Tutorial: How to create a Refer a Friend contest

In a Refer a Friend contest, users register their contact details for the chance to win a prize. Their chances of winning increase when they recruit more participants. To set up a Refer a Friend contest and promote your brand, follow the steps outlined below:


Step 1. Create the promotion

1. Access the Easypromos Control Panel and log in with your email address and password to manage and create your promotions.



2. Create a new promotion by clicking the green button.



3. You'll see a display of all the products available. Choose "Refer a Friend" contest to create a promotion which encourages participants to register their details and recruit their friends.


4. As a next step, set up the following options:

  • Organizing brand. As a first step, you should select or create an organizing brand for your promotion. This organizing brand is independent of any social network and works as a folder within your Easypromos account, in order to help organize the promotions that you create.
  • Template version. Select which template you want to use to create your promotion: Premium or White Label.

Note: Compare here the features and functionalities included in each template.



5. After clicking on "Continue" button, you'll get access to the promotion management page, where you have all the options for configuring the promotion. Below, we outline the most important sections:



  1. Header. This displays the title of the promotion, the version (Premium or White Label), and other relevant information, such as the promotion ID number. The promotion status indicates whether the promotion is Draft, Active or Expired, as well as if it’s about to start. Once the promotion period has ended, this field will be marked in red saying: Status: Expired. You can choose what to show on an expired promotion page.
  2. Link to the promotion. Use this URL whenever you share the promotion. Learn more about sharing here. The copy link button automatically copies the link, to make sharing even faster.
  3. Activate Promotion. When the promotion is ready to launch, click this button to activate it. You'll be taken to the activation page, where you can review billing information and make payments.
  4. Side menu. All your promotion settings in one place.
  5. View tutorial. This tutorial guides you step by step through the creation and management of your promotion.
  6. Promotion dates controls the phases of the promotion, including your choice of timezone.
    Languages indicates the default language of the promotion. You can edit this if you wish.
    Localization limits participation to one or several countries. Learn more about country restrictions.
  7. Next steps: Practical recommendations for the creation and management of your campaign.
Top tip: The promotion ID number (#) is a unique identifier for each promotion. Quote this number if you need to contact the Easypromos support team with any issues. This will make it easier for us to review your settings and help you out.


Step 2. Customize the text and images for each page

The platform comes with many pre-set features, based on which platform version you've chosen. Let’s take a look at customizing the promotion text and images to suit your individual brand and campaign. You'll also be able to edit colors and font settings.

1. Enter the promotion Editor.



2. Edit the text and images for each page:



A) Welcome

  • Change the provisional title for one that highlights the strong points of your promotion. Make it sound as attractive as possible to users!
  • Format the text, and upload an image to make the page more dynamic.
  • Change the provisional description to explain how the contest works. Make sure that participants understand what they need to do. You can also customize the ‘Enter’ and ‘View entries’ buttons with different text.

B) Entry form.

Add all the fields that you wish your participants to complete. You can also customize the text and page header image, and add additional fields, dropdown menus and check boxes. Learn how to set up the entry form.

C) Thank you.

Customize the last page of the promotion with an image and thank you text. You can also create an extra button which leads to an external link of your choice.

  • Text to encourage users to share. To the left of the first share button, there is a text that you can customize. Use this to encourage your participants to share the contest.
  • Thank you message. Thank participants and tell them when the winner will be announced.
  • Use the final image to give a personal touch to the contest, remind participants of the prize, or encourage them to share.

You can also customize the promotion menu, which is accessible from each page.


  • Customize the name and icon of each section within the promotion menu. For example, you can change the default name of "Welcome" page to "Start", with an icon to match.
  • Add new sections to present additional content. This new section can be set up in two different ways:
    • New page, for example, to present and explain the prizes of the promotion.
    • External link, to drive traffic to your website or microsite.



Step 3. Customize the design

Use the Design menu to completely customize the app to match your brand, product or service.

You can edit the following options: 

  • Colors: Change the colors of text and action elements, such as buttons.
  • Typographies: Select the font used for texts and action elements
  • Container: Completely customize the container by setting the style, opacity, height or position.
  • Background: Customize the background of the promotion with your own image or choice of colour. The background will be the same for each page of the promotion.
  • Other: Set the style of the promotion buttons (outlined or solid), as well as the color of the button text. Also from here you can customize the background color of the pop-up windows of the promotion (for example: window that opens the terms and conditions, My Networks window, etc.)
  • Advanced (White Label only): Use your own CSS styles to completely customize the template.


Discover all the creative possibilities offered by our Design Module.


