Disappearing newsletter referral rewards


Audience Growth


The Tactic

During my newsletter referral stealing research, I found a newsletter writer (Houck) who does something very unique:

→ He only asks for one referral to unlock the reward…but the reward changes every month.

This is smart because it generates scarcity and FOMO.

He says this has 10x the number of weekly subscribers he gets from referrals.

It seems he is no longer doing this, but it was an early growth engine he played with.

🕵️‍♂️ How to Steal it?

First, you need a referral system for your newsletter. There are many options, like Beehiiv, which has it integrated into its platform.

Once that's done, come up with 12 referrals for the year.

Make them something of high perceived value. Maybe it's a template for how you run certain aspects of your business, a free course or workshop…

The key is to play with the scarcity element that the referral is about to expire if they do not redeem it in the given month.

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