Pre-Launch Checklist

A quick guide to making sure you're ready to launch your referral program.

If you just updated your referral link or started an import of your subscribers in SparkLoop, you'll need to wait several hours — up to 24 hours for large lists — before going through this checklist and launching your referral program.

✅ Step 1: Check your subscribers have referral codes

SparkLoop creates a unique referral link for each of your subscribers. This referral code is included in your emails (in the referral section) — and it's stored as the RH_REFLINK custom field in your email platform.

Before launching, we need to make sure that all of your newsletter subscribers have had their referral links generated and stored in the RH_REFLINK custom field in your email platform.

You can do this by filtering (or segmenting) your subscribers in your email platform to ONLY show subscribers who have an RH_REFLINK custom field with no value (also sometimes called blank or empty).

If everything is set up correctly, there should only be at most 1-2 subscribers with an empty RH_REFLINK field.

✅ Step 2: Check your rewards are set up correctly

  • Do you have rewards created in SparkLoop for the correct number of referrals?

  • Do you have an automation (or process) in place to handle what happens when one of your subscribers makes enough referrals to win a reward? (eg using SparkLoop's reward emails feature)

If you're running a Giveaway instead of a milestone referral program you can skip step #2

✅ Step 3: Is the referral section of your newsletter set up correctly?

Next, we want to test that the links in your newsletter referral section are set up correctly.

Do this by creating a draft broadcast/campaign in your email platform and sending it to yourself.

Do the referral link and social share links work correctly? Do they link to the correct URL?

Some email platforms have limitations around how merge fields are displayed in test emails and templates. To be certain, it's always best to create a "real" broadcast/campaign and send that just to yourself. Important: You also need to make sure your email address is subscribed to the list and has the SparkLoop custom fields, otherwise the test won't work.

✅ Step 4: Try a test referral

Lastly, let's make sure everything is working fine by doing a test referral.

  1. Visit the Subscribers tab of your SparkLoop dashboard and search for your email address

  2. Copy the referral link from your subscriber profile and open the referral landing page in an incognito browser window (private browsing mode)

  3. Subscribe to your newsletter using an email address that isn't already present in your email platform. It needs to be a completely fresh email address — aliases (eg [email protected]) won't work as they'll be caught by our fraud prevention systems

  4. If you have double-opt in enabled (or you're using our SparkLoop subscribe page as your landing page) go to your inbox and confirm the subscription

  5. Wait 1-2 minutes. If the referral was tracked correctly, you'll be able to see in the SparkLoop dashboard that your email address from #1 has been credited with a referral

✅ All done!

If you've been through those four steps correctly, you're ready to launch your referral program.

Remember: It can take a few tweaks to find rewards your subscribers respond well to. Some of the most successful newsletter referral programs started off with a flop on day one!