We’ve talked about the things you need to do before you launch, and now we want to tell you about some things you shouldn’t do while you’re getting ready for your crowdfunding project. Don’t make these crowdfunding mistakes that could sink your campaign!
Don’t buy email lists
It may sound tempting to grow your potential backer base by purchasing pre-made email lists, but it’s not a helpful strategy. You want to build a community of people who care about your product and will be ready to back you on day 1, and an unqualified list won’t help with that. Plus, it could damage your reputation if people label your emails as spam.
Don’t overload your audience with sales pushes
While we encourage you to be active in social media spaces and at live events, resist the urge to do nothing but sell, sell, sell. Spend time talking about your mission, share products that relate to yours, and answer the questions that potential backers have for you. Giving people something other than a hard sell every time you interact with them builds trust and gets them excited about your brand.
We’ve all seen companies who lure people to their email lists by doing an Amazon gift card giveaway. At first glance this seems like a great way to collect email addresses, but most of the people who sign up for these giveaways won’t be qualified leads. A good giveaway should be on brand and be of interest to the people you want backing your campaign when it launches. A board game campaign might give away a special game piece; a golf bag might give away a set of golf balls. Giveaways can be a great way to drum up excitement, but keeping it related to your product will mean those leads are qualified and therefore have value.
Don’t forget to nurture your community
Building a community of potential backers is important, but the people in it won’t be excited about your project unless you work to get them excited. Send out a newsletter with updates via email. Tell people what’s happening in the development process on your social media accounts. Do events with demonstrations of your product. Teach people about the ins and outs of your entire project. If they feel like they have a connection, they’ll be more likely to support you once you launch.
Don’t have too many rewards
Giving people too many options can lead to choice paralysis and turn them away from your project. Create a low-level tier for a dollar or two and call it a support level; this will give people access to the pledge manager later on, which will let them make a decision then. Then offer a base tier, a deluxe tier, and a high level tier. Don’t guess at what custom add-on bundles people will want; a post-campaign pledge manager will let people pick exactly what fits their needs without having a ton of complicated rewards tiers that might not even match what backers want.
Don’t begin without testing methods and messaging
Testing is the name of the game when it comes to your advertising. Make sure that you test all of your graphics, copy, and video before you launch your campaign. This will ensure that you’re using the assets that will bring in the highest number of potential backers.
Don’t submit for approval too late
Depending on what platform you’re using, your campaign page and assets might need to be approved before you can launch, and this process can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. Don’t submit it the night before your planned launch and assume everything will go well. Using best practices will help ensure that the process goes smoothly—take a look at our earlier post to see what we mean. You can start to build your page whenever you want, and we recommend starting early so you can identify problems or holes in your strategy. Your campaign page can be a great roadmap for your entire project if you work on it as you go.
Don’t launch too soon
Your crowdfunding launch is an exciting time and we understand the temptation to go for it as soon as you can, but it’s important to be patient. If you don’t think you’ll reach your goal in the first 24 hours of the campaign, then you’re not actually ready to launch. Step back and do more community building so you have that excited group of dedicated fans ready to jump in on the first day. If your crowdfunding campaign is a party for your product, then you need to make sure you have enough invitations out there to make it a success. The more community building that you do, the more likely it is that your campaign exceeds its goals.
There you have it—an explanation of what crowdfunding mistakes to avoid before you launch. Following the guidelines that we’ve laid out for you will help set you up for crowdfunding success. Consider getting some expert help with your campaign to take it to the next level!