There are few feelings greater than closing the book on a successful crowdfunding campaign. After all of the hard work, uncertainty, and stress, you can finally take a breather as you regroup for the next phase.
Crowdfunding is a long process from start to finish, but if you follow LaunchBoom’s strategy for your Kickstarter or Indiegogo campaign, you’ll have built up a lot of momentum with your backers. The last thing you want to do is let that slip away, which is why it is essential to understand the importance of engaging backers post-campaign.
- Key takeaways for sustaining backer engagement post-campaign
- The importance of maintaining backer engagement after your campaign
- Enhancing engagement during the campaign
- Understanding backer expectations
- Engaging backers after the campaign
- Effective communication strategies
- Gathering and implementing feedback
- Fostering a strong community
- Delivering on promises
- Beyond the campaign
- Case studies and success stories
- Final thoughts
Key takeaways for sustaining backer engagement post-campaign
- Add different reward tiers during your campaign to boost interest and engagement.
- Introduce add-ons and stretch goals mid-campaign to keep backers engaged.
- Be active in the comments section of your campaign and maintain a high-value FAQ regarding the most common backer concerns.
- Understand that backers want post-campaign communication, responsiveness, transparency, and product fulfillment once a campaign has ended.
- Employ effective communication strategies, including updates, and replies to comments, messages and questions.
- Leverage email and social media for far-reaching backer engagement.
- Gather and respond to feedback from comments sections and forums from your most vocal backers.
- Foster a strong community by ensuring that your strongest believers are recognized and allowed to play a role in engaging your audience.
- Deliver on any and all promises, but be sure to communicate if anything goes wrong.
- Use the community you’ve built to bring new products to market and scale your business.
The importance of maintaining backer engagement after your campaign
Instead of losing the momentum you’ve built, we want you to leverage it instead. That all starts with engaging your backers post-campaign. Not only can it help build a positive image for your brand, but it is important for understanding backer expectations regarding your product and building community after crowdfunding.
Keeping backers engaged also goes hand-in-hand with customer service. Remember that these people are trusting that you will deliver on your promise to give them a product eventually, so staying engaged with them is an effective way to keep them in the loop. This level of transparency can go a long way in creating brand loyalty and making sure that you have repeat customers for when you eventually make your transition into e-commerce.
But before getting into how to keep backers engaged post-campaign, it’s essential to build a good foundation of engagement while a campaign is active. Let’s first explore the key concepts you need to know for enhancing backer engagement during your crowdfunding campaign.
Enhancing engagement during the campaign
There are few better feelings than pressing launch on your campaign. After all of the hard work and preparation, it’s a relief to know you can finally go live; however, there’s still work to be done to make sure your audience stays enthusiastic and engaged.
Sometimes, a campaign starts strong from good engagement in the pre-launch phase, but disengaging from backers for the rest of the campaign can lead to cancellations and even less funding than on the first day of launch in some cases.
The goal is not to just simply take their money and run, but to build long-term customers who will follow you long after your crowdfunding days are over. That starts with good backer engagement.
How to keep your Kickstarter and Indiegogo campaign backers enthusiastic & engaged
Keeping backers engaged can be accomplished in a few different ways, from adding reward tiers, upselling with add-ons, to maintaining your campaign’s active FAQs. Let’s explore how to add a reward tier strategy for maintaining backer interest in your campaign.
Adding a reward tier to increase interest
People who are on your pre-launch email list have at least a general idea of what they are getting when they back your campaign. Your core product is the star of the show, but you can generate more interest with potential backers by setting up different reward tiers and packages for people to purchase.
Here’s The Empire sunglasses by William Painter as an example, which raised $865,235 on Kickstarter and Indiegogo InDemand:
We started the campaign off with a “Launch Special” reward tier to give the earliest backers a chance for the best possible price.
- Launch Special — $114
Quantity limit: 300
Time limit: beginning of launch until midnight that night
By offering the lowest price and making this package a limited quantity, it gave the first day of the campaign a massive boost in backer engagement because of how many people were eager to pledge at this price.
We continued to stack discounted deals by slightly increasing the price of this reward tier over the course of the first few days, giving those who missed launch day a chance to get a good price.
Other examples of reward tiers from this campaign looked like this:
- Double Pack — $215
Quantity limit: unlimited
Time limit: entire campaign
- Four-Pack — $395
Quantity limit: unlimited
Time limit: entire campaign
Multi-packs are very effective reward tiers for smaller products, because they provide bigger discounts compared to just buying one at base value. One pair of the sunglasses with the best discount was $114, while a Double Pack allowed you to get two for $107.50 each.
