[Proposal] Rethinking ENS Marketing


A study was written revealing the problem of loss of interest, as well as the extreme influence of external market factors on the saleability of the ENS product.

I disclosed the danger of this phenomenon both for the ENS identity and mass adoption in the corresponding topic. You can consider this topic as a Temp Check, but feel free to leave criticism here as well.

Since working groups do not oversee marketing, and ENSLabs do not oversee DAO initiatives and do not have feedback tools and reliable communication channels, the only way to breathing life into such projects is to directly ask for approval and funding from vote holders.

In this regard, a rather unique situation arises in which the project budget is hundreds of times smaller than those put up for a vote by the DAO, and the bulk of the expenses are personal compensation. Funding for this project is essentially a grant that cannot be obtained through other sources.

It is worth understanding that this project is of a research and not a material nature. The result of this project will be practical recommendations that will be transferred to ENSLabs or another entity that will be responsible for the marketing direction.

It is also worth noting that part of the work has already been completed, and the financing is both retroactive and advance, which is also very rare. The first part of the study was written without anyone’s request, since based on the disdainful attitude towards marketing in the ENS DAO, it was concluded that without specific numbers and models, it would not be possible to properly explain the dangers of current approach. The written part is both a call-to-attention and a pack of problems that will be addressed in the future, more practically oriented part.

ENS has recently received a record amount of criticism, including regarding marketing. Research aims to suggest something, not just criticize.


ENS is an important structure in both web3 in general and Ethereum in particular. By not paying attention to such an important aspect as marketing, ENS is missing an opportunity to grow and diversify an audience that shares similar values and might be interested.

There is no need to aggressively push the product and turn it into a classic business, you just need to be sure that absolutely all people who could become part of our community know about our existence. This can be achieved, for example, by both global actions, such as revising positioning, and local ones, such as working with search algorithms and decentralizing sources of communication with society.

Problem Statement

The number of ENS registrations is generated mainly by the tidal forces of the market, and the product itself is a tool of speculation.
The ENS community is critically exclusive, predominantly US-based, male, and age-matched, due to marketing efforts being targeted at such audiences.

Accordingly, the goal of the project is to rethink the approach to positioning, using more effective marketing efforts that would be consistent with the values ​​of a decentralized world and would rid ENS of its speculative image, while attracting a diverse audience, focusing efforts, including on informing people from different countries, genders and ages, about the ENS product.

The path to reducing the influence of external factors lies through building an audience that values the product itself. And value is the direct quality of the product and its usability, multiplied by its positioning in the public space.



  1. Disclosure of problems :white_check_mark:
  2. Dependence of ENS on the market :white_check_mark:
  3. Impact of ENS actions on marketing
    3.1 Analysis of the impact of Customer Journey (website-to-registration) on conversion :white_check_mark:


3.2 Analysis of conducted marketing campaigns

Understanding how individual ENS campaigns impact user engagement is important to understanding which approaches are worth pursuing and which ones are not. Includes both analysis of the impact of campaigns on registrations and advertising metrics (CTR, ROI, CPC).
The “Ashley D. Can PSA” marketing campaign decreased user engagement by 36% in the next 3 weeks, compared to the previous 3 weeks. This drop is not explained by the models built in the first part of the study, and therefore, this phenomenon is not explained by either autoregressive or external factors.

Having access to a full analysis, one could conclude that the ENS audience is not oriented towards provocative and post-ironic content, which is not only ineffective, but even harmful.

3.3 Target Audience Analysis: Demographics and Engagement сhannels

A diverse audience creates new meanings, brings diverse experiences and makes the product more accessible and understandable. A monotonous audience, which exists exclusively in its own information bubble, is boring and at some point reaches its ceiling, forming stereotypes about the product’s belonging to any social group. Analysis of ENS audience features and traffic sources will make it possible to achieve heterogeneity, thereby increasing the audience and making its composition closer to the ideal picture for a web3 company. A historical timeline of changes in audience demographics will also help determine what influenced diversification/unification.

I already gave an example in this post. The ENS audience is homogeneous, and this is not only a problem for the industry, because both its competitor, Unstoppable Domains, and decentralized applications, for example, etherscan and uniswap, have a much more diverse audience. Even if we accept that the audience of the cryptocurrency world is mainly US men aged 25-34, then shouldn’t we also change this general pattern through our actions and make the web3 community more diverse?

