Friday, October 8, 2010

so real, when you're just a ghost of me

How is it I missed Haute Macabre all these years? Not only that, but I'd swear someone plays Second Life, because this is totally Stringer Mausoleum hair.

I'm just going to include the entire notecard I just received, because I can't figure out what to cut out:

DDSM Rewards Program
(read this carefully)

The Group:
The group is open enrollment and there is no fee to join.
However, in order to receive any rewards and benefits from the group, you must **register** at the time of joining.

Registration is simple: send a notecard to Dare Munro with your avatar name and the the name of the person who recommended you to the group or 'signed you up'. **This MUST be done by the new member only.

After this you will receive a basic level group member tag.
(if you need to - paste this into local chat, click the link it creates, click join to sign up)

Member benefits and rewards:
As before, members of this group will receive notices of new releases, special events, sales, and giveaways related principally to Dare Designs (though not solely limited to that store).

Periodically there will be special members-only giveaways and sales as well.

However, that is only the tip of the iceberg.

The real benefit to membership comes in the form of the rewards program itself.
In a nutshell, Dare Designs will pay its members a reimbursement each month based on the quantity of L$ they have spent in the store that month (think of it as a discount you get back in cash once a month). The amount each member earns back depends on their membership level.

Membership levels:

Just Looking : reward level: 0
Tempted : reward level: 5% (of purchases made each month)
Enchanted : reward level: 10% (of purchases made each month)
Ensorceled : reward level: 15% (of purchases made each month)
Cursed : reward level: 20% (of purchases made each month)

So how do you get the better membership level and reap greater rewards?
I knew you were going to ask that.

Simple – spread the word.
Remember that bit up at the beginning about new members sending in a notecard including their own name and the name of the person that recommended the store and the group?
This will be recorded, and as more people join the group based on your recommendation, your status and rewards within the group improve. These people become your registrants circle.

Just Looking : move up to 'Tempted' requires : registering and maintaining 10 members in your registrants circle (if someone drops the group and the number falls below 10, you go back down)

Tempted : move up to 'Enchanted' requires : registering and maintaining 25 members in your registrants circle (if someone drops the group and the number falls below 25, you go back down)

Enchanted : move up to 'Ensorceled' requires : registering and maintaining 50 members in your registrants circle (if someone drops the group and the number falls below 50, you go back down)

Ensorceled : move up to 'Cursed' requires : registering and maintaining 100 members in your registrants circle (if someone drops the group and the number falls below 100, you go back down)

So, the more people you bring to the store and group who stay and shop – your registrants circle – the more rewards you personally receive.

And it gets better – BUT – before you just run out and sign up anyone you can find... in order to count each month in your registrants circle, each avatar has to have made at least one full price purchase during that month. If not, they will be dropped from the group. (I realize this may occur due to RL concerns, but no avatar dropped is barred from re-registering at starting level later).

Here's the better part:
Each avatar that creates and maintains a registrants circle, also receives a small stipend based on the purchases made by the members of their circle (and yes, members of one circle can have their OWN circles in turn).

Each month, DD will total the purchases of the members in each circle, and pay the head avatar a percentage of that total based on their membership level.

Tempted : reward level: 2% (of registrant circle purchases made each month)
Enchanted : reward level: 5% (of registrant circle purchases made each month)
Ensorceled : reward level: 10% (of registrant circle purchases made each month)
Cursed : reward level: 15% (of registrant circle purchases made each month)

So, in a nutshell – if you register 25 avatars to the group, you get the 'Enchanted' tag, make back 10% of everything you spend in the store each month, AND receive a cash reward of 5% of everything those registrants in your circle spend each month.
If this month you and each of them spent L$1000, at the end of the month you would get a payment from DD of L$1350. Simple, right? (that would actually make your own purchase free, plus extra).

The fine print:
You MUST deliver this notecard, in full, to each new person you register.

Break any of these rules and you will be cut from the group and banned from the store without notice or warning.

- DM & AK

This? Is a pyramid scheme. What's worse, it's a multi-level marketing period, designed solely to get avatars to go out and shill for Dare Designs.

I will not lie, I like Dare Munro's design ethic. I have several outfits, a few shoes, I think one skin, some haunted trees--including an absolutely phenomenal glowing white tree with bells that softly chime. That one works its way into nearly every winter build I have.

But this? This is galling and infuriating. I do not come to Second Life to be pumped for real life information, killed in crossfire, or treated like a 'marketing asset'. Granted, my list of "Don'ts" or "Never going to happens" is far shorter than most people, but most of that I'm over with, and have no yen to return to (especially the virtual drug addiction, that was a weird phase).

