Memverse's Referral System

Time Posted on April 22, 2014 User Andy

There have been a lot of questions about the current referral system at Memverse. We have been remiss in explaining both the motivation behind it and the recent changes we have made.

First, we'd like to explain the context. As many of you have no doubt experienced, memorizing the Bible is hard. It requires sustained discipline over a long period of time and the benefits tend to accrue slowly. Consequently, attrition is very high. Well over 90% of people who sign up are no longer active a few months later. We have spent a lot of time trying to make the site more intuitive and easier to use and we will continue to do so. The reality, though, is that "life's worries, riches and pleasures" frequently intrude and users disappear. The valleys in my own consistency chart could be annotated with life events like new babies, moving house, and sometimes just sheer laziness.

When we started Memverse we spent a lot of money advertising the site to attract new users. It cost roughly $10 for each new user. It soon became clear that it would be prohibitively expensive to continue advertising since we had committed to the site remaining both free to use and largely free of advertising (apart from a token ad slot on the blog). Part of the problem was that it was very difficult to target advertising to people who are likely to use Memverse over an extended period of time.

This was the genesis of the referral system: who better than our existing users would know whom to tell about Memverse. We coupled the referral system to the level progression since any such system requires some element of 'reward'. The usual method is to offer a subscription discount, but since we don't charge users, that wasn't possible.

Four months ago, in response to the dissatisfaction that many had expressed, we changed the way referrals are counted. Whereas before no credit was given for inactive referrals, we now give 50% credit. 25% credit was also given for 'referrals of referrals'. We never got round to announcing these changes which unfortunately perpetuated the perception that we were unresponsive on this issue. Sorry about that.

Second, we can assure you that the referral system is essential to Memverse's ongoing existence. Users referred by existing users are far more likely to persist in memorizing. Our hope was that people would be creative in finding ways to spread the word. That was indeed frequently the case and it has been great to see the influx of new users from mini campaigns on social websites and blogs. Advocate marketing can be powerful but we have learned that it is not for everyone.

So what is the path forward? Over time we will likely continue to make the referral system less of an obstacle to level progression as we observe the effects of the change earlier this year. We might also add a page which will allow users to make a financial donation and skip over the referral quests. To be honest, though, we would prefer to work on features that benefit all users.

Finally, growing the number of users is not merely for our own vanity. There are many features (live quizzes is one example) that are only possible at a certain scale. Thanks to all of you who have helped spread the word. Thanks also for all the praise and encouragement -- it more than cancels out the occasional disparaging comments. We have come a long way on a shoestring budget but we still have a lot to do.

Cat Admin
Tag referrals

26 responses to Memverse's Referral System

Rufus Apelles

Thank you, Andy, for making the changes (and the thinking behind the changes) clear for us. I became a member because of Word-of-Mouth advertising. I don't have any referrals, though I do speak well of MemVerse when the occasion arises. I am ok with that level of participation.
I am wondering if there is a list, like the Referral Board, that shows all who have achieved other awards--like the Sermon on the Mount badge or any of the Consistency badges. It would be good to "rejoice with those who rejoice" other than on the Dashboard.


Thank you so much! This all makes a lot more sense now. :) I didn't realize you spent so much money for advertising… It makes me even more grateful for this wonderful tool!

Joey Espinosa

Thanks for the explanation. I'll continue to share/refer.

Sarah H.

Thanks for the explanation. Now I only need 25% to get to the next level. Are you still contemplating putting in a referral prompt when new people sign up? If you are, it'll be much appreciated! It's kinda hard to explain to people where to set you as their referrer, and I don't push it.

James C.

Thank you for explaining it! Now it makes so much more sense. I never knew that referring was essential for Memverse.


Thanks so much for all of your hard work, Andy! I appreciate all the effort you put into MemVerse; it has blessed me so much as I use it to memorize Scripture.

I will continue to refer friends to this wonderful site! :D

Benjamin Ludwig

THANKS so much!!!!!


Thank you, Andy, and all others who contribute to this site. Memverse is a delightful blessing to me in many ways. Among them: I'm fixing verses in my heart at my own pace, passages are coming to mind at helpful times, it's fun and challenging, and at age 71 I've found Memverse sharpens my brain a bit!
I'll work on referrals.
May the Lord bless you and your family.


thanks! i WAS wondering why refering was so useful to memverse as i am stuck on level 5 cause i need to refer someone. now i understand. thank you Andy!!

Larry Davis

Thank you so much for Memverse! It has been such a blessing to me in my walk with Jesus, because during the past 14 months that I have been a member, God has taught me so much more of His Word. I've been able to memorize several chapters of the Bible for which I praise the Lord and thank you for the effort and expense you have made to create such a wonderful tool. Now I understand the reason behind the referral system. I have shared about Memverse with many people, but as far as I know, none have signed up. I will continue to spread the news though, and as long as Memverse exists and I am alive, I will continue to hide God's Word in my heart.