Introducing add-ons for enhanced backer involvement
Kickstarter and Indiegogo have a feature called add-ons, which can be utilized in the middle of a campaign to great effect. Most campaigns lose steam after the first week of being live, and introducing add-ons for backers to tack onto their original pledge is an effective way to boost engagement and revenue.
But how do you know if crowdfunding add-ons are the right move for your campaign? By allowing some time as the campaign runs to gather feedback from your backers and possibly crowdsource ideas, you can easily create the perfect add-on for your product. Just be sure to communicate this with all of your backers via your multichannel marketing strategy.
Setting stretch goals to sustain momentum
Stretch goals are special rewards that will unlock as the campaign hits certain funding milestones. They are another creative way to boost engagement during your campaign and are unique to crowdfunding. Here’s an example of a stretch goal idea to illustrate how it works from the Creed’s Codex campaign, which raised $52,277 on Kickstarter:
The creator defined nine different funding goals that would unlock a new reward for backers each time, giving their audience more incentive to spread the word on the campaign in order to hit every stretch goal.
This reward mechanic is a fun way to try and sustain funding momentum, and works extremely well with game-type products.
Maintaining an active FAQ for transparency and trust
Potential backers are always on the lookout for information that can help them decide to back your product. Good crowdfunding FAQ management and clarity is the perfect way to be transparent with them and build the trust needed to secure a pledge.
Only backers can ask questions to creators directly or post in the comments tab; however, campaigns have an FAQ tab that potential backers can read, so it’s important to have this section filled out for them. Here are some tips you can follow for an effective FAQ
- Include technical specifications and compatibility information
- Provide realistic information about delivery timelines
- Be honest about how your funds will be used
If there is vital information in the FAQ that you could not fit onto your main campaign page, be sure to direct readers’ attention to it very clearly.
Understanding backer expectations
The core of engaging backers post-campaign is understanding how to manage their expectations. You’re likely to get lots of feedback on your campaign in real time, and people will always be vocal about their concerns. You want to be able to dispel any uncertainties backers have.
That starts with knowing what backers in crowdfunding want after a campaign ends, as well as how to implement effective backer update techniques.
What backers really want after the campaign ends
Let’s look at the four biggest things your backers will want from you after your crowdfunding campaign has successfully finished.
- Communication: The last thing any backer wants is radio silence once a campaign is over. You’ve likely done a good job up to this point communicating with your audience to drive traffic to your campaign, so it’s essential to not let that slip away. For the most part, your backers are excited to be part of your company’s processes from here on out. They are sure to stay engaged with you and your business as long as you continue to communicate.
- Responsiveness: No doubt you’ll have a lot to do in the weeks and months following your campaign, but please make your best effort to be responsive to your backers. It may not always be realistic to answer every question, but try to be timely with the ones you can answer. Backers like to stay engaged in the comments section of campaigns, so don’t hesitate to interact with them there.
- Transparency: People who back crowdfunding projects generally know about delays and potential mishaps that can happen while waiting for products to be manufactured. That being said, they also expect transparency from creators when things do go wrong. If you’re worried about people jumping ship after a bump in the road, trust us when we say they are more resilient than that. Being honest and giving frequent updates is part of good customer service, so always be transparent.
- Delivery: Finally, the last thing people expect is that they will get their product. The more you engage with your audience on the road to final delivery, the less likely you are to get complaints and angry emails demanding answers. As long as you can deliver in the end, the more likely your backers will be to stick by you in your next campaign or e-commerce venture.
We’ll touch on these a little bit more later, but now that you know what backers expect, we can start exploring how to engage with them after your crowdfunding campaign.
Engaging backers after the campaign
From announcing potential add-ons to your InDemand page, to keeping people up-to-date on the status of their products, there are many reasons for engaging backers post-campaign. These people are along for the ride with you and your product, and are enthusiastic to continue engaging with you after you’ve reached your funding goals.
If you’re continuing to run on InDemand, your audience will continue to grow, so it’s important to keep them excited and informed. To do that, you need to reach out to them through various channels to keep them involved.
Reach out to your backers for continued involvement
There are many ways to reach out to backers once a campaign has wrapped up. Some of the common channels we see creators use besides platform updates include: social media, email newsletters, forums, blogs, and feedback boards.
Trying to do everything is asking a lot of yourself and your team, so choose the ones where you see the most engagement to begin with. The more effective you can be on the fewest amount of engagement channels, the more you can concentrate on what matters: the manufacturing of your product.
Effective communication strategies
One of the first things you’ll probably do is send out updates to your backers through the crowdfunding platforms themselves. Kickstarter and Indiegogo have an “updates” feature built in that lets you send blurbs to everyone who has backed your campaign.
