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5 Best WordPress Referral Plugins 2023

Armed with technology and a high-ranking website, how can you put good-old word-of-mouth into good use? One way is by creating an attractive, well-thought referral program. Incorporating this on your eCommerce website is easy and simple with outstanding WordPress referral plugins. It perfectly matches your goals, needs, and plans. And that’s what we’re going to talk about in this article.

You’ve probably been around in the eCommerce world already, and your stats reveal the skyrocketing amount of sales, leads, site reach, traffic, and returns on investment. You might conclude that it’s okay to put the marketing side on the back burner and focus more on the other aspects of running your business.

But the truth is, getting your hands dirty brainstorming, planning, and implementing proper marketing strategies is work that never stops. If you aim to become an industry leader, think of it as the lifeblood of your business.

It’s a cycle that’s not meant to slow down or be put to a temporary halt. Besides, times change. Along with it comes new trends that business owners must keep up with to connect better with their target market.

One way of putting your products and services out is through good-old word-of-mouth. This classic would never go out of trend. It comes in various tweaks, especially these days when communication has become easier than ever.

Is Your Business Up for These WordPress Referral Plugins?

First, you must identify whether your business is ready for a referral program. Yes, it is a good strategy to include in your marketing arsenal. But doing it too soon before your business or target market is ready could only jeopardize your marketing success.

How can you measure your readiness for it? A checklist can help you analyze where your business stands at the moment.

A Strong Set of Products and Services

Every great brand knows who is the target market is right from the get-go. So, they know exactly what they need and what they want. They also know when, where and how to offer those products and services so they become irresistible. Or at least, something they would save up for in the future.

So, ask yourself: “Do my products and services solve a particular need? Are they appealing enough to more potential consumers? Are they irresistible enough that repeat buyers would become part of a loyal fanbase? Would they be happy to recommend my brand to anyone without me telling them?”

This is the reason why a referral program works best for established businesses. Their products and services have been long tried and tested by countless consumers. There’s a good reason to put that on hold for new and notable brands first. It allows your target market to give your products and services a try.

If they’re interested and satisfied enough, they will voluntarily promote your business by any means. How they do it might spark some great ideas for structuring your referral marketing plan.

A Loyal Tribe of Fans and Subscribers

Having many affiliates is like having a battalion of salespeople you’d pay at a fraction of the real costs of hiring an in-house sales team. And to convince the right people to promote your brand, they should feel strongly about it.

Where would you look for those affiliates? Right from your loyal tribe of fans and subscribers. They should believe in your products and services.

So, offering them to join your referral program gives back to your loyal consumers. You give them a small commission to promote and convince others to try your products and services.

Crystal-clear Goals and Actionable Plans

Before building your general marketing plan, you have to define your goals first. Say you aim to boost your brand popularity online. You want to start by increasing your fanbase on your social media pages.

So, you think of rewarding anyone who can convince some 50 people to follow your IG account? You also define what rewards you can give them for helping you achieve that goal.

By defining your goals, which means writing down all of them, it will be easier to generate ideas on how to pattern your actionable plans based on them and execute them later.

Training Guides and Marketing Materials

Because you’re convincing people to promote your brand, do your homework and be generous enough to provide them some training guides, you’d be on the same page on executing your referral marketing plan. Provide marketing materials as needed, too.

These could be posters they can share on their social media accounts or coupons they could hyperlink on the content of their website.

After completing this checklist, you’re now ready to hit the ground running. The next step is to choose among the best referral plugins on WordPress.

Best WordPress Referral Plugins to Incorporate in Your eCommerce Site

There are a ton of referral plugins for WordPress, and they come with various functionalities and features. You can download and install some for free, upgrade later, and pay a monthly or yearly subscription to make the most of the premium features, support, and updates.

When choosing a referral plugin for your eCommerce website, it’s good to look for essentials, including an order tracking system for purchases, refunds and returns, link tracking, and custom referral links.

Here are a few examples of eCommerce websites’ best WordPress referral plugins.

1. WordPress Affiliates Manager Plugin – SliceWP

SliceWP setup page

Imagine managing each affiliate manually without losing your sanity. If you have over a hundred affiliates, that would be crazy, daunting work. Good thing, that there’s a plugin that would allow you to do that in a breeze.

The WordPress Affiliates Manager Plugin by SliceWP makes managing your affiliates a seamless task by setting some commands and actions on autopilot. And even before you start tracking and managing your affiliates and their commissions, building your affiliates program in your eCommerce site using this plugin, won’t even break a sweat—you can do it in no more than two minutes.

It allows you to enroll unlimited affiliates in your program. This is good news because the more affiliates bring referrals to your site, the more chances you have to expand your reach and increase your revenue.

Yet, you have the option to screen every applicant by using the plugin’s feature. It allows you to review every registration before approving them to become a part of your referral tribe.

Designed to make your affiliate program as convenient as possible, you can automate most important repetitive tasks such as setting scheduled payouts to everyone who earned a commission and sending email notifications to site administrators and affiliates when commissions are earned from referred purchases.

