Resources for Buying and Selling Online Businesses

Frictionless Affiliate Programs for Your Customers and Creators


Noah TuckerNoah Tucker is the Founder and CEO of Social Snowball, an affiliate marketing platform for e-commerce merchants that automates affiliate acquisition. Social Snowball automatically creates affiliate accounts for all your customers and gives them a custom discount code to share right from the “thank you” page. Additionally, it makes your life easier by simplifying payout processes in just a few clicks, allowing you to generate revenue right off the bat in less than 60 seconds.

Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

  • [02:06] Noah Tucker talks about Social Snowball and what it offers
  • [04:03] How affiliate marketing has evolved
  • [07:17] Why you should partner with Social Snowball
  • [13:01] How Noah got into affiliate marketing
  • [15:24] What are the metrics for measuring affiliate marketing success?
  • [21:20] Noah’s advice for people wanting to start affiliate marketing
  • [23:53] The value of having a successful affiliate program
  • [29:52] How can brands incentivize affiliates?

In this episode…

Have you considered growing your brand through affiliate marketing? How can you build, scale, and automate a frictionless modern affiliate and referral program?

Structuring your affiliate marketing the old-school way will not allow you to leverage it fully. Since the affiliate world has evolved so much, Noah Tucker recommends partnering with experts in this space. Professionals can help you automate your affiliate and referral program and implement a less cumbersome solution.

In this episode of the Quiet Light Podcast, Pat Yates sits down with Noah Tucker, Founder and CEO of Social Snowball, to discuss how he helps brands build effective affiliate programs. Noah explains how Social Snowball helps its clients, how affiliate marketing has evolved, the metrics for measuring affiliate marketing success, and advice for people wanting to start.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Sponsor for this episode

This episode brought to you by Quiet Light, a brokerage firm that wants to help you successfully sell your online business.

There is no wrong reason for selling your business. However, there is a right time and a right way. The team of leading entrepreneurs at Quiet Light wants to help you discover the right time and strategy for selling your business. They provide trustworthy advice, effective strategies, and honest valuations. So, your Quiet Light advisors aren’t your everyday brokers — they’re your partner and friend through every phase of the exit planning process.

If you’re new to the prospect of buying and selling, Quiet Light is here to support you. Their plethora of top-notch resources will provide everything you need to know about when and how to buy or sell an online business. Quiet Light offers high-quality videos, articles, podcasts, and guides to help you make the best decision for your online business.

Not sure what your business is really worth? No worries. Quiet Light offers a free valuation and marketplace-ready assessment on its website. That’s right—this quick, easy, and free valuation has no strings attached. Knowing the true value of your business has never been easier!

What are you waiting for? Quiet Light offers the best experience, strategies, and advice to make your exit successful. To learn more, go to, email [email protected], or call 800.746.5034 today.

Episode Transcript

Intro  0:07

Hi folks, it’s the Quiet Light Podcast where we share relentlessly honest insights, actionable tips, and entrepreneurial stories that will help founders identify and reach their goals.

Pat Yates  0:32

Tell everyone welcome to the Quiet Light Podcast is Pat Yates sitting in for Joe Valley. Today we have Noah from Social Snowball man, this is a really cool business, Noah Tucker, social snowball. They do affiliate marketing for customers you already have, which is something that you’ve always looked at businesses and blogs and things like that I’ve done affiliate. And it’s really interesting because when I first looked at this, I was sort of fascinated how you can turn a customer into an affiliate, it not only helps them maybe make a little extra income, what if it’s 10 or 15 $20, that pays a bill or two every month or if it’s 1000s of dollars, that someone makes just using their social be able to help businesses grow all their base and their clients. It’s really interesting. And they have a free trial that you can go in and utilize the people that are already buying from you which you would think there’s not a lot of friction to people being able to do that, especially if they liked the product. Noah are probably going to talk a lot about how this is onboard and how it works. And, you know, I know there’s going to be some great stuff to talk about here. If you’re looking to really expand your marketing from a way that’s super creative Social Snowball may be the way to go. So let’s jump in and talk to Noah. And I’m looking forward to the conversation today. Noah, it’s great to have you here today. Man, I’m so excited to talk about your business Social Snowball. I’m all ears. I read the site, I looked at the information, I felt really stupid because I looked at this and said, how am I not doing this already, especially if you have engaged customer? So give the listeners a little bit of an overview of Social Snowball. I’m sure they’re anxious to hear this.

