Top 12 Referral Program Software That Help Boost Your Sales

Top 12 Referral Program Software That Help Boost Your Sales

Quick question: Do you use Dropbox? What do you think is the secret behind the success of the behemoth?

Any guesses?

The answer: Referral programs.

Dropbox now claims a $1B revenue run rate and is cash flow positive.

Dropbox’s affiliate program – which is a very successful program catapulting the company to stardom, bringing in more than 2.8 million invitees in the first 18 months of the company’s life. Even today, it’s estimated that 35% of all sign ups for Dropbox come from their referral program, according to Samuel Edwards of Entrepreneur

Dropbox spent very little on advertising and I don’t think there’s a major content marketing strategy behind the growth as it was for any of these companies that you and I both know about.

As on 2016, thanks to Craig Smith of Expanded Ramblings, here are a few statistics for Dropbox:

500 million users
1.2 billion files uploaded daily to Dropbox
About 3.3 billion sharing connections created
More than 100,000 new shared folders and links created every hour on Dropbox
More than 200,000 paying customers (a total of 8 million total customers)
Supports more than 20 languages

Zach Bulygo of Kissmetrics reveals how the company managed to grow as big as it did. Vikasan Veeraswamy of Referral Candy also has a detailed account of Dropbox’s successful referral program.

But then, Dropbox wasn’t the only company that benefited from a referral program done right. There was PayPal before it and there was also Airbnb.

All this, just to let you know that when you do a referral program right, you can see the potential it has.

Building a successful referral program is hard. Very hard.

But they aren’t as easy to pull off as you think it is.

Last time I checked, there were some 51 examples of referral programs that worked great, including companies like HubStaff, Paypal, and many others.

Most online businesses think that all they need is a piece of referral program software and they all good to go and be on their way to launch a successful referral program.

It’s not the case, and no one better than Ivan Kirigin can attest to that. Having worked extensively on Dropbox’s referral program. He insists on knowing three things before building your referral program:

  1. Do people like your product? Measure it. Hint [NPS – Net Promoter Score]
  2. Ask people to refer other people. Compose invite links (or use software which we’ll explore below]
  3. Judge. Look out for metrics. Finally, decide if you should invest or change or stop completely.

You know that companies have seen tremendous success with referral programs. You also know what to do before you start.

Let’s now explore some fantastic tools that make running a referral program easy for your business:

Viral Loops

Viral loops

I’ve seen Viral loops in action (because I signed up and referred people) and it happens to be the best and most capable referral program in the entire list. Viral loops has professional referral program templates and they even made sure they listed out various campaign types that you’d probably start with, depending on your goals.

There’s a pre-launch template, a giveaway template, an e-commerce template, a template for startups, and even a “milestone referral”.

Referral Candy

referral candy

Referral Candy has been around for a while and they are most popular referral program software of this lot.

ReferralCandy seems to focus on helping you run referral programs for e-commerce stores but I don’t see why you can’t hack your way around it for absolutely anything else – like letting your eBook offer go viral or have people share your latest offer with their friends.

After you launch campaigns, ReferralCandy also has contacts, campaign performance reports, and analytics.

EnticeHQ

enticehq

I’ve written about EnticeHQ earlier and while it might not be on the level of Viral Loops or Referral Candy yet (I believe Greg –the founder – is working on a “pro” version), EnticeHQ has everything you need to get started with basic campaigns (and also a WordPress plugin to boot).

If you are looking to start, like right now, without having to part with cash, I’d highly recommend EnticeHQ for two reasons:

1. Greg is an awesome guy.
2. EnticeHQ works right out of the box and is free to start with.

Referral SaaS Squatch

referral saas quatch

Referral SaaS Squatch seems to be focusing only on SaaS companies, apps, and software companies but you know what I’d say next: hack it to run any kind of a referral campaign if you choose to. The referral program software boasts of clients like TypeForm, InVision, LogMeIn, and others.

Referral SaaS Squatch gets you sophisticated campaign reporting, beautiful designs that enhance user experience, a secure rewards management console with automated detection algorithms, a way to weed out any activity that’s shady or fraudulent, and integrations.

CampaignedApp

Campaigned App

Campaigned App, the way it works, reminds me of Workflows are setup in Drip. Using custom workflows, you can design your campaigns your way. This gives you unmatched flexibility instead locking yourself into templates. You also get a landing page feature to allow you to build a promotion page (right off the bat) which you can build with a nice WYSIWYG editor.

A mobile-friendly control panel for a referrer dashboard ensures that you have your analytics for campaigns. You can also schedule campaigns, use custom user fields, use multiple currencies (if the world is your oyster) and also have payout options (if you are giving away cash).

For the pro plan, there are absolutely no limitations (I like that).

Amplifinity

amplifinity

Amplifinity focuses on driving lead generation and sales for B2B and sales-driven companies. The referral marketing software is built for businesses already on the growth trajectory.

Amplifinity directly integrates with SalesForce and allows for multiple referral marketing channels while reducing the overall effort to launch and manage such campaigns. With clients such as RingCentral and Citrix, it does have the chops.

