Crowdfunding marketing - Email marketing (from leads to backers)
Just landed on this article without reading the first chapter of the story? Make sure to check “The five pillars of crowdfunding marketing – Part one” before proceeding.
Even if you have a solid social media and PR strategy in place, there is no guarantee that the traffic you have led by utilizing these channels will translate into funds. That’s where your email marketing strategy steps into the spotlight. Email marketing is not just about spreading the word to the crowd. If done right, its main purpose is nurturing a strong relationship with your backers – the kind of relationship that will convert your email list into backers and ambassadors of your project.
The rookie mistake many creators make when utilizing email marketing is directly trying to force the product on their email list. It’s not hard to see how the results from these cold emails will be disastrous. To turn your leads into backers, you have to build a flow of strategic movements, focused on promoting trust and credibility and not just direct sales. With your first few emails, you goal should be focusing on the “why” – the core belief of your business.
According to Simon Sinek, the main difference between companies like “Apple” and everyone else is that the “Apple-s” of the world always start with why. To define this concept, Sinek has developed the so-called “Golden Circle” model, which suggests that all inspiring leaders start with “why” and follow up with “how” and “what”.
To clarify this concept, let’s look at the crowdfunding marketing communication of one of our latest clients – Space Store.
Notice the initial focus on “why” – “Our mission? To bring Space to Earth”, followed by “how” and “what” – Based in the UK, we have combined our expertise in the space, retail and F&B industries to create educational and exciting experiences.”
If you want to inspire your leads to become backers and even share your crowdfunding project, make sure they feel like they are contributing to something great.
In addition, here are a few important things you should consider implementing in your crowdfunding marketing strategy:
* Create a separate email list for your crowdfunding campaign. During your campaign, you will share multiple updates related to your crowdfunding, so make sure you don’t spam your regular email lists. Our suggestion is to send 1 or 2 email to your existing contacts to notify them that your brand will be crowdfunding and how they could benefit from it. Ask them to subscribe to your crowdfunding email list if they want to receive regular crowdfunding updates from you.
* Test from the beginning. If you are using email marketing platforms such as Mailchimp, you will be able to run A/B tests to see what inspires action. Does your crowdfunding email list prefer “Our crowdfunding campaign is now live” or “Be one of our first backers and get our super early bird rewards”? With Mailchimp for example, you can send an A/B test email to 5% of your list and use the insights from it to decide which variant you’ll email to the other 95%.
* Never forget to add a CTA (call to action) in your emails – the call-to-action’s purpose is to entice the reader to take a specific action. CTAs should be mandatory for your crowdfunding updates. Quoting Michael Aagaard from Unbounce, the CTA is the “tipping point between bounce and conversion”. For your CTAs to work, they should be easily spotted and should be clear and compelling, so the reader instantly knows what to do. We would suggest you to put a few CTAs in each email – but make sure that each of them is directing towards the same action – e.g. Back/ Invest, Pre-register your interest or Share our campaign. Adding CTAs with different goals in one email might confuse the reader;
* Carefully craft your Subject lines to increase Open Rates – make sure they are attention-grabbing and intriguing; avoid using clickbaity headlines, capitalizing all words and using multiple exclamation marks.
* Use email automation – it will save you a lot of time. If you are new to email marketing, here is a 5-minute read on the topic from Mailchimp’s blog;
* Always use mobile-friendly email templates – In 2018, 52.2% of all website traffic worldwide was generated through mobile phones – it would be unwise to design just for your Desktop audience;
* Include high-quality images in all emails
Crowdfunding marketing - Social media
Social media and crowdfunding are a natural combination. Giving you the opportunity to find your crowd in an ocean of billions of online users, social media is without a doubt one of the most important tactics you should include in your crowdfunding marketing strategy. To understand what makes social media such an important component for a successful crowdfunding campaign, we will have to understand the behavior of the typical crowdfunding supporters a bit better.
It’s not a secret that crowdfunding is associated with a lot of uncertainty. The information backers receive is generally extracted from the campaign’s description, published by the creator – a description that might as well be limited in scope, imperfect, or seriously biased. The backers’ decision making is additionally hampered by other factors such as lack of face-to-face interaction with the creator or the possibility to trial the product before investing. Since the credibility of crowdfunding projects is typically difficult to ascertain, prospective backers draw on indirect quality signals, such as social buzz and number/ volume of contributions made up to this point.
With this being said, it’s evident that social media buzz is crucial to a crowdfunding’s success, but the level of support depends on the type of social network being used – in a 2014 study, Benlian et al. discovered that backers trust recommendations from bidirectional networks like Facebook more than impersonal ones like Twitter. For that reason, we always stand adamant on including Facebook to the crowdfunding marketing mix.
According to Borst and colleagues (2017), even though the overall fundraising goal depends on many factors, the number of backers is strongly influenced by the number of people who actively engage with the campaign on social media by liking, commenting and sharing. To add on, Moisseyev’s 2013 study showed that social media “likes” in particular are hard currency in crowdfunding as they affect both the total amount raised and the number of backers significantly.
After sharing all the hard data, let’s explore how to actually integrate social media to your crowdfunding marketing strategy:
* As we already mentioned, focus your communication on answering the “why” – make sure your most important social media publications (e.g. your crowdfunding announcement, 50% milestone) are short, punchy and focused on the “why”;
* Don’t miss out the numbers – your business already has some traction? Great! Make sure you add this information to your posts;
Your crowdfunding campaign has already gained speed? Don’t forget to put emphasis on your results in your crowdfunding updates;
* Reach a broader audience – without advertising and hashtags, organically your social media posts will reach only your own audience – actually, just a miniscule percentage of it.
In this sense, without ads your social media profiles will serve more like a business card for people that have heard of your campaign from another channel. To find your crowd, prepare a solid advertising budget. Typically, we suggest spending 5-10% of your crowdfunding goal on social media advertising. However, many startups don’t have such resources. Without the opportunity to test and optimise repeatedly, you will have to execute a strong crowdfunding marketing plan. For Facebook, which typically yields great results for rewards campaigns, we will suggest you to target broader interest-based audiences. Make sure to implement Facebook’s Pixel when possible for better targeting. Running Facebook ads for a crowdfunding is a long and complex topic and it deserves an article on its own. Keep an eye on our blog for it.
In addition, to spread the word outside of your crowdfunding, you should consider adding hashtags to your posts on Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn. Even though hashtags can be used on Facebook posts as well, research shows that that actually worsen the performance of the “tagged” posts compared to the “non-tagged” ones.
Do you need advice on how to create your crowdfunding campaign?
We can help. Drop The Crowdfunding Studio are proud partners of Crowdcube and Indiegogo. We assist ambitious businesses in communicating their ideas, products and services with outstanding crowdfunding video production, campaign design and crowdfunding marketing.
To learn more about us and our services, visit our website: drop.studio
Or book a free phone workshop today and ask us anything: how to create a successful crowdfunding campaign or how to accelerate your business from zero to fully funded.