Sep 13, 2023
17 Best Referral Programs to Make Profit in 2023
Joining the best referral programs is an excellent way of making money online from products or services you use and like.
There are many referral marketing programs to choose from, offering rewards like subscription discounts, cashback, and free perks.
This article will list 17 successful referral programs from various companies. To draw up this list, we analyzed the following aspects of the best referral programs:
- Program period. Even when a company states that it offers a referral marketing program, it may no longer accept new participants. Therefore, we’ve ensured that the programs in this list are active.
- Referral reward. We’ve reviewed which of the bonuses of these referral programs are worthwhile, helping you make more money or get discounts for the products and services.
- Clear terms and conditions. Each company has different eligibility requirements, referral rewards, and link-sharing policies. We’ve made sure that the referral program examples in this list have clear terms and conditions.
- Application process. Joining a referral program shouldn’t be hard if you’re already a customer. Usually, referrals only need to complete a few extra steps to make the referral program work.
Apart from helping you decide which one to join, these 17 initiatives are a great source of referral program ideas for those looking to start their own.
90% of people base their purchase decision on recommendations, even when they don’t know the person recommending the product or service. Thus, creating your own referral program is a great way to boost sales and customer trust.
We will also discuss the differences between a referral and an affiliate program so that you can choose the most suitable approach.
What Is a Referral Program?
A referral program is a word-of-mouth marketing strategy that rewards customers who recommend a brand’s products or services to their network.
Companies use this type of program as a part of their customer retention and customer acquisition strategy to drive more traffic. The rewards motivate qualifying prospects to continue doing business with the company and bring more referrals.
Most companies also offer discounts or free items to encourage referrals to complete their purchases.
Referral Program vs Affiliate Program
In addition to customer referral programs, many companies also opt for implementing affiliate marketing programs.
Both strategies focus on raising brand awareness, increasing sales, and getting more clients. The main differences between a referral program and an affiliate marketing program are the program participants and the rewards.
|Referral Program||Affiliate Program|
|Participants||Existing customers||Content creators|
|Audience||Friends and family||Subscribers, followers, viewers|
|Marketing Channels||Social media, emails||Videos, blog posts, reviews|
|Rewards||Discounts, free products, or commissions||Commission or affiliate fee from each purchase|
|Limitations||Limited amount of referrals||None|
Best Referral Program Examples
We’ve listed the best customer referral program ideas for 2023. This list is also great for people looking for successful referral program examples before starting their own.
- Dropbox – 500 MB to 1 GB per referral
- Hostinger – 20% commission from the referral’s purchase
- Fiverr – 10% of the referral’s first order
- Swagbucks – 10% of the referral’s earnings
- SoFi – $20 in reward points per referral
- Google Workspace – $8 to $23 per user
- T-Mobile – $50 per referral
- Astra – Up to $375 per sale
- SugarSync – 10 GB storage space
- FreeAgent – 10% discount on subscription plan per referral
- Quip – $5 per referral
- Zoho – 15% commission based on the referral’s subscription fee
- Ibotta – $10 per referral
- Hubstaff – 10% subscription discount per referral
- GetResponse – $30 credit per referral
- Tesla – $300 or $500 reward per referral
- Reward: 500 MB to 32 GB of extra space
Dropbox is a cloud storage service that lets users store and share files and collaborate with colleagues. It offers several plans that vary in storage space, starting from 2 GB for the Dropbox Basic free account.
Dropbox’s referral program rewards customers with extra storage space. After the existing customer signs up for a Dropbox account and plan, they can refer friends by sending them an invitation link.
Dropbox’s referral program provides rewards based on the referral account’s plan (once they accept the invitation and verify their email address).
Participants will receive 500 MB extra storage – and up to 16 GB – per referral who subscribes to a Dropbox Basic account. The bonus is 1 GB per referral for Dropbox Plus accounts with a maximum limit of 32 GB.
- Reward: 20% commission from each successful referral
Hostinger’s users are eligible for the referral program accessible through the hPanel. In this referral program, you can earn a 20% commission from the referral’s first purchase if they buy a web hosting plan for at least 12 months.
In addition, your referrals will get a 20% discount upon checkout by using a unique referral link. If the referred friends do not request a refund within the first 45 days, the referring customer will receive their reward.
Keep in mind that Hostinger’s referral program is currently not applicable to email services.
- Reward: 10% of the referral’s first order (up to $100)
Fiverr is an online freelance marketplace where freelancers offer their services in such areas as programming and digital marketing. Joining Fiverr is free, and you can start referring right after signing up.
By referring a friend, you get a reward in Fiverr Credits worth 10% of their first purchase, with a limit of $100 per purchase. On the other hand, the referral will receive a 10% discount (up to $100) on their first purchase.
You can earn up to $500 Fiverr Credits from qualified purchases in a successful rewards program. Note that a qualified purchase means a successfully delivered and completed service, paid with an external payment method.
