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Jason Bosinoff shares how the AirBnB team increased user signups and bookings by over 300% a day.
Hello, this is Gustaf. I'm the PM on this project - if you have any questions - shoot! :)
We're also hiring engineers and designers for the Airbnb growth team! airbnb.com/jobs
Hey Gustaf, love that you guys thought to test self-interested vs altruistic. That corroborates what we've seen as well, yet a lot of companies jump straight to self-interested.
I am going to be evil and shoot ;)
Some of the referral rules seem to need some work
They allow promotion on a "personal blog" - Noah's or my personal blogs can have some significant traffic.
Tim Ferris could probably stay for free whereever he liked worldwide ;) (well he probably could anyway as a guest)
The owner of multiple properties most likely runs some kind of company for tax purposes, so do they miss out?
How do you handle taxation and nexus?
This is a confusing mix of first past the post / last past the post
"If your referral was also referred by another user, you will receive the travel credit after a qualifying reservation if the referral uses your referral code or clicks on your referral link when they sign up. If your referral uses a different referral code or clicks on another person’s referral link when they sign up, you will not receive the travel credit."
It is especially confusing in a multi-device world - if it browser cookie based or is something flagged within the account for the last referring "referrer".
When an affiliate program is (re)launched, will that stack? Are you also going to have soft cookies for retargeting/branding campaigns?
Will your content to be affiliate enabled? (including your various blogs)
Disclosure: I worked a fair bit on designing cascading affiliate attribution with syndicated embeds (commerce enabled video players) so I am curious about design decisions on the product side.
> They allow promotion on a “personal blog” – Noah’s or my personal blogs can have some significant traffic.
This is fine
> The owner of multiple properties most likely runs some kind of company for tax purposes, so do they miss out?
Airbnb don't have a ton of these users so we're not optimizing for this use case
>It is especially confusing in a multi-device world – if it browser cookie based or is something flagged within the account for the last referring “referrer”.
It's basically the lat link you click on or on mobile the referral code that input on mobile. Haven't gotten any feedback that it's confusing so far. Not a lot of users that sign up are invited by many parties
>When an affiliate program is (re)launched, will that stack? Are you also going to have soft cookies for retargeting/branding campaigns?
Not sure I understand...
> Will your content to be affiliate enabled? (including your various blogs)
We're making changes to our affiliate program but referrals is very separate from that program
Thanks for your feedback
Thanks for jumping in on the thread. Awesome case study. One of the things that I've found challenging building these loops is "closing" the loop once the invite has been sent.
Can you talk to any of the other email/message tests that you ran for the receiving invited user?
Lots of great ideas in this post. Thanks for sharing. Are you guys willing to share what conversion rates you consider to be "Good", "Better," and "Best"?
Can't share this right now unfortunately. Maybe in a follow-up post
Hey Gustaf, what was the reasoning behind sending the user to the "Lucky you" page where the referral code is filled in but the user has to click the "Claim" button? Why didn't you guys opt to take them directly to the page with the referring user's picture and the sign up button? Is it to catch an edge case? Thanks.
Awesome stuff... one of the most important sentences in the post is "Before we coded anything, we defined what success would look like." Such a simple thing far too many people overlook.
But there's so much other goodness in here.
Like, they tested promotional emails for the referral program with self-interested vs. altruistic copy... and they show which version won.
Or... I can't hold it in... Spoiler Alert! Referrals increased bookings by over 25% in some markets and it's due to this highly-orchestrated and well-planned process.
You should read the post to see why that is.
One of the most important things of this whole article is that they instrumented the whole thing before they launched, and they could see the value from top to bottom, across device, by message/referral loop, etc.
This is so crucial. Being able to get this data in real time, and then—wait for it—act on it, is crucial to success. Once you have a flow of invites and traffic participating in the loop, every moment that it's not optimized is a missed opportunity.
Good stuff, congrats on the success. Shows what an important channel referrals are. Sadly, it's often neglected.
"Yozio built a tool to track which link a user clicked before they downloaded the app with reasonable accuracy."
Wanted to make sure I understood the Yoz.io integration a bit better. From what I could gather in the article:
Yoz.io is able to determine if a user has clicked on a referral link from their mobile device (either by email, message, social feed, etc).
Can you go into more detail on how Yoz.io accomplishes this? My best guess is they're able to get some sort of device ID and store it so when that user downloads the iOS / Android app you guys are able to check if that user has clicked the referral link and can load the referral once again?
Thanks again for the post, great read.
It's basically fingerprinting. They look at things like IP, time-cycle and whatever device/user-agents that are available. If you can connect a click with an app-open you can also change the user experience of the first app-open once you have attributed the click. This is what we do.
Brilliant. Thanks for the added information Gustaf.
Thanks for the information on this program. I have been interested in Airbnb but didn't sign up until I found out about this referral program. After signing up I was reviewing the terms and didn't see any information on limits but did see that there was the right to remove your referral credit if there is indication of abuse of it. Does this mean if someone gets a high number of referrals that Airbnb could remove their referral credit?
Fascinating article. Loved how they built estimates for this. Any guesses on what they used for initially for the below metrics?
- % of active users who would share each month (good, better, best)
- # of invites sent and/or traffic per share (good, better, best)
- signup rate from shared link traffic (good, better, best)
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