You might be wondering what to do now once you’ve launched your Kickstarter or Indiegogo campaign. To help you succeed with your project, I’ve compiled 11 concrete action items for you.
Below are strategies to implement to keep people engaged, get more visitors, convert more backers and get existing backers to increase their contribution to your campaign:
- Directly message backers after they back your project
- Launch advertising
- Launch a referral campaign
- Update your crowdfunding campaign page
- Outreach for cross-promotions
- Outreach to people who are likely to cover your project
- Run a Kickstarter Live /Reddit AMA/Facebook Live session
- Pay for backer-focused promotions
- Release stretch goals
- Create upsells and add-ons
- Streamline your rewards
With these strategies, the next 30-60 days of your campaign will be a breeze. Let’s dig right in!
1. Directly message backers after they back your project
One of the most incredible things about crowdfunding is that you get direct access to your backers (in the form of their email address on Indiegogo or direct messaging on Kickstarter).
This is like getting the keys to the kingdom.
With direct access to people who have backed your project, you can uncover so much information to drive momentum for your campaign.
From this you can find out – where they found out about your project, what they liked (or disliked) about the page (and where you can improve), if they know other people who might also like the project, if they’re some sort of “influencer” who would like to work with you to promote your campaign, what other types of projects they’ve backed before, what other feedback that they have… and so on. Again, there is so much information you can find out just by having that direct access to backers for your project, get creative and get asking!
To uncover all those gold nuggets, the first thing for you to do as a creator is to send backers a personalized message with the questions you’d like answered. A lot of creators do this by sending out a link to a survey. Here’s a template for you to use:
I’m [your name], the founder of [company name]. I wanted to reach out to say thank you for being an early backer for this project!
We want to make the best product for our backers. You can help us immensely by filling out this super quick survey: [survey link]
The survey helps us understand:
1. How you heard about us, so we know how to reach and build a strong backer community;
2. What you like most about our product and what can be improved, because your opinion matters to us.
Please click on the link to complete the survey as one of our earliest backers: – it’ll take less than 2 minutes: [survey link]
With thanks and gratitude,
From here, you have all the information you need to continue pushing on the right levers for your campaign.
If you see that everyone who has backed your project heard about you from Twitter, it’s definitely time to increase your Twitter efforts in order to get the word out.
If the majority of people have been requesting an additional color for your product, check in with your manufacturer to see what it would cost to produce an additional color. If it makes financial sense, it’s time to release a big fun update about how your product will now come in multiple colors.
If people are raving about your project in an open-ended feedback section, be sure to grab those quotes and blast it all over your social channels for that additional proof.
2. Launch digital advertising
Once all your warm channels are accounted for from that first day of your campaign, be sure to start ramping up your advertising strategy to get more cold leads into your ecosystem.
The key to successful advertising is twofold:
2a. Find the right audience who will be interested in your project
To find the right audience, get into the psyche of your backer.
If you’re launching a short documentary about water needs around the world, think about who would like to watch that documentary. Go beyond the obvious “movie lovers” interest targeting that you can do with advertising.
Do they care about social justice?
Do they volunteer on a regular basis?
What books do they like to read?
What type of income do they make?
What line of work are they in?
Where in the country (or world) do they live?
Use your brainstorm here as the basis for creating your audiences. Come up with different audience buckets targeting different key interests. Test them against each other to determine which audience will convert best for our project.
2b. Entice them to consider backing your project with actual proof points
Remember, these are people who don’t know about your project and haven’t seen or even heard about you before.
What kind of information do they need to be convinced that you are where they should be spending their dollars?
Use proof points like quotes from famous influencers, how your campaign reached 100% funding in 24 hours, how your project has received some sort of industry award, how 5,000 people have already signed up to watch this documentary, and any other proof points you can come up with to convince that particular audience member.
3. Launch a referral campaign
Word-of-mouth marketing is still the absolute strongest marketing tactic out there. Since people trust their friends more than they trust you, the marketer slash campaign creator, it’s truly the one type of marketing that has the highest possibility of converting someone into a supporter.
Think about it this way, the people who love your project enough to back it truly wants your project to succeed. Better yet, they probably have a network of people they’re connected to. What better way to get access to additional networks and leverage the power of word-of-mouth marketing than by implementing a referral program.
If you get a superfan to talk about your project, their friends are more likely to convert into a backer than a cold ad served right up to them.
Although it requires a few steps to setup, it’s definitely worth exploring a referral program to leverage your biggest campaign proponents to spread the word.
4. Update your campaign page
This is one of the simpler, but more impactful things you can do for your campaign.
Every passing day gives you more information about your project and your audience; what is working and what isn’t working (see point 1 above if you skimmed past it and started here). With this information on hand, you have the opportunity to optimize your crowdfunding page.