Active installations: 5,000+

Price: SliceWP plugin is free. However, it has several useful add-ons that you can access for $169 annually

More info / Download

2. Affiliates Manager

Affiliates Manager Settings Page

If you’re launching an affiliate marketing program in your eCommerce store, consider this plugin an all-in package that can facilitate your program by recruiting potential candidates, registering and reviewing their applications, and managing all approved affiliates.

Users love how it easily integrates with popular eCommerce solutions including WooCommerce, Easy Digital Downloads, iThemes Exchange, WP eCommerce, Simple Shopping Cart, WP eStore, Paid Membership Pro, JigoShop, and more.

For some tasks, Affiliates Manager provides useful customization options. One example is the customizable affiliate registration process, which lets you choose how much or how little data you need to obtain from your potential candidates when they sign up.

There’s also a feature that allows you to adjust your payouts manually. For example, you can encourage your affiliates to hit a certain sales goal. You can easily adjust your payout and give a bonus to anyone who reaches the target. It’s smart to tell your affiliates to work harder in exchange for a hard pass-up bonus.

The plugin allows you to register as many affiliates as you wish. And along with that, you can add unlimited promotional materials for your affiliates, such as banners and text links. Indeed, Affiliates Manager is one of the top WordPress referral plugins you should integrate into your eCommerce store.

Active installations: 10,000+

Price: Free

More info / Download

3. Affiliates

Affiliates Overview Page

Affiliates is a referral plugin that provides growth-focused tools for the business owner and his partner affiliates. It’s easy to install and activate from your WordPress dashboard. Also, you can integrate it with virtually any eCommerce and membership platform.

You can register an unlimited number of affiliates to your site and choose to approve an applicant’s registration, whether manually or automatically. Once signed up to your referral marketing program, affiliates can set up their profile through a highly customizable dashboard. Reports are recorded and displayed in real-time as transactions are being processed.

Stats that reflect how well they perform, such as their earnings from referral commissions, can encourage them to maintain or enhance their good performance. He can use the reports to generate new ideas for his upcoming marketing campaigns on the business owner’s end.

Active installations: 4,000+

Price: There is a free version of this plugin. Premium features and support start at $39.00/year.

More info / Download

4. Social Boost

Social Boost setup page

Social Boost provides an excellent solution to boosting your business’s online presence by running various campaigns across your social media pages, including referral marketing, giveaways, viral sharing, instant win promotions and contests.

You know that aside from your website, social networking sites are a powerful tool you can use to promote your products, services, and your eCommerce website itself. You can use your social media pages to lead your target market to the product pages they might be interested in. And on the other hand, you can use your website to host the said campaigns to help first-time visitors find and follow your social media pages so that you can easily connect with them. Win-win, right?

Using Social Boost as a referral plugin for eCommerce business, you can encourage your social media fanbase to help you increase the followers of your social media accounts, likes, shares and comments on your posts, and views and subscribers on your YouTube videos. Offer irresistible incentives and prizes to encourage your fanbase to refer a friend.

Active installations: 400+

Price: Free

More info / Download

5. AffiliateWP – Leaderboard and AffiliateWP – Allowed Products

Affiliate WP Referral Settings Page

Both the AffiliateWP – Leaderboard and AffiliateWP – Allowed Products are extensions of the main plugin AffiliateWP. They make good additions if you’re already using the main plugin on your website.

AffiliateWP – Leaderboard helps to motivate your affiliates. It results in more sales by awarding recognition and incentives to anyone taking the lead in achieving your sales goals. How is this done? The plugin allows you to display an affiliate leaderboard on your website, which shows your top-performing affiliates.

You can arrange them by category. For example, you can display the top three affiliates who brought in the highest number of referrals for the month or the top five affiliates who encouraged the highest number of first-time visitors to visit your site.

Meanwhile, the AffiliateWP – Allowed Products enables you to choose which products would earn your affiliates a particular commission. If you have over a hundred products on your site, manually sorting them out would be time-consuming.

Whereas by using this plugin, all you need to do is enter some product IDs. Only these products automatically generate a commission for every purchase made through a referral link.

Please note: This product requires AffiliateWP to be installed on your website.

Active installations: 1,000+

Price: Free

More info / Download

Final Takeaways for Better WordPress Referral Plugins Understanding

Running a well-thought referral program reduces costs compared to other marketing strategies. Yet, it can effectively expand your reach, turn leads into customers, and customers into a loyal fanbase, boost your brand popularity online, and increase sales.

Clearly define both your short-term and long-term goals and brainstorm actionable plans. That will achieve each of those and find the right plugin to enable you to implement those goals and plans in a fast, seamless, no-hassle full-time hustle.

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Frontend web developer and web designer specializing in WordPress theme development. After graduating with BA he self-taught front-end web development. Currently has over 10 years of experience in mainly CSS, HTML (TailwindCSS, Bootstrap), JavaScript(React, Vue, Angular), and PHP. Obsessed with application performance, user experience, and simplicity.

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