How do you get referrals?

AndyAndy BicameralNew YorkRegistered Users Posts: 50,154 Major grins
edited October 14, 2006 in SmugMug Support
One SmugMugger with more referrals than he knows what to do with does this:
On the referral front, I've got it pretty well figured out at the forums. I just wait until someone starts a thread asking about hosting choices. Then, I try to provide a highly informational post about smugmug. I don't bash the other choices (in fact, I often suggest that people try several). I don't sell. I just let the features speak for themselves and the post will hopefully look helpful (thus credible) and not run afoul of the posting rules at the forum. Then, finally I make sure they know they can get a discount. And right now the closer is to get in before the prices rise. 99% of the time, nobody from any of the other service choices provides nearly as much useful information on the other services so the advantage goes to SmugMug.

Another thing you can do is make it really easy by putting your referral link in your bio, or elsewhere, on your page. Like this. And if you need the specific code, it looks like this:
I recommend SmugMug for photosharing.  If you'd like to sign up, use <a href="
http://www.smugmug.com/?referrer=YOURreferralCODE">this code and save  $5!</a>

You get your referral code from your control panel>user referrals.

As a reminder: constant pimping of your code on other forums can do more harm than good. Soft-sell approach works best. The reasons that are quoted above, are usually enough to get someone to look at SmugMug - and if you have your code in your sig, or on your website, then they'll have it! Pimping your code on other Photo sharing sites and/or their forums is a bad idea.

Who else has ideas? :ear

Comments

  • marlinspikemarlinspike Major grins Registered Users Posts: 2,095 Major grins
    edited January 5, 2006
    Whatever happened to referral awards?
    A while ago there was some talk about some pretty sweet rewards for people who rack up referrals. Granted I'm not one of those people, but did anything ever happen with that?
  • jfriendjfriend Scripting dude-volunteer Registered Users Posts: 8,097 Major grins
    edited January 5, 2006
    What to do with referrals?
    A while ago there was some talk about some pretty sweet rewards for people who rack up referrals. Granted I'm not one of those people, but did anything ever happen with that?

    So far, I know of two things you can do with referrals:

    1) Pay your own renewal fees.
    2) Gift a new account to someone (though I think this might have expired at the end of the year, not sure).

    As one of those with plenty of referral fees even after gifting several new accounts, I'd love to see more things to do with them.

    Things I've wanted to do with them:
    1. Upgrade my own class of service. Too late for me now since I already have a Pro account, but when I upgraded I expected the upgrade to use my referral fees and it hit my credit card instead.
    2. Gift someone else an update on their class of service.
    3. Pay for someone else's renewal (like someone I gifted an account to)
    4. Buy prints (I'd be OK with prints costing more than $ for $ in referrals, e.g. it takes $3 of referral fees for a $1 of prints since there is some real money involved in prints at EzPrints. Or referral fees can be used to buy a 50% discount on prints.
    5. Buy gift coupons for smugmug prints that I can give others (yeah, yeah, first we'd need coupons which lots of pros want, but once we have those, it would be nice to be able to buy them with referral bucks).
    --John
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  • AndyAndy Bicameral New YorkRegistered Users Posts: 50,154 Major grins
    edited January 5, 2006
    It's something that we'd love to do. And we've spent a lot of time on this already. No promises on if/when but we want to do it.

    Stay tuned!
  • marlinspikemarlinspike Major grins Registered Users Posts: 2,095 Major grins
    edited January 5, 2006
    jfriend wrote:
    So far, I know of two things you can do with referrals:

    1) Pay your own renewal fees.
    2) Gift a new account to someone (though I think this might have expired at the end of the year, not sure).

    As one of those with plenty of referral fees even after gifting several new accounts, I'd love to see more things to do with them.

