Referral Program in Marketo? Yes! It is possible!

Are you looking for setting up a “Referral Program” in Marketo but you are not sure how to do it there? Don’t worry I have a solution for you. A few days ago one of my client wants to setup a referral program in Marketo to double the registrants for their upcoming event. The requirement was:

  1. The Offer – An additional chance to winning their Grand Draw of a pair of tickets to one of the upcoming grand event.
  2. The Rules – For every peer or colleague referred and registered, the referee gets an additional chance to the grand draw, I.e. If they refer 2 and both registered for our event (which means I need to track), they get additional chances to the grand draw entry.
  3. So, I would need to be able to track who refers how many, and who actually registered. So, I need to find out how can I achieve this via marketo, if not, they would need to find alternative solution outside of marketo which might be expensive for them.

I and my team looked into this and find out a work around in Marketo for this which is stated as below:

  1. So my client wants to send an email to some records in their database asking them to refer some other folks and offering some gift voucher.
  2. This email will have a link to a form that will allow them to fill-up information of referrer person. So we have to create the dedicated form for this lets say “Refer a Colleague/Friend”.
  3. On this form we will ask them to provide some information of the person being refereed. You probably would like to sync these new folks information in SFDC as well. So we recommend to have at lest following fields on this Refer a Colleague/Friend form as this is the minimum requirement to sync a lead to SFDC:First Name

    Last Name




    State (In case of US and Canada only)

  4. This form will have some additional hidden field that will capture referee information. For this We will have to create some custom field in Marketo. We will create three custom fields i.e Referrer First Name, Referrer Last Name, Referrer Email.
  5. Now we will be passing this referee information in the link that we will be including in the email for “Refer a Colleague/Friend”. Say the Refer a Colleague/Friend form link is “” and a person in your database with First Name=”aaaa”, Last Name=”bbbb” and has received an email to refer a colleague then the link for this “aaaa” person will be “”.
  6. We will capture referee information in the hidden fields that we created on the form from this query string (rfn=aaaa&rfl=bbbb&
  7. This way when this “aaaa” person fill a form for a colleague, we will be able to capture his/her information as well on referrer record.
  8. Now as soon as one refers someone say X has referred Y then you would like to send an email to X thanking for referring Y and an email to Y saying that X has refereed you for this event. This can be achieve in Marketo in following way:
    • We will create a smart trigger in Marketo to capture this Refer a friend form fill
    • As soon as X fill out a form for Y, we will have a new lead created for Y in Marketo if Y already does not exists in Marketo database otherwise Y’s record will be updated with Latest information along with referee information.
    • We will send an email to Y saying that X has referred you for this event.
    • In the same flow we will send an email to X thanking him using send alert flow action.
  9. Now, you would be interesting to know how much record has been registered for this event that X has refereed. In Marketo currently there is no such functionality available that will allow us to put the #of folks that have registered because X has refereed them. But we can do it in excel spreadsheet. We will export all those records that were refereed by someone and have registered themselves and this way you know who have refereed how much folks.

I know it sounds a bit complicated but as of now I can’t find a better solution in Marketo. Even while working on this project I came to know that Marketo is also doing almost the same thing for their referral program.

Hope this might help you for building your own referral program within Marketo. Please feel free to share if you have any suggestion or you have done something similar. I would love to help you out if you need any help from me to setup your own referral program.

Happy Marketing 🙂

One thought on “Referral Program in Marketo? Yes! It is possible!”

  1. Hello!

    I want to understand how to add the person who received the email to refer a friend to the url string that get forwarded to the referee? I don’t understand how to populate it in this url: “”.


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