Word-of-Mouth and Referral Marketing Blog

20 Examples Of Beautiful Referral Email Design

13 Examples Of Beautiful Referral Email Design

Referral Emails are a successful promotion strategy that retailers use to promote their referral program to their advocates and grow sales

Want a way to cut down on your marketing costs and grow your business?

(Duh, who wouldn’t?)

Then it’s time to ramp up your referral marketing efforts, where you provide a hard-to-resist advocate reward to your loyal customers for referring their friends and family to your e-commerce business.


Referrals from existing customers bring in new potential customers that are more likely to make a purchase than a random person that stumbles across your expensive paid advertising elsewhere on the internet. It is the easiest lead generation tool that you already have at your fingertips.

Not only that, but it is also the most effective way to grow your business and create loyal customers who will continue to shop your products for years to come.

All you need to do is get the referral process started.

So how do you do that?

With effective referral program promotion and targeted referral emails.

Sending out referral emails to your happy customers can not only help bring your loyal customers back to your online shop but also can bring in new customers with virtually no effort (thank you, email automation).

Once you select your referral incentives that you will provide to your existing customers, it’s time to let them know about it by sending out a well thought out referral program email.

Don’t worry, we’re here to help.

In this article, I’ll show you how to write the best referral email to get their attention, how to do edit your email template within the ReferralCandy platform, and what other successful e-commerce businesses are doing with their referral program emails.

Let’s begin.

(click on the links to jump to the relevant section)

Three Quick Tips On How to Write Referral Emails

Even if you have the most irresistible incentive possible, that doesn’t necessarily mean that your customers will take you up on your offer.

Why not?

Because they might not even open your referral program email. And if they do, they might not click on the link to set up their referral discount or offer.

That’s why it’s super important to write a referral email that is more likely to land in the inbox, be opened, and grab the attention of your existing customer base.

Here are a few tips to help you do exactly that.

Use A High Converting Subject Line

As tempting as it is to write a super cheeky subject line like you might do with your friends, it simply does not work when it comes to your email marketing strategy.

Instead, it’s super important to be clear about what you are offering in the email so that your customers know whether or not they want to open it. Be clear about what the referral offer is right in the subject line and you will see an over 500 percent increase in your open rate.

Want another tip?

Consider adding an emoji to your subject line. Though only 2 percent of businesses do so, it can increase your open rate tenfold.

Get To The Point

Listen, as impressive as human beings can be at times, the truth of the matter is that we are also incredibly lazy.

Our brains don’t want to waste time and energy on tasks that could potentially be done in a shorter amount of time. This is true for reading emails, too.

So make your referral bonus easy to identify right away, either with a clear call-to-action, an effective campaign slogan, a big, bold referral code, or super clear instructions.

referral email template

You can see with this referral template, the offer is super obvious as are the instructions (with the share link just below). Of course, you should add more branding touches to make it more beautiful (as below!)

The more quickly your customer can learn what the incentive is to referring their friends and family to your ecommerce business, the more likely he or she will do it.

A good email design ensures that the main message is read even if your subscriber is just scanning through the email. Furthermore, custom email templates play a pivotal role in attracting the subscriber’s attention and nudging them to act.

How To Write A Beautiful Referral Email With ReferralCandy

Thankfully, with ReferralCandy, creating your referral program email is easy. You can choose a referral email template and easily fill in the details of your referral bonus, the simple referral process, and any code or link that your loyal customer can use to redeem the reward.

It’s one of the first touchpoints where advocates (i.e your customers) are made aware that they can refer their friends to the store, and earn rewards when their friends make a purchase.

As a result, making sure that your referral email is effective (design + copy) is very important.

Thankfully, with ReferralCandy, making changes to your referral email is easy. Go to your ReferralCandy dashboard, then Edit Referral Program > Emails & Pages:

beautiful email referral design - referralcandy is so easy to use

Once you’re in, click “Edit” on Simple Theme (The Autopilot theme was built to help retailers launch quickly, so there’s limited editing):

beautiful email referral design - referralcandy simple themes easy to add email pages

Then, go to Content > Edit (you can choose to edit either your post-purchase email or the reminder email):

beautiful email referral design - referralcandy landing page editor best referral program

ReferralCandy allows you to edit any aspect of your email – you can change the colour, the layout, add your logo and craft compelling copy!

NEW: We recently released an integration – if you use Mailchimp, you can now add a merge tag that shows up as each customer’s unique referral link. Perfect for incorporating seamlessly into your email newsletters.

mailchimp referralcandy integration - how to embed referral links into email marketing newsletters giphy

You can now embed referral links with ReferralCandy for Mailchimp

That being said, crafting a great referral email from scratch is decidedly difficult. Sometimes, you need inspiration before you even begin.

