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10 Financial Referral Program Examples to Inspire You

Posted by Lars Arboleda | Sep 28, 2021

Are you in the financial services industry? If so, I can’t stress this enough: focus on building customer trust.

Why? Because...

Marketing in Financial Industry is an Uphill Battle

While trust in financial services firms has been on an uptrend over the last year, history shows that consumer trust in financial services is always on shaky ground. Best not to be complacent.

Here’s something that would help you earn and grow your customers’ trust: Referral marketing. More to the point, launch a referral program.

Think about it. Customers trust each other more than they trust brands. In fact, 92% of people trust recommendations from friends and family more than other forms of marketing.

Besides, with the coronavirus pandemic impacting the financial health of consumers worldwide, people need your services more than ever. What better way to spread the word about your brand than to let your happiest customers and clients do your marketing for you?

Okay, I get it. The idea of launching a referral program can be a little daunting, not to mention there's a lot of room to make mistakes. Need ideas? Or a dash of inspiration? Read on, for here are 10 financial referral program examples to learn from.

1. MainStreet

MainStreet Financial referral program example

Founded by three ex-Google employees in 2019, Mainstreet is a B2B SaaS platform that automatically identifies, claims, and advances tax credits on behalf of startups. The startup surpassed $3MM in six months thanks in large part to their referral program.

How Mainstreet’s Referral Program Works

Once you become a Mainstreet client, you automatically get a unique referral link. For every referral prospect that signs up and qualifies, you receive $200.

Why It Works

  • For starters, MainStreet’s referral program makes it easy for its users to send referrals. Once you’ve become a user, you get access to a referral program dashboard that lets you send referrals and keep track of your referrals (unique referral link, social sharing buttons, a “how-to” guide, and more).
  • A straight-up cash incentive of $200 works because, well, startup founders need to add to their personal capital to help fund their startup ventures.

Pro-tip: If you want to scale your referral marketing efforts, you need to track referrals and measure quantifiable performance metrics. MainStreet, for instance, uses GrowSurf to track their referrals, giving the startup the visibility they need to scale their marketing efforts (resulting in a 15% ARR increase in six weeks!).

2. Western Union

Western Union referral program

Western Union offers an easy and reliable way to transfer money worldwide. The financial services organization has been in the money transfer business for over 140 years.

How Western Union’s Referral Program Works

Western Union account holders can refer up to 25 friends to Western Union by sharing their personal referral link. Once they send at least $100 within the US or at designated international locations via the Western Union website or app, you both get rewarded with a $20 Amazon e-gift code.

Why It Works

  • The referral dashboard ticks all the right boxes. It provides a clear step-by-step guide on how the referral program works. It has social sharing buttons, a unique referral link you can easily copy, and a clear CTA. It also has a rewards dashboard to help you track your referrals and rewards.
  • The $20 Amazon e-gift code works as an incentive in this referral program. For one thing, it’s super relevant. 60% of Western Union users are migrants doing remittances, and an e-gift code is a great thing to have if you travel a lot. Migrants also love to send gifts, and an Amazon e-gift code is a more thoughtful gift alternative to cash gifts.
  • Gift cards are great incentives because they’re easy to manage and won’t disrupt your billing systems.

3. Wealthfront

Wealthfront referral program

Wealthfront is a Robo-advisor and investment service company that uses advanced software to help you build and manage your investment portfolio. The company’s mission statement: “to build a financial system that favors people, not institutions.”

How Wealthfront’s Referral Program Works

After opening and funding a Wealthfront account, you can start sharing your unique referral link to refer friends to try out the service. Referrals will receive $5,000 managed for free when they use your referral link. You also receive $5,000 managed for free for every referral who opens and maintains a funded account with Wealthfront.

Why It Works

  • First off, the company’s referral landing page is a marketer’s dream. The headline (Get $5k managed for free”). and the supporting copy communicates the benefits clearly. CTA (“start investing”) is straightforward and action-oriented. And using a preview of the dashboard as the main image gives prospects a taste of what they’re getting if they sign up.
  • Wealthfront is offering a generous dual-sided incentive. Better yet, the company is offering an incentive that is super relevant to the user. They’re offering their customers something they already signed up for.

4. Willful

Willful referral program example

Willful is a digital estate planning platform that helps you create wills and Power of Attorney documents online—at a fraction of the cost (and time) it takes to have a lawyer draw up one.

How Willful’s Referral Program Works

Get friends or family members to complete their will through your unique referral link and they get a $20 referral discount upon checkout. You receive a $10 Amazon gift card within 5 business days of your friend purchasing a Willful plan.