Noah Tucker  2:06

Sure. Yeah. I think like the highest level overview how I like to explain Social Snowball is, if you were to say to the e-commerce owner operator like 10, or even five years ago, like he wouldn’t say the word affiliate, they would probably think of like a publisher or blog or media buyer, listicles and review site like those are the type of affiliates that brands are partnering with, back then. And today, those type of partnerships are still valuable. But brands are also partnering with what I call the more modern affiliate, which is like creators, ambassadors, influencers and your customers, obviously, like I know, you’ve mentioned customers, if someone’s happy with them to buy from you, they’re probably passionate enough to share with their friends, they probably don’t really aren’t doing that. But basically all the technology that has existed for Social Snowballs to enable affiliate partnerships has really been focused around making that process moves for the old type of affiliate like those publishers and media buyer affiliates. And when you try to partner with these creators and your customers, ambassadors, and you’ve got all the technology, they just everything breaks, super clunky and manual and just started the process. So what Social Snowball is a high-level overview is the first affiliate platform for e-commerce that’s just laser-focused on this new tech, affiliate, whatever you want to call it, creators, ambassadors, your customers, basically just democratizing affiliations and making it very easy for the more average Joe to become an affiliate rather than it being like a very gated, exclusive program that only, like publishers that are like PR outlets can enjoy.

Pat Yates  3:33

It makes a lot of sense. I mean, some people that haven’t done affiliate in the past, maybe you can compare and contrast a little bit the old school model of affiliate where you have to go out and there’s only certain people and they write articles. I mean, I think that, it’s funny, because almost use the word affiliate. But this seems semi different than what I remember it being it’s almost like a separate category inside a category. So maybe tell the listeners a little bit how this can change, like how they if they were averse to affiliate in the past? How is this different in a compare and contrast?

Noah Tucker  4:03

Yeah, definitely. I mean, so if you were to be partnering with like, there’s older school affiliates, there’s just certain things that you’d expect, like, you wouldn’t just be opening the floodgates to anyone to join, like you’d want it to be kind of you rather be like an application process and like reviewing applications and approving certain applications, maybe rejecting other applications based on whatever criteria, it’s usually like media outlets and PR outlets, or just like big publications, or journalists that are joining and writing content, and basically publishing their content. So you can think of like one of those like top 10 gifts, your father’s days, that would be like a very popular affiliate blog that a publisher coach and then each list item in their blog would be like an affiliate link to that product that they’re promoting. Those are like the oldest school affiliates, but obviously like if you were to partner with TikTok or on, like TikTok influencer, it wouldn’t you wouldn’t want that process to be the same like the application process of you maybe the UI a bit, the questions you’d want to ask, what you’d be looking for the interface, you want to get that affiliate for a TikTok or that’s used to like, TikTok and like more modern UI and like this through the processes, or even the customer who’s used to your website and your branding and maybe made a purchase on your store and is used to your smooth checkout experience, you wouldn’t want to give the same user experience to that older school affiliate that wouldn’t be new. And to basically, the main difference is there’s a lot of friction in the old-school style. And it’s somewhat by design, because there’s supposed to be friction in that process. But when you’re partnering with a customer who’s just navigated through your beautifully pixel, beautiful pixel, perfect site and extremely smooth like three, click checkout, and you’re expected to jump through the hoops like a PR media outlet and jump through to like, manually apply for an affiliate program, that’s just unrealistic, you know, say like an influencer creator, like they’re not used to that type of experience these things being a lot smoother. So essentially, and I can definitely explain like on a more like granular product level, what it looks like. But what searches mobile does is it removes a lot of friction from the entire affiliate management process. So whether that’s onboarding affiliates, generating decodes and links, check and sales and give redeeming their payouts, like everything just kind of is smooth and easy to facilitate on a large scale. Because when you’re working with these PR outlets, maybe you’re working with like 10 publishers, and like one media buyer, but when you’re working with them creators, you might have like 20,000 customers that you’re giving affiliate codes to, and 300, TikTok influencers that you did outreach to that you want to give affiliate links to and their 200 YouTubers that you want to give links to, and you need to be able to keep all that organized. And it can’t be just like this hectic, clunky, manual process to get anything done.

Pat Yates  6:46

That’s great information. I’m really curious on this, because the more I read about it, the more I got excited about what you do. So tell me a little bit about, let’s say that there’s a buyer of XYZ widgets, and he’s a client of yours, let’s say, and what is it like from the customer experience? What do they actually see that initiates the opportunity to work in this affiliate market situation? Maybe you can walk us through how someone it’s not doesn’t have to be detailed on board, but how do they find out about it, how they make a decision? And how quickly can they decide to work with you?

