Email automations

You've created your referral program and it's now running in your newsletter. What next?

Now you got to make sure your subscribers know about your ambassador program and engage with it. Keeping your subscribers engaged will make the difference between a successful ambassador program and one that dies out quickly.

Luckily, you only need to send a few emails to achieve that. These emails are recommended for ANY ambassador program, regardless of your goal or your rewards. They are:

The intro email

Have you ever signed up to The Morning Brew? Or TheHustle? Did you immediately notice they have an ambassador program?

Chances are you missed it. The Morning Brew knows that which is why 1 week after you sign up (after you receive 5 emails from them) they send you an email exclusively dedicated to their ambassador program.

This email is very important because it introduces your subscribers to your ambassador program and explains how it works, without the "distraction" of your usual newsletter.

What to say in the email

Our advice is to keep it short & sweet and to be down to hearth. No need to use big words here. Use the same language and tone of voice that you normally use in your newsletter.

Your email should explain these things:

  • what your ambassador program is (many people might not know about referral programs)

  • why you're doing it (optional, but you earn A LOT of brownie points)

  • what they can win

  • what they need to do to win (be specific; step-by-step instructions if necessary)

  • encourage your subscribers to take action immediately

Here's what the Morning Brew email looks like (I've highlighted the important parts):

When to send the email

The Morning Brew waits a week before sending this email because they want to make sure you're getting some value from their newsletter before asking you to refer your friends.

Our advice is to wait to send this email until your subscribers have received at least 2-3 emails from you. Wait until you have earned their trust. If your newsletter is daily (like The Morning Brew's) then wait 1 week, if it's weekly maybe wait a month and so on.

We also recommend sending this email to your existing email list. Your existing audience is your biggest asset and making sure they know about your ambassador program will go a long way in helping you grow organically.

The first referral email

People don't normally see themselves as "ambassadors" or "advocates". Which is why getting the first referral is such a transformational experience. It's that moment when they realise that someone has followed their advice and signed up to a newsletter.

This moment needs to be celebrated. You want to tell your subscribers when they get their first referral and give them a healthy hit of dopamine so that they keep doing it.

What to say in the email

As always, keep it short & sweet and be down to hearth. You want to congratulate them and maybe praise them but always try to use a tone of voice that matches the one in your newsletter.

This email is also a great opportunity to encourage them to keep sharing their referral link by reminding them what they can win. For example, imagine your first reward requires 3 referrals when they get the First Referral Email they are still 2 referrals short so you could say something like: "You only need 2 more referrals to get a 30% coupon code".

Here's what the Morning Brew email looks like (I've highlighted the important parts):

How to send the First Referral Email

You can set up this email in your email marketing platform.

Simply create an automation that is triggered when the the custom field RH_TOTREF changes to the value of 1. Here's an example with ConvertKit:

The reward email

The reward email is sent to subscribers when they win a reward. It sounds obvious that people should be notified when they win a reward, and yet many people "forget" to set up this email. Don't be that person.

What to say in the email

The first thing you want to do is thanking them for referring their friends and congratulate them for getting the reward. Here you might also want to talk a little bit about the reward (but try to always keep it short & sweet).

This email is also a great opportunity to foster engagement and motivate them to keep inviting friends. They just got a massive dopamine hit for winning something (everyone likes winning), plus praises from you.

If you have other rewards they can win after this, mention it in this email! E.g: "FYI—you're only 2 referrals away from receiving X."

Here's what the Morning Brew email looks like (I've highlighted the important parts):

How to send the Reward Email

At the moment the only way to send the reward email is through your email marketing platform.

Simply create an automation that is triggered when the the custom field RH_TOTREF changes to the number of referrals needed to win a reward. For example, if you have a reward the requires 3 referrals, set the trigger to be when RH_TOTREF changes to 3.

Here's an example with ConvertKit:

Inactive Email

The inactive email is sent to subscribers who don't take action (don't refer a friend) some time after they sign up (e.g: 10 days, 1 month, etc). People don't take action for a variety of reasons, but more often than not people don't take action because they feel overwhelmed by what they need to do. Your job is to make it look very easy and nudge them into taking the smallest possible action: refer the first friend.

What to say in the email

Since you don't know exactly why they haven't taken action, simply assume they don't even know about your ambassador program. So re-include some elements from the Intro email:

  • what your ambassador program is (many people might not know about referral programs)

  • why you're doing it (optional, but you earn A LOT of brownie points)

  • what they can win

  • what they need to do to win (be specific; step-by-step instructions if necessary)

However, this time spend much more time encouraging them to take action immediately.

If you can, it's advisable to offer them an incentive for taking action now (e.g: people who refer one person this month will participate in a raffle).

When to send the email

This will vary from newsletter to newsletter but you want to give your subscribers some time before chasing them with this email. The sweet spot is about 20 to 30 days AFTER they receive the Intro email (not after they sign up. Give them time to familiarise themeselves with your ambassador program).

How to send the Inactive Email

At the moment the only way to send the Inactive email is through your email marketing platform.

The easiest way to do this is in most email marketing platforms is to add an email to the automation/sequence created for the Intro email that is sent IF the custom field RH_TOTREF is still 0 or blank.

Here's an example using ConvertKit's sequences where the inactive email (the second email in the sequence, sent 25 days after the Intro email) excludes subscribers whose RH_TOTREF value is greater than 0 (in other words, if they have referred somebody).

Nudge Email

The nudge email is sent to subscribers who have referred one friend but have not won their first reward. The purpose of this email is "nudge" people into taking one more step and getting their first reward.

What to say in the email

Very simply you should show them how close they are to getting their first reward and show them what they are missing out. Very funny/creative content works VERY well here. Below, an example form the Morning Brew that uses humour to show what they could be/have:

When to send the email

Again, this will vary from newsletter to newsletter but you want to give your subscribers some time before chasing them with this email. In our experience, sending this email ~5 days after their first referral shows the best results.

How to send the Nudge Email

At the moment the only way to send the Nudge email is through your email marketing platform.

The easiest way to do this is in most email marketing platforms is to add an email to the automation/sequence created for the First Referral email that is sent IF the custom field RH_TOTREF is still 1.

Here's an example using ConvertKit's sequences where the Nudge email (the second email in the sequence, sent 5 days after the First referral email) excludes subscribers whose RH_TOTREF value is exactly 1 (in other words, if they have referred 1 person).