Levels.fyi: Capitalize on Waitlist Momentum
A twist on traditional waitlists mechanics
Hello Frens 👋,
I am back after being knocked down for a couple of weeks by covid!
Excited for today!
The velvet rope strategy is a common launch strategy. Companies manipulate users by offering “Status” as a reward for being early. External motivators— such as Status— can be up to X3 more effective than intrinsic motivators in getting someone to take the desired action.
The velvet rope can take many forms, and some of the more popular forms include waitlist with game mechanics to advance & invite-only betas.
However, the Law of Shitty Clickthroughs tells us that as a marketing tactic becomes more adopted, it loses its efficacy and results in shitty clickthrough rates.
Waitlists with game mechanics & Invite-only betas are now so prevalent that, for the most part, they are nowhere as effective as they once were in capitalizing on the Status that comes attached with having early access to a particular product.
levels.fyi overcame the diminishing return on a Robinhood-inspired waitlist by making a slight modification to their waitlist mechanics.
When launching a highly requested feature Community, I noticed something.
The team used the external motivation (get access to waitlist) to drive traffic to another core product (download their mobile app), which is rather unusual.
The difference between asking someone to invite others and share their support of your product publicly and downloading an app is drastic. One is asking me to publicly endorse a product and risk my social capital. The other is asking me to take action that would require 2 minutes of my time that I could do privately.
One unlocks top of the funnel growth. The other unlocks stronger down-the-funnel conversion.
Until we meet next Tuesday,