ENS Affiliate Marketing - Affiliate Program

I get what you want to do, to replicate legacy referral-type stuff from the web2 world…

I’m just wondering how you envision that actually happening from a technical perspective

The smart contracts do not have a way to do that split currently. And I don’t know it would be good idea to add that complexity into the contracts just for a referral program

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I think you have good points; I appreciate your insights.

Also, I think this warrants more discussion, with you,
…and other people + devs, who understand the space.

Next Steps:

  1. Agree to not make pain easy for content/dev producers to lose revenue;
  2. Agree to keep user journey & checkout experience “the same” as possible;
  3. Agree to meetings to discuss technical implementation; include outside community/devs.

These concepts (issues & opportunities) are not entire novel to ENS;
NFT creators also want to add split payments, and referral systems.

[The ENS core teams + Community has been leaders in Web3;
We can continue innovating & we can continue this tradition.]

For the record @AvsA, I’m also fine with not “making it easy” for users to remove the referral name.

Usually the way I see this done is via the URL, not via cookies. So if I click on a link and get sent to https://somec00lproject.com/register?referral=gary, I can see that and manually update the URL to not include the referrer.

I also agree with making it abundantly transparent what is happening.

Big bold words on the page that say something like:

10% of this registration fee will be sent to GaryPalmerJr.eth

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Hi @web3tx, can you please create a new separate post on the forum for your request? You can choose the ‘General Discussion’ and ‘Ecosystem’ tags when creating it (if you have the permissions). You should be able to post it in ‘General Discussions’ at least

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A commission would incentivize competition for better registration UX, and I think ENS could could use some innovation on that front.

I don’t think this rewards the 10k Club for the massive influx of registrations that have already happened. It may only incentivize further splinter groups, since it wouldn’t likely get rolled out anytime soon.

“Political attrition” is a good way to describe how things have progressed so far. Even if we get an appropriate proposal submitted, I worry about the firestorm that might ensue from a public negotiation between the DAO and 10k Club. The DAO members have signaled they are willing to support the community, I really hope something can get worked out.

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https://snapshot.org/#/ens.eth/proposal/0x29040b3196c4d7109fdb7b55b8bfd5e85dd074d3cb22266e0d94cc42cfad1eb2

The Community working group has a budget for

Communications: Provide communications services for the DAO to include a bi-weekly digest, weekly twitter spaces, and other outreach services to drive education and engagement.

IRL Outreach: Community engagement focused on in-person events.

WG Discretionary Funds: Discretionary funding to be allocated to the above subgroups or facilitate the funding of new subgroups as the council of stewards deem necessary.

The Ecosystem working group has a budget for

3rd Party Projects: Support projects that improve the ENS ecosystem, through proactive and retroactive grants.

I don’t know which of these, if any, would apply. But it’s something to look into for sure.

Here is the master calendar: ENS Master

The Ecosystem and Community WGs have calls every Monday and Friday, more info here (I think this is up-to-date, correct me if I’m wrong): Weekly Working Group (WG) Calls

And the Community WG has a dashboard: Community Working Group Dashboard

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I agree with you on the possibility of a firestorm. ENS is marketed as a public good (since it is one) but the definition of ‘public good’ and ‘supporting the community’ is very subjective. Plus, any affiliate strategy must incentivise usage of .eth names as much as flipping them. In order to garner a wider support from ENS delegates, the 10k club should encourage the utility aspect of .eth names. One starting point would be to encourage your community to set up .eth websites. I have hung around your Discord trying to initiate a meaningful conversation but it is hard to do so over infighting among 10k and 100k gangs. ENS has held itself to high standards in terms of community involvement. It will be amazing if that could be continued without any firestorms.

I would not-refer to the 10K club in this proposal, at all anymore.
There is zero-retroactive benefit for anyone, including the 10K club.

This would only support creators/dev in the future,
…AFTER the referral-system is launched, moving forward.

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Maybe there is “a bit of responsibility” for each working group,
…to support & launch the ENS referral system, in its totality.

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I agree that the discord is more chaotic, because it is real time & faster pace.
It seems we are organizing well, here, via Discuss (+Twitter) & Zoom.

I believe the GOAL is to have “as simple a system” as possible,
…with as few changes as possible, while keeping the ethos.

  1. System will be decentralized, permissionless, etc.
  2. Pricing & Experience for the user will NOT-change;
  3. Simple “percentage of sale” sent to referral address.

Like good caretakers, we want to guide the systems,
while letting the market dynamics flow in a health free market.

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If anyone can be a referrer (and I don’t want to have to add allowlists!), then the customer can set itself as a referrer and therefore it is subtracted from the revenue. If the overall cost is being subtracted from the revenue or added to the consumer is equivalent mathematically.

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There’s a real tension here between serving the user and serving the ecosystem.

From a technical POV, an open referral system requires that any recipient address can be set, including the user’s own. Attempts to bypass that with mechanisms such as referrals that scale with volume can easily be bypassed with proxy/splitter type contracts etc.

Pursuing the goal of making everything transparent to the user means making them aware of this. Although we can encourage them to send the referral fee to their referrer, we can’t enforce that - and if we tried, someone can easily fork the app to remove it and offer everyone 10% cheaper transactions. At best it can be in the nature of the supermarket checkout “round your transaction up to fund cancer research” type thing - entirely optional for the user.

If we do implement an open referral scheme, that’s how I’d suggest doing it. Have a checkbox that allows the user to send a ‘tip’ to the person or site who sent them there, which they can uncheck to save a little on fees.

