In our last blog post we explained what we did to prepare our Kickstarter campaign, which reached €410.000 ($450.000) within 34 days. Great preparation is essential for any campaign, but also the execution during the campaign needs to be tightly managed to reach its goal. The big difference between preparation and execution is, that you can take as much time as you want for preparing the campaign, but once it is live, time is running against you.
This is what we did during the campaign:
1) Get the first hours right
Launch early in the morning and ask your family and friends to support you within the first hour. That way your campaign is already showing traction once people that don’t know you see it. It makes a huge difference if a campaign is standing at $0, $1.000 or even $10.000 at the time a potential backer sees it for the first time.
We think that not every day is equally well suited for a launch. We launched on a Wednesday, because data showed that Wednesday is statistically one of the days with high traffic on Kickstarter. Try to get traffic data for the crowdfunding platform you choose to pick the right day to launch. The more traffic (= money) you get on day one, the better it is.
In general, the first two days of your campaign are crucial to achieve the required traction. Therefore, launching too close to a weekend or holiday can have quite a negative impact. Also, launching close to a major international event relevant to your industry (e.g. CES, CeBit) can have a similar impact. Many journalists attend these events and it is therefore less likely that they will write about your not-yet-known campaign - unless you are taking part in the event and launch from there.
2) Spread the word
Once you hit the launch button try to inform as many people about your launch as possible, that means:
- send emails to your family and friends and ask them to support you as soon as possible
- send a newsletter to everyone on your mailing list
- send out (pre-written) press releases to all journalists on your press list
- update your social media channels and don’t forget to copy the link to your campaign in every post
- share you campaign link with relevant online communities (e.g. reddit.com/r/kickstarter/, Kickstarter groups on Facebook)
- contact potential backers from your list via e-mail, text message, social media etc.
3) Respond to questions from your backers
Once you get people’s attention you will be receiving a lot of questions across all channels (campaign comments, private messages, emails). Don’t forget that there is a potential backer behind each question! Try to answer quickly and comprehensively. It is much easier to convince someone who is already interested than acquiring someone who doesn’t know your product.
The amount of messages can be very high when the campaign reaches its popularity peak. Try to prioritize and postpone or drop messages from people that are unlikely to back your campaign (e.g. overseas manufacturers, small reviewers with youtube channels, advertising agencies). A lot of people will ask similar questions. Try to anticipate questions and pre-write answers to copy and paste them. Nevertheless, try to make every answer as personal as possible, even if some of the content is pre-written.
4) Make your press release read
Journalists receive thousands of press releases each day. Hence, it is very helpful to establish connections to relevant journalists before you launch. To increase the chances of your press release being read, call the journalist one day after you sent out the press release. Don’t ask why there still is no article about your great product. Instead, give the journalist additional information and a good reason to write about your product.
You should also prepare several press releases, one where you are informing about the product and the launch, one where you reached your goal, and another one in case you are doing extraordinarily well.
5) Distribute your marketing material
Make sure you are attending relevant events during the time your campaign is live and never forget your flyers, stickers etc. Tell each and every person about your campaign!
6) Pay for ads to increase traffic to your campaign page
Depending on your marketing budget you can work with paid ads to get more people on your campaign page. Facebook Ads proved to be very effective for crowdfunding campaigns targeting private end customers. To create effective ads it’s very important that you know and understand your target customers. The better you tailor your ads to your customers the more likely they will support you. We also think that people already familiar with crowdfunding are much more likely to back your project than people who don’t know the concept. Facebook gives you a lot of possibilities to find your target customers based on geography, age, interests and so on.
We hope these tips are helpful. All the best!!