Grow the Pie: 18 ways to increase liquid staking adoption from 2.5% to 5% through Product Led Growth and Acquisition Strategies

Marinade DAO,

The proverb “If you build it, they will come” is a fallacy.

Liquid staking offers a 10X product over traditional staking yet the TVL of the leading liquid staking protocols represents only 2.5% of total staked Solana.

Given the importance that liquid staking can play in improving Solana decentralization, this begs the question, “How do we increase awareness and adoption for liquid staking?”

Using a simplified funnel analysis (discovery, conversion, retention) I offer 18 recommendations for the protocol to help grow total staked SOL by liquid staking protocols from 2.5% to 5%.

Discovery: What channels are users coming from and what channels are underperforming?

Solana Labs:

  • The Solana Foundation has announced the importance of a delegation strategy that supports censorship resistance and Anatoly has further commented on the potential of liquid staking to help achieve censorship resistance in Episode 57 of the Solana Podcast. Yet within the Solana Labs website, Marinade is miscategorized as an AMM and there is no liquid staking category.

  • Recommendation: Given this explicit support from Solana, work with the Solana Labs team to 1.) get Liquid Staking added as a category on the ecosystem page and add a “Top Liquid Staking Protocols” section, 2.) use community support to upvote the project, 3.) Update protocol description to be extremely clear on user value props (decentralization, autocompounding yield, defi composability), 4.) update Marinade’s tag from AMM to Liquid Staking and 5.) claim the project

Audio/Video Aggregators:

  • A cursory search for Marinade on leading audio and video aggregators leads to a dearth of information and what information is available is from creators with a small reach.

  • Recommendation: Seed informational interviews (about Marinade, liquid staking, the founders) with web3 content creators with a greater reach like Unchained by Laura Chin, The Scoop by The Block, Blockcrunch by Jason Choi and established creators who are starting to build in the Solana ecosystem like Joma Tech.

Wallet Integrations

  • Phantom is forecasting 5-25X growth in 2022. However; the native staking entrypoint Phantom users are provided are not to liquid staking protocols

  • Recommendation: Work with Phantom to make liquid staking the default option for staking Solana

Converting Users: How do we get users to stake their Solana on Marinade?

Once a user lands on https://marinade.finance/ there are two key drop off points:

Landing Page → Staking App

  • Once the user arrives to the protocol’s homepage the user is met with a leadline / value props that are not resonant and 5 CTAs, 3 of which are distracting to the key job. My hypothesis is that users that arrive on the homepage care about in order of importance: Is the yield competitive? Is the protocol safe? How does the protocol work? (This can be corroborated through user research)

  • Recommendation: Given this hypothesis, in order to improve conversion from the landing page to the staking app the team should test 1.) Change the leadline from the “…easiest way to stake Solana” to “…the best way to stake Solana”, 2.) Change the value props to address user concerns “x% APY, No Lock Ups, Compounded Rewards, Open Source, Audited, Support Decentralization” , 3.) Use TVL as a function to build trust, “Over $1B staked with Marinade”, 4.) Move the extraneous CTAs from the header to below the fold, and 5.) Add a diagram below the fold that shows how value accrual of the mSOL token works

Staking App → Staked

  • Once the user arrives to the staking app they have shown high intent to stake but are met by a complex application that shows information that is irrelevant to the core job to be done (staking).

  • If our aim is optimize the conversion from user landing on the staking app to staking their Solana then the team should test 1.) Move the Power User features “Deposit Stake Account” to a seperate tab or below the primary staking mechanism, 2.) Show APY again below deposit fees and add a tool tip that shows 30D APY, YTD APY, and Gross APY (net of fees), 3.) Remove the relationship between Epoch progress and APY and further highlight the APY, 4.) Move the “Unstake Liquidity” information to the unstake tab, and 5.) Use a visualization to show the protocol open capacity and use this as a way to communicate urgency

Retaining Users: How do we get users to keep their Solana staked in Marinade?

Given Marinade’s consistent command of overall liquid staking TVL I don’t think retention is a key issue right now. However; to continue this dominance the protocol should continue to partner with burgenoining DeFi / NFT protocols to make sure the derivative token, mSOL, is interoperable across the Solana ecosystem.

In summary, there are a variety of levers the protocol can use to grow the adoption of liquid staking and further aid in Solana’s decentralization. Rather than allocating fees to MNDE holders as is suggested in the roadmap, I urge the team to use the treasury to test these levers as a way to grow the overall liquid staking TVL.

Thank you for your consideration,
Zain

References

  1. Total Locked Solana via Solana Beach
  2. Total Locked Solana by Marinade via DeFi Llama
  3. Why Liquid Staking is a 10X product via Zain
  4. Censorship Resistance Delegation Strategy via Solana Foundation
  5. Stake Pools via Solana Podcast
  6. Phantom Growth via Blockworks
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