The alternative would be a closed referral scheme; some subgroup of the DAO can maintain a list of authorised referrers who meet the DAO’s criteria to be counted as such, and transactions would only be valid if they included one of those addresses as referrer (or, without them the referral fee would go to the DAO itself).

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I love that idea. Completely open system, and if you were sent from a referral link then you’ll also see a

Tip garypalmerjr.eth 10% (0.0002 ETH) for referring you here!

It would be clearly visible, checked by default, and they can just uncheck that if they wish.

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I implore each of you,
please allow best practices for a referral marketing ecosystem.

An “Affiliate/Referral System” for ENS:

  • The prices for ENS names would not change.
  • A percentage (IE: 10%) of the ENS fees would be directed to the last-hit referral.
  • The referral can be visible if that is absolutely important, but this should not matter to the user;
    It would be publicly know that referral system would be in place;
    and that is part of the Web3 ecosystem, for the self-sovereign economy;
  • …And not a cr@ppy, “No one pays for open source content/code, so why bother”, future.

Yes, someone could fork the code, and allow anyone to then buy ENS names for 10% cheaper

  • But they would not be the official ENS website;
  • AND, those websites would NOT be the sites that:
    “Content Creators & dApp/App Developers” will be directing users to,
    via content & code, (sending SEO & SEM value to ENS Domains).

Many of your arguments are counter-intuitive to actually business & marketing best practices.

This is a marketing-technology system that fosters (empowers & incentives) a community to SEND SEO-traffic TO “app.ens.domains” (for a sovereign & decentralized Web3 economy).

I implore each of you,
please receive the inputs from actual business & marketing professionals;
please do not let “non-business-&-marketing people” to make these vital decisions.

Argument: But anyone can self-referrer:

  • It is fine that users are able to self-refer–There is no perfect system around this, and the risks of abuse are small, verses the benefits to content/dev creators.
  • In Web2, we see many users using Amazon, but none/few of them purchasing via their Amazon affiliate links. People do not signup for & use self-referral links.
  • Self-referring is an extra step that few users actually take,
    while allowing the benefits of rewards flow to content/dev creators.

Argument: We can let user donate to charity:

  • IMPORTANT: Referral fees are baked into the cost of service.
    By giving users an easy opt-out (and making the referral fee an Add-on fee),
    you are destroying the concept & the success of the “Affiliate/Referral System”.
  • If this is the case, then a new thread should be started for that idea, (for “Donations for Referrals”), which is a different idea. The “Donations for Referrals” idea is not an “Affiliate/Referral System”.
  • If users can easily opt-out of the referrals, then users will choose to opt-out (because few users ever opt-in). Users would rather save money if given the obvious choice. The rewards for creating contend/code significantly decrease, and ENS referral system will have failing purpose.

Argument: Closed Referral Alternative

  • I think everyone agrees a gated system is a bad idea.

Anyways, yeah, I believe the easy-optout idea is a bad one. I lean toward the better nature of everyone, but the benefits should be baked into the system.

In conclusion,
ENS sells decentralized names, to anyone, in a decentralized manner.
ENS wants to creators/builders to send users to ENS-website/contracts & educational material.
This will drive SEO & SEM value to ENS, instead of scams; And this will build community & education for users, whom can have dependable safety, for their constituency, to support ENS with content/code.

I’m worried that a misleading UI will be created, where prices may be +10% for some people and not others, inviting all sorts of confusion and questions and support tickets and jabs from UD and other detractors (and rightfully so).

I’m open to your ideas, but how do you propose we address the UX and optics?

I also want to remind everyone that ENS is not “a business”, it is a public good.

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Regarding this concern:

  • When on the ENS site, or any site that was ethical,
    the price would always be the same $5/Name (5-char+)
  • When on any other-site, which was an unethical-site,
    the price would always be btwn 10% lower, and no reason why it couldn’t be higher.

Now, ask yourself: Does this happen ANYWHERE else in Web3?

  • Yes: This happens with NFTs Sales, and
    the skirting of royalties via sites like NFTtrader.

When royalties are gone around, is the user perception that NFT prices were +10% less?

  • No: Users know they are cheating the system
    (And the NFT creators) by saving money.
  • There is no misleading UI or confusion why it is cheaper–Everyone is very clear:
    It’s cheaper because users are not respecting peoples royalties or the public good.

Regarding this concern:

  • It is interesting we have to say this, but it is still important:
    every organization & industry has “business & marketing best practices”.
  • Every corporation, organization, government, non-profit, & DAO
    has best practices, including “business & marketing best practices”.
  • In philosophy, economics, and political science, the “public good” refers to
    what’s shared & beneficial for all or most members of a given community–
    And Public Goods have “business & marketing best practices”.
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Yep fair enough! Just wanted to remind everyone… :laughing:

Okay, so you’re saying even if they access the site without any referral link, they would still receive the +10% price quote?

In that case, does the extra 10% just go to ENS?

Yes, (to the DAO), exactly.

Just think how Amazon works:

  • When you buy via an affiliate link (or not) the price is the same regardless.
  • When an affiliate helps make the sales, then they are rewarded with a percentage-cut.

My concern is that in this situation we know users would prefer to have the choice to opt out of a referral fee and keep the 10%, but we are not offering it to them. That’s not a good user-centric design choice. There’s not really a parallel to Amazon etc, because they don’t let the user keep the referral fee due to the permissioned nature of their system.