Noah Tucker  7:17

Totally, yeah, great question. So I’ll even go a step further. And I’ll compare and contrast what it’s like for like your users Social Snowball is like a traditional, like more Oh, totally that. So thank you, for customer was going to join like one of those more old-school programs, they were very interested in becoming an affiliate, but the e-commerce brand was using one of the more old-school platforms. So you know, after they make a purchase, they’d have to navigate back to your website, let’s say you have an application page somewhere in your footer navigation system, navigate back to website, go to the link in your footer navigation, that has to fill out an application that is not even with your branding, or when you’re consistent with your brand’s UI, it would be like what the other app uses for their application form. So it’s like a little bit of a, like, quite the experience already, that happens to you know, fill out their information, submit the application and have to wait for a team member of yours go and review the application to prove the application and then their code and the link will be generated for them to be able to go and start sharing and receiving commission. So obviously, that’s like a pretty extensive process for a customer to go through. If you want to make your purchase secures, as few clicks as possible. If it’s possible, you should want to make the customer to affiliate experienced just as smooth. So, I set that to contrast that with Social Snowball, what we’re able to do is we’re able to turn your customers into affiliates automatically. And basically, we do it at the point of purchase. So Howard’s never a new customer places an order on your store. Before they even make it to the order confirmation page, we’ve already taken their order data from Shopify checkout, and you can use it to automatically generate them an affiliate account, automatically generate them a custom tracking link your discount code with their name in it, and then give all that to them natively on the thank you page by the time they complete the purchase. So without any like pop-ups, or click here to get your code or fill out this form or check your email just by completing a purchase Shopify already gives us all the data that we need to generate them their affiliate and poacher if they want to change their code later and things like that, of course they can. But we’ve removed the friction needed to share as much as possible. There’s zero click to share, like their code and make is already there natively on thank you page, of course, you could configure additional follow-up touch points, like your email service provider, SMS, or whatever you want to do. But we just want to make that first touch point as possible. Some of the binders they did they get the dopamine residents probably going to be sharing with friends already. They’re passionate about your brand, why not give them the opportunity to share, earn and to have accurate attribution for those referrals that are coming in that might have even been coming in anyway. So that’s essentially how it looks on the customer side.

Pat Yates  9:42

So just to summarize it, if someone’s going through this, and again, I try to take it from the base level so people can understand it. If they’re going through the checkout process. Let’s say it’s me and I come into your site and I go through the checkout process at some point, it’s going to prompt that person understand that they can become an affiliate, share it on their social or wherever they want to share it And then send people back and they’re gonna make a portion of that transaction, whatever that number is decided on, throughout any time that person buys, is there a term that it’s under? Or does it go anytime? Let’s say they come back in a year to do their second purchase, how long does that pixel or that relationship stand?

Noah Tucker  10:17

Yeah, well, the beauty is, that’s totally up to the brand. So they can configure that to be anything they want. So if you’re using like a code for attribution, you can make code single use for customer so that if companies that a second time, you don’t have to pay a commission on the LTV of that referral, some brands want to do that other brands would like to pay commissions in perpetuity of their customers repeat orders, which is like totally a business if they’re doing. If you’re using like a tracking link, and there’s a cookie, you could set an attribution window to be like anything between like 24 hours and like a year, I think are the settings at least we’re having social snowball. So you can choose how long you want, the cookie lasts in the browser, which is the exact size of an attribution window. So it’s really up to the brand, like if they want they can try to encourage people to drive referrals sooner than later. And that could be a strategy. But it doesn’t have to be.

Pat Yates  11:02

Right. It’s really interesting in that standpoint. So I think one of the things I looked at, and also some information in here is the first thing that I get nervous about is tracking and reporting and things like that, that if you end up with 500 or 1000 people, I’m sure that somebody in their mind is probably thought about that of how am I going to be able to handle this tell me how your system and how easy it can make it or what the challenges are to be able to come across that hurdle.

Noah Tucker  11:28

Yeah, I mean, so obviously, attribution is never going to be perfect. I think that’s like a big problem in e-commerce brand safety across all platforms. You know, we have really two main methods of attribution that we use to check play sales, and essentially just the mechanisms that we give affiliates to share with their audience. So, attracting attention to, you know, the UTM link that would apply to a browser that we can have access for whatever window, obviously, the big issue, the big obvious issue with that is, if someone, let’s say click on an affiliate link, let’s say they’re on like social media posts, they quickly like on their phone, but then they go in, they want to find a desktop, we wouldn’t track that. So the way that we’re able to get attribution from the jump from device to device with a coupon codes, incentive behind it, so not only do coupon codes act as a powerful incentive for affiliates to be able to share this coupon with your audience, which is an incentive for them to buy. It’s also a powerful attribution method. Because if you share codes on Instagram, you’re giving a code with your name on it, that just your audience, if they hear the binary laptop, that code is jumping from the phone and a laptop because isn’t in place. So it’s a great double function that coupon codes give us in the affiliate model, because they act as both an incentive to actually get the conversion to go across the finish line, as well as like attribution that can jump from device to device, which is obviously really powerful.

