Are you looking to grow your Discord community quickly and easily? Look no further than the power of referrals. As the saying goes, “birds of a feather flock together,” and it’s likely that your current community members have friends with similar interests who would be a great fit for your server. By implementing a referral program, you can tap into that potential and grow your community in a way that’s both organic and effective.
So, why are referrals the best way to grow your Discord server? For starters, they come with built-in social proof. When a friend recommends a server to another friend, that recommendation carries more weight than any other type of advertising. Referrals also tend to attract people who are more invested in the community and are more likely to stick around and become active members. Is commonly known to marketers that a referral program is the best way to drive quality leads into your business, and in the same light, it could be the best way for you to grow a high quality, highly invested Discord community about your topic of choice.
And with a referral program, you can incentivize your current members to spread the word and refer their friends to join your Discord community too. You do this by offering rewards to your current members, every time they help you acquire a new member. Later in this post, we’ll talk what what rewards you could offer, and how you’ll be able to track these referrals using referral software.
But we first want to show you a few examples of communities driving growth through referrals. You can also find more referral program ideas here. We saw many communities attempting to grow through referrals during the bull run leading up to 2022, and in some cases, we even saw communities DOUBLE in size overnight after launching their referral programs.
Here are the average results from the top 100 crypto referral campaigns used to grow Telegram or Discord communities:
Here is an example of a campaign that executed this successfully using Referral Factory.
This campaign was run by Photochromic. Join their Telegram community 👆
It just goes to show the power of referrals and how they can help you grow your community faster than any other method 🚀
Now that you understand the potential of a referral program, let’s dive into how you can set one up for your Discord community. Well, we’ll walk you through every step of the journey!
It’s important to note that you can generate referral links for communities inside Discord, but the solution below adds real marketing elements to your referral program like landing pages, email notifications, a variety of rewards, pages for your users to track their referrals, and more. These pages help you get brand visibility as your members spread the word across the web.
How to set up your Discord referral program
1. Step one – create a Referral Factory account (you get 15 days free)
The first step is to choose a platform that will allow you to build a referral program and track your referrals, there are many tools on the market but we’re going to show you how to bring your referral program to life using Referral Factory.
Once you’ve created your free trial account, the next step is to build your referral program.
2. Step two – build your referral program pages
You can start from scratch, or create a referral program from a template, in this case it only takes a few minutes but we want to offer you a detailed guide we’re going to create a referral program from scratch. Follow these steps…
Now that you’re in the builder, you have to create each page. You’ll need to create the pages for the person referring and the pages for the person invited (be sure to pay attention because there are two pages in each step).
We’ve used the 🌴Soft Palm🌴discord community to showcase this, you can copy and adapt these elements to match your own community brand and tone of voice.
Pages for the person referring – step one
Pages for the person referring – step two
Pages for the person invited – step one and two again.
Pages for the person invited – step two
Note that you’ll need to ask your members for their emails – but this is so that they can be contacted if they get issued their rewards. It’s also a great way for you to collect the emails of your power members so you can thank them for referring you, and have the option to send them relevant and valuable email communication in future.
3. Finalize your reward and offer
These rewards can be anything from Discord Nitro, exclusive access to new channels, server badges, vouchers, points, or even tokens. The key is to offer rewards that will be valuable to your community members and encourage them to participate in the referral program. Make sure these rewards align with your community’s interests, as this will help attract the right type of members to your server.
4. Configure your meta title and description
You’ll can skip most of the basic settings steps, just make sure you set these details so that when your members share their campaigns on social media, to spread the word, the title and description of your post will pull through.
You also edit your referral program terms and condition in this step. You can have one set for both the person invited, and the person referring, or setup a different terms for each. Referral Factory provides you with a basic template of terms and conditions, so if you don’t have a lawyer to help you then just add how your program works and what the exact terms are in the template.
5. Set up your email notifications – you can switch these off if you need to.
You can setup an email notification for every trigger in the referral journey. Just make sure to add your text – there is a base template you can edit, or you can completely create your own text. Try not to use visuals in your emails (like gifs, PNGs and JPEGs) because this could cause your emails to go to spam.
6. Customize your members tracking link
However you design your referral program to work, it’s important to offer your users real-time tracking on their referral efforts. Your members should get a confirmation email when they join your referral program, on that email is a link for them to track their referrals. This link is unique to them, and makes it easy for them to see at any time how many referrals they have generated.
You can also show your members how many of their referrals took a specific action (this is called a conversion in the marketing world). This step is not required in most community referral programs, as it’s designed more for a referral program where you ask your members to refer their friends to purchase items with real funds.
Now comes the fun part – promoting your referral program.
