How To Start Your Own Referral Program?


Starting a referral program might be intimidating, especially if you haven’t worked with one before. 

How and where do you find affiliates? How do you keep track of links and pay out commissions? What is the most effective strategy to promote your referral program? These are all valid questions, and you must address them before getting started.

Having your own referral program may appear to have a lot of moving pieces, yet it is made up of only a few basic components. When you understand these components and how they interact, you may create your own effective referral program.

referral program

In this blog post, we’ll go over the essentials and talk about the five items you’ll need to get started with a referral program. We’ll also add some pointers and resources to aid you along the way.

Let’s get this party started!

Why Should You Consider Starting an Affiliate Program?

A referral program (also known as an affiliate program) is a low-cost strategy to reach new customers by collaborating with online content creators. 

These advertisements promote products or services that they believe their followers may find useful by sharing blog pieces, social media posts, videos, or other digital content with their own audiences.

Working with these content creators and influencers might help you reach new leads and convert them into paying customers. In exchange, you will pay commissions to your affiliates for the sales they deliver.

What You’ll Need to Get Started Your own Referral Program?

If you’re thinking about launching a referral program, it’s a good idea to know what you’ll need to make it a success. Let’s look at the five most important things you’ll need to get started.

referral program ideas

1. A product that people want to buy

Of course, before you can begin promoting a product, you must first sell one. E-commerce shopping cart solutions are available for all types of physical and digital products and services.

Identifying a problem and giving a solution is an important component of product development. This is what drives demand for products and makes them desirable to customers.

This is vital not only for your business in general but also for the development of your referral program. Prospective partners must recognize the value of your products and be able to easily communicate that value to their audiences.

To sell, you must have at least one product, but having more is preferable. You’ll be spending time and money reaching out to new customers, who will be potential prospects for other products.

2. Your Product’s Target Market

Knowing your product’s target demographic is also essential. The more you can narrow down your ideal customer, the easier it will be to find the perfect referral publishers to assist you in selling your goods. Your success will be determined by promoting your products to customers who want or need to buy them.

plan affiliate marketing campaign - target marketing

Which affiliates you should collaborate with are determined by your target market. You should hunt for partners who have audiences similar to your target customers. Your affiliates should have a firm grasp of their target audience and continuously generate useful and relevant material for them.

Your understanding of your target market will also assist you in learning how to display your products to them and sell them more effectively. It’s a good idea to conduct extensive target market research and create client profiles to better understand their wants.

3. A Website Where You Can Sell Your Products on

Affiliate marketing necessitates the creation of an internet platform to which you can direct traffic from your partners. This should ideally be a website with e-commerce capability. You can easily add an online store to your WordPress website using plugins such as WooCommerce or build a whole new one with Shopify.

referral program - building a website

If you want to run your own referral program, you may do so through your website as well, with the help of an affiliate marketing software Such as Scaleo, that can be integrated directly into your domain. It combines all of the functionality required to run your program smoothly and seamlessly.

By putting together a landing page, you may also use your website to attract affiliates. You can increase signups straight on your site by pointing prospective affiliates to this page and giving them the required information about your program.

4. A Platform For Affiliates Where You Can Track Sales

scaleo - platform for referral marketing

Although your affiliates do the majority of the work in promoting your products, you must still complete some administrative tasks. These could include:

  • Examining applicants to see if they are a good fit for your program
  • Sales tracking
  • Commission payments
  • Providing marketing resources to your partners, such as links and banners

You can do this via a third-party platform or run the program on your own website.

Scaleo handles all aspects of your referral program, from affiliate signups through communication, tracking links, and commissions. 

Affiliates can log in to their unique dashboards to explore analytics and other resources.

Affiliate Marketing Software: Everything You Need To Know

5. Find Publishers to Promote Your Products

Once you have all of the above in place, you can begin recruiting affiliates to sell on your behalf. Affiliate marketers promote your products to their audiences by providing the material they find interesting or useful.

Attempt to attract affiliates for your program who are compatible with your target demographic and brand. It is beneficial to provide resources and training to your affiliates. This will teach them how to properly represent your company and promote your products.

referral program recruiting

You might also wish to share marketing content with your affiliates to help them sell your products. You can create banner advertising that links to your product as well as explanation movies that help prospective customers understand how it works, what problem it addresses, and why they would desire it.

Your referral program is somewhat dependent on the success of your affiliates. Any resources you can provide to assist them in growing their audiences and driving conversions will be an investment in your own success.


It may be tough to know where to begin, but launching a referral program boils down to five key components. You can start expanding your program, gradually adding additional affiliate recruits and products. There are also numerous online resources and tools to assist you along the journey.

All you need is a product that people want to buy and identify your product’s target market. A website where you may sell your products and run your program, plus an affiliate platform to keep track of sales and campaigns.

Good luck!

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Elizabeth Sramek
Elizabeth is a Senior Content Manager at Scaleo. Currently enjoying the life in Prague and sharing professional affiliate marketing tips. She's been in the online marketing business since 2006 and gladly shares all her insights and ideas on this blog.
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