Pat Yates  12:42

I’m really curious, when you created this, obviously, it came from something in your mind that was a hole already. Is there a story as an entrepreneur that made you decide to do this business? It’s really, it’s really interesting, because if I would have thought of it, I’d love to be able to think about it. But I never really occurred to me. So what occurred in the past as an entrepreneur that made you decide to fill this void?

Noah Tucker  13:01

Yeah, good question. I mean, the shorter version of the story is honestly, like I was on the brand side for many years before building good. So I was building my own stores, I was consulting groups and other brands, I was very heavy, and like, the whole like marketing side of things. So like media buying, I was heavy into that, honestly, like any brand, I would work with my secret sauce and building some sort of ambassador program, I had a lot of success with them. And basically, like, just having that had that experience, I just have had played with all the existing affiliate tools and the Shopify ecosystem, just by trying to build a different program and see what different tools could do. It’s very familiar with the tools that existed and their functionality and what they lacked. So basically, it’s after years of dealing with his tools and trying to build stuff myself like that beer play, do forums, like I kind of just was getting sick, and it was out there. And it really was very clunky and manual. And the types of affiliate programs I was building were very much like Ambassador programs and programs for customers that like maybe influencers but nothing much bigger than that. And I just basically realized, like, obviously, I had like a pretty solid network of other e-commerce operators and founders at the time, just being in the space. And it was kind of like, universally agreed upon, like, people were pretty unhappy with the existing affiliate solutions. So that kind of that was sort of like the lightbulb moment like, okay, it’s not just me that’s frustrated with these two things. Everyone’s kind of frustrated, like what are like two or three low-hanging fruits that these tools are doing that I could build an MVP that would just get some people interested. And then eventually, like, afterwards we built more and more features. And now, you know, when we first launched here, we’re barely like a full affiliate product, like we could barely compete with a full affiliate product. But two and a half years later, we added so many new features that now we’re like a full affiliate marketing platform. Plus, we have the cool feature that basically, you made a stand out so much in the early days.

Pat Yates  14:48

That’s really incredible. So obviously, you’ve had a great amount of growth. I think some of the questions may be that I would have and I’m sure that our listeners would have their e-comm entrepreneurs. I mean, how much of this, like, let’s assume that you have the stats. So assume 1000 people come through a website, how many of these? How many people are looking to be able to do something like this? Because honestly, even as a consumer, I wasn’t educated that you could do this. So what kind of results can people expect that? I know they vary? And you’re not going to make any claims? But are there metrics of how many people decide to do this? And how many times they’ll get people on your side? I mean, maybe tell them about the metrics?

Noah Tucker  15:24

Totally. Yeah. So the big Northstar metric that we use to measure success in this and I think there’s a lot of metrics that people will talk around that don’t really matter as much. I think it’s important to have like a Northstar metric. It’s like, is this successful or not? How do you measure that? So that metric is like affiliate will customer affiliate generate revenue, obviously, we’re doing outreach to and affiliates, we’re not including that in this calculation. So customer affiliate revenue as a percentage of total revenue, like referral revenue as a percentage of GMV over any timeframe. That’s really what’s impacting the bottom line. So if your affiliate revenue, let’s say you’re because a lot of, you could look at ROI, for example, is a common one that people will look at and be like, oh, my ROI, and like 20x, which sounds insane, but it’s like only if that 20x ROI is only driving like point zero 1% of your total revenue is not really moving the needle. But let’s say you’re operating in this type of affiliate program at like, a three or 4x ROI, or even a 5x ROI, which is still great and profitable for most brands course. And it generating 8% of your DNB, that needle-moving revenue, that’s a considerable impact on your bottom line, so I don’t have any benchmarks. But that’s essentially the number that we’re looking to measure. That’s the number we’re looking to optimize when we’re like our customer success team or myself, we’re looking at a brand kind of like, festival, spirit, specifically, with a customer referral program, we’re looking at referral revenue as a percentage of GMP and basically not looking at anything else. So to answer your question like, and for the listeners, if they’re running a more like traditional refer friend, like give five get by program and be curious to hear what they’ve experienced as well. But most people who are running those more traditional referral programs, where it’s like coupon incentives are like points or stuff like that, it’s usually never generating more than one percentage end, of course, engagement and acceptance but I’m very rarely talk to brand regenerates over 1% of the total revenue. With Social Snowball, we’ve got we got brands generate 10 plus percent frequently. I would say between like three and 10% is really like the sweet spot and independent drastically. I mean, you can, if you go on our website, we have a case study section, and you can see how some brands are accomplishing those numbers. To be fair, like the brands that are more in the five to 10% plus range, I really do think they have a very positive customer base. And that’s something that no, I can help with. Like if you have a product that nobody really likes, or that nobody’s passionate about, no matter how optimized you make them, spend a little bit of customers during your affiliate program and make it easy to share and easy to redeem. It can be the most optimized funnel in the world, if people don’t want to share your product and your product. So when Social Snowball really provides a ton of value to a brand. We work with brands that already have a passion, a customer base that already kind of like eager for a mechanism to share. And we know that because there’s like qualitative data that they can look up to and their customer success team and like, we get a ton of messages from customers being like, hey, do you have an ambassador program, we have an affiliate program I want to share with my friends, I want to get a commission, if you’re getting inbound messages from your customers, or your existing referral program is not driving that much of a new like, that’s usually when it’s like, okay, let’s put us for a little more fuel on this fire. And let’s capture a little more attribution for sales that are already coming in. And then that’s when things can really take off. So long or short answer your question, five to 10% of GNP is definitely very common. But it’s assuming that you have a customer base that doesn’t hate you.

