MSPs: It's time to ace the referral game

Illustration of MSP refferal game

Everything is not everybody’s cup of tea!

And more than any industry which exists in the world, this statement suits best for the MSPs. A managed services provider is great at taking care of the network and hardware related issues for organizations, but are they equipped when it comes to generating recurring revenue? 

Probably the answer is NO. 

Marketing, gathering insights, maintaining relationships is a tough task to handle by the MSPs. And even though we come up with techniques and tactics to ace marketing efforts, somewhere the MSPs are lost. 

In this blog, we intend to help you explore one of the easiest options which are readily available in front of you, always, that is referrals from your existing customers, suppliers, or partners. 

And how do you do that?

Simple. Word of mouth! 

Perhaps, this is just an oversimplification but the IT industry is known to run with word of mouth advertising the most. And you definitely know the reason behind this!

And referrals, on the other hand, is inexpensive compared to the other marketing techniques. And it increases the trustworthiness of your brand, too.

For example, you plan on giving a $5 gift card for each of your referrals to a maximum of 10. So, technically you invest only $50. Let’s consider that at least one of them is a fully qualified lead, so what’s your revenue?

As per Collabrance, the percentage of closing a deal with referrals for MSPs is, 

Percentage of closing a deal with referrals for MSPs

But, why don’t the MSPs still get referrals despite the simplicity?

  1. Didn’t ask at all
  2. Didn’t ask the right people
  3. Didn’t specify the right people you wish to be connected to
  4. Didn’t create a solid occasion or a platform
  5. Didn’t reciprocate

So, what needs to be your referral campaign/program strategy?

If you are paranoid about the expenses, then just begin with a small budget campaign. Test it and then move forward. Otherwise, if you wish to start a full-fledged referral engine that continuously provides you referrals, then go for a program.  

  1. Satisfied and happy customers: Not all customers you serve are happy. There would be some who have neutral feedback. Begin with a campaign by targeting the best of your satisfied customers. And then move towards building a program. Keep a list of your customer’s insights handy. 
  1. Decide on the incentive plan: When you approach your customers for a referral program, remember that they too are investing time and effort in providing you leads. So, build your incentives which would yield a good relationship capital. 
  1. Track, track, and track: You might end up receiving referrals at least once per day. But you also need to backtrack these referrals to communicate further. When your budget is strict, go for email communication. If you can expend, then look for an application that can help you record and maintain all the referral data. 
  1. Stay attentive to duplicate referrals: People who refer you customers, might sometimes lose track of their referrals. In cases like these, you might end up receiving duplicate referrals. Stay attentive to your workflow and plan out your incentive structure around this situation, that is, if you wish to pay or not. 
  1. Budget: When conducting a referral program or campaign, research for the cost per lead in your industry. Gain insights from websites like SurveyAnyplace. And once you have your limits set, begin advertising about the program to your loyal and neutral customers. 

Next, how do accomplish the referral program/campaign?

Here are a few ideas which we would suggest you with,

  1. Email campaigns
  2. Phone campaigns
  3. Mail campaigns
  4. Invoice inserts
  5. Business reviews (face-to-face)
  6. Email signatures

What next?

Once you are out there on the front, treat every referral and your existing customer important. Because the new client has already overcome the barrier of trust and is almost your loyal customer. Treat them with respect and give them your best service so that they can help you increase your client base and revenue. 


Any form of marketing might seem to be troublesome for an MSP. And considering the tough situations that you deal with, it’s quite understandable. But growing your client base is much more important. If your conversion rates are not good, sustenance would be a problem. As we understand marketing hardcore is time-consuming, try generating referrals so that the process is mostly performed by your loyal customers. You just need to use word of mouth to leverage your stance in the industry. 

MSPs: It's time to ace the referral game