Launch: Upscribe — put your newsletter growth & monetisation on autopilot
The newsletter recommendation widget that'll explode your audience & revenue growth
When it comes to your newsletter referral program, there's one golden rule.
If you want your audience to share and grow fast — you need rewards your subscribers really want to win.
And nowhere is that more true than for the most important reward of all: The trigger reward.
The trigger reward is key to your referral success. It's the very first reward (normally for 1-3 referrals) in your program. The reward everyone thinks they can win.
It's super important to come up with a trigger reward that attracts as many of your subscribers as possible. But that's no easy task. Unlike later rewards for 10, 20 or even 100+ referrals, you can't justify shelling out (much) cash for a reward that only brought in 1-3 referrals.
So — when it comes to free referral rewards that your audience will love — what should you choose?
You could take a look at our library of 14 free reward ideas. Or you could try out a completely new kind of trigger reward that's both completely free and highly effective for all kinds of newsletter audiences...
... the locked "insider" section.
The idea behind the locked insider section is ingenious — but also pretty simple.
Here's how it works:
First, you come up with a cool new section of your newsletter. Something people would love to read.
Next, you use some SparkLoop magic to "lock" that section of your newsletter. So that it's only visible to subscribers who have made a certain number of referrals.
Subscribers can "unlock" that section by making referrals (normally 1-3). But everyone who hasn't made enough referrals just sees a blurred-out section.
Here's an example from Justin Moore's Creator Wizard newsletter:
Newsletter operators big and small have been getting amazing results with the locked insider section since we introduced it late last year.
And the reasons are clear...
Most importantly, a locked insider section can work for all different kinds of email audience.
No matter who reads your newsletter, there's almost certainly a version of the locked insider section that'll drive free referral growth for you.
More of a visual learner? Here are three examples of the locked insider section being used successfully in real newsletters.
First up, Marketing Examined's Five Tactic Tuesday newsletter. Where — to unlock access to the fifth "bonus" tactic in the newsletter each week — you need to make two referrals.
Adam Ryan's Perpetual newsletter has a similar tactic.
Each week, he includes a graphic in the newsletter. To visually explain a key insight from the article.
But to get access to that graphic, you need to make at least one referral...
Then there's Pique Insider — the weekly newsletter of a large lifestyle and wellness brand.
Refer just one friend to their newsletter and you'll unlock the popular and fun "Mindful Manifesting" section. With personal tips for the week ahead.
So, what on earth should you include in your locked insider section?
That's a question only you can answer. Nobody knows your audience better than you do!
With that said, your locked insider section should probably be...
Already know what content you'll use in your locked insider section?
Then there are five steps you need to follow to get it all set up in your email platform (ESP):
The instructions for how to make your newsletter content visible only to certain subscribers depend on your email platform. This is something our SparkLoop experts can quickly help you with as part of our concierge onboarding service.
If you're a ConvertKit or Drip user, Brennan Dunn's Creator Email Template Pack includes an easy template for the locked insider section.