How We Achieved One Million Users In KickRef Without Investing In Marketing

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Written by founder and CEO of Kick Ecosystem and KickEX exchange Anti Danilevski

Many people believe that without marketing investments, it’s almost impossible to get a solid growth of users. However, the results of my Kick Ecosystem team has proven the opposite.

This article will deliver how we managed to attract, in less than a year, more than one million users from all over the world to the KickEX cryptocurrency exchange using the KickRef referral program.

What is the KickRef program?

KickRef is a multi-level referral program within the KickEX crypto-exchange. The user’s earnings are generated by a percentage from the trading fees paid in cryptocurrency (BTC / ETH / USDT) by the invited traders. The more active the invited traders are within the user’s referral network, the greater are the earnings.
Being an ex-game designer and game producer, I’ve implemented a significant part of gaming into our system, so that KickRef combines leagues and rating systems along with extra bonuses.

This provides not only an additional sports and entertaining impulse for the expansion of the referral network but also forms a competitive inducement among the referrals, which further increases their activity and involvement.

Each league has its own bonuses where users get extra tokens for expanding their referral network. The more active are the referrals at each level within the network, the higher is the participant’s ranking position as well as the reward.

The rankings are divided into 6 leagues: Diamond, Platinum, Gold, Silver, Bronze and Newbie. The users receive guaranteed rewards for being in any of the above leagues except the Newbie one. Moreover, members of the Diamond league are granted with extra rewards.

In the future, we intend to launch exclusive withdrawal conditions for Diamond league participants to withdraw their referral earnings. This will serve as an exemption from the requirement of making a trading turnover on KickEX and paying the trading fees on the exchange. This functionality is currently being developed.

Every KickRef member has their own personal account

Participants can track their personal growth and the results of their referral network directly in their personal accounts. In this section, users can find and track the success of all referrals that have registered directly through their personal links.

It’s also possible to contact them using the built-in KickMessenger, which is currently in alpha. A convenient and very useful tool for motivating referrals or simply communicating with them.

5 simple steps: how to earn with KickRef

In order to start earning in KickRef, the user has to follow five easy steps:

2. Copy the personal link and invite people that are interested in trading on a cryptocurrency exchange or those who are willing to invite the new members if the user doesn’t trade.

3. After forming the referral network, train your members on how to build their own networks.

4. In order to withdraw the earnings, it’s mandatory to fulfil the following condition — the user has to trade enough to pay an overall trading fee equal or greater than $5 equivalent on the KickEX exchange. However, those in the Diamond League will soon be exempted from this requirement.

5. Withdraw the earnings into the account, currently only in cryptocurrency, and in the future also in “ordinary” (fiat) money, paying small commission in KickTokens. Presumably, these tokens are already on the account, as they are awarded for various achievements in the referral system.

Despite the complicated description, the system is in fact very simple and that’s probably why it has so much success in swiftly spreading around the globe. Another reason for such popularity is that unlike many multi-level systems, it’s not required to purchase or spend anything in KickRef.

If the user estimates that he has already earned a certain profit, he will trade a little on the exchange and withdraw his earnings. If not, he won’t lose anything, as it usually happens in some dishonest projects or even in the traditional network marketing.

I truly believe it is the reason that the system has become so viral, and in the first 24 hours, we received 8,000 users, simply by sharing a link in our telegram groups.

About the community

We are very proud of our friendly and co-operative community, united by a global idea to earn regularly and effectively in cryptocurrency. All chats are active 24/7 and monitored by a responsive, professional, and most importantly, multi-lingual support team that will help with any issues and give advice on how to make the first steps in KickEcosystem and start earning money with KickRef.

This also positively impacts the conversions, even though there are only around 30,000 people in our groups — they are our most active users.

We have established education as one of the key factors for users. For this purpose, we have developed the KickAcademy, where useful educational content about crypto and trading are published.

On the Academy’s website, we also publish data regarding the latest research in financial technologies on cryptocurrency, blockchain, and the exchange. This is our social contribution to the crypto-education of people worldwide: all the information and articles are available in both English and Russian languages completely free of charge.

Captivate and entertain

As mentioned earlier, our marketing strategy is mainly based on the multi-level KickRef referral program. Each trading fee on the KickEX exchange (that was launched on June 1st, 2020), paid by invited users within the trader’s network, is distributed as a reward depending on the referral level.

It sounds complicated, but it’s actually really simple: if John invites Bill and Bill starts trading on KickEX, then KickEX returns to John 15% of its profits generated by Bill’s trading.

