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An introduction to referral programs for SaaS businesses.

In this guide we’re going to provide you with a blueprint for organizing and implementing a robust referral program for your SaaS company.

Consisting of three parts, this guide includes all the resources you need to successfully setup your own referral program.

🔗 SaaS and Referral Marketing

The real truth about referral marketing is that it’s actually one of the easiest and most effective forms of promotion, and the opportunities for marketers willing to take the plunge are significant.

Not all forms of marketing are created equal. Certain channels for SaaS can build a flywheel effect for your company where they continually add new customers to your service every month. SaaS referral marketing is one of these organic channels that we've seen Dropbox, Evernote, Typeform and many other brands use to build profitable marketing campaigns.

For SaaS marketers, now is the ideal time to take advantage of this underutilized strategy. Referral marketing can be a highly effective and inexpensive form of customer acquisition and has the potential to be a huge traction channel for your SaaS company. Implementation can be easily achieved using Referral SaaSquatch, and results can be tracked in real time.

To learn more about how referral marketing can benefit your SaaS business please take a look at our resources section:

Why work with Referral SaaSquatch?

Learn why leading brands trust Referral SaaSquatch as their referral marketing partner of choice.

🔗 Rewards

SaaS businesses are extremely varied in what they do, so we've built Referral SaaSquatch to be extremely flexible and capable of supporting a wide range of referral program rewards.

For the purposes of this guide, we will be focusing on a referral program that makes use of either Percentage Discount, or Dollar Credit rewards. To find out more about other types of rewards that are available please check out some of our other guides.

🔗 Referral Loop Example

A full referral loop will include the following components:

  • Engagement: Your existing user will interact with the referral program and share their referral link with friends and family.
  • Identification: Referred users will visit your site and sign up for a free/trial account.
  • Attribution: Signup process will pick-up that user was referred and attribute the referral to the referrer.
  • Conversion: Referred user signs up for paid account, releasing a reward for referrer.
  • Fulfillment: Rewards for the referred user are fulfilled at upgrade, while rewards for the referrer are fulfilled once the referred user has converted to paid.

Your existing users will commonly interact with your referral program through a desktop or mobile widget embedded in your product. From here they have the ability to track the progress of their referrals and share their referral link or code with friends and family over social media, or email.

Prospective referred users will click this link and be directed the the landing page you set for your referral program. Here they can follow your standard signup flow. When integrated into your signup flow, the Referral SaaSquatch tracking script will identify the user to our system and attribute the referral to the correct referrer.

When the referred user takes advantage of the referral reward to sign up for a paid subscription this will convert the referral to paid. The referrer will be notified of their successful referral and that their reward is available to them.

🔗 Next Steps

The next part of this guide outlines the structure of your new referral program following a similar structure to this example referral flow.

🔗 Additional Resources

The Referral Program 101 article provides the basics of what a referral program is.

More about where your users will interact with your referral program can be found in our Referral Marketing Channels article.