These marketing platforms boast more than stellar results when they advertise themselves to you.
“Get access to THOUSANDS of backers and get TONS more money.”
It sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it?
Well, because it is.
The only way to get results and most effectively use these third party platforms is to understand how these crowdfunding campaign promotions work.
How GadgetFlow, BackerClub and BackerLand Works
What they do is collect as many emails as possible for those who are previous crowdfunding backers and/or those who have indicated that they are interested in crowdfunding and will potentially back something.
Then, they take your campaign information and send out an email to their list about your campaign. Some have progressed and began segmenting their email list according to what people have clicked and/or indicated interest in so that your project gets to the most relevant people.
For example, if they know personA@gmail.com has always clicked on hardware products, they’ll have them on a hardware product list and send information about your hardware product to them.
In theory, this works very well. You get tremendous exposure by being on an email list that is sent to 100,000 people.
However, the reality is that this tactic does not work well at all:
- These emails have much lower open rates than an email list that you’d gather for yourself.
- These emails have much lower click rates than an email like that you’d gather for yourself. These people don’t know you and they don’t know your product. They might just be here browsing the latest and greatest in tech rather than looking to buy.
- They’re in a completely different frame of mind than serious backers. This might be the first time they’ve been introduced to your product. As such, they aren’t in the “buy” frame of mind. Remember, people don’t immediately buy a new product they’re introduced to, they have to read about it, understand it, form an emotional connection with it and then proceed to decide whether they would want to buy it or not. The few that buy are outliers and their actions should be taken with a grain of salt.
- You can only track them and remarket to them if they do click to your page (native on Indiegogo, Kickstarter if you’re using a special third-party link tracking tool). Getting people to your page is the most critical for you at this stage since you will “cookie” them and be able to remarket to them via advertisements.
Second, these third party platforms have even begun building out their own pre-order eCommerce stores. As an entrepreneur with a campaign running, you’ll be paying to be a presence on their storefront.
The good: you’ll be visible to more people. These platforms have spent a lot of their hard earned dollars bringing more eyes to their website, they already drive exposure so just by being there you’re increasing your own exposure.
The bad: it’s tough for your campaign to stand out from the other hundreds or thousands already on the store. And people browsing through these sites are cold leads, frigid leads we might say, since they don’t know you, your product or your mission. It’s more difficult to sell to someone if they don’t know anything about you or your product or might not even need/want it.
How to Make Crowdfunding Campaign Promotions Work For You
That’s not to say that these marketing platforms are all bad.
Entrepreneurs can and do get positive ROI when they engage with these marketing platforms.
Just know that this will not be the saving grace for your campaign.
It will not take a campaign that is at $5,000 to $1,000,000 overnight or a campaign with 5 backers to 3,700 backers overnight.
The best way to make these platforms work for you is to do your own work.
Yes, these looky-loos who surf GadgetFlow or get an email from BackerClub will be more interested (and more likely to click to your campaign) if the marketing materials you provide says something like “already 2,700% funded on Kickstarter” or “see why 4,500 backers have already contributed to this campaign on Kickstarter”.
The only way you can have those impressive stats and numbers is after a successful and comprehensive pre-launch plan. You’ve built your community from the ground up and converted those people into backers. Now, these platforms will help you multiply your successes.
Check out my article Pre-Launch 101 to learn how to create a list of super-engaged backers before you even launch.
Also, from what we know already, what these platforms WILL do for you is expose your campaign to more people, building awareness for your brand and project.
Although most people will not be clicking to see more of your campaign, some of them will.
The most surefire way to put these clicks to good use is slapping a pixel on them and remarketing to them, pushing them down further into the purchase funnel.
In the end, getting to a highly successful campaign takes a more concerted effort through multiple channels than just banking on these few platforms.
You’ll need to make sure that you’ve adequately prepped during your pre-launch phase – contacted journalists, reached out to bloggers, collected emails, nurtured your leads, etc.
As the campaigner, you’ll need to make sure that all these pieces are already driving backers towards contributing to your campaign and backing your project.
Then, you’ll see that the successes that you get from these platforms are a product of the work you put in before your campaign even launches.
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