The League gets install boost and higher engagement by implementing a mobile referral program and waitlist using branch.io

Background

The League (theleagueapp.co) launched its sophisticated dating mobile app in the fall of 2014 and was looking for a way to drive up excitement around the launch. They had the idea to release the app in two stages: a waitlist at first, followed by the actual dating service a few months later.

The waitlist would introduce an exclusivity factor to their user base, as the founders would only let in a number of select profiles per day. In order to move up the waitlist, an existing user would have to refer a friend to install the app, thus allowing The League to generate hype and drive more installs. Unfortunately, in the app world, there is no way to attribute referral installs back to the original inviting user, making it challenging for apps like The League to create a mobile-first referral program.

Solution

After looking at some standard web referral solutions, The League chose branch.io because it was the only referral solution that works seamlessly for mobile apps without referral codes. Using Branch’s drop-in referral backend and contextual deep links, The League was able to build a full referral program and waitlist solution in hours.
The branch.io contextual deeplinks enabled The League to:

  1. Generate a unique, white-labeled referral link per user
  2. Customize the post-install experience depending on where a user came from - either sending new users to the waitlist or allowing referred users to bypass it
  3. Receive notifications from branch.io when a new user installs via a referral link, thus allowing them to automatically move the referring friend up the waitlist
  4. Identify and reward highly influential users in the app through the branch.io dashboard