Referral programs are now part of every marketing strategy. Referral marketing is not a new strategy; we can say that it’s an updated version of word of mouth marketing. The traditional way was the word of mouth marketing that means that whenever someone liked a product, service, movie, or anything, they would recommend their friends who, in turn, would tell their friends and family, and this way this cycle goes on.
The same approach is valid today, but the difference is that the internet has changed our way of communication and has opened up a lot of opportunities to connect with anyone while sitting in one place.
With the help of the digital world, any business can spread awareness about its brand. Referral marketing is one of the most powerful approaches in this digital world not only to attract customers but also to retain them for a long time.
It means that if you provide your customers with a worthy experience, numerous will turn into brand ambassadors.
According to the market force statistics, 81% of online consumers are influenced by their friends’ social media posts; this fact clearly stated the significance of the referral program in the digital world.
Incentivize your potential customers to spread the word. Here we list a few models of brands that successfully incorporated referral programs into their marketing scheme. These are a few examples of B2B referral programs.
Referral Program for B2B: 5 Cases to encourage you:
- Google Apps/Suite
- IT Solutions, Inc.
- Zoho Mail
G Suite is an extensive collection of productivity, collaboration, and cloud computing tools created and released by Google in 2006.
This suite consists of some indispensable tools of this time and age. These tools are Google Drive, Docs, Hangouts, Calendar, Google+, sheets, slides, forms, and of course, Gmail.
Despite being a part of a brand of the most popular search engine in the world, they still had to sell these tools back in 2006.
To get people discussing the suite, they launched a referral program that incentivized new users with cash for every person that signed up using the referrals’ link.
The plan worked like this: those who wanted to spread the word were given a referral link and unique coupon codes to share to assist folks to get started with G Suite. And for each new user that signed up and satisfied the referral terms, got $15.
So, like in the B2C world, making monetary rewards/discounts, are the base of your referral strategy, and that gives you fruitful results if appropriately implemented.
Our next example on the list is Carpathia, a Virginia-based company that focused on cloud services.
They uniquely implemented their referral program and enlisted third parties as their referral partners. In their referral marketing campaign advertisement, they used bright and engaging colour schemes and a simple signup process (just three steps).
The primary stage was to join the online referral marketing campaign. Then participants got access to tools and materials like white papers and case studies to help distinguish more potential customers. For referring to new customers, the participants were given the commission.
IT Solutions, Inc
It is a full-service IT company that concentrates initially on small and medium-sized businesses throughout Philadelphia and the surrounding region. They not only launched the referral program, but they also included the program in their marketing strategy.
Same as the above example, IT Solutions, Inc. also makes the signup process a responsive and easy one (a few information to be filled). Their program works because it is straightforward, easy, and highly enticing. The company keens to earn recommendations, and they state that they’ll reward their referral partner $1,000 in IT Solutions, Inc.’s services for new signups. Likewise, the company that gets a referral company signs up will also get $1,000 worth of services.
As an added personal incentive, the referral partner also receives an Amazon gift card worth $100. The signup process is simple, too. All the participant needs to enter his or her contact info and the contact info of the referred company.
As a result, IT Solutions Inc. has been expanding like crazy and racking up the honours.
Now, They are in the top 1% of all Microsoft partners and become the fastest-growing companies for nine straight years running.
Blackbaud is a dealer of software and services providers that made its mark in the fundraising field and working with non-profit organizations. Their brand is all about “giving back,” and they have conveyed this message over to their referral marketing program as well.
To become a Blackbaud Champion includes creating connections via their Champions Hub network, at which time you’ll earn reward points.
They incentivize users with a profound rewards catalogue for making these connections, and points can be redeemed for anything from product discounts to event invites to iPads to gift cards and more.
Blackbaud is a great example of offering various rewards to all of their associates. Like with IT Solutions, Inc., all that’s needed to sign up is to fill out two easy text fields on their referral webpage.
It’s paying off well for Blackbaud, too. Not only are they partners with Microsoft, but the two are growing that partnership with the express goal of transforming the non-profit sector. It seems it pays dividends to spread the word.
Who doesn’t like a free hosted email? Zoho, the hosting email service, was aware of this when they started their referral program in 2013. For simply signing up new customers, existing customers could get up to 20 free users in their hosted email plan.
Furthermore, the business they referred could also get up to 20 new users.
To do this, they set up a referral webpage, and associates were welcome to sign up. They made the process as easy as possible, adding clickable buttons that could invite participants to “send an invite to a friend,” and then merely requesting a contact email and name. Nothing more.
The strategy was simple but powerful: attract small and medium-sized businesses who may not want to spend extra cash each time they hire a new employee.
Zoho made their hosted mail service engaging to these businesses for precisely that reason—now, they could add up to 20 new employees on their email accounts without spending another dime.
In this article, we have seen five excellent examples and how they established their name in the market. The companies even increase their revenue multi-folds. I hope the above examples help to demonstrate how the momentum of signups to a B2B company can grow with an enticing referral marketing program. Do it right, and you’ll reduce the need for unnecessary sales and marketing tactics and save money on advertising.