19 Best Referral Program Software Tools: Epic Guide to Selecting Referral Software [2022]

Updated on October 3, 2022
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Table of Contents

We’re constantly researching the best referral program software services out there. So, we decided to share some of our insider knowledge to help you find the right solution for your needs.

Referral marketing campaigns help generate valuable word-of-mouth marketing, by empowering customers to share your business with their friends in a way you can track.

And since people trust their peers’ recommendations more than the ads and messages that come straight from your business, referrals reliably drive customer acquisition – and bring in customers who are more likely to stay loyal.

But for the most success with referral marketing, you’ll need the best referral software tool for your business. And not all referral program software is created equal.

Don’t worry – we’ve done the dirty work so you don’t have to. Dive into this complete list of the best referral tracking software, referral program software, referral marketing services, and referral tools.

Referral tools: Why referral marketing software?

Why do you need referral software in the first place? What does it accomplish that you can’t achieve by manually  designing a referral program?

Referral marketing programs have a lot of moving parts – you’ll need to track who makes each successful referral, and how many referrals become your customers.

You’ll also need to give out referral rewards as soon as they’re earned, to keep participants happy. And for the best results, you’ll want to reward both the referring customer and the new customer.

These factors are almost impossible to manage if you go the DIY route and try to run a referral program manually.

Referral marketing software tools will let you:

  • Automatically track every referral back to the customer responsible, via unique referral links
  • Instantly issue reward payouts when customers earn them
  • Keep tabs on detailed referral program metrics, so you can refine your program for the best results

The best referral software will also have these features:

  • Options to fully customize your referral program so it reflects your brand
  • Top-notch customer success team to guide you through the program setup and management process
  • Auto-enroll feature that registers every customer for your referral program when they purchase from you
  • Easy integrations with other software tools that you already use in your business processes

The good news is, there are a ton of referral marketing software options available to help with all your referral marketing and tracking needs.

Evaluation criteria: The best referral software companies

Even though there are many overlapping features across different refer-a-friend software services, not all referral tools are made the same.

As you’ll see in the table below, we’ve evaluated each referral software based on a number of different features, to help you choose the right tool to run a referral campaign.

CompanyWho is providing the referral software to you?
Free trialNot all referral program software comes with a free trial. We’ll let you know whether a software lets you try before you buy, and if so, how long the trial lasts.
PricingNot every company lists its pricing, but if a company has made its price range known, we’ll list it here.
Minimum commitmentSome referral tools require an annual commitment, while others are month to month. Month-to-month contracts mean you have the freedom to quit when it’s convenient for you.

Note: Most month-to-month commitments also offer the option to pay for multiple months at once (this could reduce the cost per month).

Customer serviceWhat types of customer support are available with the referral program software? For instance, does it offer in-app chat, onboarding specialists, or a knowledge base? And is certain customer service only available on higher-priced plans?
Best forYou may think a refer a friend software is pretty cut and dry. That’s not always the case. Some referral software choices work exclusively with one type of business. And even if a software is not exclusive to a specific business type, it can be obvious which type of businesses will fit well with their platform. Here are a few examples of each type:

  • Local services: roofing companies, realtors, tree removal services, pet grooming, spas
  • Ecommerce: online clothing stores, subscriptions
  • SaaS: email service providers, lead generation apps, in-app chat providers
  • B2B: social media management, CRM, file sharing, customer success platforms
  • Small business: retail, coffee shops, plumbers, personal training
  • Enterprise: big chain grocery stores, department stores, big brand car dealerships
  • B2C: accounting firms, electronics retailers, other retailers
ReviewsWe’ve aggregated the star rating (out of 5 stars) and number of reviews that each software has received on two top review sites, Capterra and GetApp. This way, you can see how existing users feel about the referral software.
Mobile app friendliness and API integrationIf you’re looking to build a mobile referral program, or looking for robust customization options via an API, we’ll tell you whether each software opens these options.

