Referral Program Status?

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sodafish
Member is a Diamond contributor and has 25,000 - 199,999 Photo downloadsMember is a contributor and has less than 250 Video downloadsMember is a Black Diamond contributor and has more than 200,000 Illustration downloadsExclusiveExclusive iStockphoto IllustratorExclusive iStockphoto VideographerAwarded to fabulous photographers with more than 100,000 downloads
Posted Mon Feb 11, 2013 1:28AM

For me, the new referral system is a serious step back regarding earnings. I do promote my work externally, and do this exactly the same as with the older system. As a matter of fact, I'm doing this the same for several years now. I changed all links correctly and also tried the different methods of payout (flat rate, commision, ...) .While both generate some income, it's nothing compared with the older system. I have no idea why it suddenly makes this big difference in earnings, while I expect to send over a comparable amount of vistors/buyers. I think I can compare both systems quite well, and for me, it currently doesn't motivate me to invest more in promotion.
aprott
Member is a Silver contributor and has 2,500 - 9,999 Photo downloadsExclusive
Posted Mon Feb 11, 2013 2:16AM

Already in June I informed CR of an inconsistency in my referral stats. I use referral links on my German and English business website. It currently shows 6 signups and 1 referral:
referral1


When I click on Referral Details it says that I don't have a referral:
referral2


To my knowledge I didn't get any payment for the referral in my first screenshot (I opted for the 20$ flat rate per referral). CR sent me the typical sloppy answer that everything is ok. Sorry I deleted the message and can't copy in the exact answer, but I can resend my original email on request.


In 2011 in the old program I had 5 or 6 referral payments. Since the new program none, despite of much more intense advertising from my side.


This is obviously broken despite CR claiming everything is ok. I have given up talking to CR.
asiseeit
Member is a Black Diamond contributor and has more than 200,000 Photo downloadsMember is a contributor and has less than 250 Video downloadsMember is a contributor and has less than 250 Flash downloadsMember is a contributor and has less than 250 Illustration downloadsExclusiveExclusive iStockphoto VideographerAwarded to fabulous photographers with more than 100,000 downloads
Posted Mon Feb 11, 2013 9:18AM
This "new" system is simply too complicated and confusing to use. I managed to get the links in at some places but have yet to have a single referral in over a year since it was put in. I used to have 3-4 referrals a month. For me the referral program was cancelled a year ago. Simpler is far better imho.
wwing
Member is a Diamond contributor and has 25,000 - 199,999 Photo downloadsMember is a contributor and has less than 250 Flash downloadsMember is a contributor and has less than 250 Illustration downloadsExclusive
Posted Mon Feb 11, 2013 9:55AM
Posted By wwing:
I had 65 referrals until the referral guidelines changed many moons ago. None since then.

My link is on two pages at my web site. Exactly the same place the links were  under the "old " referral program.
kelvinjay
Member is a Gold contributor and has 10,000 - 24,999 Photo downloadsMember is a contributor and has less than 250 Flash downloadsMember is a contributor and has less than 250 Illustration downloadsExclusiveMember has won a contestForum Moderator
Posted Mon Feb 11, 2013 10:08AM
^ Thanks for the extra info.
fstop123
Member is a Diamond contributor and has 25,000 - 199,999 Photo downloadsMember is a contributor and has less than 250 Video downloadsExclusiveExclusive iStockphoto VideographerRecognizing those who reach the 100,000 download mark
Posted Tue Feb 12, 2013 10:45PM
I too received many referrals until the new system.  I tried several times to implement it into my web site but could not get it to work.  I have had no referrals since the new system.  My entire portfolio points to my iStock work, I know surely some of them have become buyers.
ImagineGolf
Member is a Diamond contributor and has 25,000 - 199,999 Photo downloadsMember is a contributor and has less than 250 Flash downloadsMember is a contributor and has less than 250 Illustration downloadsExclusiveMember has had a File Of The WeekAwarded to fabulous photographers with more than 100,000 downloads
Posted Tue Feb 12, 2013 11:38PM
What referral system? I've had nothing. Zero incentive to figure it out and make an effort on this. It's a waste. Re-introduce something that works, restore the old system, dangle a carrot, whatever, but I think it's in everyone's best interest if there was a system in place that actually could be utilized to benefit the entire community. Whatever the current system, it's a complete failure in my opinion. Shame. This could be a powerful tool.
lucato
Member is a Diamond contributor and has 25,000 - 199,999 Photo downloadsMember is a contributor and has less than 250 Video downloadsMember is a Bronze contributor and has 125 - 1,249 Audio downloadsMember is a contributor and has less than 250 Flash downloadsMember is a Gold contributor and has 10,000 - 24,999 Illustration downloadsExclusive iStockphoto IllustratorExclusive iStockphoto Audio ArtistMember has had a Design Of The WeekMask of the Diablo Azul - Member has won between 1 and 3 Steel Cage matchesAwarded to fabulous photographers with more than 100,000 downloads
Posted Wed Feb 13, 2013 4:33AM
I had mentioned that issue a loooong time ago, butt....