Step 4. Insert legal texts 

In this section, you can upload legal texts to display them in the promotion. This includes the terms and conditions, privacy policy, and cookie policy.

To add the terms and conditions, go to Editor > General > Legal content, where you will find the following sections:

  • Terms and conditions
  • Privacy Policy
  • Cookies Policy


Note: Learn how to set up consent to legal documents in the promotion.


Step 5. Configure My Networks and the promotion footer

The 'My Networks' module enables you to customize the page which users see, just before they finalize their competition entry. For example, you can give them the option to Like your Facebook Page. My Networks can be customized for Facebook pages, as well as Twitter, Instagram and Youtube accounts. Learn how to do that here.

To customize My Networks, go to Editor > General > My Networks:


The footer is a banner presented at the bottom of each page of the promotion. You can customize the footer text, or deactivate it if it doesn’t interest you.

To edit or enable the promotion footer, go to Editor > General > Footer where you'll see the following options:

  • Created by: use this field to announce the brand or agency which is organizing the promotion.
  • Decide what elements you want to show in the promotion footer, including legal material.



Step 6. Customize viral content

This section is very important if you want your contest to go viral. The viral content is the message shown when participants share with friends, or invite them to join the promotion. You can customize the share message for different social media channels.

To customize the viral content, go to Editor > General > Share:



You should complete the following sections:

A) Generic:

Set up the generic contents of the promotion here:

  • Viral image: This is the image that will accompany the share text. To optimize for social networks, we recommend dimensions of 1200px by 630px. The same image will be shared on Facebook, Pinterest and Google+. If you don’t upload a specific image for this section, the main promotion image will be displayed whenever participants share.
  • Generic content: This is the viral text which will be displayed when participants use the share button on the main page or the registration form. Learn how to edit it.

B) Recruitment.

This is the content that will be displayed when the participant shares the promotion on social networks from the final page. The contents that you can customize are:

  • Title and description. These will be shown when the promotion is disseminated on Facebook and Google+. On "sending an email" option, they will be the subject and the body suggested by the app on the preset email created.
  • Tweet: This is the text of the tweet of the viral message on Twitter. The Shared link will be included automatically at the end of this text.
  • Instant Messaging Apps (Whatsapp, Telegram, Line). This is the message that users will be send through instant messaging Apps. This options is only available for users connected via smartphone.

 5 Keys to Creating a Successful Refer a Friend Contest.


Step 7. Advanced settings

Check the following settings to manage user entries and set up anti-fraud systems.

Editor > Pages > Entry Form > Options:


For a Refer a Friend contest, we recommend the following settings:

  • Max. users: Decide if you want to limit the promotion to a maximum number of participants. By default, there is no limit on participation.
  • Maximum entries per user: In a Refer a Friend contest, this number must always be 1. Don’t modify this value, as the application uses it to track how many people are recruited by an individual user.
  • Enable premoderation: You can moderate competition entries before they appear in a public gallery. This option does not apply to a Refer a Friend contest.
  • Notification of new entrant:Enable this feature if you want to receive an email whenever a new user joins the promotion.
  • Disable autofocus in first form field. By default, the “Name” field in the entry form has the autofocus activated so that the participants can begin to write without having to click on the field first when the page loads. This option allows to disable this effect to avoid that the autofocus scrolls down the page, which is useful in promotions that have a big header image.
  • Anti-fraud options: With the aim of helping administrators organize top-quality contests, Easypromos has developed a range of techniques and tools to minimize bad practices. Learn more about anti-fraud tools.

2. Editor > Pages > Form > Social Login. You can enable users to log in with Facebook. Choose whether this is optional or mandatory for your participants.



3. Editor > Pages > Gallery > Options:

  • Publish gallery. You can display competition entries in a public gallery. This helps create a competitive atmosphere and encourage participation. If the entries are public, all users can see the list of entries, compare recruitment numbers, and share their entries with friends.


  • Make recruits public. You can show how many recruits each participant has achieved, and even order the list of entries by number of recruits. This feature is enabled by default. We recommend keeping it enabled, to inform and motivate participants.
  • Number of recruits to obtain. You can specify a minimum number of recruited users that participants must obtain for a chance to win the contest. This will appear as a progress bar in the public list of entries.


Step 8. Set entry restrictions

You can choose to restrict access to the promotion for certain users. Specifically, the platform offers 2 forms of restriction:

  1. Restriction by country: You can limit the promotion to a specific country or countries. Only those users who connect from the selected countries will be able to see the promotion. Learn how to enable country restriction here.




Step 9. Communicate with participants via the email platform

If you need to communicate with participants during or after the promotion, you can use this tool to create, customize and send emails, automatically or manually.

