Here’s an outline of some changes to our Tell-a-Friend program, which will be implemented over the coming months.
Back in 2011, we introduced the option to earn additional money based on the Tell-a-Friend (TaF) earnings of your referred friends and their shop purchases. We also removed a payout step and, in exchange, increased the total TaF reward from $100 to $500.
This was intended to simply reward you further for referring members that stick around.
At this time, the change in TaF tiers was a strategy that didn’t cost or save us additional money, while on average our players earned the same amount.
Then, it made a lot of sense; now, with all the developments of the past two years, the system does not work so well. These are the three main issues:
• Nowadays, our free bankroll offer is less of a starting capital to set up a poker business and more of a taster, i.e. "try poker for free, see if you like it". The TaF program doesn’t currently reward you for referring somebody who simply tries out the game.
• It takes too long to see a reward when you refer a friend – you don’t get any early positive feedback which might encourage you to tell another friend about PokerStrategy.com.
• The current system doesn't encourage you to support your friend in becoming a better player – you refer a friend, then you either you get some money several weeks later or not at all.
The new approach
We crunched a lot of numbers and came up with an idea for a very different distribution:
|New Tell-a-Friend referrer rewards |
|StrategyPoints||TaF Money ||StrategyPoints||TaF Money|
The underlying idea? While you do get less money for the smaller StrategyPoints totals, you receive this money far more frequently.
Expected effects of the new system
• You are now rewarded for referring members that just give poker a try; consequently you are pushed less towards the strategy of only referring friends that already play poker – this is something that should be good for poker as a whole as well.
• You get a (small) reward very early. While this won’t make you rich, it is the early positive feedback needed to encourage further friend referrals.
• With these smaller steps, we’re hoping to encourage you to help your friends become better players and conquer the first hurdle of 100 StrategyPoints. A player who makes it this far usually goes on to reach 200 StrategyPoints, etc.
• You should see an increase on your second-level TaF income, as your referrals are more likely to earn money with TaF themselves and thus have more reasons to refer somebody in the first place.
• As a professional referrer, you should earn at least the same amount of money as you did beforehand. To establish this, we back-tested the new system for individual TaF advertisers.
• From a business perspective, costs will not increase to an unreasonable level. We are trying to make the TaF program more attractive; we're not aiming to save money, but also want to avoid to overspend on the program as a whole.
It’s easy to glance at this system and think that it’s getting worse – after all, beforehand you received $25 for 100 StrategyPoints and now it’s only $5.
However, take another look and keep in mind that the vast majority of players currently don’t reach the 100 StrategyPoints milestone for a long time (or don’t hit it at all).
With this new system, you will earn money for almost every player you refer who has enough interest in poker to try our free bankroll offers.
Another aspect of these changes includes several modifications to our free bankroll path in order to make it much easier for a new member to become an active player and try poker.
For example, we’re currently analysing the effects of the free bankroll quiz, running different tests in order to ascertain which format this quiz needs to have in the online poker world of 2013.
We'll do a test run of the new system (most likely in October) and see how it works out.
Buying shop packages, bonuses and software
Also planned for the future is a revamp of our payout system, which will allow you to use your TaF money to buy a status, a cash bonus at a partner poker room, and poker software such as PokerTracker 4.
However to make this happen we have to overhaul our entire internal account system – that’s tons of code to review and write. In the end, though, there will be a new payout interface allowing you to either withdraw your money or to use it for one of the aforementioned options.
What do you think?
The above changes are to be implemented over the next 3 – 5 months. They are somewhat radical, so we’d like to hear your opinion on them.