December 6, 2018

Any success with double-sided referral programs?

We are launching a referral program (person who signs up gets a $9 credit, and person referring gets a $50 credit) and I wanted to see if anyone had experience with what kind of referral reward to use. Ours is weighted towards the referrer, but would love to hear about other options people have had success with!

This is our internal one if anyone wants the $9 credit as a thank you for your input! https://parabola.io/?referral=7b947661


  1. 4

    Unless I'm missing something, I don't see a natural use case for this kind of referral program here.

    Yes, there's an incentive to make a referral (will save me money on something I'd otherwise pay for) - but I doubt the payload on the refer-ee side is right...

    Your challenge is to educate people that Parabola is a significantly better way of automating a manual process, it isn't the kind of thing people have been waiting for and saying "oh I really want to automate workflow X which costs me Y hours and $Z per week, but $9 is just too expensive to try it out."

    From your site I'm assuming you're targeting b2b, and that $9 isn't going to make the slightest impact.

    If it were me, I'd repackage the referrals as testimonials. You can automatically generate a testimonial (on a unique landing page) by the user which reads as a success story. Give them $50 whenever someone signs up via that page and encourage them to share it on Twitter, LinkedIn etc. That'll have the following advantages:

    • the user will be happy and proud - the success story makes them look good to their employers and on their LinkedIn page. It shouts "I'm a successful {{job_role}}". Your retention will be higher.

    • It'll increase trust coming from a trusted source (of social proof).

    • The likelihood of it being shared and seen by the right kind of leads in the right context is higher.

    Good luck!

    1. 1

      Really appreciate the thoughtful insights! I like the testimonials idea a lot.

  2. 2

    Best referral system I have ever seen is my (SaaS) accounts package. For every person I refer both I and they get a 10% discount for the entire time they are signed up.

    I refer 10 people and I don't pay a thing! Actually I only needed to refer 9 as I was a referral from someone else. Actually x2, I've now referred over 20 people but they can't give me any more money off! :-)

    So, one person (me) gets their product for free but they have made a lot more money out of my referrals. Get the initial pricing right and this is win win I think

    1. 1

      Saw this applied in multiple businesses across multiple industries/verticals, works like a charm every time.

    2. 1

      That's a good point, Dan. Which tool are you referring to?

      1. 1

        FreeAgent

  3. 1

    I followed your link and I can't see info about $9 credit, this should be clearly visible.

    And $50/$9? I think the difference is too big. Also, $9 is a good number when you want something to look cheaper than $9, in case of free credit you should use number like $11 or something like that.

    I've seen such scheme working great in my country for at least one of the hosting providers.

  4. 1

    Dropbox’s referral program is possibly one of the most famous cases of referral marketing done right. It brought 2 million invitations sent out in a month. https://www.reddit.com/r/startups/comments/9pgudv/how_dropbox_got_their_first_users/

  5. 1

    Yes, but only when the user and their referral can use the product together.

    1. 2

      Oh that's an interesting point - so for products where that is not the case, which direction would you take the referral?

      1. 1

        I'd probably just do an affiliate program and let the affiliates offer some bonus so they can incentivize signups (a free month, 20% off for a year, etc)

        1. 2

          Makes sense - thanks for the feedback!