by Michele Nachum
Published on 2 January 2013
Getting referrals and traffic to visit a business website may seem like a challenge in today's seemingly overcrowded Internet, but there are many ways you can nudge customers in the right direction.
There is always SEO (search engine optimization) and of course SEM (search engine marketing) - tried and true ways to generate traffic - but not always 100-percent.
Why? Today the word of mouth phenomenon is more powerful than ever. Studies have shown that having your best friend or colleague or strangers recommend a site or a product is more powerful than any amount of advertising. This has been proven over and over - and sites like Yelp where customer and peer reviews can in some ways make or break a business is evidence of that.
Therefore solutions such as InviteBox have come about to help e-commerce and other online business websites generate word-of-mouth (WOM) marketing in ways that will benefit and provide incentives for referrers. InviteBox is one such referral application that does a nice job of providing your business website with multiple referral promotions you can use to ultimately generate more customers through peer to peer referrals.
InviteBox offers an easy and seamless way to provide a quick overlay or message on your website enticing your customers to refer your business to others in exchange for some small prize or reward such as discounts or extra perks. InviteBox can be integrated with any website, but is probably best suited for online businesses such as e-commerce sites where referrals are common and often necessary. Other types of business that might use InviteBox would be online or SaaS applications - they can reward referrers with extra perks depending on how many people are referred. According to Dimitry Chertoritsky of InviteBox, "Dropbox achieved great results with its referral campaign by offering free additional storage as a reward."
InviteBox provides all the code you need - there is no programming on your part - and very quickly you can place the code for a message widget to appear on your home or landing page with some sort of incentive to others to refer your business. There are several types of referral promotions - for example, you could ask that customers refer your e-commerce store on social media channels in exchange for discounts and coupons.
InviteBox has a friendly and easy-to-navigate user interface. Big block letters and instructions help you through the process so that you can easily follow the steps to provide the widget for your business website.
The first step is to decide where on your website you wish to add a widget - and have that URL at the ready. Do you want it on your home page? A landing page?
The next step is figure out what kind of reward you want to offer people for referring your business. InviteBox does a nice job recommending various ways to do this - and their help section goes into depth about the types of campaigns you might run depending on the nature of your business. You might want a goal-based reward program which provides incentives for referring a certain number of customers or you can implement a contest - and the winner who refers the most people is awarded some prize. If you are an e-commerce site you might offer discounts on products for referrals. If you are a blogger, the InviteBox widget can help by offering some hidden content as a reward.
InviteBox offers three main types of referral campaigns as well as an API for more close integration.
Campaigns include the following:
Within each of the types of campaigns, InviteBox offers several clever ideas of how to entice referrers to promote your website others.
Here are a few examples:
Redirect Reward - Here you can ask that people share your website information on social media sites such as Facebook or Twitter. Afterwards, you can direct referrers to a "secret page" where you can offer that person some sort of reward.
Display Coupon Code - Another way to offer incentives for referals include is ask that people share a message about your business on a social media channel. Once the message is shared, your "referrer" gets a coupon code for a product or service either on your website or another e-commerce or SaaS site.
Lock Your Screen - This scenario allows for the business to lock their page until a user shares out a message on their social media channels.
When you are through with a campaign, InviteBox provides actionable analytics so you can see the results of your campaign and understand how well it worked, how many participated and shared your campaign and more.
InviteBox is fairly affordable and has three subscription levels for you to choose from depending on how many monthly campaign participants you have per month. I should say here that every subscription level starts with a 14-day free trial for 100 participants. For $19 per month, you get for 100 campaign participants; $59 per month for 1000 participants; $199 per month for up to 10,000.
E-commerce sites as well as online SaaS applications with a specific service for sale are probably the types of business websites that will get the most out of InviteBox. A quick trip to main website of InviteBox will provide an overview of who might use this application successfully. That said, any product or service that needs customers can probably use InviteBox at some point. That said, InviteBox is easy to use and while it might not provide the most amazing and creative referral campaigns it does provide some clever ways to get your customers to help you get others - or more plainly speaking - word of mouth.