Hundreds of crowdfunding campaigns are launched every day. Most campaigns don’t reach their funding goals, while the minority either meets or exceeds their funding goal.
I have ran two crowdfunding campaigns. The first one was unsuccessful because I didn’t dedicate enough time to it. The second and current one has been unsuccessful. While I dedicated a significantly greater amount of time to this campaign, I may have underestimated a very important part.
So, I asked 3 people who raised at least $70,000 in their crowdfunding campaign to tell us about their best tactic.
Contact Your High School and College Alumni
Will Nitze is founder and CEO of IQ Bar, a Boston nutrition bar company.
He said that “the single best (and most cost-effective) tactic that I used was to compile tens to thousands of emails from [high school and college alumni] and then shamelessly ask them for support.
In effect, these people were all strangers, but the simple hook was being able to say, "I was Class of 2014..." added a subtle familiarity that caused hundreds of people to support my campaign.
Don't get me wrong - this approach has its downsides. For one, it's breaking the rules a bit, given these people never opted-in to receive a marketing email. [As a result], you'll get dozens of angry responses. However, it definitely works and anyone who gets pissed off will forget about it in a day or two!"
Have a Prelaunch Email Flow
Kishore Vasnani is the co-founder of NomadLane, a travel bag company.
He stated that “the best crowdfunding tactic we leveraged was building a niche community of enthusiastic supporters months before our launch. This was a major contributing factor for us to raise over $2 million.
We built a landing page / teaser site to spark curiosity. From there we had a small daily budget of $5 a day of Facebook ad spend and requested people to enter their email address to be the first to know about our launch.
Once people entered their email address, we knew we had their interest. We setup a custom email flow and spent a few weeks introducing the people to our brand, [beliefs], and the bag’s functionality, special pricing and the launch date.
This allowed our potential customers to be receptive to us, [which later] made them feel comfortable enough to support our campaign.
When we launched, we had over 5,000 people signed up, of which 50% converted on the first day of our campaign. This gave us momentum to be featured organically on Indiegogo and it spread like wildfire across the internet.”
Use a Crowdspeaking Tool
Alex Walsh is the co-founder of JustWears (formerly JoeyWears), an European apparel company.
He suggests to “prepare your friends, family, colleagues and acquaintances to back you on Day 1! Use a crowdspeaking tool, where people can [subscribe to schedule a tweet or Facebook post] on your behalf. We used Thunderclap to have several hundred people post about us on the first day of the campaign.”
The Final Word
According to the experts, it appears that a crowdfunding campaign’s success is largely based on the prelaunch. There are always exceptions. Although, it is best to use your prelaunch to recruit and educate your followers. Then, use the time during the campaign to promote it to the media and encourage your supporters to share the campaign with others.