Viral Loops vs Prefinery

Prefinery is a powerful and customizable Viral Loops alternative that lets you build a referral program right into your product.

From startups to the Fortune 500
We power the world's most successful referral programs.

TL;DR;

Summary

When should you choose Viral Loops, and when Prefinery?

  • Prefinery is built to handle the largest referral programs with massive email lists.
  • Prefinery is hyper-customizable and 100% unbranded for any subscription plan.
  • Prefinery allows you to run unlimited campaigns.
  • Prefinery doesn't lock features away from your campaign - select "pre-launch waitlist" type and get everything, or contact us to switch your campaign from "refer-a-friend" type to that.
  • Prefinery offers a fully-featured form supporting custom field types, not just single-line text inputs.
  • Prefinery provides localization features to support any language.
  • Prefinery allows you to run custom drip campaigns using unlimited email automation setups.
  • Prefinery has pre-launch & beta management features not offered elsewhere.
  • Prefinery provides more comprehensive and actionable insights about your data.
  • Prefinery has the most robust API among everybody else.
  • Prefinery has multi-member support with no cap on the number of team members.
  • Prefinery works for any business size and type due to its scalability and reliability coming from more than 14 years of experience successfully handling massive campaigns.
  • Prefinery takes data privacy and security seriously.
  • Viral Loops sets you up with campaign templates with features included/removed depending on what you'll use it for, but you cannot switch to another template once it's created.
  • Viral Loops offers you a simple, no frills landing page you can use if you don't have a website.
  • Viral Loops supports a few more direct integrations, without having to go through Zapier.

Ease of Use

Prefinery is user-friendly for both beginners and experienced developers.

Both greet you with the campaign creation wizard right after you signup, but one makes everything easier for you than the other. We and our customers think it's Prefinery, but don't take our word for it — we encourage you to try both.

Viral Loops's entire campaign configuration is through their wizard, so if you want to modify anything on the campaign you just get brought back to the wizard. Setting up a campaign seems quicker - pick a campaign template, go through the setup steps - but it assumes you know what you're doing from the start because you can't switch to a different template once your campaign is created, and some features may not be available on your chosen template.

With Prefinery, the wizard requires the bare minimum information to set up your whole campaign dashboard according to your specs. There is a short checklist to help guide you afterwards which you can refer to at any time, but you are not forced to follow it. This makes it easy for you to find what you are looking for.

We believe that you should be able set up a campaign your way, not how we think you should.

Customization

Prefinery allows greater customization.

With Prefinery's signup form you can collect more than just a name and an email address from your participants. You can collect any type of information with different input types like dropdowns, radio buttons, checkboxes, and scales. You also get a what-you-see-is-what-you-get (WYSIWYG) form builder to create a 100% customizable form in your own design and language. You can add images, videos, custom HTML, CSS, and JavaScript to your form. When the form is submitted, you can set what happens to the participant, such as redirect the person to your own custom page, show a message, etc.

On the other hand, Viral Loops's signup form supports very limited customization, including only colors and font sizes. You can't rearrange the layout, nor add media nor custom code. The restrictions are the same with the referral page or participant dashboard (sharing status page), and the emails.

When it comes to rewards, Prefinery supports three reward types. You can automatically set emails to be sent on earned rewards, auto-invite a participant to your beta, give them points to move up the waitlist/leaderboard, and even only trigger the reward on a custom event. Viral Loops can only trigger rewards based on # of referrals - that's it.

Prefinery doesn't offer hosted landing pages, but does integrate with most landing page providers. Viral Loops does offer simple landing pages; however, they're no where near as full-featured as what is offered by dedicated landing page providers.

Prefinery Viral Loops

Advanced Signup Form Builder

Advanced input types (dropdowns, radio buttons, checkboxes) and embed images and video.

Custom Signup Form HTML & CSS

Add custom HTML to your signup form, some CSS to make the form match the rest of your page, or some JavaScript for custom functionality.

Your Language

Participant-facing copy can be authored in the language of your choice.

Branded Referral Links

Each participant receives a referral link, which uses your domain.