Pat Yates  18:44

That’s interesting. So yeah, that’s a good point. If it’s bad paper, you’re not going to do very well at all. So inherently, though from let’s say, a seller standpoint, it seems to me that once you get this going, you really don’t lose people in that process. Maybe they don’t gain as much sales. But if it seemed like it would pancake and you’re not gonna get a lot of people drop out, do you see that, if people do this for say, six months to a year, their base continues to grow? Does it level, kind of how do you see the trajectory once people get in and work with you, for those clients that are gonna come in and work with you?

Noah Tucker  19:17

Yeah, I think like as the brand goes up, as the program grows, think of like, whenever you get a new customer, that’s that could just be instant, top of funnel tier affiliate program, and you’re just bringing more and more people, you’re obviously like, ramping up does take a little bit of time. So I’d say like, three to six months from launching the program and rolling it out to your existing customer base and getting activation on them and getting new customers, maybe tweaking your email flows to kind of get the messaging, right, three to six months before you kind of like will hit not a plateau but it was somewhat stabilized. Maybe it might just be like pretty fast hockey stick until then, and then it could like stabilize a little bit. And then after that, it’s like it’s definitely game with optimization. You know, it definitely gave me optimization and we’re talking a lot about scaling with just your customer base another huge way that brands scale Dustin’s expanding outside of that. And obviously, like, really doing outreach to influencers and creators is a great way to expand your program even further. But as far as like just optimizing your customer base that they’d like roughly three to six months until it like will somewhat level out, then it’s just a tweaking and optimization game as any other marketing channel, it would be. And then it’ll steadily grow as your customer base grows, we’re bringing new customers in the door, they’re having a positive experience, they’re sharing with friends, they’re joining the program. And if you can make that, like the management processes, then like not just the onboarding, but like the payout retention and everything a very smooth process, and well communicated there, the goal of they’re not going to just drive one referral, they’re going to continue driving referrals, which is where the real value is abroad, we can definitely dive deeper into that. But yeah, I think yeah, that’s basically how it usually goes.

Pat Yates  20:51

It’s kind of amazing. So, I know there are a lot of people out there that lives in the Quiet Light Podcast, considering buying a business may still be in the corporate world. Let’s say that someone was excited about maybe onboarding and starting to sell and becoming an affiliate that these companies come in and find is it just as simple as finding sites where it participates? Is there someplace on your sites, you can find partners that work with it, how did they, let’s say expand their own business, if these are the people that are the affiliates, I mean, that’s an important part of this.

Noah Tucker  21:20

Totally, totally. So unlike most affiliate platforms, and we might know, we’ve considered changing this maybe down the road. But so just so black, there’s no discovery or marketplace functionality. And the reason we do that is we kind of respect a brand’s affiliate program as their own audience. And if we had, like, let’s say, some sort of marketplace in the affiliate dashboard, where they can see other offers, we and again, I could be wrong here. But I would imagine brands would be a little bit less comfortable onboarding, the affiliates that they worked hard to get, whether those are customers or influences they reached out to, because they’d be worried that they’re going to start shopping around better commission offers that other brands and navies promote their products less. I think like with how chaotic a lot of the rest of the digital marketing landscape is, especially through like paid ads, channels, brands, really appreciate a marketing channel and a customer acquisition channel that’s owned. So that could be an SMS with an email list or an affiliate program, but review it. So we kind of want to respect that maybe almost a little bit to the stream, which is like, if you bring on your affiliate, that is your affiliate, and you’ll never show them another offer because you were trying to get that affiliate, whether that’s customer and influencers, though, I use the both sides, I think there could be value both ways, because obviously the brands got to be able to get new affiliates from it. And obviously, they’d have to like opt in to it. So I think it’s something to explore. But as of right now, it’s like only you have to bring your affiliates or customers or influencers. That being said, I mean, I’m sure you’d find a lot of brands that have these affiliate programs just by going on the website. And although we do have like that post purchase for to turn new customers to do affiliates, you could also create signup forms and add this to your website. So if you go looking at brands like header, footer navigation, there’s like an ambassador affiliate sign up, like that’s always a great way.

