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How to Generate More Referrals with GrowthDrive and HubSpot

GrowthDrive on HubDo Podcast


With over 100 active installs of GrowthDrive on HubSpot, co-founder Michal Jirasek shares real examples of how to create incentivized word-of-mouth, plus pro tips for designing your own rewards program.


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About our guest:

Michal Jirasek is co-founder of GrowthDrive and HubSpot, Startup Acceleration and GrowthHacking enthusiast.


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Viral Marketing Board:


Visit GrowthDrive on the HubDo Marketplace



Direct Transcription of Podcast


Pete: Greetings everyone, a very warm welcome back to another edition of the HubDo Podcast, where we talk with software vendors, subject matter specialists, and end users who share real stories on how to do more on HubSpot. I'm your host, Pete Nicholls. I'm coming to you from Copenhagen in Denmark. I'm joined today by Michal Jirasek, Michal where are you? 

Michal: Yes, thanks Pete for having me. So we are based in Germany, in Leipzig.


Pete: We've stolen the good weather. I think you said it's pretty gray there. I'm in Denmark, just a science throwaway. Mackel is a co-founder of GrowthDrive and uh, HubSpot Startup Acceleration and Growth Hacking Enthusiast. How long have you been involved with HubSpot Michal?

Michal: Oh, good question. So I would say around 10 years or something like that. 
Pete: What is it about HubSpot you think that attracts you to develop for HubSpot? 
Michal: Like, I would say it's, uh, that you can basically build the full customer journey in one tool. The automation makes it very easy to communicate around the whole customer journey the right way.

And also I would say it's very easy to use, very intuitive. Um, integrated with lot of great tools and also say great ecosystem with, you know, like partners and other apps.


Pete: We're delighted to include GrowthDrive on the HubDo marketplace so that people can do more on HubSpot. Our topic for today is all about how to generate more referrals with GrowthDrive and HubSpot.

In terms of what GrowthDrive does, just an intro, if folks haven't looked at the software solution before. That it does. Three key things, generates referral codes and links for your promoters, automatically attributes referred leads to your promoters, and creates and distribute rewards for successful referrals.

I know you've got some really positive feedback on people who are using it. You have over a hundred installations to date between GrowthDrive and HubSpot, and there's, there's a quote, I'm gonna quote Mike Alvarez because his comment is up there on HubSpot's application marketplace of the feedback, and that is, this is the best price that I've seen in HubSpot for a tool like this.

Mike says, I'm not utilizing the full set of features, but it does what I need because I have a very simple referral campaign, and that's all I needed to manage. So the problem is trying to solve, Tracking referrers of leads, providing an incentive, integrating the referral leads into my deal flow in HubSpot and confirming the completion of the actions so the referrer can get their reward when the terms have been met.

So that in one kind of says where GrowthDrive sits with HubSpot and your website talks about incentivized viral marketing ivm, what does that mean? 

Michal: You can also say word of mouth, but incentivized, you know, like, so that you, you trigger these referrals, um, and have maybe some sort of incentive and rewards to generate this, uh, referral activity.

So basically you have generic word of mouth, uh, where when people are satisfied with your product, they start to talk about it. Um, or they invite people into our product. Then you start to get, like, they have natural virality. Um, but, uh, so we call it incentivized because you use some sort of incentive to trigger this activity.

Pete: Incentivized word of mouth. I think it's a, it's a nice translation for this incentivized viral marketing because you're putting some money, you're putting some rewards behind it. Well, let's get into some, some questions, explore this a little further. So what types of customers, Michal, are an ideal fit for GrowthDrive and maybe who have you come across that you think is not a good fit?

Michal: So I would say at the moment, everyone who is using HubSpot, so that's the first condition. So I think it GrowthDrive works also as a standalone, but not to that, you know, power as with HubSpot. So first condition is the company should have HubSpot. And the second thing I would say is, um, the company should have referable product or service, so, Their product or service need to be good so that their clients are happy with that and they're happy to promote it.

Uh, so I think that's second condition and I think that's it. So I think that those two things are the key things. And there might be some secondary conditions, like, you know, they have maybe inbound marketing already in place. They have good looking website and these kind of things, but I think if they use HubSpot and have good product, then they're already qualified to use GrowthDrive.

