In April of 2012, Referly launched and created Customer Acquisition as a Service. Now, Referly takes its customer acquisition abilities to the developer world with the announcement of the Referly API.
"The Referly API enables [businesses] to quickly and painlessly create a referral program for your online business." Businesses can award "brand champions"
based on the company's own criteria (e.g. "a signup, a sale, or something else entirely.")
Customers are added to the Referly program by entering an e-mail address (to track account balances and promoted products). Referly creates a link that customers can send to their referrals. The Referly link tracks where the action originated and if the reward criteria was met. If the criteria was met, the Referly API triggers a deposit into the appropriate "brand champion" PayPal account.
The Referly API utilizes a REST protocol and JSON data format. Sample Code is currently available in PHP, with Ruby and Python to come in the near future.
In the few months of its existence, Referly has already developed a robust partner community. From sporting goods and children's cloths, to jewelry and consumer electronics; Referly customer acquisition programs are available in over twenty categories spanning over 1000 brands. Allowing new brands to create programs directly from their website or application should expand this reach even further, and gain the attraction of new businesses as well as consumer brand advocates. API access if free during the Beta period. Developers can sign up here.