Rippln Compensation Plan v2.0 Review
Back in April Rippln went public with a compensation plan that paid affiliates to recruit new free and paid affiliates. In order to qualify for these commissions, affiliates had to upgrade to either a “Domestic” or “Global” affiliate.
At the time it was explained that Domestic affiliates would be able to earn on those recruited within their country of residence, and Global affiliates were able to earn globally.
These commissions were earnt via a pass-up system, with affiliate fees being passed up to a new affiliate’s upline.
Mobile app commissions were also briefly mentioned, however no specific information was provided.
Shortly after details were released on the initial compensation plan were released and the BehindMLM Rippln review went up, lawyers were called in and the entire compensation plan was retracted.
That was a month and a half ago and since then over 700,000 affiliates have signed on with no clue on just how exactly anybody is going to earn commissions.
Last night Rippln finally addressed these concerns and held a webinar to lay out their new revised compensation plan.
Read on to learn exactly what Rippln affiliates are going to have to do to make money.
Affiliate membership options and costs
To keep things simple I’m just ignoring this and using the terms we’re all familiar with:
- Fan = free affiliate
- Player = paid affiliate
A “Fan” is the term given to free affiliates in Rippln. You get recruited, you sign up and you are a “fan”.
A Rippln “Player” is your basic paid affiliate membership, which requires a mandatory purchase of Rippln’s “tracking platform” (detailed backoffice downline activity). Player affiliate membership (hereafter referred to as “paid affiliate membership”) is thus $69.95 annually (for the tracking platform) and a $25 a month membership fee.
There is also an affiliate status called “Super Fan” which doesn’t really make any sense from an MLM business opportunity perspective.
Super Fans pay Rippln $69.95 annually for access to the tracking platform. This tracking platform is pretty much just a more detailed overview of an affiliates downline activity in their backoffice.
Super Fans don’t seem to be able to earn commissions so I’m not sure why anybody would pay Rippln $69.95 a year for this.
Paid Affiliate (Player) Ranks
After paying Rippln $69.95 and $25 a month, paid affiliates are still unable to cash out their commissions. They can generate commissions but unless they recruit new affiliates (free or paid), they are not paid any commissions.
There are three paid affiliate ranks in Ripple, and along with their respective qualification criteria they are as follows:
- Pro – recruit at least 5 affiliates (paid or free)
- All Pro (50% increase in commissions over Pro ranked affiliates) – recruit 5 affiliates (paid or free) and sell one coaching and one loyalty offer to your downline
- MVP (50% increase in commissions over All Pro ranked affiliates (100% over Pro)) – recruit 5 affiliates (paid or free) and sell three coaching and three loyalty offers to your downline
Whereas the above qualification criteria pertain to an affiliates ability to earn commissions, Rippln also impose a separate set of qualification criteria to determine how many levels of their downline they get paid on.
This qualification criteria is referred to as the “Pro Player Levels”, of which there are six levels in total:
- Level 1 – recruit 2 paid affiliates (players), recruit 5 free affiliates (fans) and have at least 10 affiliates total in your downline
- Level 2 – recruit 4 paid affiliates (players), recruit 5 free affiliates (fans) and have at least 50 affiliates total in your downline
- Level 3 – recruit 6 paid affiliates (players), recruit 5 free affiliates (fans) and have at least 150 affiliates total in your downline
- Level 4 – recruit 8 paid affiliates (players), recruit 5 free affiliates (fans) and have at least 1000 affiliates total in your downline
- Level 5 – recruit 10 paid affiliates (players), recruit 5 free affiliates (fans) and have at least 2500 affiliates total in your downline
- All Star – recruit 15 paid affiliates (players), recruit 5 free affiliates (fans), have at least one Level 5 Pro affiliate in five individual recruitment legs and have at least 15,000 affiliates total in your downline
Coaching and Loyalty Offers
Everything sold through the Rippln network is classified as either a coaching offer or a loyalty offer.
