I spent $162 copying crypto marketing scammers and generated these results...
For the last few years, I’ve been trying to wrap my head around the (pretty obvious) crypto scams that manage to quickly generate hundreds of thousands of followers.
I mean, the projects often look and feel like scams.
And yet they generate traction far faster than the legit projects out there.
I started to wonder how they did it. And why, if this system works, aren’t legit projects copying them?
Well, there are a few reasons which I’ll cover shortly.
Let’s first cover why do this…
Why am I copying the scammers?
Quite simple really.
We’re in a pretty vicious bear market and a lot of legit brands are having to wind down their operations, lay off staff, or are simply shutting up shop.
Anything we can do to help the builders of Web3 get results that keep legit projects afloat should be taken.
Scammers, weirdly, are like cockroaches.
Bull run or bear market they always seems to survive and prosper.
Sure, they make more in the bull run, but I know I’m not the only one getting promos and obvious scams like the below.
While I wholeheartedly disagree with the outcome these people are aiming for, I have to respect the hustle.
The results they generate speak for themselves.
And so, rather than write off the process that works as fraudulent simply because fraudsters use it, I want to see if we can use it to generate positive results.
In my opinion it’s simply a tool.
One that can be used to generate positive results for many, or that can be used to scam people of their money.
The tool itself is innocent. It's how people use it that matters.
So why not see if we can’t use it for positive outcomes?
The risks of copying crypto promotions used by scammers
I've been in marketing for over a decade and have tried countless different methods to grow brands.
Each method comes with a risk.
Sometimes a reputational risk, other times a lost revenue risk, often a risk of it simply not working. Risks are par for he course in this world. .
With this approach, I see a couple of potential issues.
- Attracting the wrong audience (people just searching for a quick reward instead of being a valuable community member)
- Reputational damage (people believing your brand to be yet another scammer)
- Wasted time and revenue (could this time and money be better spent elsewhere)
These are the risks I perceive.
However, they’re not necessarily that bad.
The publication of this article should mitigate reputational damage, the wrong audience will simply leave in time, and hopefully, this piece will generate enough buzz to warrant the time and money.
So, without further ado, let’s jump into it.
The shitcoin marketing model for rapid social growth
This growth model uses social media as a hub to generate audience growth across multiple platforms.
In short, you run a giveaway of a relevant prize and promote it on social media.
The engagement on social is then turned into audience growth through the giveaway. In this example, we’re trying to turn Twitter engagement into…
- Email subscribers - So we can continue marketing and communication with users
- Community members - So we can continue to grow the community and continue comms
- Site visitors - We generate ad revenue from eyeballs on the site
- Reviews of Web3 projects on our site - this helps us provide a better service to new users and brands
When analysing the other brands in the space sho use social to kickstart a giveaway, they often hire professional promoters to get the initial traction needed.
If we’re going to lay this out as an easy-to-understand model, it looks something like this…
And the basic step-by-step progression is below.
1. Build a basic giveaway on our site that requires an email opt-in to participate (thus capturing email addresses)
2. Promote initially with 3 steps.
- Create an announcement Tweet that links to the giveaway
- Share the giveaway in relevant communities
- Pay twitter promoters a flat fee to promote the giveaway
3. Users gain more entries to the giveaway by joining your various marketing channels
4. Add a “retweet our announcement tweet” option to gather more entries and foster the network effect of your giveaway being shared on all of your entrants' timelines
And that’s it.
On the surface, it’s super simple.
You offer something of value, get a few people with an audience to promote and generate traction, and then incentivise entrants to continue sharing it.
Like that you’ve got a nice flywheel where a little biut of up front effort should continue to generate returns.
Let’s now look at the details on achieving this.
Generating initial buzz on social media for Web3 projects
Befoe you set your giveaway live you want to hash out some deals with those who can promote it.
If you head to Twitter and search for “Crypto giveaway” you’ll see a tonne of tweets popup with crazy engagement.
