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Everything You Need To Know About Newsletter Referral Programs

How to boost newsletter subscriptions?

A newsletter referral program encourages current subscribers to share your brand with their network. A glowing recommendation from trusted friends means new subscribers or more high-converting prospects in your sales funnel.

How to leverage newsletter referral programs for your business? Here's everything you need to know about this email marketing strategy.

What is a newsletter referral program?

A typical referral program lets users refer a brand or product to their friends and family. If the referred friend makes a first-time purchase, then the referral process is considered to be successful. Hence, brands can get a new customer with minimal effort.

In return, brand advocates can receive incentives such as freebies, discounts, and exclusive offers in exchange for their referrals.

How is it different from a newsletter referral program? A newsletter referral works the same way, but the difference is, the referral program is mentioned within the newsletter.

Consider this email from Stitchfix which includes links to their articles, interactive quizzes, and website. While it has the elements of a typical newsletter, you'll find a referral program promotion at the bottom which reads, "Free Clothes For You. Great Style For Friends".
Brand advocates who invite friends through the newsletter can receive $25 in credit. It's an unobtrusive way to encourage subscribers to refer their friends on a regular basis.

What are the benefits of a newsletter referral program?

A newsletter referral program improves both your referral program and newsletter results.

Let's take a look at some of the perks you can enjoy.
  • Lower subscriber acquisition costs: Promoting a newsletter often involves creating a lot of promotional content on social media, landing pages, and blogs. With a referral program, you can repeatedly encourage current subscribers to share through a simple banner. Since 92 percent of consumers trust word of mouth from their network, it's a more effective way to boost brand awareness.
  • Reward brand advocates: Consumers discuss brand-related experiences around 90 times per week. Hence, passionate brand advocates are likely to mention your brand in everyday conversations. With a referral program, you can reward their efforts and gain their loyalty.
  • Boost subscriber retention rate: Referred friends are more likely to have a good impression of your newsletter because it was shared by a trusted friend. Referred customers have a 37% higher retention rate. So, these referred friends will probably stay with your brand and follow your newsletter in the long run.

How To Start Your Newsletter Referral Program?

Creating your own newsletter referral program is easy once you know the right steps.

Here are some tips to help you get started

1. Understand your subscribers

People won't subscribe to your newsletter if it's neither interesting nor relevant. That's exactly why creating a compelling newsletter involves understanding the needs of your target audience.

Here are some questions to consider:

  • What is their demographic profile (i.e. age, gender, geographic location)?

  • What interests them? What will drive them to regularly read your newsletters?

  • What incentives will encourage them to spread the word about your brand?
Remember these questions when designing your newsletter.

A good tip is to leverage analytics tools to identify the articles or landing pages that received the most clicks in your newsletter emails. You can also look at the browsing habits of website visitors to identify which types of content resonate with your target audience.

Identify top-performing content so you can formulate an effective content strategy and improve the results of your newsletter.

2. Promote your referral program in your newsletter

People won't join your referral program if they don't know it exists.

Promoting your referral program in your newsletter is a low-key way to remind subscribers to consistently refer their friends.

To get started, simply post a referral program banner at the middle or bottom of your newsletter.

American delivery service Shipt has a referral program banner at the bottom of their email. The simple graphic reminds readers to share their service so they can receive $10 off a future order.
The banner also has a clickable CTA linked to their main referral program landing page. This way, interested subscribers can learn more details. An alternative option is to include a short referral program reminder at the top of the email.

3. Make it shareable

Make it easy for brand advocates to share your referral program.

Add email or social media sharing buttons so readers can get and share the referral link with the click of a button. Don't forget to include a referral share message to introduce the brand and communicate the incentives of your referral program.

Photo sharing platform Tookapic includes their referral program details in the newsletter. By clicking the social media sharing button, website visitors can get a unique invite link that they can easily share online.

4. Use referral marketing software to automate the process

At first glance, the referral program process seems simple but it does require a bit of management. It can be difficult to provide unique referral codes and reward hundreds of consumers and brand advocates simultaneously.

The good news is, referral marketing software like Genius Referrals lets you automate the process. Simply pick your referral program rewards and the software can generate custom referral links and automate the reward or payout process.

You can get all the benefits of a newsletter referral program with minimal effort. As you create more newsletters, you can also track relevant metrics such as the number of brand advocates who joined and the channels used to learn about your referral program.

How will you use newsletter referral programs?

Newsletter referral programs provide a non-obtrusive way to promote your referral program repeatedly. People are more likely to trust referrals from people they know, so it's a surefire way to get new customers down your sales funnel.

The best part? Creating a newsletter referral program is fast and easy, as long as you know the right steps.

Are you planning to launch a newsletter referral program? Let us know in the comments.
POSTED ON May 10, 2021
By Monique Danao