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3/11/2014
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Google Apps Referral: Cash For New Customers

Google's new Apps Referral Program pays you $15 for each new Google Apps business account you refer.

Tech's Rich And Famous: Who's Most Charitable?
Tech's Rich And Famous: Who's Most Charitable?
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Google wants you to sign up new customers, and it's offering cash incentives. The company has launched the Google Apps Referral Program, which pays you $15 for every user who signs up for a business account based on your recommendation.

"Many of the millions of Google Apps customers learned about tools like Hangouts, Drive, and Gmail for business from their customers, friends, and networks," Prajesh Parekh of the Google Apps marketing division wrote in a blog post Monday. "The referral program makes it easy to share Google Apps with your network and show them how they too can use these tools at work."

Google's referral program is available only to users in the US and Canada. To meet eligibility, you must sign up and submit a valid taxpayer ID number and bank account to receive direct deposits. Google will email you a link to the enrollment form and other details.

[Take advantage of Gmail, Calendar, Docs, and more. Read 10 Great Google Apps Tips.]

After you complete the enrollment form, Google will send you 10 coupons worth $10 off per user for the first year. You can give these coupons to your referrals as an incentive. Once five of your referrals begin their Google Apps trial, you'll receive another 25 coupons to distribute. To get credit for your referrals, customers must sign up for a Google Apps trial through your custom link, which Google emails you.

Google doesn't limit the number of people you can refer, but there are some restrictions. For example, the company will pay you only for each referral customer's first 100 users, capping your payout at $1,500 per referral. Google bases your referral amount on the number of users who have paid for at least 120 days.

The company doesn't require you to have any IT experience as a member of the Google Apps Referral Program, since you won't be managing any systems. Google's other referral program, the Reseller Program, is more particular. As a Google Apps Reseller, you maintain full ownership of the billing relationship, as you would with most on-premises technologies. You're also required to manage the entire SMB customer relationship, including pricing, support, and communications. Google offers training in sales, marketing, and deployment for both technical and nontechnical roles.

If you become a Google Apps Reseller, you'll receive a discount on the Google Apps list price. You'll also become eligible for an additional recurring bonus -- $10 per year per user that you maintain. To become a certified reseller, you must already have a legally registered business and an established credit history. Google requires a credit check of your business.

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Kristin Burnham currently serves as InformationWeek.com's Senior Editor, covering social media, social business, IT leadership and IT careers. Prior to joining InformationWeek in July 2013, she served in a number of roles at CIO magazine and CIO.com, most recently as senior ... View Full Bio

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Kristin Burnham
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Kristin Burnham,
User Rank: Author
3/11/2014 | 2:33:49 PM
Who will sign up?
Does anyone plan on signing up for this program? The money, I'm sure, will tempt a lot of people, but what are the odds you'll actually be successful in signing up a business?
Lorna Garey
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Lorna Garey,
User Rank: Author
3/11/2014 | 2:45:08 PM
Re: Who will sign up?
I think we'll be surprised -- this isn't all that different from Tupperware or Mary Kay when you come right down to it. You're trading on your connections to sell a reasonably attractive product, and hoping the business takes off.

 An enterprising college student could probably do quite well.
Charlie Babcock
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Charlie Babcock,
User Rank: Author
3/11/2014 | 3:44:54 PM
Feet on the street
Right, Lorna, the apps may be in the cloud but the marketing amounts to common feet on the street.
Madhava verma dantuluri
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Madhava verma dantuluri,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/11/2014 | 11:14:41 PM
Well
This is an interesting marketing aspect from Google and wonder what made them do this. May be to attract more faster subscribers.
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