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 ?
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.
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: