How to create a WhatsApp referral program?

Miodrag Magyar
Last updated July 20, 2023
How to create a WhatsApp referral program?

Are you ready to take your marketing game to the next level? Well, you’ve come to the right place because today, we’re going to talk about how to use WhatsApp to get more referrals for your business.

But before we dive into the nitty-gritty of setting up a referral program on WhatsApp, let’s first discuss what referral marketing is and why it’s so important for businesses.

What is referral marketing?

Referral marketing, in a nutshell, is when a current customer recommends your business to their friends and family. It’s like word-of-mouth marketing on steroids. And just like the name suggests, it’s all about getting referrals.

But why is referral marketing so powerful?

Well, for starters, people trust recommendations from their loved ones more than they trust ads. Plus, happy customers are more likely to refer others, which in turn leads to even more happy customers. It’s a referral cycle of happiness, and it’s something every business should strive for.

Benefits of running a referral program

Now that we’ve established that referral marketing is the bee’s knees let’s discuss the benefits of a referral program.

First and foremost, referral marketing is cost-effective. Unlike traditional marketing methods, referral marketing doesn’t require you to spend a ton of money on ads or promotions. All you need is a group of happy customers willing to spread the word.

Secondly, referral marketing leads to more conversions. When someone is referred by a friend or family member, they’re more likely to convert into a customer.

And lastly, referral marketing can lead to a higher lifetime value for customers. Happy customers referred by their friends and family are more likely to stick around and make repeat purchases. According to Finances Online, referred customers are 18% more loyal, have a 16% higher lifetime value rate, and spend 13% more than their non-referred counterparts.

How to get more referrals with WhatsApp Business Platform/API?

So, now that we’ve established the importance of referral marketing let’s discuss how to run a referral program and use WhatsApp Business Platform/API to get more referrals for your business.

The first step is creating a referral link to distribute via a referral program. Every customer participating in the referral program receives a unique link with a special code that lets you see how people find your website. It also helps you give credit to the person who shared the link if someone makes a purchase. Referral links also help you track the success of the referrer. It gives you insights into their performance, i.e., how many people are being referred and how many of those referrals are converting into customers.


Set up a WhatsApp broadcast campaign to reach your customers and promote your referral rewards program. By sending targeted messages to your current customer base, you will be able to reach a more engaged and interested audience.

People want to know what they will get out of it. When crafting your messages, include precise information about the referral program, clearly laying out the value and benefits of participating in it. This will help to increase understanding and interest among your customers.

WhatsApp broadcast campaign for promoting a referral rewards program

Why not add gamification into the program and offer a prize for the customer who refers the most people? Surely, it will have a positive effect on your referral marketing.

Scale up

Next, you want to scale your referral marketing. This is where the WhatsApp Business/API will make all the difference. Instead of using the WhatsApp Business app, the API connected to a customer communication platform like Rasayel allows you to send automated messages to customers who have been referred, send updates and reminders to customers who have referred others, reminding them to share their referral link and highlight the benefits of doing so.

Rasayel platform

With WhatsApp Business Platform/API, you’d need to use pre-written and pre-approved message templates. Templates have placeholders for variables which Rasayel dynamically fills to match the information for each contact before the message gets sent in a broadcast. Variables and parameters are defined using curly brackets and a number in between them.

Templates can be a helpful tool to make sure your message is personalized, clear, and consistent. Here are a few examples of WhatsApp broadcast message templates for promoting referral programs:

  1. “Hey {{1}}! Thank you for trusting us with purchases. Did you know you can win a 5% discount on your next purchase by referring us to a friend?”
  2. “Hi, {{1}}! We hope you are happy and satisfied with purchasing from us. Refer a friend, spread happiness, and get a 25% discount on your next purchase!”
  3. “Hello {{1}}! Loved our products? Spread the word and get a discount coupon worth $20 with each referral.”
  4. “Hey {{1}}! This is to inform you that we love doing business with you. Here’s a chance to win a 30% discount by referring us to a friend.”
  5. “Hello {{1}}! Want to earn rewards for referring your friends and family? Check out our referral program and start earning today!”
  6. “Dear {{1}}, help us grow and earn rewards at the same time! Find out more about our referral program now.”
  7. “Hey {{1}}! Want to give your friends and family a special deal and earn rewards for yourself? Learn more about our referral program now.”


Want to make your life easier? Think Zapier. You can seamlessly automate your work so you have more time to focus on the important stuff. This integration allows you to set up triggers that will automatically initiate a message when certain conditions are met. For example, you can create a trigger that sends a referral request to a user after they have completed a specific action, such as making a purchase or signing up for your service.

If you want to learn how to automatically send proactive messages to promote your referral program, read our post “Integrate Google Sheets with Rasayel.”

Send a Follow-Up

You can’t expect that all of your customers will get involved. However, you could increase engagement by following up with them. I would advise sending follow-up messages. A quick reminder can often be enough to jog their memory and prompt them to take action. Additionally, providing a time-sensitive discount can create a sense of urgency and encourage customers to take action.

One effective technique that can be used in follow-up messages is FOMO (fear of missing out). This can be a powerful motivator for customers to take action, as it creates a sense of urgency and encourages them to act fast to avoid missing out on a limited-time opportunity.

Here are a few examples of follow-up messages that include the fear of missing out (FOMO) concept:

  1. “Hello there {{1}}! Refer a friend in the next 48 Hours and win a discount coupon of 35% right away! Don’t miss out on this amazing opportunity!”
  2. “Hey {{1}}! Don’t miss out on our referral program rewards! Refer a friend today and receive a special discount on your next purchase.”


It’s important to track the performance of your referral program. With Rasayel, you can monitor the number of referrals and conversions generated through WhatsApp. Use this data to improve your referral program and increase the effectiveness of your messaging.

Campaign overview in Rasayel.


And there you have it, folks! Now you know how to use WhatsApp to get more referrals for your business. Remember, referral marketing is a powerful tool that can lead to more conversions and a higher lifetime value for customers. So, go forth and start referring! Happy marketing!

Learn more

If you’d like to learn more about how WhatsApp can help you grow your business, please reach out to us on WhatsApp at +13024070488.

We also offer a free consultation session where we review your use case, answer any questions about WhatsApp, and help you build a strategy to make the best out of the platform. Book a call with us here. We’d love to speak with you:

For Europe, the Middle East, and Africa

For North and South America.

About the author
Miodrag Magyar

Miodrag brings over 15 years of hands-on experience in content writing and marketing, with a talent for making even the trickiest topics clear and interesting. His passion lies in guiding businesses to effectively utilize WhatsApp to build stronger customer relationships and drive results. With an eye for detail and a heart for storytelling, he’s here to show how effective WhatsApp communication can boost sales and enhance customer engagement.

@Miodrag Magyar on LinkedIn