We launched our app a few months ago with a subscription model. We allow users to sign up for premium content by subscribing using Apple’s IAP through RevenueCat. One growth strategy that we have to drive’s sign ups is referral codes. On instagram we have a network of affiliates that each have a referral code (i.e. TOM20) which they share with their followers. This code will allow their followers to sign up to a Runna subscription and get a introductory offer (i.e. 20% off first month). To handle this in the app we have a button on our subscription sign up screen (screenshot’s below). If they enter a valid code we will then display them a subscription product that has the introductory offer.
This was all going great, we have been live for a couple of months have gone through many app store reviews. However this week Apple have decided that they do not like and want us to remove it. Below is the response they keep giving:
In-app purchase gives developers the flexibility to support a variety of business models in their apps. However, your app unlocks or enables additional functionality with mechanisms other than the App Store, which is not appropriate under App Store Review Guideline 3.1.1.
Specifically, your app uses a referral code to unlock or enable a discounted subscription.
Are we fighting a losing battle? Or is our approach completely legal? We do not sell the affiliate codes and the only purpose of them is to incentivise users to sign up by offering them an introductory offer.
If this is against Apple policy what is the recommended way of using Apple Introductory Offer mechanism? Obviously we dont want to give an introductory offer to all of our users signing up for the first time.