How to Do a Refer-a-Friend Campaign on Active Campaign

Pair up ActiveCampaign with Prefinery to streamline every aspect of your referral campaign. The article covers details about conducting a refer-a-friend campaign using ActiveCampaign.

Abdul Wahab

Abdul Wahab

· 5 min read
How to Do a Refer-a-Friend Campaign on Active Campaign

The current economics suggest that starting a business has become easier than ever before. Ironically, 20% of new businesses fail during the first two years, 45% within the first five years. Why is it that despite better means and platforms, the chances of building profitable brands have grown bleak? Part of the problem is poor marketing.

Hefty advertisement budgets without proper application and launch plan to back them up, bound up in losses. With a slight creativity, you can buckle up higher ROI with simple word of mouth and email marketing.

Implementing the right software can help you leverage referral marketing for your newsletter without having to create a landing page or website -ActiveCampaign holds just the right features. It’s a marketing automation and CRM platform that brings your referral offers right to the doorstep of your subscribers.

Pair up ActiveCampaign with Prefinery to streamline every aspect of your referral campaign. The article covers details about conducting a refer-a-friend campaign using ActiveCampaign.

Why Choose ActiveCampaign for Referral Programs?`

Referral programs tap people’s positive sentiments about a brand’s product or service to gain new customers—turning them into proper advocates for your brand. Social media posts and emails are some effective ways to share news about the campaign and propel recipients to participate.

With a massive customer base to attend to, marketers find it impossible to craft and personalize email messages that encourage them to act. An automation software like ActiveCampaign solves this problem by automating all email promotions. Here’s why it can be elemental for your business:

  • Integrated Ecosystem: ActiveCampaign seamlessly integrates email marketing, automation, and CRM in a single platform for designing and executing referral campaigns without disparate tools.
  • User-Friendly Interface: With an intuitive and user-friendly interface, ActiveCampaign simplifies the process of creating and managing referral programs. It isn’t limited to technical experts, rather the platform is even suitable for marketers to navigate.
  • Email Personalization and Precise Targeting: The platform empowers marketers to tailor their messages to specific email addresses, enhancing engagement and the likelihood of successful referrals.
  • Automation Capabilities: From triggering emails based on user actions to automating reward distribution to both parties, ActiveCampaign enables hands-free management of your referral initiatives.

Starting a Referral Campaign with ActiveCampaign

The built-in CRM functionality allows you to manage and nurture customer relationships alongside your referral initiatives. However, it’s important to align your program with the customer engagement strategy to grow your business and turn in good profits.. Here’s a 7-step process on how to refer a friend via email with ActiveCampaign:

Outline the Campaign Objectives

Like any other campaign, it’s important to have your business goals and objectives marked out. Figure out what you want to achieve through automation and how it will benefit your platform altogether.

Whether it's driving customer acquisition, fostering brand loyalty, or promoting a particular product/service, clearly defined goals will serve as the foundation for your entire campaign.

Devise Your Referral Strategy

Before you move onto the integration part, make sure you have a referral program that people are inclined to join. Determine the nature of incentives you’ll offer, set realistic milestones you intend to achieve, and establish the overall structure of the program. Find out if you want to offer discounts, exclusive access, or tangible rewards.

  • Incentive Structure: Define the rewards for successful referrals, ensuring they align with your audience's interests and preferences.
  • Milestones: To encourage continuous participation from customers, set individual milestones as targets to achieve through referrals.
  • Program Structure: Point out the overall structure of the program, including the duration, eligibility instructions, and any tiered reward systems.

Create an ActiveCampaign Account

If you don't have an ActiveCampaign account already, it’s time you sign up for one that suits your business needs. Take the size of your audience, the scale of your referral program, and the desired level of automation into account. Based on your homework, choose a marketing automation plan that will best meet those requirements and growth plans.

Integrate Referral Program into the Newsletter

Navigate to ActiveCampaign's features section and look up email marketing automation. The webpage will enlist all information about powering emails for your referral program or you can simply integrate it with an existing one.

Pre-define the steps you want to automate in the campaign. Utilize automation features to trigger referral-related actions for unique links, such as sending welcome emails, providing updates on rewards, and encouraging participants at various stages.

Personalize the Referral Newsletter

With tons of referral templates to follow you can personalize one to suit your prospects' demands and needs. Include a catchy header, attractive imagery, and engaging copy to lure subscribers who receive your message.

Thankfully, ActiveCampaign offers advanced customization features to tailor your referral newsletter for individual subscribers. Make sure to use tags, custom fields, and segmentation features to ensure your referral email newsletters are sent to the right audience and encourage action.


Automation is ActiveCampaign's prime forte, streamlining an otherwise time-staking task. From generating unique referral links for each subscriber and customizing referral assets and messages to setting up notification triggers when rewards are paid, the platform streamlines every step.

Most companies also integrate reward management with the ActiveCampaign workflow to stay organized and efficient in the distribution of incentives to clients. But make sure you have a screening system in place that filters any fraudulent or fake referrals. Transparency provides positive experiences for both referrers and referees, attesting to their continued participation.

Setting Up ActiveCampaign Integration with Prefinery

While many perceive ActiveCampaign to be the one-and-all solution to generating referral leads, it may not give favorable results without the right integration.

Sure, you can build a referral program in-house, but considering the drain on resources and tedious workflows, it's best to source it from Prefinery—a marketing agency that's handling referral marketing for over a decade.

Here's how you can incorporate a Prefinery-built referral program into your ActiveCampaign newsletter without a hitch:

  • Sign up with Prefinery to set the foundation of your referral campaign. Get in touch with customer support to draft a strategy that upholds your goals.
  • From your ActiveCampaign account, generate an API key that will authorize communication between ActiveCampaign and Prefinery.
  • In Prefinery, navigate to the Integrations section and click on the ActiveCampaign from the available options.
  • Enter your ActiveCampaign API key and any required details. Select the email list you want to sync to and specify the triggers and actions you want, such as user creation or reward delivery.
  • Define how Prefinery events correspond to actions in ActiveCampaign. For instance, when a user is activated in Prefinery, specify the action in ActiveCampaign, like creating a deal or updating contact information.
  • Before fully deploying the strategy, conduct thorough testing. Verify that events in Prefinery trigger the expected actions in ActiveCampaign.

Closing Note

If you want to spring up an engaged audience, start prepping in the pre-launch. Launch an email referral program to catch their attention, encourage them to enter your referral strategy, and forward it to their friends and family. The more personalized your emails are, the more engaged your customers will be.

But instead of depending on a destined few to spread your brand name, add ActiveCampaign to your marketing pipeline. Combined with reliable referral software like Prefinery, you can put every aspect of your campaign on autopilot. Let your customers advocate for you while you focus on running the business. Look up the ActiveCampaign help center for further information.


Can I Integrate ActiveCampaign with External Referral Tools?

Yes, ActiveCampaign supports integrations with external referral tools. From its diverse menu, you can set third-party integrations or platforms like Zapier to connect ActiveCampaign with referral software such as Prefinery.

Is ActiveCampaign Suitable for Both B2B and B2C Referral Programs?

ActiveCampaign is versatile and suitable for both B2B and B2C referral programs. Its robust features allow businesses in various industries to customize and implement referral strategies tailored to their target audience.

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