Cover photo

Part of the third timeline

Get cozy with the Bitcoin whitepaper and shorten your sentences.

Crypto marketing is a competitive sport.

One of my writing professors in college told our class that if we wanted to write—novels, op-eds, academic papers—we wouldn't just be competing against other novelists or columnists or academics. We would be competing with all the distractions flying around the modern world—the new miniseries that just came out on Netflix, and the inbox with 47 unopened messages, and the text from Joe Biden asking for just a minute of your time, and the dishes waiting to be done in the sink.

This is true for marketing, too.

The constraints and challenges of crypto marketing are different from those of the old style of marketing, when holding attention was easier and a low-level distraction was not constantly humming through our bodies, an additional tab with no "x" button always open in our brains.

Today, there's always another tweet, maybe with a video already auto-playing, under your project's mainnet launch announcement. There's always a text message buzzing or an article to read on the next tab over instead of your Mirror article. There's always a new youtube video queued up to watch instead of your conference speech clip.

And, on top of all that, we're marketing extremely hard-to-grasp technology that defines new industries rather than fits neatly into existing ones.

As a crypto marketer in 2024, the line up of is infinitely stacked against you (literally).

But if you succeed, if you do manage to grab someone's attention away from the miniseries and the inbox and iMessages and the dirty kitchen, you must do the hardest task of all.

You must hold it.

This newsletter, Testnet, is about the ways that fellow crypto-native marketers are experimenting with new tactics to try to hold the world's attention. To do the near impossible task of making your target user go, "oh, that's cool" and look at your tweet for maybe 4 seconds. To click on your Mirror article and skim read to the third paragraph. To drop a link to your website in their private telegram group and write "I found this new thing might try it." And, eventually, to make it to the mythical End of the Funnel—to download/purchase/sign up/LP/order/swap/[insert your call to action here].

Every Tuesday I'll feature a crypto or crypto-adjacent project and how they tell the story of their product or service. I'll extrapolate a theme for each marketing experiment and share what it is that I'm drawn to. And I'll pull out actionable ideas that you can add to your marketing toolkit, too.

But I don't want to throw away the decades of work by traditional marketers and only focus on what crypto is up to. That's why a shorter section will feature a tip or idea I found outside the web3 bubble. I hope this will help add more balance to our marketing and growth tactics.

I believe the best way to learn a skill is by looking at great examples first. And as content strategists, writers, marketers, designers, and whatever you call yourself, we need to constantly look outward for inspiration to do the near impossible task of winning attention. I hope this newsletter helps you do that.

In honor of our limited attention, the first web3 marketing story I'm featuring is about attention itself. Let's get into it.

At the risk of undermining everything I just said about an unread inbox, I'd be honored if you'd support Testnet by subscribing below:

Web3 Marketing Inspo: "Part of the third timeline"

The main section of the newsletter, I break down one web3 marketing experiment that I'm taking inspiration from.

The theme: selling a better you, not a better product

Source

The product: Daylight, "a new kind of computer designed for deep focus and well being" that's "part of the third timeline."

Daylight is the anti-tablet tablet. It's a paper white tablet that does away with the harmful bluelight that we've been boring into our eyeballs for decades now.

Computers are our intermediaries with the world of information, and our relationship with them is paramount. Daylight aims to make your relationship with computers healthy, not addictive.

Daylight has a focus on taking back your personal freedom and sovereignty from big tech companies. The Bitcoin whitepaper comes pre-installed on it, so you can think about financial sovereignty, too. The idea of a "third timeline" also feels very web3-coded.

The story: take back control of your attention and become a happier, healthier person. This computer will fix your chronic online-ness. You may even pick up drawing or meditating.

Daylight is not selling a better tablet, it's selling a better you. At the core of the best marketing copywriting, you're trying to sell someone a better version of themself. With Daylight, this tactic is front-and-center.

Crypto-native marketing, in my experience, often focuses on the product or protocol. Threads break down functions and features, not why you should use them. What I love about Daylight's marketing strategy is that they focus on the version of yourself that you'll become if you buy this computer. What the computer actually does comes second.

The tablet itself isn't going to make your job less stressful or your meeting schedule less packed. But by the words they use to articulate their story, it feels like it might.

Bookmarking these to add to my copywriting inspo folder:

I was captivated by their launch video, which gives the warmest coziest feeling I've ever experienced from a product marketing video.

Take a moment to watch it:

The tactics: curate vibes first, list functions second

  • Amber/orange toned lighting—matches the amber backlighting of their product, in contrast to blue light.

  • Plants, greenery, and outdoor settings create a relaxed feel.

  • Light and shadow makes you feel like you're outside, but also shows off how the tablet responds to different lighting.

  • The narrator's voice is the definition of calm cool collected.

  • Serif white text that's short and easy to read.

  • Interior settings that look straight out of a Hollywood Hills home in Architectural Digest.

  • Bird sounds as the last thing you hear in the video.

This video is making me want to read the bitcoin whitepaper while sitting in a shady spot in the grass.

The shadows look so real on this site.

Trad Tidbit: less words, more impact

Tactic or advice from traditional marketing or non-crypto-native marketing culture that I want to add to my toolkit.

Short sentences > long sentences

Maybe it's because our new chatbot friends are exceptionally wordy, but I'm feeling a little rebellious against the semicolon.

Short sentences are punchy. They're powerful. They adjust the tempo of the piece you're putting on paper.

And they're a favorite trad marketing tactic. Check out this screen grab from an Amazon white board in 2018 telling writers to use less than 30 words per sentence.

Source
On Writing Well by William Zinsser. A favorite!

Phrases I try to remove:

"in order to" -> "to"

"irregardless" -> "regardless"

anything in place of "said" (demanded, questioned, pontificated) -> just "said"

passive voice: "the project was funded by x VC" -> "x VC funded the project."

"very" or "totally" or "absolutely" unless going for a particular style

That: "the day that the project launched" -> "the day the project launched"

This week's vibe: new seasons bring new energy

Just for fun—it might be a photo, a meme, an idea, a recommendation, or whatever else I'm into right now.

Sun. Bikes. Blue sky. Summer is coming and I am SO here for it.

I always feel more energy and excitement when the season is transitioning. Whether it's the first snowfall in winter or truly warm day in the summer, I always feel a jolt of energy that percolates throughout the work I'm doing, too. I wonder what living in a place near the equator would be like, where it's the same weather all year round. Do the seasons energize you there, or does it have to be something else?

Thanks for being here, see you next week <3

Sam

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