Asking For a Referral Through Email

Referrals are a great way to boost conversions but they don’t just come to you, you have to look for them and win them over proactively. The good thing is people group together with others that share the same interest with them, so, people that are connected to your customers are more qualified prospects. With referrals, there’s not that much need to make your prospects trust you because the person they know has been your customer already, therefore trust is already there, thanks to your referrer. But receiving and giving referrals might not be comfortable for everyone, so you’ll definitely have to build a process to make it easier. This is when asking for a referral through an Email comes in.

When can you ask for a referral?

  • You can ask for a referral in the confirmation message after your customer has made a purchase.
  • You can ask for a referral in your newsletter’s email to confirm subscription.
  • You can send an email a few days after purchasing asking if your customer is happy with the purchase and if anyone they know might be interested.

What Should a Referral Letter be Like?

Since you don’t want to make the person reading your email think it’s going to be a long read and a waste of time, make sure that you keep it straight to point and short. When a customer is satisfied, they have no problem with giving referrals for you the moment you ask. So there’s no need to be scared of losing them because you might sound pushy. You can start by giving a reminder to your client about something they like about what you offer then request that they give out a word for you to people who might like it too.  You can give them specific and very easy instructions on how they can give you the names and contact info about the referrals, then make sure if they’d allow you to say that they were the referrers. And if you’ll be giving them an incentive for giving a referral, let them know that as well. Also, don’t forget to thank them for participating.

How Do You Create an Effective Referral Email

Start With Your Subject Line

Start with creating the perfect subject line. Just like always, people will think “What’s in it for me?” and if you don’t give your customer a good reason to open your email then they won’t. And if they don’t get to open your email then they would never really know what’s in it. So make sure that your subject line is as compelling as it could be.

How do we do that?

  • Be as clear as daylight- “It’s time for it!” vs “Christmas sale link”.  More people would definitely click on the subject line “Christmas sale link” over “It’s time for it”.
  • Talk about them- Yes, talk about your customers, not your company. Don’t use us, we, and go for you and your. That way you’d be making them hear what they want to know and possibly let them know what they can benefit from opening your Email.

Keep it Clear, Simple, and Personal

If they don’t get what you are saying then the more reason for them to just disregard your message. So make sure to put a personalized touch to your email, let them know that they have purchased from you or let them know what you can offer them, tell them the reason why you’re contacting, emphasize on what they get in return, and end it with a call to action.

Make Sure that Your Call to Action is Powerful

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 People are very busy, so make sure that they won’t need to think about what to do next. Make it as obvious as it could be. Put it in bright colors or make it bigger than the rest of the words, just make sure that they can see it immediately.

Make Them Want to Take Action

If you want your customer to take an action make them see that what they will do will benefit themselves and their friends too. Use the reasons why your customer uses your products and care about it in making them want to take an action. Make sure to bring more attention to that in your email and images.

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State Everything Upfront

If your customer’s referral has to make a purchase before you get the discount say that in the email, don’t hide that from them because when their referral makes a purchase they will know. Don’t risk losing your customer, and tell them everything they need to know in the email. If you want to get repeat referrals and purchases then make sure that you always say everything right from the start.

Email Etiquette You Should Keep in Mind

  • Don’t try to go into the world of spamming and buying Email lists. Aside from it’s going to give your company a bad impression, it’s better to ask referrals from people who have done business with you.
  • Make sure that the emails you send are mobile-friendly, most of the people nowadays are always out and about and regularly check their emails on their phone. So make sure they’ll be able to access it on whatever device they’re on.
  • Email them at the right time, make sure they haven’t forgotten about their transaction with you yet. The fresher their good experience with you, the more chances they’d be willing to refer a friend.


When creating an email to ask for referrals there are some factors that you need to give importance to in order to successfully get referrals. It should be the right timing, and they should know what the email is about even before clicking on it. Because if you don’t make your subject line enticing and clear, chances are it would never be opened. But once they open it, make sure it wouldn’t take too much of their time. Make sure they get to see why they’re being offered to be a referrer, what they can get from it, what their friend can get from it, and how to do it fast.

2 Response to "Asking For a Referral Through Email"

  1. Comment From Pam Grensky

    This can easily be done in your transaction emails which usually have the best open rate. Just slip in a soft offer about your referral program and a link to sign up.

  2. Comment From Howard Lane

    If you do pitch via email, you want to make sure you are clear and to the point. Allow people to understand what you have and see that it is worthwhile within 20 seconds.

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