 

Referral program software details: Breaking down the best referral software tools

Whether you’re wanting to build a SaaS referral program, ecommerce program, small business referral program, or referral program for any type of business, there is a referral software out there for you.

Here are the services that have made our list of best referral software.

Click on a tool’s name to jump straight to the details on that software.

CompanyFree TrialPricingCommitmentCustomer ServiceTarget Fit
Referral RockYes$200 - $800Monthly​​Onboarding specialists, customer success managers, chat support, product and resource guides, support center, webinars
Local Services, ecommerce, Small Businesses, SaaS, B2B, B2C
AmbassadorNoNot ListedNot ListedKnowledge Base, Email SupportB2B, Local Services
ExtoleNoNot ListedNot ListedIn-App Chatecommerce, Enterprise, SaaS
FriendBuyYes$249 - $749+MonthlyDedicated Success Manager (certain plans), Knowledge Base, Email Supportecommerce
Genius ReferralsYes$55 - $649+MonthlyKnowledge Base, Email Support, Phoneecommerce, SaaS, B2B
Hello ReferralsYes$42 - $99+MonthlyEmail SupportSmall Businesses
IncentivefoxNoNot ListedNot ListedEmail Support, In-App ChatLocal Services, Small Businesses, B2C
Invite ReferralsYes$79 - $249+MonthlyIn-App Chat, Dedicated Success Manager (certain plans), Email SupportSaaS, ecommerce
Mention MeNoNot listedNot ListedIn-App Chat, Email Support
ecommerce
Referral FactoryYes$95-$1600+MonthlyEmail Support, Knowledge Base, Priority Support (highest plans)ecommerce, B2B, Local Service
Referral CandyYes$39-$299+ (not including commissions)Monthly/AnnuallyKnowledge Base, Email Supportecommerce
SaaSquatchNo$1,750+MonthlyIn-App Chat, Knowledge BaseSaaS, ecommerce
BuyapowaNoNot ListedNot ListedIn-App Chat, Email Supportecommerce, SaaS
Rocket ReferralsYes$2 - $30 per employee accountMonthlyIn-app chat, Email, PhoneB2C
ShareSomeFriendsYes$25 - $75+MonthlyEmail Support, Phone Support (certain plans)Local Services, B2C
TalkableNoNot ListedNot ListedEmail Supportecommerce
Viral-LoopsYes$49-$399+MonthlyIn-App Chat, Email Supportecommerce
GrowSurfYes$450-$1,050+MonthlyIn-App Chat, Email SupportB2B, B2C, SaaS
RewardfulYes$29 - $299MonthlyKnowledge Base, In-App ChatSaaS, ecommerce


Referral Rock
referral program software

“Online referral marketing software that works for any business. Unlock hidden referrals by making it easy for your customers and partners to refer you.”

Free trialPricingCommitmentCustomer serviceBest for
30-day free trial$200-$800Monthly​​Onboarding specialists, customer success managers, chat support, product and resource guides, support center, webinarsLocal services, ecommerce, small business, SaaS, B2B, B2C

About this referral program software: Referral Rock’s referral program software is a next-generation referral tool designed to help any business get more customers using the power of their own network. Online and offline businesses can design incentive-based programs, automatically promote these programs to engage customers, enroll existing customers and referral partners, capture the new leads and sales, then issue rewards automatically.

Referral Rock automates every step of the referral process so a business can scale and consistently measure the success of referral marketing programs. This robust, user-friendly software has the flexibility to be used for customer referrals, employee referrals, partner programs, and affiliate marketing programs. It can also accommodate any reward type and structure your business wants to use (including tiered and multi-step formats). So, whatever your partnership and incentive needs are, Referral Rock has you covered.

Notably, the Referral Rock team is known for its exceptional customer service, which has earned plenty of rave reviews on sites like Capterra and GetApp. No matter which Referral Rock plan you select, an onboarding specialist will assist you during every stage of setting up and running your program.

