This article by VerticalResponse CEO and founder Janine Popick originally appeared on

As a business person, you’re always trying to acquire new customers, which is essential. But don’t forget about your existing customers – there’s a huge opportunity there to incentivize current customers to buy more and bring in new sales.

You could do something like a refer-a-friend program, where a current customer gets a perk for getting someone to purchase from you. I also recently came across two interesting online platforms that make it a lot more fun for existing customers to buy and spread the word about your company, bringing more business through your doors. Check ’em out:


Needle is awesome technology for crowdsourced customer service with the goal of generating more sales. Essentially, it puts your existing customer base – those who’ve used and know your product or service firsthand and are avid fans – to work as active brand advocates. They answer questions online, participate in live chats, etc. If you’re running an e-commerce business that relies on online reviews and interactions for word of mouth, you might want to give Needle a test drive.



Fanplayr is a great tool for easily generating online gamified coupons so your customers “win”! The more they play, the better the offer will be. You can choose from a library of game types and customize it by adding your own branding. If customers post their game play to their social networks, they get additional incentives. You can also integrate game campaigns across multiple channels, such as social media, email campaigns, website, your online store, and more. Pretty cool!


What customer incentive or referral programs have you tried? How successful have they been? Let me know in the comments below!

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