From what was said on the Rippln compensation plan webinar, coaching offers sound like marketing and training materials with everything else being classified as a loyalty offer.
Coaching Rewards Compensation Structure
Coaching Rewards are paid out via reward points on a weekly basis. Paid affiliates at the Pro level (recruit 5 affiliates) earn Coaching reward points as their downlines purchase Coaching offers.
Coaching reward points are paid out sequentially in 5% blocks as follows:
- Level 1 affiliate – 5%
- Level 2 affiliate – 5%
- Level 3 affiliate – 5%
- Level 4 affiliate – 5%
- Level 5 affiliate – 5%
- 2nd Level 5 affiliate – 5%
- 1st All Star affiliate – 5%
- 2nd All Star affiliate – 5%
- 3rd All Star affiliate – 5%
The commission is calculated by first considering the rank of the affiliate directly above the affiliate making the purchase. Whatever their rank is, that is what they are paid out at.
Eg. if they were a Level 4 affiliate, they would earn 5% times 4 (the Level 1, Level 2, Level 3 and Level 4 commission), with the remaining unpaid commissions distributed amongst their upline in a similar fashion until all nine segmented commissions are paid out.
Note that being an All Pro ranked affiliate results in a +2.5% addition to the 5% commissions above, and being an MVP affiliate adds an additional 2.5% to the base 5% (for a total of 10% being paid out).
As an additional bonus, the affiliate who recruited the affiliate purchasing the Coaching offer also receives a 10% bonus on the rewards points generated by the sale. Their direct upline (the affiliate who recruited them) also earns a 10% bonus.
Loyalty Rewards Compensation Structure
Loyalty Offer commissions are paid using a unilevel compensation structure. A unilevel compensation structure places an affiliate at the top of the structure, with every personally recruited affiliate directly under them (level 1):
If any level 1 affiliates go on to recruit new affiliates of their own, they are then placed on level 2 of the structure, if any level 2 affiliates recruit those affiliates are placed on level 3 and so on and so forth.
Using this unilevel compensation structure, Rippln pays out a percentage commission on up to 10 levels of recruitment. How many levels and how much of a commission an affiliate earns on Loyalty offer purchases depends on their level rank:
- Level 1 – 5% on levels 1 and 2
- Level 2 – 5% on levels 1 to 4
- Level 3 – 5% on levels 1 to 6
- Level 4 – 5% on levels 1 to 8
- Level 5 and All Star – 5% on levels 1 to 10
All Star ranked affiliates are also paid beyond level 10, receiving a 5% comission on every level until an All Star ranked affiliate is found in that recruitment leg (each is treated individually).
Note that All Pro and MVP rank promotion adds an additional 2.5% to the 5% base commission, raising it to 7.5% and 10% respectively.
There are only three simple steps you have to follow to maximise all of the benefits you can receive and all of the monetization and incentivisation within the Rippln Rewards System.
You invite fans, you help those fans that wish to become players and you help those players do the same thing, invite fans.
This entire plan is driven by those three simple steps.
Dissecting the Rippln compensation plan took considerably more energy than would otherwise be required due to the attempts to rename well-established compensation plan characteristics.
Going through the figures and attempting to draw a flow of money through Rippln, I initially saw it as a re-imagining of a pay to play recruitment scheme, with the simple renaming of free affiliates to “fans”.
This I later reduced to a lack of retail within the company (more on that later), and saw that revenue wise, paid affiliate fees were infact not commissionable.
Required to earn commissions in Rippln but not commissionable, which was key.
The crux of Rippln’s compensation plan entirely depends on affiliates purchasing whatever products the company is going to push through the network. Thus far they appear to primarily be mobile phone apps but other than the mention of “hundreds” and “thousands” of products, nothing has been clarified.
Regardless, these products will need to be purchased in order to generate revenue which is then paid out as commissions.