8. Promoting your referral program – it’s time to ask for referrals!
Start by announcing the program in your server’s announcement channel and encouraging your current members to join your campaign and invite their friends, in exchange for rewards. You can also share your campaign link (also called a join link), send an email to your newsletter database, or install the Referral Factory widget to your website and blog.
Share your campaign join link on social media.
Send an email to announce your referral program. And issue your community with their referral links.
You can also embed your referral program on your website or blog.
Make sure to highlight the rewards that are up for grabs and the benefits of joining your server. The more you promote your referral program, the more likely it is that your members will share their referral links to their networks (direct message) and social channels (Twitter, LinkedIn, etc).
This article is about growing Discord communities through referrals, but the same principle applies to Reddit communities and Telegram communities too. If you create a server or a group that is valuable, and people come back every day for more, you’ll find they are more than happy to refer their friends, all you need to do is:
2. Make it easy for users to register to refer (and generate their referral links)
3. Offer a clever reward for those referring friends (can be Discord Nitro, exclusive access to new channels, vouchers, points, tokens, or anything else you can offer)
4. Create invitation pages for all your referrers, so that when they share their referral links with friends it looks like they are personally inviting them to your Discord community. You can do this using most referral program software, we’ve put a list softwares that offer this below.
5. Make sure you can connect the person referring to the person invited by having proper tracking in place. You will get this as part of your referral program software too, look for a tool with deep referral analytics if you want to track more things like which social channels your users are sharing their referral links on.
6. Run promotions around your referral program, actively asking your members to refer. Pin your referral program to the main channel in your Discord server, and make sure your members are introduced to it as they get started.
using our calculator
We get a few questions from our customers when setting up their own referral programs, so we thought we’d share some of these in a Q&A style format below so that you can benefit from the answers too.
What type of rewards can I offer my Discord members?
The answer to this depends completely on your community and its purpose, in some cases you don’t even need a reward – if your community is by invitation only, then the friends of your members will naturally ask them to share their invite links (also called referral links).
But in most cases, you’ll need some sort of incentive to motivate your members to actively refer. By offering rewards you can increase the word of mouth spread generated by each of your members – because now they have a reason to actively talk about you on their Twitter feeds, in their Telegram groups, WhatsApp channels, and – dare I say it – in their real life conversations with friends.
These rewards can be anything from Discord Nitro, exclusive access to new channels, server badges, vouchers, points, or even tokens. The key is to offer rewards that will be valuable to your community members and encourage them to tell their friends about you. A poor reward will drastically decrease your chances of success – so no caps, golf shirts, or access to poorly created content. Make sure these rewards align with your community’s interests, as this will help attract the right type of members to your server.
Referral Factory also offers you a way to issue your own rewards. If you set this up it could help you easily track which Discord member referred who. Your own reward is just something you issue yourself, but the system makes it easy by sorting all your referral data for you.
How do I track my Discord referrals?
Your referral tool should also offer you analytics. This helps you understand the performance of your referral program, see who your top referrers are, and know where your members are sharing their referral links. This data can help you make smarter decisions on how to grow your referral program and engage with your community more in future.
What tools can I use to run my Discord referral program?
To make the most of your referral marketing efforts, you’ll need the right tools. There are a variety of referral program software options available, each with its own unique features and functions. You’ll want to find a tool that works well with your Discord flow and community setup, this means you can spend more time engaging with your community and less time doing technical things.
This is what you should look for when choosing referral software for this kind of growth campaign:
- Page builders so you can make personal ‘invitation’ pages for all of your referrers
- The ability for your users to JOIN the referral program on a page, essentially registering to refer
- The ability to input your own terms and conditions into these pages so all members are opting into how this works
- Tools to prompt and ask your members to refer
- Referral tracking that allows you to connect the dots and see who referred who
- Rewards through webhooks or Zapier or the ability to issue your own reward via Discord. Most referral software tools offer cash as rewards, but this won’t work for a community. Find a tool that has flexibility in their rewards so you can offer your own – either manually, through Zapier, or through webhooks.
Below we’ve listed a breakdown of the top referral software on the market right now, including their review scores across trusted sites like Capterra and G2. This shows what tools are actually the most popular with real users. You can find a great referral tool for around $100 to $400 a month. Anything more than should only be because you need enterprise level hosting.
This comparison compares features on each software’s starter plan (the entry-level plan).
We truly believe that building a referral program for your Discord server can be a great way to grow your community and earn rewards. Your community members are probably inviting their friends occasionally anyway, so why not offer them a reason to ramp it up!
If you want to win at growth this year, then let your members create personal invites for their friends to join your Discord server, Telegram community or closed network. These pages will introduce your member’s friends to your community in a trusted way.