not only rewarding their loyalty but also expanding your customer base. That's why you should consider creating a referral program for your B2B business.

If you’re interested in running a referral program or hosting giveaways, give UpViral a try for 14 days and get a boost in brand awareness, leads, and more! Click here for other success stories of businesses that used the platform.