There are three things I have definitely learned in my 35 years on this earth. A bird in hand is safer than one above, never eat yellow snow, and kick your competition when they are down and never let them get back up! The hosting industry is a VERY cutthroat business. There isn’t room to let your competition share market space with you, and there certainly isn’t an unlimited amount of advertising avenues to pursue. This being the case you should do anything and everything you can to forcibly take business from your competitors.
I certainly am not suggesting anything immoral or illegal to obtain your goals, but I am here to tell you that business is a war for customers and you better have a very good battle plan if you expect to win (Achieve your growth goals). This may seem strange from someone who has written in the past that many of my fiercest competitors are also my friends. We talk often, share ideas, and if they are really struggling with an issue I am glad to help out where I can. I do this because I respect these people in the industry and that respect translates into help and information if they require it.
Having said that, my goal is to take ALL of their customers. They aren’t stupid. They know that is my goal and I have even mentioned it to them on several occasions, and if they were smart they would be plotting to take my customers as well. I can think of several occasions where we have gone above and beyond what any sane company would do to get an affiliate relationship with a large advertiser. We try to know as much as possible about our customers and especially our affiliates so that we can use that knowledge to give them what they want to do business with us.
Not everyone wants the same thing, especially when it comes to affiliates. We work HARD to know our affiliates needs and address them in such a way that they don’t have any desire to promote someone else ahead of us if we work hard and give them what they want.
In short if your support isn’t as good as ours you ARE going to lose customers to us. If we convert higher for affiliates you WILL lose positions to Bluehost and Hostmonster. If our service is better over the long time, we WILL have a higher renewal rate and word of mouth signup rate. If we pay less for servers and bandwidth we WILL use that money to pay higher affiliates commissions and kill other companies growth. If you don’t hire great admins and programmers then your product WILL be inferior to ours and over the long term it will show in our signup and renewal rate.
Be in business to have fun and make money, but WIN! WIN! WIN!
Matt Heaton / President Bluehost.com