Dog Complex kicked of a brand new service on Tuesday, June 1st, that rewards readers for telling others about the strip. The idea is simple: A reader registers at the site, is issued a unique URL, passes it on to their friends and family, and gets a point each time someone visits Dog Complex. The top 3 point leaders at the end of the month get prizes, like DVDs, books, strip prints, and more. Not only that, but there are also random prize drawings as well, so that users of the system do not have to feel like they’re out of the running just because they don’t have a lot of friends.
“The idea behind the system is that instead of paying other sites to advertise, I’m using that advertising money to buy prizes for my readers who are doing all of the leg work for me, so I wanted the system to be as user-friendly as possible,” Dog Complex author Dave Johnson said, “I want everyone from Bill Gates to my Grandma to be able to log in and in just a minute or two have their unique URL. I’m also trying to collect as little of their personal information as possible. I do have to ask for a name, email (for validation purposes), and password, but that’s it. And the email will never be shared out or used for any other reason that to email winners.”
Dave hopes this system is something that will catch on and be used by other comic strip authors as well, “It isn’t a new idea, by any stretch, as other sites have been doing referral programs for some time. However I haven’t really seen it done on a webcomic site before, even though I feel it’s a pretty natural fit. So many webcomics out there already have a rabid and loyal fanbase, so why not reward them for telling others about the strip?”
However he does warn other authors that they should wait for a month or two before diving into such a system, “This thing could totally bomb on me. I mean it really could. I’ve already discovered that people don’t really care for the long unique URLs that my system currently kicks out, and my coding guru (who is amazing), is working on that as we speak. I’m sure there are going to be other “bumps” in the road such as this one, so people may want to watch me fall flat on my face and then do things the right way.”