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October, 2014: VariSearch is shutting down. This site will remain for another year for patching and authentication purposes.
  Varisearch LLC
Product Pricing

Founder: Rich Parker
Skype: varisearch
Twitter: @varisearch

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Motivating members

When you attract members to join your traffic exchange, remember that your original focus is to get them to do something.  Generally, that 'something' will be either to 'surf' or to 'spend money'.

Your first concern should be to keep members actively surfing. 

From there, everything else follows.  If members are surfing, the non-surfing members will run out of credits, inducing them to surf.  All those surfing members will also induce other people to join your exchange.

Remember that, when surfing, members are also seeing your promotional material, which will lead to sales of your main business line.

Things you should do to keep members surfing:

  • Give them a small amount of credits for joining, and a small amount each month after that.  This helps them out, and keeps you in their 'good guy' column. 
    • TrEx does this automatically... you set the amounts, and TrEx gives it out automatically.
  • Make them compete for a prize... ego and greed are GREAT motivators
    • TrEx has a built-in surfing contest where members can see how they stack up every day.
    • TrEx also offers weekly 'top surfer' awards, so that the busiest, consistent surfers get weekly credit bonuses.
  • Send encouragement to them every week... tell them how the site is growing, and when the busiest times and days are.
    • TrEx has an easy-to-use membership mailer for just this purpose.
  • Make them more active by offering prizes while they are surfing... they have to surf - and pay attention - to win surfing prizes. 
    • TrEx offers a 'surf reward system' that will give surfers a prize each day, if:
      • They are surfing
      • They see the prize page
      • They click on the proper link on the page
  • For heaven's sake, surf your own site.  If you are not in your own 'top surfers list', people will think that you are an 'absentee webmaster'... that is a kiss of death on the internet.  Actively participate in your own site.
  • Keep your site free of frame-breakers, and other things that will impede surfing
    • TrEx has a report system, so members can tell you what's wrong, but you must pay attention to those reports
    • TrEx also has a 'power surf', so you can run through all active sites quickly, to track down frame breakers and pop-ups

Things you should not do (things that swamp surfing):

  • BIG FREEBIES: If you give a million, or even 5 thousand credits to a new, free member, they have no reason to surf until those credits are gone.
  • BE FAIR TO YOUR EXCHANGE: If you offer 1:1 or better surf ratios for free, all of your members will end up with too many credits, and stop surfing.  
  • BIG EXPENSES: If you charge a member to join, be aware that they may feel 'entitled' to credits... they may not surf...
  • SCOLDING: Never, ever "yell" at your membership... I've seen webmaster after webmaster chewing out their users for not surfing enough... guess what?  Members don't like to be yelled at... two of those sites folded within a month.  Always encourage.

The majority of your members joined for free... expect that 90% will not upgrade, and would rather 'work' (surf, promote, et cetera) to get some more 'free advertising'.  The more of that you can harness, the faster you can grow your system into a major advertising vehicle.

Your next concern should be to get your members to promote your exchange

Your members will think of more promotional ideas, angles and sites that you could possibly think of on your own.  Make it worth their while, and they will become great allies in building your exchange.  In general, we recommend using 'credits for promotion': a member can earn 1 'surf credit' for every unique IP address they bring to your promotional page each day.

Some sites also have a 'promotional award' program... if a 'mystery surfer' sees a promotional page of yours on another exchange, they can credit the promoter.  We don't generally suggest this, because it does require a lot of off-topic work, but if you've got the time, it will get your members promoting your site more.

One of the other tools you get with TrEx is an automated "referral contest"... you set the time range, and TrEx keeps an up-to-date 'leader board' on display, so you can see who is bringing in members.  Just decide what to give out as prizes, and watch the referrals come in.

Your final concern should be a good shopping experience, when members decide to spend money

You want your members, when they do decide to upgrade, or recruit downline members, or buy credits, to walk away happy with their purchases.  We provide an automated customer-service system to help achieve exactly that.  Pay Pal buttons are created on the fly, and contain member id information.  We make use of Pay Pal's "Instant Payment Notification" system, and run 7 security checks before accepting an order as valid.

Once the order has been validated, your copy of TrEx sends the customer a receipt, and processes the order.  They get their credits, or referrals, or upgrade, as soon as the money is verified in your account.  You do nothing, and your customers get serviced.

We have a manual back-end for the payment system, so you can manually process payments from other online payment systems, and we are working on extensions for Alert Pay, Money Bookers, eGold and Green Zap, as time permits.  These will be available as free upgrades to TrEx license holders, when those modules become available.


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