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I have had 2 or 3 requests for an "email this page" link to be put on my site. One person who contacted me said that most of the new websites she visited were found via email from friends. I guess it depends on how net savvy your target audience is. I personally use the "Send Link by Email" option within IE quite a lot to share URLs.
The more I think about this one the more I think it will work. Got some coding to do tonight now !
Brett, I am sure you will be able to add this feature to WMW without making it look tacky :)
However, a travel site we have on a particular destination probably isn't worth sharing to the office colleagues (unless they were going to the same place).
We put together a "real personalized" tell-a-friend and give it away to -G- rated sites. For some reason it has become real popular with fabric, teddy bear, and quilting sites.
I keep up with the usage and it averages 3 or 4 per day per site. For the type of sites and assumed traffic, I'd say they are doing great. After all that's a hundred or so people being told about a site from a friend each month...
If you want it or how the incoming and outgoing referrals are structured, just let me know.
However, everything I've read indicates that these are must-do items for good marketing. I do not think this type of add-on would be interpreted as making the site look cheap.
Apart from syntax checking on the sender's email, I can't see any sure way of guarding against this.
Opinions anyone? Am I being over cautious?
Yup, I see that that would be the way to do it, but the site I'm thinking of is in a market that is hyper-sensitive towards privacy.
We run a legitimate opt-in mailing list, with subscriber confirmation, and still get (unfounded) complaints of spam - I suppose it's just something I'll have to weigh up and make a decision on.
One thing I have had to overcome is building/using something that does not seem professional to me. I would think "that looks/feels wrong/unprofessional," but my users seem to like it just fine. Case in point - popup windows. I hate them, and vowed never to use them myself. But when a friend talked me into using them (I added a cookie JS that only pops the window once per X number of days)for my ezine, my signups tripled or more, and my users did not seem to be annoyed one bit. I now try to view my site through my users' eyes and then judge (easier said than done), which has opened things up for me. A SEO site, or similar professional site, such as this forum, would probably warrant staying away from TAF. But, most general interest sites, or any site drawing many new or less experienced users, could benefit greatly, IMO.
A word of caution with MailBits - their servers are notorious for going down for days at a time due to "upgrades." I have heard of SuperTAF that pays, not as much as mailbits, but should be more reliable, and you can easily add your ezine sign up to it. There is only one page for the user to clickthrough to, from what I understand.
We try to avoid any surpises for people travsersing our sites, especially if you cant control the content.
Nothing is worse for your customers I think than to get something they didnt ask for when they are trying to leave. Its like saying when someone if leaving a party Didnt like me? Well try one of my mates....
I think there are very few sites on the internet that 'amaze' people so much that they want to push it off on their friends. Most people get too much unsolicited e-mail as is. Nevertheless, for the time being I am keeping the "Tell A Friend" link up there.
The reason is that it seems to be 'trendy' at the moment. So, by having it up there I'm trying to demonstrate that my site is up to date.
I do, however, plan to move it soon. I'll be burying it beside my trailing cursor text, page transitions, and the scrolling text that use to run across the bottom of my visitors browsers.
We just aren't there quite yet. :)
1 in 16 (around 6%) visitors go to the actual Tell a Friend input.
1 in 13 who go to the input (around 8%) will actually fill it out and submit.
There are probably a host of reasons and variables to make this work or why it fails (too many steps, privacy, content etc.)
We're going to keep it running - but are looking at other "viral" methods.
(Brett - we're a travel site which includes loads of news updates etc. - URL sent separately.)
I'm still scratching my head for others.
Like many of you, I've found that the "Tell a friend" script get's very limited direct play. However, one of my clients reports a significant uptick in direct email from people whose friends told them about the site without using our utility. They just went to their regular mail client instead. The addition of the message seems to have boosted person to person referrals, just not in the way we anticipated. The power of suggestion seems to be at work.
I'd love to add some kind of a bonus for people who get their friends to buy, but the potential for abuse keeps me from doing it. After all, I know how my own little circle has worked the CD club referral deals.
Think of the "Superfriends" attachment that everyone sent to everyone else..."Whazzzzzup".
If there was only a way to come up with something like that that referred to a web site...