How To Grow SaaS Sales With Referral Marketing


Are you looking for ways to increase sales of your SaaS product? If so, referral marketing may be the solution you're looking for.

Referral marketing can help you grow your customer base and increase sales by leveraging the power of word-of-mouth marketing.

Moreover, it's a cost-effective way to market your product, as you only pay when a sale is generated.

Today, we'll cover everything you need about referral marketing for SaaS, including how it works and how you can get started.

Let's dive in.

What Is Referral Marketing?

Referral marketing is a type of word-of-mouth marketing in which customers are incentivized to refer new users to a product or service. It's a form of indirect marketing, as it relies on customers to do the majority of the marketing for you.

In most cases, referral programs offer some kind of reward to customers for every new user they bring in. For example, you might offer a commission, discount, or free trial to customers who refer new users.

Referral marketing is an effective way to grow your customer base, as it allows you to tap into the psychological principle of social proof.

This principle states that people are more likely to do something if they see others doing it. In other words, referral marketing relies on social proof to encourage customers to try your product.

Since customers are more likely to trust recommendations from people they know, referral marketing can be an effective way to increase brand awareness and boost sales.

Banner explaining the effect of an affiliate program for saas companies.

What Are the Benefits of Referral Marketing?

There are several benefits that come with using referral marketing to grow your SaaS business.

  • Cost efficiency: Because referral marketing relies on word-of-mouth promotion, it is a very cost-effective way to reach new customers.
  • Increased brand awareness and reach: When customers make referrals, they are effectively endorsing your brand to their friends and family. This can help you to reach new audiences and significantly grow your brand awareness.
  • Improved customer loyalty and engagement: Referral marketing can help to improve customer loyalty and engagement by encouraging customers to actively promote your brand.
  • Generate high-quality leads: Leads generated through referral marketing are often higher quality than those generated through other marketing channels. This is because referrals usually come from people who already know and trust your brand.

What Type of Referral Programs Work Best for SaaS Companies?

There are a few different types of referral programs that work well for SaaS businesses.

  • Commission-based referral programs: In this type of referral program, customers are given a commission for every new customer they bring in. This is typically a percentage of the sale, but it can also be a fixed amount (e.g., 10% of the sale or $10 per new customer).
  • Discount-based referral programs: Customers are given a discount when they refer new users to your product (e.g., $10 off for every new customer).
  • Credit-based referral programs: Customers get credits or "points" for every new customer they bring in. These credits can be redeemed for using your product or other rewards (e.g., Dropbox gave users 500 MB of extra storage for every referral).

Whatever type of referral program you choose, make sure it is simple and easy to understand. The last thing you want is for customers to be confused about how it works.

In addition, make sure the rewards you offer are valuable to your customers. If the rewards are too low, customers won't be motivated to make referrals.

How to Get Started With Referral Marketing

Now that you know what referral marketing is and why it's so effective, you're probably wondering how you can get started.

Here are a few tips to get you started:

1. Define a "Referral Audience"

The first step is to define your target audience. Who are the people most likely to refer new customers to your product?

For example, if you're a SaaS company that sells accounting software, your target referral audience might be accountants or bookkeepers who work with small businesses.

Or, if you sell project management software, your target referral audience might be project managers who work in construction or IT.

Think of who your ideal customer is, and then identify the people who are most likely to know and recommend your product to them.

Some key factors to consider include:

  • Their job title
  • Their industry
  • Their location
  • Their company size

You can further segment your referral audience by identifying their needs and pain points. 

  • What are they looking for in a product like yours? 
  • How can you solve their specific problem? 
  • Where do they typically go for information and advice?

This will help you to create targeted referral marketing campaigns that are more likely to be successful.

If you know who your target referral audience is, you can start to think about how to reach them.

For example, CFOs tend to read a lot of financial blogs and listen to podcasts. So, if you're targeting CFOs as part of your referral audience, you might want to consider guest blogging on financial blogs or being interviewed on popular finance podcasts.

