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How to Build a SaaS Referral Program

by Jerusha Songate. Last updated on December 04, 2023

Using the right tools and techniques to build a SaaS referral program is vital for having it work effectively.

It is also good to get some help in knowing and understanding what to do with referrers and with referral marketing to bring in new customers.

Avail our 14 day free trial with Baremetrics and we will help you in getting started with growing your customer base and referral program the right way. 


Customers Need to Love Your Product

You won’t have much chance of a good SaaS referral program if customers don’t love what you’re offering.

You can send them all the surveys and program options that you want, and even post things on social media, but to get your referral program moving through word-of-mouth advertising, your product needs to be good 

It is especially true if you’re a startup, in which case it’s good to have your customer referral program up and running as soon as possible.

Ensure that you keep all your ideas and suggestions in one place as you work to build something that will provide lifetime value to existing customers and get marketers interested.


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Figure Out the Referral Program Incentives 

One of the biggest issues for a SaaS business or SaaS companies that handle affiliate marketing is figuring out the incentives for the program.

Companies like Uber or Airbnb are using the power of customer acquisition and CRM to bring in more people and get them interested in referring others. 

You want to have a big customer base first, so those customers will market your program for you.

Gift cards, e-commerce opportunities, and even payments through PayPal can all work for incentives, especially for new users who are just getting started.

You also have to take a careful look at pricing and metrics, because your incentives have to be enough to interest your customers without causing your company any financial issues.

A referral link is the easiest way to encourage customers and it can be tied to a referral software so referred customers will be in the system already.

If you’re curious about how your churn stacks up with similar companies, our Open Benchmarks show you average churn rates based on average revenue per user.


Spell Out the Terms and Conditions

Don’t just go blindly into your referral program. Make sure to spell out the terms and conditions so you can keep problems low and retention high.

If you don’t have the right templates for the information or you’re short on storage space for referred people, you could also see your program fizzle out.

This is mostly because people want to see that the affiliate program they are part of is working and has some value.

If you’re going to build a referral program, consider the automation options that Baremetrics can offer. With a free month, you can explore all of your opportunities.


Consider When to Ask for Referrals

The conversion rate seen on your landing pages will generally be higher if you’re asking for referrals at the right times.

You can’t just jump on sites like LinkedIn and ask all your loyal customers to join your marketing program.

You need the right kind of messaging, LTV, and mobile app to get things started and keep them successful.

Promote the Program Properly

Ensure that your partner program has referral rewards that matter to your customer base and that it’s being promoted well.

Nielsen ratings can be part of that, along with ReferralCandy or another type of referral system you can trust.

With the right SEO content and a strong user base, your successful referral program can grow and develop in ways that work for everyone involved.


Measure and Track the Results

The last step in building a good referral program is to see how it’s doing. By tracking and measuring results, you’ll be able to see if there are areas within your program that need improvement.

Improve the success of your referral program by starting your free 14-day trial and see what Baremetrics can do to help it become a successful one.

Jerusha Songate

Jerusha has a strong interest in SaaS and finding new business opportunities. She writes for Baremetrics as part of her passion for business journalism.