Pros

Cons

  • Works well for all business types and sizes
  • Onboarding specialist helps you get your program up and running
  • Highly customizable and works with any reward structure (including multi-step and tiered rewards)
  • Flexible enough to run affiliate and partner programs as well
  • Reviewers love the product. customer service, and price point
  • Might be too robust if you want to run a simple ecommerce program

Our take: Many customers have left good reviews focusing on Referral Rock’s customer service and product, and over 1,000 businesses trust the software to run their referral and affiliate programs. So, it’s definitely worth checking out. It’s a robust referral software solution with fair pricing that works for many business types and sizes.

Ratings and usability:

Star rating# of reviewsMobile app friendlyAPI integration
4.555YesYes

 



Ambassador [Now closed] ambassador website logo - a referral software

“Meet the world’s #1 all-in-one referral software”

Free trialPricingCommitmentCustomer serviceBest for
NoN/AN/AKnowledge base, email, phone, chatB2B, local services

About this referral program software: Ambassador’s technology enables companies to run referral, affiliate, partner, influencer, and advocate programs on a single platform. Says Ambassador, “Whether you intend to implement a referral, affiliate, or influencer marketing program, our automated end-to-end platform can handle the curveballs that advocates throw your way.” The software also has several customization options, including region, language, and currency flexibility for global programs, and integrates with several software tools.

Pros

Cons

  • Highly customizable, including with global currency and language options
  • Can run multiple types of programs
  • Has changed hands several times, so may be unreliable
  • Pricing not transparent

Our take: Ambassador places a ton of emphasis on branding, landing page personalization, and global scaling. This software has been around for a while, but its future is uncertain as of now based on changing ownership and recent closure announcements. It’s also hard to gauge just how affordable Ambassador is, since they aren’t transparent about their pricing. With all this uncertainty, Ambassador might not be the best choice.

Ratings and usability:

Star rating# of reviewsMobile app friendlyAPI integration
4.523YesYes

 


Extole
extole website logo - a referral software

“The leading enterprise advocacy platform”

Free trialPricingCommitmentCustomer serviceBest for
NoN/AN/AIn-app chatEnterprise, large B2C, financial services

About this referral program software: With Extole, you can deliver and optimize a sharing experience tailored to your brand. Their advocacy platform integrates the lead generation solution across all devices and channels. Marketers create an acquisition channel by encouraging their customers to refer new customers on site, in-app, and offline.

Extole offers plenty of customization, reward, audience segmentation, and data options that enterprises want in a turn-key referral program. It also provides detailed profiles of all your advocates, so you know which referrers are bringing in the most revenue.

Pros

Cons

  • Turn-key referral program customized for your own business needs
  • Robust data and tracking, including audience segmentation
  • Very expensive, especially for the features it offers
  • Only designed for larger businesses and enterprises
  • Reviewers say integrations aren’t always reliable

Our take: Extole works with some well-known brands, but it’s clearly meant for only the biggest businesses. Expect a very hefty price tag with a completely custom solution. We’ve heard that Extole referral programs can cost upwards of $3500 per month – so rule this software solution out if you’re a small or emerging business. Many other referral software solutions appear to offer the same core feature set as Extole for a much lower price point.

Ratings and usability:

Star rating# of reviewsMobile app friendlyAPI integration
4.721N/AN/A


Friendbuy
friendbuy website logo - a referral software

“Create a customer referral program today. Referral tracking and campaign optimization”

 

Free trialPricingCommitmentCustomer serviceBest for
30-day free trial$249-$749 (enterprise plan also available)MonthlyDedicated success manager (certain plans), knowledge base, email supportEcommerce

About this referral program software: Friendbuy helps marketers optimize customer loyalty and referral campaigns. The software replaces basic sharing buttons with assets that are highly engaging and fully customized to reflect a brand’s look and feel. You can create a refer a friend program in hours, not weeks, thanks to Friendbuy’s library of templates. And once your program is live, it’s easy to A/B test it and find out which messaging resonates best with customers.

