Using the “Send to a Friend” link is one of several ways to measure subscriber engagement, and assess how valuable, or shareable, your content is.

In this article, we’ll discuss:

What is the "Send to a Friend" link?

“Send to a Friend” is a personalized link that you can insert into any campaign or automation email and is used to encourage subscribers to share your content with colleagues via email. When a contact clicks the send to a friend link, they are taken to page where they can enter the email addresses and names of up to 10 “friends.” Once they complete the required information on the form and click “Forward,” the shareable web version of your email will be sent and we will track that forward action in your campaign reports.


Advantages of using the "Send to a Friend" link

Using the send to “Send to a Friend” link will help you see how “shareable” your content is by tracking not only how many contacts forwarded your content, but how many times it was forwarded. 

If this personalized link is not used, and if a contact decides to use their native “Forward” button in their email application instead, then:

    We are not able to track the forward action
    Any unsubscribes made by “friends” will be associated with the original contact
    Email design may not render correctly for “friends”

Inserting the "Send to a Friend" link into your communications

Inserting the “Send to a Friend” link into your email only takes a few moments and is the same as inserting any other personalization tag into your communication. To insert this link:

    Open your campaign or automation email and click on the block where you wish to insert your link.



    Click “Personalize” in the modal toolbar:



In the “Add a personalization” window, select “Message” then click “Send to a Friend Link” to insert the link into your campaign.





A box will appear where you can modify the call to action. Once you have made your edits, click “OK.”



The link is now inserted into your campaign:





To improve this block, you may want to make the text for your call to action stand out by increasing the font size, making it bold, or adding color. You may also want to try different placement options in your communications to see if the “Send to a friend” link works better when it’s placed toward the top of your email, or toward the bottom.

To ensure that the “Send to a Friend” link works prior to sending the campaign out to your list, first double check that link tracking is enabled on the Campaign Summary page and send your communication to a list of test contacts. Once you receive this test run, click the send to a friend link that you inserted and walk through the steps of forwarding the campaign to a friend.


How contacts share your campaign using the "Send to Friend" link

When a contact clicks the share link in your email, they are taken to a page that looks like this:



Their own name and email address will be auto-filled in the form and they can add the names and email addresses of up to 10 friends. While we default to show 3 recipient fields, the contact can click the “Add Recipient” icon to add more fields.

We will also show the contact a preview of the message that will be sent to their friends. This message cannot be edited by contacts or account users.

To complete the forward, the contact must fulfill the CAPTCHA requirement and click the “Forward” button. If the forward is a success, they will see this confirmation message:


We will then track that forward action in your campaign reports.


What "Friends" see when they receive a forwarded campaign

When a “Friend” receives a forwarded campaign, they will see a message in their inbox that looks like this:



The message clearly states the email address of the contact that forwarded the email, and the subject line of the email. A link to the campaign is also provided. Once the Friend clicks that link, they are taken to the shareable web version of your campaign where they can read the content, click links, and share the message with their friends via email, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+.


Reporting data available

Forwards are tracked for each campaign and automation email that uses both the “Send to a Friend” link and has link tracking enabled on the Reports page in your account. 

On the Report overview page for a campaign, we’ll show you the number of unique contacts that forwarded your email:


If you click on that “Forwards” bar, or, click “Forwards” from the left side menu in your campaign report, you will be taken to a page that looks like this:





Total forwards is the number of times your campaign was forwarded.

Unique forwards is the number of unique recipients of forwarded emails.

Did not forward is the total amount of sent campaigns minus the number of unique forwards.

Avg. recipients per forward is calculated from the total number of forwards divided by the number of unique forwards.

We will also list the contacts that forwarded your campaign, the date they forwarded, as well as the number of times they forwarded. 

We do not track the email addresses that the campaign was forwarded to.


Editing the "Send to a Friend" form

The “Send to a Friend” tool is list-based; each list has its own “Send to a Friend” form that can be modified by a user on the account.

To access the “Send to a Friend” form:

    Go to the Lists overview page and click the dropdown for the list:


    Select “Advanced Settings” from the dropdown:


    A List Settings modal will open. Click the “Public Pages” tab and click “Edit” next to “Forward to a Friend.”



You will be redirected to the “Forward to a Friend” settings page:



On this page, you can perform the following actions:

    Edit/Delete the Name of the page
    Edit the labels for the “Your Name,” “Your Email,” and “Recipients” fields:
    Edit the “Message Preview” label for the message that will be sent to “Friends.” Note: It is not possible to modify or edit the actual message in this preview.
    Edit the “Enter the value below” Captcha field
    Edit the text that appears in the Forward button
    Delete ActiveCampaign branding (note: Lite plans are not able to remove ActiveCampaign branding)
In addition, you can add the following blocks for your “Send to a Friend” form:

    Header
    Free form HTML
    Image
These items are located on the left side menu. To add any of those items to your form, simply click them. Once added you can drag them to your desired spot:




You can also choose a different theme and style option for your form, and set a desired form width:


Modifying the forward confirmation message page

The forward confirmation message can be accessed by clicking the “Forwards sent confirmation message” located on the Integration Settings > Forward to a Friend page:




On this page you perform the following actions:

    Edit/Delete the header
    Edit/Delete the confirmation message
    Delete ActiveCampaign branding (Lite accounts cannot delete branding)
In addition, you can add the following blocks for your confirmation message page:

    Header
    Free form HTML
    Image
These items are located on the left side menu. To add any of those items to your form, simply click them. Once added you can drag them to your desired spot:



You can also choose a different theme and style option for your page, and set a desired width:


In addition, you can choose to redirect contacts to a URL instead of showing them a confirmation message when they use the “Send to a Friend” link. To do so, click the “Redirect to URL Instead” option located on the top right of your screen:



Enter the desired URL into the URL field and click the “Save” button.