How to Sell Out 7111 NFTs in the Bear Market on the XRP Chain
xSPECTAR came to us via recommendation to sell out their 7111 NFTS on the XRP blockchain.
With crypto platforms such as FTX, Genesis and Celsius collapsing, it’s hard to believe an NFT project would sell out in the bear market.
xSPECTAR’s initial concern with marketers was that they mostly have, sold out projects in ETH and SOL blockchains and rarely attempted other blockchains.
I, on the other hand have nothing but a positive experience with less saturated blockchains.
From a positive review on my LinkedIN by NEKO co-founder, you can see that I have previously done excellent marketing NFTs on the NEAR protocol.
As I do; with any other CMO client, I gave my team 72 hours to perform deep research on the blockchain, price, utility, all marketing materials, social media metrics, business plan, whitepaper, and everything else available online.
I then report back; on the current situation and propose a desired-situation with a customized plan of action. Once we get buy-in from all team members of the client, we then start the marketing process.
At the time of reaching out to us xSPECTAR already had ~1000 people holding 8888 xSPECTAR tokens. That is the number of token's required to be whitelisted before buying the NFTs.
The paid whitelist strategy is music to my ears, and everyone in my incubator has been advised to either have a paid whitelist spot. Be prepared that only 8.75% of whitelisters mint NFTs.
I advised xSPECTAR that it’s not sufficient to rely on those who hold the token to buy all the 7111 supplies.
So the problem to solve was three fold:
- Market to those who; haven’t bought the tokens to buy any amount of tokens (preferably 8888 to start).
- Market to those who; have bought less than 8888 and incentivize them to buy tokens to reach 8888.
- Market to those who; have bought at least 8888 tokens to hold onto their tokens till minting is open.
But the complexity of this project did not end there.
Since you can only buy xSPECTAR tokens with XRP and the NFT project nested on the XRP ledger (XRPL), one can notice the elephant in the room.
The Ripple vs SEC case!
To get it directly from the horse mouth, I contacted an ex-engineer of Ripple and also XRP influencers to ask them why they are very bullish about XRP.
I was anticipating a range of answers which include:
- To Support Ripple vs SEC case
- XRP provides an alternative to old and inefficient SWIFT process
- Just to argue with Bitcoin Maxis
- The XRP community is strong
- Tired of the beef between ETH and SOL and looking for something new
I get invited to many crypto and NFT events in Dubai, and I leverage that to further my research.
Apart from Bitcoin maxis, the majority of other crypto folks I spoke with were rooting for Ripple.
To understand my next move, you need to understand a marketing concept called the domino statement.
It goes something like this: If I make xSPECTAR buyers believe that the only way to support Ripple is through supporting projects on the XRP; and the only project they support on the XRP is xSPECTAR then all objections become irrelevant & they must invest.
Thankfully, majority of people think if Ripple loses, it's bad for all coins and may trigger the whole crypto industry to crumble.
Supporting any project on the XRP ledger would mean more money and power for Ripple against SEC.
Now, all we had to do is to convince people the best project to support on the XRPL is xSPECTAR.
On top of the problem with XRP NFTs, we had to revisit the NFT buyer’s journey as well.
If this is my first time buying NFT then I’d like to know:
- Why do I need to buy an NFT when I can screenshot the image (yes that’s still a conversation for some)
- What’s in it for me i.e. the utility
- Am I going to get scammed i.e. is there a doxxed team behind the project showing their faces and do they have any reason to scam people
- Is NFT and Crypto dead already so maybe now it’s not the time to get into this industry
- What would others think of me if they know I buy a specific NFT or NFTs in general
If it’s not my first time buying NFTs then I’d like to know:
- Have the founders already rug pulled before
- Is the utility realistic or just used to make me FOMO into buying the NFTs
- Is there a possibility it will moon and I get an ROI?
- People in my alpha groups, influencers I follow and my friends are buying the NFT?
- Am I paying for the utility, community, or something else?
Above all, if I'm an NFT buyer in other blockchains, why should I buy NFTs in the XRP blockchain?
In our approach, we wanted to answer all those questions for our potential buyers which we categorized to:
- Never bought NFTs and don’t know about XRP - The Web 2 Joe
- Never bought NFTs but know about XRP - The XRP enthusiastic Brian
- Bought non-XRP NFTs - The skeptic Max
Having specific buyer personas allowed us to gain clarity; in who we are marketing to.
Buying More Tokens to Qualify for Whitelisting:
To incentivize the current holders of the tokens to buy more tokens I proposed xSPECTAR offering holders additional benefits when they reach 8888 tokens purchase.
This idea has been used, by many of the brands; in my incubator who offer NFT holders of their project a physical gift or NFT airdrops when they buy more NFTs and hold them.
xSPECTAR ended up not going with that strategy.
Incentivizing non-holder of the tokens to buy 8888 tokens:
To incentivize all three profiles to buy tokens we devised a comprehensive plan of action.
In addition to having all three categories get into our top-of-the-funnel Twitter space show xSPECTAR, we came up with specific solutions for each of the three profiles.
As for addressing The Web 2 Joe, I proposed running promoted tweets to the mint page with $4700 spending.
As for addressing The XRP enthusiastic Brian, I proposed running Reddit ads targeted to the XRP community with $300 spending.
As for addressing The skeptic Max, I proposed subtle influencer marketing and one-on-one shilling to people I knew.
You may be wondering why we focused on Reddit at all.
At the current time of writing this case study, Reddit had 3M active wallets compared to the largest NFT marketplace on earth with 2.3M active wallets.
Since July 2022 Reddit released their NFT marketplace with 50 million users, and 3 million have attached their wallets.
