referral program examples

14 Best Referral Program Examples to Steal From

A referral program is a calculated and systematic way of getting people in mass to make referrals for your business. The referral program is considered one of the best and cost-effective marketing strategies. This marketing is a way of turning your customers into your brand promoters. In this blog, you will know some examples of the best referral programs but before beginning with that let us know the importance of Referral Marketing.

There are a lot of platforms and companies that are avid users of referral activities. Also, they encourage other brands to use it. Referral Program is the online variant of the word of mouth marketing. The only difference between the both is that the sole purpose of word of mouth is brand promotion without seeking any self-benefit. On the contrary, referral programs are for online businesses. Brands offer various rewards to their customers for referring to their peers. 

What is a Referral Program?

 A referral program is a way of promoting referrals with intentions (rewards & incentives). There is software that is used by the modern referral programs that keep track of it, detect, and payout the referral rewards.

There are referral software providers whose primary agenda is to create referral programs for the brand that can track referral performance, detect new registrations & clicks. Also, they keep track of the referral payouts. The referral analytics is useful to carry out data-driven decisions to grow faster. 

It is essential to know that what’s common, what’s cutting edge, and what’s a good fit for you?

 Referral programs come in all shapes and sizes. They are unbiased and fits perfect for all businesses irrespective of the industry they hail from. You need to find one that works for your business.

Best Referral Program Examples in the Market

I’ve looked into how companies are driving profitable customer achievement with referral programs. I have curated a list of 14 referral program examples from different industries that you can look into and sway away some ideas from. 

After a lot of research, I am sharing below some of my favourite referral program examples that you can look into for some inspiration. 

1. Airbnb

Airbnb referral program

About: Airbnb is a leading global brand for arranging and offering homestays and accommodation to the people travelling across the world. They don’t own any hotel or stays. They act as the broker between the customer and the accommodation owners. They have a referral program that is dear to all. If we name the top referral programs, Airbnb will be one of them. 

What we like: The cash reward that they are offering to their customers is the key point, of their program. Airbnb referral program is offering the reward to both the customers and their friends. The amount they are offering is Rs. 1,650, which is quite irresistible to the customers. 

2. Uber

best referral program uber

About: Uber is a global name for the ride-sharing companies. They offer car and scooter rides and to the people via online application. They have various vehicles and drives registered, which allow their users to book a ride as they desire. Uber is a brand with a successful referral program in which their users are offered a free ride on every referral program. Also, their referral program is considered one of the successful programs in the market. 

What we like: Uber is one of our favourite referral program examples. Their referral program is running from a long term as a mobile application. Their referral program says ‘Get Free Rides,’ which is a sure attraction to the people. Uber’s referral campaigns have recently expanded in the field of targeted push notifications and Chabot functionality. Every time a new account is created through a referral both the parties benefit out of it. Uber allows a multi-sharing method, which makes more users join the program via various platforms. 

3. Ava Women Healthcare

ava women referral program

About: Ava is a healthcare brand for women. They have developed a bracelet for which tracks the fertility. They are the first to create wearable fertility tracker medically. Ava has a referral program, by which they want to make women aware of the fertility tracker so that they can keep up with their cycles. 

What we like: The referral program of Ava is offering $20 cashback to both the customer and their friend who is being referred. The image and the headline both play an important role in making a referral program attractive. Also, Ava has mentioned the referral procedure chronologically, which will make the user understand the program better. Not to ignore the fact that they have displayed the FAQ’s CTA. The FAQs are equally crucial as the procedure of the referral program. 

4. Google Pay

google pay Christmas referral program

About: Google Pay is an e-wallet that enables users to make an online payment. It is a mobile-based application. Thus, their referral program is also mobile/tablet-based. Usually, they run a referral program, which makes their customer invite their friend to Google Pay on which they will earn up to Rs. 50. There are some special occasions on which Google pay launches its special referral program. 

What we like: This is the referral program example of Google Pay. They launched this referral campaign during Christmas. This is our current favorite referral program by which users can earn cashback via different categories. One of them is inviting a friend. Such referral programs are not less than any game and are the best way to engage customers. 

