When you start to look into the topic referral marketing or word of mouth everybody will confirm that this is very powerful and usually the best way to win new clients. One of the most repeated facts is that “92% of respondents trusted referrals from people they knew” according to a Nielsen study.

To give you a comprehensive overview about the success of referral marketing we will try to capture all here. Of course we can’t guarantee that we will capture ALL here but we will try our best! If you find or know any other statistics please post below.

Before we start you will see that we use sometimes the term “Word of Mouth” and “Referral marketing”.

“Word of Mouth”: Is the process of spreading the word about a company, event or service from a person to their friends, family or colleagues. Usually word of mouth if used to capture positive word of mouth but the same logic applies also for negative feedback. Word of Mouth can be shared between 2 and more people by using different communication types. The most common is verbally but these days recommendations are also shared via email, Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp or platforms for recommendations like Voice of Friends. For the company, event or service Word of Mouth is something that is happening without proactively making any marketing effort. Therefore it can be seen as a passive way of marketing. Word of Mouth is happening as soon as somebody feels he can share a recommendation or warning with somebody they trust. Usually companies, events or service need to be particular good or bad to trigger word of Mouth. Therefore Word of Mouth is usually also a Referral.

“Referral Marketing”: The key difference between Word of Mouth and Referral marketing is that a company, event or service is trying to benefit from word of mouth by triggering referrals via marketing techniques. As almost all marketing activities this requires a concept and an active step to encourage users to refer the company.

Regular Fact & Statistics about Referral Marketing and Word of Mouth:

  • Non-cash incentives are 24% more effective at boosting performance than cash incentives
    University of Chicago
  • “The lifetime value of a referred customer is 16% higher than a non-referred customer”
    Journal of Marketing
  • “83% of consumers are willing to refer after a positive experience—yet only 29% actually do”
    Texas Tech
  • “Offering a reward increases referral likelihood, but the size of the reward does not matter”
    American Marketing Association
  • “65% of new business comes from referrals” 
    New York Times
  • “92% of respondents trusted referrals from people they knew”
  • “People are 4 times more likely to buy when referred by a friend”
  • “Customers trust recommendations from friends and family more than any other form of advertising”
  • “85% of a business’ Facebook fans are likely to recommend the business”
  • “A referred customer is 18% more loyal than a customer acquired through a different method”
    Journal of Marketing
  • “A referred customer spends 13.2% more than a non-referred customer”
    Journal of Marketing
  • “43% of consumers are more likely to buy a new product when learning about it on social media.”
  • “77% of consumers are more likely to buy a new product when learning about it from friends or family.”
  • “81% of U.S. online consumers’ purchase decisions are influenced by their friends’ social media posts versus 78% who are influenced by the posts of the brands they follow on social media.”
    Market Force
  • “79% of U.S. consumers who’ve “Liked” a brand on Facebook did so in order to receive discounts or other incentives”
    Market Force
  • “49% of U.S. consumers say friends and family are their top sources of brand awareness, up from 43% in 2009.”
    Jack Morton


You have more stats or data about referral marketing and world of mouth? Please share it with us.

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