Fiverr’s referral program is not available for Fiverr Business accounts.
- Reward: 10% of the referral’s earnings
Swagbucks is a platform connecting companies that want to collect consumer insights with people who wish to fill out surveys or review products.
The platform rewards users with SB points that can be redeemed for gift cards and PayPal coupons.
By inviting friends to join Swagbucks, users will earn 10% of the referral’s SB points. There is no limit to this referral process, so the more your referrals use Swagbucks, the more you earn.
There’s another way to get SB points from this referral program. If your referral makes 300 SB during their first 30 days on the platform, you and the referral will earn a 300 SB bonus.
- Reward: $20 worth of reward points per referral (up to five referrals)
SoFi is a personal finance application that helps users manage their money, whether for savings or investment, and provides student, home, and personal loans.
SoFi offers six different referral programs, with the app referral being the simplest option.
This program gives 2,000 reward points for the referrers worth $20 when redeemed to SoFi Money, Checking and Savings, Invest, or Load products. On the other hand, the referral will receive 1,000 reward points worth $10 for product redemption.
Your friend has to download the SoFi app and register to SoFi.com within 24 hours after clicking the unique referral link for the referral to be successful. You will get rewards for a maximum of five successful referrals.
Other referral programs that SoFi offers include:
- Loan Referral Program
- Invest Referral Program
- Credit Card Referral Program
- Money Referral Program
- Bank Referral Program
- Reward: $8 to $23 per user
Google Workspace is a well-known online work collaboration platform that includes services like Gmail, Google Meet, and various online document sharing services like Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides.
You have to fill up a sign-up form to join the program. Google will reward you with the following cash rewards depending on the referral’s Google Workspace plan:
- Business Starter – $8 per user
- Business Standard – $15 per user
- Business Plus – $23 per user
Note that the reward is user-based as a Google Workspace account can have multiple users. For example, if one referral signs up for a Business Starter plan with 20 users, you’ll earn $160.
This referral campaign limits the earnings to 100 users per referred account, with a limit of 200 users/year. Opt for their affiliate marketing program to avoid these limits and refer more people.
Note that the Google Workspace referral program is only available in 24 countries, and participants outside the United States will receive a different monetary reward according to their country.
- Reward: $50 per referral, up to $500 a year
T-Mobile is a German telecommunications service provider with a large customer base in the United States.
To join T-Mobile’s refer-a-friend program, you need to subscribe to a T-Mobile or Sprint postpaid smartphone plan. The referrals must not have been past customers of T-Mobile, Sprint, or Metro by T-Mobile within the last 90 days.
T-Mobile pays $50 to your Virtual Express Prepaid MasterCard account for each referral, and you can receive up to $500/year in rewards.
- Reward: Up to $375 per sale
Astra is the most popular third-party WordPress theme in the world with over 1.7 million users.
That’s fertile ground for affiliates, which makes this an excellent program to join.
It’s easy to promote a product like Astra. It’s so popular, it could almost sell itself!
Astra offers up to 50% commission on referrals, which is one of the most generous affiliate programs around. That could be up to $375 for every sale. They even provide swipe copies and helpful media to help you promote.
Affiliates manage everything from a dedicated dashboard that tracks all referrals, payments and activity so you can track exactly what’s going on.
- Reward: 10 GB of storage space
SugarSync is a cross-platform file cloud storage service that enables team collaboration and secure online backups.
You can send a referral invitation by email or share the referral URL on your social media profiles, personal blog, and other platforms.
If a friend uses your referral invitation to open an account with more than 60 GB of storage, you will get bonus storage of 10 GB. You can keep referring new customers until you reach 40 GB in bonuses.
SugarSync’s referral process provides a 500 MB bonus when the new referred customer creates their account. You’ll receive the other 9.5 GB after qualified installation and payment following their trial period.
- Reward: 10% discount on subscription plan per referral
FreeAgent is accounting software for personal use or small businesses. It helps to maintain and see the business’s financial condition overview in a centralized dashboard.
The company’s customer referral program is only applicable to direct subscribers. If you get your FreeAgent account from your bank or accountant, you’re not eligible for this program.
You can refer a friend by sending them your referral code. Find the code on the desktop version of the software or the Android mobile app and send it directly to your referrals. Alternatively, post the referral code in your social media content or on a referral sharing platform like referralcodes.com.
FreeAgent will provide a 10% subscription discount for both the referrer and the referred. Unlike most referral programs, there are no limits, which means you can use FreeAgent for free if you get 10 successful referrals.
The discount is only applicable while the referred friend uses the software. If they cancel their subscription, your discount will end as well.
- Reward: $5 per referral, plus free items
quip offers high-tech oral health products like electric toothbrushes, refillable dental floss, and smart mouthwash dispensers. Their products also include a mobile app that connects to smart toothbrushes to help users develop better oral health.