This is an effective communication strategy to directly reach all of your backers, but you’ll want to expand your reach to other platforms. As your product continues to live on InDemand and you continue running live ads, your audience will keep growing bigger. As a result, having more communication channels open will help you to achieve maximum backer engagement.
Best practices for communicating with backers post-campaign
Besides sending out major updates via Kickstarter and Indiegogo, there are several best practices to follow for engaging with backers.
- Continue steady updates: Keeping backers notified on what’s going on post-campaign promotes a sense of community. You can set expectations for backers and commit to an update schedule, or just release information as it becomes available.
- Contact individual backers: This isn’t necessary for all, but is a nice thing to do when you want to extend gratitude to those who pledged substantial amounts of money. Other instances of contacting individual backers may include needing additional information for fulfillment or handling individual complaints.
- Continue replying to comments, messages and questions: Your audience will likely continue commenting or sending you direct messages after the campaign is over. We suggest that you reply in a timely manner as much as possible.
And when you notice common concerns from multiple backers, it’s best to address them in ways that reach the most backers at once. Email and social media are great tools for this job.
Utilizing email and social media for ongoing engagement
Emails have been one of your key channels for communicating thus far. You can build an email list of just backers, and use this channel as a means of sending relevant updates to them.
Another great way to use the email format is to put out a newsletter. The email doesn’t just have to be for product updates, as you can use it in ways that provide other value to your backers. This not only fosters community with them, but helps in building your brand’s voice.
Don’t write content that is just going to end up in the spam folder. Make content that they will actually care about! If you are feeling pressured by too frequent of an email update schedule, scale it down a bit so that you don’t put out emails that are of no substance. At the bare minimum, you want to provide updates at least once a month.
Social media is an essential ingredient for good backer engagement and can be used for content ranging from behind-the-scenes posts to addressing customer service questions. Social media has a broad reach and is highly engaging, but it is a public forum with a vast user base.
Be aware that important questions and concerns from backers can get lost in the noise of social media, so be thorough when looking through comments to make sure you are engaging with the most important topics.
The importance of regular updates and transparency
As we touched on earlier, you have a built-in understanding with your crowdfunding audience that they’ll sometimes need to be patient to receive their product. Do not take advantage of this leeway.
Regular updates and full transparency are the only tools you have in reinforcing trust with backers. The more you share, the more they can feel that they aren’t getting scammed. If you don’t want people pulling demanding refunds en masse, do your best to be thorough with major updates regarding the progress of your fulfillment.
Gathering and implementing feedback
Feedback is one of the greatest gifts you receive from backers besides their funding. Crowdfunding audiences are made up of innovators and early adopters, two groups who relish in being part of product development. As a result, they are a great source of constructive feedback. It’s up to you to apply effective backer feedback implementation.
How to effectively collect and use backer feedback
The first place you can effectively collect feedback is in the comments section of your campaign page. People who have backed can leave comments here, and will be highly inclined to since they now have a financial stake in your product. Be sure to check this section daily after your campaign is over, and address each comment and concern.
Setting up a forum for your backers to share feedback and opinions is another efficient way to gather all user feedback in one convenient place. This also gives backers a chance to interact with one another, helping to create a thriving community around your brand.
Making backers feel valued through their contributions
Some backers will naturally rise to the top and set themselves apart as super backers. These people can be like evangelists for your product and be leading voices in your efforts to keep backers involved after funding.
You can make them feel valued in a couple of ways. First, you can award them with moderator privileges, which is very useful if you have a forum set up. Another way to show how much you value them is to shout them out in your social media channels. If they’ve contributed something meaningful, be sure to recognize them for the rest of your backers to see.
Fostering a strong community
Fostering a healthy and active community around your brand is one of the key steps when eventually deciding to scale your business. If you can build a strong customer base now, you’ll have an important resource to draw on later.
But when it comes to post-crowdfunding community management, the quality of voices in the community can be just as impactful as the quantity.
Building and nurturing a community around your brand
It has never been easier than it is now to nurture a community of online strangers around a unifying voice. That unifying voice has to be you and your brand, because a strong community is built on true believers.
True believers are the people who aren’t just telling their friends and family about your product, but are in the forums and social groups everyday engaging the community for you and creating a sense of camaraderie. These are the voices that can be leveraged to continue nurturing an ever-growing community.
Leveraging forums and social groups for continuous engagement
In order to identify these prominent supporters in your forums and social groups, you need to be on the lookout for characteristics of the true believers. These are the people who can make a real difference in the effectiveness of your overall engagement strategy. These backers display:
- Responsiveness: The biggest believers in your brand will not only be responsive to you, but they’ll be quick to lend their voice towards helping others in the community. These backers want to be engaging on your behalf, and will also be quick to share content that you provide on your channels.