While you are at it, Amplifinity also has a handy calculator to calculate the ROI of a Referral program

FriendBuy

friendbuy

FriendBuy is an easy-to-use referral program software that also comes with widget templates that you could customize and deploy; automated reward feature (give away store credits, points, cash, or whatever), and real-time analytics.

More interestingly, FriendBuy makes use of PURLs (Personal URLs) which can be used individually by each customer wherever they want to share – including mobile messengers, instant messages, blogs, and more.

Incentivit

Incentivit

Incentivit comes with everything you need to get up and run with a referral program for your business. Some of the nifty features include a reputation builder (so you can let customers build your reputation for you), an embeddable feature using which you can put your referral program software to work on any page of your website (or landing pages), and more.

Incentivit also comes with fully-automated tracking, email notifications, enrollment notices, rewards, and reminders.

If you so wish, you can also opt to work with SMS, build custom refer-a-friend gates, and more.

Firecart

firecart
I am a big fan of drag-and-drop anything simply because it saves you time and allows you to accomplish so much with nausea-inducing decision faux pas. Firecart is a simple referral marketing software that you can use to help make your customers your brand ambassadors at scale. Get well-designed referral forms using templates, make use of a powerful referral rewards engine, and more.

Firecart comes with auto-trigger rules that can trigger off a sequence of events for referrers such as the number of referrals, conversion spends, etc.

You also have the option of using website widgets, a post-purchase email workflow or put up a referral program on your Facebook business page.

NextBee

nextbee

NextBee promises to take your referral marketing campaigns to another level by providing you not just the tools you need but also a CRM/ERP integration and dedicated account manager. Nextbee uses the PACE (Personal, Adaptive, Controlled, and Exciting) methodology because not all businesses are built equal and hence your referral marketing campaigns won’t be the same too.

Nextbee’s customer referral program solution is built for businesses looking for easy refer-a-friend and social sharing widgets while letting you give away rewards tied to sales and subscriptions.

ForewardsApp

forewards app

Talk about confidence and ForewardsApp lays it out flat: the referral program software is free for you to use up to $200 (in earnings?).

ForewardsApp again focuses on e-commerce stores and has a simple workflow to help boost your sales. Customers make a purchase, ForewardsApp sends an automatic message to your customer to let them refer their friends, then your customers are rewarded when their friends also buy.

ReferralClix

referralclix

The one thing that ReferralClix – in addition to what you saw until now is a “referral process as a service” and it’s best for businesses that don’t want to bury their already busy heads trying to just get a flying start to a referral program.

But then, if you do choose to use the referral program software as it is, you then have access to a simple setup wizard, an ability to create relevant offers and churn out campaign specific deep links to help spread the word about the exact offer you are making for your referral program.

You also get customizable pop-ups, landing pages, emails, and message templates that you can deploy easily. ReferralClix’s loyalty engine, quick e-commerce site integration, and mobile-friendly optimized software ensure that you don’t break the user experience anywhere.

Which of these referral marketing tools have you used before? Let me know if I missed any?

Teachable Vs Coach: Launch My Courses On What?

Teachable Vs Coach: Launch My Courses On What?

For a long time now, I’ve always wanted to get back into training and coaching. I first tried to do it the regular way, by calling up local companies and checking out local job listings if there were any opportunities to do freelancing or if I could do training and coaching on-demand.

It so happens that the entire process is cumbersome, inefficient, and time-sucking. Calling up people, going through the gate-keepers, getting to decision-makers, trying to convince them that I am the right person for the job.

For a while, I almost forgot that I am in the age of LinkedIn, Twitter, and Quora. I am in an age when a sweet female voice powered by AI answers your queries when you contact your bank. I needed a jolt to wake me and make sense of the apps on my own phone and what they can do.

That jolt came when I was thinking just how hard the traditional sales process has become. So, I started looking for options for doing training and coaching online (and occasionally offline, if I could).

So, I started looking out. Since this website was already hosted on Flywheel and because everything else was stitched together and seems to be working with the existing setup, my first port of call was to look for a WordPress-based LMS system that works with WooCommerce and see if I can play it that way.

WordPress LMS, your options:

LearnDash
LifterLMS
WPCourseware
ZippyCourses (but it needs a full and standalone setup for WordPress, and won’t work with your existing site)

Fully-hosted, third party-standalone options

Coach
Teachable
Teachery
Thinkific

Other Options

The Rainmaker Platform

How I sorted my options?

Rainmaker was an awesome solution to solve all your problems that start with stitching multiple tools together to make your business work.

It’s just that it was outside of my budget at the moment.

Most of the WordPress-based LMS solutions looked crappy and don’t work as well. I tried out WPCourseware and it sucked completely. LifterLMS was slightly better but I can’t speak for the others.

Chris Lema, however, is who you should be reading up on to get to know everything these is to know about WordPress-based LMS tools.

Why I Choose Coach?

WordPress LMS had to wait. So, I only had options between Thinkific, Teachery, Teachable, and Coach.

