Getting Started with Referral Program

In this section:

  1. How can customers join your referral program
    1. Enable a simple registration form on your landing page
    2. Engage users via distributions and referral notifications

  2. How can your customers use the referral codes (online and offline)

  3. How to create a referral program step-by-step

  4. Tracking referral program results

Referral programs can improve your profitability by encouraging customers to promote your brand with single- or double-sided incentives. Voucherify enables you to run advanced, multi-level referral campaigns.

You can build sophisticated reward schemas based on the number of referred customers, specific (custom) actions performed by new customers (referees), and sets of limits and rules added to customer segments.

In the first part of this guide, you'll see how you can invite users to your referral program and then, how to leverage Voucherify features to allow customers to utilize their referral codes. The last part of the tutorial shows how to customize a reward schema and roll out a referral program step-by-step.

How can customers join a referral program?

Voucherify gives you many ways to reach your referral audience:

  • Using a web widget on your landing page.
  • Delivering coupons to your opt-ins via various marketing channels (email, SMS, push notifications, 3rd party apps of your choice).
  • Custom integration with the API.
  • Dedicated referral landing pages

Web widget 

The widget allows you to place a small form on your website. It can look like this:

Web widget

You can add it to your landing page and acquire new subscribers in exchange for referral codes. When a new user fills in the form and clicks Get Voucher, the widget automatically displays a unique code from a referral campaign. From now on, this code is assigned to the particular customer and their profile in the Voucherify dashboard.

You can add many different fields and decide which are required or optional. You can also change the button label. Go here to learn more about widgets and the installation process.

Share referral codes with your opt-ins

If you want to engage only a particular part of your audience, you can use multi-channel delivery based on customer segments. Segments allow you to group customers based on spending habits, interactions with the brand, or other custom attributes. Thanks to segments you can precisely define who gets referral codes, for example:

  • Only the most loyal customers (e.g., the total amount of orders is more than $500).
  • Customers from designated locations (e.g., the postal code is 65-737).
  • Clients who have been the most active lately (e.g., the last order less than 14 days ago).

Read more about segments and available scenarios here.

Distribution Manager

Voucherify Distribution Manager enables you to use many built-in channels and send referral codes from the dashboard to your users. Voucherify supports multi-channel delivery. While setting up distribution, you can choose between the following integrations and built-in channels:

  • Email
  • SMS
  • ActiveCampaign
  • Braze
  • Intercom
  • Mailchimp
  • Mandrill
  • CM Telecom
  • SendGrid
  • Textlocal
  • Twilio
  • Shopify
  • Message triggers enable you to schedule automatic send out of referral codes based on:

    1. Customer segments changes (customer enters or leaves a segment)
    2. Cart-related activity. Once your order data are synchronized with Voucherify, distribution can respond to changes in customers' orders
    3. Voucher-related activity (gift credits added, loyalty points added, voucher redeemed, redemption rollback)
    4. Reward redemption – the message is sent when a customer redeems a loyalty or referral reward. 
    5. Successful code publish – the message is sent once the code from a campaign is assigned to a customer (manually or via API). 
    6. Manual message - there is no automatic trigger, the message is sent once you confirm the distribution in the dashboard (one-time action).

    While designing a message template, you can add personal data of your customers and deliver customized messages alongside referral codes and referral links.

    You can use tags that automatically insert coupon attributes and referral links that will take customers straight to your store.

    Coupon Tags

    Coupon tags automatically supply messages with coupon and receiver details such as:

    • coupon code
    • coupon QR code
    • coupon value
    • customer email
    • customer name
    • customer cockpit link

    Links are a very simple way to improve customer experience. They enable you to put a unique referral link in a message template that redirects your customers straight to your shop without a need to copy and paste the referral code.

    To build referral links, you need to create a  Successful Referral landing page in your Voucherify dashboard. This landing page will be connected to your Voucherify account automatically. As a result, every time a new user with referral code successfully goes through the sign-up form, event set as referral conversion event is triggered automatically. Go here to see the step-by-step instructions.

    Successful landing page

    To build a referral link, use the following syntax: URL /your_alias?code=referralCode.

    • Exemplary landing page URL:
    • Exemplary referral link:

    When a customer opens a referral link, a field for referral code is filled automatically.

    New code

    You can use referral links in Voucherify distributions and referral program notifications. 

    Schedule automatic distribution

    If you'd like to deliver referral links to specific customer segments or use an automatic trigger, use Distribution Manager, and add referral links to the message template. When a message is triggered, Voucherify will automatically generate a new referral link and assign code to the referrer. 

    Here's an example of a segment-based distribution that delivers referral codes to every new customer in the chosen segment.

    Distribution Manager

    A referral link can be added to the email template and direct customer to the sign-up form.

    Referral program notifications

    You can use referral links while creating referral notifications. Go to the detailed view of your referral campaign and click the Edit tool.

    Edit the referral program

    Go to the 6th section (Notifications) to create messages with referral links triggered every time a new referral code is published to a user. This type of distribution comes in handy if you use API publish method to assign codes to your users. As a result, every time a publish method is called, a notification with a referral link is sent to a user that the code was published to. 

    Referral notifications

    You can also publish referral codes manually using the dashboard or via a dedicated landing page.

    Go here to read more about publishing codes to your users.

