ShareMint is a web3 native affiliate and referral marketing platform. This post is about why we're building it and the importance of improving the web3 growth stack.
Web3 is young and we have a lot to build. From more scalable blockchains to better wallet UX and security. The industry has many things to improve.
Crypto skeptics say we're moving slowly. We're not. We've built a trillion dollar industry in five years. Tens of millions of people use crypto. We're moving at an insane pace. Especially if you compare it to the history of money or the Internet.
But regardless of how you feel about the pace of web3 innovation, it's clear there's a lot left to build. And there are still billions of people to onboard.
Web2 vs web3 marketing
The tools available to web2 marketers are levels above what we have in web3. This makes sense as web2 has existed for two decades. Web3 had no data or businesses running on it five years ago.
But that's changing.
As we enter the next phase of web3 growth we need better growth tools.
You might ask, why not use the same tools as web2?
You should. But you'll run into limitations along the way.
There are many differences between web2 and web3:
Web2 collects emails. Web3 collects wallet addresses.
Web2 doesn't have access to a new user's purchase history or actions on other apps. Web3 does.
Web2 events happen within the app. Web3 events within the app and on-chain.
Web2 uses Stripe and PayPal for payments. Web3 uses the blockchain for payments.
Web2 payments are completed when you get to the thank you page, or the payment processor says it's done. Web3 payments are done when the blockchain says it's done.
Web2 suffers chargebacks. Web3 doesn't.
Web2 payments are in dollars. Web3 payments are in ETH, USDC, BTC, or one of another thousand cryptocurrencies or tokens.
All these differences mean that web2 tooling doesn't fit well with a web3 app. Even if you force them to work together, there's a lot of functionality a web3 native product can do better than existing web2 tooling.
Referral and affiliate marketing
ShareMint is a web3 native affiliate and referral marketing platform.
The basic concept in both referral and affiliate marketing is that you incentivise people with rewards to invite others to use your product.
In referral marketing you reward your users for inviting their friends. An example is Uber, where if you invite a friend to the app, you get a free ride, and so does your friend.
Affiliate marketing is similar but rewards external parties and the reward is financial rather app credits. An example would be a YouTuber that is paid $100 for every person that purchases the product they've linked to.
Referral and affiliate marketing programs are both highly effective.
83% of customers are willing to refer friends after a positive experience with your brand, but only 29% actually do. Incentivising referrals pushes this number up.
92% of consumers trust personal recommendations more than advertising or messaging that comes directly from brands.
After customers refer their friends to your business, and those friends become new customers themselves, those friends are likely to refer their own peers, enabling a viral loop.
It's also low risk. You pay based on performance. For example, an affiliate will earn a revenue share of 10% for every person that buys via their link.
More than 80% of advertisers use affiliate marketing.
Amazon Affiliates is the world's largest affiliate program with 900,000 active affiliates. You'll find the links everywhere Google "top 10 phone cases" and you'll find ten links pointing to Amazon.
The reason businesses love affiliate marketing is that it's extremely cost effective. Revenue share deals are always profitable, as however much the affiliate earns, your company earns more. This is in contrast to running a Google ad, where you could spend $10,000 and see no sales in return. You bear all the risk.
It's also great for content creators who have an additional revenue stream for their business. We all work to get paid, and this a way for creators and influencers to earn a living.
In web3, every exchange has an affiliate program. Coinbase, Binance, Kucoin, whoever you use has a program.
But within the world of web3 native apps, there are far fewer programs. GMX, Lido, CoW Swap, Aave, and OpenSea all have or have had an affiliate program. But the default is that projects don't have one.
The primary reason for this is that it takes time to build and the team would rather focus on their core product than building marketing tools. In the case of OpenSea, it got so big it no longer needed to incentivise affiliates to drive them traffic. Other marketplaces are sleeping on this.
Referrals for web3 done right
At ShareMint we make it easy for a web3 project to set up a referral or affiliate program. You can launch your program within minutes. You don't need to ask your devs to build something from scratch. We also a network of top partners to help share your project.
We track on-chain payments and events for you.
We track who has invited who.
We provide detailed analytics and charts to better understand who your users are.
And we make it hassle-free to pay out your affiliates.
We're here to onboard the first billion users to web3, and best-in-class referral marketing tools built natively for web3 will help us get there.
The importance of marketing tools
Some will push back and argue we don't want tools to help marketers in web3. That's the past. Web3 is the future.
But that's a mistake.
If we expect DeFi to beat CeFi and if we expect web3 to beat web2 we need to provide our builders with the best marketing tools possible.
The initial days of web3 have been heavily influenced around token speculation. The next era of web3 will be apps that provide real value and generate real revenue.
Of course, influencers and promoters must be transparent when they're getting paid. Not only does the FTC require this, but there's a moral obligation to inform someone if you're earning by sharing a link.
We're excited to build the next wave of web3 marketing tools. If you'd like to add a referral program to your web3 business and work with the best names in the space, sign up at sharemint.xyz.