Referral Program: The Parts That Make A Smooth Experience

Visakan Veerasamy
Visakan Veerasamy
March 25, 2017
2 min read
Referral Program: The Parts That Make A Smooth Experience

In this article

Referral programs are awesome at helping you reach the friends of your customers...

... but they can also be rather complicated if you're not familiar with them.

There are quite a few moving parts.

In this post, let's run through all of the parts that make up the whole that is your referral program.

Components of a referral program:

  1. Referral Link
  2. Referral Email
  3. Reminder Email
  4. Reward Emails
  5. Referral program signup page
  6. Referral portal access page
  7. Friend Landing Page

1. The Referral Link – the link advocates share with their friends


Referral links are the lifeblood of your referral program. The core. The heart. The raison d'être.

A referral program is all about getting advocates to share referral links with their friends.

The referral link is unique to the advocate – so when somebody makes a purchase after following a referral link, you'll be able to know who referred them.

2. The Referral Email – how your advocates get their Referral Link


If the Referral Link is the payload, the referral email is the missile that delivers it.

Check out 6 examples of beautiful referral emails.

2a. Reminder Email – Remind your advocates periodically so they won't forget about you.

Jack Of All Trades Clothing referral email

After customers have received their purchases, they have no reason to think about you.

At this time, a great way keep your brand top-of-mind is to send your customers periodic referral emails.

Include their referral link and social sharing buttons so they can just click and share within the referral emails themselves.

Pro tip: You want to remind them, not spam them – so sending them referral emails daily is definitely not a good idea.

2b. Reward Emails – How you let your advocates know that they've been rewarded


There are actually 3 kinds of reward emails:

  • Successful – Congratulations, you've made a successful referral! Here's your reward.
  • Pending – A friend has made a purchase using your referral link!
  • Ineligible – Sorry, but a purchase by a friend you referred has been returned/cancelled and no longer counts towards a reward

3. Referral program portal /signup page – State your rewards clearly so your advocates know what they stand to gain.

Greats referral program signup page

Here's where your customers can read more about your referral program, and sign up to become an advocate for your brand.

Tell your advocates how they can be rewarded, so as to encourage them to sign up and start referring their friends.

To minimize confusion, state clearly if they'll be receiving discounts, credits or cold-hard cash!

Once they signup, they'll receive a Referral Email that has a Referral Link.

3b. Referral Portal Access Page


This is where your advocates end up after signing up on your referral program signup page.

They can copy their referral link, or they can use the widgets on the page to share via Facebook, Twitter or Email.

This is what it looks like if they hit "Share via email":


4. Friend Landing Page – this is where friends of your advocates end up after clicking the Referral Link:


You want to make this page as enticing as possible so that friends of your Advocates feel compelled to check out your store!

Visakan Veerasamy
Visakan Veerasamy

Visa is ReferralCandy's former Blog Editor [2013–2018]. He also co-founded, a fashion ecommerce label selling witty t-shirts. He's mildly Internet-famous for his elaborate Twitter threads. He hopes to enjoy a glass of scotch onboard a commercial space flight someday.

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