Well, I don't even know if I got paid with 3 new members ($20 each) referred that I had in April 2012 once there is no info/column "Referral Earning ($)" any longer in the iStockDailyStatistics.csv file as it used to have before.

How to track if it was paid?
whitemay
Member is a Diamond contributor and has 25,000 - 199,999 Photo downloadsExclusive
Posted Wed Feb 13, 2013 4:59AM
I did have links on lots of pages of a client's website, both text links and image links, as provided by the referral link section. I had lots of clicks but not one referral so have now removed them. I had quite a few referrals with the old system and very nice it was too!
StanRohrer
Member is a Diamond contributor and has 25,000 - 199,999 Photo downloadsMember is a contributor and has less than 250 Flash downloadsMember is a contributor and has less than 250 Illustration downloadsExclusive
Posted Wed Feb 13, 2013 5:33AM
The current referral is so convoluted I didn't try to figure it out and didn't join it. It's a waste of effort. If it is not simple it will not be effective to use and/or track.
Difydave
Member is a Diamond contributor and has 25,000 - 199,999 Photo downloadsMember is a contributor and has less than 250 Flash downloadsMember is a contributor and has less than 250 Illustration downloadsExclusive
Posted Wed Feb 13, 2013 5:52AM
Another one with nothing since the new system was put in place. Used to get about one a month before. As others have said my banner is in the same place, has been getting some clicks but no referrals from that. I don't mind having a link to my work that may result in a sale, but why bother with a referral program that delivers no bonus?
Whiteway
Member is a Gold contributor and has 10,000 - 24,999 Photo downloadsMember is a contributor and has less than 250 Video downloadsExclusiveExclusive iStockphoto Videographer
Posted Wed Feb 13, 2013 6:12AM
^^ ^ Like Stan and Dave, I wrote the whole thing off as far too complicated to be worth the effort. Plus, the rewards offered at the end were clearly reduced from before. What a farrago.

(I had to look that word up. medley - mixture - hash - jumble - mix - blend - olio)
Lobo
Mask of the Diablo Azul - Member has won between 1 and 3 Steel Cage matchesThis 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 Wed Feb 13, 2013 3:01PM
Quick update for you all. Thank you for all the feedback. We are compiling some information for the teams responsable for the referral program over the next few days so all of this is extremely helpful.

I'll leave the thread open for a few more days We will continue to watch for comments but I hope you can understand we know one thing for sure:

It's way to complicated.
jamesbenet
Member is a Diamond contributor and has 25,000 - 199,999 Photo downloadsMember is a Gold contributor and has 5,000 - 12,499 Video downloadsMember is a Silver contributor and has 1,250 - 4,999 Audio downloadsMember is a Bronze contributor and has 250 - 2,499 Flash downloadsMember is a Diamond contributor and has 25,000 - 199,999 Illustration downloadsExclusiveExclusive iStockphoto IllustratorExclusive iStockphoto Flash ArtistExclusive iStockphoto Audio ArtistMember has had a submission accepted to the Designer SpotlightMember has had a File Of The Week.
Posted Wed Feb 13, 2013 3:13PM

Lobo "It's way to complicated."


My feelings exactly. I created a few links after a long troubleshoot session. None have generated a referral after clicks.


It would be great to have a way to automatically generate the appropriate links when we share content links in social media like Twitter or FB.  


As it stands now most of us ignore it and move on.  Thanks for listening.
Box5
Member is a Bronze contributor and has 250 - 2,499 Photo downloadsExclusive
Posted Wed Feb 13, 2013 3:38PM
/
/Lobo, can someone ask the accounting department what they're seeing? I understand that a detailed report won't be posted in the form, but could someone find out if they noticed a significant change in average monthly payouts at the time when the new system was unveiled? Are the actual payouts significantly higher or lower than their projections?


