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Opinion: 2023’s NFT collections should use free mint — or, at least, consider it

In mid-2022, the NFT market volume dropped by more than 90%, so the industry had to adopt fundamentally new mechanics to recover. One of those was ‘free mint’ — and today, in 2023, it’s still topical enough for everyone to consider it when launching NFT collections.

So what exactly is free mint, how does it work, and how can you benefit from it?

Free mint, in a nutshell

Free mint projects release limited amounts of NFT at the stage of launch. These tokens are then distributed for free between users who have brought maximum benefits to the project: e.g., by being active community members, commenting on social network accounts, creating content about the project, inviting friends to Discord and other spaces, and so on.

This way, the project can attract a loyal audience. For example, in the project’s early stages the users get pulled in, realizing they can sell these NFTs later for 100-200+ dollars each. As a result, the project boosts its community up to 15-30K on a much smaller advertising budget than those leveraging paid collection launch.

All free mint-related activities can be managed through external platforms, Discord bots, et cetera. If we talk about specific tools, one of the most popular is zealy.io (previously known as crew3.xyz): major projects, such as sui.io and aptoslabs.com, used it for their airdrops.

Monetizing free mint

The free mint monetization strategy involves two stages.

The first is aimed at increasing royalties. Free mint projects often take the royalty up to 15%,  thus earning from the secondary market volumes. Goblittown.wtf and We are All Going to Die are examples of top free mint collections with total volumes of up to 70K ETH and royalties of about 7-8%, where the creators earned up to 5,000 ETH from these mechanics alone.

The second stage often comes after the free mint part, after the project has built a large community, has pulled together a marketing budget from the secondary market volume, and a confirmed product or project development direction.

When these requirements are met, a paid collection is launched, usually with the goal of raising around $500k to a million dollars.

If everything goes according to the plan, then the project has enough resources to launch the full-fledged development of the platform or an app.

Exploring successful free mint cases

Some of the notable free-mint examples include goblintown.wtf, a collection of 10,000 grotesque-looking goblins. goblintown.wtf uses the Ethereum blockchain. Despite the odd artwork and lack of clear purpose, goblins have experienced rapid sales — in fact, the project has even surpassed some top blue-chip NFT projects. Currently, goblintown.wtf  has a floor price of 0.28 ETH and a 2H sales volume of over 31.44 ETH.

“For The Culture” is an NFT project that not only allowed free minting — it actually paid minters 0.01 ETH. The official Twitter page states, “No roadmap, no website. Just for the culture,” while its OpenSea bio reads, “If you are reading this sh*t, you came for the meme and stayed for the culture. Never underestimate the power of memes f*cker.” Still, with 3,740 NFTs, the collection has generated 2 405 ETH in sales.

In contrast to the above projects, The Octagon by Deca released 10,000 NFTs for free, and these NFTs actually offer a range of utilities. Specifically, they can function as membership tokens for Decaverse, which is Deca’s unique metaverse.

To sum up: free mint is a useful option to consider in 2023

Free mint mechanics provides a simple and effective solution for enhancing marketing budgets during the initial stages of NFT development, granting projects that use it a substantial competitive edge. It is particularly advantageous for NFT projects, as it helps to generate interest and excitement without requiring a significant investment upfront.

Free mint can also help build a community and secure funds more effectively than traditional marketing tactics or fundraising methods. By leveraging the power of free mint, creators can incentivize people to become early supporters and advocates for their projects.

All in all, I advise any emerging NFT project to consider implementing a free mint strategy in 2023.

Arseny Myakotnikov, Managing Partner at Input PR & Marketing Agency 

Arseny Myakotnikov has a bachelor’s degree in advertising and PR. He started working with cryptocurrencies and blockchain projects in 2017, creating market strategies and attracting valuable users. He was the chief marketing officer at Midas Investments and successfully increased the total asset locked on the platform from $16 million to $317 million.

He is an expert in creating and executing marketing strategies for crypto and NFT projects. Utilizing his skills in content marketing, growth hacking, and setting up crypto referral systems, cofounded 3 startups built with NFT technology, and one of them, Metadrive, is currently undergoing seed funding. Metadrive has achieved its first 10,000 potential users in its community, and it’s in the last stage before the NFT launch on the 15th of February.

By Arseny Myakoynikov, Managing Partner at Input agency

Original article on hackernoon.com