Pros

Cons

  • Easy to create and launch a program
  • Also runs loyalty programs
  • Not designed for more complex programs
  • Some reviewers say support is iffy

Our take: Friendbuy is another one of the referral software veterans alongside Ambassador. It seems heavily geared towards ecommerce businesses. It also looks widget-based, so you might not be able to tweak the program to fit your needs if you need a more complex setup (say, a tiered or multi-step program).

Ratings and usability:

Star rating# of reviewsMobile app friendlyAPI integration
4.54YesYes

Genius Referrals

genius referrals
“Choose and customize your full widget… or share links and templates in our design center”

Free trialPricingCommitmentCustomer serviceBest for
30-day free trial$55-$649 (enterprise plan also available)MonthlyKnowledge base, email support, phoneEcommerce, SaaS, B2B

About this referral program software: Genius Referrals is a referral marketing, affiliate marketing, and partnership platform designed to scale with your company. You can personalize the perfect template for your referral program in less than 10 minutes, choose from many reward options to fit your needs, and quickly promote your program across multiple channels. Use code snippets, API or SDKs to integrate your program with your business, then monitor your progress with detailed campaign insights.

Pros

Cons

  • Set up, launch, and promote your program quickly
  • Lots of customization options, including for rewards
  • Tracking and monitoring is simple to use
  • Lacks several features that other referral software has
  • Hard to know what business types it’s designed for

Our take: Genius Referrals is not too specific about what types of business their software is aimed at. The software looks straightforward, though, and they do offer lots of ways to customize your program to your needs.

Ratings and usability:

Star rating# of reviewsMobile app friendlyAPI integration
4.221N/AOnly on higher plans


Hello Referrals
helloreferrals

“Referral tracking software for businesses and networks”

Free trialPricingCommitmentCustomer serviceBest for
30-day free trial$42-$99 (enterprise plan also available)MonthlyEmail supportSmall businesses

About this referral program software: Hello Referrals simplifies the management of your referrals and sales leads in a well-designed piece of referral software. It provides the right tools to organize your trusted partners in business. You can customize your referral program to some degree, but the layout is very simple and widget-based so there are limits. And while you can choose your own rewards, it only seems to accommodate the simplest give-and-get reward structure.

Pros

Cons

  • Very affordable, especially for small businesses
  • Only handles the simplest referral program setup
  • Limited customization

Our take: Hello Referrals lacks some of the bells and whistles that most other referral software platforms provide, but could be a good fit if you’re looking for a simple setup at a very reasonable price point.

Ratings and usability:

Star rating# of reviewsMobile app friendlyAPI integration
4.84N/AN/A


Incentivefox
incentivefox

“Digital Incentive Marketing Platform”

Free trialPricingCommitmentCustomer serviceBest for
NoN/AN/AEmail support, in-app chatAuto dealerships, insurance, home service companies

About this referral program software: Incentivefox makes it easy for local businesses to get referrals, engage with customers and improve employee retention, which all drives more revenue. The platform provides a step-by-step guide to help businesses choose the best incentives to help motivate referrals to occur, and to assist them in choosing the best way to reach customers with new engagement efforts.

Pros

Cons

  • Experienced in helping you select the right rewards
  • Doesn’t seem focused enough on referral programs (it’s more of a loyalty solution)
  • Only designed for certain specific industries
  • Pricing not transparent

Our take: It seems like Incentivefox does a combination of things to help drive revenue and encourage customer retention. But they seem more geared towards loyalty programs, which are very different from referral programs. The company also seems to focus on serving very specific business types, such as auto dealerships, insurance, and home service companies. If you’re outside of these specialty buckets, consider a different solution.