It is not necessary to solve this problem by maintaining social networks in different languages or content aimed at women or adult audiences. Firstly, it is very labor-intensive and secondly, it is incredibly difficult to do it in a way that does not give rise to discrimination. But you can, as I suggested, use social networks with a more diverse audience than Twitter (there are also significantly more US men aged 25-34 there), for example YouTube or Instagram.

3.4 SEO Analysis

The most valuable in a decentralized world is organic traffic, in which the organization does not forcefully influence the user. If a person/organization wants a domain on the Ethereum network or web3, he/she/they absolutely must find the ENS website.

An example is in this post. If we search for the search keywords “web3 domains”, we will find that ENS is offered in 25-35 places depending on the region. If the use of contextual advertising is a controversial tool, then working with search algorithms through On-Page and Local SEO is simply necessary.

If we had a complete understanding of all the keys by which users cannot find us, we could give, for example, an appropriate request to the front end to add keywords to the website, perhaps even in the headings, because search algorithms work better this way.

Or at least use alternative text in pictures, which now simply describes the picture, but could influence ENS ranking in search results.

Снимок экрана 2023-10-05 в 19.11.14


Снимок экрана 2023-10-05 в 19.10.37

In this way, we will not harm the visually impaired, for whom such a tool was invented, and will increase organic traffic. Such a simple action will not make thousands of people pass by who already have a desire to acquire a name in a decentralized network.

3.5 Sentiment Analysis

It is important not only to measure marketing effectiveness with key performance indicators. It is also worth paying attention to how public opinion about a product changes, as this is a critical factor in organic development and creates a word-of-mouth effect.
Unfortunately, unlike what I did in previous chapters, I cannot give a ready-made example due to the large amount of data, the processing of which requires a professional tool (Twitter API v.2).

I can only assume that after the loss of speculative interest in the ENS product, we are receiving a large wave of negativity in the public space. If we knew for sure that this was happening, we could develop a program for absorbing negativity. I need real numbers to back this up, so you need to understand that there is a significant chance that implementation of this chapter will not produce practical results.

3.6 Analysis of the influence of voluntary influencers

Voluntary product promotion is the most organic way to raise your audience. Unpaid posts or videos with positive narratives regarding ENS create a favorable public image.
Lots of people help grow the ENS community, like dr3a.eth, who constantly posts educational organic content on her social media. Even if non-financial, encouraging such guys, for example through collaboration posts, which will help them increase their audience, will be an excellent form of compensation that will motivate other people to also voluntarily promote the product. Semantic analysis of their posts and asking them for key metrics of their posts in order to understand their quantitative contribution will help identify a pool of such people.
By implementing such a compensation system, we can achieve a strong network effect.

The list of areas under study may be supplemented during the research process, but this will not affect the final $estimate in any way.

$Estimate and implementation time

The time spent on the first part of the project is 389 hours. The expected completion time for the remainder of the project is 291 hours. At 40 hours/week it will take approximately 7 weeks.

The general estimate can be viewed here: ENS Marketing Research Report Table - Google Sheets

I tried to segment the time spent as much as possible according to the areas of work performed.
Total personal compensation: $21,700.
Costs: $875.
Total amount requested: $22,500.

Transparency and public control

For reporting to the DAO, it is planned to use the following reporting formats:
Time spent report (real time);
Reports on the progress of work (bi-weekly);
Reports in Meta-Gov group calls (on request);
Receipts for expenses (at the time of purchasing a subscription).

I hope this is enough so that the DAO is always aware of what is happening within the project and can quickly respond to non-compliance with the application.


It is proposed to create a sheet of practical advice for those responsible for marketing ENS, using a structured and professional approach. Recommendations should not contradict the principles of web3 and are designed to solve the problem of declining interest, homogeneity of the audience, negative public image and speculative nature.


hey again,

I just want to pass this information to you about proposals. I think this will best fit under the ecosystem working group. I would encourage to seek a larger grant because with a proposal, anyone can submit a bid and a summary of work to be done on a proposal. @slobo.eth is the poc on ecosystem large grants.
proposals ready for dao vote / are executable can only be submitted by a steward or a member who holds 100k ens. Let me know if you need any help, I have gone through the process. You can also message any of the stewards too. You have already completed most of the requirements.

but if u want to take the proposal route then here is the process.

