Getting to 100,000 users | Paypal’s $60M referral program that nobody knows about

Untorch
Untorch
May 8, 2015 · 2 min read

Accordinng to Elon Musk, founder and former CEO of Paypal, the company acquired 100,000 users in the first month. Here he is explaining how they did it:

If you signed up for Paypal, they’d give you $20, and if you referred a friend to Paypal, they’d give you another $20. Referrals = 100,000 users in one month. Remarkable.

It is interesting to note that Musk says they spent $60 or $70 million dollars on this program, which is a budget you don’t find in most growth hacking stories (e.g. Dropbox, Hotmail, etc.), but the commonality in tactics for each of those stories is staggering.

Even today Paypal is relying on a referral program to grow into China, offering some amount of money for each person a user gets to sign up to Paypal.com.cn, their Chinese website.

It seems that refer-a-friend programs are becoming (or have become) the new standard for growth marketing.

Click here to create your own referral marketing campaign: www.untorch.com


Originally published at prefundia.com.

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store