Referrals, or refer-a-friend, is the mechanism by which you can have email addresses identified as potential new recipients
in the system. Referrals can be created and managed entirely within the Symphonie website, or you can do much of the processing from within this API. The
basic idea of the referral process is that a current, existing recipient receives an email with a link to the referral page. Symphonie ships with
default pages, but they are also easy to customize to your liking. The page can also be completely out of the Symphonie system, hosted by your
own website. In that case you can use this API to first check the results provided by your input fields, and then push that data into the database.
The API includes three functions. One to check the data provided by a referrer to see if the email addresses are valid, are not already subscribed, and
several other checks. The valid recipients can then be passed to the create function which will add them as referred recipients into the database. They are
not added as new recipients. The person must be added to the system using some other mechanism in order to be a recipient in the system. That could
be through your regular sign-up page, through another API call to create recipients, etc.
Once a recipient enters the system through one of the normal channels, the referrer will then get 'credit' for the referral. The list of people referred
by a member can be seen with the 'get' function. This shows all the referrals for a recipient and whether those referred people have signed up. It can also
be used to see all referrals in the system.
A referral program is a way that you can grow your list organically, by leveraging the referral power of your existing recipients. While it can be a
powerful motivator to have a friend suggest sites to join, there is a potential legal issue if the “friend” is sent an email from your Symphonie system.
Since the “friend” has not taken any steps to opt-in to receive emails, the introductory email requesting they join the list is unsolicited. Many
legal departments have looked at this, and the penalties involved for sending unsolicited emails, and decided it would be unwise to have the system
send the email invitation. Instead the strategy is often to encourage the referrers to contact their friends and suggest they join, but have them do
it through their own email account (or social program or phone call or whatever), not through an email sent from your Symphonie system.
These API calls can be used to adds recipients as referred and optionally send a document from the system to the referrer recipients. We don't
recommend that you do this, but the functionality is there, should you feel it is worth the legal risks.