===================== Refer A Friend Script ===================== Main Goal - to design a refer-a-friend script suitable for beginners to be able to install and use on their own hosting account (this will not be a 3rd party offering), using PHP and MySQL for simplicity and power, whilst including a number of features designed to increase the marketing effectiveness of such a script, and also protecting the site owner from spammers and other forms of misuse. This should be an easy project for an experienced programmer. ------------------- Project Description ------------------- **Important Features Of The Script** * Super-simple installation and use with the most basic of technical knowledge required. * The script should permit can-spam compliance such as allowing the insertion of the script owners postal address etc. if required. * The script should require no offline script customization. Any customization necessary (MySQL database details, path to Sendmail etc.) should be configured online by the site owner for ease of use. * They should be able to simply unzip the file folder, upload it and get going. * A "trouble-shooting" guide and "installation" guide are required in text format. If the software is as easy to use as I'm looking for I shall be able to write the "user" manual myself. * A list of minimum technical requirements of the hosting account required to run this script is required. * Your quote should include at least one (please state exact number) of revisions so I can be 100% certain it is right. If the above guidelines are followed it is anticipated these will only be minor changes. See an example of a system-generated form: [url removed, login to view], but please consider that the best way to include 10+ friend's details boxes be best accomplished best by using the layout of [url removed, login to view] (click the button at the top of the page to see how the boxes are laid out). **Key Concepts** In order to explain this script in as much detail as possible, whilst keeping things as simple to understand as possible I have opted to split the script into 3 distinct parts purely for descriptive parts. The successful programmer may decide to merge and split the different parts to enable the script to run as smoothly as possible and to keep it as user-friendly and easy to install as is possible. Sample screens are available for each section and are listed where appropriate. Please be aware that these samples are not currently functional but are merely present to help illustrate the text. Further there is no doubt room for improvement on them when you have had a chance to examine the requirements, and I have also already commissioned graphics for the admin-control area but have chosen not to make them available in this publically-accessable area though they will be available to the successful bidder for integration into the script. Therefore for our purposes at present the script consists of 3 main parts: 1) Site Owner Admin Center In this password-protected area available only to the site owner a range of features should be available. In addition, the site owner should be free to change his or her username/password to log in and and to have their details emailedto them incase they forget them when trying to log in. a) Email Control * Can create, edit, save and delete the email(s) sent out to referrers friends * Can create, edit, save and delete the email sent out to referrer on first use * Can create, edit, save and delete the email sent out to referrers upon reaching target This section will also provide the opportunity to add can-spam details in the form of a footer attached to every email sent by the system. Testing * Can split-test up to 5 different emails sending them in a fair ratio (email 1, email 2, etc. etc. then back to email 1 etc.) * The unique tracking code in each email will enable the site owner to test and tweak his or her referral email for maximum effectiveness by seeing which email is pulling the most visitors See an example: [url removed, login to view] b) Email Broadcast * Can send out a broadcast email to all site users and/or friends, searchable by date or page referred to It should also be possible (possibly in this section, possibly in the statistics section - see which makes most sense) to see lists of people who have used the form to refer friends based on how many actual referral visits they have generated, and send a broadcast email to all users who have referred over x number of people. For example one could send out a broadcast email to everyone who referred 2 or more people in January 2006 with a congratulatory message. See an example: [url removed, login to view] c) Statistics * Can see how many referrers have used the referral form * Can see the total number of friends emailed * Can see average number of friends referred * Can see average number of friends who actually visit * Can see total number of friends referred * Can see number of referrers (and detail of) to actually hit targets set * Can see the percentage of visitors who become referrers * Can see how many friends actually end up referring others (total and % of referred friends) * Can see most effective email in terms of number and % of friends visiting site * Can see how many people refer friends to the site owners' homepage or other specific pages, and top 10 pages to refer people to * Can recall details of emails sent using the script showing all comments, and the page people were referred to. Can search by date (showing all comments/pages for that time period and/or referral page URL (excluding the tracking code - just [url removed, login to view] etc.) * Number of newsletter subscribers generated These reports should be customizable by date (by day, week, month, year or a custom time period), referrer