Ratings and usability: 

Star rating# of reviewsMobile app friendlyAPI integration
N/AN/AYesNo


InviteReferrals
invitereferrals website logo - a referral software

“Best referral marketing software for mobile application, social, and website”

Free trialPricingCommitmentCustomer serviceBest for
14-day free trial$79-$249 (enterprise plan also available)MonthlyIn-app chat, dedicated success manager (certain plans), email supportSaaS, ecommerce

About this referral program software: InviteReferrals is easy referral marketing software that helps design and launch customer referral programs across all devices and platforms. Customize your program with an easy-to-use editor, then take advantage of the multiple automation features to save time.

InviteReferrals software tracks at every step of the program, from shares to clicks to conversions, so you can identify top referrers and tweak your program for the best results. Run giveaway campaigns, contests, and referral programs.

Pros

Cons

  • Affordable solution
  • Reviewers say customer support is very helpful
  • Learning curve can be a bit steep

Our take: InviteReferrals has a reasonable price point. In addition, the software says no HTML coding is required, and claims to accommodate referral programs in any language. We’ve also noticed that InviteReferrals is well-rated on review platforms.

Ratings and usability:

Star rating# of reviewsMobile app friendlyAPI integration
5171YesYes


Mention Me
mention me website logo - a referral software

“Supercharge your customer growth with referral marketing through Mention Me”

Free trialPricingCommitmentCustomer serviceBest for
NoN/AN/AIn-app chat, email supportEcommerce

About this referral program software: Mention Me is a plug-and-play refer-a-friend platform. This quick solution lets businesses launch their referral program so it’s up and running “in 30 days or less.”  Mention Me also offers built-in A/B testing, and features to identify customers most likely to refer, so a business can create a well-performing program.

Pros

Cons

  • Performance optimization feature helps you find and mobilize your best advocates
  • Customer success is very responsive
  • Pricing isn’t transparent; reviewers say the pricing is on the high side
  • Can be challenging to learn how to use

Our take: Mention Me covers a lot of information on their website that can be hard to distill. The software also seems to be designed for bigger ecommerce brands, given its lack of pricing transparency. And although the platform claims to track offline referrals through an “enter my name at checkout” feature, it’s difficult to say how helpful this feature really is since we couldn’t see an example in action.

Ratings and usability:

Star rating# of reviewsMobile app friendlyAPI integration
4.610YesNo


Referral Factory
referral factory

“Sign up, build a referral program, and ask your customers to spread the word. No coding required.”

Free trialPricingCommitmentCustomer serviceBest for
15-day free trial$95-$1600+MonthlyEmail support, knowledge base, priority support (higher plans only)Ecommerce, B2B, Local service

About this referral program softwareReferral Factory is designed to help a variety of businesses create referral programs quickly. They offer 1000+ templates for a quick launch, or you can start from scratch for more customization options. Create a referral program in over 20 languages, and for mobile as well as desktop.

Pros

Cons

  • Templates make it easy to launch a referral program
  • Simple to build a program on mobile
  • Likely only works for the simplest referral programs (and can’t support  multi-step processes or tiered reward structures)
  • Integrations are limited

Our take: For a relatively new referral software, Referral Factory looks promising. Based on the examples shown on their website, though, it looks like the software is geared towards basic referral programs only.

Ratings and usability:

Star rating# of reviewsMobile app friendlyAPI integration
4.85YesYes

 



ReferralCandy
referralcandy website logo - a referral software

“Give any ecommerce store a referral program”

Free trialPricingCommitmentCustomer serviceBest for
30-day free trial$39-$299+ month (not including commissions; enterprise plan also available)Monthly/AnnuallyKnowledge base, email supportEcommerce

About this referral program software: ReferralCandy is a customer referral program web application for online stores to boost sales. ReferralCandy is an ecommerce plugin that helps with word-of-mouth sales. Set up your program and customize your rewards without getting developers involved. (Some of the top Shopify stores use this plugin to successfully increase referral traffic and revenues.)

