10 best referral marketing software

Aug 25, 2023 - 03:12
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As you read through this list, make sure that you have made a list of your priorities and begin comparing how these softwares can serve you. Just because one program works for several other successful businesses (even ones in similar niches and markets as yours), does not mean it will work for you. So, think intimately about your goals for your referral marketing, and then go from there.

The right referral marketing software is a key element of your business’ success. Having a platform that really works for your business model can mean exponential growth in clientele. However, there is no one size fits all model for referral marketing software. There are tons of options, and the best one for you is going to be based on the size of your business as well as your priorities.

Post Affiliate Pro

Post Affiliate Pro is a great tool for you if you want to be really hands on with your referral marketing campaigns. The program allows you to create your own customer referral programs from scratch, and also provides powerful tools for tracking referrals and analytics for each campaign. However, this is a software that is best for an already established business, because it does not come with an affiliate network already in place, as some others do. It also has a more difficult user interface due to all of the tools and components that come along with it. So, if you are new to referral marketing, it may be best to start with another tool and upgrade to Post Affiliate Pro once you have established an understanding of the affiliate marketing landscape.

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Talkable is another powerful and highly customizable referral marketing software. You can run multiple campaigns at a time, and also perform testing and segmentation. Unlike Post Affiliate Pro, it is much more user friendly, especially for beginners. You can set up the program in a matter of days and launch a fully functioning referral marketing program. Before you launch your campaign, you can also utilize their in-house strategists to help analyze your customer data and develop a strategy for your business to get you the best referral marketing results.

Referral Factory

Small or medium size businesses stand to benefit greatly from using Referral Factory, because you can really make it your own. And while it allows you to design entirely customizable campaigns, it also comes with a range of templates to help you get started. You don’t need any developers or prior referral marketing experience to start using Referral Factor, and it’s fairly easy to figure out how to use, making it a perfect place for new businesses to begin their referral marketing campaigns.

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Ambassador is a great all-in-one software for not just developing referral marketing campaigns, but also allows you to run loyalty programs for your customers directly in the program. Like many of the other programs mentioned, Ambassador allows you to run multiple campaigns at once. However, this program is a bit less customizable than the others, and it may be better suited for brands that have in-house development teams that can help integrate the program into the business.


Smile.io is a great solution for smaller businesses that are looking for a relatively cheap referral marketing solution. However, it is only for ecommerce businesses and only integrates with Shopify, Shopify Plus, and BigCommerce. Smile.io works as an extension of the ecommerce platform, which makes it very easy to use as a way to run loyalty programs for your customers using different incentive options — such as discounts or free shipping — that are integrated straight into your website.

Mention Me

Mention Me is way more hands off than many of the other referral marketing software listed. You can’t launch or edit campaigns by yourself. Instead, most of the campaign will be run on their end and you’ll be able to discuss with them your wants and needs for each campaign. While you won’t be running the campaigns yourself, you will still have access to all of the data from each campaign — including tests and major KPIs. While others may want to be more involved with the process, this is a great option for business owners who want to take a more hands off approach to their referral marketing.


Extole is another top-level referral marketing software that is made primarily for enterprise companies that are looking to scale massively. It has many of the same features as Talkable, including the complete customization and customer segmentation. Extole has slightly less flexibility in data analytics, but it does offer a few key positives that might be better for conversion for your business model.

Annex Cloud

Annex Cloud is another option that is not self service. It’s an all-inclusive platform that has its own designers, developers, strategists, and campaign managers to create your referral marketing strategy for you. Of course, you will have access to the analytics dashboard, and you will be involved with the collaborative process of developing the campaigns for your business. You just won’t be tasked with launching and managing them.


Friendbuy actually has two different options that basically combine the two different service types offered by other programs. For mid-size businesses, Friendbuy has a self service program that you can use to develop your own referral marketing campaigns. For larger enterprise companies, there is another option that comes with a dedicated campaign manager to design and launch your referral marketing campaigns. Their campaigns aren’t nearly as customizable as some of the other software, but they can be a useful tool if you are looking to keep your referral campaigns relatively basic.


ReferralCandy can be a great option for virtually any type of business, from startup to enterprise. It is a less costly option, and it integrates very easily into most of the well known ecommerce platforms. However, there are a few limiting factors that probably make it good for starting out, but will ultimately lead you to transition later. In the program, you cannot run multiple campaigns at once and you don’t have access to testing or customer segmentation.

As you can see, there’s a wide range of options when it comes to your referral marketing software. Make sure to really examine your needs thoroughly against each of these programs’ offerings to see which meets your needs now, and which may meet your needs in the future. They may be the same — or they could be different! The most important thing is to have a plan for success, either way.

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