Pat Yates  23:03

So out of interest if someone becomes an affiliate and they start working the companies or do they have a back end and your system they can look at as well that sort of understands exactly where their impact has been?

Noah Tucker  23:15

Yeah, they do they have an affiliate dashboard where they can see all their sales, they can see the commission’s they vary, they can see the path that they’re rude. If they’re an affiliate for multiple brands, they can toggle between dashboards and like one central dashboard. So yeah, they have them all that reporting at their fingertips.

Pat Yates  23:29

Yeah. And I noticed on your site, it says there’s two click bulk payout sending tell us a little bit about that. Because to me when I read that it was like that was meant to be there for ease of operation to make entrepreneurs understand that they’re not going to have to go to six, eight hours of work every month to be able to put this information together. So maybe tell them about the ease of being able to do the reporting do the payouts and things and how that may impact the view of the affiliates?

Noah Tucker  23:53

Yeah, I think it’s super important. I think like having a successful affiliate program like a huge feature that is making payout really easy for the affiliate because like an affiliate has like back and forth or customer support to like, make them brand and account on some like banking apps, like eventually get their payout, they’re probably not going to be motivated in referring back. But yeah, I mean, so with Social Snowball, basically the way it works, we have this mores API that we use and basically like all the brand has to do with extending to affiliate they just connect the funding source that would be like a bank account or credit card, and then all of the applicable data where they can view and manage it. Most importantly, send their payout with the Snowball directly from that connected, let’s say bank account to the affiliate. So regardless of how many days so let’s say you owe like 100 payouts for example, all different amounts, different affiliate, you just go into your dashboard, you’ve already connected a funding source just click pay all and firm. And then that pulls money from your connected funding source. And then what’s really cool is we give the affiliates this self-serve redemption portal where they can actually go in and they can redeem the path themselves and they can choose between a ton of options on how they wanted to do payout. So the rewards API that we use to power this gives options like Venmo, PayPal bank transfer, Amazon gift card, Visa card, even like charities, Starbucks gift card, like anything you can imagine, and what’s cool is like, if one affiliate is maybe it’s more convenient for them to redeem in Venmo. But this other affiliate would rather do seem like a Visa card, and another affiliate would rather get like a bank transfer, they all would go in and do itself there from that redemption portal, which is full of the merchants branding. And there’s no extra lift from the brands like traditionally how to look, it’s like, yeah, like PayPal details, you have to go into those manually, these like bank details, they type the account number wrong, that’s more back and forth, and you have to send a wire, then you have to eat those fees, and another person wants Venmo, you have to click username, you have to take your phone and send to Venmo. Like, it used to be a very manual process. If you wanted to achieve the same experience, it’s like giving a million at that dynamic redemption options like how like more than one option where they could go and redeem this, just make the two quick, and then the affiliates do it however they want. So the goal of that experience is like, the business goal behind it is like, if that experience relates to the positive, the affiliates, they’re going to be, like, significantly more motivated to continue driving referrals. And if we can get the average of referrals per affiliate from like, let’s say, this is a customer affiliate program, the average affiliate that’s active is driving like 1.5 referrals, if you can move that from like, 1.5, to even two on average, and you’re running a program at scale, that can be really significant customer acquisition. So little things, little tweaks like that, removing as much friction as possible, it really does make a difference.

Pat Yates  26:40

Man, that’s amazing. So tell me a little bit about, you know, when you look at the people that are coming in to be affiliates, and then the companies that are coming in search and forum, I don’t want you to have to give up necessarily your pricing. If that’s proprietary, that’s totally up to you whether you do but tell me a little bit about how the financial structure works of, say, a transaction, you can make up a number of dollar wise of the transaction and what it costs each side if you want, but I’m sure that people would be a little concerned about okay, I have a fee that I have to pay for the site, and then I have an affiliate I have to pay. Is this really going to work out for me financially? I’m sure that’s a question you get. So maybe you could talk a little bit about that.

