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Let me do some extraordinarily simple arithmetic as an instance the facility of referral advertising and marketing:

Say you’ve received 10,000 contacts in your e-mail listing. 

In line with the Survey Heart on American Life, 53 p.c of Individuals have between three and 9 shut associates, whereas 13 p.c have 10+.

How many friends do Americans have on average Referral Email ExamplesSo assuming these 10,000 (imaginary) names in your advertising and marketing listing are “common” Individuals, they might have a community of 90,000+ shut associates. And that’s earlier than we even consider members of the family.

Wouldn’t or not it’s implausible in case you might share your greatest merchandise and promotions with that massive, prolonged viewers?

With referral advertising and marketing, you’ll be able to.

And since referred prospects are extra loyal, have greater lifetime values, and generate greater revenue margins than “common” prospects, you’ll be able to afford to sweeten the deal, incentivizing your present viewers to suggest your model to family and friends.

That’s the place the common-or-garden referral e-mail is available in. 

On this article, I’ll give some sensible suggestions and greatest practices for profitable referral advertising and marketing, then share a few of my favourite referral e-mail template examples.

Let’s get into it…



2 Kinds of Referral Emails to Attempt

There are two most important sorts of referral advertising and marketing e-mail:

  • Mass referral emails
  • Personalised referral e-mail

Let’s examine and distinction these two distinct referral e-mail codecs…

Mass referral emails Private referral emails
Despatched to broad viewers segments or your complete e-mail listing. Despatched to area of interest viewers segments or particular person prospects.
Promote generic advantages of your referral program. Spotlight particular referral program advantages prone to resonate with area of interest audiences.
Solely embody primary personalization, such because the recipient’s title. Reference the client’s relationship together with your model (e.g. how lengthy they’ve been a buyer)
Generic tone to attraction to everybody in your advertising and marketing listing (even these but to make their first buy). Heat, appreciative tone designed to make the client really feel valued.
Finest for selling your referral program to the most important attainable viewers. Finest for inviting high-value prospects to refer family and friends.


To be clear, neither referral e-mail format is “higher” than the opposite. Each have a key half to play in boosting the profile of your referral program, however it is advisable to perceive how (and when) to make use of every. 

6 Referral Electronic mail Finest Practices for Ecommerce

With out an efficient promotional technique, your referral program is doomed to failure. Get it proper by following these referral e-mail greatest practices…

1. Goal the Proper Audiences

Identical to any advertising and marketing marketing campaign, crafting a profitable referral e-mail is all about reaching the best viewers.

If you happen to’re sending a mass referral e-mail, this tip doesn’t actually apply—your solely objective is to advertise your program to as many individuals as attainable. Nevertheless it’s important for private referral e-mail campaigns.

In actuality, solely a relatively small proportion of your viewers will really feel comfy recommending you to their family and friends. That’s hardly shocking.

Except you are feeling passionate a couple of model and love its merchandise, why would you set your neck on the road?

However there’s one viewers phase filled with people who find themselves extremely prone to benefit from your referral program: your most loyal prospects.

In line with KPMG, 86 p.c of loyal prospects are glad to suggest manufacturers to their nearest and dearest

So your job is to determine who they’re. They could possibly be prospects who:

  • Have saved shopping for from you over the longest interval
  • Generate the very best common order values
  • Buy from you most continuously
  • Present the very best lifetime worth

Or possibly it’s a mix of all these metrics.

Professional tip: To really nail your viewers focusing on, you want dynamic segmentation capabilities. With Drip, segments replace routinely and in actual time. So you’ll be able to add particular person prospects to your referral program sequence as quickly as they hit a sure lifetime worth or buy quantity (or fulfill some other standards).

2. Write Compelling Topic Traces

You need your referral e-mail to achieve as many eyes as attainable. As a result of it doesn’t matter how attractive your referral supply is that if nobody is aware of it exists.

Which means nailing your topic traces, on condition that practically half of e-mail recipients contemplate them when deciding whether or not to open any given e-mail.

Crafting a high-performing topic line requires a stable understanding of your model and viewers (and loads of A/B testing), so we will’t inform you precisely what to write down. However generally, contemplate these greatest practices:

  • Maintain it brief and candy. Most individuals open emails on iPhone or Gmail, so purpose for topic line lengths of between 41 characters (iPhone portrait view character restrict) and 70 characters (Gmail character restrict).
  • Transcend primary personalization. A personalised topic line shouldn’t simply embody the recipient’s first title. Take into account their location, searching habits, and buy habits to craft actually private messaging.
  • Use actionable language. Deal with your topic line like a CTA by incorporating set off phrases like “Get”, “Store”, and “Discover”.
  • Construct urgency. Give your viewers a cause to click on proper now by including urgency-related messaging to your topic line, corresponding to mentioning a limited-time promotion.
  • Add complementary preview textual content. Take full benefit of inbox actual property by writing preview textual content that follows—and enhances—the messaging in your topic line.

