"Invite your Friends" feature - best practices


We're in the process of adding an "invite your friends" feature to our dating site, and I was wondering if anybody has any tips/past experience in the best way to utilize the invites. Here's what I have so far :

1 - Will be CAN-SPAM compliant

2 - Allow users to select from their addressbook which contacts to invite to

3 - Have a compelling message / call to action in the email : "John thinks you should try out sitesite.com, where is is looking for his soulmate"

4 - If no action from the user for a week, send another invitation "Invitation reminder, you're missing out on meeting thousands of singles at sitesite.com"

5 - Is it better to have a html-heavy invite (hi5,zoosk, msn messenger) or more text-based (facebook, gmail, ghcat) ?

Anything I'm missing to help convert these invites into members ?

thanks !!

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asked Oct 20 '10 at 06:35
Sherif Buzz
462 points
Top digital marketing agency for SEO, content marketing, and PR: Demand Roll
  • I'd skip the 2nd follow-up. That can only lead to people thinking you are annoying. And I would let "john" choose from a list of content or make his own. He may not be looking for a soulmate - just looking for a one night stand) – Tim J 13 years ago
  • Thanks for the reply - I personally hate invites, but apparently they do work....and nearly all sites now seem to be sending 2nd even 3rd and 4th invites....so I think I will stick with the 2nd. Agreed on the select from the list, will add that. – Sherif Buzz 13 years ago
  • So you hate invites but are going to use them for your site? Maybe you are in the wrong business. If, at the start of your entity you are already engaging in a practice that you don't personally like and you are the founder, perhaps there will be a lot more that you don't like coming in the future? Not trying to be negative - just trying to see bigger picture. – Tim J 13 years ago
  • What I like and what has to be done are not always the same. A general rule in life I guess not just this situation. – Sherif Buzz 13 years ago

2 Answers


Invites do work and are a great way to promote your product. We ask our user to enter their email and authenticate, next we give them a list of their address book and let them choose who to invite. We let them edit our default message which reads close to" Hi #@$#$, Customer has been using our product for one month now and loves it. Create your own account at: http://www.site.com Few things:
1. Message is short. - the shorter an email marketing message the better it usually performs
2. Its personal
3. Its sent from us, not the users email address (not spoofed)
4. Our user gets a comission/credit when his friends sign up, giving him/her incentive to send this to as many people.

We never send 2nd or follow ups, but give our user the option to "Invite Friends and Earn $$" all the time.

answered Oct 20 '10 at 20:04
2,079 points
  • thanks for the feedback - good idea to give people an incentive to use the feature - do you have any stats of how many people actually sign up via invites ? – Sherif Buzz 13 years ago
  • For us its close to 35%, Not all of them result in paying subscribers, But they get our free product, invite more friends, and help promote our product... – Frank 13 years ago
  • Wow that's pretty amazing, you must be doing something right :) I am hoping for 5-10% tops. – Sherif Buzz 13 years ago
  • It depends on the service... If you were inviting your friends to download twitter backgrounds, but your friends dont use twitter the % would be different. – Frank 13 years ago


I design web sites for a living. I like the "invite a friend" model used by Google Voice. It is text based and subtle. You can see an example here:


answered Oct 22 '10 at 09:46
19 points

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