    Things I've wanted to do with them:

    The thing I'm referring to was like an iPod and stuff like that. I think a mention on Letterman or Oprah was worth a Ferrari 430 or something like that.
    Richard
  • Mac WriteMac Write Major grins Registered Users Posts: 208 Major grins
    edited January 6, 2006
    jfriend, how many referrals do you have (if you don't mind me asking) and how do you get so many? I want to refer as many people to Smugmug as possible as they are one of the top services (counting for the wedding photographers who thing College(?) is better).
    My Photos | Use this referral code and get $5 off your first year of Smugmug! PIKZSgEQUVtu2 or just click here
    Get busy living or get busy dying
    --Stephen King
  • jfriendjfriend Scripting dude-volunteer Registered Users Posts: 8,097 Major grins
    edited January 6, 2006
    Referrals 101
    Mac Write wrote:
    jfriend, how many referrals do you have (if you don't mind me asking) and how do you get so many? I want to refer as many people to Smugmug as possible as they are one of the top services (counting for the wedding photographers who thing College(?) is better).

    I have significantly more than a hundred referrals in a little over a year. They come from three main sources:

    1) Friends and acquaintances who I tell about smugmug.
    2) People involved in the events that I shoot who learn about smugmug from me (school events, kid's sports teams and boy scouts/girl scouts).
    3) Online forums that I post in.

    The lion's share of the referrals come from people I don't know and haven't talked to directly who pick up my coupon code in online forums from something I've written there about smugmug. When I post about smugmug, I try to follow these guidelines:
    • Only post in response to a question. Others are out there campaigning or starting new threads to talk about smugmug. I don't think that works and many people won't like it.
    • Follow the rules of the forums you post in (many have rules about non-commercial, no advertising, solicitation, etc...).
    • No selling. I provide valuable information about Smugmug. It has so many things going for it that if I just give people lots of good facts about Smugmug and if I do it with a credible delivery, the features will speak for themselves. I think there are many threads where more people join smugmug simply becaues I provided better information about smugmug than anyone else in the thread did about competing services.
    • I try to be helpful. I only post in threads where someone is looking for an answer to some question related to photo sites and I always try to make my posts helpful to the question they are asking. Because of the referral program, there are often 2,3 or 4 people offering their smugmug coupon codes in the same thread. My goal is to have offered the most useful information to readers of the thread such that anyone ready to actually try out smugmug will think they should use my coupon code.
    • I explain that using the coupon code will get them a special deal and explain exactly how it works. I don't hide the fact that I get a service credit if they use my coupon code.
    • I don't talk bad about any of the other online services, but I do emphasize some of smugmug's strengths (unlimited storage, real support, print ordering, themes, dgrin, etc...). Since many services have free trial periods, I suggest that they pick a couple services they like and try them out. I know from all the people that have used my referral code that 9 out of 10 who try smugmug with my code stay, so I just need to get them to try it.
    • I tell people which services I researched and exactly why I chose smugmug over the other services I looked into when I was picking a photo site.
    • I tell people about dgrin and give them a link to check it out.
    • I tell people about [email protected] and tell them they can get a question answered anytime.
    • In the forums I post in, I'm usually considered a knowledgable source and have usually contributed many other useful and helpful posts (e.g. I don't just drop in to post about smugmug and then flit on somewhere else).
    • I offer a link to my galleries.
    • I offer to answer any further questions anyone else might have about smugmug either in the thread or via private email.
    That's about it.
    --John
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  • Mac WriteMac Write Major grins Registered Users Posts: 208 Major grins
    edited January 6, 2006
    I am working to become a Smugmug power user. What are some services (besides pbase) I should research so I have a un-biast opinion. Should I also review the free services (and I have .Mac as well). Like Yahoo!, Webshots (what else).

    Thanks. and over 100 referrals WOW. I was thinking of doing an article on why people who take lots of photos and use .Mac should move to Smugmug (one big problem is that iPhoto > .Mac homepage has a 45 photo limit. To get around this you either create mutliple .Mac photo galleries or export the photos and then upload them to .Mac and create the photo page (then you have unlimited photos).
    My Photos | Use this referral code and get $5 off your first year of Smugmug! PIKZSgEQUVtu2 or just click here
    Get busy living or get busy dying
    --Stephen King
  • AndyAndy Bicameral New YorkRegistered Users Posts: 50,154 Major grins
    edited January 6, 2006
    jfriend wrote:

    Things I've wanted to do with them:
    1. Upgrade my own class of service. Too late for me now since I already have a Pro account, but when I upgraded I expected the upgrade to use my referral fees and it hit my credit card instead.
    2. Gift someone else an update on their class of service.
    3. Pay for someone else's renewal (like someone I gifted an account to)
    4. Buy prints (I'd be OK with prints costing more than $ for $ in referrals, e.g. it takes $3 of referral fees for a $1 of prints since there is some real money involved in prints at EzPrints. Or referral fees can be used to buy a 50% discount on prints.
    5. Buy gift coupons for smugmug prints that I can give others (yeah, yeah, first we'd need coupons which lots of pros want, but once we have those, it would be nice to be able to buy them with referral bucks).

