You’ve gone through the onboarding and you’re ready to launch your referral program! 🎉

One last step…

Let’s run a few checks to make sure everything’s working as it should.

Here’s a checklist that will help you check each individual piece of the referral program and make sure you haven’t missed any steps.

⚠️ If you just updated your referral link or started an import of your subscribers in SparkLoop, you'll need to wait several hours—up to 24 hours for large lists—before going through this checklist and launching your referral program.

Step 1: Check your subscribers have referral codes

When you sign up for SparkLoop and go through our onboarding process, one of the first steps you will take is to connect your ESP to SparkLoop and import your subscriber list.

SparkLoop then creates a unique referral code and link for each of your subscribers. The referral code is included in your emails (in the referral section) and stored as the RH_REFLINK custom field in your ESP.

Before launching, we need to ensure that all of your newsletter subscribers have had their referral links generated and stored in the RH_REFLINK custom field in your ESP.

You can do this by filtering or segmenting your subscribers in your ESP 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 be at most 1-2 subscribers with an empty RH_REFLINK field.

If your subscribers haven’t synced, check out this Troubleshooting guide for the reasons they haven’t, and what you can do about it.

Step 2: Check your rewards are set up correctly

The rewards you choose are arguably the most important thing in your referral program, so let’s make sure they’re set up and being delivered correctly.

Here’s what you need to check for:

  • Do you have rewards created in SparkLoop for the correct number of referrals?

  • Do you have automation emails in place to handle what happens when one of your subscribers makes enough referrals to win a reward? Learn how to do that here.

If you're running a giveaway instead of a regular referral program, you can skip this step.

Step 3: Is the referral section of your newsletter set up correctly?

One of the key elements of your SparkLoop campaign is the referral section your subscribers will see in your newsletter, which is why it’s essential that you test it before launching your campaign to make sure it’s working smoothly.

What we want to do is make sure the links in your newsletter referral section are set up correctly.

To do this, create a draft broadcast or campaign in your email platform and send it to yourself.

Once you receive the email, check:

  • Do the referral link and social share links work correctly?

  • Do they link to the correct URL?

Some email platforms have limitations around how merge fields are displayed in test emails and templates.

To be certain, it’s always best to create a “real” broadcast or campaign and send that just to yourself.

⚠️ Make sure your email address is subscribed to the list and has the SparkLoop custom fields, otherwise the test won’t work.

Step 4: Try a test referral

Let's make sure everything is working fine by doing a test referral.

1. Click on the Subscribers tab in your SparkLoop dashboard, and search for your email address.

2. Copy the referral link from your subscriber profile and open the referral landing page in an incognito browser window (private browsing mode).

3. Subscribe to your newsletter using an email address that isn't already present in your email platform. It needs to be a completely fresh email address—aliases (e.g. [email protected]) won't work as they'll be caught by our fraud prevention systems.

4. If you have double-opt in enabled, go to your inbox and confirm the subscription.

5. Wait 1-2 minutes. If the referral was tracked correctly, you'll be able to see in the SparkLoop dashboard that your original email address has been credited with a referral.

Step 5: Check your tracking code is working

Once you’ve installed the SparkLoop script/tracking code on your website, it's time to make sure everything’s working as we intended.

In particular, you need to test three things:

  • New subscribers are added to SparkLoop.

  • Referrals are being tracked correctly.

  • Custom fields are updated correctly in your ESP.

New subscribers are added to SparkLoop

To test this:

  • Sign up using one of the forms on your website.

  • If you've enabled double opt-in, make sure to click the link in the confirmation email.

  • If everything goes well, you should see your sign-up in your SparkLoop dashboard within a few minutes.

Referrals are being tracked correctly

To ensure referrals are being tracked:

  • Go to your campaign's dashboard > Subscribers.

  • Click on a subscriber to see their profile. Underneath their email address, you will find their unique referral link.

Custom fields are updated correctly in your ESP

We already did this in Step 1, but if you didn’t, now’s the time to loop back to the beginning and get those steps done.

Once you’ve been through these five steps, you're ready to launch your referral program.

Take a deep breath, and go!

Good luck!

We’re here if you need us.

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