Get More Partner Referrals – the 7 Best Incentives to Use

Get More Partner Referrals – the 7 Best Incentives to Use

Nichole Gunn

Image of a network of people connection - representing B2B partner referrals

The benefits of using incentives to increase partner referrals far outweigh the costs. Studies show that customers who hear about a company’s products or services through referrals from existing clients have a higher retention rate. They’re also four times more likely to attract new customers through referral programs.

However, for partner referral programs to be successful, they need to have rewards that make them worthwhile for your existing customers. So what are the best incentives for B2B referral programs? Read further and discover the seven proven methods successful companies employ to attract new customers. Plus, you’ll also learn about some of the best B2B marketing referral software you can use to implement your program.

Best Incentives for B2B Partner Referrals Program Incentives

Around 78% of marketers, believe that you can generate good leads using B2B referral programs. Compared to other forms of lead generation, referral customers tend to be from the same niche your business serves. Therefore, the likelihood of sales conversion from partner referrals is very high.

Here are seven of the best B2B referral programs you can use for your marketing efforts:

1. Create Brand Ambassadors with Gift Perks

Customers who receive physical gifts from a company help create loyalty. For example, send them something nifty and useful like a bluetooth tile for tracking keys, bearing your company’s logo or motto. The more interesting and useful the gift is (i.e. not the boring, played-out coffee mug), the more reason referrers have to talk about your brand.

Morning Brew Newsletter used the referral perks method, which helped them grow their subscribers from 100,000 to 1.5 million. They also used a tiered approach, offering an even better gift for those who refer even more subscribers.

2. Cash Reward System for Early Adopters

While a cash or credit reward will not turn your customers into brand ambassadors, it is one of the most enticing incentives you can offer. Using cash or credit is the best approach for customers who don’t regularly use your products or services. You should choose this method if your business is in its start-up phase so you can gain traction fast.

According to, referrals helped PayPal skyrocket its success and is one of the companies that used this method for both their B2B and B2C customers. You can make this even more lucrative for existing and potential customers by rewarding cash incentives to both the referrer and referee.

3. Product or Service Upgrades

For companies offering a trial period or freemium version for their products, an upgrade to a premium version is an excellent incentive for referrals. You don’t have to give your product for free entirely. A one-year free use of your product is more than enough to encourage your customers to refer potential leads.

Another benefit of this incentive is that customers using your product’s premium features are more likely to purchase the paid version after their subscription reward ends.

4. Charitable Donation for Better Brand Image

Making a charitable donation under your customer’s name provides a two-fold benefit. You not only encourage the customer to refer highly-targeted leads, but you also boost your brand image and build an emotional connection with your leads. Charitable donations also come at a lower cost than some other alternatives, such as gift cards.

5. Offer Discounts to Boost Sales

Offering discounts is a commonly-used and effective incentive referral program. It boosts customer retention rates and customer acquisition alike. Discounts encourage customers to return because most people appreciate an opportunity to save money. Discounts can also push customers to purchase more products in the future — a great example of this is a 25% discount on their next purchase.

6. Access to Exclusive Events

If you are running company events, you can give an exclusive invitation to customers who refer new leads to you. The effects of using this incentive are long-term and allow referrers to turn into brand ambassadors.

Tesla uses this same approach in growing its business. They offer duffel bags when their customers refer two people. If a customer refers more than ten people, they receive an invitation to a Tesla unveiling event.

7. Gift Cards for One-Time Purchases

Most SaaS companies use gift cards to incentivize partner referrals, providing gift cards from third-party stores such as Amazon or Starbucks. It is an excellent alternative to cash, giving your customers the ability to choose which gift card they want to receive when they refer a new lead.

The Benefits of Partner Referrals Marketing Software

Using B2B referral software can help you efficiently create and track referral campaigns. Here are some great benefits of using an effective B2B referral marketing software:

  • Increased conversion rates
  • Helps you collect data for future referral marketing endeavors
  • It lowers the cost of customer acquisition
  • Referral marketing provides quick and easy access to your product or service

Improve Your Business Further with B2B Referral Programs

Running a B2B referral campaign is cost-effective since it helps you attract high-quality leads without draining your marketing budget. Choose from these seven incentives for your B2B referral program and get better yields for your efforts.

Do you want a more in-depth guide on referral marketing? Read our e-book on incentive program planning and ensure that your business gets rewarded as well.