Explore creating and managing referral program incentives for channel partners – companies that collaborate with you to sell your products or services – and other helpful tips.

Customer referral programs leverage word-of-mouth marketing to bring new customers on board. However, you may not have yet considered the benefits of a great channel partner referral program. How does a channel partner referral program harness reward revenue streams?

Understandably, your channel partners are in an excellent position to provide valuable referrals if you’re looking for ways to grow your customer base. However, they’ll want to get something in return. So, why not look into a channel partner referral program for the resellers and distributors who already play a vital role in your business’s marketing strategy? 

Your channel partners act as a "middleman," and taking steps to incentivize their sales or referrals on behalf of your business can go a long way. Successful channel partner incentive programs have to be mutually beneficial, though. 

Through your program, you'll ideally gain customers and boost your revenue. In turn, your partners will enjoy a worthwhile incentive, which motivates them to continue sending customers your way. That’s why as many as 48% of all companies use channel or distributor incentives, even if these incentives aren’t equally effective in every setting.

What type of referral program is worth your time? Follow these simple steps to set up a channel partner referral program with rewards or incentives that really work!

INFOGRAPHIC: How to Create Channel Partner Incentive Programs

Implementing and managing your rewards program

You can structure a channel partner referral program in a variety of ways, but the ultimate goal is to encourage your partners to refer more customers to your business. You can then properly reward them for it because offering referral program incentives for channel partners poses several benefits.

For example:
  • Increase partner loyalty: When your channel partners begin referring customers to your company, they'll automatically feel a sense of loyalty to your brand. The referred customer could turn into a paying customer once they understand that someone whose opinion they trust has referred them to you.

  • Higher earning potential: Of course, the main goal of referral program incentives is to bring more loyal customers to your door, boosting your revenue long-term. In fact, these types of referrals tend to have 30% higher conversion rates compared to organic customers.

However, in order to maximize these benefits, you must roll out your program successfully and manage it well long-term. The experts suggest that after you've finished creating your partner referral program, you plan to send communications to all your partners with information about the following:

  • How the incentives program works
  • What the partners stand to gain from participating in the program
  • How your partners can begin earning incentives immediately

You'll also want to have the systems in place to monitor and manage the referral program. Measure its return on investment frequently to ensure it's producing the desired results for your company. If partners aren’t participating as expected, you may need to rethink things.

Remember, providing clear instructions and emphasizing the benefits available to your partners will produce a positive initial impression. Take time to get the details right so that you frame these benefits in the best possible light before presenting them to your channel partners.

Tips for driving revenue with channel partner referrals

If you're going to the trouble to set up a channel partner referral program, you may as well take a few extra steps to improve its potential returns. Here are a few tips for driving more revenue streams by perfecting your referral program incentives:

Keep it simple

Don't overcomplicate your program and confuse your partners. Keep the instructions clear, and ensure that your partners know the steps they need to take to earn specific incentives. 

Automate your incentives

Setting up automatic incentives can save you a lot of time as you begin rewarding channel partners for their referrals. Consider e-gift cards as an example.

Engage your partners

Set up your referral program, but don’t forget about it. You’ll want to continually check in with partners, change up the incentives to boost engagement, and remind partners to keep those referrals coming. 

Collect feedback

Your new program should incentivize channel partners to refer more customers to your business. After running your referral program for a few months, why not send out a survey to ask how you can improve the referral process? That way, you’ll pin down how to keep growing your customer base.

Target top Giftbit industries & partners for real results 

With Giftbit, you can take the stress out of managing referral program incentives for your channel partners. The tools here make it easy to send automatic gift card rewards when partners complete specific actions, like successfully referring new customers to your business.

Why not incorporate Giftbit into your existing CRM platform and automate your rewards process in minutes with the help of Giftbit's gift card API?

You can target specific industries and partners to maximize your results. Plus, Giftbit’s reporting feature will help you track your progress and measure success.

Finally, if you have ideas on how you want to structure referral bonuses or incentives beyond gift cards, Giftbit also offers custom reward solutions—you just provide the details and they'll take it from there. With Giftbit, you can provide rewards that are tailored to your individual partners and customers. It's the perfect way to thank them for their continued loyalty and brand advocacy!