I'll keep looking, if I hear of something good, but for the most part? When I get off the land office shift, I'm tracking down their subscribe-o-matic and unsubscribing. This goes too far.

[04:51 PM] Emilly Orr: Hi, Haily
[04:51 PM] Haily Wildrose: Hi Emily
[04:51 PM] Emilly Orr: If I can help with Solace Beach issues, just let me know
[04:51 PM] Haily Wildrose: I have no idea what your talking about
[04:51 PM] Haily Wildrose: Im a noob lol
[04:51 PM] Emilly Orr grins
[04:52 PM] Emilly Orr: You're in Solace Beach
[04:52 PM] Haily Wildrose: I just figured out how to go to diffrent spaces lol
[04:52 PM] Emilly Orr: Ah.

THIS IS WHY PEOPLE NEED TRAINING FOR SECOND LIFE. Dear gods. I mean, she was chipper enough, and she'd actually managed to find a flexi skirt, but no AO, absolutely zero info on her profile, freebie skin....

And she's not new new, is the truly tragic thing. She's 42 days old. Someone, somewhere, should have helped her before today!

Tempted to ask around in Caledon for the latest newcomer help packets, and toss them her way. In fact, I'm going to do that now. Y'all pardon me, I'll save any other updates for the next post. Because this girl? NEEDS THE HELP.


Dare Munro said...

What you don't see is - people can be a group member, do nothing, and nothing changes from before - they shop when they feel like, and all remains the same.
But those that wish to get more, or be more involved, need to do a little more - no different than picks rewards, or any number of other inworld promotional/advertising options that have come or gone or even still exist.
Yes, this is utterly and unabashedly a marketing tool. It also rewards those that put just a little effort where their claims to love and support the store lay. - Dare Munro, Dare Designs

Emilly Orr said...

There are a lot of marketing tools in SL, some work, some don't, and I know, all merchants are just trying to survive right now. It's hard, and a lot of stores are closing, customer retention is a big deal.

But this? I truly, honestly believe this is different. This is the marketing version of Bloodlines, man. Get ten people involved; they get ten people involved; you go up levels based on how many people are in your downline...

This is pure MLM. You're now the gothic Herbalife, or Melaleuca. You have good stuph, you have great people devoted to your stores, you have people who come to your hunts, wander, blog, buy you really have to make it a pyramid scheme?

I know why you're doing it. It's the same reason I dropped my prices, why Adam & Eve is marketing so aggressively, and why we're seeing ten stores close a week. It is hard on the grid now. People are suffering, makers are suffering, I get that.

But this is just creepy, and in no good way, and I am profoundly against it, and I hope beyond hope it does not catch on.

Dare Munro said...

Simply rewarding shoppers out of my own pocket for any word of mouth that works.
In that way it is completely different than Bloodlines or MLM (though, ironically, pretty much spot-on to HerbalLife's early marketing strategy). Unlike any MLM or Pyramid scheme, the participants DO NOT SELL. In fact, if they like the store, they do nothing more than they did before - tell people. But now, they get paid for it, out of my pocket. And hopefully this incentivizes them to talk more about what they like.
In an MLM or Pyramid scheme, the participants sell product, then pay a commission to their upline out of THEIR pocket.
Here - the only person paying anything - is me. :)
With search broken, picks no longer counting towards search rankings, NO tool available to us working any longer to introduce our work to new customers as old ones leave SL in droves... it's time to be creative, and invite loyal customers to work WITH us, and get something back for it.
I understand your concern, but this is not the droid you're looking for. Seriously - look again. - Dare

Emilly Orr said...

It's still too close to an MLM for me to jump into the 'opportunity'.

But okay--I will tentatively withhold further judgement. If it works out like you think it will, maybe it'll be a good thing.

If it results in thirty avs descending on me if I port in, offering me group entrance, or fights in the Thrifty Goth group...yeah, then it goes back to being a bad idea.

Dare Munro said...

Hence the capslock rule - NO HARASSMENT
there will always be those that attempt to abuse the system - there always have been... but I, personally, will step on anyone who tries - HARD.

Emilly Orr said...

That's my hope.

(Also, grr. I had no problem with my new firm, if thorny, ethical stance...until the Sixty Linden list came out. And I want "Dangerous".

(Okay, so I won't leave the subscribe-o YET...*grumbles*)

Dare Munro said...

Thank you, Emily - you helped direct me to draft 'this' - - which includes a link back to here and your comments.