SparkLoop onboarding walkthrough

A step-by-step guide to setting up your first campaign in SparkLoop.

Manuel Frigerio avatar
Written by Manuel Frigerio
Updated over a week ago

You’ve signed up for SparkLoop!

Congratulations on taking the first step in starting your referral program!

To get your referral program up and running, you need to go through SparkLoop’s onboarding process. It will take up to 90 minutes after your email list has finished importing.

Let’s get started.

Step 1: Generate referral links

This is the most important step of the process, but don’t let that lead you into believing it’s also complex.

It’s not. It is, quite literally, one click.

SparkLoop needs to access your email list in order to generate unique referral links and referral codes for each individual subscriber, thus ensuring they’re tracked and rewarded properly for referrals.

To import your list, simply log in to your SparkLoop account.

You’ll then be asked to pick from a list of email providers and, once you’ve made your selection and signed in, guided to import your list.

That’s it. No code. No copy-pasting. No elaborate processes.

⚠️ Once you start an import of your subscribers in SparkLoop, you'll need to wait several hours—up to 24 hours for large lists—before going through the rest of the onboarding.

Once your list is connected, we can move on to the next step.

Step 2: Add the rewards (10 min)

The rewards you choose are arguably the most important thing in your referral program, so it's worth spending some extra time thinking about what you’ll offer.

Digital content? Swag? Unique coupons?

SparkLoop makes the entire process super simple and intuitive. Plus, you can use our Shopify integration, API, and webhooks to handle fulfilment of even the wildest of rewards!

Find reward inspiration in our Rewards Library

For detailed instructions on how to create a reward, read this.

Step 3: Set up reward fulfilment (20 min)

When your subscribers win a reward, you want to email and congratulate them for winning, and send them instructions for how to access the reward.

⚠️ This email is also a fantastic opportunity to foster engagement and motivate your subscribers to keep inviting friends.

You can set up reward emails through automated sequences in your ESP.

Step 4: Check your subscribers have referral links (5 min)

Before launching for the first time, you need to check that all of your subscribers have had their referral codes correctly synced in your email platform.

SparkLoop creates a unique referral link for each of your subscribers. This referral code is included in your emails (in the referral section)—and it's stored as the RH_REFLINK custom field in your email platform.

Before launching, you need to make sure that all of your newsletter subscribers have had their referral links generated and stored in the RH_REFLINK custom field in your email platform.

You can do this by filtering (or segmenting) your subscribers in your email platform to ONLY show subscribers who have an RH_REFLINK custom field with no value (also sometimes called blank or empty).

If everything is set up correctly, there should only be at most 1-2 subscribers with an empty RH_REFLINK field.

Step 5: Set your referral link destination (1 min)

Each of your subscribers is given a unique referral link. They should share this unique link with friends, colleagues, or strangers on the Internet.

Every time someone clicks on your subscriber’s unique referral link, they’ll be taken to a page on your website where they can join your email list by filling out a form. This is how your subscribers earn referral points.

To make this possible, you need to choose a page on your website that your subscribers’ unique referral links will take people to.

This is called your referral link destination.

It should probably be a page you’ve already created. Somewhere lots of people are already signing up for your email list. Like your newsletter homepage or your most popular lead magnet landing page.

To set your referral link destination, follow these steps.

Step 6: Install the tracking script (10 min)

SparkLoop’s tracking script can be installed on any web or landing page, eliminating the need for specific referral pages.

Any landing page you’re using and that’s already converting well can also bring in referrals.

Step 7: Create your email referral section (10 min)

The referral section is the place in your newsletter where you tell your subscribers about your referral program, give them their unique sharing link, and even show them how many referrals they need to make to win the next reward.

With SparkLoop, it’s easy to add a beautiful, completely customized referral section to your newsletter in just a few clicks, giving your subscribers an easy way to share their referral links straight from your emails.

You can find inspiration, examples of successful referral sections, and detailed instructions on how to create yours here.

Step 8: Add an intro email (10 min)

You should include your referral section in (most of) your regular email sends. The best time to ask a subscriber to share their referral link is soon after they subscribed, when everything is still new and exciting to them.

For best results, add an extra email—specifically introducing the referral program—to your existing welcome sequence for new subscribers, ideally 5-10 days after they first subscribed.

Step 9: Add a first referral email (10 min)

People don't normally see themselves as "ambassadors" or "advocates,” which is why getting the first referral is such a transformational experience.

It's in that moment when that they realize they’ve impacted someone’s decision to sign up for a newsletter.

This moment needs to be celebrated. By them and by you! You want to take this opportunity to tell your subscribers they’ve gotten their first referral and be a part of celebrating it with them.

This email, too, can be set up using an automated sequence in your ESP.

Here are detailed instructions on the emails you should send, best practices for each, and how to set them up in each ESP.

And that’s it. Your SparkLoop onboarding is done!

One last step and you’ll be ready to launch your referral program.

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