When we decided to develop and launch BackerKit Crowdfunding, we had very ambitious goals.
We wanted to reimagine what crowdfunding could be and build that future together with creators, develop a rapidly-evolving platform that kept pace with creators’ needs and uncapped imagination, and deliver a creator and backer experience that was better every time.
We want creators to live their best creative lives.
And when you start thinking in terms of the lifetime pursuit of a creator, and the lifetime value of a backer, you begin to think in the very long term and far outside the one-month, one-campaign-lifecycle box that’s contained crowdfunding platforms, tools, and experiences since the very beginning.
We built BackerKit Crowdfunding from the ground up to fundamentally break free from this mold – one which creators had long outgrown. I’m proud to share that we’ve made significant strides towards this vision and these goals in very little time.
In under two years of offering BackerKit Crowdfunding for creators in beta, we’ve released tools and features that have already begun to reimagine and redefine key areas of the crowdfunding journey, effectively changing what it means to run a campaign today.
Below are those tools and features that illustrate our vision of modern crowdfunding. Some of the most successful creators have wielded them to achieve their best campaigns to date and even break some industry records in the process.
Build early buzz and followers with the mighty Teaser Page 🌟
After over a decade of working with fellow creators, I’ve learned that the most common cause of unsuccessful projects isn’t the lack of funding – it’s failing to launch at all.
And I get it, because I’ve been there myself. Sharing your project to the world is a leap of faith. It’s nothing short of a courageous act. But the simple act of saying your goals out loud carries power, and we believe announcing a project is the single most impactful first step a creator can take towards their goal.
What was missing was an easier and faster way to do it.
This belief is what inspired us to develop the BackerKit Teaser Page – a page that announces your campaign ahead of your launch date and offers a sneak peek of your project to build excitement around your crowdfund. It also serves as a destination page that:
- Informs your existing audience of your campaign launch date.
- Counts down to the exact second your campaign goes live.
- Invites new and existing fans to follow your campaign as it unfolds.
- Offers existing audiences (via email, social, etc.) a page they can follow and share.
- Gauges interest and demand prior to launch.
- Lists your project alongside upcoming BackerKit Crowdfunding campaigns.
We’ve found this Teaser Page to be a simple yet powerful tool to take our creators from zero to launch, and we have the data to prove it:
80% of creators who publish a teaser page follow through to launch their campaign on BackerKit.
Since releasing BackerKit Crowdfunding, we’ve worked alongside creators to make publishing a BackerKit Teaser Page easier and faster than ever by seamlessly integrating Teaser Page creation into the campaign setup workflow. Now you can go from signing up for a BackerKit account to publishing your teaser page in minutes.
Turn every launch into a party 🥳
Envision your launch date: Your backers crowd the gates. They count down the final seconds when your campaign goes live and they can finally do what they’ve been waiting to do for months – click that pledge button.
The campaign launch is a rare and powerful moment. It can generate enough energy to carry momentum for the entire campaign and can mean the difference between having good or a ridiculously great crowdfund.
But if the launch is so crucial, why has the campaign launch experience – essentially watching a page refresh – gone virtually unchanged since the dawn of crowdfunding?
We wanted to reimagine the traditional launch to reflect what it truly is – an event. In its best form, it’s a celebration.
On BackerKit, creators can now host a Launch Party page and experience to drive and build upon the energy you and your backers already bring to your launch day and extend it well into your campaign, and beyond.
Here’s what top creators did to compose some of the best BackerKit Launch Party pages and experiences so far:
- Gather and activate your followers looong before launch. Like with any big event, you’ll need time to spread the word. Plan your outreach months in advance and share your unique Launch Party page link for every channel – email, social, and even ads.
- Boost followers with follower-exclusive content. Turn page visitors into followers by offering instant access to exclusive content to anyone who opts into following your campaign. This is a built-in feature for Launch Party pages that builds your email list, follower count, and audience excitement. Brandon Sanderson’s Dragonsteel is dropping follower-exclusive content right now.
- Set up conversation starters. Your backers are here to mingle with you and fellow fans of your work. Warm up the crowd by posting polls, discussions, and updates on your Launch Party page to keep your audience engaged and coming back for more as you near the launch date.
- Stream the ball drop. Make your launch day a memorable event by live streaming the countdown directly from your Launch Party page and experiencing the glory going from T-minus to launch together with your backers. Mini Museum recalls their livestreamed launch as the “most fun I’ve had interacting with our backer community ever.”
Own, reach, and build your audience from one central hub 💗
The magic of the crowdfunding campaigns lies in its finite nature. It has a beginning, an end, and between is this fleeting moment that injects urgency spurring your backers into action. It’s a powerful thing.
So powerful that this finite and fleeting nature of crowdfund campaigns dictated the way crowdfunding tools were developed for creators. This often led to tedious and broken processes that went unaddressed for years.
One example is how creators had to start from zero contacts with each new campaign, resulting in hours of exporting and importing contact lists from their last campaign to the next and sometimes from one platform to another. A nomadic, manual, and unsustainable way to build and manage an audience.
This is why long before we developed BackerKit Crowdfunding we offered an alternative – a streamlined email and backer management tool to which creators could:
- Import contacts from anywhere.
- Centralize audience building in one place.
- Communicate with backers instantly.
With BackerKit Crowdfunding, we’ve incorporated these tools and features into the platform and made enhancements that turn audience building and outreach into a semi-automated process. Today, BackerKit creators like you can:
- Own and manage your total crowdfunding audience. Never start from zero contacts again. Unlike other platforms, BackerKit Crowdfunding automatically keeps the email lists you’ve gathered from one campaign to the next, effortlessly managing and building your audience with each new project. Easily reach new and past supporters and track pledges to learn how many are new or repeat backers. And if you’ve used BackerKit Pledge Manager, your audience is already here, saved to your profile, and waiting to hear about your next campaign.
