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Top Referral Gift Ideas To Thank You For Your Customer 2024

Referral marketing is a powerful tool for brands, advertisers, and merchants. You must show appreciation when your existing customers become advocates and refer potential customers to your business. Referral gift ideas are a fantastic way to ...

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15 min read

Referral marketing is a powerful tool for brands, advertisers, and merchants. You must show appreciation when your existing customers become advocates and refer potential customers to your business. Referral gift ideas are a fantastic way to do just that.

These thoughtful tokens of gratitude motivate your advocates and strengthen the bond between your brand and its loyal supporters. But how do you choose ones suitable for your program? And what criteria must be considered when selecting?

We understand you’re disturbed and are here to help you! Keep reading, and we ensure you will get more than you imagine!

15 Great Referral Gift Ideas You Should Consider

We collected and brainstormed these 15 great referral marketing gift ideas you should refer to!

Monetary incentives

Of course! Everyone loves money! Many programs use these types of rewards, such as Videoblocks! It is a stock video brand that gives advocates $20 per successful referral and 90% off their annual subscription (down to $99).

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Monetary incentives are often considered the best referral client gift ideas for several reasons.

Cash is practical and universally appreciated. It eliminates the guesswork of what a customer might value. Plus, this incentive can significantly motivate customers to refer others.

Research shows that 77% of Americans prefer money as a reward. It is because cash is a tangible reward that customers can use however they want. There is nothing better than using it to buy something they need, pay off bills, or even put it towards a vacation.

Lastly, businesses can easily track who referred whom and how amount they should be rewarded. It is especially important for companies that have a high volume of referrals.

However, the question now is how much to spend on referral incentives without hurting the bottom line.

One way to do this is to understand the customer’s lifetime value (CLV). Your referral reward and incentive should be 10x lower than the lifetime value of your customer. If the reward is too high relative to CLV, it could lead to unsustainable costs. Conversely, customers may not find it compelling enough to participate in the referral program if it’s too low.

Gift cards/Discounts 

Why do we say Gift cards/Discounts are great for referral incentive ideas?

  • Integrating with a third-party gift card provider makes it easier to manage rewards without interfering with your billing systems or adjusting invoices.
  • Gift cards/Discounts offer immediate gratification! Especially if the referring customer is expected to make another purchase with you sometime soon.
  • Gift cards provide the perception of free money, which still require customers to pay something out of their pocket.
  • They have a lower risk of fraud as they can’t be shared or broadcast across user networks like coupon codes or links.
  • Emailing digital gift cards is more secure! As it eliminates the need to collect and store personal user information like mailing addresses and bank details.

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To offer practical gift cards or discounts while still maintaining profitability, businesses can consider various strategies:

  • Discount Your Gift Cards: Creating a sense of value through providing a $100 gift card for $90 or whatever discount you prefer. You can also increase the discount as the gift card value increases.
  • Offer Gift Cards After Hitting a Spend Threshold: Promote your gift cards and increase happy customer spending by offering gift cards when customers hit a certain spending threshold.

It’s important to remember that the anticipation and perceived value of the reward can be just as motivating as the reward itself. Therefore, businesses should create a strategy that rewards customers & encourages them to continue engaging with their company.

Experience gifts

Experiences are more memorable than physical gifts as they leave a lasting impression on people. This can also lead to a stronger connection with your brand, increasing customer loyalty. These experiential gifts are unique as they can be tailored to the recipient’s interests! As a result, it makes them feel valued and appreciated.

Additionally, when customers have a great experience, they are more likely to share it with others! And it leads to word-of-mouth marketing and attracting new customers to your business.

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This perfect gift works well for B2B stakeholders since they involve a lot of money or time. You can give various types of experiential client referral gifts! They may include sports tickets or concert tickets!

Some may prefer to participate in a cooking or acting class, which is fun and educational. Paid conferences or expo admissions provide a learning experience that can be useful for their job. Lastly, flight credits can be an excellent gift for those who love to travel but can’t afford it.

Subscription gifts

Nowadays, many businesses operate on a subscription-based model. For instance, meal delivery services like Freshly are usually paid weekly, while streaming services like Netflix or Spotify work monthly. Similarly, software as a service (SaaS) businesses also run on a subscription model.

If your company offers subscriptions, consider offering a free subscription period in the referral rewards program. It encourages existing customers to stay with your business and gives interested individuals a free taste of what you have to offer.

It is the push they need to become a long-term customer.

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For example, Postcron, a social scheduling SaaS, offers a free month of their premium subscription to both the referring and new customers in their referral program. It will entice new customers to try their premium subscriptions.

By offering a subscription gift, you can show customers the benefits of the product/ service! It ensures a 100% increase in their chances of becoming loyal customers in the long run.

So, if you haven’t considered offering a free trial period as part of your referral rewards program, it might be worth trying.

