Student Referrals

This article gives an overview of student referrals. It reviews what the student referral program is and how to add and manage a student referral program in your school. It also provides an oversight of the student experience.


School owners can set up a student referral program in their school to help grow their audience and increase sales. Student referral programs provide an opportunity for students to refer your products to their friends and community with a unique referral link—and when they do so, both the friend and the student will receive a reward discount.

In a student referral program, the key users are:

  • Creator - The school owner who is selling content on Teachable
  • Referrer - Existing school student who is referring prospective students
  • Friend - Prospective student who is receiving a referral link from a referrer

When a friend redeems a purchase using a referral link:

  • The friend receives a discount on that purchase
  • The referrer receives a discount which can be applied at their next purchase within that same school

TIP: For more tips and strategies on using student referral programs to increase your school revenue and grow your audience, check out the Teachable blog.

Set up a referral program

To set up a student referral program:

  1. Navigate to the Site tab of your school admin and click the Referrals tab.
  2. Click the Set up student referrals
  3. In the popup window, fill out the following fields to set up the referrer award:
    1. Coupon Type - Select if you would like the referrer award to be applicable to All Products, Courses, Coaching, or Bundles.
    2. Referral discount (percent) - Enter a whole number between 1 and 100. This is the percentage discount that the student referrer will receive on their next purchase in your school.
    3. How many rewards can the referrer earn? - Enter any whole number greater than 0. This is the amount of times a referrer can earn a reward. The referrer receives a discount for a future purchase each time their link is redeemed by a friend, up until the maximum noted here. 
  4. Click Next, then fill out the following field(s) to set up the friend award:
    1. Coupon Type - Select if you would like the friend award to be applicable to All Products, Courses, Coaching, or Bundles
    2. Friend discount (percent) - Enter a whole number between 1 and 100. This is the percentage discount that the friend receives on their purchase when they use a referral link.
  5. Click Next, then fill out the following field(s) to customize the program details. The program headline and description will be displayed on the referral block that you add to your curriculum.customize_program_details.jpg
    1. Headline - The main title/header of the referral block.
    2. Description - Enter in a few lines to describe the referral program to your students.
    3. Website - Enter the URL you want your referrers to share with their friends. Once your program is created, student referrers can find their individual referral links (complete with their unique referral code) in the Refer a friend tab of their user profile. Examples of URLs you can use as a referral link include:
      1. School homepage URL—this way, friends can see all of your available products and choose one to enroll in. Learn more about how to copy your school homepage URL.
      2. A specific product sales page—you can have your students direct their friends to a specific product sales page to encourage sales for that product. Learn more about how to copy a specific sales page URL.
      3. A specific product checkout page—your students can direct their friends directly to a specific product checkout page, where the friends just need to enter in their payment details to purchase. Learn more about how to copy a specific checkout page URL.
      4. An external landing page—if you use external landing pages (i.e., any page not created on Teachable), you can use them as referral links as long as checkout is taking place on Teachable.
  6. Click Publish.

Once complete, the program will be visible in the Program Summary section of your Site > Referrals

Edit or delete a program

To edit the details of a student referral program:

  1. In the Program Summary section of the Site > Referrals page, click the Edit button next to the referral program details.
  2. In the popup window, you can edit the program Headline, Description, and Website fields.
  3. Click Publish to save your changes.


The coupon types, referral discount amount, friend discount amount, and number of rewards the referrer can earn cannot be edited. To change any of these details in your student referral program, you can delete the program and create a new one.

To delete a student referral program:

  1. In the Program Summary section of the Site > Referrals page, click the Delete icon next to the referral program details.
  2. In the popup window, click Delete to confirm.


NOTE: When you delete a student referral program, students will no longer be able to refer their friends for new purchases (their referral link will no longer work). However, all earned rewards remain active. This means that if a referrer has already earned a discount for referring a friend, the referrer will still be able to redeem that reward on their next purchase in your school.

Add a referral block to your curriculum

Once you create a student referral program, you’ll want to share the details of the program with your existing students so that they can start referring their friends. To do so, you can add a referral block to the curriculum of a course.

You can add a referral block to any course lecture. To do so:

  1. Select a course from your admin Courses menu.
  2. Navigate to the Curriculum tab of that course.
  3. Click into a specific lecture.
  4. From the lecture side menu, click Add Referral Block. This will populate a preview page of the referral block.
  5. Click the Add referral button at the bottom of the preview to add the block to the lecture.add_referral_block.gif

Once added to your lecture page, you can drag and drop the referral block to adjust the block’s placement on the lecture page.drag_and_drop_blocks.gif

The referral block’s headline and description are automatically populated with the program details entered during the referral program setup. You can edit these details at any time.

