How to Build a Newsletter Referral Program to Boost Your Campaign

How to Build a Newsletter Referral Program to Boost Your Campaign

How does it feel when your customers recommend your products and services to their friends and family? Great, Right? For an entrepreneur, this may represent a moment of pride as the brand for which he puts so much effort and time is finally making a space for itself among the audience. Many call this ‘Word of Mouth marketing, which urges customers to talk about and share their positive experiences with a brand with other people.

 At present, hundreds and thousands of companies are heavily investing in it, and why wouldn’t it be such a case, given so many benefits? If you’re also thinking of doing the same, then building a Newsletter Referral Program will be a smart choice on your part. Wondering why and how? Well, this article is all about, therefore, make sure you read it till the end to get all the answers.  

What is a Newsletter Referral Program?

What is a Newsletter Referral Program?

‘Newsletter Referral Program’, let’s break it up to get a clear understanding. A newsletter or E-newsletter is nothing but an email you send to your subscribers regularly to keep them informed about your brand’s latest news and updates. 

And a referral program is Word of Mouth marketing, where rather than sending out your promotion, you motivate your existing subscribers to forward the email to people they know. 

Benefits of the Newsletter Referral Program 

Benefits of the Newsletter Referral Program

Now, the question arises why one should do all these. Well, there’s no denying that creating an effective Newsletter takes lots of time, effort, resources, and creativity. Then why send it to only a bunch of people when a referral program can help you manifold its reach? Not to worry if you’re not convinced yet, as the points given below will surely make you – 

  • Increase Brand Exposure- What will happen when more and more people learn about your newsletters and read them? They will get familiar with your brand and what it offers them, right? And that’s what the Newsletter Referral program does. It gives you the brand exposure you want.
  • Grow Subscriber List – What would be why a subscriber shares your Email newsletter, apart from rewards? The answer is his trust in your brand and the products/services you offer. And, when it’s friends, family members, or known ones sharing your newsletter with someone in their circles with this trust, the chances of that person becoming your Email subscriber gets pretty high.
  • Turn Customers into Brand Advocates – When customers, or we can say, subscribers spread the word about your Email to their known ones, they are advocating for your brand on their part. With Newsletter Referral Program in place, you can get more such people to share your newsletters and use the power of brand advocacy to grow your brand.
  • Improve Subscriber Retention and Loyalty – Referral programs are great to reward subscribers, alongside getting new ones. Not just that, they also help you retain them and make them loyal to you. Wondering how? Well, your subscribers already have an interest in your brand. When their friends or family members become new subscribers, they can give some sort of company to one another and talk about your content, which means they now have even more reasons to engage with it.
  • Cost Effective – Companies spend hundreds and thousands of dollars in marketing, but even after that, they fail to attract that many people in proportion to their spending. However, things get different regarding the newsletter referral program, which surely doesn’t burn a hole in your pocket. To create an effective one, you must write an amazing Newsletter copy and offer rewards only for successful sign-ups (If your budget is low). 

Prerequisites for a Newsletter Referral Program

Prerequisites for a Newsletter Referral Program

Every penny counts in business, and that’s why before you invest anything, be it hard-earned resources, time, or effort, in the newsletter referral program, you should keep all the followings things ready – 

1. Have an active and engaging Email subscriber base

Who will share your newsletter with their friends and family members? Your Email subscribers, right? That’s why you must have a base of active and loyal Email subscribers who often engage with your content and are ready to share it with their known ones. 

  • Understand your email subscribers. 

‘All fingers are not the same’, and the same applies to your Email subscribers. They have their preferences, interests, needs, and specifications, such as age, location, income level, etc. You should gather all this information as much as possible as it allows you to create more relevant content for them and encourage them to share your newsletters with better targeting. 

  • Know what you have to offer to subscribers. 

People usually get tons of newsletters from different brands, so why would they be interested in yours? The answer is Unique Value Proposition, which talks about the uniqueness and benefits of your offer and can motivate the subscribers to read your newsletter and their referrals to sign up for it. 

  • Understand the communication channel between Subscribers and their network. 

Imagine you send a newsletter to your subscribers, and they even like it but don’t find their preferred channel mode when they’re about to share it. How would you feel? For sure, Bad. This is why you better know your subscribers’ channels to share interesting things with their network so that you can include them in your referral program.

  • Know the referral rewards subscribers would like to receive 

Surely, this is a difficult task, but nothing is impossible. You can track the trends other companies set in the same domain. Rewards can be of many types, like physical products, event tickets, and special discount offers. All you need is to ensure they can motivate subscribers to spread the word about your newsletters and, at the same time, are under your budget. 

4 Strategies to Build a Newsletter Referral Program 

Now that you know what a Newsletter referral program is and the gains it offers you, the time has come to look at the strategies to create it for the growth of your business. And for that, below are the best strategies you can consider without having any second doubts. 

1. Choose Referral Rewards that Motivates Your Subscribers 

Choose Referral Rewards that Motivates Your Subscribers

For the success of your Newsletter referral program, you must find out the right rewards that can motivate your subscribers to perform the desired promotion. And you’d be happy to know that we’re not talking about anything expensive or lavish here because that would make no sense as the whole purpose of this is to get the most with the lowest cost possible.

