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I've always had a soft spot for games– we talked earlier about World Of Warcraft's referral program, for example.
Games are interesting because they're very "pure". People play them if they're fun, and they don't play them if they're not fun. In contrast, a B2B offering might be a lot more complicated– you might dislike using a service but be forced to use it anyway because of some reasons beyond your control.
So I think it's reasonable to assume that games develop a better understanding of people's raw interests and motivations. And we can learn a lot by paying attention to the referral mechanics in these games.
Say hello to FantasyDraft – daily fantasy sports contests for real money.
Referral incentives are uniquely structured to encourage friends to encourage their friends, and so on.
All referral incentives are supposed to encourage advocates to refer their friends, but this multi-tiered, multi-level system takes it to the next level.
While costly, this makes a lot of sense from FantasyDraft's customer acquisition perspective. People are much likelier to keep playing a game if their friends and friends-of-friends are also on it. The quality of these connections outside of the game enriches people's experience in the game, keeping them hooked and coming back for more.
Here's the precise nature of their payout tiers:
The visual, while neat and clear, really doesn't do justice to the raw scale of the commission rate. As the text says– 6 degrees of 5 referrals each means earning commission from over NINETEEN THOUSAND people.
Would be cool if they had a visual to communicate that sense of scale.
Nice to see the list of benefits that remind you why you're signing up– so you don't feel like you're just filling out your particulars for something, like an insurance form. (Actually, wouldn't it be cool if insurance forms, etc listed out their benefits too?)
What does it look like after you sign up?
It's nice and straightforward to access your referrals page once you've logged in:
Stuff to pay attention to:
- Memorable referral link. It's especially cool that the referral link is username based– so if I ever encounter anybody who's into fantasy football, I can send them my referral link from memory. That's pretty powerful stuff. The fact that the referral rewards are compounded also helps me remember.
- "Add an optional custom message here" – It would be a good idea to add a suggested default sharing message. We've found that people seldom take the trouble to write their own, and often stick with the default– so coming up with a good default is very powerful.
- Not super clear what you're supposed to focus on. While everything is on one page, and everything is quite clearly written out, FantasyDraft might see better referrals if they kept their referral page a little leaner– focusing hard on the call-to-action, which is to make a referral. The statistics and reports can and should probably be played down significantly.
Check out more referral program examples.