And I completely agree that the new system is way to complicated!
lucato
Member is a Diamond contributor and has 25,000 - 199,999 Photo downloadsMember is a contributor and has less than 250 Video downloadsMember is a Bronze contributor and has 125 - 1,249 Audio downloadsMember is a contributor and has less than 250 Flash downloadsMember is a Gold contributor and has 10,000 - 24,999 Illustration downloadsExclusive iStockphoto IllustratorExclusive iStockphoto Audio ArtistMember has had a Design Of The WeekMask of the Diablo Azul - Member has won between 1 and 3 Steel Cage matchesAwarded to fabulous photographers with more than 100,000 downloads
Posted Thu Feb 14, 2013 11:50PM
Maybe it is better iStock contract other company to use referral programs and not try to develop all by itself. Maybe use those campanies like Avangate, E-Junkie, CleverBridge, Share-It, and so on.

The same for forums, maybe use phpBB, SMF (SimpleForumMachine), Kunena, etc.

I would prefer it working better than fitting in iStock site layout!
Lobo
Mask of the Diablo Azul - Member has won between 1 and 3 Steel Cage matchesThis 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 Feb 15, 2013 6:30AM

Posted By lucato:
Maybe it is better iStock contract other company to use referral programs and not try to develop all by itself. Maybe use those campanies like Avangate, E-Junkie, CleverBridge, Share-It, and so on.

The same for forums, maybe use phpBB, SMF (SimpleForumMachine), Kunena, etc.

I would prefer it working better than fitting in iStock site layout!

Lucato, you might want to take a look at our Affilate Program.

As for the Forum, you are preaching to the choir. We are working on some short term plans right now. There are also some long term plans being discussed.
amriphoto
Member is a Diamond contributor and has 25,000 - 199,999 Photo downloadsMember is a Gold contributor and has 5,000 - 12,499 Video downloadsMember is a Bronze contributor and has 125 - 1,249 Audio downloadsExclusiveExclusive iStockphoto Audio ArtistMember has had a submission accepted to the Designer SpotlightMember has had a File Of The Week
Posted Fri Feb 15, 2013 12:20PM

Posted By kelvinjay:
It would be very useful for us to know what specific efforts people have made with regards to creating referral links, in order to try and get an idea of how the contributors find the program is performing. Just saying how many referrals you may have had doesn't really tell a full story. For example, if a contributor only created one link and posted it to some semi-neglected blog, then it may be entirely reasonable to have had no referrals from it. Also, it would help to know how any links were shared, be it email, web or on social media.

We have had several people on the forum question whether the referral program is working, so I'd like to use this thread to gather as much detailed evidence as possible, to try and identify if there is a technical glitch or usability issue that may be preventing people from getting the referral payments they believe they should be getting.

Since the change of the program, I had no referral. Before that I had several. I need to say though, that I have links to istock from many of the images on my website. I didn´t change the referral links to the new system for most of the images and didn´t bother to make new referral links from images I newly uploaded to my site. I found it too much hassle in comparison to the output.
While this might not help to track whether the system is technically working or not, it might give iStock an idea whether the system brings the desired effect. If there are more like me it could be worth thinking about because, every referred customer is a new customer and seems to be desperately needed, and changing a system should always bring a better output than the one before.
aprott
Member is a Silver contributor and has 2,500 - 9,999 Photo downloadsExclusive
Posted Sat Feb 16, 2013 1:25AM
Posted By aprott:

Already in June I informed CR of an inconsistency in my referral stats. I use referral links on my German and English business website. It currently shows 6 signups and 1 referral:
referral1


When I click on Referral Details it says that I don't have a referral:
referral2


To my knowledge I didn't get any payment for the referral in my first screenshot (I opted for the 20$ flat rate per referral). CR sent me the typical sloppy answer that everything is ok. Sorry I deleted the message and can't copy in the exact answer, but I can resend my original email on request.


In 2011 in the old program I had 5 or 6 referral payments. Since the new program none, despite of much more intense advertising from my side.


This is obviously broken despite CR claiming everything is ok. I have given up talking to CR.

Any chance of getting an official feedback on this obviously inconsistent statistic in this forum?
aprott
Member is a Silver contributor and has 2,500 - 9,999 Photo downloadsExclusive
Posted Sat Feb 16, 2013 1:30AM
PS : in case you are wondering why the clicks per view is so high: I don't use the tracking image with links on my website. So the statistics are mangled. But nevertheless the referral in screenshot 1 should also be reflected in screenshot 2 and should have been payed.
This thread has been locked.
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