You have to sign up for a quip account to get a customer’s referral code and link that you can share with friends. If someone uses your link or code, both referrer and referral get a $5 credit for the next purchase.
Note that quip’s referral program policy doesn’t allow participants to post the referral code and link publicly. If the referring customers violate this condition, they will no longer be eligible for the program.
- Reward: 15% commission from your referral’s subscription fee
Zoho is an office productivity tool that offers a wide range of management platforms like CRM, financial, and workspace collaboration tools.
Zoho’s refer-a-friend program rewards you with 15% of the referral’s subscription fee. You receive the reward after the referrals sign up to Zoho and use the product for 90 days.
Note that the bonus cannot be redeemed to your bank account. Instead, you’ll receive Zoho Wallet credits (valid for one year). Also, the referral incentives are only applicable to the first purchase. You won’t receive any rewards for additional Zoho products they add to their accounts.
Using the Zoho Wallet credits, you can purchase a new Zoho app, renew your subscription, or get add-ons. This referral program has no earning limits, which encourages customers to recommend the platform to as many friends as possible.
In addition to the bonus for participants, this referral program gives referred customers $100 in promotional credits that they can use to purchase a new Zoho app.
- Reward: $10 per referral
Ibotta is a shopping cashback platform that lets users shop from thousands of stores and receive. Shoppers only need to submit a shopping receipt to receive it.
You can invite friends to use this platform by sending them a referral code by email, text, or social media post. Get a $10 referral bonus when they submit their first purchase within seven days of signing up with the referral code.
Upon registration, the referred new customers will get a $5 bonus and a $10 reward after redeeming a qualifying offer. There’s no limit to how many referrals you can invite.
- Reward: 10% discount per referral
Hubstaff is an online productivity tool that helps users track their time and tasks to improve workflow.
Hubstaff’s generous referral program rewards you with a 10% monthly plan discount for each friend you invite using a referral link or code. The referral needs to sign up for a paid plan within 90 days after their free-trial period ends to earn you the discount.
The 10% discount is valid for one year. If you get more than 10 referrals in that period, the additional discount coupons will be applied to your account only after another coupon expires.
Hubstaff’s referral program doesn’t limit the referrals, so you can reach a 100% discount and use the platform for free. However, if one of them cancels their subscription, you’ll lose the discount.
- Reward: $30 credit per referral
GetResponse is a digital marketing platform that helps automate email marketing campaigns and optimize your conversion funnel.
In this program, a customer refers friends by sending them a referral link or posting it on social media. The referral marketing program rewards the referred and the referrer with a $30 credit for future payments.
There’s no limit on how many referrals you can invite, but you can only accumulate up to $480/year in credits.
- Reward: $300 for Tesla Solar Panels and $500 for Tesla Solar Roof
While Tesla is well-known for its electric cars, the company also offers solar panels and solar roofs. Currently, only solar products are eligible for Tesla’s referral program.
Share your referral link with friends and family to get $300 for every solar panel purchase and $500 for every solar roof purchase. The rewards will be granted after the referral activates the product and receives permission to operate it.
In Tesla’s referral program, happy customers can share referral links on their YouTube channels, social media posts, and personal websites. Consider giving your positive feedback on the company’s products to make your recommendation more appealing.
However, mass distribution and spam advertising of the link is not allowed, and Tesla won’t reward purchases made via such links.
- Reward: 40% of the referral’s earnings (up to $61 for each referral)
NordVPN is a trusted VPN (virtual private network) that offers next-generation encryption. Its advanced privacy features allow users to safely browse the internet from nearly anywhere in the world and easily unlock content geo-blocking.
If a person you refer signs up to NordVPN and stays an active user for at least 30 days, you’ll earn 40% (up to $61) off of what they’ve spent on their subscription.
Best part? There is no limit to the number of people you can refer to. Invite as many people as you want and earn up to $61 for each referral. But remember, you can’t invite people who have used NordVPN in the past.
Getting started is also easy. You have to create the account, receive a confirmation letter and share your referral link with your friends.
In this article, we’ve listed 15 successful referral programs currently available. These programs are an excellent way for customers to earn and save money and a popular marketing strategy among businesses.
Referral programs encourage customers to invite friends and family to use a product or service, rewarding these loyal customers with incentives.
While joining them is a great alternative for customers looking for discounts, as several offer credits that can only be redeemed via new purchases, others give monetary rewards that you can cash out.
Thus, joining both programs is a great way to boost your earnings. For instance, if you join Hostinger and Dropbox programs, you’ll get a referral commission from the first and expand your account’s capacity with the second.
As for companies, referral marketing strategies improve customer loyalty and attract new customers. If you’re looking for referral marketing ideas for your own business, analyzing the 15 initiatives we listed is a great way to start.
If you would like to share other successful referral program examples or your experience in referral marketing, leave us a comment below.