- Generosity: Besides having given you money to bring your product to life, these super backers are generous with their time. If they’re willing to moderate forums for you, or answer questions on social media, it shows they are committed to your brand and community.
- Sustained passion: Sometimes the loudest voices can flame out quickly. Look for those who have stuck with you for longer and have been consistent. These backers will be a strong asset during challenging times in the future.
The social nature of these platforms is what allows your tribe to find each other. Use that built-up camaraderie to power your growing brand.
Delivering on promises
There are many post-campaign dos and don’ts, but product fulfillment is the ultimate non-negotiable of post-campaign backer retention. This doesn’t just stop at delivering the products and rewards you promised, it also encompasses inventory management, order processing, packaging, and shipping.
Generating the funding necessary to fulfill successfully is a gratifying thing, but you can’t let your backers lose faith in your ability to keep your end of the bargain. While constant engagement plays an important role, executing on a sound fulfillment plan is more important in sustaining backer relationships post-campaign.
Ensuring timely delivery of rewards
Let’s look at a brief overview of what you need in place to make sure you can get your product into the hands of your backers.
- Inventory management and storage: You need to make sure you have a place to store your products once they are manufactured. On top of that, you need a way to manage your inventory and quality control everything before it goes out.
- Order processing and packaging: There are automated systems available that can streamline order processing. Also, make sure to package everything securely to give your backers a high-quality boxing experience.
- Shipping and logistics: Collaborate with reliable shipping solutions that can service your backers no matter where they are. Be sure to communicate ways backers can track their shipments.
Getting these systems in place will take careful planning from the start, so if you’re still in the pre-campaign phase, make sure you map out your fulfillment plan.
Handling delays and setbacks professionally
Nobody is perfect, and setbacks can happen. The only thing you can control sometimes is how you handle these tribulations when they occur.
If you’ve been honest and transparent with your backers until now, it’s likely that they are with you. Continue to be a reassuring voice that they can depend on when there are setbacks, and never stop with positive engagement until the day backers receive your product.
Beyond the campaign
After product fulfillment, what’s next? Your post-crowdfunding engagement strategy should be driven by the LaunchBoom framework of “test, launch, scale.” If you’re not familiar with it, here’s a visual aid to illustrate:
To help succeed in your crowdfunding follow up, you can leverage the community you’ve built and start transitioning them from crowdfunding backers to long-term e-commerce customers.
Transitioning backers to long-term customers
To help get your scaling efforts off the ground, it’s vital to build long-term backer relationships. If you’ve been maintaining backer interest after your campaign, you can reward them by giving first access to updates and announcements since they have stuck with you the longest. But not only should they be the first to know, you can consider giving them exclusive discounts and early-access when your e-commerce site eventually goes live.
Introducing new products and offers to your backer community
As businesses start to take off, we sometimes see brands plan to introduce new products. Thanks to the LaunchBoom cyclical framework of “test, launch, scale,” they are able to return to crowdfunding to repeat the process of validation to bring a new idea to market.
The beauty here is that you have a massive list of backers, customers, and community members who have supported your brand up until now. As long as you’ve continued engaging with them in an effective way, the announcement of a new product launch would be enough to kickstart significant momentum for your next campaign.
This is where all that hard work in backer engagement can pay off. The snowball continues to roll down the hill and get bigger, and you can keep scaling into the seven-figure e-commerce business you’ve always dreamed of.
Case studies and success stories
We’ve discussed the ins and outs of backer engagement, but it’s time to see what strong examples of crowdfunding follow-up best practices look like. Let’s look at some examples of mid- and post-campaign backer engagement via Kickstarter updates using LIVSN’s Century Jacket as an example, a campaign that raised $456,355 on that platform.
Real examples of post-campaign backer engagement done right
Here’s an example of a simple update to backers in the early stages of the campaign:
By sharing their enthusiasm for their big accomplishment here and on other channels, they demonstrate how you can create that sense of community.
Moving on to after the campaign has finished. Let’s look at a later update.
This is their sixth update, where they lay out crucial production updates and information regarding add-ons. These messages have a personal touch, and bring people back to the campaign page to engage in the comments with questions regarding the important production update.
Lastly, let’s look at how they updated their backers on product fulfillment.
This is the day all backers have been waiting for. By sending out a simple and informative message, they prove how easy post-Kickstarter backer communication can be in keeping followers engaged.
There’s no secret formula for engaging backers pre-, mid-, and post-campaign. The best thing you can do is to stick to some of the key principles of backer engagement discussed in this article. Do that, and you’ll be able to build the following around your brand that you’ve always hoped for.
But if you’re still unsure about anything, or would like expert guidance on how best to engage your backers, click the button at the bottom of this page, fill out a short questionnaire, and we’ll connect with you to help you perfect your strategy.