Again, recruitment is required in order to qualify to earn commissions, but in and of itself does not generate commissions. Rippln could grow to encompass hundreds of millions of affiliates but if nobody is spending money on the products they push through the network, nobody (except Rippln) gets paid.
Will Rippln manage to sell products through their network?
I’m going to suggest that the revelations above should have been made public weeks ago. Instead of all this “march to a million” marketing hype rubbish, the company should have been upfront about its compensation plan well before 700,000 affiliates signed up.
If they’d have done that, they could now be focusing on the products they’re going to populate the network with. Instead, I imagine there’s going to be a considerable portion of the affiliate base left with an unpleasant taste in their mouth as what lies ahead is more uncertainty.
Despite not being commissionable, without a doubt the larger a Rippln affiliate’s downline is the more sales volume they open themselves up to. And with no retail option, that means there’s a significant lack of distinction between the income opportunity and Rippln’s products.
I know the argument to this is going to be “but it costs nothing to join as a free affiliate (fan)”, but in terms of MLM, that’s irrelevant.
Retail customers cannot recruit. Thus fans are in effect just free affiliates.
I didn’t see it anywhere mentioned in the compensation plan material I viewed for this review but a retail option with the Rippln app wouldn’t be all that hard to do. Tracking who referred the customers might be problematic though over mobile devices and I suspect that’s behind the lack of a proper retail channel in Rippln.
Meanwhile I’ll say it again, affiliates joining for free does not make them retail customers. The second you sign up to Rippln you enter the compensation plan and begin your affiliate career.
Even if you do not sign anyone up or ever pay Rippln affiliate membership fees.
Purely on a technical level, you are an affiliate, the same as if you joined any other “free to join” MLM company and never upgraded (paid membership fees) or recruited another affiliate.
Furthermore, despite the use of mobile devices and apps, historically these “free app” type models haven’t worked. The most notable of which would probably be MyShoppingGenie.
The comp plan is slightly different (MyShoppingGenie paid recruitment commissions and used a binary), and the company used a toolbar instead of a mobile app, but theory was the same.
Give out the toolbar to as many people as possible and earn money on their purchases. Replace toolbar with mobile app and we’ve got the same thing with Rippln.
How did MyShoppingGenie turn out? It wound up being a network of paid affiliates who didn’t purchase anything and instead focused on recruitment commissions.
After failing to pay commissions for over 6 months, MyShoppingGenie went on to collapse in 2012.
Yes the mobile app slant on the business model is new and (thankfully) Rippln abolished the recruitment commissions they initially advertised before they officially launched, however the fundamental question remains, is the commerce side of the business going to be any different?
The e-commerce is huge however that clearly didn’t guarantee the success of MyShoppingGenie.
Heavily touted has been the success of other companies mobile apps and the revenue these generate. Like anything, for every succesful app out there there’s god knows how many failures.
Yes, the mobile app industry is tipped to hit $25 billion USD in sales this year… but
For every Instagram, the wildly popular photo sharing app that Facebook Inc. FB -0.82% bought for $1 billion last year, there are hundreds of thousands of apps that don’t catch on.
Rippln appear to have focused strongly on building up a free affiliate-base, how they’re going to pay everyone but on the app (and other product side of things?), no idea.
I think realistically it’s an extremely big promise for an MLM company to come out and compare their unreleased app line to the most profitable apps today. Those apps aren’t just profitable because they exist, they’re profitable because of the ideas and thought that went into them.
Based on the massive “recruit everyone you see” hype-machine style marketing Rippln have rolled out with, my gut tells me Rippln believe they’re going to be successful purely because they have apps, rather than on the merits of the apps (and other products) themselves.
On the other hand if Rippln do pull out some unique and profitable apps that propel the company into solid profitability, at least affiliates now know what they’re up for to participate in the MLM side of things.
$69.95 a year and $25 a month.
Probably best to wait though and see just what Rippln come up with products-wise first though before financially committing to anything.