There are already 41+ referral marketing solutions out there, so why did we build another one?
The year was 2015, and we wanted to implement referrals for our own SaaS businesses.
We really admired SaaS platforms, like HotJar, Mailchimp, Zapier, Firebase, and Heroku, that made it easy for growing software startups to access a core service. They focused on one thing, and did it really well.
We were looking for a Referral-Marketing-as-a-Service platform of the same nature. A tool that was easy to plug in to your product, with features built for SaaS startups and newsletters to get up and running quickly, with sensible pricing that scaled with growth. We were looking to integrate a referral service and make it a part of our core stack.
Our vision was to utilize a referral waitlist for pre-launch, and seamlessly transition users' referral links directly into our SaaS products post-launch for continued referral growth.
Even though there are 41+ referral marketing software solutions out there, we didn't find what we were looking for.
The solutions were either for Enterprise companies (it didn't make sense to pay tens of thousands annually to start), were viral tools to run contests/giveaways and to build lead lists (we wanted a dedicated referral program that would be a part of our product), or were just not a good fit for SaaS (there are a lot of great referral platforms built for eCommerce and online shops).
We ended up building our refer-a-friend program in-house. The initial scope of work we had estimated to build the referral logic was very low. After all, it was simple just tracking referrals. But as we started designing out the customer referral flows, we found ourselves wishing for an out-of-the-box solution. There's a lot that goes into building a referral program.
At the end of the day, building a referral program ourselves took away time that we would have rather spent on our core businesses.
Fast forward to late 2017...
We really wanted a referral program. We had a vision of growth powered by word-of-mouth, and so we kept returning to discover a solution. Being keenly aware of all the options out there, we were still waiting for someone to build this service. Searches on Google and Quora were still pretty disappointing, and as voracious ProductHunters, we found daily checks yielding similar results.
So we finally decided to build GrowSurf.
GrowSurf is designed to be the easiest referral solution and referral API for SaaS businesses.
But we also know that GrowSurf isn't for every business, and that's why we've also put together a Mega List of 41+ other referral marketing software solutions that you can check out here to find what suits you best for your specific needs.
If you want to get started with referral marketing that works right out of the box for SaaS companies and newsletters, check out GrowSurf at growsurf.com.