How Airdrops Allow to Create Crypto Leads



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Airdrops have been present for a long while on the cryptocurrency market now. Their longevity is largely due to their effectiveness as a marketing tool. One particular hallmark that will amaze any marketer is the conversion rate they are able to produce – up to 35%. This is the statistics that airdrops with URLs leading to the projects’ sites show.

And this is extremely high compared to PPC advertising where the conversion rate is 0.5%. So, if you target the right audience, an airdrop can save you a lot of money on the marketing budget as you will strike conversion at the initial stage with a single lead costing less than a dollar.

Meanwhile, with other more traditional marketing tools, the cost of a lead for blockchain-based projects can reach hundreds of dollars. So, getting leads for $1 or less is basically getting free leads.

How to choose the right audience?

When doing an airdrop, the right audience is key because the conversion rate largely depends on who you are dropping your tokens to. The best audience will be cryptocurrency traders and enthusiasts who have experience investing in crypto projects because they are the most likely to try and swap your tokens for something more stable. This will generate the trading volume of your token, which will be the best-case scenario at the start of a project.

This will also create more publicity around the project as more trading volume on the token will make it more visible on exchanges. And that will attract more traders, who will further boost the trading volume.

Key benefits of airdrops

There are several ways airdrops can be beneficial to projects themselves, not just for the people who get the coins/tokens for free.

1. Indicator of interest

An airdrop can be a good indicator of the project’s popularity among its target audience as the more tokens you are able to drop, the higher the interest for your projects is. Also, airdrops can help create communities as those who keep the token in expectation of it going up in price will be spreading the word among their contacts on social media and fellow investors and traders.

2. More brand awareness for a new project

Ultimately, this may help create more interest in your project and product especially as the MVP is released. As your audience grows, you will get more feedback on your MVP and allow the development team to make all the necessary adjustments for the release of the alpha version.

3. Even distribution

Also, an airdrop can allow a more even distribution of coins or tokens than a token sale would as big investors and funds can buy huge portions of tokens through a token sale. This is especially important for DAOs as funds can buy a big stake in a DAO token and become dominant stakeholders in a DAO, steering the project their way. Airdrops can distribute even amounts of tokens to many users, providing for better decentralisation and more democratic governance.

4. More trading volume for your token

If you are building a DeFi platform and have a governance or LP token for it, an airdrop may generate more trading volume around your token as people will try to swap our token for a different asset. If that happens, the token’s price will go down in price, but that will also create demand as buying the fall is a tried and tested trading tactic. This will create continued trading volume for your token, especially if your project continues to develop the right way.

The biggest airdrops

1. Stellar (XLM) – 2017

In March 2017, Stellar started its airdrop that was valued at the time at $125,000,000, which was the biggest airdrop ever at that time. The airdrop stipulated the distribution of 16 billion Lumens (XLM) to any 1 or more BTC holders. Any Bitcoin holder who owned 1 or more BTC at the time was eligible to claim 1,000 XLM for every full BTC. Given that Bitcoin was largely the most popular cryptocurrency at that time, it was a great way of expanding the user base for Stellar.

2. Decred (DCR) – 2016

Decred is eligible to be called one of the first DAOs, having been founded by a pseudonymous developer named tacotime. However, its community started to form in 2016 as the Decred mainnet was launched on 8 February 2016. Along with the launch of the mainnet, the Decred constitution was published and stated the principles and ethics for the Decred community.

When Decred was launched, 8% or 258,000 DCR were pre-mined. On 25 April 2016, that sum was airdropped in two halves: one half was distributed among the core developers of Decred, and the other half was airdropped to 2,972 people who had signed up early.

3. Uniswap (UNI) – 2020

Uniswap was one of the top 3 biggest things in the 2020 DeFi summer boom. The decentralised exchange held its airdrop, which gave away 400 UNI to anyone who had used the Uniswap DEX before 1 September 2020, with 150,000,000 UNI being allocated for the airdrop. 

On Coinbase, the UNI/USD trading pair reached 8.67 on 18 September 2020. 400 UNI at that price would make $3,468.

Meanwhile, on 17 September 2020, the UNI/USDT trading pair reached the value of 15 on Binance when UNI was listed on the exchange. This price could create the value of $6,000 in 400 UNI, but that was only momentarily and very hard to get. Yet, both 8.67 USD or 15 USDT per one UNI would create a total value of over $1 billion for the entire 150 million UNI airdrop. 

Not surprisingly, the airdrop caused a massive spike in trading volumes in UNI trading pairs across exchanges as many rushed to swap their UNI for different tokens, cryptocurrencies and stablecoins. That certainly made UNI one of the most eye-catching articles on the booming DeFi market at the time and gave Uniswap a lot of extra publicity moving forward.

However, if some of the ones who got their free 400 UNI did not sell them quickly, they could sell them for over $40 per UNI and in excess of $16,000 in May 2021.

To drop or not to drop?

Before you hold an airdrop, you should make the necessary preparation: make your social media pages look good, keep a constant news flow and create some basic brand awareness for your project as just launching a token off of a smart contract and announcing an airdrop is not enough nowadays to get a good result. Also, you need to create some interest about your product and make your community believe in its chances of being successful.

Also, deciding on the date of an airdrop, you should decide as a team, taking into account the size of your community and your product’s readiness. Thus, it will be best to schedule an airdrop to follow up on some milestone achievement, for example, the release of your minimal value product (MVP). This will give your audience some assurance of substance behind the token.

So, the answer to the above question would certainly be ‘to drop’ but do it wisely. Otherwise, you may incur more damage for your project rather than do it any good.

by Dmitry Mishunin — founder and CEO of HashEx and CryptEx companies.

Dmitry is the founder and mastermind of the HashEx company and the CryptEx project. Prior to that, he had worked for more than 10 years as a technical director, performing tasks for the implementation and organization of high-tech processes in the daily work of companies. His experience includes cooperation with large firms and services. Last 4 years Dmitry has been devoted to the development of his own projects in the field of blockchain and cryptocurrencies.


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