Vanity Referral Codes

Use the person's name or email address to create unique, memorable referral codes like jason997 instead of xQ7f2.

Customizable Rewards

Send emails for earned rewards, give points, auto-invite, and trigger rewards on custom events.

Branding

You paid for it. Prefinery easily makes it your own.

When it comes to branding, Prefinery — right out the box — will not have any kind of branding anywhere in your campaign for any of our paid plans.

With Viral Loops on the other hand, be prepared to shell out upwards of $200+ per month just to get their name off your campaign.

Email Automation

Create unlimited email automations with Prefinery.

Using Prefinery you can create unlimited email automation setups based on triggers, making Prefinery more like a drip-style email service. Prefinery's behavior-triggered emails can be used to promote your campaign and keep users highly engaged.

You can directly edit the email HTML, if that's your thing, but we make it more convenient with fully customizable email layouts by using an easy, visual, block-based editor that you can use to create beautiful emails from scratch. Or, you can customize one of Prefinery's built-in templates.

Viral Loops only gives you a fixed set of emails, where you can edit the subject or body with very few personalization merge tags/variables you can use, and you cannot add more emails. This means you can't build complex drip campaigns, like send email 3 days after the participant opts in. You're stuck with one template email structure and can't insert images. There's no layouts nor can you use your own custom HTML emails. No email analytics either.

Prefinery Viral Loops

Flexible Email Automation

Build behavior-driven, drip-style email campaigns that keep users highly engaged.

Customize The 'From' Email Address

Verify your domain by adding a DKIM key and emails will look as if they've been sent directly from you.

Custom SMTP Server

Optionally, send email through your own SMTP servers.

Double Opt-in

Optionally, require that users confirm their email address.

Email Analytics

View the open, click and bounce rates for your emails over time.

Visual Email Layout Builder

Easily build reusable email layouts with a visual, block-based editor.

Pre-launch & Beta Management

Prefinery offers additional features for pre-launch campaigns.

No other competitor offers specific features around running pre-launch or closed beta campaigns. With Prefinery, you can invite and send unique invitation codes to your participants. You can also choose from 4 different waitlist algorithms for how participants are ranked.

Prefinery Viral Loops

Advanced Waiting List Queues

4 waitlist algorithms to compute how participants are ranked based on their activity.

Gate Access & Deliver Invitation Codes

Gate access to your product and require that visitors first apply. Generating and delivering the invitation code is as simple as clicking a button.

Stateful User Flow

Track users from waitlist and beyond as they move through the flow from AppliedInvited/RejectedActive users.

Invite-a-Friend System

Let your active users invite their friends to your beta. You decide how many friends each user is allowed to invite. Similar to how Gmail launched back in the day.

Data Analytics

Prefinery provides better, actionable insights about your data.

Viral Loops offers basic analytics whereas Prefinery tracks more KPIs like opt-ins, referral source, conversion rate, email metrics, demographics and form responses.

Prefinery's participant table lets you search, sort and filter participant information by over 55 data points (and you can customize the columns in the table). No other competitor offers the ability to dig this deep into participant data. Once your list gets massive, you'll appreciate this even more. Viral Loops only provides a basic name/email search functionality.

Furthermore, accessing each participant's profile in Prefinery shows a ton of info, including their demographics, notes, email history, webhook history, referral history, etc. Viral Loops doesn't have individual participant profile pages.

Integrations

Viral Loops offers more direct integrations, but Prefinery's API is second to none.

Viral Loops supports more direct integrations, namely with Hubspot, Klaviyo, Active Campaign, Mailjet and Mixpanel.

Direct integration for other apps like Slack, Mailchimp, Google Analytics, Facebook Pixel, and Segment are supported by Prefinery as well as Viral Loops.

Both offer Zapier and webhooks integration which means you can also easily integrate Prefinery with any of the above.

When it comes to API, Prefinery's is the most robust in comparison to others. You'll have more integration options outside of Zapier, and can send/receive more data points.

Prefinery Viral Loops

REST API

A JSON-based REST API supporting more data points at a fraction of the price that Viral Loops charges for API access.

