Refer-a-friend Program

Expand your contact base with minimal effort!

Wioleta Jednaka avatar
Written by Wioleta Jednaka
Updated this week

Some say that "word of mouth" is the best form of advertising. That makes sense, as it is essentially free and can have exponential effects.

That's why it's always a good idea to give your customers a little incentive to spread the word about your store. And edrone can help you with that in a way that you, your customers, and their friends will all benefit from: the Refer-a-friend Program.

It works in just four steps:

  1. You invite customers to the program

  2. The customer accepts and shares a personal referral link with friends

  3. The friend uses the referral link and makes a purchase using the coupon he received in the confirmation email

  4. The customer gets a new discount coupon as a gift for spreading the word about your store

It's a simple, but incredibly powerful strategy to grow your revenue, expand your contact base, and increase customer satisfaction.

Let's set it up!

Before your start: Send an invite to the Program

Before you set up your Refer-a-friend Program, the very first step would be to invite your subscribers to join the Program in the first place by giving them their unique referrer link.

That will require setting up another newsletter scenario, such as Dynamic Newsletter or After Sale, and using the merge tag *|REFERRER_LINK|* on a text.

Alternatively, you can also use a landing page for this. In this option, the landing page URL should be:*|REFERRAL_CODE|* (substitute "" for your landing page's URL). See our Refer-a-friend landing page documentation before creating this landing page.

Once that's set up, you can start working on your Refer-a-friend Program!

How to set up your Refer-a-friend Program

To begin, login to your Mission Control and go to ENGAGEMENTS > REFER-A-FRIEND. The first page is just an overview, so we'll skip that. Click on the next step: opt-in button or select OPT-IN from the progress bar on the top of the page.

Step 1: Opt-in settings

If you haven't already set it up in other scenarios, your first step will be to determine how you deal with new users. Please note that, since opt-in is a global parameter in edrone's system, any change here will affect all scenarios.

There are four opt-in options:

  • Double Opt-In edrone: This is the option we recommend. It is the safest from a legal standpoint, as it respects current european data-processing regulations (GDPR). It is also a good idea to use double opt-in to make sure you will only have the right e-mail addesses on your database.

  • Double Opt-In non edrone: This is also a good option. Like the first one, it respects current european data-processing regulations (GDPR). The main difference here is that the confirmation e-mail is sent through another tool instead of edrone, and therefore the responsibility of collecting user confirmations lies with you.

  • Single Opt-In: This option is not recommended, as it doesn't respect european data-processing regulations. As soon as the user gives his name and e-mail, he will be subscribed. If you choose this option, we recommend that you check data-processing regulations on the markets where your company operates.

  • Single Opt-In with message: This is the same as the previous option, but with a welcome message right after the new user subscribes to the Program.

NOTE: Users who already have "subscribed" status on your CRM panel will also receive a confirmation e-mail after joining the Refer-a-friend Program.

Once you choose an option, select LANGUAGE on the progress bar to continue.

Step 2: Language

On the LANGUAGE section, you will see one the left side an overview of your customers (audience size, number of languages, and most popular language).

Based on this information, you can choose whether you want to send your Refer-a-friend Program e-mails in only one language (Single language), or more than one (Multi language). You can choose as many languages as you want.

NOTE: Language information is collected automatically by edrone from your customer's browser language settings. This means that it is not linked to a specific location. For example, if a customer lives in France but their browser is set up in English, they will be considered an english-speaking customer.

Click on the NEXT: ADJUST button, or choose ADJUST from the progress bar.

Step 3: Choose when the referrer will get a reward

Here you will determine the minimum order value for the referrer to get a reward, and when that will happen. For example, if you set the "minimum order value" to 200 PLN and "Time to reward after purchase" to 1 day and 6 hours, here's how that would look like in two different situations:

  • Referrer's friend used the referral link and then made a 150 PLN purchase: no reward for the referrer.

  • Referrer's friend used the referral link and then made a 250 PLN purchase: referrer gets his reward in an e-mail sent exactly 1 day and 6 hours after his friend's purchase.

If you want the reward message to be sent right away, just set 0 days and 0 hours.

Once you're done, click on the NEXT: SENDER button, or choose SENDER from the progress bar.

Step 4: Sender information

Here, you will set up who is sending the e-mail: Name, E-mail, and Reply-to E-mail. You can input new data, or choose from a predefined sender (for example, the same sender you have previously used in for other newsletters).

Click on the NEXT: COUPONS button, or choose COUPONS from the progress bar.

Step 5: Coupons

You will use discount coupons as a reward to your referrer and his friends. You will need to upload them in CSV files.

We'll come back to this section shortly. For now, click on the NEXT: DESIGN button, or choose DESIGN from the progress bar.

Step 6: Design your e-mails

Time to craft your messages! In this section you will see our Drag 'n' Drop Editor, which will help you easily design beautiful e-mails.

NOTE: If you don't want to design your e-mails from scratch, just click on TEMPLATES and choose from pre-existing models. There are a few who were designed specifically for the Refer-a-friend Program!

