Power of Referral Strategy In The World of Marketing

Refferal Strategy for connecting

Its happens often that you saw an advertisement on television or a billboard and didn’t feel tempted to use a product. The reason is you generally don’t trust advertising that much. Linking it to an obvious strategy of businesses to attract customers, you believe that its same superfluous policy and decide to ignore it. 

However, when it comes from a friend or a relative, you prefer to take heed of it. As you believe they are relating to their personal experiences with the product and it’s worth trusting. Therefore, the referral strategy is becoming increasingly common to expand the businesses for new startups. 

According to the report, 84% of consumers trust the referral strategy as the most reliable mode of advertising. 

How can you build a strong referral base

It depends on the fact that how much you value your customers. If your connection with them is weak and broken then be assured referrals won’t work for you. If you are a small setup and your dealings with your clients are on a direct basis. Then try to act as approachable and supportive as possible. 

Build long term relations with your clients and don’t hesitate in requesting them to pass the word. If your services were satisfactory to them, and you feel confident with that, then don’t be afraid to ask them to act as your brand ambassadors. 

If you own a large firm and you can’t maintain direct contact with your clients then set up an efficient customer service support. If you instantly respond to their queries and resolve their issues then it will generate satisfaction in your customer base. As a result, they will comment favorably about your prompt services, which will bring in new clients for your products or services. 

Let’s take a look at how some of the most successful startups build up their consumer base with astute referral policy.

1. Dropbox – Two Ways Referral Strategy

Dropbox is a unique trendsetter in this regard that managed to increase its user base by 3900% which is an enormous difference. And all of it was done in just 15 months. First, they gathered feedback then worked vigorously to meet the expectation with improvement.

How they made others refer?

  • Sign up process was made extremely easy. Many feel put off with complicated signup process.
  • Referrals were two ways like both the one who referred and the others who were sent an invite were given 500MB storage space.
  • Referrals could be made with any social media platform or even Gmail. That makes it even more accessible for users. 
  • Referrals and rewards given in return were clearly identified to its users. 
  • A notification email was sent to inform about the given space.


Refer a friend for dropbox


All of these factors made Dropbox a pioneering example of referral marketing. Even though the idea was originally taken from PayPal that used to give money as incentive dropbox offered storage space. But it didn’t end with dropbox, other startups also took the inspiration.

2. Airbnb boosted its business in the same way

It started offering an incentive of 25 dollars on the first Airbnb trip and $75 if you are hosting a guest for the first time. It readily worked, but that wasn’t the end of it. As a result, its growth reached 25 billion dollars which were doubled from the previous year.

They used social media influencers as well, not technically referrals but served as a form of inviting others. They threw a huge party in London and invited many Instagrammers and YouTubers with heavy following.


Air bnd referral strategy


They didn’t actually pay those hundreds of influencers but they uploaded videos and stories of the lavish party the next day. That targeted and addressed potential customers at a massive level and less money than any paid advertising campaign. 

3. Cab services thriving with referral codes

Many renowned services around the world like Careem, Uber, and Lyft take advantage of the referral strategy. A free ride is given with every invitation made to both the receiving party and the sender. It managed to expand the market of these companies at a much faster level. 


Startups all over the world are getting the advantage of referral strategy. With the changing landscape of corporate and tech sectors, marketing strategies are to be innovated as well. Referrals can trigger growth at unprecedented speed but condition first improves the quality of your services. If you fail to deliver, no marketing strategy can save you.

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