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Customer Referral Programs: Top Methods and Rewards

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The most effective method for a current customer to refer a potential customer to a business is a verbal recommendation, according to recent research from Amplifinity.

The State of Business Customer Referral Programs report was based on data businesses that use the Amplifinity platform. Respondents came from a mix of B2B and B2C firms.

The most common referral methods employed by the surveyed firms surveyed are lead forms (77% use them), email (73%), verbal (54%), social media (50%), shareable URLs (41%), and print cards (18%).

The highest volume of referrals come from social media (29%) and email (23%), respondents said. Below are additional findings from the research.


Verbal referrals have the best conversion rate of any referral method (32% of referrals lead to sales); lead forms rank second (19%), and email ranks third (17%).

Among current customers who make referrals, 61% make one referral per year, on average, and 34% make 2-10 referrals per year.

The most popular incentive for referrals is gift cards (52% of businesses surveyed offer them); checks rank second (29%).

About the research: The State of Business Customer Referral Programs report was based on data businesses that use the Amplifinity platform. Respondents came from a mix of B2B and B2C firms.


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Ayaz Nanji is an independent digital strategist and a co-founder of ICW Content, a marketing agency specializing in content creation for brands and businesses. He is also a research writer for MarketingProfs. He has worked for Google/YouTube, the Travel Channel, AOL, and the New York Times.

LinkedIn: Ayaz Nanji

Twitter: @ayaznanji

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