Getting Work Done

If you want the DAO to take action, the primary mechanism is through “Requests for Proposal” (RFPs). An RFP is a request for contributors to offer to do work on behalf of the DAO in exchange for compensation.

  • Anyone can write an RFP to address a need.
  • If the RFP is approved, anyone can write a proposal in response and be awarded the work.
  • Even if you can do the work yourself, you still need to pass an RFP to be awarded compensation.

The RFP Process

  1. Write a Draft RFP: Create a draft RFP and post it as a discussion thread in the appropriate working group.
    The RFP should include:
    a. Explanation of the need and scope of work.
    b. Selection criteria.
    c. Submission and completion timeline.
    d. RFP manager nomination.
    e. Maximum budget.

  2. Incorporate Feedback: Gather feedback from DAO participants and revise your draft accordingly. Tag working group stewards to consider adopting it.

  3. Adoption Decision: If stewards agree, they can decide to adopt the RFP: a. If it can be paid from working group funds, set a submission period and post it as an active RFP. b. Otherwise, create an executable proposal for DAO-wide approval.

  4. Submission Period: Once approved, the submission period begins, and anyone can submit a proposal on the DAO forum.

  5. Winning Bid Selection: The RFP manager selects a winning bid, usually stewards of the working group that adopted the RFP.

  6. Work Commencement: The winning proposal author begins the work and requests compensation as they meet milestones.

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I understand the process, thank you.

I spoke with Meta-gov, Ecosystem and Public Goods stewards, as well as a representative from ENSLabs. In general, everyone agreed that marketing is not the responsibility of Ecosystem WG. The only way is to put the proposal to a DAO vote, which is what I plan to do.

I’ve moved the discussion back to the DAO-wide thread. Please don’t do anything else with this topic without discussing it with me.

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Yeah, no problem. I’m glad everyone made that decision publicly!

Good Luck I hope that you get the funding support that you need.


Hi Danch.

Well done on putting together such a thorough breakdown of your proposal and for clearly stating the issues that you have discovered.

I cannot advise upon the exact formula in which you must use to convey your suggestions, however I do have to agree with that on many of the topics.

It does appear that for some time now at least, the word “marketing” has been used to label those with or have projects with selfish / biased point of view. Or for those who perhaps seek to watch “number go up”, etc. resulting in the very idea of any kind of marketing initiatives in a state of limbo or no-man’s land…

That said, I can understand the reserved and somewhat short sightedness imposed by a large majority of the ENS hierarchy. In some ways it’s akin to only wanting the best for something that you love but that you don’t truly own…everybody owns ENS and in fact ENSisForEveryone.eth is a domain that I own!…Kind if ironic that this was for a while and maybe still is , one of the best marketing slogans that ENS created…I have already issued a couple of subdomains or this one.

Essentially, I am not suggesting that I have all of the answers and even know all of the right questions to ask. However I am 100% confident that with the right people (a small team) of passionate in-house and organic team memebers with the support of both the DAO and Labs team, could truly give birth to a wave of inspirational, thought provoking, multi media content that will lay forth the path to understanding the true beauty of this fantastic protocol! The gateway to web3 and beyond!…ENS!

Keen to connect with you ASAP ! :handshake::fist_right:t3::fist_left:t3::nerd_face::white_check_mark:


I think a spotify commercial could be effective.

Thank you for your reply!

Yes, unfortunately this is true

This is a great idea! The emergence of a creative team, natively emerging from community members, will likely make an invaluable contribution to the promotion of ENS and make the product accessible to everyone. I am ready to discuss this and it would be an honor for me to work with you and other interested people on such an important matter.

However, first, in order to have a certain systematics, I would like to fully understand what list of problems currently exists. With a full understanding of the shortcomings of the existing approach, we will be able to offer solutions that actually work.

For these purposes, I propose a research.


This was published just a couple weeks ago. This is right up your alley.



Great article, thank you!

Twitter is currently the platform with the most powerful promotion potential. However, as I said earlier, it is necessary to develop not only within Twitter, because sooner or later we will hit the ceiling, because the audience from the USA, Japan and several other countries is, of course, limited.

I want the DAO to to tech stuff, and give out grants.
If the ENS DAO was to do marketing, then this would be accomplished by hiring a Web3 marketing firm/vendor, (to be paid by approved DAO-voted grant); like how we did with the $ETH funds management vendor.