Or, sometimes, you need to look at what the best are doing so you can learn and model from them.

To help you with that, we’ve collected some of our favourite referral email designs from our ReferralCandy customers so that you can draw inspiration and start creating your own gorgeous referral email.

20 Examples of Beautiful Referral Email Designs

Let’s go!

1. Misty Robotics

beautiful email referral design examples - misty robotics effective referral email

Misty Robotics sells an advanced personal robot that is easy to program.

Why we like it

  • Easy-to-understand benefits and rewards for both the advocates and their friends
  • Headline is clear
  • Header image shows that you’re not only giving your friend something, but supporting a small business that desires to give you the best!

2. Leonisa

beautiful email referral design examples - leonisa lingerie referral email offer

Leonisa is one of the most popular lingerie brands in Latin America.

Why we like it

  • Attention grabbing header image that showcases both their product and highlights the referral program’s incentives
  • They used long form copy in their email to explain the benefits of joining their referral program

3. Riff Raff & Co.

beautiful email referral design examples - riff raff & co word of mum effective email send

Riff Raff is a store that sells sleep toys specifically designed to appeal to the three main sensory cues babies and toddlers rely on for comfort and self-settling.

Why we like it

  • Babies! Babies always works.
  • Distinct imagery shows off Riff Raff’s range of cute products
  • Personal copy that speaks directly to their target audience – moms (“these cuties”, “seeing your little ones”)
  • Giving customers a reason to get more Riff Raff toys (wash days, childcare, siblings etc.) – Riff Raff has done their market research


4. Acton Global

beautiful email referral design examples - acton global referral electric skateboards offer

Acton sells electric skateboards.

Why we like it

  • Simple and to-the-point: Acton provides a simple referral messaging that their customers can send their friends
  • Acton knows their best performing social channels (Facebook & Twitter), and although ReferralCandy provides more ways of sharing – they have narrowed it down to just these two.

5. ZooShoo

beautiful email referral design examples - zooshoo stylish womens shoes retailer

ZOOSHOO is a retailer that sells all sorts of stylish women’s shoes.

Why we like it

  • Great use of header image to showcase both their products, as well as the benefits of the referral program: “Give $10, Get $10”
  • The body copy is easy to understand, yet covers the main conditions Advocates need to satisfy to receive their Referral Reward
  • Great use of visuals to convey the steps required for the Advocate and Friend to get their incentives

6. EverlyWell

beautiful email referral design examples - everlywell referral rewards health test kit

EverlyWell sells simple lab testing kits that anyone can use at home.

Why we like it

  • Bright colours in EverlyWell’s brand colours stand out as an email
  • The cute illustrations clearly convey what their customers stand to get if they refer their friends to EverlyWell
  • Easy-to-understand instructions about their referral program – “share and we pay you via PayPal.”
  • A seemingly throwaway line – “If you’re popular you may never have to pay for a health test again” but conveys the biggest benefit of all – refer enough friends and everything is free for you!

7. Brooklinen

email design

Brooklinen sells high quality sheets and bedding at affordable prices.

Why we like it

  • Animated GIF is very eye-catching and exciting
  • Very short and sweet, gets the main points of their referrral program across

8. Advancement Courses

beautiful email referral design examples - advancement courses personal development discount

Advancement Courses sells professional development courses for teachers.

Why we like it

  • The cute illustration, together with a clear benefit-oriented headline “Refer a friend, get $20 cash” is an attention grabber
  • Simple, easy-to-understand copy which also showcases Advancement Courses’ wide range of programs to choose from

9. Mad Rabbit Kicking Tiger (MRKT)

beautiful email referral design examples - mad rabbit kicking tiger mdrk designer referral offer

MRKT (Mad Rabbit Kicking Tiger) sells designer backpacks, briefcases and other accessories.

Why we like it

  • Made use of our templating system to fully match the design of their Referral Email to their store’s branding
  • Large and effective header image that tells Advocates what they need to do: Share their referral link with their friends
  • Simple 2-step explanation on the benefits of joining their referral program

10. Scotch Malt Whisky Society

beautiful email referral design examples - scotch malt whisky society gift coupon

Scotch Malt Whisky Society (or SWMS) is an international members club offering the world’s widest collection of rare and exceptional single cask whiskies.

Why we like it

  • I like the way they wrote their copy – it feels as if I’m being invited into a posh, classy members club


beautiful email referral design examples - poprageous popferral give to get referral program

POPRAGEOUS sells premium leggings inspired by art and pop culture.