The giveaway rewards vary between $50 and $1000 from what I can see.
But you’re still looking at thousands of engagements for even the $50 offer.
From this, I decided on a $100 offer qwith 2 winners. So $50 each.
Here’s the cool bit though. 995 of the people sharing those giveaways are running this as a service.
All you have to do is find one of them you like the look of and check out their profile. They’ll always highlight that they accept requests and they’ll also highlight how to contact them.
Notice the “DM for business” mention. This person could be up for promoting your offer.
After clicking through to a few who had reasonable followings, I followed their instructions to DM them and received responses like the below.
These are the kind of rate sheets they send through.
The “time” column is apparently how long the giveaway will last for.
I received 5-6 responses from people with follower counts everywhere from 30k to 700k+.
Prices scale with the follower count, but for a 24-hour promo period, you’re basically looking at around $200 - $300 in total including the giveaway prize fee.
What you’ll notice is that most of these giveaways are simple like this tweet and follow the brand.
I personally think this has little value as it’s building an audience that’s reliant on a social algorithm over which you have no control.
Fortunately, most of the promoters offer a retweet option. Often, the retweet option is a lot cheaper than having the promoter run the entire giveaway for you.
I found a few promoters who promised to retweet. After verbally locking them in I had to go and create a promotional tweet and the giveaway.
Setting up a crypto giveaway to control the rewards
There is a Web3 tool I know of that offers the ability to create these viral giveaways. However, it’s in closed beta and I couldn’t use it for this.
So for this, I’m gonna have to go with a Web 2.0 tool I’ve used in the past - KingSumo’s giveaway platform.
It’s a super simple platform.
It collects email addresses of those who enter. You can then set up various follow, refer, and like options to enable users to gain more entries to the giveaway.
You can also add custom links to the giveaway.
I set up a new account and followed the King Sumo wizard to get the basics set up. We’re talking title, description etc.
I then added in the basic actions I wanted people to take, With King Sumo you get the option of the below.
I used these to set up the YT and Twitter follows.
I then set up a couple of custom links for…
- Discord community join
- A “like a retweet this tweet” (our announcement tweet, just added a link to it)
- A “tweet this message” (used Click to Tweet to create a simple message that looked like the below)
Make sure the Click to Tweet message makes use of relevant hashtags and also includes the link to your giveaway.
We then had basically everything we needed in the giveaway and all of the links were tested to ensure that they lead tot he right platforms and actions.
The core is set up and we have promoters waiting for our word. Now we need the initial announcements ot be sent out to kick this thing off.
Creating up your initial crypto giveaway promotions
Now it’s all about seeding the initial traction.
Rather than chance it, I looked for a popular giveaway and copied their giveaway format for the promotional tweet (I also reused it in the giveaway description).
Here’s how it looked.
- A big promise - this is the giveaway prize
- Necessary actions - what does the user need to do?
- Timeline - how long do they have to do it?
- Supporting image - engaging image that reiterates the big promise
By copying this format, we ended up with our announcement tweet below.
This was the tweet that we would ask the promoters to retweet.
It's also what our “like and retweet this tweet” link in the giveaway then led to.
What was crazy to me is that as soon as the promoter accounts retweeted I saw almost immediate responses like the below.
People were jumping at the giveaway from the get go.
To further my chances, I spent a little time promoting the giveaway in a few relevant communities.
I just search for things like crypto giveaways and Web3 giveaways. When I found one that would allow my giveaway, I shared it in there to generate a little more traction.
At the end of the initial promo sequence here’s what I’d done.
- Hired 1 Twitter promoter with 550K followers to promote 1 time with a retweet for $50.
- Hired a second promoter with 28K followers for daily retweet promos for $1.50 per retweet
- Shared to a few crypto giveaway subreddits and communities
- Shared to my existing, small email list
All of these were one-time actions.
I kept the momentum up in a way by simply liking and retweeting the promotion tweet I had people share to get more entries.
