Cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, ICO — these are the buzzwords which rooted in the daily life of many online users in 2017. Let’s look at these notions from the marketing viewpoint and see how a startup can promote ICO using email marketing.
The ICO boom for business development
The first Initial Coin Offering, also known as ICO or Token Sale, was launched by Mastercoin in 2013. The project released a protocol layer on the top of the Bitcoin blockchain that could be used by developers to create their own cryptocurrencies. With this method of crowdfunding the company raised five million dollars.
The success of Mastercoin inspired young companies, and ICO is now widely used for collecting a startup capital. Only for the past year, ICO projects have managed to collect 3,9 billion dollars within different industries.
Getting started with ICO promotion
Usually, the ICO is used to raise initial capital by the startups which have a tight budget for advertising. To save money on marketing and promotional activities, they develop and launch bounty campaigns.
The participants of such campaigns promote the project voluntary and get rewards in tokens after the ICO closing date. Some of them crosspost content across multiple social media and publish posts on forums. Others write articles for Medium and upload video reviews about the project on YouTube.
At the same time, startups promote the product on their own by publishing the content created by copywriters, designers and marketers on different platforms popular with crypto enthusiasts.
Platforms used to promote ICOs:
It is a social network for sharing news. The platform consists of categories, so-called subreddits. The companies create new subreddits about their ICOs to publish links to reviews, updated documents and other useful information.
ICO projects take advantage of this messenger to create news channels and chats. These are subsequently used to quickly inform potential investors about the updates, lead traffic to the landing page and receive feedback from the community.
It is a platform where people share their knowledge asking and answering questions. The ICO representants usually take part in the discussions on the dedicated threads. They mention the developed technology and add a link to their landing page.
It is a forum about blockchain. People using this platform are miners, traders and investors who are up to speed on crypto-related topics. ICO projects create their threads and then localize them into other languages with the help of bounty participants.
Ban of crypto-related content on social media
With the growing popularity of ICO as a method of collecting initial capital, the number of scammers who attract investments fraudulently has also grown. To fight possible fraud, countries such as the USA, Canada, Singapore and Japan regulate initial coin offerings by law.
The next to nail scammers are social media platforms. To protect their users, they are pitching bans on all crypto-related ads.
Facebook and Instagram no longer allow users to post ads about binary options, cryptocurrencies and ICOs. Beginning from June 2018, Google will ban similar ads on all its platforms, including YouTube. Twitter will also start prohibiting ads promoting ICOs, cryptocurrency wallets and exchanges whereas Medium has instituted a list of requirements for any post related to these topics.
Given the situation, marketers are looking for a competitive alternative to social platforms for ICO promotion. And email marketing can become the one.
Email marketing — a good backup for ICO projects
For an ICO startup, email marketing is a stable channel to communicate with potential investors. Using it, you can take possible ICO participants through the product, stimulate them to the desired action and gain their trust.
But not all email service providers (ESP) are crypto-friendly. For instance, MailChimp is now banning all emails that promote, sell, trade, store, or market ICOs and cryptocurrencies. So, choosing an ESP, pay attention to Use Policies, which specify sending of what content is acceptable.
Five tips for improving ICO email marketing
1. Collect email addresses of potential investors
Place a subscription form on your landing page to collect the emails of possible ICO participants and start building a long-term relationship with them. Set their expectations explaining the benefits of receiving emails from you.
Bluzelle, for instance, invites users to subscribe in order not to miss essential project updates.
2. Segment your subscriber list
The cryptocurrency market is global, so build your mailing list based on the language a potential investor speaks. The first option to do this is to let the users choose a preferred language in the subscription form. Another one is to make your website multilingual and place a language-specific signup form on the corresponding pages.
Once received the required information, you can divide your mailing list into segments based on the language. This way you’ll be able to send emails written in the language your community understands.
3. Introduce your product to newcomers
Sometimes it’s not easy even for an experienced ICO participant to fully understand a new project, especially from the first look on a landing page. To communicate the concept and goals of your project to subscribers, configure an automated email flow after they sign-up. This way you’ll come in contact with investors and share the knowledge of the developed technology with them.
Bonpay welcomes newcomers with familiarizing content. Their email contains a short description of the product and a link to the most important document of the project — whitepaper.
4. Inform about the updates and changes
Be ready to chop around in course of your ICO project. The whitepaper can be updated; the technology can be improved; the token distribution scheme can be modified; even the ICO date can be transferred. These are the important news for your investors that can get lost in the message flow in chats and social media feeds — but hardly in email. Take this advantage and inform your subscribers about what is occurring via email too.
In the example below, Spectre.ai reminds the subscribers that the ICO ends in just 60 minutes. They invite late participants to the landing page and announce the launch of the product beta version. The startup warns the subscribers about phishing and scam websites trolling their token sale. For the finale, Spectra.ai offers interested subscribers to join the online chat with their CEO.
5. Stay in touch with your community after the ICO
The end of the ICO is not the reason to cut off the communication with the community. The investors fell for your product and poured their money into its development, so keep them informed about everything happening to the project after the ICO as well.
Tell your subscribers about your token being listed on the exchanges and roadmap goals being achieved. You may send weekly reports so that your investors see that you make things hum. Inform the participants about the the events you are going to attend.
For instance, Brickblock delights their subscribers with good news — the startup has won a pitch competition at the Blockchain-Real event.
So, here are five tips on how to promote an ICO with email marketing:
- Choose a crypto-friendly email service provider.
- Place a subscription form on the project landing page.
- Segment your mailing list based on the users’ language.
- Develop a corporate template and create a welcome email flow.
- Create separate email campaigns to be sent in course and after the ICO project.