Offer Traffic-Driving Incentives - Referral Programs
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Referral programs are a great incentive that gets traffic involved, making them an active part of your search. Include a form on your pages that asks how traffic heard about the site. If they enter the name of an existing user, give some reward to that user. The prize could be very small: a free subscription to the site’s newsletter, online coupons, a “gift bag” filled with Internet-friendly freebies (desktops, wallpapers, etc.). The fact that you’re offering some sort of reward, however small it may seem, will give traffic a reason to tell their friends about your pages. A referral program is a great way to get your visitors to spread the word. Sometimes, all traffic needs is a reason.
Sites like uRefer (http://www.urefer.com/, pictured) help you create a unique referral program to work with your site. You can also search for other programs and software packages online, consult a graphic designer or even create your very own program to start offering this incentive to your visitors.
Many sites create inbox-friendly links which can be sent from one site user to someone who isn’t currently a member of your site. They’ll enter the friend’s e-mail address, your site sends the link straight into their inbox. They’ll get an e-mail inviting them to check out what your site offers. It may not work every time, but in some cases this method will yield results. It also adds yet one more interactive feature to your pages, something traffic is sure to appreciate.
MySpace (http://www.myspace.com/, pictured) has a popular invite-a-friend program which many people use to get their friends to join the site. This is a great way to drive traffic. What’s the incentive? Users can share the site with the friends. Often, that’s prize enough for Internet traffic.
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