I've once used their free version back in 2001 I think and since then I've been occasionally getting some emails from them - I don't mind, it actually puts a smile on my face when I see an email from them and remember the early days when I was just starting out.
But unlike other times when I just skip reading their emails (cause I'm not using them anyways) I actually read today's email.
What stroke me was this:
|P.S. Earn $25 gifts cards - join our referral program and tell everyone you know about Zoomerang. If they sign up, you get our thanks and a reward!|
Now really - who in the world would start promoting them for some $25 gifts available only in the US?!
Well (to my "amazement") they do have an affiliate program ran by CJ offering something like $3 per lead and $60 per sale.
So why have both?
My take on this is simple.
Although an affiliate program was designed to stimulate customers to recommend the product (or at least that's how it was pushed some years ago) it became more of a parteners program these days and overly commercialized and complicated for just a simple recommendation. In this particular case of Zoomerang you would also have to sign up with CJ and so on.
But how about the average folk who just uses the service and has a few friends who might actually use it. Sure he would probably go ahead and tell them anyway if he likes his experience, but why not "thank" this person somehow.
And that's where the referral program comes into play. If someone of the people you told about us joins we'll thank you with a $25 gift certificate - it's quick, it's simple, it's convenient, and it does show some gratitude for the favor. Its purpose is to thank your customers for their extra business (other than paying for your service) unlike the affiliate program which purpose is more of paying you to get new customers.
I'm curious how many others implement a similar strategy into their promotion? Because honestly as obvious as it seems to me now - I've never thought about it and it's like a brilliant idea to me.
P.S. That's my first ever thread here so hopefully it'll be a good start (I've been reading the forum for a few years but never actually regeistered).