Why It Works

  • First off, the “Give $20, Get $10” headline works. It’s not original, but it delivers results.
  • On top of the great supporting copy (loved the “spread peace of mind” bit) and the copy-friendly unique referral link, providing links to the full referral program FAQ and the restrictions is a nice touch. Talk about transparency!
  • Again, you get a dedicated referral dashboard that makes it a cinch to refer friends. It’s highly personalized, too, making the referral process an even more engaging experience.
financial referral program example screenshot

Wilfull achieved a net return of 312% on their referral program. How? High visibility on referral performance and KPIs! Since signing up with GrowSurf, Willful found it much easier to track their referrals via unique referral links. Thanks to performance analytics, the financial firm was able to make the right adjustments to increase channel performance and boost conversion rates.

Start your free trial of GrowSurf

Set up your referral marketing program with software that lowers your customer acquisition cost and saves you gobs of time.

5. Coinbase

Coinbase referral program

Coinbase is a secure online platform that offers a convenient one-stop-shop for buying, selling, managing, transferring, and storing digital currency.

How Coinbase’s Referral Program Works

Once you’re a Coinbase account holder, you can refer friends and family to earn bonuses. Sign in to your Coinbase dashboard, click “Invite Friends,” and refer away. For each friend who signs up using your referral link and makes a crypto trade minimum of $100, you earn $10 of free Bitcoin. The friend (or family member) earns the same amount, too.

Why It Works

  • Coinbase knows how to leverage network effects in its headline. Emphasizing that both the referrer and the referee will receive bonuses makes the referral program more enticing. After all, every Bitcoin user knows that each additional Bitcoin adopter makes the currency more valuable.
  • Love the "grow the digital currency community" part. The Bitcoin community is a passionate lot, and injecting a purpose into the referral copy has proven an effective way to get Coinbase users to send referrals.

6. Wealthsimple

Wealthsimple referral program

Wealthsimple is a Robo-advisor that helps you build smart portfolios. It's set it and forget it investing if you ever saw one. It helps you grow your money via smart financial tools and expert financial advice.

How Wealthsimple's Referral Program Works

Once you're a Wealthsimple user, you can invite friends through your referral link. Once a recipient joins and funds an account, both will (the advocate and the referral) receive $10,000 in assets managed for free for 12 months. The referee will receive the incentive upon checkout. The advocate gets the referral bonus after the referee deposits a minimum of $10 into their investment account.

Why It Works

  • Wealthsimple’s referral landing page makes the most out of the “friend to friend” nature of referrals by mentioning and highlighting the referrer’s name. Adding “you” is a nice touch and communicating what’s in it for the recipient (“two free stocks”) makes the landing page even more effective.
  • Wealthsimple’s double referral incentive works both ways. The offer of free managed services is appealing to advocates because it rewards them with something they want. It’s also equally appealing to potential referrals because it provides them the opportunity to experience the brand’s value without making an upfront financial investment.

7. Robinhood

Robinhood referral program

Robinhood is a stock brokerage and investment platform that allows customers to buy and sell stocks, options, and cryptocurrencies with zero commission.

How Robinhood’s Referral Program Works

Once you're a Robinhood trader, you can invite friends using your unique referral link. Once a friend signs up using your referral link and links their bank account, both accounts will be credited with a reward stock. Each stock is selected randomly from Robinhood’s inventory of settled shares.

Why It Works

  • Robinhood’s offer is effective because it’s directly connected to the benefits the brand delivers. In other words, the offer aligns with the product’s core value. Plus the headline “Invite Friends, Get Stock” communicates that value (not to mention it has a nice ring to it).
  • The financial firm gets added points from me for its transparency. It's got a dedicated page that lays out how the process works as well as sections on how they choose reward stocks, the stock reward limit, terms and conditions, etc.
  • Special kudos for the landing page. The name of the referrer is included, the branding colors stand out, and the CTA pops.

8. Oobit

Oobit referral program

Oobit is a financial service firm that makes buying and selling cryptocurrency easy and convenient. The company offers tools and services that make crypto trading a more engaging and profitable experience.

How Oobit’s Referral Program Works

The process is easy. As an Oobit user, you get a unique referral link that you can share with your friends. For every instance a referral signs up and buys or sells $100 of crypto, you get $10 worth of Bitcoin deposited directly into your Oobit Bitcoin wallet. The referral gets $10 too so everyone’s happy.

Why It Works

  • Oobit’s referral landing page is particularly effective for its visual simplicity, consistent use of color palettes, and concise and relevant messaging. The “Cryptocurrency for Everyone” headline makes cryptocurrency trading sound more accessible, eliminating any hesitancy on the part of prospects who are interested to get their first crypto.
  • The referral offer works because it’s directly connected to the core value of the service. By giving $10 of crypto to both advocates and referrals, you get them to experience the value of your offer faster, which helps with acquisition and retention.