- Bring your audience, we’ll help get them to pledge. Stop drafting emails that could be notifications. With a one click you can enable the BackerKit platform to notify your backers on your behalf as soon as you’ve reached key project milestones, such as reaching your funding goal. Your backers are instantly alerted, and you can watch the page visits, pledges, and applause emojis roll in.
- Powerful, actionable insights through enhanced analytics. Know who’s backed you and who needs another nudge. BackerKit not only provides robust reporting on which channels and messages are driving the most pledges, but it can act on this data by automatically sending your project updates to followers who have yet to back, delivering timely, noteworthy reminders to join your growing campaign.
Your audience is your audience. Now with BackerKit, they have a central home from where you can keep them warm and invite them to your next event, project, or campaign.
Don’t just run a campaign – deliver an experience 🤩
In the age of Amazon, AI-generated product images, and same-day shipping – crowdfunding is a subversive act.
It’s where people pledge a project that might be made and, if so, ships much, much later. It defies the market forces dictating how things are produced, bought, and delivered today (preferably as fast, faceless, and cheap as possible).
But crowdfunding endures because it’s fundamentally different. And it attracts those who are different: creators and backers who believe in the indie, collaborative, and patient approach to making something unique, beloved, and lasting.
Your backers aren’t here to buy and bye. They’re here to support a vision, connect with you, and belong to a group of fellow fans.
They’re here for an experience. So let’s give them one to remember.
Here’s how you can deliver fun, interactive BackerKit experiences throughout your campaign to keep backers engaged, entertained, and anticipating what’s next.
- Gamify your campaign with locked Achievements. Set up community goals around funding, number of backers, or even actions you want your backers to take. BackerKit tracks it all, unlocks your achievement when a goal is reached, and notifies your backers to share the latest win.
- Empower backers with “choose your own adventure” polls. Invite backers to share in your creative process. Polls with images allow you to get direct feedback on any aspect of your campaign. You control who gets to weigh in – be they your diehard fans or the general public.
- Stream the dream, and stream it often. There is nothing more awesome than getting to hang out live with a creator you love. That’s why we built some awesome YouTube Live and Twitch Streaming integrations that enable you and your backers to interact in real time on BackerKit. You can call out and thank backers as they pledge and answer audience questions as they chat them in. You can even schedule streams and BackerKit will automatically notify your followers when it’s time to log on.
- Spark discussions that fire up your fans. Make your campaign page into a homebase where your followers can gather and converse around their shared fandom of you. Pose a thought-provoking question, or let backers talk among themselves and drop a comment to keep the conversation flowing. Aside from keeping your audience warm throughout the campaign, discussions allow backers to surface important questions, helping you catch and address project-related issues before they turn critical.
- Instantly reward Backer-Exclusive Content. Give backers a gift the moment they pledge. Whether it’s a brief demo, a preview pdf, a custom wallpaper, or a discount code – Backer-Exclusive Content can deliver that first of many wow moments for backers, offering a peek of what’s to come and immediate thanks for supporting you.
The above are BackerKit-only features and levers you can pull to customize your campaign and amp up engagement. But BackerKit also powers some impactful built-in experiences that keep your backers backing, including:
- A Backer Train no one wants to stop. This BackerKit pledge train signals back-to-back pledges made to your campaign, and the train keeps growing as long as a new backer pledges within 10 minutes of the last. A simple but highly effective nudge that keeps the pledges coming. What’s the longest Backer Train so far? It may surprise you.
- A front page powered by your backers. On BackerKit, it’s not about whom you know; it’s what your backers do that gets you listed on the front page. Projects with great discussions, rousing polls, and helpful communities are the ones that get highlighted, regardless of the size of your project.
- The best marketing you’ve never done. Posting campaign updates keeps backers informed and engaged. But on BackerKit, your updates can also trigger automated notifications to followers who haven’t backed yet. This is one of the most effective and efficient ways BackerKit creators are driving pledges and turning more fans into backers. Marketers call this fancy magic “audience segmentation” and “marketing automation,” but at BackerKit, this is simply the built-in marketing strategy you’ll never have to “do” – because we do it for you.
Pro-tip: Stack experiences like a boss 😎
Story Engine had planned for a 90-minute livestream Launch Party but spontaneously changed their plans on air: they vowed to end the livestream only if their Backer Train stopped or once they hit their funding goal.
But the Backer Train kept chugging along, propelling Story Engine to hit their funding goal in just 4 short hours. It’s a masterful example of how one can wield tools and experiences together to maximize the moment and make it memorable.
Crowdfunding built on top of BackerKit’s best-in-class offerings 💫
We’ve only covered some of the many game-changing features available on BackerKit Crowdfunding today.
And when you sign up for a BackerKit creator account, you get access to all the above plus the suite of offerings that have set BackerKit apart for over a decade, including our industry-leading BackerKit Pledge Manager – the first and premiere pledge management software built for crowdfunding.
As a BackerKit creator, you’ll also enjoy:
- Easy and frictionless checkout for your backers.
- Robust campaign reporting and backer data to level up at every stage.
- Responsive customer service and support for you and your backers.
- An active, supportive creator community on Discord and beyond.
- Eligibility for BackerKit Marketing services to boost your campaign.
All you need to make it real. Discover BackerKit for yourself. Sign up and publish your Teaser Page in less than 5 minutes. >>