Growing your email list with a referral program

Podcasts Deliverability

Creators always ask, “how do I grow my audience?”

While the answer is different for everyone, when you’re an emerging creator with a tight budget, referral programs are a great way to expand without burning revenue. And not only expand, but find subscribers who are more likely to engage.

As we continue moving away from open rates as our main metric, referral programs are a great step toward increased engagement. Luckily, where there’s a will, there’s an app. Tools like SparkLoop smooth out the logistics and make tracking your referral progress fun and easy.

In this episode, Alyssa and Melissa discuss the benefits of a referral program, the steps to referral success, and examples of creators who are doing it right.

referral program benefits

Key Takeaways

  • [07:09] – Referral programs are a great way to grow your audience in a way that’s relatively “hands-off”.
  • [08:39] – Tools like SparkLoop help you automate your referral program. Automation is especially useful if you’re a small creator.
  • [14:24] – People trust referrals from friends more than anything else. A referred subscriber has built-in trust with you that otherwise, you would have to spend time, money, and energy to establish.
  • [16:11] – Referral programs reward subscriber engagement.
  • [16:47] – Using incentives not only drives traffic to your newsletter but also the content outside of your newsletter.
  • [19:22] – Referral programs lower the cost of subscriber acquisition and get people excited about your upcoming content.
  • [22:18] – Before launching a referral program, you need a newsletter with measurable subscriber value rather than a brand new newsletter with no built-in audience.
  • [24:08] – You also need a clear explanation of how your referral program works so it’s obvious to your subscribers what they have to do.


[12:12] – “Referral programs are a great way to find new subscribers for your list. Your existing subscribers are clearly the perfect fit for your email list, and they likely know other people who also would love your content.” ~ @alyssa_dulin


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Alyssa Dulin

Alyssa is a Deliverability Lead located in Nashville, TN. She loves helping senders reach the inbox of their subscribers. Outside of work, Alyssa enjoys traveling, indoor cycling, and spending time with family.

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