Exploring Partnerships

A short primer on partnerships and different approaches to establishing your partner network
Partnerships can come in different types.
Each type of Partner offers a unique method for supporting your Brand.
Some Partners such as Social Influencers may be best suited to support Affiliate Campaigns, whereas Sales Representatives are best suited to support Reseller Campaigns.
This article will provide a useful framework for approaching your partnership implementation to launch faster with less headache.

Understanding your partnership program

The type of partnership program (also known as a Campaign) you create for your partners to engage with should be configured to align with the service said partners are supporting.
If your service offers a lot of people small value, ie. a consumer-facing service, then the Campaign created should be configured to reward a small number of valued tokens or even non-valued tokens per Referred User Conversion. This is done on the basis that Partners will be able to simply acquire many users through their efforts and therefore will be cumulatively rewarded appropriately.
For a service that offers a small number of businesses a high-value outcome, the Campaign should be configured to reward a proportionately high number of valued tokens. This type of Campaign would be created for a service, product, protocol, etc. that is business-facing, such that each new customer of said service is significant to the Brand.
Rewards allocated to partners in valued tokens can be considered commissions for their effort.
Ultimately, the decision is up to the Brand on how to configure the Campaign.
Web3 development is fruitful with new and innovative offerings and user experiences that traditional partnership programs may not conform to.
Despite this article guiding how Campaigns should be configured, we fully support Brands that attempt to find new avenues for partnership programs.
An example of this could be an NFT Collection that enables Partners to earn Rewards once a percentage of the collection has sold.
As Smart Contracts define reward allocation logic, Partners can be comfortable knowing their efforts will indeed be rewarded.

Programs & Partner Types

Partnership programs typically fall into one of three categories:
  1. 1.
    Affiliate Marketing Campaigns
  2. 2.
    Referral Programs
  3. 3.
    Reseller Programs

Affiliate Partners

Affiliate partners (also known as an affiliate, influencers, promoters or advocacy partners) create content for their audience to drive traffic to your protocol or dApp using their unique Usher Invite links. Affiliate partners are unique to other partner types in that they generally do not personally know who they are referring. Rather, affiliate partners look to drive a high volume of traffic to your business and earn a commission when that traffic converts.

Referral partners

Referral partners typically know more about the people they are referring, often having a direct one-to-one relationship.
This means that the leads these Partners tend to send are of higher quality.
Referral partnerships like customer advocates, agencies, and associations, use Usher Invite links to redirect Referred Users to the Campaigns configured Destination URL. Within this Destination URL, a conversion can be triggered upon Form Submission, Registration, Payment, etc.

Reseller partners

Reseller partners are (ideally) expert independent/agency sales representatives that sell your protocol, blockchain or service.
Resellers typically offer their own services and then incorporate their Partnered services alongside their own.
An example of this can be a Software Development Agency that specialises in Web3 Development and partners with a specific Web3 Infrastructure/Blockchain Brand.
In traditional partnerships, resellers would typically accept the payment on behalf of the Brand, and then be offered a discount by the Brand as an incentive mechanism.
With the advent of Cryptocurrency, this traditional payment flow is unnecessary, as protocols, dApps and blockchains typically encourage direct use of their Smart Contracts and even their own Cryptocurrency.
Furthermore, fees accrued within Smart Contracts, or Blockchains are designed in code and usually immutable. These fees are also generally regulated by the participants of the relevant network/protocol. Smart Contracts are also typically not developed to incorporate discounts for any external participants, but rather to directly serve their purpose.
To include discounts within these immutable environments would significantly increase the difficulty of enabling partnerships.
The solution is for resellers to be allocated rewards based on the fees acquired from Referred Users on said dApps, protocols and blockchains.
This introduces the concept of commission streaming, where resellers can earn a stream of commission based on activities conducted throughout the lifecycle of the Referred User.
Reseller partners are traditionally known to manage the full sales cycle with end-users, and often handle onboarding, support, and upselling.
As paper deals are not relevant in Web3, Resellers will use Usher Invite links to direct their customers to the Brand's project.
In the case of a dApp, the Invite link will direct to the Brand's Campaign Destination URL.
In the case of a Protocol or Blockchain, where Conversions are tied to On-Chain Events, the Reseller's customer will be directed to an Usher Hosted Page where the Referred User can connect their Wallet and (potentially) receive reimbursements.
Reimbursements are an idea Usher is toying with internally as a means of enabling "free trials", "free credits" or "free gas" in an environment that depends on Smart Contracts.
Usher is working support partner programs for Protocols and Blockchains, however, this feature is not yet released.