What should you do when your campaign is not getting the funding needed? Should you pay promotions like ads and backers email lists? How do you work with the crowdfunding platforms’ algorithm? Here is a reality check on why some of the paid options and other promotion tools won’t work if your campaign is not already doing well, and what you can do to get to that finish line. Should you pay promotions for your crowdfunding campaign when is not doing well?
Is paying for promotions legit?
There are places that offer to promote your campaign to backers and super backers and ultrabackers. Check my review on GadgetFlow, BackerClub, and BackerLand… Companies like these are companies and agencies with lists of people who fit the profile of a backer or people who maybe have backed other campaigns.
Sounds tempting, right? Sounds like a great idea to pay them to get your campaign in front of all those people.
Yes and no.
Is it legal? Yes. Some of these companies do have emails from real people.
But if an agency like this comes up to you and starts bombarding you with promos and saying how this technique can save your campaign and how you’ll get thousands of dollars in backing or something of the sort, then it’s probably too good to be true.
It’s probably people praying off of the fear and uncertainty of crowdfunding creators and their need to get their goal funding. If people are reaching out to you trying to sell you on the magic cure for your campaign, be aware!
Why it won’t work
Perhaps one of these agencies has 100k emails from people who are backers or have shown an interest in crowdfunding. This doesn’t mean that the 100k people are going to be interested in your specific project. Yes, perhaps there will be a percentage of people who will check your campaign out, but most of the people on the list are not your target audience.
If you’re launching an apparel product, and most of the people in the agency’s email list have backed tech products, then you’re paying a promotion to get in front of all the wrong eyes.
You won’t convert as much as you wish to.
And, some people will get upset to be emailed by someone they haven’t subscribed to. How would you feel if all of the sudden you got a promotion for a product in a niche that you don’t have any interest in, in your inbox? Yes, I wouldn’t be happy either.
In conclusion, don’t do it. Don’t pay promotions if you haven’t reached your crowdfunding campaign audience organically first. Your target audience is very specific and you want to invest in finding them and not to put your campaign in front of people who have no interest.
Are there any legitimate promotion agencies that actually work?
Yes. There are some big agencies that have been around for a while now and who have created a following of enthusiast backers or “super backers”. Who are these people? People who have backed several crowdfunding campaigns, and who are always interested in getting the newest gadget on the market. You can check out Gatgetflow, BackerClub, and BackerLand to get started.
So these companies get the data from these people and actually use it to promote their target products to them. They’re not just emailing them willy-nilly.
These companies won’t reach out to you. You’ll reach out to them. And this is a good thing. These are the people you want to be working with. This is the thing that could potentially work.
Be sure to do your market research and check the legitimacy of each company: how long have they been on the market, what reviews do they have, success cases, does their website look sketchy or professional… etc.
How do I get super backers to back my campaign?
So these crowdfunding enthusiasts are there. They exist. And some of them might even be interested in your niche and product. And they’re on the email list of these companies like Backerclub, and they trust what they get in their inbox.
If the company sends them a recommendation for a new campaign, people actually open, click and check it out. But here’s where it gets tricky:
Experienced backers are people who will quickly know if a campaign is worth backing. If they open a campaign page, and see that it’s in the middle of its duration and only has 10 backers, this will raise some doubts. Backers with experience know how to look for social proof, and if they don’t see it, they won’t back you.
So how do you get them to back you? How do you make your investment worth it?
You have to put in the work before. For this paid promotion strategy to work, you need to already be doing well with your crowdfunding campaign. You want to be able to say to the experienced backers: other people have trusted me, you should too.
The psychological effect of crowdfunding
People are social beings and like to not be the only one on anything. Same for crowdfunding. No one wants to be the only one backing a campaign, people want to be backing the project that everyone is backing, that everyone is excited about.
If your campaign is not fully or close to fully funded, then paying for the promotion won’t do you any good. People won’t back a campaign that doesn’t look prepared.
Not every promotional channel will fit every offer
If you’re launching a tabletop game, gadgetflow won’t do you much good. Why? Because their audience is interested in something else. Their focus is not tabletop games. So paying for their promotion service won’t fit with the offer you’re making. It doesn’t make sense.
As I always say, you need to reach the right audience!
Do your research and try to understand which agency has the audience you’re trying to target. Don’t go wasting your money with the wrong agency.
So how do you make paid promotions work for your crowdfunding campaign?
Don’t get upset, but the way this work for you is to already have a successful campaign to promote through these promotion channels.
Now you’re thinking “what do you mean I need backers backing me, to promote my campaign for other backers to back me?”.
But it’s exactly that. You need to build your audience beforehand, in the pre-launch phase, get their emails, get them excited, launch only when you’re ready (when you’re sure you’ll have 30% of your funding on day one, here’s how to calculate it), get partly funded quickly, continue promoting through the mid-days, get more funding, features and reviews, and then pay for promotions to reach new super backers.
Sounds counterintuitive, but it is what it is. I’ve seen it time and time again. If your campaign doesn’t look ready, and doesn’t have any funding already, your money investment won’t convert.