SparkLoop’s best-in-class anti-fraud system ensures that only real, new subscribers count towards referral points. No cheating here!

But what about real people who sign up via a referral link… only to unsubscribe just hours (or minutes) later?

Do you want to reward your subscribers for these referrals?

If your answer is no, you’re in luck. SparkLoop makes it easy to “delay” counting a new subscriber as a valid referral until they’ve stayed subscribed to your email list for 1-30 days.

This means you can rest easy (and be generous), knowing that every reward you give out is for generating real, high-quality subscribers.

Perfect for when you’re running a referral program with really valuable rewards or giveaway prizes!

⚠️ IMPORTANT: Delaying referrals like this can confuse your audience, and—if you don’t know what you’re doing—hurt your referral performance. Before adding a delay, read through this article first.

When to use this feature

  • If you're offering high-value or cash rewards

  • If you notice that a high % of referrals are unsubscribing soon after sign-up

⚠️ If you do introduce a delay, set as short a time period as possible, ideally no more than a day.

How to add a time delay

The default setting in SparkLoop is for subscribers to get referral points each time someone they've referred joins your list.

To change that, follow these steps:

  1. In your SparkLoop account, go to Settings.

  2. Click on “Referral Conversion.”

  3. Turn the toggle switch to On. (It will turn bright pink.)

  4. Enter the number of days you want someone to remain subscribed before they count as a referral.

  5. Hit the Save button.

What happens when you change your settings

Once you add a delay to your referral conversions in SparkLoop, this is what the referral process looks like:

  1. Subscriber shares their referral link

  2. Subscriber's Friend signs up for your newsletter

  3. In SparkLoop, this Friend is marked as PENDING

  4. SparkLoop waits the number of days you want new subscribers to remain subscribed before being counted as referrals

  5. Friend is marked as VERIFIED

  6. Friend is counted as a referral for Subscriber.

Verifying pending referrals

In SparkLoop, it is easy to view your pending referrals list. You can also mark any PENDING referrals as VERIFIED manually.

Go to Subscribers > Click on Pending > Verify or reject subscribers

You can also check the status of your subscribers in your ESP. The RH_ISREF custom field will be set to a value of PENDING for subscribers who are not yet verified.

⚠️ Your subscribers will not be able to see how many pending referrals they have.

Changing the verification window

During your campaign, you may want to change the time window.

If your verification time period is 7 days, for instance, and you want to reduce it to 2 days, subscribers who have already been on the list for over 2 days will automatically be verified.

On the other hand, if you increase the verification window, then all subscribers will be required to meet the new timeline before being verified.

The change can take up to 24 hours to be reflected in SparkLoop and your ESP.

Will this impact my giveaways?

In short, yes.

If you’ve introduced a delay in verifying referrals, this will become the default option for your SparkLoop campaign, including any giveaways that you run.

It is important to remember that pending referrals do not count for points in a giveaway.

Which is why we recommend either manually verifying any pending subscribers before drawing the giveaway winner, or waiting N+1 days after the giveaway, N being the number of days the referral needs to stay subscribed to your newsletter.

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