Referral Offer Strategies

William Harper Updated by William Harper

The referral offer is a key element of any referral marketing campaign, and consists of two components: the friend incentive and the advocate reward. If the offer isn’t compelling enough, advocates won’t share and friends won’t engage. On the other hand, if the offer is too high, it can affect your costs to run the program. Optimizing your offer structure can help ensure that you get the most from your investment in referral marketing.

Friendbuy includes several basic options for the offer type, as well as options for advanced offer configurations.

Offer Type
Notes & Recommendations

Coupon Code

Available for both advocate and friend offer 

Coupon codes are uploaded into and then distributed from a code bank of your choice within Friendbuy.

Account Credit

Only available for advocate offer

Requires setting up and using the Advocate Reward Webhook. 

Gift Card

Available for both advocate and friend offer 

Gift cards are uploaded into and then distributed from a code bank of your choice within Friendbuy.

If using gift cards as a friend incentive, you should ensure that you are passing gift card data in your purchase tracking configuration. 


Available for both advocate and friend offer 

If you are setting up a custom flow where the Advocate Reward distribution is handled by your team, use this option. For example, if you would like to provide a promotional swag item or manage account credit independently in your own system.

Shopify Coupon Code*

Available for both advocate and friend offer IF Shopify integration is configured

The coupon code will automatically be generated via our Shopify integration and distributed ad hoc at the time either the friend or advocate completes the criteria to earn a coupon code. 

Tremendous Gift Card*

Available for both advocate and friend offer IF Tremendous integration is configured

Automatically distribute gift cards, prepaid cards, or cash that will be generated and distributed ad hoc through our seamless integration with Tremendous.

Tiered Rewards

Tiered Rewards are a great way to create a more sophisticated program. As Tiered Rewards give your advocate new enticing rewards for additional referrals, they help encourage advocates to refer more friends. You can customize the tiers to determine when the advocate reward increases. As a best practice, we recommend using the Top Advocates Report to understand your baseline advocate behavior to better set tiers that are attainable. Learn more about configuring Tiered Rewards here

Offer Best Practices

  • Keep it simple - the messaging needs to be clear and concise. 
  • Give the Friend and Advocate the best offer you have upfront - this can be the same as a react offer or something further down the funnel that a customer won’t see at the same time. Think about BFCM - how can you create that same sense of urgency and excitement year round?
  • Survey and test what rewards your customers want. If you give a lot of discounts, maybe they want exclusive gifts, early access or free upgraded shipping. 

Questions? Reach out to your dedicated Customer Success Manager or email us at

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Driving Referral Program Awareness

Limited-Time Offer Promotions in Referral