Need extra recommendation? Try our roundup 180+ confirmed e-mail topic traces throughout totally different industries and themes.

3. Provide an Enticing Incentive

As soon as somebody’s opened your referral e-mail, it is advisable to win them over with a compelling supply that prompts them to take motion. Most referral incentives comprise two distinct parts:

  1. Referrer reward: A reduction, cashback supply, or another reward for the referrer (i.e. the present buyer who recommends you to their family and friends) when the particular person they refer makes a purchase order.
  2. Referred buyer reward. The promotion that the referrer shares with family and friends, corresponding to a proportion low cost for his or her first buy.

As with topic traces, there’s no such factor because the “excellent” referral incentive—what works for one model received’t essentially carry out for one more.

Broadly talking, all of it is dependent upon your product and value level. If you happen to promote lower-priced merchandise, a set money low cost sounds extra engaging, whereas a proportion low cost typically works greatest for higher-ticket objects.

4. Maintain Your Electronic mail Easy and Concise

Above all else, your referral supply ought to be straightforward to know. As a result of if it appears too unachievable or advanced, nobody’s going to participate.

If you happen to can’t talk the important thing parts—the rewards on supply to each the referrer and the referred buyer, and any phrases and situations that apply—in a few bullet factors, your promotion is nearly definitely too sophisticated.

5. Leverage Shortage and Urgency

As we’ve already famous, urgency generally is a key device for selling your referral program—particularly when mixed with one other issue, shortage. Whereas they’re typically used collectively, they’re really fairly totally different:

Urgency entails imposing a deadline on the client’s motion (e.g. “Get 10 p.c off for twenty-four hours”), whereas shortage is about limiting the provision of a product or low cost (e.g. “Purchase our new limited-edition product, solely 50 obtainable”).

Within the context of a referral program, which may imply:

  • Limiting the quantity of people that can be a part of your program (“Solely 100 areas obtainable”).
  • Asking folks to benefit from your referral supply by a selected date (“Refer a buddy within the subsequent 48 hours and also you each get $100 cashback”).

Like with anything within the advertising and marketing world, discovering the supply that resonates greatest together with your viewers requires a bunch of testing, so don’t be afraid to experiment with totally different promotions and messaging.

6. Get Your Timing Proper

Timing is all the pieces in relation to working a profitable referral e-mail marketing campaign.

I’m not simply speaking about discovering the greatest time to ship emails (though that’s nonetheless necessary). As a substitute, it’s about focusing on folks on the proper stage of the client journey. As an illustration, you would possibly share your referral e-mail with prospects who’ve simply:

  • Made their first buy
  • Obtained supply of their first order
  • Written their first evaluate
  • Positioned a set quantity or money worth of orders inside a given time interval

You also needs to contemplate selling your referral program throughout busy procuring durations when individuals are probably to be making purchases, corresponding to round BFCM.

13 Referral Electronic mail Examples

Now that we’ve coated the speculation behind a profitable referral e-mail, let’s take a look at some real-world examples…

1. Casper

Casper Referral Email ExamplesSupply: ReallyGoodEmails

Casper typically makes use of its e-newsletter—or “snoozeletter”—to immediate its prospects to refer a buddy.

Now, Casper mattresses are a big-ticket product. Costs begin across the €300 mark and climb as excessive as €1,200+. That makes its referral scheme fairly engaging, with 10 p.c off for brand new prospects, plus a $75 Amazon reward card for the referrer.

Casper Refer a Friend Referral Email ExamplesIt’s good that Casper doesn’t go in for the onerous promote right here by positioning the referral supply proper on the backside of the e-mail, reasonably than making it the principle focus of the entire e-mail.

Think about you signed up for the snooze letter and acquired this e-mail. If you happen to’ve scrolled all the way in which to the underside, it stands to cause that you simply’re fairly engaged with the model—which implies there’s a superb likelihood you’ll be glad to suggest Casper to your pals.

All you want is a delicate nudge in the best route.

2. MeUndies

MeUndies Give Your Friends a Discount Referral Email ExamplesSupply: ReallyGoodEmails

We’re massive followers of MeUndies right here at Drip—a lot in order that we spent a month digging into the model’s advertising and marketing technique.

So it’s no shock to us that this referral e-mail is so robust.

In some methods, it’s the other of the earlier instance from Casper.

For one factor, it’s solely devoted to profitable referrals, reasonably than hiding the referral supply away on the backside of a e-newsletter. For an additional, it’s selling a a lot lower-ticket merchandise.

