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Referral Program: What is it and how does it work?

Job Market
Jan 20, 2021

Can you remember the last time you told someone about a product or a service you really enjoyed using? How amazing would it be if you were rewarded for telling them, and if they also used the product or service? I mean, wouldn’t it be great to get some kind of reward; money, sandwiches, or even vouchers to use - just because you told a friend about the company you used! 

This is actually known as a referral program, and as the name suggests, it’s when you refer people, typically through word of mouth, to use the services and products of a company. In this scenario, you get a reward from the company, and in most cases the person you recommend gets something too. It’s a win-win situation!  

Many businesses offer referral programs because it is one of the easiest ways to grow their customer base by using their existing customers. I mean, if your friend tells you about an amazing product you're more likely to listen to what they have to say and to act on their word. 

Typically, there is no investment or learning of new skills needed to get in on a referral program. You just tell your family, friends, or co-workers about a website, service, or app that you’ve liked and used, you get a link and you send it to them. They then use the link you have sent over to sign up, and you get a reward. It’s as simple as that in most cases!

If you’re not familiar with the refer-a-friend concept, keep reading. In this article, we will explain what a referral program is, how it works, which businesses use this tactic, and what the referral program at Careerist looks like. 

What is a referral program and how does it work?

A referral program is a program that rewards you for recommending a company to someone else. If a person signs up or makes a purchase using your unique code or link, you will get a bonus from the company. This can be a gift card, more discounts, credits to use in the future, or money. 

Why would you get in on a referral program? Well, first of all, you will be introducing your friend, neighbour, or co-worker to a great product or service that’s going to help them in some way. And secondly, in most cases, they will also get some bonuses too. This could be a discount on their first purchase, or a free month of using an app, for example. Basically you’re both going to gain something! 

How does it all work? Usually, you have to obtain a specific referral link or code that you will find on the company's website. You then give the link or the code to a friend who you think will enjoy the product as much as you do, and then your reward will be given to you. This is all done fairly quickly too! You must have signed up to the company or service yourself before you can get a link. 

Now you’ve got a good understanding about referral programs and how they work, let's have a look at what businesses use referral programs.  

Businesses using referral programs

Word of mouth marketing has always been a powerful tool for bringing new customers to businesses. Firms of all sizes and industries use it: from software companies to cosmetic brands, from online course providers to landscape designers. Of course, the reward depends on the company, and sometimes it’s just a free cup of coffee, but it can be thousands of dollars in cash in other cases.

Here are a few examples of well-known companies offering rewards for referring new customers:

Of course, big international companies are not the only ones who use referral programs in their marketing strategy. Many small businesses do that too, for example, your hairdresser or yoga teacher might offer some kind of reward for recommending them. 

And don’t forget to check out if a company you are working for has an employee referral program. In this situation you can get bonuses for referring qualified candidates for jobs. 

Referral programs are also widely used by online schools and courses. Careerist has its own referral program and you can learn more about it below!  

Referral program at Careerist

Our goal at Careerist is to help as many people as possible to start a new and promising career in tech. And in doing so, we encourage students, present and former, to share their learning experience with as many people as possible, so that they can also benefit from completing our courses. 

The demand for skilled QA professionals is rising every year, and almost everybody knows of someone in their network who might be interested in testing, but are not sure where to start learning about it. Our program is great for these people! 

So, if you’re a student and you know someone who would like to learn with us, go and grab a link, so you can both gain from the experience. 

Our referral program is easy to participate in. You have to follow these simple steps:

  1. Generate a unique referral link and code on our website.
  2. Give this code and link to a friend and he or she will get a $100 discount for signing up to a course.
  3. Once he or she completes the course, you will get $100.

There are just a few rules to follow, for example, you must have a good standing account with Careerist and you need to be over 18 years old. But you can read the small print on our website


As you can see, signing up to a referral program is going to benefit you and your friend, colleague, or neighbour in some way, so it’s worth doing. There are many rewards available for spreading the word about a product or service you have used and loved, and they’re too good to miss out on!

Now you know how referral programs work you can start making extra money by participating in some of them. Check out your favorite products, services, and apps' websites to see if they offer bonuses for recommending new customers to them. There’s a good chance that they do have a referral program as this type of marketing is becoming more and more popular. 

And don't forget, if you know someone who is interested in learning testing, grab yourself a referral link on our Careerist website, and share the link with them.

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