Are referral contests cheesy?

Joined
Apr 29, 2011
Messages
565
My site is the leader in a niche which is rapidly growing, but I don't know how to get out the word that we exist.

I've tried AdWords and Facebook Ads with limited success.

Was thinking of doing a referral contest using the Siropu addon for Xenforo and have a $1-2k budget for prizes, but I'm wondering if the existing members would find that to be a turnoff.
 

we_are_borg

Administrator
Joined
Jan 25, 2011
Messages
5,511
Well contest can be fun but i would limit the entries lets say you'll need to have x posts and be a member for x time. This means that existing members have a better starting point and you make sure that newbies dont register asap and take the prices. If you do this i do not think people would object against it.
 

LeadCrow

Apocalypse Admin
Joined
Jun 29, 2008
Messages
6,578
Referral contests are no longer a wise strategy, especially offering money for results. Maybe consider offering tiered perks instead, like a premium membership for 5 succesful signups (a small enough threshold that would encourage users to invite only friends most likely to signup - not reaching the threshold would absolve you from awarding anything), a buy 1 get 2 premium subs, or some variation that gives *both* referrer and the referred a perk (like a month's premium subscription for everyone). It wouldnt cost you anything, and giving a free sample of the full experience can help you retain members beyond the initial signup phase. A lot of webmasters fail to make new signups enjoyable, considering them only opportunities to take advantage of users.

A more modern form of the same is 'check if my contacts from my email/social network are already members here'. It gives webmasters a list of emails they could work with to stimulate registrations from related people, or notify newly registered members that they already have X number of friends registered here.
It works well with large sites like social networks, but as for new sites it's usually about notifying people that they have a friend on this site and invite them to join him.
 

Shawn Gossman

Tazmanian Master
Joined
Dec 16, 2005
Messages
8,034
Back when I ran AAF, I did a referral competition with monetary prizes. I got a horde of new members, several hundred new members. In the end, I paid out the money, made the top refer fella happy and had several hundred new inactive members. The only reason they joined was because they were a part of a system that helps people win money through referrals. Out of a couple of hundred, I'm guessing maybe 5 remained active., 5 poorly English-speaking people who seemed to only post to criticize me when I made a new rule. I think referral contests are a thing of the past. I'm with the Lead Crow on this one :D
 

KnownHost

Participant
Joined
Apr 24, 2018
Messages
78
In my opinion instead of a referral contest to get new users, I would run a similar contest based on content.

Maybe something along the lines of whomever has the best discussion/description/tutorial etc on topic(s) x y z then get shared to outlet A B C, whomever gets the most votes on said outlets wins prizes.

That way you may get indirect members and spread valuable content on your site as well.

Just a random thought if I were looking at doing something like that.
 

R0binHood

Habitué
Joined
Nov 23, 2011
Messages
1,411
Yeah, a fixed on going referral incentive is the best bet imo.

Give them 1-4 weeks of Premium membership for each successful signup

A more modern form of the same is 'check if my contacts from my email/social network are already members here'. It gives webmasters a list of emails they could work with to stimulate registrations from related people, or notify newly registered members that they already have X number of friends registered here.
It works well with large sites like social networks, but as for new sites it's usually about notifying people that they have a friend on this site and invite them to join him.
IIRC Chris D make a social invite system plugin a while ago, would be neat to try and get something integrated into the core for inviting your mates to join. Forums don't get the benefit of Facebooks social graph to help the grow.
 

KimmiKat

Adherent
Joined
Mar 21, 2005
Messages
346
Other then a free premie membership, I think any other contest type thing is cheesy.
 

Shawn Gossman

Tazmanian Master
Joined
Dec 16, 2005
Messages
8,034
I think some contests can work but only when they are really benefiting the members rather than the forum. For example, if you run a camera forum, a photo of the month contest would directly benefit the member, allowing them to showcase their work. A contest like that is what I'd be interested in. A referral contest to me is way too 90s lol
 
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