RE: Affiliate/Referral Marketing

I would rather the DAO implement [a decentralized & permissionless] affiliate/referral marketing (just one lvl deep), to empower Web3 “content & code” creators, and to initiate a “decentralized & permissionless” Web3 economy.

By empowering individuals (who create good content or good code/apps), they would be able to promote value to a Web3 audience, and sustain their developments with affiliate/referral sales, in an open/decentralized & permissionless way.

Generally, the DAO should do less, and focus on core mission statements; And we should do more, by empowering individuals and the open/public community via Subtraction and financial empowerment, while still reviewing results and maintaining core ENS contract functions.

Ref.: ENS Affiliate Marketing - Affiliate Program

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I agree, for this I propose to analyze the environment of influencers, who in some cases are also either coders or content makers. Creating a reward system is the best way to increase organic interest.

Our mission is to empower web3 citizens to interact easily with people, organizations, and smart contracts through self-sovereign identities

From the context it is clear that the development of the technical component of the product is the main task within the mission. But the development of other areas, such as marketing, does not contradict it.
“Web3 Citizens” – who is this? People who will be brought to us on the wave of hype and the market? Or the people we will attract into this world ourselves?

As far as I know, ENSLabs already hired From the Future in April of this year. The hiring of this company had no effect on the number of registrations, and the campaigns carried out during this period raise questions. I don’t argue that hiring professionals is a good decision. But they should have been selected more carefully, of course.

I am part of this. Marketing is an art and I’m skeptical of art by committee. The “Ashley PSA” is a great example on how bad marketing hurts the brand, and can make it super cringey. On the other hand, Brantly’s “ENS profiles on Times Square” ended up being actually super cool and helped reinforce the brand. Also things like “999 club” are cases I cite that I wouldnt ever believe would work on paper, but were made as bottom up and worked nice.

That’s why I prefer a bottom up approach to marketing: it should be done by teams promoting their own apps, marketplaces or whatever they’re selling. This way if it goes cringey it’s not the ENS’s brand that is affected.

How to make sure these teams and marketplaces want to sell ENS domains is a separate matter which I believe could be better approached by an affiliate program rather than a marketing grant


The point of my proposal is not to do any specific “better than those that failed” campaigns. The point is to stop running “campaigns that fail” and increase organic user awareness.

For example: 12 thousand dollars were spent on a campaign to promote the new Name Wrapper, which brought 400 thousand total engagements (more specifically, site visits). Site visits are good, but not when disproportionate money is spent on it, because at the same time the conversion at that moment fell to a historical minimum of 2%, which only indicates that people responded to this campaign, but did not become part of the community.

Most recently, ENS canceled its presence at DevConnect. It doesn’t matter whether the stated reason was true, the only thing that matters is that they didn’t believe it, there’s no need for even a deep analysis of sentiments. This is an example of how ENS can incur significant reputational costs without even running any campaigns, but simply not knowing how to work with the audience.

If we are doing marketing, why not do it efficiently? Just because ENS has had a traumatic experience does not mean that marketing responsibly and seriously is a bad idea per se.

I suggest, for example, tinkering with search algorithms by identifying problematic search terms, and changing meta tags, alt text, and titles. Reputational costs – zero. There are a lot of potentially attracted people, since search is still one of the most effective methods. Costs are zero, except for the costs of identifying the most effective keys, by which people cannot currently find out about ENS.

Affiliate programs are very effective. But don’t you think that shifting all responsibility for ENS to third parties is not a good idea? And if there are no entities who want to promote us, what should we do in this case?

It is worth understanding that ENS’s monopoly position on the market has not existed for a long time, and over time more and more competitors will appear. If they invest minimal effort in marketing, and we do not, this will sooner or later lead to corresponding consequences, no matter how well we technically have a more advanced product.


ENS Affiliate Marketing - Affiliate Program:
Ref.: ENS Affiliate Marketing - Affiliate Program

Let’s look at the following case within the framework of the current affiliate marketing system.

@AvsA Using your Dune Dashboard, we can understand that names, in addition to ens.domains, are registered using ENS Vision, ENS Fairy (which is not considered since it is a non-commercial project) and “Unknown Sources” (which are not considered due to lack of information).