Pros

Cons

  • Very experienced with building ecommerce referral programs
  • Large suite of features geared towards online stores
  • Integrates well with Shopify
  • Charges a percentage commission on referral sales
  • Can only build simple programs
  • Won’t work for you if you’re not an ecommerce business

Our take: ReferralCandy does have quite a few features, and they put an emphasis on catering to ecommerce stores. The software’s price structure is very interesting, though. If you choose the lower-tier plan, you end up paying either the flat monthly fee or a percentage of the referral sales (you pay whichever ends up being the higher price). And even though the enterprise-tier plan doesn’t include commission payments, sources indicate it’ll set you back nearly $48,000 per year.

Ratings and usability:

Star rating# of reviewsMobile app friendlyAPI integration
4.5235NoYes


SaaSquatch
saasquatch

“For a bigger customer footprint”

Free trialPricingCommitmentCustomer serviceBest for
No$1,750+ (enterprise plan also available)MonthlyIn-app chat, knowledge baseSaaS, ecommerce

About this referral program software: SaaSquatch is a trusted referral marketing partner for the Fortune 500 and is built primarily for SaaS companies. With SaaSquatch, you can design and integrate referral program touchpoints to fit across all of your marketing channels, fully customize your program to fit your brand, and engage customers to encourage sharing.

Pros

Cons

  • Highly customizable: customize the appearance, rewards, and more
  • Can handle complex sales processes
  • Very expensive
  • Fewer integrations than other programs
  • Reviewers say it’s not always user-friendly
  • Not a good option for smaller businesses

Our take: SaaSquatch seems to have fewer third-party integrations than other referral marketing software options. The software tool also seems expensive and geared towards larger businesses, compared to other options.

Ratings and usability:

Star rating# of reviewsMobile app friendlyAPI integration
4.510YesYes


Buyapowa
image result for buyapowa logo

“The complete referral platform”

Free trialPricingCommitmentCustomer serviceBest for
NoN/AN/AIn-app chat, email supportSaaS, ecommerce

About this referral program software: Buyapowa hosts referral programs for all industries, including regulated businesses. It uses a business’s existing online presence to encourage customers to refer their friends via multiple channels, including Instagram, which isn’t supported by most other referral software options. It’s an extremely customizable recommendation engine that keeps running for your business, and that optimizes the advocate engagement process to drive the most sharing.

Pros

Cons

  • Extensive list of features designed for enterprises
  • Instagram support
  • Highly customizable
  • Only meant for the largest businesses
  • Not always easy to use
  • Pricing not transparent (likely very expensive)

Our take: In Buyapowa’s own words, they’re an enterprise advocacy solution. The platform offers an extensive suite of features, but you probably won’t need all of them if you aren’t a big business. You might consider Buyapowa if you’re a massive corporation, but definitely stay away if you’re a small or medium-sized business.

Ratings and usability: 

Star rating# of reviewsMobile app friendlyAPI integration
4.816YesYes

 



Rocket Referrals
rocket referrals website logo - a referral software

“We grow your business through building loyal customer relationships”

 

 

Free trialPricingCommitmentCustomer serviceBest for
Yes$2-$30+ per employee accountMonthlyIn-app chat, email, phoneInsurance agencies

About this referral program software: Rocket Referrals works with insurance agencies to automate referrals, retention, and online reviews. Make your clients smile and build strong personal relationships by sending them personalized handwritten cards. You can increase retention through personalized and automated touchpoints.

Pros

Cons

  • Handwritten cards are a unique touch
  • Extremely niche (only designed for insurance agencies)

Our take: Rocket Referrals sends handwritten cards for you to your most loyal customers, so the company seems to have a knack for adding a personal touch. And the emphasis on full automation also seems like a plus. The majority of the Rocket Referrals customer base is made up of insurance groups and agents, though, and the brand’s website focuses on the insurance industry. Only consider Rocket Referrals if that’s your industry, as its features are hyper-targeted to insurance agency needs alone.

Ratings and usability:

Star rating# of reviewsMobile app friendlyAPI integration
4.9114NoN/A


ShareSomeFriends
sharesomefriends website logo - a referral software

“The ShareSomeFriends app provides a quick & easy way for customers to refer friends to your business directly from their phone!”

