First of all, what IS the policy?
Basically, the rules of our partner program that we’re talking about here are these:
- We will not change the referrer on an account after 30 days from when it was opened.
- We will not change the referrer on an account if there is another Ontraport partner already tracked as the referrer.
Well, the first one’s pretty obvious, and usually not the source of too much upset. We’ve simply had too much abuse of the program by people who discover that someone they know is an Ontraport customer and then request to be added as the referrer of the account.
Of course, it’s easy to understand that the goal of a paid partner program is to generate NEW business. It’s NOT designed to pay people for helping a customer get set up, and it’s certainly not to pay people because they just feel like getting paid. Clearly, this type of abuse undermines the program entirely, so this policy was put in place years ago and has helped to make the program viable.
The second policy – not to change the referrer if one already exists on the account – is the one that tends to be the source of upset and, really, the purpose of this letter.
Here’s the deal: we have a lot of partners out there. Some of them are consultants who sign up their clients. Some are affiliate marketers who buy ads or write reviews or blog posts promoting Ontraport. Some people create bonus material or campaigns to share in order to generate sales. Others email their lead lists on our behalf.
Whatever they do, they’re investing time, money and sometimes their reputation and the trust they’ve built with their audience to promote Ontraport. We are grateful for each of these investments, and respect whatever effort it took by those partners to capture a prospect’s attention and close a new sale for us.
Clearly, if we simply took away those partner’s commissions because some other partner asked us to, that would be a lot like theft and completely disrespectful to the effort that was invested by the original partner.
Most people who are reading this will now be thinking something like: “…but I spent so much time with this client, they’re my friend, I’ve been telling them about Ontraport for months, they wouldn’t be Ontraport clients if it weren’t for me!”
And, look, I believe you. Really.
However, at the same time, we have another partner who ALSO spent real resources – time and effort – driving prospects to Ontraport… and the last click that the account holder made was generated by them – not by you.
Because our program is a last-click program, that means they get the credit for their efforts with this account.
It’s likely true that you have the ‘live, in-person’ relationship with this account holder. And we respect that. But having that live relationship is just one way among many that our partners promote Ontraport, and we are not going to undermine all the other ways that people promote Ontraport by taking their commissions away on request.
What’s more, making a decision like that puts us in an impossible position between two partners – both of whom we appreciate and love – who both think they deserve credit for a sale.
We can’t be in that position. Fortunately, there’s a really simple solution: use our technology to track the last-click and give whoever generated that last-click the credit for the sale.
So what can you do?
Fortunately, since you likely have an in-person relationship with your referrals, you are in a strong position. It should be easy for you to ensure that your clients click your referral link to sign up. You’ll want to ensure they do that in order to get credit for these referrals in the future.
If you like, you can also incentivize your clients to click your referral link by sharing Campaigns or Landing Pages with them. When they click those links and then sign up for an account, you’ll get credit for the referral.
Finally, when your friends first sign up, you can contact support and ask if you’re the tracked referrer on the account. If not, have your client sign up for a new account before you get busy helping them set everything up.
What if I’m the account holder?
Sometimes, we get account holders who would like to decide who gets commissions for their account.
We appreciate the spirit of this request. You’ve probably heard about Ontraport from a friend or business relationship, and you ‘know’ that they are responsible for the referral.
Unfortunately, we don’t accept account holder’s requests for changes to the referrer for the same reasons as above: the fact remains that our program is a last-click program, and the last tracked click you made before signing up was someone’s else’s link… and that person also invested time, money and/or their audience’s trust to generate that click.
It’s not ours to decide that one person’s work is more valuable than another’s, so our policy is to allow the program to work as designed and use the last tracked click to determine who gets credit.
If you’ve read this far, I appreciate your attention. I know that you probably aren’t happy and this letter isn’t giving you the satisfaction you were looking for. I can only hope that you are willing to see the larger picture here, and perhaps put yourself in the other partner’s shoes for a moment and understand that, if the situation were reversed, you wouldn’t be happy to have your commissions taken away because someone asked us for them.
Thanks for your understanding, and I’m sorry this didn’t work out better for you in this case.Sincerely, Landon Ray