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Crowdfunding Campaign Checklist – Don’t Forget These Items!

Published by Salvador Briggman. Find him on Twitter.

So you drive a bunch of traffic to your crowdfunding campaign, tell all your friends about it, and maybe get featured on a few blogs. You go to bed, eager to see the results of all your hard work in the morning, and…nothing happens. There are no pledges. Despite tracking your traffic using bitly or owly, none of the visitors are converting into backers.

At this point, if you’ve driven relevant traffic, you might ask yourself “Do people not care about this type of project, or am I doing something wrong with the presentation?”

This checklist will help you deal with the latter question, addressing everything from copywriting, to video length, to the structure of your reward tiers.

Video

video

  • Keep it under 3 minutes. Our attention span tends to drift even at 2 minutes.
  • Include an attractive thumbnail. You never know where you video may be embedded on the web. Having a great thumbnail can mean the difference between someone clicking “play” or closing the browser window.
  • Change the camera angle on your video. I’d recommend changing the camera angle/view either every 30 or 45 seconds to keep potential backers engaged. For example, you could turn to face a new camera angle or cut to a demo of the product. It keeps the video interesting.
  • Don’t just focus on the product. Provide some insight behind your dreams and vision for the product. Why are you doing this? What are you passionate about? Also be sure to include tidbits that emphasize your credibility. Why can you pull this off?
  • Don’t just focus on yourself. Highlight why these rewards are compelling to backers. How will this product change their lives for the better or what problem does it solve in the world? What value are you going to be delivering to your supporters through this project?

 

Copywriting

copywriting

  • Use headlines to break up text. There’s nothing more straining to the eyes than huge blocks of text on the computer screen. They are intimidating and not scanner friendly. Use headlines to break up these sections of text and demonstrate the point you will be making with the next paragraph.
  • Short paragraphs and topic sentences. This may seem like a no brainer, but in an information saturated internet world, short paragraphs that are scannable win out. Make sure the first sentence of each paragraph highlights the point you are going to make, with the paragraph including the supporting points.
  • Read it out loud. Read your campaign pitch out loud. If its difficult to read out loud, you may need to cut some sentences or rephrase paragraphs to make sure they convey your mission accurately. In addition, you’ll quickly pick up on awkward grammar or misspellings.
  •  Use pictures, bold words, and italics. Not only will pictures help to break up blocks of text, but the human eye is trained to look at images first. This is why facebook posts with pictures and links tend to have better conversion rates. Bold words and italics can also help you emphasize different portions of your pitch and convey tone.
  • Include a call to action. All of your text should lead up to one call to action, which should be included at the end of your pitch or alluded to in each section in case your potential backer doesn’t have the time to read through all the text on your kickstarter campaign page. For more information about crafting a call to action, check out: 20 Mistakes that Will Undermine Your Call to Action and Cost You Sales.

 

Reward Tiers

 

rewards

  • Gradual progression. Rather than having your rewards jump from $10 to $60, include a reward tier in-between for backers that might not be able to afford the higher tiers and still want to support your project.
  • Early bird specials. You can use early bird specials to reward backers that pledge early for your campaign. You can also use these specials to create a sense of urgency and encourage backers to take action now rather than later.
  • Market them separately. Market your reward tiers separately because the person that backs you at the $1 or $5 tier likely has different motives than the person who backs you at the $30 tier or the $200 tier. Some backers may just want to support your campaign. Others may want to own the product you are creating.
  • Involve the backers in the creative process. The purpose of reward tiers is to involve your backers in the creative process and convey a sense of ownership in your project. Give them the ability to have an impact on the outcome of your project, be it letting them name characters in your novel or write a piece of dialogue for your screenplay.
  • Use limited edition rewards. It’s true that these types of rewards seem “special” or create a sense of urgency, but they are also a great way to thank your backers for supporting your campaign.

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  • BAO Candles

    Great article! Thanks!

    • CrowdCrux

      Glad it was helpful!

  • Alexander Hadjidakis
    • CrowdCrux

      Congrats on reaching your goal!

  • xo7brainiac

    Great collection of tips! We used a few of them already…just started my Little Runaway app on Kickstarter:
    http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/xo7brainiac/little-runaway

    • CrowdCrux

      Glad they were useful. Any other topics you would like to see covered?

  • Camazine

    Good tips. Especially like the ones about the video. Just started my project: Using CT scans of animal skulls to print sculptures. Check out my @kickstarter project: http://kck.st/19uUDNC

    • CrowdCrux

      Woah. That’s a neat idea. Glad the tips were helpful :). Have you reached out to any 3d printing or art bloggers?