If I was going hard on this, I would have had multiple promotions per day with those big promoters, but I wanted to see what kind of results I could get a on a limited budget.
As for the results, what did they look like?
Well, let’s do the full breakdown.
What results did this crypto promotion generate
So the results were better than I anticipated for such a modest spend.
I used a free tool for the giveaway and spent only $62 on marketing.
Add that to the giveaway prize of 100 USDC, and the total cost to me was $162 plus gas fees.
So what did that generate?
Here’s the full breakdown…
The initial tweet that promoted the giveaway received…
- 17,600 impressions
- 743 engagements
- 190 link clicks
- 119 profile clicks
I’m pretty happy with the reach and impact this tweet got. Especially as the Decent Reviews Twitter account had single-digit followers at the time (myself and 1-2 other friends).
In terms of the results I wanted to generate, here’s what we achieved?
Bear in mind I wanted more email subs for future marketing ability, to grow my community, and to get some YouTube subs.
Here are the numbers…
- 155 entrants meaning 155 new email subscribers
- 27 new Discord community members
- 33 Youtube subscribers
- ~90 new Twitter followers
Not bad at all in my book.
Especially if we compare it to what a normal paid campaign to generate subscribers might cost.
When I’ve run various campaigns in the past for things like email subscribers, I’ve paid much more than we managed here.
If you have a strong lead magnet and good targeting, I’ve often paid between $3 and $8 for each email subscriber.
Whereas with this crypto giveaway campaign, our costs break down as the below…
- $1.05 per email subscriber
- $6.00 per Discord community member
- $1.76 per Twitter follower
- $4.91 per YouTube subscriber
Here’s the thing.
Those numbers generally aren’t bad.
However, when combined I ended up playing a measly $0.53 per new subscriber across all platforms.
When the average cost of a promoted tweet engagement is $0.50 to $2.00, this campaign absolutely killed it (an engagement could be a like, whereas ours was for a new audience member).
Yes, there will be overlap there as many (if not all) of the conversions will be multiple platforms.
However, it simply gives us more opportunities to connect with and follow up with those people.
$0.53 per user is a tiny fee.
And, I believe if I had paid more to other promoters and was more active in ongoing promotion I think the network effects would have generated even better returns.
But it’s not as simple as saying “we spent X and got Y”. Here’s why.
A huge caveat with crypto promotions
Giveaways are a great way to generate reach and actions from users.
However, they have an inherent problem.
You can see the problem within the numbers we generated.
We had over 17,000 impressions, but only 743 engagements.
Of those 743, only 155 joined our email list.
And I’m sure a lot of them will unsubscribe as soon as they realize they didn’t win.
This is the problem inherent with giveaways.
The new audience members are fickle.
They jump from one giveaway to the next.
Which means they might not be the best fit for your project or members who contribute to your project.
But, if we’re being honest, that’s part of the game we play.
Like it or not, more importance and attention is given to projects and brands that have large followings.
There’s a shift going on to focus more on those with engagement (a positive shift IMO), but big numbers can get people to give you that initial bit of attention you need to convert them into users.
The other part of the game we play is that of numbers.
If your giveaway is relevant to your project, it’s inevitable that you’ll attract a few people who are great fits and will be engaged.
It might only be single-digit percentages of the number you attract, but in the early stages of a project’s growth, even 1 great customer is worth the effort and spend.
Run your own crypto giveaway
You could easily copy what I’ve done here with minimal time and financial investment.
And, honestly, it wouldn’t be hard to beat the results.
If you paid a few promoters to space the promotions out over a few days you'd get better results.
If you had a reasonable audience to begin with you'd get better results.
If you were simply more active in promoting it yourself, you’d get better results.
What will be really interesting to watch is how Web3 reward programs and systems enable a more native integration with Web3 brands and these giveaways.
But if you’re thinking of running something similar and want a little help, let me know.
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