    The expression will be resolved to a unique referral code by Voucherify. When the emails are sent, every customer will see a unique referral link.

    How can new customers redeem referral codes?

    Voucherify enables online and offline redemptions with built-in solutions:

    Both apps (web and mobile) support QR and barcodes to provide a seamless workflow regardless of technology or device you decide to use.

    Referral Program Step-by-Step

    You already know how to share referral codes and how your customers can utilize them. Now it's time to learn how to set up a referral program. 

    General program details

    To begin with, you’ll need to run the Campaign manager with the plus (+) and add a new referral campaign.

    Creating a referral campaign

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

    In the first step, define program details such as:

    • Program name and category.
    • Code settings (pattern, count, redemption limit).
    • Auto-update campaign mode.
    • Join the campaign only once (enable/disable). 

    When you create a referral campaign you can mark that each customer will be allowed to join the campaign only once. Then, if the same customer requests another referral code, Voucherify will give him/her the same code again and will not generate another code for this end-user. Therefore, one customer can only receive one referral code assigned from a particular promo campaign.


    In the 2nd step, define optional time limits. Set up a specific timeframe, days of the week, or recurring periods when referral codes are active (you can read about all time limits for vouchers here).

    Referral program timeframe

    Referral workflow

    The 3rd section consists of the following steps:

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

    • Referral code redemption
    • Custom event
    You can define referred customers based on a custom event defined previously in your Project Settings, e.g., customer_subscribed. As a result, if a new customer performs a defined event, he/she will be counted as a referred customer and the owner of the referral code used during the event gets a new referred customer attached to his/her account. 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 with that, go to the developer documentation.

    Referral program – conversion event

    Next, choose the type of referral program.

    • Single-sided referral program (only the referrer is rewarded). 
    • Double-sided referral program (both the referrer and the referee get a reward).

    Type of referral program

    Referee reward

    If you decide on a double-sided referral program, you need to define a reward for new customers (referees). It can be a discount code (percentage, unit, amount, free shipping), gift card credits, or loyalty points.

    Referee reward

    Below this section, you can see  validation rules. Here, you can create validation rules attached to referral codes. They restrict redemptions made by new customers (referees), e.g., setting the minimum order value to 50$. 

    If you need help with creating limits, visit this guide.

    Referee validation rules

    Remember to build a validation rule Redemptions per customer in a campaign if you want each of the referees to use the referral code only once.

    Referrer reward – tiers

    In the 5th stage of the program creation, you need to define rewarding criteria and tell Voucherify when and how the referrer is rewarded.

    To do so, you are going to build tiers. 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 a $5 gift card and tier 2 can reward each referrer who refers at least 3 customers with a 30% discount.

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

    The creation of tiers is a 3-step process:

    • Criteria
    • Rewards
    • Notifications

    Depending on which conversion event you've chosen, continue to one of the following sections:

    Conversion event – Referral code redemption 

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

    • Reward every time the referee redeems the referral code.
    • Reward for a minimum number of referrals.

    Tier creation

    In the case of a minimum number of referrals, you can build advanced limits based on segments. For instance, you can decide that only referees from a specific location or with a unique attribute count as successful referrals.

    Next, define the reward for referrers. You can choose from digital and material rewards:

    • Discount coupon (amount, percentage, unit, free shipping).
    • Gift card credits.
    • Loyalty points
    • Physical product
    In the case of digital rewards, you are going to need to specify the campaign from which the rewards are drawn. You can create a new campaign on the spot.

    Don't forget to click Add Reward. Otherwise, the reward won't be saved. 

    Conversion event – Custom Event

    If you count referred customers (referees) based on the performed event, you can choose between:

    • Reward referrer every time the referee performs a specific action (custom conversion event).
    • Define 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 referrals need to meet.

    Next, define the reward for referrers. You can choose from:

    • Discount coupon (amount, percentage, unit, free shipping).
    • Gift card credits.
    • Loyalty points
    • Physical product

    Tier notifications

    Lastly, you can add notifications that are triggered by the referrer receiving a reward. 

    You can design your message on the spot (email & SMS) or map fields for your integrations.

    Program notifications

    In the 6th stage, you can add optional notifications to your referral campaign. You can set up automatic notifications for two events:

    • To send a referral code to a referrer.
    • To inform the referrer about the new referred customer.

    Referral Program notification

    You can use the same channels as in the previous step.


    In the 7th step, you can add additional metadata to your campaign. If you don't know what metadata is, follow this tutorial.

    Adding metadata to a referral campaign

    Referral program summary

    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 modify it. When all program details are ready, confirm with Save and wait until the referral codes are generated.

    How to track a referral program?

    Voucherify tracks and updates your campaign metrics in real-time. You can monitor results on many levels including the overall campaign performance and the individual customer activity. 

    Each published code is automatically assigned to a customer's profile in the Voucherify dashboard. Ultimately, when customers use their codes, redemptions are attached to the unique ID, particular customer, and channel. The Redemptions history in referral program dashboard lists every redemption attempt. You can also list all activities of a customer within your referral campaign by using the dashboard or API. Go here to learn more about tracking your referral campaign.

    Did this answer your question? Thanks for the feedback There was a problem submitting your feedback. Please try again later.

    Still need help? Contact Us Contact Us