Loice Rochelle

Very helpful for my understanding of the referral system! Thanks-a-million for clarifying this. I appreciate memverse SO much!!! =D


Thanks so much for the update and clarification. It is very discouraging not to be able to level up due to referrals going inactive and not being able to get referrals. I'd welcome the subscription rather than to keep asking for referrals.


Thank you for this. Ever since Levels were implemented, they have never challenged me. For the first few, I had to add a verse or two of prophecy, but other than that one challenge that actually spurred me forward in scripture memory, levels have automatically completed for me except for the "refer another user" quest. Thus, I feel that the level is not an aid to my memorizing but only to my referring. I'd love to be challenged by the levels in memorizing and adding verses, but I refer so much more slowly than I memorize that I'm so many levels "behind" what could challenge me. To me levels have been entirely a drive to refer, not at all a drive to memorize.

Just wanted to bring up this perspective on levels and referring since I haven't seen it mentioned before. (I have been very active in promoting Memverse to everyone I know both online and in real life.) Thank you for considering users' perspectives and doing your best to balance them with the site's needs.

Lindsey Gould

hey everyone i'm on level 5 and can not get passed it.
One of the goals is to Refer a new user to memverse.
If you know how to Refer a new user to Memverse please reply to this comment and that would be very helpful.

:) :D

Lindsey Gould

do anyone know how to refer a new user to memverse?
i you do please tell me

Bethany Meckle

Hi Lindsey, go to this page:

This should show you what is called your "Referral Link." If you email this link to somebody, and they sign up, they will automatically be added as your referral. Another option is that you can just tell someone (for example, a cousin, sibling, parent, friend, etc.) about Memverse and tell them to go to their referrals page when they sign up and set you as their referrer.

I was stuck at this level for quite a while because I didn't know anyone to refer! So it might take a while, but if you have any other family members, maybe they would sign up as your referrals. (That's what I've done! :D)

Hope that helps...

Lindsey Gould

thank you Bethany Meckle

Faith H.

Thanks a lot!!!!!!!

Steven Duncan


Deanna Campbell

I love using Memverse. I am sorry but I don't understand why referral is necessary. You mentioned that it is essential for memverse to continue. I am not concerned with levels as I am only looking to memorize scripture for the glory of God. Although, I like how things are set up and will appreciate the levels, even if I don't understand them lol. How does referring help? What is the outcome of referring? I will refer people once I have been on longer and understand how it all works better. I will refer memverse to encourage others to be in God's word and to memorize scripture as this is an excellent tool if you apply yourself daily and make it a priority. Please help me in understanding why referrals are needed to keep it available because I do not want this site to shut down. It is a huge blessing to me!

James C.

The reason you need to refer, is because people go inactive (for some reason or another) over time, and if new people weren't coming on, Memverse would just (pretty much) die because no one would (eventually) be on Memverse.
I hope that helps you understand why referring is essential for Memverse.

Deanna Campbell

Thank you James for answering why we need to do referrals.

James C.

You're welcome!!!

Kim N

I am new to Memverse, and absolutely LOVE the site! It has kept me accountable, organized, challenged and made it fun to work on scripture memory--something I have always failed at in the past (and I'm in the 50+ age bracket!). In 2 months of using Memverse, I've memorized 33 verses, and am working on a lot of others.

When I first saw the referral requirement for level progression, I wasn't thrilled; but now I am excited to recommend this site to others. Memverse has made it possible for me to truly hide the Word in my heart in ways never before achievable. I want as many others as possible to have this opportunity as well!


I agree that the level progression can be hard at times. :) Thankfully, though, I was able to refer a few people to Memverse and soon I'll have a couple more referrals on my account. Sometimes it's just hard to find people who will commit to something like this. But Memverse has been *so* helpful to me over the past year!

Oluremi Jewola Ogunde

Thank you the creators and maintainers and coordinators, users - in short everyone at Memverse!

I am relatively new here but I'm an ardent user of Social Media. I got here by what could seem like pure chance (God often orchestrates my life that way). I was looking to memorise verses easily - not just a few - chapters and entire books of the Bible as I love to meditate on the Word with God's help.

I was reading the comments section of a web page when I came across a comment about Memverse, and the rest is history. I bless God for His leading.

As for referrals, the Lord is linking me with like-minded souls. I mention how easy I'm finding it to memorise entire chapters, sometimes reeling off Psalm 1 etc and that gets people's attention. Other times, I've heard people quoting verses of Scripture and others automatically adding the reference and that would become an icebreaker to introduce Memverse.

One tip I have to really help people to join is to show them the site and talk them through signing on, confirming the account by email, populating their first five verses etc

in my local church and fellowship. I teach Sunday School so that is an excellent way to get the children to stay on top of their memory verse home work too.

If you use, think and pray about Memverse often, it's amazing how many opportunities God brings to spread the word about hiding the Word in our hearts! The Word is sweeter than anything to me now, praise the Living God and Father of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ for ever and ever in the name of Jesus Christ Amen!