One doesn’t usually ignore a friend’s recommendation, be it about a new product, reading an article, a movie or just about anything. In that sense, a friend who recommends something is getting into what one calls ‘referral marketing’. Finding an opportunity and a gap in this field, SocialTwist has created tools that help build capabilities in social marketing. Their tool ‘Tell-a-Friend’ is a ubiquitous feature in nearly 40,000 websites.
Explaining the feature at length, Jay Pullur, Founder and CEO, Pramati Technologies Pvt Ltd, the mother company of SocialTwist, said, “We got into the space realising that there was a lot of sharing going on in the virtual world, and we thought of leveraging this fundamental of sharing to the advantage of the marketer. It is known that the probability of a mail to get clicked is much higher when it comes from a friend or a known source. So, we developed the tool Tell-a-Friend, which can help in referral marketing.”
Pullur explained that the tool had a free service and then the premium service, which was a source of their revenue. The basic Tell-a-Friend button can be placed on any website or even blogs, which can then be used by the users. The premium service includes: Tell-a-Friend (TAF) for branding, which is basically the customisation of a message for any brand; TAF for commerce, which is a product that can be used by e-commerce companies and rich media content site; TAF for advertising, which is for enhancing the reach of any advertisement, and then there is ‘rewards’, where the promotion can be integrated with rewards for people who refer their friends.
Pullur added, “Our value proposition is that it’s simple, easy to understand, trustworthy, and, most importantly, cost effective. In times of economic downturn, marketing spends have been the first to get the axe. With the TAF platform, along with its unique and comprehensive features, it becomes a tool that many marketers are trying to adopt to reach their TG. Marketing today is changing and the need is to find innovative, effective and measurable ways of ROI, and this one fits the bill perfectly.”
However, getting a TAF button on the website is not the end of the story. One has to be careful of the placement and design of this button so that it can be used to its maximum. Also, there have to be ways to draw peoples’ attention to the button and engage them. The Hyderabad-headquartered company claims to have got tremendous response on this product, and their efforts were recently recognised when Tell-a-Friend became the first WOMM (Word of Mouth Marketing) tool to be certified by TRUSTe, an online privacy service.