Noah Tucker  27:16

Yeah, well, I mean, Social Snowballs to be super transparent. On the website, we just have two different plans. We have $100 month flat fee plan, where we take 3% of affiliate generated revenue, and then we have a higher plan that’s 499 a month and no commission fee. And then we also do like enterprise packages for our larger merchants. But that’s very different. Yeah, and as far as like, being concerned about paying commissions, I mean, with what’s really cool, obviously, like, every brand has to pay money to acquire customers. What sucks about paid ads is you don’t get to choose how much you pay. It’s basically the algorithms mood that day. So like if you’re running Facebook ads to acquire customers, and that’s like the channel you lead into the most one day you might be paying like $10 to acquire customers, maybe your operating profit. But another day, you might wake up and because the CPM spike, because whatever, like you’re paying 30 or $40. Maybe that’s not a problem. I always like to make the analogy of, like the progressive commercial, Progressive Insurance commercial, where it’s like the name your price tool, and you get to like name, your price, an affiliate program is basically like Navy, or you basically get to choose the price that you’re going to pay to acquire a customer, which is what you said as a commission. And if nobody ever heard that, like, you’ve got that commission, and you only pay that commission, when a successful referral goes through. And if nobody recruits and you never pay, and if you’re not paying ever, then you’re probably because you might be a little too low. And it’s like, you need to tweak it maybe but it’s very much in your control, like most brands operate their affiliate traffic as like their most profitable traffic because, you have control over what the character is. So it’s like very much not going to be a surprise. And that’s another benefit of having owned customer acquisition channel that’s not subject to like random algorithm with maybe misaligned incentives, you really have full control over what you’re going to be paying to acquire customers. So the bigger you’d scale the program at a kind of reference point that you’re comfortable with that you know, it’ll never change, the more profitable your business will be being the lesser overall like blended customer acquisition costs across will be.

Pat Yates  27:29

That’s amazing. So one other question I had is if you have people that are coming in and getting into involved in affiliate programs, they want the product and or whatever it’s going to be something that people look at very strongly can this actually improve your reviews with people like are they incentivized to come in as an affiliate to go on and let’s say whether it’s you know, Trust pilot or wherever it is that they put a good five-star review, can this inherently raise that as well? Just based on subscription.

Noah Tucker  29:52

I think it can, I think not like directly tied to it because I think at the end of the day with an affiliate program that goes to drive conversions, and everything around the program is usually optimized for that. If you were to kind of like incentivize people to leave reviews, then it’s kind of like taking away from the main incentive, which is to drive conversions. And I think there’s other platforms that do a really good job at like, just getting, like, creating incentives for reviews. That being said, like, a great byproduct of an affiliate program is UGC. And that happens all the time. Because people are usually creating content, that probably happens, a lot of brands that are listening, regardless, like their customers, their creators, the people that they’re paying the people that are doing it for free, like hostage gets created, which is awesome, you get the poor little extra fuel on that fire with an affiliate program, because now there’s incentive for not only people to make more content to actually drive referrals, because there’s an incentive for them to even create, for people who are already creating content, maybe they’ll create more content, because they want to make more commissions, or maybe the first piece of content didn’t do well, and they want to give it another shot, because they know there’s an incentive for them, with partnering with creators, and I think there’s a lot of brands that do a really good job of this. But when you partner with creators, if you’re not giving them any incentive to drive sales, like they, often the quality of content and the consistency of content isn’t going to be the same level as if there’s an incentive for them to win with you. So I think when you kind of align those incentives, and these creators or customers are very motivated to actually create content that they think will sell and they’re done, keep trying, if it doesn’t work the first time, usually to have a really great positive impact on the brand. And you just get an awesome byproduct that attended UGC that you can do whatever you want with it on your website and use it for paid ads. There’s a lot of plus.

Pat Yates  31:41

That’s great. And one thing I want our listeners to understand, I noticed on your site, you have a free trial, I always feel really strongly about people that are willing to do that. Because it’s kind of like the put your money where your mouth is type mentality that if you come in, you’re going to find out that the successful we’re going to give a free trial. Tell them about maybe what that timeline is and what kind of results that you’ve seen, and maybe what they expect, because that’s a great opportunity to figure out exactly where this program is for each individual e-commerce business.

Noah Tucker  32:08

Yeah, so it’s 30 days, which should be plenty of time to get everything up and launched as well as like start to see results coming in. I mean, logic is very easy, like it’s a Shopify integration, so there’s not too much work done. And then of course, if you’re integrating with Klayvio and setting up custom flows, like things like that can take time because of how many resources you have and how many hours you’re putting in. But it’s pretty easy a lot. So 30 days is more than enough to get things off the ground. And at least we have a little bit of traction to come in to create it and start paying.

