How to build a Harry's pre-launch referral program in 4 simple steps

How to build a Harry’s referral program in 4 simple steps

Do you remember how Harry’s managed to gather 100K subscribers in one week, with their referral program?

Do I need to tell you where this prelaunch lead Harry’s? Maybe I do.

  • 100+ million dollars in funding, for buying a 94-year-old razor blade factory.
  • More than 500 employees.
  • A thriving digital store (which is the fastest growing in the industry).
  • A barber shop in NYC.
  • Their own magazine.

Apart from all the fancy numbers and achievements, this article is about the thing I mentioned in the first sentence.

That referral program. God, that referral program.

Can I tell you a secret? This referral was one of the 2 reasons we decided to start Viral Loops (the other reason belongs to another article) – no clowning.

I’m not gonna lie to you. We are a startup and we crave to grow;

Every week on our experiment meeting we come with ideas related to growth. What I will present to you was one of these ideas.

We created a side project for users to build a Harry’s prelaunch referral program in 4 simple steps.

How does this work?

Our side project is an interactive web app that is able to build a ready-to-launch campaign, depending on the inputs you give.

You can choose the basic parameters of your Harry’s inspired referral program, the app will compile it for you, and all you have to do in order to launch it is to insert our script to your page.

Step 1: Choose how people join your referral program

How to build a Harry's pre-launch referral program in 4 simple steps

You are given 4 options from which you need to choose one, as the way that people will join your referral program:

  1. Email
  2. Social Login
  3. Sign-up for your product/service
  4. Other

tip: Harry’s was asking you to enter your email in order to join their milestone referral program.


Email is like the 21st century ID for people- you can’t do much without it.

This option gives you the ability to run email marketing campaigns that could potentially push users to bring more referrals or become your customers.

Social Login

This option is growing popular year by year. People are lazy, and sometimes they don’t even remember their email address.

But Facebook never forgets 🙂

Sign-up for your product/service

If you want to put more users into your trial version, aiming to turn them into customers, this is a good option for you.

Further down, you’ll learn more about what kind of rewards can work great with this option.

Step 2: Choose how participants refer other people

How to build a Harry's pre-launch referral program in 4 simple steps

In this step, you are asked to pick the method that people will be able to use in order to spread the word about your referral program.

Once again, you can pick among 4 options:

  1. Email & Social sharing
  2. SMS or Social Messaging Platforms
  3. Unique URL
  4. Other

tip: It’s important to make sure your program is shareable. Harry’s participants could share via social media (Facebook, Twitter) & email.

Email & Social Sharing

This is the most popular option. Email and social media are powerful mediums for people to use to inform their friends or colleagues about the existence of your program.

Once you set up your campaign in Viral Loops, you can edit the copies for social messages or emails that your ambassadors can send to their audience.

SMS or Social Messaging

People are addicted to texting each other. While email and social media are the most popular, messaging platforms are less saturated.

In this option, you can also set the messages that your ambassadors will be able to use.

Unique URL

For some, just a URL with a descriptive OG & great image is enough. This is the simplest of options that you can provide to your users.

Depending on your business model, this option might be the perfect fit for you.

Step 3: Choose the type of your rewards

How to build a Harry's pre-launch referral program in 4 simple steps

Rewards are by far one of the most important aspects of a referral program. Harry’s offered physical products in exchange for referrals, but you can pick among these options:

  1. Merchandise (t-shirts, cups, etc.)
  2. Discounts or ca$h
  3. Free products or services
  4. Other

tip: Try to incentivize your happy customers. Harry’s was rewarding with its own products and top referrers could get “One Year Free Blades”.

Merchandise (t-shirts, cups, etc.)

You can reward your referrers with you company’s swag and equip them from head to toe in exchange for bringing more people into your program.

This is exactly what ‘The Hustle’ uses to build a huge email list 😉

Discounts or ca$h

This is a great option if you run an eCommerce. You can offer them discounts or simply cash (if you’re feeling generous), giving them a strong incentive to refer more people.

Note that 2-side rewards work like charm; we are altruistic beings.

Free products or services

This might be the perfect fit for creating loyal customers, as you kinda plant virality inside your product or service. By choosing this kind of rewarding system you make sure that you keep your referrers’ interest focused on your product.

Step 4: Select how many rewarding milestones you want to set

How to build a Harry's pre-launch referral program in 4 simple steps

Whatever you choose in Step 3, you must decide how many different rewards you want to give when a referrer matches certain criteria.

In other words, how many tiers do you want to have? An average number of tiers is 4-5.

Tip: Harry’s used 4 and it worked perfectly!

Step 5: When do people unlock a prize?

After picking the type of rewarding, this is the second most important step to your referral’s success.

Harry’s first prize was easily attainable and the next tiers weren’t difficult to achieve. You should keep the same mindset unless the prizes you’re offering are of great value- you wouldn’t give a car in exchange for just one referral.

How to build a Harry's pre-launch referral program in 4 simple steps

The Final Step

So, you choose all your preferences and now the work on your end is almost over. Your choices are automatically compiled by Viral Loops and all you have to do to launch your campaign is to either signup or sign in, and insert our script to your page.

You can always edit your campaign by signing in you Viral Loops account and change everything you wish.

Are you ready to create the next most influential referral program of all time?

We’re here to help you do it!


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