At ShopLocket, we deal with a lot of crowdfunding alumni like InteraXon, Nomiku and PopSLATE (among others). Through talking with them and through other hardware entrepreneurs in our Blueprint series (www.shoplocket.com/blueprint), we've uncovered a lot of great tips and tricks that I haven't seen anywhere else. Here are just a few:
- Send individual emails to your mailing list when announcing your campaign rather than a generic mass blast. At least for people you're close with. It greatly increases the chance that they will act.
- Send calendar invites out to friends to remind them when the campaign starts.
- Have a website during the campaign to look more professional. Maybe even setup an AngelList profile, a lot of investors now use Kickstarter as a source for leads.
- Use virtual assistants from services like ODesk to help you with some of the grunt work launching your campaign. Like media list creation and email drafting.
- Be ready to launch pre-orders immediately after the campaign to keep up momentum. Just collecting email addresses rarely converts to sales months later.
- Send updates more than you think you should. It keeps everyone in the loop and also increases the likelihood that you get shared. Here are some stats on the collelation between updates and amount raised from Indiegogo > http://support.indiegogo.com/entries/20491883-how-to-send-campaign-updates
- Shipping can be very expensive. A cool hack is to ship pallets to Amazon overseas in order to save on international shipping
These are just a few tips, we're actually in the midst of writing a full guide. If you have any additional questions feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or ping me on Clarity!
I'm building a whole online course on this and have taken a bunch of Clarity calls on the topic. Here are a few "less obvious" tips:
1) Price "below MSRP". Unlike Amazon and Zappos, there is risk involved in crowdfunding purchases. Customers should get a discount for that risk. Backers want the reward. These platforms act more like a store for pre-orders. They're not a charitable donation platform.
2) Make each level more value than the last for not much more money. See AJ Leon's "Life and Times of a Remarkable Misfit" for a great example of this.
3) Your video needs to tell a story and resonate with the backers.
4) You need to have a marketing & press plan long before you launch. Crowdfunding campaigns get funded BEFORE the campaign, not during. It's the pre-work. The platform will bring you about 10% of your overall traffic. You need to bring the rest.
5) Collect emails pre-launch. Use Launchrock or something similar to collect emails in the weeks and months leading up to launch. Put your video up on a landing page or at least a photo & description. It's way better to launch with 500-1000 emails.
More at www.crowdfundinghacks.com or give me a call on Clarity.
Make sure you understand why would anyone contribute to your campaign. It's worth taking time to prepare the campaign, create a vibrant community, build a story and bring emotion, and imagine unique rewards that lets the audience engage in your project.