Of course, this is just one example. There are many other ways to reach your target referral audience. The important thing is to think about what will work best for them.

2. Identify Your "Referral Triggers"

Referral triggers are the specific events or actions that prompt customers to make referrals.

For example, a trigger might be reaching a certain milestone in your product (e.g., using your accounting software to file your taxes). It might also be a specific problem that you helped them to solve (e.g., using your project management software to complete a complex project on time and under budget).

Think about what triggers might prompt your customers to make a referral. Then, you can start to think about how you can create more of these triggers.

For example, if one of your triggers is filing taxes, you might want to create a blog post or email course that walks customers through the process of using your software to file their taxes.

3. Tap Into the Power of Social Media

Social media is a powerful tool for referral marketing. It allows you to reach a large number of people quickly and easily.

When using social media for referral marketing, it's important to focus on quality over quantity. Instead of trying to get as many followers as possible, focus on building a community of engaged and interested people who are more likely to make referrals.

Here are a few tips for using social media for referral marketing:

  • Use social media to share valuable content: Share blog posts, infographics, images, and other types of content that your target audience will find interesting and useful.
  • Use social media to build relationships: Engage with your followers regularly. Respond to comments and questions. Share other people's content.
  • Use social media to run referral marketing campaigns: For example, you could run a campaign on Twitter or LinkedIn asking your followers to share your content with their networks.

4. Offer the Right Incentive

This might be an obvious one, but it's worth mentioning nonetheless. In order for your referral marketing campaign to be successful, you need to offer an incentive that is valuable to your customers.

The type of incentive will depend on your business and your target audience. But some common examples include discounts, free products, and exclusive access to content or features.

Think about what would be most valuable to your target audience and then offer it as an incentive for making referrals.

5. Make It Easy for Customers To Make Referrals

If you want your customers to make referrals, you need to make it easy for them to do so.

The simplest way to do this is to provide them with referral links that they can share with their friends and family.

You can also make it easy for customers to make referrals by providing them with pre-written social media posts or email templates that they can use.

Making it easy for customers to make referrals will increase the number of referrals that you receive, which can help you to increase your sales.

It All Comes Down to Choosing the Right Platform

To properly execute a referral marketing campaign, you need to choose the right platform.

The best referral marketing platforms will allow you to track referrals, provide customers with referral links, and offer incentives for making referrals.

Make sure your chosen solution has all of these features before you launch your campaign.

Reditus, for example, helps you create a new revenue channel in minutes through powerful and easy-to-use referral marketing software.

screenshot of the Reditus homepage

With Reditus, you get access to all the features you need to launch a successful referral marketing campaign, including:

  • Referral tracking: Reditus tracks every referral, so you can see which customers are referring your business and how much revenue they're generating.
  • Referral links: Reditus provides customers with referral links that they can share with their friends and family.
  • Reporting: Reditus provides detailed reports that show you how your referral marketing campaign is performing.
  • Payout management: Reditus makes it easy to manage payouts for customers who make referrals.

With Reditus, you can also get listed on our referral marketplace, which gives you access to a wider audience of potential customers and new referrals.

In short, Reditus is the perfect platform for launching a successful referral marketing campaign, even if you're new to the world of referral marketing. 


Referral marketing can be a great way to increase sales for your SaaS business. By using social media, offering the right incentive, and making it easy for customers to make referrals, you can increase sales and grow your business.

Ultimately, it boils down to choosing the right referral marketing platform. Reditus provides all the features you need to launch a successful referral marketing campaign.

To learn more about how Reditus can help you increase sales, schedule a free demo or sign up for a free trial today.

Joran Hofman
Meet the author
Joran Hofman
Back in 2020 I was an affiliate for 80+ SaaS tools and I was generating an average of 30k in organic visits each month with my site. Due to the issues I experienced with the current affiliate management software tools, it never resulted in the passive income I was hoping for. Many clunky affiliate management tools lost me probably more than $20,000+ in affiliate revenue. So I decided to build my own software with a high focus on the affiliates, as in the end, they generate more money for SaaS companies.
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