Regardless of this, MeUndies has nonetheless managed to craft a compelling supply that provides folks a real cause to refer—on this case, 20 p.c off for the brand new buyer, plus $20 credit score for the referrer.

3. Italic

Italic Everything is Better with Friends Referral Email Examples

Supply: ReallyGoodEmails

Reductions and particular gives play a giant half in driving referrals.

In reality, in response to Point out Me, they’re the fourth-biggest cause folks resolve to refer manufacturers—behind solely model trustworthiness, nice customer support, and free supply and returns.

Nevertheless, getting your particular supply proper isn’t as straightforward because it sounds.

If it’s too advanced, nobody will have interaction with it. If it’s too beneficiant, it’ll eat into your margins and injury your earnings. And if it’s too stingy, nobody will care.

Simplicity is commonly key to an efficient referral supply, and Italic clearly understands this. It’s all concerning the quantity 15—refer a buddy they usually get $15 off, plus you get $15 for everybody who locations an order together with your hyperlink.

4. Equal Components

Equal Parts Grocery Guide Referral Email ExamplesSupply: ReallyGoodEmails

This one’s all concerning the smooth promote.

Equal Components makes non-stick, non-toxic cookware designed to make the exercise of cooking at dwelling extra gratifying.

To that finish, it gives common suggestions, methods, and insights on learn how to have enjoyable within the kitchen, together with issues like leveling up your grocery procuring.

After providing a bunch of sensible recommendation, Equal Components slips in a referral message, prompting readers to unfold the phrase.

Equal Parts Invite Friends Referral Email ExamplesThough this referral e-mail mentions how referrers can earn rewards when their associates enroll, that is actually extra about constructing advocacy by worth. The implicit message right here is: “If you happen to take pleasure in our content material and merchandise, why received’t you let different folks in on the key?”

5. On

On Referree Email Referral Email ExamplesSupply: ReallyGoodEmails

Okay, so that you’ve received a referral.

That’s good—any variety of referrals is best than none, in any case—however it doesn’t assure something. You continue to have to make efficient use of it.

Swiss efficiency working shoe and clothes model On demonstrates learn how to get it proper by reaching out to a newly-referred buyer and asking in the event that they wish to discover out extra.

Why’s this method so good?

As a result of it’s like a double opt-in. On is saying: “You’ve been referred by your buddy, however do you really wish to hold listening to from us?”

That means, the retailer manages to construct belief from potential new prospects, whereas concurrently explaining just a little concerning the model and what it stands for.

6. Saje

Saje Spread Wellness Referral Email ExamplesSupply: ReallyGoodEmails

As any author will inform you, an efficient referral e-mail doesn’t simply depend on a catchy supply and snappy visuals. Copy performs an enormous half, too.

Important oils and skincare merchandise model Saje will get it proper right here with a easy, impactful message crafted to resonate with its target market: “Unfold wellness to your pals.”

On this means, Saje is asking its prospects to advertise a life-style, not a product. You’re not referring a buddy to purchase some new pores and skin serum or a face masks; you’re referring all the idea of wellness.

That’s a way more partaking proposition than saying: “If you happen to persuade your pals to purchase our merchandise, we’ll offer you a reduction code.”

7. Maude

Maude Give Some Get Some Referral Email Examples

Supply: ReallyGoodEmails

Maude describes itself as a contemporary sexual wellness startup. It sells issues like private massagers and physique oils. A giant promoting level is the delicate nature of its packaging, which retains issues discreet and minimalist.

The corporate clearly understands its prospects may not be too eager on blindly sharing a referral hyperlink on Fb. With that in thoughts, it stresses that referrers shall be proven a preview of their referral publish earlier than it will get shared.

That’s tremendous necessary as a result of belief is a giant deal to referrers (keep in mind, in response to that Point out Me examine, it’s the only largest consider whether or not somebody refers a model).

8. Outside Voices

Outdoor Voices Referral Email Examples

Supply: ReallyGoodEmails

I’ve already highlighted how necessary it’s for manufacturers to take advantage of the referrals they obtain from prospects.

Fail to achieve out in the best means and that referral loses all its worth. Outside Voices understands this, so it follows up referrals with a succinct e-mail.

Firstly, it stresses who the referral got here from, thereby highlighting that this isn’t just a few random advertising and marketing spam.

Subsequent, it clearly explains what it’s about—technical attire for severe canine walks and informal marathons. In different phrases, it makes a top quality product, however it doesn’t take itself too severely.

Lastly, it units out the phrases of its referral program—spend $100 or extra and get $20 off.

That’s a whole lot of info to speak, but Outside Voices will get the job completed in fewer than 50 phrases.

9. Postable

Postable 5 dollars for every referred friend Referral Email Examples

Supply: ReallyGoodEmails

Bear in mind after I stated simplicity holds the important thing to an efficient referral e-mail? 