Pete: I like that term. It's a referable product, which basically means it's good. It's not rubbish. So you want the word of mouth to work. When you look at the, what companies are doing, when they come to you to use growth drive with their HubSpot, what are some of the common, misunderstood features, uh, or maybe mistakes, things that they're not doing well that you can help them with? 

Michal: So I think, um, In general, the concept of the referral campaigns is sometimes not good enough. You know, like for these campaigns, you need to have, you know, think about it's, you are building kind of funnel, you know, like many companies build customer funnels. Yeah. So in this case, you are building like your promoters funnel, let's say, or flywheel.

Um, and, they Don't put enough thinking about, you know, like how this promoter flywheel should spin and how should it work? So how will I activate my promoters? What will be the rewards? What will they promote? How will I track the, you know, like, will they have referral links or will, will they use promoter codes?

So, so the concept of those programs are sometimes not attractive enough. So if you, you know, Like, uh, not easy to, you know, to track your promotion or the rewards are not matching the motivations of your promoters, there could be issues with the concept. So I think, uh, that something would we, what we are also helping our clients to, to get right.

Pete: So it needs to be simple, needs to be trackable. The rewards, is it that the rewards are not big enough or then not sort, sort of right. Sort of rewards? What mistakes do you see? 

Michal: It might be it, there is also, you know, like sometimes you use financial rewards, sometimes you use non-financial rewards and it depends who is your promoter? Like which kind of rewards is it? Is it, let's say an affiliate with, with big audience who, who is looking to monetize his block? Or is it my client? Who are deal, let's say is rich and don't look so much for, for financial reward and, but want something else as a reward. Yeah. So, uh, I think this mis match between motivations and rewards uh, Is an issue sometime. And also the experience of the program. You know, sometimes they're asking their promoter to, to log in and to create account. And the process is kind of complicated. And with GrowthDrive, um, we have one commonly misunderstood feature which is called virtual promoter.


So what that, what it does is that you don't have to make your promoters login into GrowthDrive, just generate the links and codes and even link to a dashboard, but you don't require them to log to the, to the partner dashboard, and, and that's what the virtual promoter feature is doing.


Pete: So really that's where you are driving it out of HubSpot in that case, you just say that this person is a virtual promoter and the codes are generated and it's all within HubSpot without having to take somebody across, logging into GrowthDrive and all of those things.

Michal: Yeah. So money use this feature to, let's say, generate links for, for groups of contacts or even for entire database. Um, And then send this link through newsletter, for example. 

Pete: Very easy to do it at scale then by the sound of that. And when your customers ask you, Hey, Michal, we're really not sure what kind of an incentive to run, have you got some favorites that you've developed of the types of incentive programs that you think normally go well?

Michal: Uh, you mean the rewards? Yeah. So, um, I think it really depends who is the referral source. So if it's, if it's an affiliate or somebody who does it as a part of his business, then I would definitely recommend final Share rewards. And then if possible, I would also recommend to have re recurring rewards. You know, like not only let's say for the first payment or for the, for first year, but let's say like for the lifetime, so that those are much more attractive for, for, uh, those referral sources which do it as a business. And if you have clients, if you have customers, then what sometimes works good is that you not only do the rewards after you sell something, but also let's say if customer books a demo so that you have, you have some rewards also for deals, not for for leads, not only for closed deals.

Pete: Ah, neat. So there's like a reward for the lead initially, and then if the demo happens, there's another reward. And so that kind of the gift that keeps on giving as far as the affiliate or referers. 

Michal: So it don't have to be money, so you can, for example, give discounts or, or some points or, you know, for, for this lower final rewards.

Pete: Mm-hmm. . Great. Thanks for those examples. And we, we are gonna get into some, some more real stories. You mentioned that really the person should be using HubSpot together with GrowthDrive, because that works really well. If somebody tries to run a program like this just on HubSpot, out of the box, is that possible that they can achieve this just using HubSpot? Like how far can HubSpot go before you really ought to be adding GrowthDrive? 

Michal: Hmm. I would say, You can do everything with HubSpot but not really this efficient, you know for referral marketing. So for, it's great for, you know, this generic word of mouth. Um, but once you want to, you know, have little bit scalable program, um, and you want to give your promoter to some experience, let's say this, this promoter dashboard where they see, you know, like how, how successful they are in promoting and what should they promote and this kind thing. Uh, you would not be able to do it with HubSpot. Uh, um, there might be some workarounds if you have, let's say HubSpot Pro and, but still those workarounds would make the experience for promoters less nice, I would say. And it's also a lot of manual work, so, uh, um, we have built GrowthDrive so that if you use HubSpot, you basically as a program manager, Continue to use HubSpot, you don't spend much time inside of growth traffic. You can automate everything from, from HubSpot and GrowthDrive acts only as a, you know, the interface for promoters.


