Hack your ICO marketing strategy

Adrian Barwicki
Feb 10, 2018 · 5 min read

There have been 235 Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) in 2017 amounting to almost $4B in funding. The number only includes successfully conducted ICO where the soft cap was reached.

Source: CoinDesk ICO Tracker

Due to the growing interest for ICOs, it is expected that more projects will be raising funds in an ICO in 2018. As the ICO sector becomes more crowded, the startups need to fight for attention of the investor.

Google Trends for the term “ICO” in 2017

Planning a marketing strategy for your project from day 1 is crucial. The areas in your marketing strategy will include:

ICO Marketing Verticals

There are many agencies out there offering professional PR and Marketing services for ICOs. Their prices are hefty as shown in the image below. On top of that you can be prepared that the costs will additionally include a few percent of the total amount raised and few percent of the tokens issued in the ICO.

However, no matter how much you spend, it will not get serious traction unless it is marketed properly through growth-hacking strategies.

Let your community spread the word about your project

Exemplary way for promoting a good-quality content can be illustrated on the following example:

The post “The path to supply chain transparency” has been shared in the Telegram group of OrginTrail. The community picked it up, shared on Reddit, discussed on social media and retweeted multiple times, generating tens of thousands of views on all channels combined. This has been done with a 0$ budget. The effect can be fully attributed to the community.

Medium Stats for the post “The path to Supply Chain Transparency with OriginTrail”.
The post generated an avalanche of comments on Reddit.

Community building should be your focus.

Make the media talk about you

The recently launched German ICO wysker (by ann-lauriene) shows how to reach out to a wide audience with a low budget. Wysker has been featured in one of the most trustworthy and most-read business magazines in Germany “Handelsblatt” with over 100k daily copies.

Content strategy and email marketing

ETHLend Weekly E-Mail Updates — well executed e-mail strategy

Did you know that for every $1 you spend on email marketing, you can expect an average return of $38 according to the national client email report 2015.

E-mail marketing automation enables you to reach out to undecided investors or inactive subscribers by creating a win-back and re-engage email series. You can execute an automatic email strategy for every new subscriber as well — keeping them constantly engaged with a predefined strategy.

Go out and meet potential investors

OriginTrail Team Q&A time during a meet-up

It’s important to be in touch with your target market and understand your customer/investor. Participate in crypto meet-ups, conferences, and seminars around the country.

By going to these events, you’ll spread the message, generate the most quality leads and supporters, and most importantly you establish trust.

Trust is a key factor for a successful ICO. This might be a self-evident to some, but remember that the ICO sector is still full of scams and teams running away with the collected funds. Investors want to know that you’re real.

Proof of Care — Viral Marketing Tactic for Token Sale

You can check out the execution of the “proof of care” strategy by QuantumStamp run by Richard Ma.


Executing a successful ICO is not an easy task and requires some unconventional growth hacking strategies. A lot of preparation and coordination goes into making sure the company can secure as many investments as possible. We are in the process of evaluation and preparation of an ICO for the VQ Marketplace.

What are some other tips you have for successful marketing of an ICO?

Thanks to Ani Calis.

Adrian Barwicki

Written by

IT Consultant and Creator of Honest.Cash. You’ll find more about me here: https://adrianbarwicki.com.