Learn how to make YOUR DreamHost promo codes work much better for YOU! This is not about promo-codes, this is about a simple method you should implement.


After extensive trial and error I have come up with a really simple method that has made my DreamHost Referrals and clickthroughs skyrocket. I would love to hear about the effects you experience after implementing this. Your "clickthrough" rate will go way, way, way, up. Very noticeable from within dreamhost panel.

DreamHost Referrals Page

Heres what you normally see in your DreamHost panel. Notice the referral link there, http://www.dreamhost.com/r.cgi?211825 that is the basic method for linking to DreamHost that people use all across the Net. But there is a much better way.

Ideal result from referral link

What if when the user clicks on your link to DreamHost, they automatically go to the sign-up page.. Now what if when they get to the sign-up page, YOUR promo code and YOUR recommended plan level were already pre-selected? Doesn't that make it alot easier for them? Now all they have to do is hit continue and they are buying.

Here is what happens when you click on one of my links.

How to set up

Using PHP

Simple. Just create a php file on your site and instead of linking to http://www.dreamhost.com/r.cgi?211825, you link to http://www.yoursite.com/yourfile.php

In my case, I link to http://www.askapache.com/dream/ which I theorize is much more appealing to a user who sees a local link in the browsers status bar instead of the dreamhost.com/redir.cgi?211825 link, which may turn them off the click.

dream.php

<?php
$promo='askapache';
$plan='3';
$refid='211825';
$site='http://www.dreamhost.com/redir.cgi?ad=rewards|'.$refid;
header("Referer: $site&promo=$promo");
header("Location: $site&url=signup?plan=$plan&promo=$promo");
header("Refresh: 0; URL=$site&url=signup?plan=$plan&promo=$promo");
exit;
?>

Using htaccess and mod_rewrite

Even Better. This is getting closer to how I do it on this site. Link to http://www.yoursite.com/dreamhost/ and then in your web-roots .htaccess file

RewriteEngine On
RewriteBase /
RewriteRule ^/?dreamhost/?$ http://www.dreamhost.com/redir.cgi?ad=rewards|211825&url=signup?plan=3&promo=askapache [R,L,NC]

My hybrid Method

Sweet. I use both of the above methods on this site. I have a php file just like the above example, but instead of linking to http://www.askapache.com/dreamhost.php I link to http://www.askapache.com/dream/ I accomplish this by using the following htaccess and mod_rewrite. The reason I like using the php and htaccess (you may be thinking, if you can use htaccess why bother with php) I just like being able to send the header("Referer: $site&promo=$promo"); just in case it helps...

RewriteEngine On
RewriteBase /
RewriteRule ^/?dream/?$ /cgi-bin/dream.php [NC,L]

DreamHost Promo Code

Now that you have such a cool little method in place, you can experiment with different types of discount coupons to see which one works the best for ya! Enjoy making more money!

DreamHost Referral Linking Faq

I came up with this method after reading all about the new DreamHost Referral linking features. Definately worth a read.

You have several methods for referring people to DreamHost:

  • Put a link to http://www.dreamhost.com/r.cgi?#### (you'll get the #### part when you log in) anywhere at all (it doesn't even have to be a site hosted with us!), even on a guestbook or message board (see fine print for details,) and we'll be able to automatically track the signups received through that link. Don't worry...new signups don't have to enter your info anywhere for you to get credit!
  • Put a link to http://www.dreamhost.com/r.cgi anywhere on a site hosted with us and we'll be able to automatically track the signups received through that link and give you credit.
  • When your friends sign up at https://dreamhost.com/signup/, have them put your account contact email address in the "Promo Code or email of who referred you:" field.
  • Maybe you want to refer your friends directly to a specific URL somewhere on our site. Just link them to http://www.dreamhost.com/r.cgi?####/hosting.html and they'll be seamlessly directed straight to http://www.dreamhost.com/hosting.html. As another example, http://www.dreamhost.com/r.cgi?####/signup will send somebody directly to the signup form!
  • If you feel a little sheepish about asking your friends to list you as a referral, don't worry! You can also make a custom promo code for them from our management area! This is not only the best way to guarantee you get your credit, it also gives your friends a discount on their hosting, all the while keeping your affiliation with the whole thing anonymous!
  • If you've made a custom promo code already, you can also put it at the end of your rewards link, separated by a pipe "|" character, and then that promo code will be automatically pre-filled on the signup page for them! Like: http://www.dreamhost.com/r.cgi?####|PROMOCODE (or even http://www.dreamhost.com/r.cgi?####/signup|PROMOCODE) ... useful for your more forgetful friends and website visitors!

Disadvantage to using a promo code

If you are actually able to get referrals without a discount (without a promo code) than you should continue to do that. Heres why:

The only downside is whatever discount (new! and/or feature bonus!) you give them comes out of your $97 one-time rewards payment (anybody who uses a promo code will be set as a one-time rewards, not recurring). But hey, that's only fair! It's basically a way for you to share some of your rewards with the people you're referring.

UPDATE

A small minority of people actually think what I am doing is wrong.

Subject Re: Easy way to Improve Your Referral revenue [re: askapache] Reply to this post Posted by Jeff @ DreamHostAdministrator (DH DreamNinja) Posted on 06/01/07 05:59 PM (cross-posting this to all relevant threads... because I can) FYI - Spamming this forum or the wiki with clearly misleading promotional links in order to drive traffic to your own site is prohibited. I will have to look into the "vote for me" and referral tricks you are talking about, but if you are intentionally misleading or misrepresenting yourself to those you wish to have click on those links you risk violating our Terms of Service and/or Rewards policy. In other words: Unless you wish to have your DHSOTM and Rewards privileges taken away, do not engage in this sort of trickery. Anyhow, I'm closing this thread. - Jeff @ DreamHost - DH Discussion Forum Admin

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