Use the 'send to a friend' link in your campaigns

Using the 'Send to a friend' link is one of the many ways to measure the engagement of your contacts and assess how valuable and/or shareable your content is.

In this article, we will discuss:

What is the purpose of the 'Send to a friend' link?

'Send to a friend' is a personalised link that you can add to each campaign or email (in an automation). By adding this link, you encourage your contacts to share the email with friends and/or colleagues. When the contact clicks on the link, they are taken to a page where they can enter the email addresses and names of up to 10 'friends'. After filling in the required information, the contact clicks 'Forward' and the web version of your email is sent to the specified contacts. You can then see in your reports how many times the campaign has been forwarded.


The benefits of using the 'Send to a friend' link

By using the link, you can determine how shareable your content is. You can see how many contacts forward your content and how often they do so.

If the contact does not use the link and instead uses their own 'forward' button in the email system to forward the email, then:

  • The forwarding action cannot be tracked.
  • The unsubscribes made by the 'friends' are linked to the original contact.
  • The layout of the email may be distorted when displayed to the 'friends'. 

How to add the link to your email?

To add the link to the email within the email designer, follow these steps:

  1. Create a campaign and select 'email designer' as the template type.


  2. Choose a campaign template and click in the relevant block where you want to place the link.

  3. Click on 'Merge tags'.


  4. Select 'Message' and choose 'Send to friend link'.


  5. Next, the tag will be added to your email.


    When you send the email, the 'Send to friend' link will appear.

    To ensure that the 'Send to friend' link works, it is important to check if 'Link tracking' is enabled and then send the email to a test list. Subsequently, forward the email to a friend using the link.



What does a contact need to do to forward the email to a friend?

When a contact clicks on the link, they will be redirected to a page that looks like this:


The contact's own name and email address will be automatically filled in the form, and they can then add the names and email addresses of up to 10 friends. This can be done by clicking on the icon (+).

A preview of the exact message that will be sent to the friends is shown. This message cannot be edited by contacts or account users.

To complete the forwarding, the contact must meet the captcha requirement and click on 'Forward'. If the forwarding is successful, a confirmation will be displayed:


After this action, the forwarding action can be viewed in the campaign/email report.

What will the forwarded message look like?

When a friend receives a forwarded campaign, the message will appear in the mailbox as follows:


The message clearly states (omitted in the image above) the email address of the contact person who forwarded the email and the subject line of the email. There is also a link to the campaign. Once the friend clicks on that link, they will be directed to the web version of your campaign.


Forwarding via the 'Send to a friend' link is tracked if you have link tracking enabled. On the reporting page of your campaign or automation email, the number of unique contacts that have forwarded your email will be displayed: 


If you click on the 'forwards' bar (or on forwards in the menu on the left), you will be directed to the following page:


  • Total forwards is the number of times your campaign has been forwarded.
  • Unique forwards is the number of unique recipients of the forwarded email.
  • Did not forward is the total number of sent campaigns minus the number of unique forwarding actions.
  • Avg. recipients per forward is calculated based on the number of forwards divided by the number of unique forwards.

You can see who forwarded the campaign, the date of forwarding, and the number of times they forwarded the campaign. It is not tracked who the campaign is forwarded to.


How to edit the form?

The 'Send to a friend' link is linked to a list. Each list has its own 'Send to a friend' form, and this can also be customised per list.

If you want to edit this form, follow these steps:

  1. Go to 'Contacts' and then choose 'Lists'.
  2. Choose the relevant list and click on 'Advanced settings'.


  3. In the pop-up screen, select 'Public pages' and click on 'Edit' next to 'Send to a friend'.


    You will then be directed to the following page:edit_form.pngIf you want to make a modification, click on 'Edit' and then you can change the respective field on the left under 'Create your page':


    In addition to modifying existing fields, you can also add the following blocks by clicking on them and then dragging them to the appropriate location:
    • Header
    • Free HTML form
    • Image

      Please note: it is not possible to modify the text in the preview message.


      You can also choose a different 'Theme & Style options' and set a desired form width


How do you edit the confirmation email?

You can customise the confirmation email by clicking on 'Forwards sent confirmation message':


The message can be edited in the same way as the form. From a Plus account, you can also disable the ActiveCampaign branding.

It is also possible to redirect contacts to a URL instead of displaying the confirmation message. To do this, click on the 'Redirect to URL' option


You then enter the desired URL and click 'Save':






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