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Building Lists Organically Part 3 - Referral Pages

Relying on friends and colleagues for references is one of the most effective ways to find new vendors. Whether it’s a new healthcare provider for your family or a marketing consultant for your company, referrals are the backbone of a growing business.

If you use email as the primary form of communication with current clients, adding referral pages can help build distribution lists and expand your client base.

A referral page is used to entice readers to recommend or refer friends and colleagues to your products or services. They’re useful because potential leads receive the referral email from a trusted source increasing the likelihood that they’ll open the message and read the content. Referral pages differ from the “forward to a friend” feature available in many email marketing systems because they capture data and automatically add the new contact to a database of active contacts. 

Referral pages are easy to incorporate into your email campaigns by adding a link in the body of the message that allows users to invite others to visit your Web site and sign up to receive your regular communications. The process is completely CAN SPAM compliant since it requires the “friend” to confirm their opt-in.  

eLoop has a wizard to walk you through the process of creating a referral page under the Data Collection section. However, you need to do a little work before starting.  

  • Create the email message new recipients will receive when a colleague chooses to refer them to your company.  You create it the same way you create other emails in the Outbound Messaging section.  The referral message is what new recipients will receive so you should brand it to the look and feel of your other email communication.  The body of the message should include who referred them and why.  
  • The person who referred the new recipient will also receive a thank you message.  Set this up in the Outbound Messaging module before you start the wizard to create the referral page.  

Once you have created the referral and thank you messages, mouse over Data Collection, select referral pages, and follow the wizard. Be sure to test your message before sending it out to ensure the referral page is active.  Here are some other tips:

  • If you don’t have a custom template in your eLoop system, select the Gold Lasso “default” template.
  • In step five of the wizard you can select how many referrals each recipient can send by using the drop-down menu. 
  • Be sure to create any questions you want to include on the referral page, such as email address, name, company, title, etc, before you start the wizard so you can add them in step six.
  • In the final step of the wizard, be sure to enter the status of the page. If you want to test it, it needs to be “active.”
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