The last 2-3-4 days have been quite interesting for all Growth Hackers, that weren´t celebrating their weekend with being offline. Initiative Q is flooding all social media channels around Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin. What the hell is going on? How is it possible, that a project without having built a product yet is going viral like crazy (912.000+ shares on Facebook. Date 28th October 2018)? We took a closer look and found 11+1! used marketing techniques by the Initiative Q team. Enjoy and learn from this awesome executed (or better #growthartic) Growth Hacking example.
Initiative Q started officially in July 2018. In my personal social media filters popped it up in the last days. Honestly, myself as something like a digital native or Growth Hacker was an assassin, too. I couldn´t resist to register and to share.
All used Growth Hacks analyzed in detail:
- #1 Trusted references
- #2 Fomo / Fear of missing out
- #3 Invitation only
- #4 Limitation
- #5 Incentivation
- #6 Gamification
- #7 Make sharing easy
- #8 No registration barriers
- #9 Trust
- #10 Do it lean
- #11 Writing outstanding copy
- #11+1 Think big
#1 Trusted references
How came I across Initiative Q the first time? I saw a post of Felix Beilharz (Felix German article about the project) on Facebook ( A Social media expert from my hometown Cologne – means I trust the advice of this person)…and thought first “Ok, this is a joke.” But then I saw him sharing the invite-link and some other guys posting theirs in the comment section on Facebook. That started something in me like, “Oh, if they do, I have to check that too…”
So, I saw that “trustworthy” people were playing around with this…On instagram we would name it “influencers”, who share their opinion about your product…Is this a Growth Hack? I would say “Yes”…Getting personal recommendations from people you trust makes you more commonly buying or registering for a product.
#2 Fomo / Fear of missing out
Last year this cryptocurrency stuff like Bitcoin, Ethereum and so on were going through the social web like crazy. There were very early adopters, who shared their story how they became crypto millionaires. Investors, finance experts and normal people were wondering if they would miss the final chance to become millionaire without having to work for it. All stories about how the blockchain technology will change the world including the comparisons to the beginning of the WWW, were pushing emotional buttons of more and more internet users around the globe. The more people were wondering, the more was the FOMO index for cryptocurrencies increasing massively.
“What happens if I´m the only one, who is missing this chance…”
This emotion is called the “Fomo”-effect…Fear of missing out.
When I tried to click one of the first invitation-buttons of the project I came across on Facebook, which didn´t work because it got deactivated due to the fact that 5 others had claimed their seat before me…It happened to me as well. I thought “Shit, I have to find another invitation link, as soon as possible. I don´t want to be the only one, not having being part of it…Triggering FOMO works 😉
#3 Invitation only
A pretty common Growth Hack is the “invitation only” idea. Well known from parties or clubs where you have to be on the VIP- or guest list. Who doesn´t want to be a part of this party or would like having not to wait in the queue because you´re standing on the guestlist, right?
Iniative-Q used it pretty well, what increases the Fomo-effect even more. So good, that they made it even possible to “be invited”…But not really. You can click the button and you´re asked to share in your social networks that you´re looking for invites…I love this one 😉
Each invite-link was only valid for maximum 5 confirmed invites. Like I described my own behaviour for the registration before, this one was quite important, because I had the feeling “I must a get an invitation code asap.”
Next point. For the inviter it is important as well, that there is a limitation to 5 and even more that he has to confirm the registration request from the people he referred to the platform. Means “I am the bouncer. I have the power to choose who is in or not.
Like Paypal did it in good old days, where you´ve got 10 US-Dollar as starting capital…Iniative Q used the same idea. You got a starting capital of 65.000 US-Dollars. In combination with the idea, that most of the people have the feeling, that they missed out money because they bought no bitcoins or ordered their bitcoins much too late, this is a nice present, everybody tries to receive, right?
With the small workflow-like header “Current task” in the dashboard, it seams like that I have to do it, right?
All Growth Hackers wants to work with gamification, right? But why is it so hard?
Anyway, in our case here they just used the idea of gamification a bit, to motivate you to share more, because you´ll receive more “virtual” money on your account. With each confirmed referral it will get even more. And this, just with the sentence “Q 38,481 – Out of your possible Q138,544“. Nice! A smart combination between incentivation and gamification, according to my opinion.
#7 Make sharing easy
Sharing must be really easy and been asked for at the right time. Remember old days where you´ve downloaded an app from the Appstore and 3 seconds after launching the app the first time, you got asked for leaving a review. Bullshit user experience.
Here sharing seams to be the central stage of the whole application. Everything is built around the sharing links. As well the business model with being Incentivized for each referral as well as the user experience with this small individual link including sharing buttons to Whatsapp, Twitter, Facebook, Linked and Mail.
You don´t have to look for it. It´s not possible to miss it. And for sure at the right time, what means here, immediately after login..or as you can see here in the screenshot with the confirmation mail of confirming a referral. A perfect example of copywriting in my eyes.
One more: You don´t have to write an individual text, because all sharing buttons have included really well written “ad”-copies. Better than all of us, would write for sharing…I guess. Means, nobody has to think of “What should I write?” or just leaving the link stand alone…
#8 No registration barriers
There is no registration barrier.
They use just your fullname, your eMail address and a password. Due to the fact, that it is used to be a currency in the future, I think that the password restrictions with having numbers and letters with at least one capital letter quite ok. For sure you can use social logins via Google, Facebook or Twitter. After clicking the double-opt-in confirmation email you´re logged in immediately and can focus on sharing your referral URL to “earn money”. Nice.
But what I like most is the “Why should I register…” on the registration form. Repeating the name of your personal referrer and then “Join now and reserve an estimated future value of 65.530$ CASH…” Love it.
In the main copytext it is always mentioned that the Iniative Q is initiated by some ex-Paypal guys. Mentioning that, makes the whole idea for the product more valuable. In my personal case, without checking whats behind and how the product would look like…Learning? Name dropping still works.
#10 Do it lean
Yes, they did it. Investing all their efforts in the beginning in growing their user base rapidly (tens of millions – check #11+1 “Think big down below) instead of focussing on the development of a product nobody needs in the end. Being lean. One of the most important Growth Hacker skills and so hard to implement, because we tent always to start developing our product first.
#11 Writing outstanding copy
In my Growth Hacking bootcamps and corporate Growth Hacking trainings we´re always facing “copywriting” as an important skill for Growth Hackers. This project is a perfect example for outstanding copy at each user touchpoint. A very clean website without any design features but strong copy. Same goes for emails, sharing text and the dashboard.
#11+1 Think big…
Last but not least…Why we all should think big(ger)! It´s not more than just letting us know “Hi Hendrik, welcome to the future of payments.”. Combined with the introduction story, that the existing payment systems like credit cards, cash and wire transfers are pretty old and outdated…and now “we” can build it together…
…and letting the users know in the public roadmap that they try to grow their user base rapidly up to 10 millions or so 😉
Take it for learning! Whether this idea will dive into reality in the end or not – no clue 😉 But the way they executed 11+ Growth Hacks in parallel is quite impressive. Thank you very much for this growthartic use case. If you want to download my collection of 111+ Growth Hacks, feel free 😉
If you like this analysis, please share it to your co-workers/friends 😉
PS. Ah, If you´re looking for a valid invitation link, here we go.