This post was contributed by Kevin Yun of GrowSurf.

Newsletters and referral programs are a match made in heaven.

With email marketing, you get a level of personalization you can’t get from other marketing channels. Combine that with a cost-efficient customer acquisition strategy that is referral marketing, and you’ve got yourself a recipe for success.

All is well and good. The problem? Implementing a referral program into a newsletter can be a little tricky – unless you use the combined power of GrowSurf and ActiveCampaign.

Without the dynamic duo creating a unique referral link for each subscriber can be tedious and time-consuming. Not to mention having to keep track of who referred who, how many referrals were made, how much was rewarded, and who knows what else.

Sure, building an in-house referral program software might help, but that could only place a huge drain on your resources, time, and sanity. Worse, you might end up building something that doesn’t quite get the job done, which will only set you back even further.

Before you know it, you end up abandoning the referral program altogether. Which is a shame considering “what could have been” if you only did it the right way.

Want to incorporate a referral program into your newsletter without the mess?

Enter GrowSurf’s integration with ActiveCampaign.

Why GrowSurf?

GrowSurf is a referral program software specifically designed to help newsletter publishers.

Newsletter referral software

GrowSurf doesn’t just integrate your referral program into your newsletter – it runs everything on auto-pilot from the generation of unique referral links and the personalization of referral assets and messages to rewards fulfillment and referral tracking, and more.

In other words, GrowSurf allows you to implement your newsletter referral program without the hassle… and with all the good stuff.

And the good stuff is a potential 300-1,000% increase in ROI and 9-40% monthly growth.

And the results prove it.

The Uptick, for instance, wanted a solution that seamlessly integrates their referral program into their newsletter, and that has features tailored to their needs.

By using GrowSurf, the company was able to put everything—especially rewards management and fulfillment—into autopilot.

The result? A subscriber growth of 33% attributed to referrals.

The Uptick was also able to buy rewards in bulk, keeping their customer acquisition costs (CAC) under their target goal of $1.

The best part is that The Uptick pulled it off with minimal effort and resources.

The company’s CTO says as much:

GrowSurf customer quote

How GrowSurf and ActiveCampaign Work Together

When you pair ActiveCampaign’s ability to segment and personalize your emails withGrowSurf’s capabilities to supercharge your referral program, you have a winning combo to turn your newsletter into your most powerful customer acquisition channel.

With that said, you need to build a loyal, satisfied core of email subscribers before you can make this work.

Without an engaged subscriber base, your newsletter referral program is destined for failure. After all, your subscribers won’t vouch for you and spread the word about your brand if you don’t give them a great customer experience.

ActiveCampaign has your back on that one! Thanks to their personalization tags, robust custom fields, and segmentation capabilities, you have all the tools you need to create hyper-personalized email marketing campaigns.

With that done, you can use GrowSurf to turn your engaged, loyal subscriber base into your strongest marketing asset.

GrowSurf allows you to implement a referral program into your email newsletter in minutes and without coding skills.

GrowSurf allows you to:

  • Automatically generate a unique referral link for each ActiveCampaign contact. They won’t need to sign up for the program and can start sharing their unique referral link immediately).
  • Personalize your referral emails with little effort to increase engagement. You can send relevant and personalized content to your ActiveCampaign contacts via personalization tags.
  • Fast setup and management. Choose the rewards, design the elements, craft your email notifications and GrowSurf will do the rest.
  • Referral campaign funnel analytics. Reveals key insights about the program to help you improve your referral campaign.
  • Stay on top of rewards. Rewards management is baked into GrowSurf, making it easy for you to keep rewards fulfillment accurate and organized.
  • Receive alerts when referrals occur and a new participant joins the referral campaign.

How to Use GrowSurf & ActiveCampaign

You need to integrate GrowSurf with ActiveCampaign first to promote your referral program via your newsletter.

1. Open GrowSurf (sign up here). Go to Campaign Editor > 4. Options > Integrations, and then open the ActiveCampaign integration card.

2. Enter your ActiveCampaign API URL and key (grab your ActiveCampaign API URL and key here).

Connect to ActiveCampaign in the GrowSurf campaign editor

3. Select the ActiveCampaign list you want to sync to. Once they’re synced, GrowSurf will add/update your ActiveCampaign contacts each time someone is referred to your referral campaign.

4. Click Save. You should see the screen below.

Choose an ActiveCampaign list in the GrowSurf campaign editor

5. Open ActiveCampaign. Go to Lists > Manage Fields. You should now see a screen similar to the one below.

Manage Fields for your ActiveCampaign list

As you can see from the above image, the Manage Fields option is where you can choose which referrer information you want to make available to your ActiveCampaign contacts, including the referrer’s first name and last name, unique referral link, monthly referral count, and many others.

To make changes, click the ‘Edit’ icon that appears next to each custom field (as shown by the red arrow from the above image).

6. Once the Customize the Field Options window appears, check the same ActiveCampaign list you selected in the GrowSurf campaign editor and then save.

Personalize your newsletter referral program to boost shareability

If you want your ActiveCampaign contacts to spread the word about your brand, send them emails they will care about.

And how do you make your subscribers care (and share)? By delivering highly-relevant and personalized email content!

More to the point, you need to personalize your email communication in ways that are tailored to the needs of your referral program and those who are likely to participate in it.

Of course, personalization goes beyond addressing your subscribers by name. You need to make sure you’re sending them relevant content—including how many referrals they have, their unique referral link, how many referrals they need to earn the next reward, etc.

GrowSurf can help you pull this off with little effort.

Once you integrate GrowSurf with ActiveCampaign, you can easily embed (and customize) your referral program into your ActiveCampaign emails.

That means you can add the following essential referral program elements in a matter of seconds. View the copy/paste examples here.

  • Reward images
  • Unique referral link
  • Referral progress bar
  • Embedded CTA button

Want to see what it looks like?

Embed a referral invite section into your ActiveCampaign email design

You can also display rewards in other ways (static image, multiple images, GIF image with rotating rewards)

As a static image:

Embed a referral invite section with a static image into your ActiveCampaign email design

As multiple images:

Embed a referral invite section with dynamic images into your ActiveCampaign email design

As a GIF image with rotating rewards:

Embed a referral invite section with a GIF of rewards into your ActiveCampaign email design

Track and gather insights from your referral campaign’s performance

Another great thing about unique referral links is they help you track and measure every referral activity that occurs in your referral program.

GrowSurf’s analytics dashboard provides both the raw amount and percentages on the following referral data:

  • Invites
  • Impressions
  • Participants
  • Referrals

GrowSurf’s analytics dashboard lets you see at a glance how well your referral campaign is performing.

Get smarter with GrowSurf’s campaign analysis that reveals essential funnel stats.

Of course, you need to make sense of all that data for them to be of any help. As you can see from the above image, Growsurf also offers key insights to help you determine what needs to be improved and what actions you need to take to boost results.

What’s more, with all that data at your fingertips, you’re given more material to work with to test and optimize your newsletter referral program, allowing you to scale as your referrals grow.

Take GrowSurf and ActiveCampaign for a spin!

If you want to stay in front of your audience and connect with them, launching an email newsletter is the way to go. The more personalized and relevant your emails are, the more engaged your subscribers will be. As such, you’d do well to embrace referral marketing and use it to your advantage.

Remember, in today’s world, your loyal customers are your best marketers. But to achieve viral growth and compounding results over time, you need a robust and reliable referral program software like GrowSurf that puts everything on autopilot. Combined with a powerful tool like ActiveCampaign, you have everything you need to turn your subscribers into your most loyal brand advocates.