Gift basket

Gift baskets are a good idea. They are customizable & can be tailored to fit the individual preferences and needs of the recipient. Gift baskets are handy for B2B businesses, where the sales process can be longer!

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How do you personalize the gift basket for your customers?

  • Take the time to get to know the recipient and their preferences. Why? It can help shape your basket to show you care and are listening.
  • Consider different themes to choose from and size options too. You can give small baskets with two or three items or go all out with only a grand prize basket.

Some popular basket themes include the beachy basket, an office basket, something for the kids, a time to relax basket, a traveler’s suitcase, a green thumb basket, or food baskets.

In a nutshell, gift baskets are a valuable way to show appreciation for those who refer business to you. By taking the time to create a thoughtful gift basket, you can strengthen your relationships with your customers & build loyalty for your brand.

Branded swag 

Well, the most exciting type of gift you can get is swag.

Swag can be anything from a tote bag, a sweatshirt, a mug, or a water bottle! Any other free product not typically part of the sales cycle is also included. For example, Morning Brew’s referral program offers their newsletter for free & relies on ad revenue.

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Moreover, the right swag can do wonders for your business. Aside from being an attractive referral offer, branded swag also serves as an advertisement for your business. However, choosing the best swag can be tricky.

The item has to be something people want and worth talking about. For instance, would your customers be excited about a coffee mug with your brand’s logo? How about if it came in a unique design or pattern? You also want to consider the item’s weight and the shipping cost.

If you’re looking for inspiration on what swag to offer, we recommend Swag.com! It has a lot of fun options for every type of customer. They can even handle logistics and shipping for your company, in branded packaging! Of course.

So, consider giving swag as a referral reward or incentive, and watch your business grow!

Handmade gifts

Handmade gifts can be an excellent idea for your referral program for several reasons:

Handmade gifts have a certain charm that mass-produced items can’t match. They offer a personal touch, showing that you have taken the time and effort to create something special for the customers.

This, in turn, can make the receiver feel more valued and appreciated. In addition, each handmade gift is unique, making it extra special and memorable. As for the types of handmade gifts, there are many options to consider:

  • Functional Items: These could be candles, bath bombs, or sugar scrubs. They’re helpful and can be enjoyed over some time.
  • Delicious Treats: Homemade food items like hot cocoa mix, pancake mix, cookies, or candy can be a delightful surprise.
  • Beautiful Creations: Handmade items like wreaths, tote bags, or seasonal decor can add a touch of beauty to the recipient’s life.

Self-care gifts

Life can be stressful, and everyone needs time to relax and unwind. Encouraging customers to take time for themselves can be a great way to show appreciation. Self-care gifts are perfect for people who are always busy or in high-stress positions.

Here are seven types of self-care gifts that you can offer!

  • High-quality or luxury brands: Gifting high-end soaps, body washes, lotions, lip balms and skincare sets can be a great way to offer something new and exciting to your referrer. People are into skincare & luxury bath items now more than ever.
  • Soft and fuzzy: Fuzzy blankets and socks are perfect to go with other self-care items. Merchants can offer customers an eye mask or face mask together to help someone create the perfect night.
  • Essential oils and a diffuser: Practical essential oils are a meaningful self-care gift. It is suitable for clients who are into natural healing and healthy living.
  • Scented candles: Candles can be paired with a fancy candle holder and a unique wick lighter to make it extra special.
  • Spa gift baskets: You can go all out or focus on specific types of self-care, like hair care, skin care, or even hands and feet.
  • Plush robes: A luxurious plush robe can support even the most stressed person and help them relax a little.

When choosing a self-care gift, you should consider that not everyone may be inspired to refer if the incentive is a self-care item. You can select premade self-care boxes available in the market and send them out without putting much effort into them.

Home decor gifts

If you’re looking for a gift that will make an impact, a home decor gift could be the thing. These gifts are designed to enhance the recipient’s living space! It is easy to pick because it can range from unique artwork pieces to decorative pillows or throws.

One of the great things about home decor gifts is that they allow the recipient to personalize their living space to reflect their style and interests.

For example, if your friend or family member is a big art lover, why don’t you consider giving them a one-of-a-kind piece of artwork?

You can even set up custom-made coasters featuring their favorite artist. On the other hand, a stylish throw pillow or a set of scented candles could be a great choice if they’re a fan of more subtle decor.

Not only are home decor gifts thoughtful and appreciated, but they’re also practical. After all, everyone wants to feel comfortable and happy in their home! So, a well-chosen home decor gift can help make that happen.

Business accessory gifts

Business accessory gifts? Why not? These gifts are designed to enhance someone’s professional life! They include practical items like a customized business card holder and more decorative items like a laptop case.

The most important thing you need to do is explore the recipient’s specific needs and preferences.

