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Top Referral & Affiliate Programs and Their Pros & Cons by Mind Map: Top Referral & Affiliate Programs
and Their Pros & Cons
5.0 stars - 32 reviews range from 0 to 5

Top Referral & Affiliate Programs and Their Pros & Cons

Popular Tools That - Surprisingly - Don't Have Affiliate Programs

Basecamp

Asana

Wunderlist

Toggl

No affiliate program, but they send little gifts to Toggl fans who recommend them publicly. People can submit their postal address to their support email.

Programs That Target Free & Paid Users

Evernote

Earn Evernote points by referring friends, your friends get 1 month premium when they sign up, Points can be redeemed for various rewards, among them free premium months, but also individual features, More complicated than e.g. Trello

Slack

Share Slack with another team and they'll get a 100$ credit when they sign up. If they upgrade to a paid plan you get 100$ credit as well., Incentivizes the new team to stick with the paid plan from the start, If features such as integrations can't be retained in free plan after credit is gone, free users might not be inclined to go for this offer

Intercom

A ‘3-month free’ reward for both the sender and recipient, Targets already paying users as well as trial users, referral program placed in the main dashboard experience, Relatively simple and straight forward

Uber

When a new user is referred, both the referrer and the new user get 20$ credit, which basically equals one free ride for both, Simple, clear message, Easy to share, Instant value

Programs That Target "Professional Affiliates"

Have cash incentives

Skype

People first have to join an affiliate network

Earn 15-25% commission for sales of paid Skype products

Program closed in 2015

Mindjet

Earn 15% per sale on certain Mindjet products

Not sure if program still active

Uber

Rider Referrals: Drivers earn cash when inviting new riders. They get paid every time someone takes their first ride

Referral earnings are included on the driver's weekly payment statement

MindMeister

Get 20% commission (recurring) for paid users you refer

Programs That Target Free Users

Trello

For every person you get to join Trello, we'll give you a free month of Trello Gold, up to 12 months., Simple, straight forward, instant value, Gives them a taste of the Pro plan that might eventually get them to sign up for good

Dropbox

For every friend who joins and installs Dropbox on their computer, we'll give you both 500 MB of bonus space (up to a limit of 16 GB)!, Similar to MM bonus map program, Extra space can be retained, it's key to usage and enjoyment of the product, 35% of daily sign-ups are via the referral program

Prezi

Invite 3 friends and get 3 months for free if they sign up, What happens when the paid subscription runs out is a bit confusing..., Sets the bar pretty high, Program not visible other than in the user settings

Airbnb

Invite your friends, get 25$ when they take a trip and 75$ when they rent out their place, Targets both hosts and travellers, High visibility, mobile optimized, uses new channels such as Whatsapp, Referrals drive 900% year-on-year growth for 1st time bookings, In South Korea, 30% of their first time bookings come from referrals., It took a 5 person team (with lots of borrowed help!) 3 full months and 30,000 lines of code to do Airbnb’s Referrals 2.0 system.

MindMeister

Get up to 10 extra free mind maps for inviting your friends, every sign up gets you one map!, Simple and straight-forward, Free maps are retained forever, If free user turns into paid user at some point, he can use his referrals to get cash instead of the free maps

Overview

Referrals can and should be a major part of a company's growth strategy

Referred users tend to retain better than other users

Possible reasons could be: The new user is invited by the existing user in order to collaborate with him. The new user trusts the recommendation of someone he knows more than for instance a random tool he finds through Google ...

Program should be as simple and straight forward as possible

Sharing should be simple, quick and painless OR very smart (see e.g. Airbnb Referrals 2.0)

Program should have high visibility. Awareness is key. It needs to be promoted properly WITHIN the product as well as outside

Landing page

Blog post

Help section

In app (e.g. in Account menu dropdown)

Marketing email