Why is SparkLoop the best Friendbuy alternative?

Smart newsletter operators and media brands see amazing results when they upgrade to SparkLoop from generic referral tools like Friendbuy...


faster referral growth


more affordable CPA


of hours (& headaches) saved

Inspire More upgraded from Friendbuy to SparkLoop.

Here’s their unfiltered opinion...

The ease of integration with Sailthru plus the SparkLoop team's unmatched expertise in newsletter referrals made going with SparkLoop a no-brainer. We tried both setting up a referral system in-house and leveraging another 3rd party tool, but SparkLoop has been by far easier and more intuitive.

Hunter Stensrud

CMO Inspire More

Unlock your growth with SparkLoop today

Which solution is a better fit for you?

SparkLoop is the essential suite of tools for newsletter growth, trusted by thousands of leading media brands and newsletters.

Friendbuy is an ecommerce-specific referral tool designed for mid- to large DTC and consumer brands with physical products.

Deep-dive feature comparison

How do SparkLoop and Friendbuy stack up where it matters? We asked publishers and newsletter operators to compare the two...

Easy, no-code integration

SparkLoop has a true, 2-click integration (and excellent relationships) with 15+ of the most popular email platforms. Plus the option to extend via our API and Zapier.

As a generic referral tool, Friendbuy has only basic import and export functionality with a few email platforms. For a reliable integration, you'll need to invest weeks of developer resources.

Referral features

With SparkLoop it's easy to run milestone referral programs, giveaways, or both. You can include a beautiful referral widget (including the subscriber's referral link) inside any email, or on any website.

Friendbuy has milestone referral program functionality but no giveaways. Due to the lack of direct ESP integrations, it isn't possible to reliably include a personalised referral link inside of your emails.

Reward fulfilment

SparkLoop makes fulfilling any kind of referral reward easy and fully automated. Including unique coupon codes, Zapier, digital goods and even merch/swag via our Printful integration.

Friendbuy has some basic options for reward fulfilment, including coupon codes and digital rewards. Fulfilling any kind of physical reward, like branded merch, will be an expensive and manual process.

Anti-fraud protection

SparkLoop has industry-leading, fully customisable anti-fraud protection, built specifically for newsletters. It is the only solution proven to work at scale — even with huge giveaways and millions of subscribers.

Friendbuy has in-built anti-fraud functionality. As an ecommerce referral tool, their anti-fraud isn't optimised for how newsletter subscribers cheat — so you'll need to supplement with ongoing manual work.

High-volume capacity

SparkLoop is the solution of choice for seven of the world's ten biggest newsletter referral programs. Our security, scalability and extensibility are industry-leading. With designated account managers and fully customisable white-labelling.

Friendbuy has proven to be effective for large ecommerce brands — probably the #1 option if you have a Shopify store with 8+ figures in annual revenue.


SparkLoop has tiered support from our team of newsletter growth experts. Including email, chat, and phone support. We also offer a concierge onboarding package for strategy support.

According to their website, Friendbuy offers standard and priority support. This includes phone support from an ecommerce specialist.

Additional Features

As well as the core referral software, SparkLoop includes a suite of other tools to boost your audience growth. Including our one-click subscribe tool, Upscribe widget, Partner Network and more.

As an ecommerce referral platform, Friendbuy has integrations with analytics platforms like Okendo and Portable to track the impact of referrals on your ecommerce sales.


There's a SparkLoop plan suitable for every newsletter operator. Starting at $16/month (paid annually) for up to 5'000 subscribers.

Friendbuy plans start at $249/month. On average, operators who upgrade to SparkLoop find that Friendbuy was costing them 3.7x more per referral.

The bottom line…

SparkLoop and Friendbuy are very different solutions for different challenges. So when is each tool right for the job?

  • The best option for newsletter audience growth
  • Perfect for high-volume newsletters and media brands
  • Not ideal for one-off waitlists
  • A great option for ecommerce referral programs
  • Requires significant developer resources
  • Not suitable for newsletter audience growth

Unlock your growth with SparkLoop today