This guide will take you step by step to test the Newsletter Referral.

These are the 4 steps to test your campaign:

  1. Add the referral campaign to your newsletter emails
  2. Join the campaign from the Sharing Page
  3. See the experience of the invited friends (referred subscribers)
  4. Check the integration with your email platform

Add the referral campaign to your newsletter

The first step to launching your referral campaign is engaging your current subscribers. The following steps help you promote your referral campaign.

  • You can embed the Email Widget in any email platform that supports merge tags and allows you to add custom HTML in the emails
  • You can use merge tags in any email platform that support them
  • You promote the Sharing Page regardless of your email platform

Embed the Email Widget (in Mailchimp, ActiveCampaign & AWeber)

Following the instructions at the Finish Step of the Campaign Wizard, add an HTML block in your newsletter and embed the code of the Email Widget:

Enter Preview Mode and enable the option to show live merge tag info:

The Email Widget appears in your newsletter and includes the Sharing Link of one of your subscribers, shown as an example.

In the Preview Mode you can also test the sharing options in the Email Widget.

The Email Widget can be embedded in any email service platform that allows you to add raw HTML blocks in your emails and use merge tags.

Use Merge Tags (in Mailchimp, ActiveCampaign & AWeber)

If you prefer not to use the Email Widget, you can use merge tags to add the referral campaign in your emails.

The following Viral Loops-related merge tags are available:

Merge tag

Use in Mailchimp

Use in ActiveCampaign

Use in AWeber

The participant's sharing URL

*|SHAREURL|*

%SHAREURL%

{!custom Share URL}

The number of referrals of the participant

*|REFERRALS|*

%REFERRALS%

{!custom Total Referrals}

How many referrals are needed for the next milestone

*|XREFERRALS|*

%XREFERRALS%

{!custom X Referrals}

To test these merge tags, try joining the referral campaign and then sending an email to yourself. You should receive the email and the merge tags will have been replaced with your own sharing link and number of referrals.

Promote the Sharing Page (any platform)

If your email service platform does not allow you to use merge tags (eg. Revue or Substack), your subscribers should be joining the referral campaign from the Sharing Page of your campaign.

To do that, add a button in your newsletter and link it to the Sharing Page.

For example, in Substack:

And in Revue:

Inviting & Sharing

You should check out what it's like for your existing subscribers to visit the Sharing Page and invite their friends.

Go to the Sharing Page step in the Campaign Wizard and click "Visit".

Submit your email to join the referral campaign and try out the several sharing options.

Subscribing as a Referral

To test what happens when someone clicks a sharing link, copy your unique link and open it in a new Private Browsing Window.

The sharing link will open the Subscriber Page where you can try joining the newsletter by adding a new email address that was not already in the newsletter.

Checking the Integration

If you have connected the integration with Mailchimp, ActiveCampaign, Revue or AWeber the new referred subscriber should now also exist in the connected audience list.


Verify by going to your email platform and finding that new subscriber by email in your audience.

To learn more about what the Mailchimp integration does, check out this article: Mailchimp Integration 101

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