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Referral Program FAQ

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This user has the power to wield the BanHammer, a weapon forged in the fires of hell for that get-off-my-planet quality you can't get anywhere else. You betta reckonize.Forum Moderator
Posted Fri Nov 25, 2011 10:22AM
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Q. So if I understand it correctly, referral earnings are not simply added to our account balance but instead kept in a separate 'referral account' that can only be cashed out when it reaches $100

A. No. All earnings will be added to the account balance.

Q. Can anyone tell me how to embed one of the generated links into an existing lightbox link?

A. Referral links should not be used on our site. The idea of referral links is to draw new people to our site, not ones that are already there. They are intended to be used in other locations on the web. If you wish to generate a referral link to point to one of your lightboxes on an external site, we recommend going to the 'Links' section and creating a new link.

Q. I'm questioning why there is an image tag in the referral link if it doesn't do anything.

A. This is what allows us to do the tracking and provide you with data on views, clicks, sign-ups and referrals.

Q. I see my referred 'friends' list is gone from my profile page now. Is that intentional?

A. Yes. This was done for privacy reasons. However, you are still able to see who you have referred in your referral details.

Q. Is there going to be a 'share on Google +' option?

A. We are working on this. Unfortunately, we don't have an estimate on when this will be released just yet.

Q. Any info on how referrals will work with iStock business cards and whether we should hold back on ordering new cards?

A. We are working on creating a better Exclusive Business Card program but don't have a timeframe on when we will be offering bonuses or any other benefits through the exclusive business cards. We will update you when we have more information. For now, the exclusive business cards are not a part of the referral program.

Q. Copied code to my website to replace old banner and now it shows nothing.

A. Please send an email ( with the URL of the page that contains your link. We may then be able to provide assistance.

Q. I haven't seen an answer for this yet: will we continue to get passive referrals? I never gave out cards or referral links and still had about 10 referrals, will these still happen?

A. At this time, we can't guarantee that you'll earn the same number of passive referrals as you did last time since the tracking and underlying technology has completely changed. You are better off pro-actively creating referral links, banners and sending emails to increase your potential to earn money from the referral program.

Q. So the recently established new formats don't work anymore? (et. I agree the new link formats are soooo long. Is someone going to shorten it before we attempt to mass update everything? And the previous system we had was really the $20 flat rate, not the 20 free credits, is that correct? I just don't see why that one is recommended by stock…..And can someone explain to me why the 20% commission will even be desirable when client can just buy 26 credit pack (20% of $30 is $6)?

A. The old referral URLs no longer work. To earn referral bonus payouts, you will have to use the new referral links that are generated in the banners or links sections of the new referral program.
Yes, the new referral program introduced the 20% and 20 credit payout plans. 20 credits are best for people who buy stock from iStock and 20% is best for people who refer customers who buy smaller packs than 26 or very large credit packs since there is no minimum purchase requirement and no maximum on the bonus payout for this specific payout plan.

Q. Do the free credits received by the new customer have an expiration date? If yes, how long do they last?

A. Yes, they expire 30 days after sign up.

Q. If the new client joins and then deletes the cookies for whatever reason, will stock still be able to track the referral?

A. Yes.

Q. Could we have a link to the 'sign up' page added to the drop down menu on the 'generate referral link' page?

A. Unfortunately no, because sign-up is not a 'page' on our site, it's a pop-up.

Q. I tried generating a unique banner and saved it. However I don't see it saved in the list as I was expecting. Does this mean the unique code I generated is lost? I then tried to generate a custom link, same thing happened. This list is empty….how am I supposed to recover that code in the future?

A. All generated banners will be saved. Clicking 'Banners' (/my-account/referral-program/banners) in the left nave of the 'My Account' section will show you all the banners that have been generated. Clicking on the name of the banner will show you the details of it, including the generated link.

Q. I have a few clicks but zero views. I'm not sure how that works.

A. Some of the data populates in your dashboards automatically and some of it takes some time (up to an hour or more) to populate. Typically, the clicks come in right away, but the views can take a little longer. Please note that the social sharing features cannot track views.

Q. I would like to know how iStock will calculate those free credits on our royalties? $0 credits x any% royalty = $0?

A. We still pay royalties on free credits as we always have.

Q. So, are we not getting the referral bonus for any sign ups right now? Either through the old way or the new way?

A. We never offered bonuses on sign-ups to referrers. The bonus was only ever paid if someone signed up and purchased. So this hasn't changed.

Q. Am I right in thinking the Facebook button is now broken? It only shows links rather than your image.

A. There is a known bug with the Facebook social link. It has been fixed and will be available shortly.

Q. So do I understand this right? If I use the social network buttons on my profile page and image pages, there links are classed as referral links? Can it be made for a specific portfolio image to be a linkable referral link with the code available on the image page?

A. Yes. If you are opted into the referral program, anything you share through the social links on our site will include your referral tracking in it so that you earn a bonus payout. If you want to share your portfolio, create a link in the 'links' section of the Referral Program and share that on your Facebook wall. But, as mentioned above, there are some known issues with Facebook sharing that are being fixed.

Q. Who is paying the 10 free credits for new customers? Do contributors get a royalty when these free credits are used? And why do contributors pay for that kind of marketing?

A. iStock is giving these credits to new customers and yes, artists will be paid for the royalties on these free credits.

Q. I've had 3 'sign-ups' from my referral link and 2 from my banner. Does that mean they registered and got their free credits? Does 'referral' mean they bought a certain number of credits? what does 'referral' mean on the link stats page? Note, the 'views' are not working on the banner referral link. Still have 0 views and 7 clicks with 2 sign ups.

A. 'Sign-ups' indicates someone who has signed up and got their 10 free credits. A 'Referral' is someone who has signed up, got their 10 free credits and made a qualifying purchase that has generated a bonus for the referrer.
Our stats were being delayed, however this has been resolved and they should now be showing up.

(Edited on 2011-11-25 10:31:13 by Lobo)
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