So, what to do? Well, for starters, you can adopt the formula – “the more they bring, the better they get” to offer your subscribers rewards depending on the number of referrals they make. Some might ask, ‘Okay, we get it, but what rewards should we give?” Hold your horses as below are a few options you can consider – 

  • Exclusive Discount – Want to encourage your email subscribers to promote your newsletter and convert them into paying customers as well? Then giving exclusive discounts as a referring reward would be a smart choice as an entrepreneur. This will also offer great value to the subscribers, especially if you have a wide range of products and services.
  • Cash – Another great referral reward is cash, which tends to generate much buzz among subscribers. Furthermore, the usual cost of giving cash as referral rewards to motivate subscribers to share your Newsletter comes lower when compared to other types of referrals.
  • Free Product – Who doesn’t like free products, especially when it’s from a brand you already like, right? Giving your products free of cost as a referral reward can help you motivate subscribers to promote your Emails and create an environment of excitement revolving around your brand. However, you must ensure that the product you choose to give free is cost-effective relative to your average acquisition cost. Besides these, that product should also be appealing from the subscribers’ perspective.
  • Gift Vouchers – How would you feel if you got a free spa session or a sweet treat at your favourite restaurant? Great and appreciated, we guess. And not just you; anyone, including your customers, would feel the same. This is the exact reason we see hundreds and thousands of companies offer gift vouchers regarding referral rewards. 

Plus, you can customize gift vouchers based on your and your subscribers’ preferences.

2. Spread the Word About Your Referral Program Via the Email Newsletter

The success of your Newsletter Referral program also depends on how effectively you promote it because if your subscribers don’t know about it, then you can’t expect them to act on it. So, what to do? Well, what about using your newsletter itself for this purpose? 

Undoubtedly, promotion through social media campaigns and dedicated referral emails also work great, and that’s why you can use them additionally. The plus point of promotion via newsletters is that it tells you about the share of the audience who takes an interest in your content and shares it, not only for the sake of rewards.

Now, let’s talk about how you can use your newsletter to make its recipient aware of your referral program. Here, the foremost task is to decide a place in the newsletter where you’d like to put information about your referral program to grab the readers’ attention. If confused, then follow the points given below.

  • Shed light on the referral program here & there in the newsletter content, and make sure to give special emphasis to the rewards.
  • Use interesting elements, like creative designs and animations, to highlight the points of your referral program. 
  • Place a banner for the same in between the Newsletter body.
  • Provide options readers can use to get every information about your referral program. 
  • Use the cursive style and big-size font to make your referral program’s information stand out from the rest of the content. 

If there are several newsletters to create, you can try the above at your convenience to promote your referral program. Ensure you don’t do it too much, as two to three lines are more than enough. Furthermore, you can consider the best newsletters available for a better idea.

3. Simplify Your Newsletter Referral Program Simplify Your Newsletter Referral Program  

This world is busy as people usually don’t have much time to spare. And that’s why you need to make your newsletter referral program simple and easy for subscribers to understand. Especially regarding the main agenda – to get the maximum number of shares. 

Therefore, you should make sure that sharing your newsletter goes through only requires a step or two. Not just that, ensure the same thing for other processes, including inviting others to become your email subscribers to get newsletters and deliver the rewards. 

For the sharing part, you can start working right from your newsletter. And when it comes to the unique referral link of the subscribers, make sure it’s easy to locate, copy and share. Besides these, you can consider the given points to expect better results from your referral program – 

  • Provide clear-cut instructions and Terms & Conditions to maintain transparency.
  • Make your referral Call-to-Action button unique and appealing.
  • Allows subscribers to share your newsletter on any of their preferred channels, like Email, SMS, social media platforms, etc.

4. Use a Reliable Newsletter Referral Software 

“Hard work always pays off” You might have heard this many times, which is also true. But what about when everyone’s doing it? Well, at that time, smart work came into play and became more relevant given the digital era in which we all live. As we know, designing and running a newsletter referral program takes a lot of time and effort on the part of companies. 

Here, having a newsletter referral software can make a big difference. Wondering how? Well, it can help you automate almost all the processes involved in referral marketing. With it, you don’t have to worry about managing the number of referrals your subscribers bring in, as it automatically tracks them, keeping a record of the subscribers eligible for the referral reward and distributing it to them as quickly as possible. 

And, if you’re confused about which Newsletter referral program software to use, feel free to choose InviteReferrals, which hundreds & thousands of businesses trust. The reasons are it’s easy to set up and has an amazing user interface that anyone can understand without much technical know-how. Besides this, its features are also not less, including in-depth analytics, easily customizable, multiple referral & social sharing options, spam prevention, personalized coupon-based tracking, etc. 


A newsletter referral program can do wonders if you seek to grow your Email subscribers list and increase engagement. But for that, your referral program must be well-designed and effective, and this article aims to help you with that. We highly hope you will consider and implement the strategies above to get the best results


Shivani is a content writer at InviteReferrals. She writes SEO articles, blogs, and guest posts for businesses to improve website ranking on SERP. She follows a balanced approach for the quality of content and its marketing. She loves to do creativity, although she had an English major in her graduation.