ENS Affiliate Marketing - Affiliate Program


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 Calendar

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


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.


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


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.


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.


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).


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.
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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.

Okay, as long as the UI is consistent and everyone sees the same prices for everything then that’s fine. Apologies, I don’t think I 100% “got” your proposals earlier.

I think I mostly agree with your counter-argument about self-referring. With an open system, anyone can self-refer to themselves and get the discount of course. And as you say, anyone can do that, but most people probably won’t, it’s an extra step.

Yes, somebody will setup a “cost-plus” UI, and maybe that’s okay, it won’t be the official UI.

However, someone else will also create easy-to-follow documentation on how to self-refer yourself and get the discount. Is that a concern, you think? Because at the end of the day the self-referral might just be… a single transaction? Or it might even be an off-chain easy signature, not sure.

With regard to:

  • I do not agree 100%, and I have already addresses this with comparison to NFTtrader & NFTs;
  • The majority of users: 1. won’t go out of their way to screw the system, and 2. will be shamed for hurting Web3 creators (and all data is onchain).

With regard to:

  • There are always some concerns, much can be mitigated,
    but there will always be ways to game ANY system, somehow.

  • Nevertheless, aren’t we talking about Public Goods?
    Web3 will not work if we can’t support independent users work;
    (Just like NFTs would falter if the system for royalties fails, or does not evolves.)

At the core, we have two options:

  • Option #1: Create an open affiliate-system
    that rewards creators, but can be abused.

  • Option #2: Do not create a system that rewards creators,
    and then, no abused can occur with the system that doesn’t exist.


Yeah, there’s no perfect solution. An open system almost necessarily means people will game it.

If others don’t think that’s a big concern then I’m fine on that point as well


Why not base a referral system on a top x% of referrers, or referrers getting above x registrations per time period? It would need to be managed to some extent, but not nearly as much as a fully selective registry/list.

  1. Essentially means that users wouldn’t be able to self-refer (unless they were registering a large amount of names).
  2. Disincentivises anyone from forking the front-end to make names X% cheaper, since payments would be made in bulk to a single wallet so the gas fees of sending referrals back to each wallet would outweigh the original fee most of the time.

Still not a great solution but I feel like there really isn’t one here.

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In my opinion, mobile is the where 99% of all users will get a name in the future. An affiliate program works perfectly for mobile. The convenience makes any small fee irrelevant, and it encourages this practice.