In marketing a site or service, a picture is worth more than a thousand words. For market places such as Etsy and Shapeways this is easy because they can lead with pictures of some gorgeous products available for sale. But what about an abstract service such as payments? For a long time Dwolla’s home page had text and even stylized diagrams of payment flows. They provided a fair bit of information but were not engaging. I was therefore thrilled to see the Dwolla’s new home page feature photographs of people explaining how they use Dwolla. Each of these is linked to a page providing more detail on the particular use case with a beautiful photograph of the individuals.
At the same time as the new home page, Dwolla has launched an interesting referral program that is based on Dropbox’s highly successful model. Instead of giving a referrer a direct monetary payment you receive credits against transaction fees. That encourages further use of Dwolla just as in Dropbox’s case you receive additional storage. Also, the psychology of referring someone else is different between a direct monetary benefit and a credit towards usage. In the Dwolla and Dropbox case the referrer can feel rightly rewarded whereas in the case of direct payment there is a sense of cheapening the referral.
Congratulations to the Dwolla team on executing both of these moves so well. I am thrilled both as an investor and as an active user of Dwolla.