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Terrific Tools

Three reasons I love tools like SparkLoop.

  Gregg Blanchard     August 17, 2021    

My career has been spent at small businesses. Up until about 5 years ago, the largest company I'd ever worked for had a whopping total of about 20 employees.

In other words, I get what it means to be scrappy and short on the resources that larger companies enjoy and sometimes (gasp) take for granted.

But that doesn't mean I don't follow the biggest players doing the coolest stuff with teams that are 100x times larger than mine. Yet, that yearning for inspiration sometimes leaves me frustrated that they can spin up things that me and my couch-cushion marketing budget can only dream of.


Which is exactly why I love email tools like SparkLoop. I've seen a handful of newsletters - BIG newsletters, mind you - offer referral programs over the years. You know those blocks in the footer:

Share [Newsletter Name] with your friends and have a chance to win [awesome prize]!

But again, you wanna build that in-house? And avoid bogus emails or folks trying to game the system? And have it work seamlessly with your ESP? That's probably a small group of brands who can justify doing something like that. I know that because 7-8 years ago I tried to build my own and it was abused...all...the...time.

But the thing was, it also worked really, really well despite the major issues that eventually forced me to close it.

Which leads me to the three reasons I love tools like this.

First, it takes something that works amazingly well for big brands and simply gives other folks the opportunity to do the same. I'm sure some pitch deck would call this "democratizing email referral programs" or something, but I just like it when your ability to get the most out of email doesn't depend on the scale at which your company wants to operate.

Second, it's a solution more than a platform. Yes, there are lots of settings within your account, but it's a plug-and-play tool rather than a box of Ikea-like parts you've gotta have the skills to assemble after you buy. Those settings are simply there to allow you to optimize or improve your setup. This is something I feel really strongly about and, now that I'm writing more, will likely be talking about more soon.

Third, they embrace both of those things. As a marketing guy, sometimes I like to shy away from the true source of my product inspiration and pretend that I gazed into the stary heavens one night and - BAM! - the idea hit me (and only me). But in this case, that inspiration is what led folks to the tool. So why not embrace that and make the aspiration - "Man, I wish I could do a referral system like Morning Brew" - the central message. I really do love this.

Nice work, SparkLoop.

Love the product, love your marketing, and am excited to see where tools like yours go from here.