Not only does Reddit has more active wallets, but also it’s fresh blood meaning they are excited about buying NFTs (digital collectible's they call it!).
Also per rules set by the policy team in social media platforms including Reddit, Twitter, and Quora NFT collections are required to have an NFT certificate to run NFT ads.
A service within our agency, you’ll also get the certificates depending on our engagement.
Here is an example of a Reddit ad that targets NFT subreddits.
Incentivizing Holders of the token to HODL:
As we already experienced with @FroggosNFT and quite honestly my own experience in staking altcoins on Binance platform, we knew staking is the way to go for having people hold onto their already purchased tokens.
Additionally, seeing progress in the project and increasing community size would signal holders to HODL.
Creating a Presentable Brand - especially to the “Skeptic Max”:
Before any of our communications to connections and influencers goes out we reviewed the website and rewrote portions of whitepaper and presented a list of changes that would improve their website structure.
Some of the changes on the website we suggested:
Notice there is a method to the madness here - the order by which each element of the website is placed is important.
- The website needs to start with an image that paints the scene for xSPECTAR & links to a Story Page (for example yetis.com/story)
- From the front image, the first scroll needs to go to the utilities & xSPECTAR society
- The next scroll needs to be WHY XRP - tweets from Bitboy and David G (any influencer)
- Next scroll - About us / Our Vision / Our Mission - fonts need to be minimum 2 sizes larger- The white is hard to see
- Next scroll - The Team
- Next scroll - The Mission & Vision combined
- How to Buy - add the video + re-write the first paragraph
- Roadmap - Q4 2023 onward to be combined with 2024
- Team Page - add a one-liner about how their experience is related to utilities and/or the project
- Events - need to be updated with photos/videos
- Metaverse - why are the videos not online The link just takes us to Build our Metaverse - can we get more photos and more excitement on this
Some of the changes were implemented and for the sake of time, we had to move on to the next phase of the marketing.
Now that we know our game plan, it’s time to create creatives (image/video) and messaging.
We created a 1-minute promo video that encompasses all the strong points of the project. This was later used as a creative for ads and influencer/alpha group communications.
In my conversation with influencers and connections I pointed out that xSPECTAR uses Unreal Engine 5, the CTO of Ripple got one NFT, has their node, already has an engaged Twitter space community and is the best place to go if you're tired from ETH and SOL projects.
Notice for each buyer persona we had devised different messaging.
For example for The skeptic Max I came up with the following message:
ETH projects on the brokensea are down badly so wanna try something new?
It’s 90% minted out and doing the most on the XRPledger.
So much so that they have their own node.
Pre-Salepremint page: https://xspectar.com/pre-mint
For The Web 2 Joe, I came up with messaging like this:
3 reasons I got myself 5 xSPECTAR NFTs
✅ Doing the most on the XRP ledger
✅ The art is xSpectacular
✅ I wanna support NFTs on the XRP chain and ultimately Ripple - for an obvious reason
Not to mention: 70% pre-minted in the first week so grab yourself one or 10 at https://xspectar.com/pre-mint
Once we have figured out the messaging for each category, we hit the ground running having conversations with influencers, our lists of connections, and setting up ads.
As you can see from the screenshot of the Twitter ad dashboard, our choice of creative and ad copies was great and resulted in a targeted person watching our video for 1 cent spending.
In the meantime, xSPECTAR continued having at least 6 tweets a day and running a weekly xSPECTAR Twitter space show.
As we got closer to the pre-mint date we populated the internet with banners to let people know about the mint date.
We decided to populate NFT calendars with xSPECTAR banners twice with 2 different dates for maximum exposure.
NFT calendars are a great way to show brand awareness, some are free and some cost 0.1-0.5 ETH, for example, paid can also mean guaranteed whereas free is taking a chance to be featured.
If I had the budget I’d have spent on LinkedIn and Quora to create an omnipresent look for xSPECTAR.
We reached out to two different types of influencers on Twitter:
- My influencer connections with blue checks (before Elon started giving them away)
- XRP influencers
I’d send out simple DMs to start a conversation on the project.
Here is an example of a DM: “Have you heard about xSPECTAR? Only project with a node on XRPL. Bitboy and David G already interviewed us.”
What we are looking for in responses is a touch point. These days it takes 8 touch-points for a potential NFT buyer to pull the trigger and mint.
In Twitter DMs, I used in-person meetings, email lists, Telegram connections and groups, Whatsapp connections and groups, and my incubator community to further my research and conversation on xSPECTAR.
Part of our marketing strategy is of course to reach out to “whales” and high-net investors.
Such high-profile investors are used to seeing a quality deck so they can visualize what they are investing in.
In this case, we never received a deck to present so we did it the old-school way of just word of mouth and confidence in this project.
Periodically we’d FOMO our audience by letting them know NFTs are flying off the shelves and people would ask us when they had difficulty minting.
Above is an example email we receive when we send out emails to our list.
We anticipated that buying the xSPECTAR token may not be too simple for everyone so created a “how to buy” video guide in under 7 minutes.
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Unfortunately, the voice-over (my voice haha!) was not approved by the brand so we ended up offering Zoom calls to our connections to walk them through buying the tokens.
One of our latest notes to all our connections was for the last push.
Out of all the communications and reach outs in a short time I was able to get xSPECTAR into two alpha groups. One from Asia and one from Brazil.
What I’d Do Differently:
Funny enough we had plenty of people who wanted to buy but didn’t make it on time.
Looking back I’d plan it out in such a way that sales don’t stop past sales of NFTs.
For example, our campaign could practically continue to sell more tokens.
Ultimately, what mattered the most was selling out the 7111 and it all worked out in the end.
An Advisor of Several Agencies
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