Tell Your FriendsThere are few things that companies like more than bringing in new customers. So when their existing customers spread the word and bring in new business, these companies are more than happy to reward them for their help.
In much the same way that a business may offer a recruitment bonus to an employee who recruits an acquaintance to work at the company, so too will retailers and websites reward the “recruitment” of customers, with rewards coming in the form of special discounts, account credits or even extra data storage.
Here are a few of the businesses that give you an extra incentive to spread the word about them.
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LivingSocialLivingSocial’s business model is very similar to Groupon’s, but it sets itself apart by placing a greater emphasis on social sharing. The result is that national deals can spread like wildfire on social networks. Case in point: Earlier this year the site sold 1.3 million vouchers for a discounted Amazon.com gift card, making it the most successful daily deal ever.
So how does the website get its members to share its deals? Simple: It bribes them.
When you purchase a deal on LivingSocial, the site then suggests that you share it on your social network accounts. If three people buy the deal after finding it through your Facebook or Twitter feeds, then the deal will become free for you.
Photo Credit: LivingSocial.com
GrouponGroupon also provides perks for referrals, though in a way that emphasizes the creation of new accounts rather than the spreading of individual deals. The Groupon bonus is simple: When you refer a friend who creates an account with Groupon, you’ll get $10 in “Groupon Bucks” to put toward future purchases.
Surprisingly, there’s no limit to how many Groupon Bucks you can earn – though at this point you might have trouble finding someone who doesn’t already use Groupon. To get the bonus, your buddies have to join using your customized link within 72 hours, and you won’t get your credit until they actually buy something.
Photo Credit: Groupon.com
Shop It To Me
Shop It To Me is a website that sends personalized clothing sale recommendations based on your size and preferred brands. And if you recruit your friends to join, it will also help you save: For every 10 friends who create accounts, you’ll get a $10 gift card for the retailer of your choice.
Photo Credit: shopittome.com
DropboxDropbox is one of the original cloud storage services, allowing consumers to store files of any kind in their cloud and access them anywhere and with any device. Users get 2 GB of free storage and must pay for additional storage beyond that.
There is another way to get more space, though. The service has always placed an emphasis on sharing by allowing users to share select folders with other friends who use Dropbox, and that same social emphasis is also seen in their business development strategy. When you invite a friend and get him or her to create an account with Dropbox, you’ll get 250 MB of extra storage, free of charge. Non-paying users can get up to 8 GB in additional storage this way.
Photo Credit: Dropbox.com
DirecTVDirecTV subscribers who refer a friend to the service and get them to sign up for a “Choice” package or higher will get $100 in account credit, in the form of $10 off their bill every month for 10 months. Not only that, but the friend you refer will also receive the same $100 credit. So if you join via a friend’s referral and then refer another friend, you’ll wind up with $200 in account credit.
Just make sure you get your bonus, though – some subscribers have complained that the promised bonus never arrived, so it might cost you a call to customer service to seal the deal.
Photo Credit: directv.com
SavoredSavored, which MainStreet has featured before, is a website that brings a unique approach to restaurant deals.
Members pay $10 upfront to make a restaurant reservation through the website, and in return you get 30% off your final bill. Because the site tends to feature upscale restaurants, that’s a trade-off that ends up saving you money.
And the good news is that you don’t have to pay the $10 reservation fee if you play your cards right: Every time you refer a friend to the service you’ll receive a $10 account credit to put toward your next reservation.
Photo Credit: Savored.com
AT&TAT&T’s Rewards for Referrals program hands out a lot of cash to customers who send new business their way – up to $599 a year, according to its website. The bonuses come in $25 increments for referring new customers for everything from wireless Internet to home phone service. Referrals to wireless service alone can earn you up to $125 a year in account credits.
Photo Credit: att.com
Verizon WirelessVerizon likewise incentivizes the recruitment of family and friends, but unlike many of these programs, Verizon will actually give you cold, hard cash (or the closest thing, anyway – a prepaid debit card).
Each friend you refer to the service will net both you and your friend a $25 Visa debit card. You can refer up to five friends to the service, and every time you do another $25 will be added to the card for a total of $125. The one caveat: the friends you refer have to keep their accounts for at least 31 days, so don’t think you can cash in by having all your friends sign up and then cancel before it’s time to pay a bill.
Photo Credit: Verizonwireless.com
Bank of AmericaRight now it seems like more people are canceling their Bank of America accounts than creating new ones. But if you’ve decided to stick with the bank and think that your friends would like banking there, you can be rewarded for your recruitment efforts. Getting a friend to open a personal checking account will get both of you $25; if your referral gets someone to open a business checking account, you’ll both get $50. Between now and Jan. 31, you can refer as many people as you want.
Just remember that if you (or your friend) don’t meet the minimum requirements for free checking, that referral bonus could end up getting eaten up by fees before you know it.
Photo Credit: Wonderlane
ING DirectING isn’t quite as generous as Bank of America with its referral bonuses, but with better rates and friendlier fees both you and your friend may wind up winning in the long run. The bank gives you $10 every time you get a friend to open an account, and your friend will get $25 deposited into his or her account. And if you have a lot of friends in need of a new bank, you can make a pretty penny: you’re allowed up to 50 referrals, for a maximum payout of $500.
Photo Credit: ingdirect.com
No Friends?Hey, we can’t all be Mr. or Mrs. Popular – maybe you don’t have 50 people in your social network looking to change banks, or maybe your circle of friends just isn’t interested in getting a new wireless plan or joining another daily deal site.
The solution: Refaround.com, a social network which hooks up “godfathers” (customers looking to score an referral bonus) with “godchildren” (people interested in joining a site or service, but want to get a bonus for going through a referral). The site plays matchmaker between the two parties, allowing everyone to get their slice of the pie.
Photo Credit: refaround.com
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