- Quick Read
Caucasian businesswoman using laptop and cell phone in cafe preparing her pre-launch crowdfunding campaign
1. Pre-launch stage (2-3 months before launch)
This is one of the most important stages! Building a community of people who are waiting for the launch of the product is what will drive the campaign’s success in the end. Here, I regret that I did not make even more efforts to achieve having even more people on the email list. I would really suggest having at least 500+ people on your email list before launch hits.
Why this many?
Only a small percentage will end up actually going through the action of clicking and pledging. Think of it as this to be safe: 30-60% open rate, 30% or less of those will click the link and then 30% or less of those will actually be converted into buyers. So at the 30% rate, that would be around 14 people buying from 500 people on the email list. Factors that affect the percentage is also the pricing. The pricing of my campaign’s signature products were on a high price driving conversion rates to be even less.
How to get potential backers on an email list?
First figure out the target market, industry and the profile of potential buyers. And, create free incentives that your target buyer would want. Things such as e-books and a giveaway with a prize that suits the specific niche you are targeting. It would also be good to spend a little bit of money for paid advertising to reach an audience for these free incentives drawing people to enter their email in exchange.
A website with a landing page that explains your project and excites people about your launch is SUPER important. On the landing page, include a sign up to the newsletter that will notify subscribers to your launch so they don’t miss out on early bird pricing.
Plan out the pricing, delivery times, and have all materials set and ready with manufacturers.
Prepare the rewards
Make the rewards unique and exciting. If the signature products are high in their price point then offer other rewards for those backers who would like to support but not receive the main product.
Pricing for my campaign was SO tricky. Even though manufacturing costs were high for a good product, I kept trying to find a way to make the pricing lower so that people can buy. But, I realized in the end it’s more important to work more on showing the value rather than trying to drive people with lowering the price which causes you in the end to just pay for cost (shipping + manufacturing + . other). In the end, the backers are supporting the project and you want to still have a profit margin going on so that you can deliver the reward and still have money that will actually go into funding the start of the business.
Keep researching, reading and learning from others’ experiences and educating yourself on useful tactics that will help reach more people. Paid advertising is so important to reach more people during the campaign. This is something I wish I learned more about in advance before the campaign launched. So, make sure you read a lot and ask for help in this topic prior to launching. To target the right people on these advertisements is a learning experience and is a load of information to take in, learning, testing, tutorials and more. (I will be tackling this learning-about-advertising journey soon post-campaign)
2. Live Campaign stage
Send out an email blast right when you launch to your list. The first couple of days of the campaign are the MOST important. The more the momentum at the beginning the better the chance of reaching a tipping point and for the campaign to possibly be featured by Kickstarter.
People you know are the best!
Friends and friends of friends will be one of the greatest support. Reach out to everyone you know and appreciate them!
Stay involved with different events and happenings in your community, you never know who you could meet, inspire you or even get inspired by you.
Keep updating your campaign!! People want to hear from you, the backers want to feel appreciated and keep things exciting. When the campaign is up it’s alive and anything could happen, literally! A day could change everything. So, don’t worry and stay optimistic.
Give value to the backers: show them they are important, give them and offer something exclusive to backers. This way, you can also help drive new backers that will feel appreciated for being part of the project.
Collaborate, collaborate, collaborate! Connect with other Kickstarter live campaigns and talk about collaborating and sharing each others’ projects in the updates or social media. This is great to reach a wider audience within the Kickstarter backer community
Events that offer people something
Host events that are local and outside of the digital world. Especially if your products are more of a touch and feel experience that focus on the materials. Yoga classes along with a pop-up shop were a type of event I hosted
Adding a reward mid-campaign
Work on adding a simple fun reward around 2-3 weeks in your campaign to push more backers and encourage existing backers to add on to their pledge. This helps push the plateau of minimal amount of backers mid campaign. The strongest times for the campaign are usually around the end of the campaign (last week) and the beginning of the campaign (first week)
It’s okay to ask for help.
… and Finally, don’t forget to breathe!
The world may seem like it stops and stress is all that your body and mind feel during the time that the campaign is live. But, stay optimistic anything could happen in a day. The campaign could also take you on emotional rollercoaster of high emotions; happiness, motivation, excitement. And, other times low vibrations of fear, worry, anxiety, stress. So, just breathe through it all and everything will be fine. Worst that could happen is learning from the experience and re-launching, so don’t tie yourself to the pressure of “But I did this much and worked this hard”, because nothing is wasted, even all the work you do pays off and any “failure” is actually a learning experience to lead to bigger things, so enjoying the journey is what’s important.