One of the best times to ask for a referral is right after the customer has bought.
So, I figured, one of the best times for asking a new email subscriber to refer a friend is right after they’ve subscribed.
I wanted to set up some kind of simple referral mechanic to test this out.
I looked for a tool that would do it for me (e.g. a WordPress plugin) but came up short, so I invented my own workaround.
I’m sure it could be better, but at least it was implemented within an hour (and could be done in ten minutes next time round, now I know the steps needed).
I thought you might find it helpful, so here are the steps I went through;
- John subscribes to my mailing list on my website
- Upon submitting his email John gets sent to a page – “Subscribed” – which has a note of thanks for subscribing, a message to check his inbox for confirmation and a request for him to refer a friend who might appreciate the content too. Below that message is an email field box for the friend’s email address and a button that says “Invite”
(I embedded the standard MailChimp sign-up form for this, then changed the button HTML from saying “Subscribe” to “Invite”)
- John enters Steve’s email address and presses Invite. This sends John to a new page, which thanks him for referring a friend and asks the same thing again; with an identical email field box and an Invite button underneath
(if John enters another email he’ll get sent back to the same page; for John, it’s just a recurring loop at that point)
- Steve receives a confirmation email from Mailchimp, explaining that a friend sent it to him as an invite for a newsletter he might find useful, and giving him a link to confirm
(and also explaining that if he doesn’t confirm he won’t be subscribed, nor will he hear from us again as we don’t keep his email stored)
- If Steve does hit Confirm, his email gets added to a Mailchimp list, but not to the main MailChimp list. Instead, I set up a second list (called “Invite”). He get’s added to that list instead
(so that if he marks the email as “spam”, only the second list gets a black mark against it; the Main List is left unblemished)
- I then created a free recipe with IFTTT to automatically add new subscribers from that 2nd Mailchimp list (Invite) to another list (to our Main List)
- This means that Steve is now signed up to both our Main List and the Invite list, which means he’ll receive any emails sent out to the Main List (e.g. an autoresponder sequence). All that’s left to do is clean (i.e. delete) his email from the “Invite” list.
Perhaps not the most elegant solution, but one that is free and quick to deploy/test.
If you want to see it in action/test it, head over to HowtobeSuccessfulinMusic.com.
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