This news has to have affiliate marketers around the web circling with glee. Google is opening itself up to a $15 per referral for its Google Apps program. Let the churn and burn begin for this. There is one catch though. You have to live in the United States or Canada.
Google Apps for business is similar to the free gmail service in its offering, but offers an @yourdomain.com email address, more storage and guaranteed uptime. Users that refer customers can refer an unlimited number of customers, but are limited to 100 seats per customer account created.
To prevent fraud and abuse, the new customers have to stay on past the fourth month. Having that, plus the monthly or annual fee cuts down the potential for fraud abuse dramatically. Unlimited referrals, plus up to 100 seats per customer. So, affiliate marketers now have the potential to grab $1,500 per user.
Google is hailing the new program. “To help continue the momentum, we’re launching the Google Apps Referral Program. The referral program makes it easy to share Google Apps with your network and show them how they too can use these tools at work.” This program is only available to users in the US and Canada. “To show our appreciation, we’re offering a $15 referral bonus for each new Google Apps user you refer.”
For the company, it is win-win. The referrals have to stay on the books for 120 days, so Google gets into the black, money wise. If major affiliates jump on the deal and focus on local, then Google sits back and collects customers with little to no effort.
Will there be the pushback that Google is turning to so-called sleazy affiliate marketing? Maybe, but it’s not justified. They are using a pool of marketers to do what they are good at – driving conversions. And at the end of the day, it boils down to increasing the numbers of Google Apps for Business. If that means opening the floodgates for affiliate marketers, then Google is smart to do so.