Why we like it

  • Made use of the HTML/CSS editing tool to fully customise their referral email to match their brand
  • Great use of copy to match their brand’s voice very well

12. ezpz

beautiful email referral design examples - ezpz easy silicone plate placemats

Ezpz sells all-in-one sillicone plates and placemats.

Why we like it

  • Very catchy hero image used that reflects the fun aspect of their branding

13. Aura Frames

beautiful email referral design examples - aura frames beautiful

Aura Frames sells a cool frame that allows you to send photos digitally to the frame!

Why we like it

  • Clear, benefit-oriented headline
  • Header image reminds customers what they are signing up for
  • Personal copy makes them sound genuine and authentic
  • Instead of saying “join our referral program”, “Welcome to the Club” sounds exclusive and something to look forward to!

14. Square

best referral emails - square referral email cash reward -- email referrals program

Square enables businesses to accept payments from their customers by providing them credit card processing and point of sale systems.

Why we like it:

  • A very minimal design, using only two colors. Making the email clean and effective.
  • Keeping the minimal theme intact, only one sentence is used to sell the referral program. Super precise and gets the job done – especially because the images suggest money literally falling from above.

15. YouFoodz


best referral emails - youfoodz referral email -- email referrals program


YouFoodz is a food company in Australia which cooks and delivers freshly cooked and healthy food items to homes. (We did a study of how YouFoodz grew by +3,846% in a competitive market in just 14 months!)

Why we like it:

  • Great header image showing off their tasty food, which would act as a great reminder for their fans about their food.
  • Clear images at the bottom telling the added perks of referring multiple people.


16. Digital Ocean


best referral emails - digital ocean email referrals program


Digital Ocean provides cloud infrastructure for developers to easily build, test, manage, and scale applications.

Why we like it:

  • Great animated GIF telling the straight benefits in a simple and engaging way.
  • Good reward system which gives $25 credits as the friend’s account grows, for incentivizing the referrals.
  • Simple and clear CTA, which is bright and prominent.


17. Moo


best referral emails - moo namecards email referrals program

Moo makes designs and print materials for businesses. They help with accessories like business cards, postcards, flyers, etc.

Why we like it:

  • The copy introduces the company and asks for the referral in an entertaining fashion.
  • Simply offers a $15 off and keeps things simple for both the referred and the referrer.


18. Neiman Marcus


best referral emails - neiman marcus retail luxury email referrals program


Neiman Marcus is a widely known chain of luxury retail department stores. They sell items like designer clothing, handbags, and other beauty products.

Why we like it:

  • The whole message is captured extremely well in a single image.
  • The fashion industry is heavily dependant on good visuals for its marketing, and this email makes it prominent that they know their stuff.
  • A minimal color scheme to grab attention to the CTAs and keep from distracting the viewer with too many colors.


19. The Tie Bar

best referral emails - tie bar email referrals program


The Tie Bar specializes in selling luxury menswear like premium shirts, ties, bow ties, belts and other accessories.

Why we like it:

  • The items they sell are displayed neatly along with the messaging. Staying true to the “premium” messaging for men.
  • The sentence ‘one final style resolution that you can actually keep’ captures creativity and value perfectly for their market.


20. Belk


marketing strategies

The popular American Department Store chain, Belk sells apparel, shoes, cosmetics, wedding registry and other accessories.


Why we like it:


  • Enticing referral program with 3 offers to gain discounts on referring multiple friends.
  • Pretty prominent ‘forward email to a friend’ button to increase the prospects for referring multiple friends.
  • Clear and to the point messaging, without any extra bells and whistles makes for an effective email.


Final Thoughts

Crafting a successful referral email can be difficult, so take as much time as you need in creating the best possible design and copy that will compel your customers to share with their friends.

Take inspiration from these 20 different email designs and make one that is truly your own. There’s no excuse for not having any ideas – you can check examples at Really Good Emails or use SendX with their collection of 1500+ templates for Email Marketing.

And remember — you can make this so much easier with our one-click integration.

referralcandy for mailchimp blog CTA
If you’re already using Mailchimp for email, you have to try ReferralCandy for Mailchimp for 30 days free.


Read Next: How To Get Your Referral Messaging Right


Si Quan Ong

Si Quan is ReferralCandy's Content Marketing Manager. He is also the co-founder of BreakDance Decoded, an online breakdance training company. He loves standup comedy, and has a dream to visit at least 100 countries in his lifetime.

Add comment

Get our latest articles
in your inbox