Free trialPricingCommitmentCustomer serviceBest for
30-day free trial$25-$75 (enterprise plan also available)MonthlyEmail support, phone support (certain plans)Local services, B2C

About this referral program software: ShareSomeFriends lets businesses create a hassle-free and mobile-friendly referral process. It helps encourage customers to share the business with their friends and family on the go. Brands can use it to build a network of brand ambassadors that promote special offers and lead to repeat business. The mobile app makes it easy to drive word of mouth no matter where your customers are.

Pros

Cons

  • Mobile-focused
  • Affordable price point
  • Easy to launch a program
  • No social media sharing options
  • Unclear how rewards work
  • Customers have to enter an ID in the ShareSomeFriends app (you can’t integrate into your own app or mobile website)
  • Only one sharing format; no customization

Our take: With ShareSomeFriends, a business can have a mobile referral program program up and running quickly. We’re a bit surprised that social media sharing isn’t involved, though. And customers have to enter a campaign ID to participate, so they can’t refer right from your mobile website or company app.

Ratings and usability:

Star rating# of reviewsMobile app friendlyAPI integration
57YesN/A

Talkable

talkable website logo - a referral software

“Talkable helps ecommerce companies acquire new customers and increase sales”

Free trialPricingCommitmentCustomer serviceBest for
NoN/AN/AEmail supportEcommerce

About this referral program software: Talkable offers a referral marketing platform for ecommerce marketers to generate new customers and increase sales. The platform is completely flexible in terms of who the campaign targets, how it looks, who is rewarded, and how they are rewarded. Talkable has a one-click installation with Shopify and Magento.

Pros

Cons

  • Integrates well with Magento and Shopify
  • Easy to launch, and customize the look of, your program
  • Only built for simple ecommerce programs
  • Pricing not transparent; we’ve heard it’s expensive, especially for offering only a basic program format

Our take: Talkable seems to have a few nice templates, and the software seems relatively easy to use. The platform has a strong focus on eCommerce stores, though. We’ve seen many businesses use Talkable as their referral marketing solution, but we’ve only seen Talkable consistently used by ecommerce businesses that want a simple program structure.

Ratings and usability:

Star rating# of reviewsMobile app friendlyAPI integration
4.729YesN/A

Viral Loops

viral loops website logo - a referral software
“Referrals made easy for everyone”

Free trialPricingCommitmentCustomer serviceBest for
14-day free trial$49-$399 (enterprise plan also available)MonthlyIn-app chat, email supportEcommerce

About this referral program software: The all-in-one viral marketing platform to launch your referral programs, sweepstakes, competitions and pre-launch campaigns. Select the referral template that suits your business and your needs. They’ve created a bunch of templates, inspired by the success of great companies. All you have to do is change the text to match with your campaign type and your context.

Pros

Cons

  • Lots of plug-and-play templates
  • Affordable price point
  • Limited customization
  • Can only handle basic programs (no multi-step processes or complex reward structures)

Our take: The large library of Viral Loops templates is based on companies like Dropbox, Airbnb, and MailChimp. You plug in your info, and then the program is set up. It doesn’t seem like Viral Loops offers that much customization, though.

Ratings and usability:

Star rating# of reviewsMobile app friendlyAPI integration
4.534NoN/A

GrowSurf

growsurf
“Get more customers. Grow your business.”

Free trialPricingCommitmentCustomer serviceBest for
14-day free trial$450-$1,050 (white-label plan also available)MonthlyIn-app chat, email supportB2B, B2C, SaaS

About this referral program software: GrowSurf’s viral referral marketing platform allows you to launch refer-a-friend programs, leaderboard contents, and even pre-launch waitlists. They offer quite a few options, including unlimited contacts and campaigns. They also support 9 different languages. If you upgrade to their premium service, you are able to connect to a variety of apps via Zapier.

