The illusive concept of ‘virality’ is hard to generate artificially; ultimately, sustained viral growth is likely to be rooted in a strong product or engaging content. However, paying careful attention to content sharing, item gifting, or invitation flows, cultivates the right conditions for virality to occur.
Each channel (e.g. email, mobile messaging networks, social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, etc.) will display different dynamics in terms of the number of users reached (e.g. one-to-one vs one-to-many, ease and likelihood of being re-posted within the network by receivers, etc.), the conversion rate of these shares and the average time it takes to close the loop and acquire a new user through this channel. The two key variables that govern the performance of a viral loop are K-factor (avg. number of users each invite/share reaches x Conversion Rate) and Cycle Time (avg. time taken to close the loop). Of the two, shortening the Cycle Time yields a more dramatic increase on growth trajectory, since virality compounds over time.