etc. See an example: [url removed, login to view] d) Complaints The aim of the complaints center is to protect the site owner from spam complaints, and also allows the site owner to give anyone complaining access to information about referrers. By entering in the unique tracking code inserted in each email sent, the Complaints Center will be able to call up the sender's IP address, email address, name, time and date to the site owner so this information can be made available to help protect him or her from spam complaints. As with phpBB where it is possible to ban users by IP, email domain etc. if this were possible from the Admin Center this would be particularly useful as it would then be possible to easiy prevent any persistent offender from continuing to "spam" using the script. It should also be possible to ban sending emails to certain addresses, either using full addresses (i.e. bill(at)[url removed, login to view]) or partial (domain) addresses (i.e. [url removed, login to view]). This way, should complaints arise, the site owners will be able to prevent anyone from sending emails to that individual using his or her script again. See an example: [url removed, login to view] e) Web Form Generator This allows the site owner to modify the page of their site that will allow others to refer their friends. The administrator should have control over the page's appearance by being able to select a background color, font sizes, faces and colors, navigation links, header and footer text etc. In this way the form will be fully customizable allowing them to modify the appearance of the form to match the rest of their site. The way to do this may be to use a header-form-footer sandwich-format whereby users paste their header HTML text into the form generator and their footer HTML, which then spits out an HTML page with the form sandwiched in the middle. Or you may like to offer less customization by simply offering a list of boxes such as "type the page title you'd like for your referrer page here", "select the page background color you'd like to use here" etc. It is important that this aspect should lead to a uniquely-designed page with the form within it rather than every user having the same form on their sites, resulting in poorer marketing results and search engines removing these "duplicate" pages from their indexes. This should also be a static HTML page so all links are search engine indexable. We intend that a small text link will be included in this static page which will help refer others to our site and build link popularity. This page will interface with the "behind the scenes" PHP scripts to take the information entered by referrers and send out the relevant emails. The form itself should collect the referrers name and email manually, plus the time of use, date of use and IP address (automatically) in a log file for safety so should complaints arise from improper use all this information can be recalled from the Complaints Center (see later) to prove the site owners innocence. In addition, it should collect the name and email addresses of the referrers friends (site owner can specify how many boxes he'd like available up to a maximum of 20) and then sends them a copy of the email. The site owner should be able to specify whether the content of emails and subject line sent out should be controlled and modifiable by the site owner from the Admin Center so further reducing the scripts use for any spammers who try to use it, and ensuring honesty in the emails sent out and no "inflated or inaccurate claims about your site", or allowing site visitors to specify their own email content. Either way a small tag line reading "Get your own refer a friend script at: [url removed, login to view]" will be added at the bottom of every email sent by site users to their friends. If the option of only sending an email designed by the site owner is chosen, the content of what the email *will* say when sent will be shown to the site users so they can see what will be sent. Or the "email content" box can be prefilled with a "suggested" email that site users can still change if they like. Also the names of the site user's friends whom he or she is referring should be mergeable into the emails - i.e. an email reading "Check this out" as designed by either party automatically becomes: Dear John, Check this out. ...if the user is sending an email to a friend called "John" for higher conversion rates. These customization fields should also be available to use in the message subject so that the names appear in it. For example, a site user may decide to use the subject "Here's something I found of interest to you" and the actual email subject sent would be "John - Here's somethng I found if interest to you" if the friend they are referring is called "John". These customzation fields - that the referred friend's names will automatically appear at the beginning of the subject line and at the beginning of the email will happen *automatically* without the user having to enter customzation fields themselves. Referrers will be able to specify whether to send visitors to your homepage or the last page visited on the site (so site visitors upon reading a particularly interesting page can click on the "refer a friend" link and have the link in their friend's emails take them right to the specific information that the referrer thinks will be of interest to them. This should be automatically captured so the referrer does not need to copy and paste the URL of the last page visited. Each email sent out rather than referring friends to [url removed, login to view] or [url removed, login to view] will instead include a unique tracking code more akin to [url removed, login to view] which infact refers them to a tracking/landing page. This page