When you follow the LaunchBoom system in the leadup to a crowdfunding campaign, the beginning of your launch will be full of action. Most campaigns experience a surge of funding in the first few days, which is exciting, but pledges typically drop off and momentum seemingly dies.
You might feel a sense of panic, which is natural if you’re new to crowdfunding. Unfortunately, this opens you up to email spammers claiming to be able to solve this “problem” if you just give them more of your money to help boost your campaign.
The first thing you need to do is accept that this slump will occur, and it doesn’t mean your campaign is failing. The second thing is to let us assure you that there are strategies you can employ to drive more sales to your crowdfunding campaign without the help of scammers.
One of those strategies is collaborating with other creators for a cross-promotion.
What is cross-promotion in crowdfunding?
Firstly, what is cross-promotion?
The cross-promotion definition in marketing is when different brands team up to target each other’s customer bases. It can be something as calculated as two companies offering joint product promotions to customers, or something as organic as a professional basketball player being seen at a professional baseball game in the same city they play for.
A cross-promotion in crowdfunding works much in the same way. The most commonly employed method of how to cross-promote in this space is when two or more different creators mutually agree to showcase the others’ campaign to their backers.
But why cross-promote with another creator in the first place?
Why cross-promote with other businesses?
In a purely capitalistic sense, you may be inclined to think of other creators on your chosen crowdfunding platform as competition. So why would you want to drive traffic to other campaign pages when a single bounce from your own page could be the difference between a pledge and a loss.
Firstly, consider that many of your peers in crowdfunding are small businesses just like you; the cost-to-benefit ratio of cross-promoting with each other far outweighs any potential downsides.
In fact, cross-promoting doesn’t have to cost you anything at all. Most of the time it’s a completely free initiative agreed upon by two mutually interested parties. The only thing it really costs is time.
And if you’re running your campaign on Kickstarter, their platform makes it easy to reach out to other creators directly to set up cross-promotions. Indiegogo, on the other hand, only allows you to message campaigns to whom you have backed. This severely limits your ability to reach out to others on Indiegogo unless you happen to know another creator personally and have their contact information. While this does put Indiegogo at a disadvantage, there are other ways to promote your campaign on that platform.
To fully reap the benefits of cross-promoting in crowdfunding, host your campaign on Kickstarter and start reaching out early to other businesses you are interested in supporting.
Benefits of cross-promotion in crowdfunding campaigns
The benefits of cross-promotion are many, and as we’ve mentioned only end up costing you time spent finding a willing partner and highlighting them on your campaign page or in your updates. Let’s explore some of those benefits further.
More audience, more visibility
It goes without saying, but more eyes seeing your campaign page has the potential to lead to more conversions.
Think of a cross-promotion as free email marketing. Creators often promote campaigns through their platform’s Updates feature. When updates get posted here, everyone who has backed their campaign gets an email notification, which they’re very likely to open.
If you can get a cross-promotion set up with another successful campaign in a similar product niche, that’s potentially hundreds of new potential backers being told about your product.
When you build your prelaunch email list using the $1 reservation strategy, you’re leveraging the concept of a highly qualified audience to drive more conversions on your crowdfunding campaign. Cross-promotions operate on the same principle.
The average conversion rate on cross-promotion in crowdfunding has been shown to be about 8%, compared to the average rate of 3% without. The increase in conversion rate happens because those being told about the cross-promotion have just backed a campaign from a brand they trust.
Backers who see these promotions are more likely to support another campaign because a creator they trust recommended that they do so. Add to that the fact that they are already very familiar with crowdfunding and the cross-promotion may be similar to the other product they just backed, and you have a new list of very qualified leads.
Safe space for tests
Knowing that your campaign is being promoted to a highly qualified audience affords you some space to test new ways to advertise your product. Here’s what a cross-promotion in campaign updates might look like:
There’s a headline, a hero image, and some copy at the bottom describing some key features of the product. If you have some new images or copy you’ve been wanting to try, or some cool features you haven’t been able to showcase in other ads, this is the perfect place to try them out.
There’s nothing wrong with using what has been working best up to this point, but knowing that your cross-promotion has a higher conversion rate built-in gives you the chance to try — and possibly discover — something new.
So how do you put all of these ideas into action? Let’s explore the ins and outs of how to cross-promote with other businesses in crowdfunding.