Pete: And the, the physical interface, I guess we should explain for people who haven't seen it firsthand. I like the fact that you, you add extra pieces to the crm, so you show that here is a partner associated with an opportunity. You can see who the affiliate is. Uh, those things are possible to do in standard HubSpot, but you'd have to upgrade to the enterprise version really cuz you'd be talking about custom objects. You'd be talking about the need for people to log into the CMS to get a dashboard. So really you've gotta go to the top end package of HubSpot to do some of the things that GrowthDrive does for very little incremental cost as people would see if you, they check out the website. So, um, let's, let's get into some more examples then, Michal, if, as far as real life examples, if you think of some customers of these hundred plus that have joined you so far ones that stand out to you as that have done it really well, it's worked well for them. What comes to mind? 

Michal: Yeah, the, like, we have, uh, companies from around the world, like HubSpot is everywhere. So, uh, so our, our clients who use HubSpot, so it's really hard to choose one company, but we have one example. One of our first clients was on the Indian, uh, software company which is selling HR software, so as a service product. And they, they really enjoyed like working with GrowthDrive from the beginning and they had like pretty creative concept for their program and also was like challenge for us to put it together. But they, they came like with the ideas that they want to have different experience for different types of partners.

So if they work with HR agencies, they wanna have different rewards, different tracking methods, um, as opposed to their clients, for example. And they, they also came with an idea that, that, that they want to have two level reverse structures. So for example, if a, if a HR agency recommends client, and clients recommend another client, that, that the HR agency would get rewarded also for from the second level. So, Basically brought ideas like this to the process and, and helped us really like, uh, to, to optimize our product. 

Pete: That's super interesting. So that's a program where they're not only rewarding the first touch of, uh, who is the referrer or affiliate, but also the person that they've spoken to. So it becomes a two tier reward. Uh, how did that work out? Is this something that GrowthDrive can do out of the box? 

Michal: Yeah, it's something we can, we, we can do out of the box. Uh, but we are doing it in the pro version. So if you have the pro package of GrowthDrive mm-hmm. , but it's basically only a type of reward which you set. And then it kind of starts working so that, uh, basically we are generating the rewards for the, like we call it parent promoter. And uh, also for the second level promoter. 

Pete: With the parent child relationship, uh, in the, the promotion ecosystem. So how has that worked out for them? This is one of the earlier customers, so Michal, how did that work out? 

Michal: So they are very satisfied and, and they're running now the, these features and, and we're able to, to deploy these features, but it's pretty new feature. So I was just, it's something new. So to to, to see real, you know, like numbers, how they, how this feature in particular works for them would take a little bit time, but, uh, it's first client who have deployed it already. 

Pete: And over what timeline, like how long was this? 

Michal: So we have launched GrowthDrive, um, beginning this year, uh, in the HubSpot marketplace. And we, it was a startup, you know, so we, we had lot of, you know, work to do until we found the features and, and that was everything. So that, so that the client started to get happy with the product. So, uh, yeah, it was a lot of work and now we are happy how it's going and, and now it's much more easy, uh, for us to onboard new clients and, uh, and make them happy.

Pete: Yeah. So that's almost a, a year ago that GrowthDrive has been in the market and is now over a hundred customers using it actively with HubSpot. Can you think of a, a customer who has deployed GrowthDrive for their referral market? And, uh, the way that it's turned out is maybe different to what they had expected.

Michal: Mm, hard question. Mm-hmm. Okay. Sometimes you need to iterate on a program. So maybe, you know, you try something and, and the referrals are not flowing. So it's like, you know, similar, like if you build flywheel for your customer, so, They don't, for example, apply for your program. Yeah. So you, you need to make it easier for them to get activated into a program. And so it's also with some of our clients that they need to adjust their concept, um, of, you know, activation and rewarding so that they start to get successful with that. So GrowthDrive is a tool which makes it easy to set up the referral campaigns. The same with HubSpot. Not everybody's a successful with HubSpot, so you need to use the tool the right way and and, and create attractive program for your clients or partners.