For instance, if the person you’re gifting frequently attends networking events, a personalized  business card holder or a set of customized notepads would be a thoughtful and appreciated gift.

Plus, a customized laptop case/ a set of luggage tags would be a good option if the recipient travels frequently for work.

Food & Beverage

There are foodies in every industry. It doesn’t matter what market you are in. We ensure 100% most people appreciate good food and drinks since only some people take the time to find and purchase gourmet eats! So, you can win customers by appealing to their hearts and stomachs.

Here are some referral gift ideas related to food and drink:

  • Variety of cookies: A selection can win anyone’s heart. You can find the lovely premade box of cookies or cakes! After that, have them shipped directly to your referrers.
  • Charcuterie board: A fancy cheese & snack board can be a good referral gift surprise. You can get a Williams-Sonoma cheese crate that makes the perfect charcuterie referral gift.
  • Wine bottle(s): Merchants can give a wine subscription or offer a few months of wine.
  • Mixed drink kit: Offer an excellent nightcap with a drink kit. Include the drink mix, glass, garnishes, and a snack for a complete experience.
  • Chocolate lovers: Chocolates and other candies perfectly match your sweet tooth clients.

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Plus, there are some things to consider while giving food and drink referral gifts!

Firstly, you must accommodate any allergies or dietary restrictions the recipient may have. This way shows that you have put thought and effort into the gift.

Secondly, choosing shelf-stable food items is best if you’re not sending the gift locally. It ensures that the food won’t spoil during transit.

Lastly, if you want to impress, why don’t you combine all the food ideas to create a super gourmet sampler? Some can include various items the recipient can enjoy and savor over an extended period.

By keeping these tips in mind, you can ensure your food and drink referral gift will be well-received and appreciated.


Jewelry makes for a great physical item that can be worn and enjoyed daily. It can be personalized jewelry, a favorite designer or jeweler piece, or a unique and different piece!

In some ways, it’s a timeless way to show appreciation. These gifts can be created to the recipient’s preferences and serve practical & decorative purposes.

For instance, the recipient would appreciate a custom-made piece with their initials or a unique message. If they are a fan of a specific designer/ style of jewelry, a piece from that designer or in that style is a great option.

Technological items

Technology items can be pricey! So, reserving them for top referrers who have hit a significant milestone is usually best. However, if your clients are tech-savvy and you’re looking for something budget-friendly, how to solve this problem?

So, there are some types of tech gifts we recommend.

  • A portable speaker is a great gift, even for those who need to be tech-savvy. They are also a good size if you want to add some branding.
  • Looking for a gift for a tech junkie? Consider a RocketBook, a reusable notebook that’s both unique and practical.
  • A portable charging bank can be a fantastic gift for someone who is always on the go. It’s a small but convenient tech item that will always stay in style.
  • Nice headphones or earbuds are always a popular option for music lovers. You can opt for noise-canceling headphones for a more immersive audio experience.
  • Consider a laptop or tablet to give a more substantial gift. These digital devices are always in demand and are valuable enough to motivate people to refer others to your business.
  • Even better? Why don’t you offer something more extensive like a Smart TV? Consider it for a super referrer.

Charitable gift

While most referral programs offer cash or discounts as rewards, donating to a charity can be a unique and meaningful way to incentivize your customers.

This approach creates a win-win-win situation! How? The business gets referrals, the charity gets meaningful donations, and the customer is satisfied with making a positive impact.

There are multiple ways to incorporate donations into your referral program. For example, you can donate to a non-profit organization or a foundation! You can also contribute towards a community project sponsored by your company or allow customers to choose a charity that they would like to support.

Some businesses have found that their customers actually prefer to give back when it’s easy and meaningful to do so. Lauber & Will Insurance, for example, offers a donation reward in addition to a traditional reward (cash back).

Implementing donation rewards as gift certificates requires careful consideration of your customer base and the charities you want to support. However, if done well, donation rewards can be a powerful manner to foster customer loyalty and positively impact the community.

Hand-painted portrait gift

Hand-painted portrait gifts are a one-of-a-kind way to show appreciation to someone special.

A hand-painted portrait gift can be of the recipient, a special memory, or a place that holds significance to them. Gifting a hand-painted portrait of a family ancestor or a scene with special meaning can make the recipient feel valued and appreciated.

The beauty of hand-painted portrait gifts is that they are not mass-produced but rather handcrafted with care and precision. They require the expertise and creativity of a skilled artist who can capture and bring the subject’s essence to life on canvas.

What Are Referral Gifts?

Referral marketing is a powerful manner to acquire new customers through existing ones! As you can see, referral rewards and incentives play a vital role.

Typically, referral rewards and incentives are offered through a formal referral program! They engage existing customers and encourage word-of-mouth marketing.

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What criteria are used to judge if it is a good referral incentive?