As more people write about your project, you can grab noteworthy quotes and drop it on your page. This gives people more proof that your project is worth spending money on.
As more reviews of your products get released (arising from your pre-campaign work or the hype during your campaign), you can copy those video reviews and drop it into your page. This gives people reason to believe that your project is real.
As you find that more and more people are asking a certain question, you can update your FAQ or even make it a main feature/benefit headline on your crowdfunding campaign. This gives people more reason to believe in your project and how it will impact their life.
Treat your campaign page as a living document and update it as necessary to make it the most impactful that it can be.
5. Outreach for cross-promotions
There’s a subset of people who back projects on crowdfunding who are called “repeat backers”. Their name is quite self-explanatory, but for those who aren’t familiar with it, what it means is that these are backers who back crowdfunding projects again and again. Kickstarter even keeps a running tally of how many repeat backers they have on their platform.
The best way to get these previous backers to your page is to conduct a mutual shoutout with another crowdfunding campaign.
Some creators think, “no, I don’t’ want to outreach to this other campaign because they probably don’t have the same audience as what my project needs”. Although that might be true beyond the walls of crowdfunding, it plays out very differently on crowdfunding.
On Kickstarter, if you click into a backer profile, you’ll see a wheel of categories. Kickstarter fills in the wheel as people back projects in the different categories. The most interesting part of this is that a backer usually supports many different crowdfunding categories. Sure, they’ll have their “favorite” categories (like boardgame backers typically back many boardgames), but someone who has backed a design category probably has also backed an art category and film category, too.
What this means for you as the project creator is that you want to get the word out to as many additional backers as possible. And the best way to access these repeat backers is to work with other campaign creators. This way you might be able to convert some of those backers into a repeat backer on your very own campaign.
6. Outreach to people who are likely to cover your project
Number 6 here is something you should be doing every single day for your project. Outreach to at least one new person every day. Sure you can mass-email sites and press outlets, but nothing (absolutely nothing) beats very directed messaging with surefire focus.
What does this mean?
Well, for one, it means that if you’re launching a new zombie graphic novel, you’re not going to be scraping the email addresses of the top press tech outlets like TechCrunch or Mashable.
You’ll be looking for niche sites that cover cool new graphic novels and those that cover zombie graphic novels.
You’ll be finding vloggers who review zombie-themed reads.
You’ll be in search of bloggers who do write-ups on new zombie graphic novels soon to hit the shelves.
You’ll be discovering Instagram influencers who talk explicitly about graphic novels launches on crowdfunding.
Basically what it means is that you have to find people who are likely to cover your project. They either have the same focus area (graphic novels and/or zombies) or have an audience who would love hearing about your focus area.
How do you find these outlets you ask?
Well to start – as someone already passionate about this topic, you should think back on what you yourself like reading. Where do you get news about graphic novels? Where do you read up on other zombie-themed graphic novels? Start there and outreach to your own news sources; there are definitely others out there who are moved by the same content as you and have those same interests.
Beyond that, it’s about time you reverse-engineered other successful campaigns. Here’s the step-by-step guide to doing that:
- Find other campaigns within your niche that has been successful
- Copy one of their main image URLs
- Go to https://images.google.com/
- Search by image and paste the image URL
Google will spit out a ton of results for outlets that have written about that particular successful project that is within the same niche as yours.
As a founder, that means that these outlets are highly relevant to you and your project for two reasons:
- The outlets are not shy about writing content about crowdfunding campaigns. Not many people write about crowdfunding projects. This is because if a project fails, it’s the writer’s name and reputation on the line for recommending it to their audience.
- The readers of that particular outlet are interested in your niche. To go back to our original example, if that outlet wrote about another zombie graphic novel, the readers are clearly interested in this type of content and can also potentially be your audience, too.
Here’s a template of an email that actually works:
I really liked your piece on [refer to product/subject, include a link] and wanted to reach out!
My team and I just released [two sentence explanation of your project].
Here’s our project: [link to the project]
Would this be something your readers are interested in learning more about?
Media Kit Link: [link to media kit]
7. Run an AMA/Facebook Live
Sometimes it takes a little extra nudge for people to back a crowdfunding project.
Occasionally, this comes in the form of social proof (like press logos) that you can get for your campaign once a press outlet does a shoutout for your project. At other times, it comes from the personal touch you as the creator can infuse into the project itself.
Thanks to the internet, there are quite a few ways that you can do this!
For example, you can use different online tools to stream a video session of you (and your team) talking about your project and answering backer questions – all live. No matter if you have a Kickstarter or Indiegogo campaign, you can head to your community on Facebook to start this live session.
