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Don’t forget to tell a friend

Dawud Miracle writes a great post that summarizes my biggest ideas regarding how to get people to tell a friend.  From my book, here are the secrets to creating a great tell-a-friend form:

  • Make it fast.
    Design a form that can be filled out in less than 15 seconds. Get rid of optional fields, passwords, or anything that gets in the way of the referral. 
  • Ask for several referrals.
    Be sure to explicitly ask users to forward the message to multiple friends. The more you ask, the more you get. Design the form so it is easy to add lots of names without confusion. 
  • Use the sender’s name.
    When you deliver the message, make sure it is from the referrer, not your website. The recipient isn’t expecting mail from you and might delete it. He will open a message from his friend. 
  • Include a personal message.
    Let the sender add text to the message. The referral is far more powerful when the talker gets to put it in his own words. 
  • Make it forwardable.
    Take a look at the message that recipients get. Is that message a ready-to-go viral email, or is it some cryptic link? 
  • Protect privacy.
    And brag about it. Be clear and explicit that you respect the privacy of the senders and recipients using the form and that you won’t use their emails for any other purpose (and stick to what you promise). Usage will skyrocket when you do this.

Read the whole post here

(Yes, it’s weird to quote someone quoting me. Thanks, Dawud, for consistent great writing.)

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