Posted by MMK on October 20, 2003 at 22:26 [126.96.36.199]
In Reply to: Referral: GOOD or BAD??? posted by xp on October 20, 2003 at 21:13
If you are selling something, even if it's something people want, even if it's good/fair value, you are always going to get criticism, you'll get criticism about any marketing/advertising/referreral methods you use. You'll get criticism about just about anything you can. It should be pretty obvious to anyone who frequents any message board or uses an e-list, that there are always people who like to complain. Hell, they complain about things that are free, and freely given. You could probably send them a gift pack from your business, and they would bitch about it. A lot of people don't like to see 'ads' and they don't like to see 'referrals' in particular. The reality is though, that many/most of their favorite products and places, they would never have heard about if it weren't for those processes. Even if they think they heard about something 'word of mouth' odds are, the person they heard it from, heard it from somewhere, that originated, with some form of 'advertising'. All the people using this forum, found out about it -somehow- the knowledge didn't just telepathically form in their brain. I think basically if you have a good product/products, fair prices, and try to use common sense and good judgement on when, how, and how often to advertise, don't worry too much about the nay-sayers. If you're on the fence about it, it's either because you are doing something business wise you don't feel great about, so it's probably not a great idea, or you're letting someone elses negativity influence you. If you can honestly feel in your gut/heart that you're business practices are fair/sound, don't sweat the few trolling complainers. Personally, I think referral systems can work well, most people who get a money through referring someone elses product, get a very small amount, if anything, for the referral. Usually people only refer products they like, from companies they like, even if they are getting a fee for it. I refer people, via the referral system for alt.com for instance, because I think it's a kick-ass service, and a service I use, not because I make a few cents off it if someone signs up. I think if you find the people who are signing up for your referral program are also your customers, and satisfied ones, then your referral program is a-ok, if they're mass spamming trying to make a few bucks, and they've never bought from you personally, it probably could use some tweaking - that's going to do the opposite, and give you a bad name instead.
Please feel free to write me personally if you're interested in doing any ethical and good business cross-promotion.
Best of luck. (It's a hard world to make a living in sometimes)
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