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Guest Post: Referral Marketing In The B2B Space

Referral Marketing in the B2B Space: What You Need to Know
If you’re in the B2B space, referral marketing can have a big impact on your business. In fact, did you know that 92% of customers trust referrals from people they know?

But before we get into the nitty-gritty of how you can start a successful referral marketing program, let’s first define referral marketing.

What is Referral Marketing?

Referral marketing is a channel marketing strategy that increases sales by encouraging customers to refer their friends and colleagues to your business. Businesses will generally offer incentives via discounts, free products/services, or cash to encourage referrers to take part in the program.

You can often see this in action when you see your friends on Facebook share a link for you to receive $5, so they get $5 in return. Or, when a colleague shares a link on Linkedin for you to receive a free software trial so that they get a discount on their current subscription.

But, what does affiliate marketing look like for B2B businesses? How can you succeed with referrals? Here are our top tips on how you can start a successful referral marketing program today.
Tips to Create a Successful Referral Marketing Program
Referral marketing is an effective way to drive new business to your company, but it can also be a valuable way to improve the customer experience, build brand awareness, and strengthen customer relationships.

The best part is that it's not hard to set up. There are plenty of tools out there that can help you run an effective referral program, from email templates and landing pages to automated follow-up emails and even mobile apps that make it easy for your customers to refer their friends.

Let’s talk through some of the top tips we’ve seen in the industry when it comes to starting your own successful referral marketing program.
1. Define Your Goals
In order to get the most out of your referral program, you need to start by defining how your program will work. This may seem obvious, but having a clear idea of what you want to achieve will help you design a program that achieves those goals.

If you are looking for more leads, then make sure that your referral program has an incentive that encourages people to refer their friends. If you want more customers, then create an incentive that rewards existing customers when they refer new customers.

2. Know Your Target Audience
Just like with any other successful marketing campaign, you have to know your target audience. Without knowing who you are trying to target, it can be oftentimes difficult to know who to pitch your referral program to.

To understand your target audience for this program, find out their:
  •  Demographics
  • Background
  • Geographic Location
  •  Lifestyle
  •  Pain Points
By looking to your buyer personas for inspiration, you can quickly figure out how you can make the best referral program possible for your future preferred

3. Set Your Referral Program Requirements
In order to get referrals from your customers, you'll need to set clear guidelines for what qualifies as a successful referral. If you want to offer monetary incentives, specify how much you're willing to pay out as well as what rewards will be given out to referrers and referred leads. If you are giving out a discount, outline the specific discount your advocates can expect with each new sign-up they bring in.

By being transparent about these specifications upfront, you won’t leave anyone second-guessing.
4. Offer Enticing Rewards
Without a robust reward program, it will be difficult to get sign-ups for your program. Examples of some rewards that you can offer include:
  • Exclusive Discounts
  • Free Services
  • Cash
  • Cash Back
To figure out which reward brings in the most sign-ups, run a test! Try out different referral campaigns and continue to optimize them to bring in more advocates to your program. By running this test, you may be surprised at which one performs better!

5. Make it Easy for Customers to Share
If you're asking customers for referrals, make sure you've told them exactly how they can refer their contacts. Don't assume that everyone knows that they can go to your website to grab the referral link or that they can share a referral email directly with their contacts.

Make the entire process from saving the referral link to sharing it with their network— easy. Never assume that your referrer automatically knows what to do. (That’s your job!)

Quick Stat: B2B companies with referrals have a 70% higher conversion rate, and they report a 69% faster close time on sales.

6. Advertise the Referral Program
If you have a great referral program, but no one knows that it exists, is it really that great?

To get referrals, you have to first make people aware of your program. The best way to do this is through targeted advertising on your website and social media channels. Showcase the benefits of joining your program in an eye-catching way that will encourage visitors to click through and sign up to be an advocate for your B2B business.

7. Track Performance
The key to a successful referral program is tracking what's working and what's not.

You should be able to see which campaigns are driving new customers and which ones aren't. This will allow you to focus on what's working rather than wasting time (and money) on what isn't working. It also gives you an idea of how much revenue each campaign is generating for you so that you can make adjustments accordingly
Grow Your B2B Business with Referral Marketing
The B2B space is tough. Between the lack of time and constant pressure from sales teams, it can be hard to find the time to build relationships that actually matter. But, with the power of referral marketing, you can get more customers excited about your services than you would if you were to leave outreach solely up to the sales team.

By following these referral tips, you should now be well equipped for launching a successful B2B referral marketing campaign aimed at growth.