Referral program basics

In this section:

  1. How customers can join your referral program
    1. Enable simple registration form on your landing page
    2. Engage particular customer segments via emails, SMS, Intercom, Braze, ActiveCampaign, MailChimp and more
    3. Personalize the message with coupon tags or referral links
  2. How your customers can use the referral codes
    1. Enable online and offline redemptions (web app, offline with the mobile app)
    2. Engagement with reminders
  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 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.

Let's see how you can use Voucherify building blocks to come up with a truly omnichannel referral campaign.

Engage customers and collect their data 🙌

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, Intercom, and more)
  • custom integration with the API

Web widget 🖥️

The widget allows you to place a small form on your website. It looks 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 chooses 'get voucher', the widget automatically displays 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. It allows you to deliver referral codes to each new member of the segment automatically.
Thanks to segments you can precisely define who gets referral codes, for example:
  • only the most loyal customers (e.g. 'at least 5 redemptions' or 'the total amount of orders more than $500')
  • customers from designated locations (e.g. 'postal code 65-737' or 'city London')
  • clients who have been the most active lately (e.g. 'the last purchased order less than 14 days ago' or 'signed up less than 5 days ago')

Read more about segments and available scenarios here.


Voucherify Distribution Manager enables you to use many built-in channels and send referral codes from the dashboard to your customer segments.

Voucherify Distribution

Read more:

Message personalisation 🧵

The Distribution Manager enables you to add personal data of your customers and deliver customized messages alongside referral codes.

Personalised messages

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

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.

Note: this requires involvement from your development team

The configuration process requires two steps:

  1. Ask your development team to implement a simple web application that uses Voucherify API to handle referral logic according to your requirements (it should be a pretty quick task with our utility libraries).
  2. In the message template editor, place a link according to the pattern you agreed on with your development team, e.g.{{voucher.code}}

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.

When your customers already get the codes and share them with friends and family, we can move on to the next part and learn how customers can utilize the codes to get a discount/reward.

How your customers can utilize referral codes 🤔

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

  • Javascript widget that is easy to implement and configurable just like the subscribe form described in the first part of this guide.
  • A highly customizable way that uses our building blocks, which enable you to place referral codes in any place in your sales funnel.
  • Free Voucherify mobile app for offline redemptions.
Both apps (web and mobile) support QR and barcodes to provide a seamless workflow regardless of technology or device you decide to use.

Mobile app redemption

What if codes remain unredeemed (email reminders)

It may happen that your customer will forget about your codes or that your timing is just not right. Voucherify covers that case and enables you to set up  automatic reminders. Thanks to that your customers are reminded of unredeemed referral codes!

Voucherify email reminders

Read more about reminders here.

Create a referral program 🚀

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 and create these codes in the campaign manager.

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:

Referral program details

Click on the NEXT STEP when it's ready ➡️

A Friendly Reminder 💡

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 - 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➡️

Referral program timeframe


The 3rd section 'Incentive workflow' 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

Referee redeems a referral code

2. You can also define 'referred' customers based on the custom event defined previously in your Project Settings, for example, 'customer_subscribed' event. 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.

custom event

💡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 with that, follow the step-by-step guide.

After you mark the 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).

Deciding between single and double-sided referral program

Go to the NEXT STEP➡️


In the case of a 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.

Referee Reward

Below the Referee reward section, you can see Validation rules for the 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.

Referee validation rules

It is important to remember, that you should choose a validation rule " Redemptions per customer in a campaign" if you want each of the referees to use the referral code only once.

Redemption limits

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

  • Reward every time the referee redeems the referral code - every time the 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 two times 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).

Referrer rewards

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 (digital or material).
  • Credits to the gift card (either to Predefined Gift Card or another gift card campaign you're running).
  • Points to loyalty card balance (loyalty points that can be spent in customer cockpit).

Referrer Rewards

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

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 that 2 customers need to perform the chosen custom event with referrer's code, referrer has to have more than 2 orders made in your store so far to get the reward.

Rewarding criteria

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 or rewards from scratch (digital or material).
  • Credits to the gift card(either to Predefined Gift Card or another gift card campaign you're running).
  • Points to loyalty card balance (loyalty points that can be spent in customer cockpit).

Trigger message with 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, Active Campaign, Braze, Intercom(Integrations)
  • Email (the manager lets you design the message template)
  • SMS(the manager lets you design the message template)

When the mapping is ready and action is defined, you can follow to the 6th stage or choose to ADD TIER (the 2nd level of your referral campaign).

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; tier 2 can reward each referrer who refers at least 3 customers with a 30% discount.

Adding a new tier

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 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
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 share with your future referrers. Go to the next section to learn to track your referral campaigns.

Note ⚠️

Remember that each referral code needs to be published before new customers (referees) can use it. Publication means 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.

Tracking referral performance📊

Now, you can share the codes with customers through the web widget or other distribution channels we described in the first section. 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

Referral campaign tracking

The Redemptions view lists every redemption attempt of any of the code created within Voucherify. Its goal is to help you track what happens to your codes.

Go here to learn more about tracking your referral campaign.

Still need help? Contact Us Contact Us