Depending on which option you chose on Step 1, there will be one or more messages to create. For the purpose of this tutorial, let's assume you took our advice and chose Double Opt-In edrone, which will require three distinct e-mails. Design each e-mail by choosing from the drop-down menu on the top left of your screen.

1. Confirmation message:

When the referrer's friends use his referral link, they will be invited to join your newsletter in order to get their discount coupon. Once they accept, they will receive this confirmation message (this is the double opt-in).

When creating this email, insert a button and choose Action type "Confirm Refer A Friend Participation Link".

NOTE: you can also create a reminder using Web Layers. This is optional, and you can learn how to do it on Step 9.

2. After confirmation message:

After the referee confirms, they will receive their discount coupon. To set this message up, insert the *|COUPON|* merge tag inside a text field.

Alternatively, if you also set up a coupon reminder (see Step 9), you can create a button with the following URL:*|COUPON|* (replace "" for your own domain name). That way, the coupon will be automatically displayed on the weblayer. If you don't set up a reminder, it's better to use the merge tag on a text.

3. Reward:

This is the e-mail in which you give your referrer a reward in the form of a discount coupon. This process is exactly the same as the previous one. Just insert the merge tag *|COUPON|* inside a text field, or a button with the URL:*|COUPON|*

Don't forget to hit SAVE every once in a while to make sure you won't accidentally lose your progress!

NOTE: If you chose to send e-mails in multiple languages on Step 2, each language will be shown in a tab on the top left of your screen. In that case, you will need to design different e-mails for each language. We recommend you work on one language first, and when you're happy with that version, just click COPY and then select another language and click PASTE. That way, you can easily translate your content while keeping everything else the same.

Now you need to go back and set up your coupons. Select COUPONS on the progress bar.

Step 7: Set up coupons

You are free to include a coupon in any e-mail, but as we've covered above, standard practice for the Refer-a-friend Program is to include a coupon in the After confimation message (coupon for the referee) and Reward message (coupon for the referrer after referee makes a purchase).

You can choose between Static (same coupon for all customers) and Dynamic (each customer gets a unique coupon). We recommend using Dynamic coupons.

As mentioned on Step 5, you need to upload a CSV file with your coupons. It's important to use separate CSV files with different and unique coupons for each message type. If you need help with creating them, there are several free online coupon generators.

Once your files are ready, select each message type from the drop-down menu on the top-left corner and then click on UPLOAD (CSV). Select which column contains the coupons, check the box if you wish to ignore the first line of your file (column titles, for example). If everything is OK, click on CONFIRM COLUMN. A green confirmation message should appear at the top right corner of your screen.

Onward! Since Design is already taken care of (or at least should be), jump straight to WELCOME POPUP (ONSITE) on the progress bar.

Step 8: Set up a Welcome Pop-up

Now we'll set up the welcome message for the referees when they come to your website using the referral link. As we've seen at the very beginning, there are two ways to achieve this:

  • Using a Welcome Pop-up: this is the standard way. There are many variables to choose from when creating a pop-up, so please click here for more information. The important thing to keep in mind is that this should be a welcome pop-up which opens as soon as the referee enters the website (no delay).

  • Landing page: this is an alternative to the welcome pop-up. If you use a landing page, don't set up a welcome pop-up and move on to the next steps.

Once you're done, select COUPON REMINDER (ON SITE) on the progress bar.

Step 9 (OPTIONAL): Coupon reminder

In this step you can set up a reminder for referees who confirmed participation but haven't used the discount coupon yet. This reminder will be set up as a Web Layer that is opened with no delay once the Referee enters the website. It displays a coupon code that may be copied with a single click.

As with Pop-ups, there are many variables involved in creating a Web Layer, so please click here for more information on how to set up Web Layers.

Select REVIEW / RUN on the progress bar to reach the finish line!

Step 10: Review & Run

Alright! Now your Refer-a-friend Program is all set. Send a test e-mail to double-check if everything is working properly, and when you're ready, click on the RUN button.

Congratulations! Enjoy your "new subscriber generating machine".

Step 11: Reports

As with any automation tool, setting it up is only half the job. You also need to check its performance regularly to make sure you are getting the results you expect.

To view your Refer-a-friend Program's performance, go to the REPORTS section on the progress bar. Here you will find the main metrics such as Engagement revenue, Sent, Opened, Clicked, Orders, Orders with Coupon, Unsubscribed, and CTR.

Apart from the regular metrics, you will also find:

  • Top 10 users engaged (name, surname, email address, generated revenue)

  • Number of loops started (definition: a loop starts once at least 1 user gets registered)

  • Number of customers engaged (all Referrers + all Referees)

By clicking on the SHOW ADVANCED button, you will see an additional 37 performance metrics such as Hard Bounce, Soft Bounce, Spam, and others.

Need more help?

If you have any further questions about Refer-a-Friend Program, please do not hesitate to contact us at

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