I’ve already looked at the demographics of ENS, but let’s take a look at the same superficial statistics for ENS Vision.

ENS Vision Geography

It turns out that this affiliate program serves the same developed country market as ENS itself. And also uses the same marketing channels - Twitter mainly.

ENS Vision SM traffic

Our largest referral does not expand the scope of the community, but simply increases the number of registrations.

And here the main problem of the one-level referral system is revealed. While ENS carries some values and tries to be a global product, referrals think only about profit, working exclusively for a solvent audience - young adult men from the USA/UK/Hong-Kong/Japan. ENS can afford to create a market at a loss in a developing country. None of the referrals will do this.

Let’s say I’m an enthusiast from Uzbekistan who wants to be a referral and I have the funds to hire a team, create a website and set up traffic. Will I do this on the Uzbek market, knowing that with the same investments, I will earn hundreds of times more money on the US market? No.

This can be solved by creating a committee and selecting referrals. You can rank them by the markets they serve and pay more to those referrals who focus their efforts on mass adoption rather than earning money. But this violates the “permissionless” principle.

Look at companies that sold a digital product using a referral or vendor system as an example. Dropbox, PayPal, Evernote - all of these companies have achieved amazing success. But they never expanded significantly beyond rich countries.

I’ll ask again, who is Web3-Citizens? US/UK/Japanese citizens? Those who use the nickname “.eth” on a social network used primarily by US citizens? Those who find out about ENS through referrals who work for the market of developed countries?

Mass adoption is when all Americans put .eth in their Twitter handle?

According to Visualization of Money Flows between DAO Wallets“The Registrar controller has an incoming flux of roughly 30 thousand dollars per day, which amounts to almost a million dollars per month!”

Questioning ENS salience seems… questionable?

Framing ENS as merely a speculative tool misses the bigger picture. Yes, there is a speculative aspect to every protocol and its GTM is dictated in large part due to it. However, as with recent announcement of legacy institutions like J.P. Morgan now embracing decentralized identity tools like ENS, the greater developer ecosystem recognizes ENS’ resilience as an elegant decentralized identity management system. Instead of marketing direct to retail consumers, ENS should continue to focus on an industry and institutional approach.

ENS should leverage its budding developer ecosystem and continue seeding grants to promising projects like onthis.xyz and fluid key in collaboration with the DAO. We should make ENS as attractive as possible for high level developers so that they can integrate ENS in a myriad of apps, which will eventually trickle down to the retail markets. ENS is not a memecoin, it is an essential utility that will help scale decentralized applications to the broader population. This will be done over a period of years, not months.

Existing initiatives like the on-chain source parameter for example, will incentivize builders to integrate ENS as it will share revenue generated from registrations fees with high impact builders.

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I’m not a financier and I have no idea whether a million dollars a month is a lot or not. I measured interest in the number of registrations, site visits and search queries. If profit for you is the main indicator of the popularity of a product, then it is worth mentioning that in 2022 ENS earned on average almost five times more per month.

I never said that speculative imagery is abnormal. I said that it is significant (speculative interest brings 60% of registrations), and that we need to get rid of it, as written in the article you cited.

What do you mean by “embracing”? From their text it is clear that they studied the identifier market and wrote an article in which they talked about ENS, UD and Lens. Maybe I’m missing something, but where is the information here that they somehow support or use ENS?

I also did not find information about this. There are some statistics that the developer community after the press release from J.P. Morgan began to recognize ENS as a more elegant decentralized identity management system?

Yes it’s true. The Solana ecosystem, Uniswap DEX and ENS’s competitor UD are also not memcoins, but they take their marketing seriously.
I don’t think the same J.P. Morgan Chase, which is a classic business, will highly appreciate statements that projects that are engaged in positioning their own product in a competitive environment are memcoins.

I am withdrawing my Proposal.

I will put together the models built as part of the research and make them open-source and transfer them to @sadaf.eth and ENSLabs when I have time. With their help, they will be able to adequately evaluate marketing efforts and make changes to their strategies.

I express my gratitude to all those who highly appreciated my work. I see your support and it is thanks to it that I was able to push my efforts this far. I clearly have not had enough public defense and it all looks like I am the only one who believes that the problems that I have highlighted need to be addressed.

Everything I have explored or suggested here is yours to use for any purpose and in any way you want. I hereby waive any intellectual rights to my research and any claims.