Alternatively, if there’s a popular subreddit that you’ve been active in (and people are responding well to your project), consider asking the moderator if you can conduct a live AMA there. By doing so, you’ll have a way to directly speak with people who are actually interested in your project in the channel that is right for them.
8. Pay for backer-focused promotions
People who back projects on crowdfunding have a certain mindset and mentality.
They’re the ones who are early adopters and are not afraid to pre-spend money for a product that doesn’t even exist yet. Wrap your head around that one for a second, who else (other than crowdfunding backers) wants to buy products that don’t yet exist?
Since rewards-based crowdfunding has been around since 2007, you bet that there are huge communities dedicated to finding those backers and supporting people of this early-adopter mindset.
There are communities out there like BackerClub (who provides their community members with star ratings depending on how many projects they’ve backed!) and GadgetFlow (who have 25 million visitors per month interested in crowdfunding) that are solely dedicated towards supporting backers and introducing them to new and cool projects.
Consider spending some money on these crowdfunding-specific promotional channels to get direct access to backers of previous projects who want to back more projects.
All this sounds fine and dandy, but remember, the only way to get these promotional channels to work for your project is to create your own success first.
9. Release stretch goals
When you’re watching a sporting event (whether it’s baseball, cricket, or water polo), it’s always incredibly thrilling to cheer your team on to its next point. This is especially true when you’re one of hundreds or thousands of people cheering the team on for that next score.
And guess what? You can also create this sense of camaraderie in your crowdfunding campaign.
You can do this by releasing stretch goals for your project. What this does is presents a visible goal for your backers to rally around. If your campaign has successfully met the base $15,000 goal, it’s worth it to create a stretch goal at $25,000 (pick any number, really) and announcing that to your backers.
Get them excited about reaching that higher number and let them know that they can help the campaign reach that goal by sharing about it, increasing their contribution to the campaign or just bringing in more of their friends/family to support the project.
Since these people have already contributed to your project and want to see you succeed, they will be much more likely to help you get to that higher goal. It’s just your job as the creator to build that sense of community and rally your backers around getting to that next level.
10. Create upsells and add-ons
So you already have backers who have contributed to your campaign. Some even contributed on the first day during the first hour. These people already love and believe in your project – why else would they spend money to pre-order a product when it’s in the concept or prototype phase and even BEFORE it hits the market?
Imagine buying a book online that you’ve been waiting on for months now. You’re checking out and the physical version will get shipped to you in the next few weeks for $15. After you’ve successfully paid, you get a notice that says: by adding just $5, you get an autographed version of the book. If you add another $5 beyond that, you’ll also get access to the audiobook version immediately and the eBook version once it’s released. Wow, what a deal! $25 for the autographed physical version of the book, the digital eBook version and also the audiobook version. In this example, you see that people already want what they want (especially if they’ve already gone through the buying process).
From this example, think about where you can add more value for your backers and to their existing pre-order. From there, come up with ways you can increase the average order value of each of your backers. This way, you’ll be able to provide more value for them but at the same time also boost up the funding amount on your page.
Every single day of your campaign, be on the lookout for comments or ideas from backers or potential backers. Are there any add-ons or promotions you can send ONLY to backers?
Offer a special reward as an “add-on” to their original pre-order. A Kickstarter special version of the printed book for another $5 or $10? Annual supply of cartridge refills (for your core product) for less than they’d get anywhere else?
The world is your oyster!
11. Streamline your rewards
After a few days, consider revisiting your rewards once more.
Are there rewards that no one has even touched? Remove it.
Too many rewards can cause “choice paralysis” and can deter people from backing. Think about going to the store and seeing a huge spread of 50 jam samples. More often than not, when there are too many versions of jam, you get overwhelmed by all the choices you have to make and decide you don’t want any because you just can’t decide.
Are there rewards that visitors (or even backers!) have been requesting? Consider if it makes sense for your project and add the one(s) that do.
Maybe you’re launching a new book and have one reward for the digital version and a separate one for the physical, printed book. Backers might tell you they want both so it would make sense in this case to create a reward for the digital and physical book combination!
Treat your page like a living document where things can be added to and removed as necessary.
When I say as necessary, what I mean here is that your page should evolve to the liking of your audience – if you’re seeing that one particular angle is working incredibly well in the marketing of your campaign, it probably means that people who land on the page are going to want to see more of that when they do get there.
There it is, the 11 action items for you throughout the 30-60 days for your campaign. The above are strategies and tactics that have been battle-tested in many successful campaigns.
Make sure to go through this list before your campaign to start pre-planning for what to do. Then, check back in once a week during your campaign to make sure that you’re actively leveraging everything you can do in order to reach your success!
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