How Crowdfunding Success Begins with an Email
- Why do I need to market my crowdfunding campaign?
- How can I use email marketing to attract potential backers?
- How do I plan an effective email marketing campaign?
Let's say you have a crowdfunding campaign all set up and ready to go. How do you get the word out?
It's not as easy as you might think. Crowdfunding sites host thousands of campaigns that are all competing for potential backers. Even if you have a great idea or product, getting noticed takes a lot of work.
Wait, isn't attracting backers why you put a project on a crowdfunding site in the first place? Yes, but the truth is that in today's world, even Edison's "light bulb" idea would benefit from a smart marketing plan.
There are a lot of marketing strategies, channels, and platforms to choose from. Which is the most effective strategy to attract potential backers to your crowdfunding campaign?
An email campaign is the most effective way to attract potential backers: Email marketing is 34% more effective than other forms of outreach for crowdfunding campaigns.
Crowdfunding isn't just about building brand awareness or gathering followers, it's about gaining momentum and attracting potential backers quickly.
Campaigns that raise 30% to 50% or more of their goal in the first 48 hours raise 47% more money on average on Indiegogo. That means that all of your pre-launch planning should focus on your launch day.
With a limited time frame to reach your goal, using broader outreach tactics simply isn't efficient. That's why email works: It's an active form of communication that lets you speak directly to your target audience.
On average, people engage with an email longer than a tweet or a post because it's considered a more serious form of communication. This gives you the time to explain the idea in detail, and how backing it will benefit them.
But how do you find people to contact? The best email lists consist of customers that you have developed a relationship with over time.
First, email your closest contacts, which includes family and friends. Send them a personalized message with a specific call to action, or CTA, that will lead them to your campaign page.
Next, message larger contact groups, like co-workers and business associates. Once you've established support from those 2 groups, message peripheral contacts, like your college's alumni email list.
You can build your email list by going to or hosting events. Connecting with communities is the first step for most successful campaigns.
Use your social presence: Create a CTA on your personal and social channels that encourage potential backers to sign up for your emails and get in on the action early.
Ready to send? Wait a second. People get several emails a day soliciting everything from TVs to travel, and many remain unopened or in the spam folder.
The hardest part about email marketing is getting people to actually open the emails. So before you get into thinking about the email's content, you'll need to come up with an effective email subject line.
A good email subject line is to-the-point but also hints at the story behind your idea. There isn't one way to come up with one, but here a few pointers: Don't be generic, make it feel personal, and create a sense of urgency.
Is this a good email subject line?
- "Bright Bark: Smart Nutrition for Your Pup, Over 60% Off For a Limited Time"
- This subject line works because it starts telling the product's story (smart nutrition) and also creates a sense of urgency.
- "WENDY'S WONDER ONESIES: LET'S MAKE IT HAPPEN"
- This subject line doesn't work because it sounds generic. ("Let's make it happen" is an overused subject line in email marketing.) Also, it's usually not a good idea to use all caps in an email subject line.
- "The Wonder Water System: Claim Your Early Discount Today"
- This subject line works because it gives potential backers an incentive to take action immediately.
- "A Message from Jean's Six-Pocket Jeans: Help Me!"
- This subject line doesn't work because it feels as if Jean is asking for a handout. Remember to treat contacts not as donors, but as potential entrepreneurs.
The official email campaign should start a week before the launch, and every piece of communication should work to build momentum and create anticipation.
One week before launch: Send an email reminding your audience about the upcoming campaign, and that they're eligible for a secret deal or special pricing.
3 days before launch: Send another email sharing the specifics of the deal and letting your backers know the exact time of launch.
Launch day: Send an email when you launch letting people know it's go time. A good launch email has a strong CTA and a high-res photo that gets people excited about the project.
These early emails aren't only good for creating anticipation. By offering different price points pre-launch, you can gauge people's reactions and get a real market estimation of your product's value.
If you have a big email list, use an email platform like MailChimp or Constant Contact. This will allow you to send a variety of emails and increase your email open rates.
The first days of a crowdfunding campaign are crucial to its success. This is the time to build on the momentum you created in the pre-launch phase.
During the second week after launch, email everyone who hasn't contributed yet and offer them one final deal. Remind them that even if they can't contribute, they can offer support by spreading the word to their friends.
During the campaign, you can have flash sales, boost efforts on social media, and create messaging with a "last chance" offer.
Once the crowdfunding campaign has finished and the product has launched in the market, raise the price so that your backers feel like they got a special deal. Most importantly, send an email thanking them, because they are your future clientele.
Now that you've learned how to create an email marketing plan for a crowdfunding campaign, let's create a sample email subject line for your campaign.
- What’s your product’s name? (Vohu Studio)
- What perk would you like to offer potential backers? (Free web presence consultation)
- How long will the offer last? (48 hours)
Use this sample email subject line in a future crowdfunding campaign to help attract potential backers.
“Vohu Studio: Get your free web presence consultation) in the next 48 hours”
References: Google Webmasters, Think With Google, Google Primer