And if Bill somehow invites Vasily from Russia and he becomes a trader, then Bill will earn 15% and John 10%, and so on up to the 10th level. The total percentage of KickEX earnings that go into the referral network is 50 percent.

In the beginning, the team has faced a major issue: the exchange wasn’t yet launched, and therefore it was impossible to earn real money — users could only build their network and hope that one day the exchange will be launched, and their earnings would begin to monetize. Hence users’ interest had to be constantly supported.

One of the entertaining practices, used in the development of our marketing strategy, was attractive marketing promotions launched on specific holidays or important days of the year. Thus, during such campaigns, the number of new registrations usually grew by about 400%.

The number of new registrations during the “Chinese New Year” and “Saint Valentine’s Day” campaigns

Marketing campaigns launched during holidays have yielded some of the best results:

Another important factor to increase the pool of loyal and engaged users is a competitive system — gamification that triggers a “sports” desire and drives the user’s interest to keep engaged and motivated as long as possible.

Promotional email marketing 

Sending alerts and warm-up messages to the KickRef users allowed us to promptly announce new marketing campaigns and to keep participants interested and attentive throughout the whole period. In the most common email to participants, we have sent links to articles describing the inner mechanics of the campaigns, rewards, terms, and conditions.

All emails included a button that redirected the participant to their KickRef page. Thus, we created a handy funnel, that kept motivating users to visit their KickRef page, copy their personal link and share it on social networks and with their contacts, receiving additional bonuses for participating in marketing campaigns.

Master the structure

As an example, after introducing the ranking system, the number of actively inviting referrers increased by 60% from 13.075 to 21.702 in 3 weeks, and the number of referrers who invited at least one user who invited, in turn, at least one referral, has more than doubled over 3 months, thus forming a pool of users who have at least 2 referral levels.

Delayed Effect 

After launching marketing campaigns and introducing the ranking system, as well as the solid formation of the first referral structures, the user growth dynamics developed like a “snowball”. For example, the top networks that had up to 2,000 referrals in February 2020, within 3 months, reached the mark of 4,000 users.

The synergistic effect of word-of-mouth and the competition for top places triggered not only a skyrocketing increase in users but also a significant escalation of interest in KickRef, both among old and new members.

Networks with a total number from 50 to 100 of active referrals have also more than doubled over the past 3 months. Obviously, users in the “top” of the networks are not only interested in trading on the exchange and expanding their capital, but also in the growth and prosperity of their own network.

The number of larger networks has also significantly grown

Virality — one of the most powerful control tools

One of the most important factors that you should pay special attention to is the coefficient of virality. The virality coefficient or k-factor is an indicator that shows the percentage of users who started using your platform from a friend’s invitation. In our case, the explosive growth of this indicator occurred during campaign periods.

Further, as the number of users and structures grew, virality has seen a slight decrease even though remaining at a high level.

Summarizing the aforementioned, we can highlight several key factors that fundamentally affect the user’s interest in our products:

  1. Interesting and profitable game rules. It’s crucial to make simple but fascinating conditions for your future users.
  2. Triggering interest from the inside, not from outside. This is the only way to achieve an independent and organic growth of users, while significantly saving on marketing campaigns.
  3. Controlling users’ growth and efficiently reacting to “weakening” parameters will help to maximize growth and audience quality. After all, nobody needs “dead souls” not involved in the project.
  4. Users appreciate the open dialogue, transparency, and human approach!
  5. Simplicity and clarity of actions. It’s necessary to break down the complex and confusing mechanics of the user’s participation in a project, into simple and convenient steps. This increases the potential for attracting and maintaining users since they won’t be afraid of complicated schemes where their advantages are not clear or transparent. When all participants understand the end result of their actions, they are more likely to faster join the project and successfully achieve results, bringing in new motivated users.

All the described above schemes allowed us to achieve the result of one million organic users without any advertising in less than a year. The same principles apply to nearly all online projects (online shop, gaming platform, crypto-project) that require progressive and organic growth of users.

Therefore, in the near future KickRef will not only be an internal tool that we have created for our exchange but a B2B Saas-solution that can be integrated into other projects — perhaps even in offline projects. We will provide it in the form of a referral system constructor, making a profit from fees generated by the user’s expenses.

Such practice will make this solution attractive even for young startups who may not even have a profit yet. Our whole team was pursuing success by numerous trials and failures, testing various hypotheses, and analyzing the results for each marketing action.

We very much hope that our personal experience will help other businesses avoid mistakes, in the beginning, achieve a result in a more efficient and assured way, while captivating user’s interest and attention in the project.


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