Pros

Cons

  • Easy to use
  • Editor seems to only be designed for basic programs

Our take: GrowSurf seems to offer quite a bit for being one of the newer referral marketing platforms on the market. The editor looks basic, though, so it might only work for the traditional referral program setup. Still, GrowSurf might be worth checking out, especially since a 14-day free trial is available.

Ratings and usability: 

Star rating# of reviewsMobile app friendlyAPI integration
4.727NoN/A

 


Rewardful

rewardful
“Get more of your best customers ”

Free trialPricingCommitmentCustomer serviceBest for
Yes$29-$299MonthlyKnowledge base, in-app chatSaaS, ecommerce

About this referral program software: Rewardful is an affiliate and referral software that works with Stripe-powered subscription businesses. The platform integrates directly with your billing system so that you have full and easy control over referral rewards. It’s as easy as adding a custom code snippet to your website on practically any platform.

Pros

Cons

  • Great for Stripe-powered businesses; integrates directly with the billing system
  • If you’re not Stripe-powered, it won’t work for your business

Our take: Rewardful seems to have a pretty well-rounded program. The user dashboard seems pretty clean and easy to use, but some of the platform’s help documents could use a little fine-tuning.

Ratings and usability:

Star rating# of reviewsMobile app friendlyAPI integration
N/AN/ANoN/A

Frequently asked questions (FAQ) about referral program software

Looking for more answers about referral software – and other aspects of starting and running a referral program? Let us help you through with this FAQ.

Why should you start a referral program?

Word of mouth can be hard to track, but a referral program makes it easy to measure how often you’re being mentioned by others.

A referral program lets you encourage and track the word of mouth that your customers generate. It rewards customers when the friends they refer make their first purchase.

Other benefits of referral programs include:

  • They repeatedly bring in new customers through the power of trusted recommendations
  • The customers referral programs bring in are more likely to stay loyal
  • The costs to bring in a new customer are lower than with other marketing methods
  • After you purchase the referral software, you only pay when the program brings in results (when customers bring in new business)

What is referral program software?

Referral program software is a digital marketing tool that helps you track referrals your customers make, and automate processes associated with running a referral program. Thus, it lets you leverage and keep track of the word of mouth your customers generate.

With the help of referral software, you’ll easily know which customer is responsible for each referral, and be able to instantly reward customers for the business they bring in.

What are the best referral marketing tools?

The best referral tracking software for your needs depends on your type of business. Comb through our list to find the best match for your company.

Some of the best referral software tools that we covered include:

  • Referral Rock
  • Ambassador
  • Extole
  • SaaSquatch
  • Talkable
  • Friendbuy
  • ReferralCandy

What are the benefits of referral software?

Referral program software lets you automatically track which customers make referrals, and reward customers when their referrals result in sales. It also generates detailed referral program metrics, so you can make informed decisions on how to refine your program.

The best referral software will also let you customize your program to meet your needs, and integrate with your existing software and processes.

What are the best referral program examples?

Some of the best referral programs that businesses have run include:

Click on the links to see how each brand has built their stellar referral program.

How do you reward customers for referrals?

You can choose from many options to reward customers for referrals, such as:

  • Store credits
  • Cash back
  • Discounts
  • Gift cards
  • Free products
  • Branded swag
  • Service upgrades

Referral software will let you automatically send out these rewards when customers earn them.

For more on choosing referral rewards, don’t miss our detailed guide to referral incentive best practices.

How can I start an effective referral program?

Besides choosing the right referral program software, you’ll need to follow these best practices:

  • Set the referral program goals you’d like to track
  • Select your referral program rewards
  • Choose compelling messaging
  • Design your referral program page for the most conversions
  • Figure out how you’ll promote your program

Our ultimate referral program guide covers everything you need to start a successful referral program.

Let referral marketing software help you

Now that we’ve gone over all the top referral software solutions in this epic list, you’re ready to choose the referral marketing software that works best for your business needs. So get going and watch the word of mouth – and new sales – roll in!