Reward friend referrals with instant rewards

With the out-of-box functionality of the Friend referral module, you can define a referral system that rewards referrers with bonus points upon the first purchase of the friend they invited to join the loyalty program. However, there might be cases, when instead of points, you may want to reward the referrer with a coupon or any other type of instant benefit. This tutorial guides you through the steps of using the Workflows functionality, the Rewards and Custom events modules, and the Events API endpoint to introduce this mechanism in your loyalty program.


Friend referral module

If you haven’t used the Friend referral module in your loyalty program yet, please contact us through Service Desk to enable it and set up the basic configuration for you. This is essential, as the Friend referral module is the one that establishes the relationship between the referee and referrer through the built-in ‘Referrer’ attribute of the customer entity.

Referral tracking system

Also, make sure you have implemented a tracking mechanism in your website environment that is capable of handling invitations and recognizing customers as referrers and referees.

1. Assign the referrer to the referred customer

First, you need to let Antavo know that a customer joined the program through a member’s invitation. To do so, populate the customer ID in the ‘Referrer’ attribute of the Optin event that enrolls the invited friend to the program. If your developer team needs further information on how to use Antavo’s Events API to send the Optin event, check out our documentation here

2. Configure the instant reward

The instant reward that referrers will earn should be configured as a reward, using the Rewards module. In case you want to reuse a previously added reward as a referrer reward, you can skip this step.

A new reward can be created in the UI by clicking on ‘Create a new reward’, under ‘Rewards’. 

You can choose any of the reward types according to your needs, you can find the steps of the configuration of each reward type in our user manual.

We recommend setting the value of the ‘Points’ field to '0', this helps to ensure that no points will be deducted from the referrer’s balance when they earn the reward.

You may want to hide the reward from the list of regular rewards claimable for points and promote this benefit on the membership site elsewhere. In this case, you can tick the ‘Hidden’ checkbox under the ‘Mechanics’ section, therefore the dedicated Display API endpoint will not return this item when you query the claimable rewards.

Also, you have the choice to keep the reward item appearing among all other rewards, still making it unavailable to claim by restricting it to a segment that no customer is part of.
You can create the segment through the ’Create segment' option of the ‘Customer Insights’ menu. Add ‘_id not exist’ as the segment filter which defines the empty segment.

Select the newly created segment in the ‘Segments’ field of the ‘Mechanics’ section of the reward editor. The reward that is restricted to an empty segment will always appear unclaimable for every member. Don’t forget the leave the ‘Display only for selected segments’ checkbox empty and add a segment restriction message so that the Display API endpoint will provide all the information you need when designing your membership site.

3. Define referral custom event

The next thing to do is to use the Custom events module to define the event that will trigger the assignment of the instant reward to the referrer.

A new event can be created by clicking on ‘Create a new custom event’ under ‘Custom events’. 

When creating the event, please make sure to keep the value of the ‘Points’ field ‘0’ to ensure no points are added to the referrer’s point balance when the event is registered.

You can find further information about the configuration of customer events in our user manual.

4. Set up the workflows

Referral registration workflow

The goal of this workflow is to have the referral custom event registered in the referrer customer’s Events history when their friend completes the first purchase.

Start by adding the 'Event' trigger to the canvas, which will be a ‘Checkout’ or ‘Checkout accept’ event, depending on whether you handle a return period for purchases or not.

To the ‘action’ (lower) branch of the trigger node, connect a ‘Customer attributes’ filter.

The following customer parameters can filter referees making their first purchase:

  • Attribute: checkout_count Operator: equals to Value: 1

  • Attribute: referrer Operator: exist

Make sure you connect them with the ‘AND’ relation so that both parameter filters will apply.

On the ‘success’ (upper) branch of the filter, connect a ‘Trigger event’ action node.

Configure the action node as follows:

  • Customer: {customer.referrer} - this implies that the event will be registered for the referrer of the customer making the purchase

  • Action: select the customer event defined in step 3.

Referral reward assignment workflow

The second workflow will use the event registered at the end of the first workflow as the starting trigger event. Drop the 'Event' trigger node to the canvas and select the custom event (defined in step 3) from the dropdown list.

Connect a ‘Reward claim’ action to the action (lower) branch of the event trigger. In this node, you can select the reward (configured in step 2) you want to assign to the referrer. Make sure you enable the ‘Give this reward for free’ option, especially if the selected reward is available in the program to claim for points as well. Otherwise, the number of points configured in the ‘Points’ field in the Reward editor will be deducted from the referrer’s point balance.

If you use marketing automation to send loyalty program notifications, you can trigger an email by adding a ‘Trigger Marketing Communication’ action at the end of the workflow to let the referrer know that they have unlocked a reward through a successful referral.

Don’t forget to save and activate both of the configured workflows. If you need a deep dive into workflows, read our articles here.

5. Test the referral reward flow

After you have added the referrer ID to the Optin event and defined all the mechanics in the Backoffice, you can start testing.

You should send two API events, both to be registered in the Events history of a referred test customer.

  • An Optin event with having the ‘Referrer’ field populated with the ID of the referrer test customer.

  • A Checkout/Checkout accept event to register the completed purchase.

If the mechanism is configured properly, you should find the customer ID of the referrer customer in the ‘Referrer’ attribute of the Optin event in the Events history of the referred customer. Also, the Checkout/Checkout accept event should appear in the history.

Open the Event history of the referrer test customer. If the flow is configured properly, you will see a custom event and a Reward event with the name of the reward right after the custom event as a result of the successful referral. Both events should be registered with 0 point value.

Verify the marketing communication email’s successful delivery by checking the referrer test customer’s email history in your newsletter provider and its mailbox.


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