Webhooks

Sync data with your own servers.

JavaScript Code Injection

Paste 3rd party scripts into your campaign assets (signup form, referral page, etc.).

Zapier

Integrate with over 3,000+ popular web apps on Zapier.com.

Google Analytics

Facebook Pixel

Slack

Segment

Mailchimp

(via no-code integration)
(direct)

Klaviyo

(via no-code integration)
(direct)

Active Campaign

(via no-code integration)
(direct)

Mailjet

(via no-code integration)
(direct)

Mixpanel

(via no-code integration)
(direct)

Scalability & Reliability

Prefinery works for any business size and type.

Over the past 14 years Prefinery has smoothly handled HUGE campaigns, some with more than 500,000 participants. Many of our customers come from from competitors that just couldn't handle the load.

Prefinery has been around since 2008 — that's 14 years of experience — and was around years before any of our competitors.

Privacy & Security

Prefinery takes data privacy and security seriously.

Both Prefinery and Viral Loops have opt-in consent features requiring participants to agree to your terms when signing up, but only Prefinery actually records this on the participant's profile which you can reference as needed. Viral Loops forces you to use the same consent messaging across all campaigns, while Prefinery allows you to set them per campaign.

Prefinery was the first to offer GDPR compliance. Privacy, Security, and Cookie policies are duly published and our Data Processing Amendment includes the EU's SCCs (Standard Contractural Clauses). Everything is encrypted whether at rest or in transit. Prefinery doesn't use Google Analytics, Facebook Pixel, or other trackers when you visit our homepage or use Prefinery.

Viral Loops does not support multiple administrators. Prefinery provides it for free and with no limits on the number of team members. You can specify their privileges (role-based access control), require 2FA for all team members on account, and audit log of who did what and when for all changes to the campaign.

Prefinery respects you and your participants' privacy.

Prefinery Viral Loops

Respects Browser Do Not Track Setting

Observes your right not to be tracked and respects your browser's Do Not Track setting.

# of Spy Trackers Deployed on Homepage

The number of analytics, advertising, and other tracking scripts that are loaded when you visit the website.

0 2

SSL Labs' Rating

Rating, as reported by ssllabs.com, an independent company which scores web servers for their compliance to security standards.

A+ A

Team Management

Collaborate with your coworkers in an account that is centrally managed.

Role Based Access Control

Limit your teammate permissions by account functionality or data.

Two-factor Authentication (2FA)

Require an authentication code from your mobile device in addition to your account password.

Track Participant Opt-in Consent

Require signups to agree to your terms and we'll record their consent, including timestamp and IP address.

Privacy Shield Compliance

Self-certified to both the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield and Swiss-U.S. Privacy Shield frameworks.

GDPR and CCPA Compliance

Compliant with the General Data Protection Regulation and California Consumer Privacy Act.

Price

Pay for what matters most to you.

With Prefinery, your participants will continue to be able to sign up even if you've reached your participant count limit — no person will ever be turned away! While an unlimited number of people can submit your signup form, if you go over your limit you won't be able to view those additional subscribers until you upgrade your subscription.

With Viral Loops, submissions can still come in like with Prefinery, but you won't have access to your existing campaigns nor can you create new ones until you subscribe. You will need to subscribe to one of their plans in order to regain access.

Not only is Prefinery's per-participant cost cheaper at every tier, you also get all the features even at mid tier while Viral Loops locks you out of some features unless you subscribe to their high tier plan. Honestly, branding shouldn’t even be considered a feature nor should be a high-cost paywall.

Users/Participants Prefinery $/month Viral Loops $/month
1,000 $49 $49
2,000 $49 $99
3,000 $49 $99
4,000 $49 $119
5,000 $99 $119
10,000 $99 $179
25,000 $199 $299
25,001 - 1M $199 + overage fee hidden — must contact sales

Join 15,768 other businesses that have chosen Prefinery for a secure, customizable way to manage & grow their word-of-mouth referral programs.

Years
14
Campaigns
17k
Leads Collected
10M+

Unlimited free trial · No credit card required