There are several factors that go into a successful crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter or Indiegogo. In this post, we’re going to examine how a well-built pre-campaign lead funnel can take your campaign from a moderate win to massive success.
What is a pre-campaign lead funnel?
So, what is a pre-campaign funnel and what’s it trying to achieve in the context of crowdfunding? Basically, it’s the process where a person goes from unaware of your product (though this can vary) to a campaign backer. Each point of the funnel should draw them closer to the goal, where they eventually become a paying customer.
At LaunchBoom, we use the same general structure to reach potential backers for all of our clients, whether it’s in TestBoom or a full launch. Leading up to the campaign, the goal is to turn leads into what we call VIPs who will be given access to the best possible early-bird discounts when the campaign goes live. If you can achieve a significant day 1 raise off of these early backers, your campaign gets a huge organic boost in momentum!
The 5 steps of a pre-campaign lead funnel
Here are the five steps of our funnel visualized from the first level of awareness (outside) to the goal of conversion (center).
Tools you’ll need for the funnel:
- Facebook Ads Manager (for ads)
- ClickFunnels, WordPress, etc. (for page building)
- Mailchimp, Klaviyo, etc. (for email marketing)
- Stripe, Square, etc. (for payments)
Now, let’s dive into more detail about how to set up each level effectively. We’ll start at the top of the funnel with Facebook ads.
Step 1: Facebook Ads
Making great ads starts with strong product messaging. Think about a few creative ways to hook people to your product so you can be sure you’re testing multiple variations. The goal here is to find out which ads are getting the most clicks.
With Facebook ads, you have more freedom to think outside the box with your design. Take our best performing ad from our recent Bonc Bike campaign:
Indiegogo has a lot of competition in the e-bike space. We knew that it would be a challenge to make our ad stand out. Our campaign strategy team used three trusted methods: a scroll-stopping headline, a clean visual of the product, and highlighting the product’s unique selling propositions (USPs).
Facebook has several audience types for you to target, so choose three to four whose interests closely align with your product. Are you selling an e-bike? Aim for commuter and tech audiences. Is your product for home exercise? Target work-from-home and fitness enthusiasts.
When your ad does its job and entices a cold lead to click on it, that brings them one step further along in the funnel. From there, they’ll be taken to your product’s landing page, which plays an even more important role in the customer journey.
Step 2: Landing Page
When someone clicks a link to a landing page, they become a “paid view.” At this point, they have expressed enough interest in your product and are willing to learn more about it. The landing page is where you’ll educate them.
Landing pages have to be much cleaner, more professional, and benefit-driven than Facebook ads, and a lot of that comes down to copywriting. You want your landing page to resonate powerfully with the customer. The “hero section” at the top needs to entice viewers to keep on scrolling to view all the great benefits of the product further down the page.
Pick three to four of your product’s most impactful selling points, and give a brief overview of each in individual sections. Always remember though, that you need to create a good balance between the copy and visuals because people tend to scroll and skim. You don’t want to overdo it with too many selling points, product specifications, or a multiple-paragraph backstory on your company.
The combination of beautiful design and succinct copy is how you can dramatically increase purchasing intent from a potential lead who is at this stage in the funnel. The best way to gauge that intent is with this:
You’ll know your landing page is doing its job converting your page traffic into leads as soon as you see those email addresses rolling in.
Step 3: VIP Email Sequence
Here is where we get to share our biggest secret of the funnel with you. This step is where you can turn what was once a 2% average conversion rate into an up to 50% converting powerhouse. Let me explain.
It used to be that after getting someone’s email, we would have that touchpoint with them and communicate launch updates and information. But, we realized that despite all of the emails collected, only a tiny percentage were actually coming to the Kickstarter or Indiegogo page when it came time to back the campaign.
The key to really solidifying buyer intent is to offer early access for a small monetary deposit, instead of just for free. This may sound counterintuitive because as consumers we prefer things for free; however, if the deposit is reasonable (like $1, $10, or $50 depending on your product’s price point) people are very willing to pay a small investment for the greater reward of a lower overall price on launch day.
Now that you understand how it works, you need to understand how to put it into practice. Using an email marketing platform like Mailchimp, you can set up the VIP email sequence, which will entice them to put down a deposit and earn VIP backer status. Once you’ve got their email through the landing page, the sequence can begin.
In the example above, you can see one of our VIP calls to action (CTA). How you construct your emails is up to you, but we recommend including a CTA like this in each of them. Leads at this stage are likely to convert, so you’ll need to nurture them carefully. Here are some email marketing best practices you can use:
- Use urgency to persuade leads to become VIPs (“Limited-time,” “Last chance”)
- Reiterate your product’s USPs
- Create subject lines they will want to open
- Be friendly and personalize your message
Step 4: Reservation Page
You’ve got the infrastructure to build up an impressive email list, so now you’ll need a reservation page to a) communicate the perks of VIP status, and b) facilitate the deposit transaction. You’ll include the link to this page as a hyperlink within each email in the VIP sequence.
The bottom three sections of the page are more or less templatized and should be included no matter what the product or audience. Feel free to copy these directly to your own reservation page!
More importantly, this step of the funnel is where you can finally reveal how much the customer will be saving by becoming a VIP. Be sure to display that information prominently on the page, along with the original MSRP. Financial savings are a major incentive at play here.
On that note, it’s important to resist the urge to use the reservation page as you did with the landing page. This means that you don’t want to advertise your product’s USPs any further. The customer should have gotten that information through the landing page and/or email sequences.
That being said, try to maintain a consistent design between the landing page and reservation page, all the way through to your campaign page. This will strengthen the customer’s trust in your brand, and encourage them to back your crowdfunding campaign.
Step 5: Checkout & Thank You Page
The final elements of the funnel are functional components to finalize the transaction of the VIP deposit. First, you’ll need a checkout page, which you can set up in the payment service of your choice, like Stripe or Square.
There are two key things to note when you’re at this stage in the funnel. One is that you can track those who reach the checkout page but decide not to convert. Those emails should remain in your VIP email sequence, which you can program to message them two to three more times reminding them to get their VIP upgrade for the best discount. Be sure to remove the email addresses of those who either pay or become unresponsive after a certain number of emails!
Second, you’ll be gathering data about how many people are paying for the deposit. Maybe you set it too high, so you can try adjusting it to see if that moves the needle for your conversion rate. Remember, the job is not done until they complete their reservation.
The last step of the funnel is a clean, simple thank you page. You’ll want to have the basic elements that you can see in the example above, like a photo of your product and a message congratulating them on becoming a VIP. But, the thank you page presents another great opportunity to strengthen your brand with the backer.
At this point, they’re quite invested in your product and campaign, so it’s a great opportunity to advertise your social media pages. We always preach to creators the importance of a strong social media presence, because it adds a level of legitimacy to your brand.
Some of our most successful campaign raises happened for products where the creators were extremely engaged with their audience, especially in their VIP Facebook groups.
Don’t forget that although people may have reserved, there’s still at least a 50% chance that they won’t show up to back your campaign. You’ll want to stay active on all social media accounts to not only enhance the strength of your brand but to keep your VIPs aware of the updates on your crowdfunding journey.
I hope these tips help you unlock the potential of your sales funnel. Remember, though, these five steps to building your crowdfunding lead-gen funnel are only for pre-campaign. After your campaign has started, you’ll want to redirect all traffic from the Facebook ads directly to the campaign page on Kickstarter or Indiegogo!
If you’d like to learn more, or you’re interested in gaining access to our massive backer list for your pre-campaign lead funnel, schedule a meeting with us today.