We did an article earlier on the basics of crowdfunding. Let’s talk shop now and dive into all the nuances that go into making a successful crowdfunding campaign.

Essential Requisites

Requirements for doing a crowdfunding campaign:

– Prototype

– Main video (2–5 minutes)

– Detailed description of the product and its usage

– Images / videos / GIFs of the product 

– Testimonials of people 

– Press / media articles

– presence on social media

Budget:– 31– 40% of the total amount raised, as the minimum expense and about USD 10,000 for a good quality video. 20–25% of your total raise should be your marketing budget.

Crowdfunding websites usually charge a commission of 8–10%. 3–5% charges will be paid towards the payment gateway.

How to set a goal:

Keep a realistic goal. If the performance at the start of the campaign isn’t around your goal, people might not stay interested to invest in the campaign. 

Ideal goal should be between USD 30,000–75,000. Even if you know you can raise much more, keep the goal lower. You should try and hit your goal within a few hours of starting the campaign. This will give it a boost. After all, crowdfunding is about a good start.

Pricing the product:

– People invest in crowdfunding as they get a great price for innovative products. Usually, you are expected to offer a 30–40% discount on the MSRP.

– Break the campaign into different price bands. Start with a low price and keep increasing the price gradually like “Super Early Bird Price”, “Early Bird Price” & “Special Price” with limited quantity available for that price.

Flow of a crowdfunding campaign:

Once the prototype is ready, you need 75 days for the campaign. These 75 days will be divided into 3 phases:

1. Pre-campaign: 

You need to assign 30 days to the pre-campaign phase. This includes the following activities:

A campaign launch date, detailed planning of the entire campaign, preparation of all assets, submitting the campaign page for approval, press / media articles on your upcoming campaign. 

– Close deals with crowdfunding marketing agencies / companies

2. During campaign: 

 Things to do as soon as your campaign goes live (the initial 2 hours being the most crucial):

Send an email to your collected list, ads and posts on social media and share the campaign link as much as possible. Optimise your ads on a day to day basis to keep you cost per acquisition cost low. Try to hit your goal within the first 5–7 hours, the crowdfunding platforms then tend to promote your campaign on their platforms thus getting you higher investments.

Make sure you are prompt in replying to all the queries and engage with efficient marketing agencies.

Regularly update your backers about any small achievement or any hiccups in a good practice. It builds trust.

Some suggested Key partners:

– Jellop

– Product Hype

– Kickbooster

– Backerkit

3. Post campaign:

– Updates: Regularly update your backers about every step: final prototype, problems in manufacturing, developments, etc. 1 update in 14 days is a good practice. 

– Responding to backer messages / emails: Backers have invested money in your idea and they will certainly have questions for you. Make sure you respond to them in a timely manner. 

Engage in some cross-promotion. Make sure to send mails regularly to your database to actively post ads (Pro-tip: Facebook ads give the best return on investment.)

And finally, get into production mode as soon as possible.

Some handy tips:

Most successful day to launch the campaign: Statistically speaking, best days to start the campaign are Wednesday & Thursday.

Best performing period during the campaign: A campaign performs best on the initial 3–5 days and the last 3 days. Don’t try to over spend during the middle of the campaign if you see the growth rate declining, as you will need money for ads on the last 3 days when the growth will peak. 

Find a contact within the crowdfunding platform who can help with marketing

Suggested flow for some of the crowdfunding campaigns:

Kickstarter: 30 day campaign to raise initial funds and create brand awareness

Indiegogo Indemand: Till you start production, you can continue crowdfunding via Indiegogo Indemand. Make sure the prices are slightly higher than your Kickstarter prices (as they were your initial supporters).

Indiegogo Marketplace: Once you have started manufacturing, you can sell your products on Indiegogo Marketplace. Here, you need to promise a delivery date within 1 month. Again, the prices should be slightly higher than Indiegogo Indemand.

Things not to do:

– Don’t buy any email list.

– Don’t spam with repeated emails.

– Don’t try to over-spend if conversions go down. Make sure the customer acquisition cost is under control.

– To get more conversions, don’t offer a high commission to partners / agencies

The above blog has been collaborated on by Neel Jain from our Marketing Team. For more such articles, stay tuned to Square Off’s Blog space.

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