      • Camazine

        Have been checking out the 3D printing blogs. Thought I should try to find bloggers reporting on Art, Sculpture, Nature, etc.

        • CrowdCrux

          Keep me updated 🙂

          • Camazine

            Just had a nice article on the project at 3D Printing Industry: @3dprintindustry featured my @kickstarter project: From Nature to Art and Back Again http://bit.ly/17wEeJ2

            Hoping it will generate some interest!

          • CrowdCrux

            Congrats! Sorry for my late reply. Did it help out?

  • David Delamare

    Great checklist! A tip to creators who want to offer limited editions. When we launched our campaign at http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1954507197/alice-in-wonderland-book-illustrated-by-david-dela?ref=live we didn’t know that backers can’t choose more than one reward. What happened was that a backer would choose one limited reward, then go to another and attempt to add it. When they did this, they would lose the first. So please be sure to make it clear to backers that, while it’s fine to add to their pledges, but if they want a limited item it needs to be specifically reserved. (We Fortunately (and here’s another tip) we had reserved a few books from each level for our private collection. We sacrificed some of these to rescue backers that had inadvertently lost their first limited item. If this isn’t clear, feel free to message us with questions. We don’t want to see others make this mistake.—Wendy & David

    • CrowdCrux

      That’s a really good tip to keep in mind. Thanks for sharing it!

  • Madeline Scherb

    Great tips. These are really ready-to-use in our pre-launch phase. Thanks.

    • CrowdCrux

      Thanks! Let me know if you’d be interested in sampling my ebook (free) in your pre-launch phase :). Email: sbriggman@crowdcrux.com

  • Megan S

    Thank you for these tips. I’m just in the pre planning stage of my first Kickstarter project, I believe these tips will really help me.

    • CrowdCrux

      Glad they are helpful. If you’re interested in getting some free exposure when you launch, would be happy to tweet out your campaign if you would be willing to test-drive this new product I’m working on :). My email is sbriggman@crowdcrux.com

      • Megan S

        Thank you for this. I’ve sent you an email.

  • Sharon Martinez

    I think I covered most of the items in your checklist… Please check my kickstarter project. http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/128243552/mudtails-fun-and-educational-apparel Would love for you to tweet about it!

  • Brilliant Tips! Thanks. I am currently running a campaign through Indiegogo Please check my project – Kainda ‘The Hunter’s Daughter’ at link: http://igg.me/at/Kainda/x/6343328 It would really appreciate your love and support.
    Cheers!

  • Krōm Billiards

    Wish I would have found this prior to launching my first campaign. I’ll definitely use it for my future ones. Thanks!

    • CrowdCrux

      Definitely. 🙂

  • Jane Cui

    I launched my campaign today. https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/175904768/awesome-sat-gre-flashcards

    I don’t know anything about crowdfunding, and I didn’t know that you had to do things ahead of time to prepare. Now I feel like I’m not going to reach my goal. But the article gives me hope. If I fail this time, I can always try again at least.

    • CrowdCrux

      Well, let me know if I can help answer any questions you have!

      • Jane Cui

        Thanks! It feels good to have someone’s support 🙂

  • olivia

    http://www.gofundme.com/8fguxo

    Hi there,
    I am doing a charity/volunteer trip around Europe and I have just set up the page, and it needs a kickstart. I appreciate any amount – even £1 would help me! All the money is going into a cause – and I am funding the rest of the trip with my money alone – which isn’t a lot either, but it’s a chance to help people and do some good.

    I’d be very grateful if you could take a look – thank you!

    Olivia

  • Zach Dycus(Kangeaux)

    Well like so many others I have seen below, I’m in the same boat. I’ve got a campaign in progress and sure wish that I had found this site prior to my launch. So much great information, thank you! I’m fairly certain we won’t meet our goal but its been a great way to learn from our mistakes and will make us stronger for a more precisely planned relaunch.

    • CrowdCrux

      Glad the site is helpful and yes, if you don’t reach your goal the first time, you can always plan a relaunch. I have seen people who have failed the first two times even, and then were successful on the third attempt.

  • I’m pretty stoked, pretty sure I ticked most of these boxes! Just launched my Kickstarter today, too! kck.st/1be2ZyE

    • CrowdCrux

      Good luck! Thanks for sharing your project!

  • Hi Sal,

    Could you also mention this toolkit/checklist for reference:

    http://www.giftsandcoupons.com/blog/checklist-launching-successful-crowdfunding-campaign