Ensuring the success of a crowdfunding campaign can give any startup or business a huge head start. As the business owner, you want to make sure that you are able to tap into your target market and maintain the loyalty of your current customers. In addition, you need to bank on your marketing experience.
This is where crowdfunding comes in handy. By drawing financial strength from public interest and support, you can create additional funding for your business. That is why you need to capitalize on this unique opportunity and do what it takes to ensure that you have a successful campaign.
Shopify has gained popularity as a convenient website creation tool to build your own e-commerce shop. In recent years, the service has become an opportunity to launch not only online stores but also crowdfunding campaigns.
Here are some steps on successfully launching a crowdfunding campaign through Shopify:
First Things First
Before everything else, you should set the number of days your campaign will last. Statistically, projects that run for less than 30 days have higher chances of success. Keeping your campaign short is necessary for the following reasons:
- Longer campaigns give you no assurance that your backers will remain engaged, interested, and excited with your campaign.
- Your campaign should give you enough time to build momentum
- Long campaigns may deplete your resources such as funds and materials
Bear in mind that a crowdfunding campaign cannot be organized in just one night. You would need to create visually attractive campaign materials, and set up a page with at least 3,500 words of text as shown by some of the most successful design and technology projects sampled by Shopify on Kickstarter and Indiegogo.
You should work full-time on the campaign page that you are putting up just like the other successful project creators who even quit their day jobs to focus on their campaign page full time. You should even divert some of your time creating videos and the entire page.
A CNN analysis of the top 50 most-funded projects on Kickstarter revealed that only 16% (i.e. 8 campaigns) were launched on time. This means that a huge number was not able to launch their projects as scheduled.
This will not sound well for your supporters if you are not able to deliver on time. While Kickstarter discourages its funders as a marketplace, still it can be frustrating for supporters if the campaign is delayed or products do not ship. You do not want a supporter or funder showing up at your home or office to show their frustration on the delay of the project.
Delays on your campaign can have a detrimental effect on how supporters value your startup. Some of them may become very vocal when showing their disappointment.
Two popular cases of delayed campaigns include Pebble and Oculus Rift. The former is the most-funded project in Kickstarter while the latter was bought by Facebook for $2 billion. These two companies experienced trouble with manufacturing, which caused huge delays.
Therefore, to keep your supporters from getting disappointed, make sure you deliver on time. The best way to do this is to have a good plan in motion.
Be Transparent About Your Delays
The unexpected can happen at any time. No matter how well laid out your plan is you cannot control everything. You cannot plan for the unexpected. But the important thing is you should tell it to your supporters. Your honesty and transparency about turn of events will surely be appreciated by your customers. Missing a deadline without informing your supporters will anger them and worst they might withdraw their support on your project and you would not want that to happen.
Get Press Coverage
Getting the press involved should be done before the actual launch of your campaign. It is important that your campaign gets enough media mileage before you actually launch it. This is also for the funders to see that your campaign is worth their backing. Reach out to reporters or bloggers months before the scheduled launch.
When getting media coverage, come up with a list of contacts who might want to cover the launch. Take note that it does not have to be every writer. The press who will cover your campaign should be someone who has experienced with crowdfunding campaigns and covers the industry where your product falls.
Once you have a list of projected writers, you can start creating an engaging pitch. If you can add a video, the better the pitch will be. They make a great introduction to the product you are launching.
Getting the press involved is another important issue that you should consider. It is important not to wait until your campaign has launched before you contact reporters. Even a few months or weeks before the launch, you should have the press involved already so that you can have content on the day of the launch.
Your campaign will prove useless without engagement. You can start with close friends and family. Use every medium you have at your disposal such as a personal blog, Facebook page, Twitter account, and others. You can send an email blast and group message. It is important to connect to as many people as possible to ensure the success of your campaign.
A study conducted by Indiegogo revealed that personal email is the most effective engagement channel for your campaign. It is critical in raising the first 30% of your funding goal. Build a list of supporters from various social media channels such as Gmail, Facebook, Twitter, and other networks.
Follow a Campaign Checklist
Before the launch of your campaign, here are some things that you must prepare:
- A Sample Product. Your backers need to see something tangible in order to convince them to support your campaign. Along with the prototype, you should have a plan for shipping and fulfillment of the product.
- Set Your Funds. To determine your budget, compute for the costs of everything that you might need and then double that amount. That is the budget that you will ask for.
- Create A Campaign Website. The dedicated website should include a short description of your campaign and what you aim to accomplish. When making your website, avoid words such as “help,” “support,” or “fund,”. This would make your audience think that you are asking for a favor rather than giving them an experience they will never forget.
These tips should be able to help you not only launch a crowdfunding campaign through Shopify, but also make the most out of the campaign to catapult your business to new heights.