This tool is especially useful for recruiters promotions. You might need to contact participants for any one of the following objectives:

    1. Thank participants for registering and give them a unique recruiting URL to invite friends to the contest.
    2. Remind participants of how many recruits they must achieve to become a finalist, and recommend strategies for recruitment.
    3. Congratulate users who reach the goal number of recruits, and will enter the final of the competition.

Learn how to create an email with the Platform. By setting up great communication from the start of your promotion, you will improve the user experience and increase your viral reach.

Important! The platform has the ‘smart tags’ feature at its disposal. This enables you to configure customized emails. Use the ‘smart tag’ {{user_recruiting_url}} which, upon sending the email, will be replaced by each participant's unique recruitment URL.

Step 10. Publish the winners page (optional)

Before or during the promotion, you can choose to display the prizes you are going to give away on a public page. The same page will show the winners of each prize, once there are winners. You can decide whether to publish the winners page from the beginning of the promotion, or wait until the winners have been selected. To customize and publish the winners page, go to Editor > Pages > Winners.

Check out the Prize Management tutorial to learn more about selecting winners and administering prizes.


Step 11. Carry out a real test of the promotion

Before launching a promotion, it's important to make sure that the promotion shows and works correctly. To do so, all promotions includes the tool "Test Mode" which allows the administrator to carry out real tests of the promotion. This means that they can participate in the promotion just like the participants will do once the promotion is activated, and test that the promotion works as expected. That way, they can make changes to the promotion if necessary before launching.

Check out this tutorial where we explain how to test your promotion before activating it.


Step 12. Activate the promotion

Once your promotion is ready to go, you can activate it from the management page. You can also view billing information and make payments from this page. Find more information here.



Step 13. Publish the promotion

Although your promotion is now active, you still need to take the final step: publishing it.

When you created your promotion, a microsite with a unique URL was generated to display the competition. This URL is the main link to the promotion. By default, it leads to the Welcome Page of the promotion, but you can change this. You can also, and not exclusively, publish the promotion on a Facebook Page or embed it in your blog or website. You can control where you wish to publish it via “Buzz”. You’ll find all the information about this step here.


Step 14. Share the promotion

It’s important to share the promotion as widely as possible. Always use the main link to the promotion, as it’s uniquely compatible with all devices.

You can share the promotion via the following methods:

  • With the direct link to the promotion.
  • With the ‘share’ button on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.
  • Use Facebook Ads to give more visibility to the promotion. One of the most effective ways to improve the visibility of the promotion is through the Facebook advertising service, which will allow you to create an advertisement to promote the contest and generate traffic to the promotion. To do this, you must access the Facebook advertisers page and create an advertisement to promote the contest.
  • Making your promotion a Featured promotion. This adds your campaign to the list of Easypromos highlighted promotions. Featuring a promotion carries an additional cost, calculated per day of the campaign. If you’d like to Feature a campaign, consult this tutorial.

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Step 15. Manage the active promotion

While the promotion is active, you can monitor and manage entries from the management page. Click on Participants in the left-hand menu, or access the list of entries via Statistics:


In Participants, you can view information about all participants and download it to an Excel file.

Note: Information about participants will be available even when the promotion has finished.


Step 16. View promotion statistics

Access Statistics to find out more about participants and how they interact with the promotion. This information will be available as soon as the first entry is made, and remains accessible from your account even after the promotion has finished. Learn more about the information which you can access in this section.


Step 17. Manage prizes and publish the winners


In a Refer a Friend contest, the most common way to select the winners is to run a giveaway for all participants, or for those who hit a recruiting target.

Here are those options in more detail:

  1. Ask users to hit a recruiting target in order to become finalists. For example, only those who have gotten 4 friends to participate will enter the final sweepstakes.
  2. Carry out a random draw among all registered users, but give an additional entry for each recruited friend. You can give participants their additional entries in the prize draw setup.

Follow this tutorial to set up prizes, customize communications, and control the number of user entries.

Start the process by clicking Winners in the left-hand menu of the promotion management page:


Step 18. Finishing up the promotion

The end of a promotion is controlled by the dates set up in the Editor. When the "End of publication date" is passed, the promotion status changes from active to expired. By default, the promotion is unpublished and is no longer visible. If users try to access the promotion URL, a screen with the message "promotion expired" is displayed.
As administrator of the contest, you can choose to edit the content of this "promotion expired" screen. You could republish the promotion so that it is visible again, show the winners of the promotion, or keep the contest gallery visible.
Learn more about your options for expired promotions.
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