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I did a referral giveaway and grew my newsletter by ~7%.

Doing a referral giveaway always seemed to me like a fun way to gain new subscribers. My newsletter is for frequent flyers so I decided to give away some air miles.

When a subscriber referred a new person, they earned an entry in the giveaway. The more referrals, the more entries. The giveaway ran for a 7 day period.

Results (actual numbers may differ a bit):

Subscriber count at the start: 2,250
New subscribers: 160 (~7% increase)
Prize value: $350
Cost per new subscriber: $2,19

I used Sparkloop which costs $30 / month for my amount of subscribers. It's easy to set up and their support really helpful!

What I think I learned

  • Someone made a comment about how he already referred the newsletter to friends before the giveaway. And that it would have been nice if I did it sooner. This made me realize that I should watch out for doing this too often and reward the current subscribers for reading my emails.

  • I think there might be possibilities for a sponsored giveaway when the newsletter gets bigger.

  1. 2

    Hey Skip,

    Louis from SparkLoop here.

    Glad it all went well — love helping out fellow Indie Hackers!

    I haven't done a referral program yet - I did think about it tho. But I don't know how I would fill in the rewards.

    I bet we can think up some pretty cool (and affordable) rewards that your audience would love 😉

    I think there might be possibilities for a sponsored giveaway when the newsletter gets bigger.

    Or even now!

    You'd be surprised how easy it is to get a DTC consumer travel/luggage brand to give away an expensive suitcase (or similar) even at your audience size...

    1. 1

      Thanks again for all your help Louis!

      I'm currently working on redesigning the home page/subscription forms. After that, I'm going to try to get a sponsor.

      Approaching luggage brands is definitely a good idea :)

  2. 2

    An interesting way to get new subscribers. And the incentive didn't seem to cost that much either. Thanks for sharing!

  3. 1

    Did you try any ads with the giveaway? I have a friend that can get new subscribers for less than $0.10 with FB ads to his giveaways, but it costs me about $2.

    1. 1

      No I haven't tried!

      This could work really good with huge prizes I think.

  4. 1

    Interesting - it's like what you'd pay for FB ads, but I rate these subscribers are going to stick around! Have you had any success with referral programs?

    1. 1

      Yeah, I'm curious how it goes when I start a giveaway with more subscribers.

      I haven't done a referral program yet - I did think about it tho. But I don't know how I would fill in the rewards.

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