9. Bench Accounting

Bench Accounting referral program

Bench Accounting is a fintech company that offers online bookkeeping services to small business owners. Bench accounting uses a hybrid approach. You’re not only getting an intuitive proprietary software to help you manage your accounts, but you also get help from human bookkeepers to help keep your finances up to date and headed in the right direction.

How Bench Accounting’s Referral Program Works

Once you become a Bench client, you automatically get your own unique referral link. Share that link with fellow business owners and they get a month of free bookkeeping. You also receive a $150 Visa gift card and one month free of service for sending the referral. There's no limit to how many people you can refer.

Why It Works

  • The offer is highly relevant. Small business owners struggle with cash flow management and giving them a gift card and a free month of bookkeeping makes their lives a bit easier. It’s also a cost-effective approach to show Bench Accounting’s value as a service.
  • Also, giving a free month gives Bench Accounting more opportunities to demonstrate the value of their service.
  • “You run your business. We'll do your bookkeeping." You can't go wrong with that headline.
  • Bench Accounting’s onboarding experience is phenomenal. For a more detailed breakdown, check out our blog post: Bench Accounting’s B2B Referral Program Breakdown .

Sign up for GrowSurf

Set up your referral marketing program with software that lowers your customer acquisition cost and saves you gobs of time.

10. Bank of America

Bank of America referral program

Bank of America is one of the biggest banking institutions around the world. A parent company of Merrill Lynch, the financial firm is a household name in the financial sector.

How Bank of America’s Referral Program Works

Like most credit card referral programs, Bank of America’s refer-a-friend program is launched to generate more sign-ups. The referrer gets $25 for every referral while the referee gets $150 after opening an account.

Why It Works

  • Bank of America’s referral program is effective because a good portion of its target audience are bargain hunters. The referral incentive is a cost-effective way to gain new customers. At the same time, launching the referral program is a great way to spark word of mouth.

Tips for Running a Successful Financial Referral Program

We ran through some great examples of successful financial referral programs. Follow these tips if you want to achieve the same success for your existing (or upcoming) referral program.

1. Make it easy to send referrals

Choosing the perfect referral incentive helps, but it’s not enough. In a distracted world where distractions are everywhere, you want to make it easy for your customers to send referrals.

Here are ways to do that you:

  • Reduce the steps needed to send referrals (if you can explain the referral process in three steps, the more referrals you’ll receive).
  • Communicate the benefits clearly.
  • Provide clear steps on how to participate (use simple words and be concise about it).
  • Provide customers with a unique referral link.
  • Include a pre-written message into the referral message.
  • Provide multiple sharing options

2. Personalize your referral messages

As already mentioned, customers trust each other more than they trust brands. You can use that trust to your advantage by personalizing your referral messages and pages.

Including the referrer’s name in your referral messages (the messages potential customers see when referrers recommend your brand). It’s even better if you send those referral messages via your customers’ email addresses.

You also want to personalize your referral messages according to the needs of your referral program. This means delivering relevant information, including the number of referrals, a unique referral link, how many referrals they need to earn the next reward, and more.

Thankfully, you can easily pull this off by automating your referral program. GrowSurf, for example, has third-party integrations that allow you to integrate your CRM, email marketing system, and other tools with your referral program.

3. Be transparent

- Every financial institution needs to be transparent to gain people's trust. After all, the financial sector has a reputation to recover.

To be transparent, you need to offer timely, clear, and authentic information, not to mention show economic responsibility at all times.

In other words, there shouldn't be any confusion about how your referral program works.

Make sure you:

  • Tell them how your referral program works.
  • Tell them what their information will be used for.
  • Tell them exactly what your advocates and referrals will be getting.
  • Avoid information inconsistency
  • Don’t leave any important information out
  • Keep them updated

4. Gamify your referral program

If you want your customers to feel engaged, provide them with feedback loops Gamify your referral program.

You can do this by telling or showing them:

  • How many referrals they have made.
  • How many referrals (or referral points) they need to get to the next milestone or reward (as applies to tiered reward systems).
  • Showing them how many referrals they have made.
  • The rewards they have earned.
  • An indication that a referral has signed up
  • And so on.

Key Takeaways

Referral marketing is a powerful strategy that will help your financial firm build an audience and turn them into brand advocates. In a fast-paced world where trust is hard to come by, letting your best customers do your marketing for you is the best way to ensure that trust in your brand is early earned and kept.

I hope that you’ve learned a ton from the 10 financial referral program examples explored here. And remember to:

  • Make it easy to send referrals
  • Personalize your referral messages
  • Be transparent.
  • Gamify your referral program.

For more in-depth examples, check out our case studies and see how GrowSurf’s customers are able to drive growth and generate stellar results.

Start your free trial of GrowSurf

Set up your referral marketing program with software that lowers your customer acquisition cost and saves you gobs of time.

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