Businesses that want to craft their own referral programs to benefit their customers have a new option to consider: the rewards network Referly.
As founder Danielle Morrill explained to the room at Y Combinator’s Demo Day, Referly creates an online network for “affiliate marketing,” a strategy that seeks to improve user acquisition by giving existing customers incentives to bring in new business.
Using the platform, participating companies create a system that encourages their customers to do things such as recruit new customers, opt for upgraded memberships, and make recommendations. By designing their own incentives program, businesses themselves may decide on what types of actions to promote and how to do so.
By motivating supporters to make referrals, businesses can get their customers to do the marketing for them. And in exchange for their support, customers receive rewards.
The Referly system is based on prepaid deposits. A company decides in advance how much it wants to pay for each action, and Referly subtracts that amount from the account on a pay-per-action basis. Companies can also track how these tactics affect their sales.
Referly already has a massive list of brands and stores on board, including luxury designers, auto-parts retailers, bookstores, sporting-goods outlets, candy shops, airlines, and pet-supply chains. It has conducted over $100,000 in business since launching, and it takes commission on all transactions.