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How the Biggest IDOs of the Year Did it: Lessons from 2023’s Top 4 IDOs

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The 4 biggest IDOs in 2023 had a cumulative token growth of 9,000%. How did they achieve those huge numbers—and in the middle of a bear market?

In this guide, we’ll break down these projects and the unique strategies they used to achieve impressive numbers.

⚠️ Spoiler Alert: three of the top IDOs used Blockchain-Ads in their marketing strategy.

From 0 to 300M Market Cap, Here Are The 4 Biggest IDOs in 2023

So, before we break down the components of their marketing strategy, let’s unveil the 4 most successful projects that launched initial DEX offerings in 2023:

1. ChainGPT

ChainGPT shook up the crypto space when it launched earlier this year. The project offered a full suite of AI products that simplified many Web3 processes—from generating NFTs to chatting about marketing—you name it.

These innovative products contributed immensely to their successful IDO. Here are some figures from its achievements:

  • ChainGPT's IDO raised $2M+ from 31% of supply, showing strong interest and strategic structuring.
  • $CGPT hit an ATH of $0.3059 (over 3000%) post-IDO on April 10, 2023, validating substantial token growth.

2. Carbon Browser

Carbon Browser is arguably one of the biggest IDOs in 2023 after a successful launch of its native token, CSIX, in January. The IDO was a strategic move to fund the development of their Web3 browser and leverage the growing demand for decentralized web experiences.

  • The Carbon X Labs team aimed to raise a total of $600,000 during the IDO phase and successfully raised $1.6 million​
  • Within the first 24 hours, there was a significant initial uptake of 3,800 holders for the IDO.
  • Later in March, the company leveraged Blockchain-Ads to add 4,000 new $CSIX holders and 5,460 new dApp downloads.
Read Carbon Browser Case Study

3. Virtual Versions

Virtual Versions is another IDO that made waves with their well structured marketing campaign.

What’s impressive is that the founder started the project with personal funds before getting backing from some of the biggest names in the space. This is a great example of having a strong team.

VV focused on giving users ownership of their data by providing them with a unique AI avatar.

  • The project skyrocketed its following to 200K in a bear market.
  • VV instantly 12x within minutes of launch before proceeding to acquire over 3,000 potential investors.
Read Virtual Versions Case Study

4. EstateX

The fourth presale success was by EstateX. This RWA project hasn’t launched its IDO yet. But it was able to sell out its presale in 3 minutes. The brand saw impressive numbers during its presale campaign, leaving us speechless. 

Here are some of those figures:

  • EstateX attracted substantial investments and raised over $3M in its presale.
  • They also attracted 3,886 registrations, 893 verified emails, and 479 KYCs.
Read EstateX Case Study

What Do They Have in Common?

So, how did these projects and brands manage to sell out and attract so many users?

After analyzing their strategies, here are 5 key points we noticed:

  • Branding > creating a massive following
  • Messaging (following the market narrative) 
  • Proper marketing funnel
  • Present on all marketing channels

Brand and FOMO

Let's talk about an important part of the IDOs success which is branding. One key way to sell out and meet your ROI is to shape your company's identity as a trusted name.

So how did these brands do it?

1. Have an MVP: ChainGPT launched its AI tools, Carbon Browser had its Browser. Having your product ready shows that you're serious and not building from thin air.

2. Leverage partnerships: it's easier for people to believe you if you align with a trusted name. This is how EstateX leveraged its partnership with Microsoft. VV and Carbon also announced partnerships every 3 days leading up to their IDO and even after.

The Next is Good Messaging

Knowing how to convey your brand message to your audience is a special skill few people have. These projects were able to craft their messaging in line with trending narratives.

For instance;

  • ChainGPT jumped on the AI narrative and gave their audience a suite of products that made building in Web3 easier.
  • Carbon Browser stuck to the increasing need for data privacy and anonymity when surfing the net.
  • Virtual Versions also went the way of data ownership with AR/VR avatars. It expertly combined the AI narrative with personalized avatar ownership or digital twin.

Is the pattern clearer now?

They all had proper funnels

You can nail your messaging and partnerships… but without a proper funnel, all your efforts will be wasted.

So, what does a high-converting funnel look like?

Using Carbon Browser as an example:

  1. Target everyday users to increase Browser downloads and usage
  2. Pitch the idea of governance participation
  3. Launch token and IDO for holders

They took an omni-channel marketing approach

Having a diverse channel helps you meet your ideal customers where they're comfortable.

So what channels did these projects use?

  • Press releases
  • Social media 
  • Giveaways
  • Referral program
  • Quests (highly underrated)
  • Influencers
  • Paid ads (Blockchain-Ads)

And many more.

What Worked the Best? Data Insights

The success of the top IDOs in 2023 wasn't accidental; it was a well-planned effort backed by data-driven strategies.

We've outlined these strategies in our Web3 marketing playbook so you may want to check it out.

Here’s what the data says about their winning approaches:

Brand > consistency and going "BIG": 

The IDOs were successful due to their strong branding strategies which created a massive following. For example, Estate X leveraged its presale to raise over $3M and attracted 3886 registrations, 893 verified emails, and 479 KYCs.

Messaging > Follow the current narrative: 

Messaging aligned with current market narratives was crucial. ChainGPT, for instance, capitalized on the AI narrative, which helped them raise over $2M. 

Similarly, Carbon Browser emphasized the need for data privacy, leading to 4000 new holders and 5460 dApp downloads post-IDO through Blockchain-Ads strategic targeting, showcasing the power of relevant messaging.

Have a clear path for people to take action > Simple and easy way: 

Ensuring that the path to action was clear and straightforward for potential investors and users played a key role. EstateX's simple presale process that sold out in 3 minutes exemplifies the importance of ease in the user journey.

Quest and Ads > Massive Reach: 

The use of quests and Blockchain-Ads significantly extended the reach of these IDOs. Virtual Versions, for, reached over 4 million web3 natives with ads, resulting in 25,000+ signups for the TGE. 

One project that outdid itself when it came to channels was Estate X which generated 40% of their sales from referrals.

They also launched an extensive email marketing campaign to nurture their leads and turn them to paying customers.

Sometimes, going the traditional route with marketing actually pays off in Web3.

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Ekokotu Emmanuel Eguono

Mass growth with Blockchain Ads.

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CEO - Social Kick Marketing Agency