Pat Yates  32:38

That’s great. So I know we’ve given a real overview. I mean, this information is incredible, because first of all, I loved it when I saw it, but the depth of it now obviously, I have a much better picture up. So at the 30,000 foot view, is there anything else you’d like to tell the listeners about Snowball from that view, is there other things we haven’t covered?

Noah Tucker  32:57

No, I mean, I think that’s the majority of it. I think there’s a lot of other really cool, like problems that we’re working to solve and affiliate and there’s some stuff that we’ll be announcing really soon on like exactly how we’re doing it, but like another, it’s like how before, like when we launched this job, what were like what are a few low hanging fruits that we know that are like really not great with these other affiliate platforms that we can just like knock out of the way so people want to give a try. And like the main ones, honestly, relatability onboarding, which talks about as, and that is like, what gave us a lot of traction in the earlier days. Today like there’s a lot of new problems that we’re working to combat, the one of them would be like affiliate code seeking to combine states. When an affiliate the coupon code leads to like honey, for example, not only does it create a mess of attribution, because everyone who has money is just like using that code. And then the affiliate like it’s attributing the sale to the affiliate, because like I said, we’re using these coupons on for attribution, as well as the affiliates giving attribution so that those annoying, but then if you don’t catch it, then you’re going to be paying the affiliate commissions on sales that it didn’t refer, which could be like a huge loss for your business. So it’s a real annoying problem. And honey is everywhere, like literally everyone has honey, myself included as a consumer Guilty as charged. So it’s like, how do we combat that? And basically, like we have some really exciting tools coming out soon, that are going to be doing exactly that, like being able to use coupons, but not having to worry about them leaking or leaking just not being an issue. So that’s something to be on the lookout for. I’m very, very excited about that. And I think what’s awesome about being in addition yard is like we’ve already solved a lot of really fun and exciting problems for they’re related to affiliate marketing for e-commerce. And now there’s like, history had a lot of customers they gave us like a laundry list of new problems to solve and being able to sit down and work towards documents every day is a very, very fun job.

Pat Yates  34:52

That’s really incredible. So I appreciate all the time today. No, I am curious about a couple of things. I always try to find something personal that comes from everyone. Are there any good business books, give us one business book that you’ve read recently that you’d recommend to the listeners.

Noah Tucker  35:05

Yeah, recently, I read a Shoe Dog, which is like your classic. And it’s like the autobiography of the founder of Nike. Crazy awesome story. There was a more like, tactical business, one that I read recently. And I try not to read too many tactical business books, because eventually they get really boring. And this one is really relevant is that oh, From Impossible to Inevitable, was what it’s called. And if you’re not, is that not relevant, but it’s really cool, just like how SaaS worked. And there’s a lot I’ve been running this ad for, like two years, and I’ve read that and there’s so many obvious things that have told me that it’s like, how have I not notice that? So that was really cool. And but a Shoe Dog is a really fun one. Like, I think everyone should Shoe Dog that the crematory like the thing that doesn’t build Nike me. It’s kind of unfathomable. Like we see these big businesses and we forget there’s like a real entrepreneur behind them. So that was fun.

Pat Yates  35:55

That’s awesome. So let everyone know how they can get in touch with you. Maybe you Social Link, LinkedIn or something. And then your site and email. How can people come in and work with

Noah Tucker  36:06

Yeah, honestly, Twitter is the best way to contact me like I’m always checking DMS, like unhealthy addiction to Twitter, admittedly. So my Twitter username is Noa Tuck, but spelled kind of weird. And NOATUCK. So feel free to hit me up on there. And then yeah, if you want to check our Social Snowball, University install from there, you can put your demo if you want to see exactly what everything we talked about looks like. And if you have any other questions like always DM me on Twitter, I’m always happy to talk about that.

Pat Yates  36:38

That’s awesome. I’ve been off the social part of the last time I said at it is a really, really cool business. Noah, I appreciate you being here with us today. And I’m sure our people the listeners out there will be looking you up very quick. And if you guys need any more information, we’ll make sure to add some links on the bio in this. Appreciate you join us today Noah.

Noah Tucker  36:57

Yeah, thanks so much for having me. This is a lot of fun.

Outro  37:01

Today’s podcast was produced by Rise25 and the Quiet Light content team. If you have a suggestion for a future podcast subject or guest, email us at [email protected]. Be sure to follow us on YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram and subscribe to the show wherever you get your podcasts. Thanks for listening. We’ll see you next week.

Thinking of Selling Now or Later?

Get your free valuation & marketplace-readiness assessment. We’ll never push you to sell. And we’ll always be honest about whether or not selling is the right choice for you.