    Hi John - thanks for pointing these out - we get asked often about this. You are correct, ATM you can upgrade (if you upgrade, to any available level, your referrals will "pay" for your subscription automagically), and give gift subscriptions. Thanks for the other suggestions!
  • AndyAndy Bicameral New YorkRegistered Users Posts: 50,154 Major grins
    edited January 10, 2006
    Check out how Matt Saville gets his referrals!

    clap.gifclap.gif Nice Job, Matthew!
  • AndyAndy Bicameral New YorkRegistered Users Posts: 50,154 Major grins
    edited January 13, 2006
    I love John Friend's SmugMug Footer Trick works beautifully deal.gif
  • James SJames S Click....Click....BOOM!!! Registered Users Posts: 439 Major grins
    edited October 13, 2006
    Rather than starting a new thread for such a simple question I figured I would ask it here:

    I have had two referrals that came on August 23rd & 27th It still shows them in trial. I was under the understanding that smugmugs trial period was 30 days.

    Am I wrong?
  • AndyAndy Bicameral New YorkRegistered Users Posts: 50,154 Major grins
    edited October 13, 2006
    rex wrote:
    Rather than starting a new thread for such a simple question I figured I would ask it here:

    I have had two referrals that came on August 23rd & 27th It still shows them in trial. I was under the understanding that smugmugs trial period was 30 days.

    Am I wrong?
    SmugMug Trial is 14 days :D

    Please send a note to [email protected] with all the details, and we'll get you sorted. If the trials have converted, you'll get the credit thumb.gif
  • James SJames S Click....Click....BOOM!!! Registered Users Posts: 439 Major grins
    edited October 13, 2006
    Thanks Andy. I sent an e-mail
  • jfriendjfriend Scripting dude-volunteer Registered Users Posts: 8,097 Major grins
    edited October 14, 2006
    Referral reporting bug...
    rex wrote:
    Rather than starting a new thread for such a simple question I figured I would ask it here:

    I have had two referrals that came on August 23rd & 27th It still shows them in trial. I was under the understanding that smugmugs trial period was 30 days.

    Am I wrong?

    Andy, I think there must be some sort of bug in the referral reporting logic becaue I've got referrals with dates of August 10, September 7, 17, 20, 23 and 26th across my two accounts and they all still show status as "Trial", yet they're all older than 14 days. Others in that same time period show as "Closed" or "Credit" so it's not happening to all of them. I'll email the help desk like you suggested for Rex and report it as a bug.
    --John
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  • AndyAndy Bicameral New YorkRegistered Users Posts: 50,154 Major grins
    edited October 14, 2006
    jfriend wrote:
    Andy, I think there must be some sort of bug in the referral reporting logic becaue I've got referrals with dates of August 10, September 7, 17, 20, 23 and 26th across my two accounts and they all still show status as "Trial", yet they're all older than 14 days. Others in that same time period show as "Closed" or "Credit" so it's not happening to all of them. I'll email the help desk like you suggested for Rex and report it as a bug.
    Those in Trial may have let the trial lapse and not paid. The one on your jfriend account, dated 2006-08-10 06:42:48 falls in that category.

    Either way, we should figure out how to clean up that report, thanks.
  • photogmommaphotogmomma Enormous giggles Registered Users Posts: 1,644 Major grins
    edited October 14, 2006
    Andy wrote:
    Those in Trial may have let the trial lapse and not paid. The one on your jfriend account, dated 2006-08-10 06:42:48 falls in that category.

    Either way, we should figure out how to clean up that report, thanks.

    Just out of curiosity, if someone lets a trial lapse, how long before it disappears? I have two of these on my report and was just wondering about that.

    Or maybe I just just send someone out to strong arm them to buy so I get my credits! rolleyes1.gif
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