I already signed up for Teachable when I wanted to launch my Freelancing Course and I got to use it and had experience with it. There were many complaints about Teachable being buggy and with an ugly UX/UI on their own Facebook group.

Thinkific was certainly more value for money. Plus, they don’t free your earnings for 30 days like Teachable does. In many ways, and for many reasons, Thinkific scored.

Then, along came Coach with Spencer Fry leading the cavalry.

Coach, for one, had a beautiful interface and an excellent UI. No bugs, no screen outs, and no downtime ever. It was also very intuitive and easy to upload courses (including videos and files).

Coach was Value for Money, Outright

Teachable allows you to start for free but only lets you price your course and sell it a somewhat customizable landing page. Coach also gives you landing pages for all accounts. For sending drip email campaigns (or free email courses), however, you’d have to upgrade for both Coach and Teachable.

However, Teachable starts at $39 per month while coach starts at $29 per month (for up to 1000 subscribers).

Now, here’s the clincher.

Teachable takes 5% off transaction fees and only does monthly payouts at the basic plan level. It also has affiliate marketing and integrated email marketing (which isn’t that great).

Coach doesn’t take any percentage off your transaction fees and comes with everything you need (and I don’t think you need anything fancy like affiliate marketing integrated).

Note: If you need to implement affiliate marketing, you can always use Shareasale for not only affiliate management but also making yourself available for thousands of affiliates worldwide.

Coach has amazing Checkout Design

One of the sore aspects of using WooCommerce + WordPress setup is the ecommerce checkout part. In one line: it’s clunky, with too many checkout fields, and you’d have to use additional plugins (also by WooCommerce) to reduce the number of fields or to customize the checkout aspect when you get to use it.

Teachable’s checkout is relatively better than the native WooCommerce+ WordPress setup (and it is mobile responsive).

But coach takes this one step further with the best, one-click checkout – seamless, mobile responsive, efficient, and easy.

This has huge implications on your conversions.

Here’s how Coach’s Checkout looks like compared to Teachable.

Sell with CoachTeachable Checkout

Coach Has Amazing Support

I never had anything to talk to the teachable folks so I don’t know how their support is like. Going by the pulse at their Facebook group, however, I don’t usually see anyone from Teachable responding to user queries. It’s usually users themselves that support each other.

See this:

But then, Teachable has been around for a while. They have full-integration with email service providers, Zapier, landing page builders like Unbounce, and more. You can also sell courses in Bulk (ot corporates or educational institutions with a few workarounds).

I don’t think you could do all that with Coach.

Please take a look at my learning center (built with coach) and tell me what you think?

Have you used Coach or Teachable? What’s your take on either of them? If you’d like to signup, go ahead and start for free with Coach

Unbounce Launches WordPress Plugin & More Awesomeness

This week has been awesome and for businesses looking to get their digital marketing right, there’s tons of news for you.

It took a while for Unbounce — the popular landing page builder — to come up with responsive pages for their customers (I am definitely one of them) and now, here’s a game changer: Unbounce now lets you use Unbounce landing pages with your WordPress sites. With the Unbounce Plugin for WordPress, things will change.

Instead of having to use Unbounce landing pages separately on a subdomain, which would look something like this:

http://subdomain.yourdomain.com/yourlandingpage

You can now do it this way:

http://www.yourdomain.com/yourlandingpage

According to Unbounce,

“Not only would you avoid back-and-forth with your hosting provider during initial setup, but you could customize your landing page’s URL structure – helping you improve relevancy signals to search engines.”

Plus,

“…your landing pages appear as a natural extention of your WordPress site.”

Go ahead and use the new Unbounce for WordPress plugin. This thing is long due.

Mouseflow Launches Beta

Mouseflow is a popular analytics application that helps you record live visits to your web properties and also allows you to pore through heat maps to see what your website visitors are up to. Where do they pay most attention at? What do they do? What are they typing into the search box? How do they scroll?

That’s genius. Now, there’s an all new beta version of Mouseflow that’s even better when it comes to ease of use, UI interface, and packed with features as usual.

See what Mouseflow beta has in store for you.

HootSuite Now Works with Instagram

HootSuite Pro has always been my favourite tool of choice for managing client accounts, as well as mine. It’s been a lifesaver (effort and timesaver too) as you’d very well imagine how painful it’d be to sing in and out of multiple accounts. HootSuite Pro helps you manage multiple social media accounts with a single dashboard.

Meanwhile, Instagram was a pain to manage without proper integration. However, HootSuite now has a brand new integration with Instagram and you can now post, schedule, and manage updates right from your hootsuite dashboard. Learn more about HootSuite + Instagram

Signup for a HootSuite Pro Free Trial

Manage Pinterest in Style

Pinterest is huge, and I’ve written about it earlier. Just that it’s hard to manage Pinterest without actually logging in and starting new boards, managing old Pinterest boards, and to pin or repin.

Say hello to TailWind App, which helps you manage your Pinterest personal account or Pinterest for Business. Read a detailed review of TailWind App, or signup for a free account.

What will you do with all this goodness?

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