Step by Step Guide to Running a Refer a Friend Campaign

By Meagan Kral

If you’re an established brand, you know that your audience is the lifeblood of your business. After all, any successful efforts made to grow your following will also allow you to grow your sales. Which is why referral programs can be so beneficial.

By using those that already follow you on social media or subscribe to your email newsletters, you can dramatically increase your customer base. Plus, by rewarding your current patrons for simply referring their friends, you’ll keep them happy and build loyalty. That’s why running a refer a friend campaign is a key part of a good marketing strategy.

Step by Step Guide to Running a Referral Campaign

What is a Refer a Friend Campaign?

Refer a friend campaigns are a type of marketing promotion that is designed to encourage people to tell their friends about your brand. Current customers are motivated to bring in new business in various ways that include a specific reward for each new customer they refer, or a chance at winning a larger prize.

The campaign works by providing the members of your audience with a unique link that they can use to share with their friends. As this link is specific to each customer issuing a referral, your brand is able to use it to track successful sign ups. You can then offer the referring party an incentive each time their friends use the link to enter your giveaway.

What Incentives Get People to Refer Their Friends?

There are two great reward options that you can implement to encourage people to issue referrals.

For example, a Bonus Entry Sweepstakes will offer your audience the chance to earn additional entries into your main giveaway with each friend that they refer. So, for this kind of incentive, there is only one set of rewards that you need to offer as a prize. This is a particularly great strategy for giveaways that are competitive or have high value prizes.

Alternatively, Milestone Referral Rewards will provide your customers with ongoing opportunities to earn rewards every time that they refer a friend. Commonly these promotions include prizes such as a discount code or early access to new product launches and sales. The benefit of this option is that the customer is guaranteed some form of incentive upon successful referral, instead of being provided with a chance at a larger prize. This can also be a good strategy if you are looking for an immediate boost to sales, because the awards associated with the Milestone Referral Rewards program, such as coupon codes, tend to encourage customers to make purchases right away.

What Should a Refer a Friend Landing Page Look Like?

There are a few key elements that you should be sure to incorporate into the landing page for your refer a friend program.

successful reward landing page

These include:

How Do I Build A Landing Page For My Refer A Friend Campaign?

Fortunately, KickoffLabs makes it super easy to create your landing page. There’s no need for a web designer when you can just use our landing page builder.

There’s tons of great templates available to start you off and set your rewards, scoring, leaderboards, rules, and more. From there, you can customize and personalize with just a few clicks.

The KickoffLabs editor allows you to edit and construct your landing page by dragging and dropping features and widgets - no coding required!

Get Started today in 5 easy steps:

1. Choose Your Campaign Type We recommend starting out with a Milestone Reward or Bonus Entry Giveaway campaign, but we offer several types depending on your needs! Choose a campaign type 2. Select a Signup Source Build the landing page in our KickoffLabs editor or connect to an external landing page via Anyform or Contest Box. Choose the signup flow 3. Determine Post Signup Flow Select whether to display an on page confirmation message, redirect the lead to a separate status page, or pop up the contest box for confirmation. Determine post signup flow 4. Choose a Template If you chose to build the campaign using the KickoffLabs editor, you’ll be prompted to select a template. We have a variety of templates to choose from that were designed from past successful campaigns! Choose a template 5. Set-up Referral Scoring Set the contest to only score for successful referrals, or give your campaign the boost of word of mouth by awarding points for sharing the campaign. set referral scoring

How Do I Tell My Audience About My Refer A Friend Campaign?

Once you have your campaign set up and ready to be run, you’ll need to inform your base! If you don’t tell your customers, they won’t know that they should be participating.

Here are a few steps to start you off:

The easiest way to create unique referral links that you can track is to find a software that makes the process simple. Luckily, this is something we specialize in at KickoffLabs. We can take an email address and output a trackable link that people share. From there, we make it easy to tell when a customer’s link generates referrals. You’ll be able to tell when their friends sign up and then you can reward them with their prize!

referral unique share url

How Do I Pick A Winner For A Refer A Friend Sweepstakes?

There are lots of ways to run a sweepstakes and several methods for determining the overall winner.

Pick a winner feature

These can include:

You can find an in-depth breakdown here!

How Do I Distribute Rewards If I Picked a Milestone Referral Rewards?

If you set up your campaign so that customers are entitled to a prize each time they successfully refer a friend, you might wonder how to ensure that they receive their reward. Fortunately, KickoffLabs makes this easy as well.

Reward Milestones

We send automated emails to the customer whenever they have earned a reward. We also will notify your business, so that you can reach out to distribute the prize if necessary. However, if the reward is something like a coupon code, we can help set it up so that a one-time use discount is created and included in the email that the customer receives after referring a friend.


Refer a friend campaigns offer major benefits for any brand by substantially growing their reach. This is significant, because by increasing your email signups, you can let your expanding audience know every time that you launch a new product or run a new promotion. This can have a huge impact on your sales.

While it might seem daunting to create a campaign like this, KickoffLabs makes it simple. With our templates, guidance, and user-friendly landing page builder, you can create your program with ease. Therefore, there’s no reason not to incorporate a refer a friend campaign into your marketing strategy today!

KickoffLabs Makes Contests Easy

Quickly and easily setup viral giveaways, sweepstakes, and product launches where fans earn points and rewards for referring friends and promoting your brand!

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