records that this visitor has arrived as a result of an email from referrer x using your site, and then transfers them to the relevant page the referer selected to send them to initially. This unique number/code for each friend of each referrer allows us to track the effectiveness of a campaign in the Admin Center (see later) and also provides information to the original referer in the Referer Center (see below). These coded URLs for ease will be automatically inserted by the script - the site user simply needs to select whether to send their friends to the site owner's homepage, or the last page they visited. They should also have the opportunity to type in a URL, which the system will automatically add a tracking code onto. One final option is that the website user that is referring friends should be given the option to join a newsletter of mailing list, by showing a check box. If this is left checked and the form is submitted the site users name and email address will be submitted to the site owner's autoresponder. This box will be pre-checked to ensure the maximum signup rates, and the site owner may include a little information about the newsletter in question. The form will also (if the site owner specified) send an email to the site user giving a unique login/password so they can log in and see who they referred later on (see Referer Center later). The site owner will be able to specify in the Admin Center whether they would like a copy of all referral emails sent to them directly (using hidden fields so as to not to reveal the site owners email address etc.). All emails should show as having come from the site user not the site itself - i.e. the site users name and email not some-email- address(at)site-owners-domain.com. Whether or not this happens the content of all emails, together with when they were sent and the page site users were referring people to will be saved to the MySQL database for the site owner to look at later to show particularly popular/weak parts of his or her site. After using the form the referrer should be sent to a thankyou page. This will be by default a default thankyou page but in the Admin Center (see below) the site owner must be able to specify another page if he or she would like. This would be a static webpage created using his or her standard web design software. A small hyperlink (font size=1) should be included at the bottom of the form as per the example. See an example: [url removed, login to view] f) Link Generator To help script owners generate the links to their web form. See an example: [url removed, login to view] 2) Referer Center This password protected area (similar to affiliate software creating a unique area when an affiliate registers) is created when someone refers their friends will enable them to log in to the Refer Center with the details emailed to them after use. This simple area will show what emails were sent when, and to whom. It will also show who visited and when by tracking all referred visitors using the unique system-generated code attached to every email as discussed earlier. Not only should this be highly entertaining for referrers but the site owner in his or her Admin Center can specify a certain action that will occur after each referrer has referred x number of friends. For example, the site owner may specify that after 10 friends visit, access to a free report, ebook or coupon is made available to that particular referrer in their personal password-protected Referrer Center. A system generated email (with content customizable by the site owner) should be sent when the site user has referred enough visitors so the original site owner is aware he or she has a free bonus awaiting them. Essentially the easiest way to accomplish this is that when the site owner defined target of friends referred is met, an additional link appears to them in the Referrer Center that will allow the site user to access the report, tool, coupon code etc. The URL of the "bonus" page when it appears should be specified by the site owner in the Admin Center. Can specify how many friends must be referred before "bonus" page appears Can specify URL of bonus page See an example: [url removed, login to view] 3) The Sending Script This is the section of the script which actually sends out the specified emails to the specified people. The final script will be available in zipped format for ease of downloading, with installation instructions and other supporting documents in text format, carriage returned at 60 characters for ease of editing. Whilst I have done my best to keep this description as clear as possible, it is highly likely you will have questions after reading through all the above. Therefore feel free to post questions on the private message board. ------------------------------- Competing Products For Research ------------------------------- Should it be of any use, here are a list of main competitors in the market: [url removed, login to view] [url removed, login to view] [url removed, login to view] And our biggest of all: [url removed, login to view] --------- Timeframe --------- There is some flexibility in this situation but I am ideally looking for the project to take no more than 4 weeks from commencement, and if you can do it in less whilst still maintaining high standards of quality then this would be even better. ----- Legal ----- All work done will be 100% your original work, there will be no copyright infringement issues. I will own full copyright authorities of the completed script. I also have the right to give or not to give you credit as creator of the script. The acceptance of your bid binds you to the terms listed. You may not use this script as any form of competition for this particular product nor may you give this script away for free.