Pete: Can you think of a customer then, where you're particularly proud of what your tool has been able to do for them? 

Michal: But we also see, you know, like companies, let's say from real estate or financial services or even marketing agencies who are successful using, uh, GrowthDrive for generating, you know, referred leads. 

Pete: Have you seen particular geographies, um, be better than others, Michal? Certain countries where it's worked better? 

Michal: It's, for me, it's surprising that really everywhere in the world companies are able to build these campaigns. 

Pete: So it doesn't matter where you are really, you ought to be able to put a, a campaign together and then iterate on that, as you said. Uh, think of the flywheel of your referrers and how that's that's going to, to work. In terms of the, the timeline for the setup so when somebody first begins to put their program together on GrowthDrive, how long do you expect before they begin to see the fruits of their labors there? 

Michal: Hmm. So that really depends on, on the design, on the, of the program and also on the status of their business you know. Do they really have a referrable product? If they have a startup who is, let's say even startups are using GrowthDrive who don't have product yet, let's say, and they just use it for prelaunch campaigns and these kind of things. Um, so it really depends how good they design the program and how they manage it. And, but, um, it, it can take I would say weeks and it can take months. So it depends. But the setup as such, um, for example, if, if our clients use pro subscription, we have like five hours of onboarding so that we, we, we have done with the tech setup. Um, and, and also with the concept and execution. Lot of things needs to be done inside of HubSpot and not in GrowthDrive, you know, like how they handle their workflows and and stuff.

But, um, yeah, I think depending on the program, they can launch in like in few days. Yeah. Um, even, even in hours it's possible, uh, to, to set up trust campaigns. Um, but to make it successful, I think they need to calculate with weeks, uh, at least, uh, so that they tweak the program concept. 

Pete: What would be the most valuable tip that you could give then Michal to somebody who's thinking of trying growth drive, trying a program for referrals of incentivized word of mouth.

Michal: Mm. So at the moment, I think that the best tip would be to, to book on onboarding and, and demonstration with us, because I would say our documentation is not top at the moment. So because sometimes, um, It really makes sense to, to discuss the concept before they, you know, execute the program. So I think that's one tip to, to book a session with us.

And then second tip is to make the activation of the promoters and the structure attractive. You know, so like lovering, the barriers to get into the program. So have, I mentioned the virtual promoter, so you don't even need to ask them for, you know, creating account and password and these things and then having attractive rewards for them.

That, and always thinking of like who is the referral source and which rewards are attractive for these referral source. So if it's one source, could be my clients, another source could be affiliates who run blocks, for example, influencers, strategic partners, and so on. So for each group there is different rewards, which could be attractive. And this match, I think is the important to get right. 

Pete: And you're having a lot of these conversations and sharing ideas. So it sounds like you welcome the opportunity to, to talk to a customer about what they're thinking and they give them some guidance. You've shared a link, which we'll put in the show notes as well, Michal, which is a viral marketing board. What's that about? 

Michal: That's basically a simple one page canvas where you can design your referral campaign or, or your incentive based program. Um, so it's something like, you know, business model canvas or a poster where you, where you, you know, post it's on it and it, it shows, you know, like who is the referral source? How will I activate the source? What will they promote? What is the, what are the rewards? How will we try conversions and, and this kind of thing. There are some few topics which you need to get right, in my opinion, to, to make the campaign work and on these post rates, very easy to collaboratively think about these components. So this is also something which we use in our sessions. Yeah.

Pete: A good place for someone to, to start is have a look at that viral marketing board to get their thinking aligned around all those, those topic. Great. Well thank you so much for sharing that with us, Michal, your experience in almost a year now of having GrowthDrive on the market with HubSpot, over a hundred customers using it and having some real success and iterating on those programs.

So Michal, it's been an absolute pleasure talking with you today. What's the best way for people to get in contact with you? 

Michal: I would say on our website, HubDo Marketplace they can simply book a demo or they can reach out via email. Michal at GrowthDrive dot Co and I'm happy to help. 

Pete: Great. We'll put that in the show notes as well. So once again, it's been a pleasure. So thanks Michal, for being on the show. 

Michal: Thank you Pete for having me. 

Pete: So for our listeners, you can find out more about GrowthDrive on HubDo Marketplace. Just go to marketplace dot HubDo dot com, or click the link in the shownotes, and please send us your questions, So Michal and I can help you do more.



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