The most successful member referral programs are not only interesting and valuable to members (and prospects) but also stay on brand message when it comes to the type of offering. To help improve your referral program to increase leads and member engagement, check out our 3 step guide below.

Find Your Ideal & Most Fruitful Member Type

Ideally, you’re most engaged members would recruit the most amount of leads. The benefit is not only free advertising but an increased likelihood that the type of people they recruit are a good fit for your organization. These types of referrals will stick around, bring you long-term revenue, and maybe even extend the referral cycle to their own network.

Referral Gifts

In a perfect world, a member would refer their friends and colleagues with no monetary incentive. However, your members are only human. Even if they believe in your mission and are actively engaged in your group, they’re busy professionals and referring a friend takes extra work. To increase your chances, include a small gift for both the referrer and referee. Check out these interesting refer a friend programs for ideas.

Grand Prize

Image Credit: Huckberry

Take a note from Huckberry, an outdoor clothing and product company. Instead of merely offering 10 bucks for a referral, Huckberry takes it up a notch with a grand prize of $1,000 for the people who refer the most sign ups. It’s a win-win for both Huckberry and the customer.

Holiday / Seasonal Themes

Image Credit: Naturebox

Use a holiday or seasonal event to draw attention and promote special offerings. Naturebox used the Super Bowl, a massive event that attracts millions of viewers, as a platform for snack sharing. Consider a similar campaign for your association. For example, during Christmas time, instead of gifting $10 dollars to each party for a referral, send out holiday cookies or specially made ornaments.

Here at AMO, we give away $25 Amazon gift cards to both the new client and current AMO customer. Got someone in mind? Let us know!

Make sure it’s convenient

Over everything, make sure your referral program is convenient. If it takes more than 5 minutes, it’s likely a member won’t take the time. Configure your form with two simple field boxes – the referee’s email and a short, already configured message.

Consistent with brand

Every association is different. That means your referral programs will look different as well. What works for one group won’t necessarily work for your organization. Consider the industry, demographics, and consumer needs.  If your association works in architecture, perhaps a free subscription to a design magazine. Or, if you’re a legal association, maybe a free ticket to an upcoming educational course so members can add to their C.E. credits. Whatever it is, make sure your offering matches up with your messaging.

Not sure what to offer? Meet with our digital strategist to come up with the best referral ideas for your organization. Reach out to me at


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