The Four Horsemen of Traffic (to your crowdfunding campaign)

Written by Mike Revie

Understanding the top four sources of traffic to your Kickstarter or Indiegogo campaign

I remember when I was getting started with crowdfunding I would look at multi-million dollar campaigns and ask myself…

Where is all this money coming from!? The campaign creator must have a huge team focusing on hundreds of different sources of traffic to be able to raise this much money!

Turns out I wasn’t completely off base. There are typically hundreds of sources that lead to sales, but it’s a little misleading. When diving into those hundreds of sources, you’ll realize that most of them are part of four distinct categories. And these four distinct categories make up the majority of all the funds raised during campaigns. I like to call them the Four Horsemen of Traffic.

Understanding who the Four Horsemen are makes planning your marketing strategy a lot easier. It allows you to focus on the areas that are going to bring you the most money, which will save you time — the most precious resource you have when planning your crowdfunding campaign.

Here are The Four Horsemen of Traffic:

  1. Pre-Launch Email List
  2. Facebook Advertising
  3. PR & Media Placement
  4. Crowdfunding Platform

Now it’s time for you to get to know each of these different Horsemen a little more deeply.

You build your Pre-Launch Email List before your campaign launches. It is a list of people that are interested in purchasing your product once your campaign launches. There are many different ways to build a Pre-Launch Email List, but my favorite is through Facebook Advertising.

RELATED: Hacking Kickstarter 2.0 (an extremely in-depth, step-by-step guide to launching your product on Kickstarter.)

This Horseman leads the charge. On average, we find that around 90% of the sales from the Pre-Launch Email List will come within the first 48 hours. The goal of the Pre-Launch Email List is to drive sales immediately to your campaign once you launch. Ideally, the traffic from this Horseman alone will be enough to get your campaign funded.

Facebook’s targeting is scary good. So good that other platforms (Google, Twitter, etc.) haven’t even come close to the same return as we’ve seen on Facebook. This is why we tend to spend 100% of our ad budgets on Facebook. Instagram may creep in there sometimes, but it’s owned by Facebook so it still counts as “Facebook Advertising” in my book.

RELATED: Why digital marketing is the key to any successful crowdfunding campaign

This Horseman will fight till the end. The Facebook Advertising Horseman will be with you for the remainder of the campaign after the Pre-Launch Email List has ridden off. Facebook Ads allow you to keep sustained traffic throughout your campaign. Depending on how good the returns are, you can scale up and down as you please.

Landing solid PR provides your campaign with two things:

(1) Credibility — everyone loves to see the “logo clouds” and quotes from top media.

(2) Sales — top tier media placement can put millions of eyeballs on your product which can drive tons of pledges.

BaKblade 2.0 got picked up by Business Insider in the last week of the campaign and raised nearly $200K in 4 days.

The original video that went viral received 30 million views (yes million), 56 thousand likes, 179,115 shares, and 131 thousand comments!

This Horseman fights in waves. Most of the time, the traffic you receive from PR will come in bursts. You’ll get placement on some media site, see a spike in traffic and sales and then see it die down just as fast. Good news is that PR tends to become easier to land with each successful story you get.

I get the question all the time: “why do you launch on Kickstarter or Indiegogo? Shouldn’t you just launch on your own website so you have more control?” There are many reasons why crowdfunding platforms are the best place to launch your product, but the top reason has never changed — crowdfunding platforms have millions of visitors viewing their website every day. Tap into that traffic and you’ll raise a lot more money.

RELATED: 5 reasons why crowdfunding is the best way to launch your new product.

This Horseman never rides alone. If the other three Horsemen don’t show up to the campaign, then this Horseman won’t appear either. Drive sales through your Pre-Launch Email List, Facebook Advertising, and PR and you’ll start to see sales come in from Kickstarter or Indiegogo’s communities. The reason why is because both of the platforms have a ranking system. Generally, the more popular your campaign is, the higher you are in the rankings.

Cool fact: Last time I calculated the percentage of sales from Kickstarter across all our campaigns the number came out to 28.3%. That’s a lot of sales!

These Four Horsemen are almost always going to be one of your top sources of traffic. Plan your marketing strategy around them and you’ll be in a much better position to have a successful campaign.

Next Steps

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