The button on the referral block links the student to the Refer a friend tab of their user profile, which explains the program for your students in more detail. Learn more about the student experience below.referral_block_breadown.jpg

Track referral sales

There are two types of sales associated with the student referral program:

  • Purchases made by the friend, with a referral link
  • Purchases made by the referrer, using their earned reward discount after referring a friend

Both of these transaction types can be tracked directly from the Site > Referral tab in the Referral transactions section. (This section will only be visible once a referral sale has been made.)

In this section, you can see how many total referral sales have been made, as well as how much has been earned in

You can also track referral sales from your Sales > Transactions menu. In the Offer Type column, sales made as a part of your referral program will be listed as a "referral" offer. Additionally, there is an Offer Type filter you can use to filter the list of all of your sales for referral sales. Learn more about viewing your sales and transaction history.

User management

School owners can view details about their students’ referrals from their user profiles.

To view a student’s profile information:

  1. Navigate to the Users > Students section of your school admin menu.
  2. Select a specific student from your student list.
  3. Click the Information tab of their user profile.

In the Referrals section, you can view the following details:

  • Referral code - that student’s unique referral code
  • Referral link- that student’s unique referral link
  • Number of referrals - the amount of times the student has successfully referred a friend to make a purchase
  • Gross referral revenue - the total amount of revenue (in USD) generated by sales made with the student’s referral code
  • Referred by - if the student was originally referred by another student, it will list the name of the student who referred them
  • Referral program status - Active (if you currently have a student referral program) or Disabled (if you have deleted your student referral program)student-info-referrals.jpg

Student referrer experience

If you have created a student referral program, all students enrolled in your school have a Refer a friend tab in their profile settings (accessible via their profile icon in the top right corner of any school pages).refer_a_friend_tab.jpg

The "Learn More" button in the referral block will also navigate any interested students directly to this Refer a friend tab so that they can learn more about the referral program.learn_more_button.gif

In the top section of the Refer a friend tab is the student referral link. This is the student’s unique referral link that contains their referral code. The referral link is created using the URL entered in the Website field during program creation.

Student referrers can copy their referral link by clicking the Copy URL button. Once they copy the URL, they can share it with friends.copy_URL_button.jpg

In the bottom section of the Refer a friend tab, students will see any earned rewards they have. A student will earn a reward once a friend completes a purchase using their referral link.

Once a student earns a reward, there will be a new reward code they can use to redeem a discount on their next purchase within the school. To redeem their earned discount, they will copy the code and paste it in the Add Coupon Code field of the Order Summary section of the checkout page when purchasing a product.earned_reward-refer_a_friend_tab.jpg

Friend experience

A friend is the user who is being referred to your products. Once a friend receives a referral link from an existing student, they can navigate to the checkout page of the product they are purchasing.

The discount will automatically be applied to the cost as long as they are using the referral link correctly. The friend can fill out the rest of the checkout page to complete their purchase.discount_automatically_applied.jpg

Referral link attribution

Referral links track sales using “cookies”. On Teachable, a cookie is created whenever a user clicks a referral link, regardless of whether or not they purchase the product at that moment. The referral link cookie is valid for 30 days, or until the user's browser cache is cleared.

In practical terms, this means that even if a friend clicks an referrer’s link, leaves the site, and returns to purchase later—the referrer will still earn a reward for the sale (as long as the friend is on the same device and browser, has not cleared their cache, and is within the cookie period).

If there are multiple referrers that are providing their link to the same friend, the attribution will go to the referrer that most recently provided their link to the friend (i.e. last-touch attribution). This is because cookies can overwrite each other, and even if there is a pre-existing cookie that has not expired—a newly created cookie will take precedence.

If a sale was not attributed to a referrer, it is not possible to retroactively attribute the reward to the referrer.

Other considerations

  • When a referral link is used to purchase a subscription or payment plan, the discount will apply to all payments. (For example, if you set the Referral discount or Friend discount at 20%, and the referrer or friend uses their discount to purchase a monthly subscription in your school, they will receive that 20% discount on each month’s payment.)
  • Referral links can be used as long as the referral program is active. Each time a referral link is used, the friend will receive the Friend discount. The referrer will receive the Referral discount amount each time the link is used, up until the maximum amount set during program creation.
  • The friend reward can only be redeemed by people who do not have accounts in your school. If an existing student tries to use a referral link for a friend reward, the discount will not be applied at checkout.

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