  • Referral incentives that can attract customers without hurting your business’s profits.
  • Simplicity and Clarity. The referral incentive should be easily understood and clearly communicated to avoid confusion.
  • Value. The incentive should be valuable enough to motivate the referrer. It could come in various forms, such as cash, discounts, store credits, free products or services.
  • Appeal to Both Parties. Double-sided incentives, which reward both the referrer and the referred, are often more successful. These incentives can motivate both parties to participate in the referral program.
  • Timing. The incentive should be given at the right time to boost the referrer. It could be after the referred person completes a specific action, such as purchasing or signing up for a service.
  • Performance Tracking and Analysis. The effectiveness of the incentive should be regularly reviewed and adjusted based on performance. It is essential to ensure that the incentive is working as intended.
  • Long-term Engagement. The incentive should encourage continuous engagement and referrals. This could be achieved by offering ongoing rewards for multiple referrals or creating a loyalty program for frequent referrers.

In short, referral rewards and incentives effectively grow your business and engage existing customers. Still, choosing the right incentives that make sense for your business and customers seems challenging.

Why Choosing Referral Gifts is Important?

Choosing referral gifts is an essential aspect of building a successful referral program. Here are some reasons why:

Fostering Relationships

Gifting within your referral network helps maintain client relationships by keeping the connection solid and human. People trust referrals from family and friends!

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92% of consumers trust the referrals or recommendations of people they know personally. By keeping the connection strong, you can ensure that your clients continue to refer others to your business.

Acknowledgment and Celebration

Gifts provide a sense of acknowledgment and celebration, especially during significant milestones. When you send a thoughtful gift to your clients, it can lead to a positive surprise that stays in their minds for extended periods.

So, we ensure it can boost customer loyalty and increase the likelihood that they will suggest your business to others.

Sales Boost

A robust referral program, and gift can boost customer retention and sales. By providing your customers with a gift they love, they will feel valued and excited about your brand! As a result, it will keep them coming back for more.

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Statistics? Referred customers generate 16% more profits, bringing you a 25% higher profit margin. Additionally, customers acquired through referrals spend 200% more than the average customer.

Brand Awareness

Referral gifts can help spread the word about your business by starting conversations. People love to talk about the gifts they receive! And by giving your clients a gift they love, you can encourage them to tell others about your business.

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In the US, 49% of shoppers are introduced to brands or products/services by family members and friends! It can support to generate more leads and sales for your business.

What to Consider When Choosing Referral Gifts? 

Here are some important things to consider when choosing referral gifts:

Target Audience

Knowing your audience to choose the right gift is important. Think about their age, gender, interests, and lifestyle to help you narrow down your options.

For example, consider gifts like branded USB drives or phone cases if your audience is young and into technology. Consider gifts like a branded water bottle or fitness tracker if they’re more health-conscious.

Brand Values

Your referral gifts should match your brand’s message and values.

For example, select eco-friendly gifts like reusable water bottles or tote bags if your brand is eco-friendly. If your brand is concerned with luxury and exclusivity, high-end items like a designer wallet or a premium bottle of wine could be appropriate.


Determine your budget before selecting your referral gifts. Consider how many gifts you need, the level of customization, and any shipping costs to help you stay within your budget.

For example, why don’t you choose cost-effective items like branded pens or keychains if you have a limited budget? Or you might opt for more premium items like branded electronics or high-quality apparel if your budget is larger.

Desired Outcome

What do you want to achieve with your referral program?

If your goal is to increase brand awareness, choose gifts that prominently feature your brand logo.

If your goal is to deepen customer loyalty, consider more personalized gifts that make your customers feel special and appreciated. For example, a custom-made item or a gift card for a unique experience can make a big impression.

Industry Relevance

Look to your industry for inspiration. Consider gifts like workout gear or health supplements if you’re in the fitness industry. Consider the latest gadgets or software subscriptions if you’re in the tech industry. The gift should be something that your customers find helpful and relevant to their interests in your industry.

Remember, the goal of a referral gift is to motivate your customers to share your brand. Therefore, the gift should be something your customers would appreciate and find valuable.


That’s all! We hope that with these referral gift ideas, you can choose the best ones for your business! Even if you still feel insufficient, you can brainstorm by yourself based on our gift guide!

We all know the role of gifts in referral programs! So, choosing the suitable one without hurting the bottom line is not easy! But everything will be fine, and you can do it!

Why? You are the owner of the business, and you understand your customers’ wishes! Right? It can take time to analyze, but it will surely be found by applying our instructions! Thank you for reading!

Ellie Tran, a seasoned SEO content writer with three years of experience in the eCommerce world. Being a part of the UpPromote team, Ellie wants to assist Shopify merchants in achieving success through useful content & actionable insights. Ellie's commitment to learning never stops; she's always eager to gain more knowledge about SEO and content marketing to create valuable content for users. When she's not working on content, Ellie enjoys baking and exploring new places.