After two crowdfunding campaigns on Kickstarter, one failed, one successful with over 180% raised and 650 backers. We are not saying that we figured out the best successful campaign model, but we want to share what we learned throughout these intensive experiences.
Before, during, and after the campaign, we researched and ingested all the information available we could grab from blogs, podcasts, books and even contacted project owners for advice and their 'secret sauce' to making a successful Kickstarter campaign.
We did not find a definitive secret. But below is a summarized key checklist to increase the chances of success for your crowdfunding campaign. Enjoy!
You are on the right path if your crowdfunding campaign is the last action item in your marketing plan.
Most successful campaign owners would suggest that you budget at least two months for pre-campaign efforts. You can tell if you are ready when you have built up a substantial list of backers that can't wait for you to start the project. Don't mislead yourself; friends, family and coworkers are not potential project followers! You want to generate an Email list with more than 1000 potential backers.
- Landing web-site with a blog: People love to hear preliminary information. Send project 'peeks' with visual content. For example, your preliminary product/project pictures like prototypes, sketches, FAQs and giveaways.
- Engage through social networks: The often best performing channels are Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. For FB, a dedicated page for the project and a public group related to the project. For example, if your product is a learning tool for kids, try to create a FB group about child learning techniques. Note, your family and friend’s likes do not really count! These social channels are a great avenue to select and get on board project supporters.
- Test the Market: Pay for a $100-200 SurveyMonkey survey. From here you can get valuable market intelligence, such as price, demographic, likes and dislikes. Based on my experience, the information from SurveyMonkey is very useful and reliable to define your product offer.
b) Active Campaign
- Content: The campaign video is the headline of your project. A shareable video is extremely important, make sure your video is funny, interesting, properly paced, short (less than 1:30') and with a call to action to support your project. Focus on a simple reward strategy, otherwise it will become very complicated to fulfill your orders. Use animated GIFs in the body of your campaign. The rule of thumb is to use less words and more visuals. You have a 15 second time-span to keep your backers' attention. To test if your content is sharable, use Reddit to post your pictures and videos and you should get a quick answer.
- Google Analytics: Make sure you set-up and connect google analytics from the beginning. Google needs to collect enough data to show you valuable results.
- Marketing Mix: Your campaign must obey the following 4-P rules.
P: Price: get a good indication from your SurveyMonkey's survey.
P: Product/Project: needless to say, your product must be outstanding. Keep your reward structure simple, less than 5 if you can.
P: Promote: provide rewards that really reward your backers, the more you ask, the more you should reward.
P: Place: this applies to time of the year and alternative channels where you place your campaign. As the crowd-funding campaign begins, you will be bombarded with alternative avenues to advertise your campaign. You can and should re-invest in the channels that you see positive results. Use google analytics to track it. Make sure you leave room to pay these channels. We don’t have enough data to suggest a good time of the year to promote your campaign. If you have a time in mind, give yourself an extra month's cushion to allow for any unexpected launch delays.
- Campaign Timing: Most project owners recommend a short campaign, 30 days seems to be the standard campaign length. Campaigns can be intensive and exhausting so you don't really want to make it 60 days. In most cases, 80% of the project total revenue is achieved within the first 5 days. Note that the crowdfunding platform can take from 5 to 10 days to review your project before they give you the thumbs-up to launch your campaign.
- What to expect? Crowdfunding sites are in business, so they promote projects that show a good response in the first 24hrs, as these projects will render more money for them. The first two days are critical as your project will either go into the HOT/POPULAR category, get Staff Picked or will get buried with hundreds of other projects. After this crucial time, you have the chance to stand out a little bit by reaching your goal so get into the FUNDED category or by getting a late Staff Pick badge. Getting into more categories gives you more exposure. If you don't achieve any of these milestones you are on your own. People will only find you by a direct search or by browsing through hundreds of projects in your project category. Based on this crowdfunding nature, your campaign success is pretty much defined within the first 48 hours. Based on my two campaigns, and the campaigns we have analyzed, the first 5 days of your campaign will represent about 80% of your total revenue.
- Exit: If you don't get funded in the first 10 days, our recommendation would be to cancel your campaign and restart later. Chances are you will have a successful second campaign because you have actually established communication with the crowd-funding community and created some level of credibility.
Below is a visual summary we call the “Equation of a Successful Crowdfunding Campaign”.
Tools and Resources
We posted a separate blog for tools and resources, check it out here (Link
Crowdfunding is a change in paradigm and an exciting way to prove your products, become funded and have a support group investing in your success. A lot of work and energy is required for a successful campaign. However, the results can be rewarding in the short term. We hope that you enjoyed this blog and have a successful crowdfunding campaign.