How to set up your cross-promotion campaign
One of the best things about cross-promotions is that they’re not that difficult to set up. As mentioned before it just takes a little bit of your time — and that all starts with outreach. Let’s go over how to do that.
Step 1: Go to Kickstarter’s Discover page
Kickstarter’s Discover page is where your outreach begins for your cross-promotion campaign. You can search for any campaign that’s ever been held on Kickstarter, so narrow your search down to ones that are currently active in the product category you’re in.
You can try reaching out to creators in unrelated categories, but only if you feel strongly about a mutual partnership that your backers will genuinely like.
Step 2: Refine your search and find the perfect match
One of the first rules of finding a match for cross-promotion in crowdfunding is to avoid a product that could potentially substitute yours. If you expose your backers to a product that’s more appealing than yours — or vice versa — you’re setting yourself up for some problems.
As mentioned, the first filter you want to apply to your search is for live campaigns. Another useful filter to try is “amount pledged.” This will let you reach out to campaigns similar to yours in backer count. Generally speaking, you don’t want to reach out to campaigns with significantly more backers; this wouldn’t be a fair trade for the other creator.
Step 3: Reach out
When you’ve found some campaigns that fit the right criteria, open their profile to find the “Contact Me” button and send them a well-crafted pitch for a cross-promotion.
Here’s a simple template you can use:
I love the detail and design of your [campaign name or product].
I thought I’d reach out to see if you were interested in doing a cross-promotion where we mention one another’s campaigns in an update. I think my backers would love your campaign!
You can check out my campaign here: [your crowdfunding campaign URL].
If you’re interested, please send me the link, text, and picture you’d like me to use.
You can expect to get responses to your outreach within a day or two. Don’t feel discouraged if you receive a couple of rejections. You may even be lucky and have a few creators reach out to you instead.
Step 4: Post updates
Now that you have a creator or two (three maximum) who have agreed to cross-promote your campaign, the final step is to post about them in campaign updates. How you do this is important, though.
It may be tempting to lead an update with cross-promotions, but we recommend shouting out the other campaigns at the end of your update — not at the beginning. You always want the focus of your campaign updates to be about your own, and it’s best to avoid being overly promotional with your backers. This could come across as spammy and drive them away from who you’re promoting.
Knowing how cross-promotions work in theory is great, but it’s important to also see it in practice. Let’s look at a couple of successful cross-promotion examples used by past LaunchBoom clients.
DMOS Alpha Shovel and Pocket Samurai
Here’s an example of an update sent by the creators of the DMOS Alpha Shovel ($177,496 raised on Kickstarter) to their backers promoting the Pocket Samurai campaign. Both were products useful to outdoor audiences and had a similar amount of backers, which made it a good match for cross-promotion.
Pocket Samurai promoted DMOS to their backers in return, resulting in a nice boost in funding for our client. Take a look at this screenshot from Google Analytics detailing some of the numbers from this successful cross-promotion.
This wonderfully illustrates how you could be leaving money on the table by ignoring the cross-promotion strategy, especially if you’re running your campaign on Kickstarter.
Satu Adventure Pants
In this example we’ll look at the campaign for Satu Adventure Pants and how they included the maximum recommended three cross-promotions. Let’s look at how they properly formatted their update to their backers.
The start of their update is Satu-focused, keeping their own campaign top-of-mind for backers. Part of good post-campaign communication is giving updates on milestones like the survey, so that takes precedence over cross-promotions.
After the important updates, though, Satu shared about the three other campaigns they had partnered with all in the same update. Combining these promotions with a backer-relevant update helps to ensure that they can get eyes on the other campaigns.
Cross-promotion is most successful when executed in this fashion, and it certainly provided a bump in exposure to three highly qualified audiences for Satu. As a result, they went on to raise a total of $665,654 by the end of their campaign.
Final thoughts on cross-promotions in crowdfunding
Launching your campaign is a wonderful feeling, and you should want to let as many people know about it as possible! You could spread the word through strategies like clever PR management and influencer marketing, but the underestimated tactic of cross-promoting with other crowdfunding creators is a potential goldmine waiting to be tapped.
But if you’re not still not sure about the best way to maximize cross-promotions for your campaign, or if you’d like to chat about anything crowdfunding-related, fill out a form at the bottom of this page to set up an appointment with one of our product launch experts.