5. Chase

chase refer a friend

About: One of the prime financial institutions in the USA. It serves to both consumers and other commercial organizations. Earlier referral programs were not much popular in financial institutions (BFSI). But these days, many banks have implemented referral campaigns, which have given them a boost in the revenue. 

What we like: Chase’s referral program states ‘Refer-a-Friend’ and have a dedicated page for the campaign. A referral campaign requires a form, CTA, images, and a lot of information. Thus, it is a good habit to create a dedicated referral program.

6. Netflix

netflix word of mouth

About: Everyone’s favourite pass time—NETFLIX. Earlier Netflix was just a DVD rental store. It was 2006 when Netflix first started streaming online. Later some time Netflix started their referral program. Their referral campaign is quite simple and is the true example of word of mouth. Once Netflix begins promotion via its customers that were the time when Netflix gained the utmost popularity globally.

What we like: Netflix is not bribing their customers with rewards on the referral. The referral program example of Netflix is the example of digital word of mouth. Their customers are promoting the application without seeking for incentives.

7. Healthkart

About: Healthkart is India’s first online fitness store. We can get all the fitness and health products at one place in Healthkart. Healthkart is running a referral program where they are offering rewards to both customers and their friends. Both referrer and the referee will get Rs. 200 on every successful referral and registration respectively.

What we like: Healthkart is the other example of the dedicated referral page. As they are e-commerce for the health products thus people get a discount on their purchase once they make a referral. Also, the attraction of their referral program is the CTA which clearly states ‘invite Friends & Earn’.


HDFC campaign refer a friend

About: HDFC is one of the largest private banks in India. They are a financial institution and recently launched a referral program for its customers. Their primary focus is on the sale of credit cards. Therefore, the whole referral program is based on it. They want their customers to refer HDFC credit cards to their friends and rewarding them movie vouchers.

What we like: Unlike any other BFSI referral program they didn’t reward their customer’s cashback, they offered movie vouchers. Also, they have placed attractive CTA’s of Refer Button and others for the instructions.

9. Dropbox

dropbox referral campaign

About: Dropbox is a file hosting service operated by the American company, that offers cloud storage, file synchronization, and other client software. They launched online storage and file-transfer service.

What we like: Dropbox’s referral program is considered the best. They launched a referral program that rewards its customers, gives product-based perks that cannot be cashed.
Dropbox offers an extra 500 MB of free storage space to the customer who makes the referral, and to the newly-referred user. The company profit rose directly by 60% in 2010. (when it was first launched.)

10. Verizon

verizon referral

About: Cellco Partnership, doing business as Verizon Wireless, is an American telecommunications company which offers wireless products and services. It is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Verizon Communications.

What we like:

11. Clovia

clovia refer a friend

12. Oyo

13. Evernote

best refer a friend evernote

About: Evernote is an app designed for note-taking, organizing, task management, and archiving. It is developed by the Evernote Corporation, headquartered in Redwood City, California. The app allows users to create notes, which can be text, drawings, photographs, or saved web content.

What we like: The popular note-taking software runs a double-sided refer-a-friend program that gives people additional space and/or Premium membership.
The program grants points when users successfully refer users and sign-ups and subscriptions, which can be redeemed for increased storage space or free subscription.

14. Uber Drivers

uber driver

About: Uber is a transportation service provider company that gives the users a delightful ride to their destination. It also provides the accessibility to mobile app/ online book through applications. They not only care for their customers but also for the drivers. They started a referral program for their drivers too, to increase their base. The more the drivers, the larger the customer base.

What we like: Uber continues to dominate the transportation app scene with their mobile experience. It also supports driver’s referral rewards & programs. Uber rewards the consumer with discounted rides and free rides. Every time an existing driver referred a new driver to join Uber, the new driver received $200 on every trip.


Shivani is a content writer at InviteReferrals. She writes SEO articles, blogs, and guest posts for businesses to improve website ranking on SERP. She follows a balanced approach for the quality of content and its marketing. She loves to do creativity, although she had an English major in her graduation.