Lately, YNAB has been growing really, well. And we haven't done more advertising than what we've always done (which isn't much). It stands to reason that the main reason we've grown so much is because of you
People know they need a budget, and apparently they know other people need a budget as well. You guys are already telling so many people about YNAB—it's tremendous.
So maybe this is overkill, but the idea crossed my mind to offer a reward for the word of mouth. Kind of a way of saying "thank you." I'm going to use hypothetical numbers here, and am not binding myself to anything at this point. As is customary for these forums, I'm using them as my sounding board, and you guys are always awesome in your thoughtful responses.
What if, as soon as you purchased YNAB (or if you already had), you were also given a referral link like http://www.youneedabudget.com?AFFID=12345
And you send that to some friends that you think would enjoy YNAB, and if they purchase through that link, they get $7 off. Also, for every friend that purchases, we pay you $7.
It's a win-win-win I *think*. We get another person budgeting with YNAB, changing their finances for the better, etc. You get $7, and your friend got $7 off.
My original thought was just to give you, the referrer, the $7 referral bonus, and your friend doesn't get the discount. But then I thought having you make $7 might taint the word of mouth. By that I mean, suddenly, instead of people telling others about YNAB because it really has worked for them
, you're doing it because you want $7. Or maybe $7 is small enough that it's kind of a shrug-off, "Yeah, I get this $7 but that's not the real reason." Or maybe the fact that your friend gets $7 as well negates the taint, and it's all good? What do you think?
EDIT: the next paragraph no longer applies.
And now what if we took it a step further. What if everyone that your friend told (through their referral link), who also purchased, what if you got another $3? I'm reminded of Egypt, for some reason
Would the idea of having another tier of rewards be cool, or would it feel again like it was tainting the word of mouth? Making it to where you didn't want
to talk about YNAB because you didn't want to be a salesperson at that point, and the reward would turn you into a salesperson instead of just a friend that found something cool?
EDIT: the former paragraph no longer applies.
And on to the administrative side of things.
I don't know how excited I can get about writing hundreds of checks for $7 (and mailing them!). What would you think if we just sent the referral award through Paypal? I know some people love Paypal and use it all the time (about 1/3 of our customers do), and some portion of you are probably actively involved in IHatePaypal.com
The administrative side is less important than the first stuff.
Okay, remove the $7 paid to the referrer for a second. What if you had just bought the program a week ago, and then we sent you an email saying, "Hey, give this to any of your friends for $[x] off!" Would you feel miffed that you perhaps just paid full price five days ago, but didn't get it for $[x] off?
So, synopsis. Would offering some type of reward for your word of mouth efforts make you want to share YNAB more, less, or the same? Be honest!