Tell A Friend systems have been around for a while, and the process is deceptively simple: the visitor recommends your site to his/her contacts.
This is a very powerful concept: It’s social marketing, to the nth degree. It can mean 2,3,4 or any visitors to your site per visitor that arrives. It can literally multiply your traffic.
Of course, not everyone will recommend their friends, so that is where an ethical bribe or two can come into play. For recommending, the visitor will receive a gift or bonus from you.
You can even direct new visitors to a special welcome page, with even more gifts, and ask them to refer their visitors too!
So this not just social marketing, it’s viral marketing.
While tell a friend boxes used to be prevalent on websites in the early days they’ve fallen into disuse lately. There is no good reason for this, yet it means the idea is not oversaturated. More chance for you!
There are various tell a friend scripts available, for free and for a fee, and there are also some commercial offerings. In fact, I’ve just come across a brand new program that does all of the above along with many more unique features. How about automatically importing the users address book for starters… Imagine the possibilities there.
Beware untried scripts: Some years ago I installed a “free” tell-a-friend at my site, and while it worked a dream it later became spyware, and tried to install more spyware and spawn popups on my visitors. The same thing happened with an exit-exchange I used at the time.
I’ll post a review of the new system soon. But this is a very useful traffic generation method you should be using on your website.
Update: As mentioned by Sean in the comments below, there’s a cool widget for wordpress, which I’ve started using. Roll over the button to see it in action