Back in 2009, we stumbled across an interesting tactic for growing a community.
We closed the community and instead allowed each member of the community to invite 1 person per month.
If every member did this, the community would grow by 100% every month.
We found around 30% to 45% of members used their monthly invites.
30% to 45% growth per month is quite impressive. Faster than most communities. The exclusivity and being allowed to invite just 1 friend/colleague per month encouraged people to actually to find someone they wanted in the community. They suddenly had an incentive to do it (or the invite would expire).
We made no technical changes to ensure they could only invite 1 (if they cheated and invite more, the community grows quicker).
We've tried it a few times since. Sometimes it works, sometimes not.
But it's usually worth trying.
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