How to create referral program step by step

See our video tutorial on how to launch a referral program or follow the written tutorial below:

Learn how to set up a referral program and create unique referral codes in the campaign manager. To begin with, you’ll need to run the Campaign manager with the Plus.

When the creator is ready, you can configure program details. Let's go through each stage of the manager step by step.

Firstly, add a new referral campaign:

In the first step, define program details such as:
Click on the NEXT STEP when it's ready.

In the 2nd step, define optional time limits - add a campaign timeframe, days of the week or recurring periods when referral codes are active (you can read about all time limits for vouchers here). When ready, go to the NEXT STEP.

The 3rd section 'Referee reward' consists of the following steps:

  • Choose a conversion event (when a new customer is approved as a referred)

1. If you want to define 'referred' customer based on referral codes redemptions choose the first checkbox

2. You can also define 'referred' customers based on a custom event defined previously in your Project Settings, for example, 'customer_subscribed' event. As a result, if a new customer performs defined event he/she will be counted as a referred customer and the owner of the referral code used during the event gets new referred customer attached to his/her account.

Event Schema

To define custom events go to the Project Settings and add the respective configuration. Please note that your application must store an event describing a moment of conversion once you approve a new customer as a referred person. It triggers a rewarding mechanism.

If you need help on that, follow the step by step guide.

After you mark respective checkbox and define the conversion event, you need to choose a type of your referral program.

  • Choose between a single- or double-sided referral program

In the next step, you need to decide if the new customer (referee) and referrer will be rewarded - double-sided program, or if only the referrer gets the reward - single-sided program.

Go to the NEXT STEP.


In case of double-sided referral program - define discount for the referee (new customer)

If you mark a checkbox with a double-sided referral program, you need to define a reward for new customers (referees). It can be a discount code (percentage, unit, amount) or gift card balance added to a predefined gift card that each customer in Voucherify has by default.

Below the Referee reward section, you can see Validation rules for referral code's redemption. This is a place where you can create validation rules attached to referral codes. They restrict redemptions made by new customers (referees). To add your rules choose CREATE and add a name for validation rules. If you need help with creating limits, visit this guide.  

Confirm the rules by choosing SAVE and go to the NEXT STEP.

In the 5th stage of the program creation, you need to define rewarding criteria and tell Voucherify when the referrer is rewarded.
Dependently on which conversion event you've chosen in the 3rd section, continue to one of the following sections:

1. Conversion event - referral code redemption

In case of the reward schema based on referral codes redemptions, choose from: 

  • Reward every time referee redeems the referral code - every time referral code is used, the reward is triggered.

Remaining options, listed below, limit reward triggering to one per new customer. It means that referrer cannot get a reward twice if both redemptions come from the same "new" customer (referee).

  • Only first time referee redeems code AND the referrer customer segment is [choose one of your existing segments]. 

This option enables you to limit referrers who can apply for a reward to one of your existing customer segments.

  • Only first time referee redeems code AND the referrer customer segment is in NEW SEGMENT created below. 

This option enables you to build a segment that defines rewarding criteria. Typically, it's a segment based on the number of referred customers. (Segment of referrers who get the reward can have multiple rules and limits built with available filters).

When the respective checkbox is set, click on NEXT STEP and define the reward for referrers. You can choose from:

  • your existing campaigns (chosen campaign should be in auto-update mode!),
  • creating a new campaign of rewards from scratch.

2. Conversion event - custom event

If you count referred customers (referees) based on the performed event, defined in the 3rd section, you can choose from:

  • Rewarding referrer every time the referee performs a specific action (custom conversion event),
  • Defining a number of referees who need to perform a specific action to trigger a reward for the referrer.

Additionally, if you expand ADVANCED options, you can add more limits and rules that referrer needs to meet to get the reward. 

For example, you can set that besides the fact that two customers need to perform the chosen custom event with referrer's code, referrer has to already have more than two orders made in your store to get the reward.

Lastly, in this stage, you can implement channels via which you want to notify a referrer about the reward. You can choose from:

  • HTTP callout (add specific URL for notification)
  • MailChimp or ActiveCampaign (Integrations)
  • Email (the manager lets you design the message template)
  • SMS (the manager lets you design the message template)

When the action is defined, you can follow to the 6th stage or choose to ADD TIER (the 2nd one). What are 'tiers' and why do you need them? 


Each tier is a separate level in your referral program. If you want to have different rewards or/and different rewarding criteria then tiers are what you need. For example, tier 1 can reward each referrer who refers at least 1 customer with $5 gift card; tier 2 can reward each referrer who refers at least 3 customers with 30% discount. 

There is no limit on a number of tiers, you can make multi-level referral programs with many rewards and custom rewarding schemas.

In the 6th stage, you can add optional metadata attributes
The last stage of the manager shows you a summary of your referral program. You can see the overview and, in case you need to, go back to each step to set it up again. When all program details are ready, confirm with SAVE and wait until the campaign is generated.
That's it! Your codes are ready to action, learn how to use Voucherify to share your referral codes and encourage more referrals.


Remember that each referral code needs to be published before new customers (referees) can use it. Publication is the process of assigning referral code to a particular customer (referrer). You can perform this action either through Distribution in the dashboard or programmatically via API. You can learn more about publishing methods in this short guide.