Postable does it higher than most—by explaining its referral program in fewer than 20 phrases.

Plus, the visuals are placing and cheery, which is necessary for a model that makes designer greeting playing cards and invites.

Problem your self to do the identical. Clarify your referral scheme, then edit it right down to the naked bones.

If you happen to can’t talk your supply in about the identical variety of phrases as Postable, it’s too advanced.

10. Bombas

Bombas Refer a Friend Referral Email Examples

Supply: ReallyGoodEmails

As you’ve seen from this text, a whole lot of e-commerce manufacturers want to offer away just a little element about their referral program within the authentic e-mail, earlier than directing prospects towards a touchdown web page to be taught extra.

There’s logic to this method. It means your referral emails are much less cluttered, which may make your message extra impactful and simpler to digest.

Nevertheless, it’s not the one method. Bombas takes issues within the different route by setting out, in easy-to-understand steps, precisely what its referral supply entails.

No have to click on by to the web site to completely perceive the proposition—it’s all proper there in black and white (and blue).

What’s extra, reasonably than providing a reduction on future orders, Bombas goes with one thing much more compelling: a very free product.

If you happen to’ve already ordered a pair of Bombas socks, there’s a superb likelihood you just like the model and would like to get extra pairs without cost. That’s precisely what this referral e-mail guarantees.

11. Goby

Goby Share for Free Products Referral Email Examples

Supply: ReallyGoodEmails

Goby sells electrical toothbrushes and equipment.

If you happen to’ve ever owned an electrical toothbrush, you’ll know they’re hardly an everyday buy. When you’ve purchased one, you’ll possible keep it up for a number of years. 

Nevertheless, the comb heads want changing each three months or so no less than, and that’s the place Goby’s referral supply is available in.

This e-mail demonstrates the advantages of psychology in crafting an efficient referral proposition.

These brush heads aren’t precisely costly. They price $6 apiece. Now, ask your self which of those choices sounds most tasty:

  1. Refer a buddy and get $6; or
  2. Refer a buddy and get this free product.

Regardless that the worth is identical, possibility two takes it each time.

12. Brooklinen

BrookLinen National Relaxation Day Referral Email ExamplesSupply: ReallyGoodEmails

A well timed supply could make your ecommerce referral e-mail much more compelling.

Brooklinen demonstrates this with an e-mail despatched on Nationwide Rest Day (it’s August fifteenth, in case you wish to add it to your diary).

Brooklinen Refer a Friend Referral Email ExamplesRest and new mattress linen? That feels like a match made in heaven. This well-timed referral e-mail provides prospects a cause to refer their associates proper now.

13. Harry’s

Harrys Choose Your Friends for a Discounted Razor Referral Email Examples

Supply: ReallyGoodEmails

The vast majority of these e-commerce referral emails have been a type of “you scratch my again, I’ll scratch yours” association.

You refer a brand new buyer to us, and we’ll reward you with this low cost or supply (and the particular person you refer would possibly get some cash off, too).

As we’ve mentioned earlier than, Harry’s isn’t afraid to do issues in another way.

Somewhat than providing one thing to the referrer, it guarantees to ship free razors to 2 associates. That means, the referrer will get to really feel like they’re sending a present, reasonably than attempting to influence their buddy to purchase a product.

3 Referral Electronic mail Templates You Can Steal

We’ve seen how different manufacturers are doing it. Now, listed below are three referral e-mail templates to encourage your personal referral campaigns…

1. The New Buyer Referral Electronic mail

For a lot of prospects, the perfect alternative to ask for a referral is once they first buy from you. They’re enthusiastic about their new product, they usually haven’t been distracted by the subsequent shiny, new factor (but). 

Use this copy as a jumping-off level:


2. The Loyal Buyer Referral Electronic mail

Bear in mind, loyal prospects are the probably to suggest your model and merchandise, so that they’re an apparent target market for referral campaigns.

Flip loyal prospects into model advocates with this referral e-mail template:


3. The Urgency-Inducing Referral Electronic mail

Creating a sense of urgency helps you drive referrals proper now. Right here’s learn how to do it…




Efficient e-mail advertising and marketing holds the important thing to selling your referral program.

That’s why you want Drip.

Our advertising and marketing automation platform makes it straightforward to construct on-brand emails that stand out (and convert) in each inbox.

Begin with one in every of 50+ professionally-designed e-mail templates, customise to your coronary heart’s content material with our easy point-and-click editor, and run your campaigns on autopilot with our visible workflow builder.

See all of it for your self by signing up to your free 14-day trial!

13 Loyalty-Constructing Referral Electronic mail Examples (+ Templates & Ideas)