I just added referrals to my productised service, Gloat.
One of my customers asked immediately after I set up his Ghost site if I had a referral programme.
I said no, but I could instantly see the benefits of adding one. If this customer was already willing to tell others about my service, I need to capture that and make it easy for anyone else to do the same.
Since then, I've had another customer refer someone (their site is already online 👍)
I looked at some of the referral/affiliate products (eg getrewardful.com) but my small, young service doesn't need anything that detailed or costly.
So I threw something together.
Gloat payments are (very simple) PayPal Buttons. After paying, people are sent to a hidden page on the Gloat site with an embedded Airtable form.
To set up a referral programme I didn't want to also have to make a totally new billing process, so I kept this system in place and built around it:
I want customers to a) be rewarded for sending new people to Gloat, and b) feel like they're part of the Gloat family. Referral programmes are amazing at doing both.
For Gloat, I decided I would be OK giving up 15% commission for each referral. For a $59 Ghost install, you earn $8.85. For a $89 Ghost+Members install, you earn $13.35. Not bad for just sharing a link with someone.
Obviously the hope of a referral system is that it snowballs and referred customers end up becoming referrers themselves, creating a chain or network of new customers. A passive revenue driver with a predictable, in-built cost.
Most referral systems also reward the incoming customer, prompting them to use the code.
My plan is to add a field pre-purchase that—when a valid code is inputted—takes X% off the price for the new customer. This should work with PayPal Buttons just fine.
What are you using for referrals?