Viral marketing and incentivesSubmitted by coldfact on Mon, 05/09/2011 - 07:37
I wonder if it would be useful for the campaign to consider something that has worked very successfully for various startup websites*. I am not sure if this idea is FEC-compliant but it could work something like this:
- Every Ron Paul supporter who is interested in the program would sign up on ronpaul2012.com and get their own affiliate/referral link, e.g. ronpaul2012.com/?coldfact
- They could bitly that link and use it on their blogs, websites, forum footers, forum comments, emails to friends or wherever. The link would direct whoever clicks on it to the campaign home page while tracking who referred the visitor (via session or cookies, in case they come back another day)
- If the visitor then at some stage donates to the campaign, the referrer is then given some kind of bonus (e.g. .5% of the amount given). This is a one-off event and subsequent payments do not count.
The upsides of this:
- Campaign supporters are incentivized to spread the message wherever they can, but hopefully in a constructive, useful and contextually-relevant manner (nobody will bother clicking through on your link if they hate everything you say. Or, for example, if you are on a woman-focused website, maybe you would address how Ron Paul's philosophy is beneficial to women in some specific way.
- Because payback is contingent on pay-in there really is no way to "game this"; for example if someone becomes a millionaire using this system, they have made the campaign 100s of millions... I am sure that is acceptable!
- The way it works you don't even have to be a supporter of Ron Paul! You could be someone solely in it for the money, or someone from another country, but that does not matter. In effect, it gives Paul and non-Paul fans alike an incentive to spread his message in an acceptable and convincing manner.
The downsides of this:
- The campaign pays out a % of their income, but this could be considered marketing cost. The recipient referrers could then even plow the money back into the campaign if they want to, anyway, so maybe some money is not lost.
- FEC Compliance? :)
*More on how dropbox did this, should you be interested: http://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/5956/5-Viral-Mar... - point 4 is what I am talking about here.
Ron Paul and his message is an amazing product, why don't we make it go viral?