Building an email list is one of the most important things you can do when preparing for your Kickstarter launch. The people on this list will be the ones who show up to support you early on, helping you set the pace for the rest of your campaign. If you’ve already started building your crowdfunding email list — or just aren’t sure how to get started — you’ve probably realized that it isn’t easy. This work takes time, persistence, and creativity, which is why you must approach the email list-building process in a strategic way.
As you’re developing your product and preparing your campaign, you should be building your email list. To make the most of your time and ensure that you have an email list that will help you get funded, you’ll need to optimize and refine your strategy as you go. Here are a few ways to maximize your efforts, so you can launch with confidence, knowing that you’ll have a community ready to back your project on day one.
Before you do anything else, build a landing page. This is a standalone web page about your project that you will use to collect email addresses, also known as leads. When you sign up for BackerKit Launch, you’ll be able to create a landing page for your project.
BackerKit Launch is an email marketing and analytics tool specifically designed for crowdfunding creators. Not only does it help you start building your audience with a landing page, but it also enables you to measure the strength of your email list, message your audience to encourage them to pledge early, and, once you’ve launched, see who from your list has pledged and who hasn’t. When creating your landing page in Launch, you can customize the images, color palette, and copy to showcase your project and incentivize people to sign up.
Once your landing page is ready, you’ll have to share it with the world and actually start building your email list. There are a lot of different ways that you can do this. Start by sharing your landing page URL anywhere potential backers might be, such as Facebook groups, your email signature, and any relevant online communities.
After you’ve done this, you’ll just be experimenting with different list-building tactics. Maybe participating in a podcast related to your project in some way will be a great way to collect leads. Perhaps Facebook lead ads will produce promising results. At this point, you won’t know where you’ll have the most success or what approach will be the most effective. You’ll just be testing out different outreach methods. Use this time to get comfortable talking about your project, sharing your landing page, and marketing yourself.
Identify where your sign-ups are coming from
Your list-building experiments should always be followed by analysis and reflection. When people start signing up for your email list, take a look at where they’re coming from — also known as the referral source. Ask yourself:
- Where am I getting the most sign-ups from?
- Where am I getting the fewest sign-ups from?
- What are my conversion rates? (That is, the number of people visiting your landing page from a single source vs. the number of people who actually end up signing up.)
If you’ve created a landing page in Launch, you’ll be able to see all of this information in one convenient place. All you have to do is go to the “Landing Pages” dashboard and select “View Results.”
This information will tell you what’s working and what isn’t (or what’s not working as well as you may have hoped), but it’s also going to tell you where to focus your attention. There are a number of different ways to build your email list, but there’s no rule saying that you have to do all of them. You’ll have a lot to juggle as you’re preparing for your campaign’s launch, so you don’t want to spread yourself too thin. Experimentation is important, but don’t waste time on something that isn’t working.
It may seem obvious, but devote more time to the channels bringing in the most leads. Home in on these channels and try to understand what’s going on.
- Look at the audience. What do you know about them? Is there any unifying demographic information? Use what you discover here to create messaging that will resonate with them or to find similar audiences in other channels.
- Look at the content or the way you presented your project in this channel. Is it different from what you did in other places? Are people on Instagram, for example, more receptive to the type of messaging or format you’re using than people on Facebook? Use what you find out to refine your presentation.
The results you see — also referred to as performance metrics — tell you what’s happening, but when you take the next step and investigate why it’s happening, you’ll be able to improve what you’re doing and build on your success. Use these performance metrics as a jumping-off point to dig deeper and then develop a strategy based on what you learn.
Building a high-quality crowdfunding email list
Not all leads are good leads. The email list that will help you get funded is a high-quality email list. For a crowdfunding creator, a high-quality email list is simply a list of people who are likely to back your project. You can start building the best list for your campaign by:
- Not buying an email list. Sending unsolicited messages to people who didn’t opt into receiving your emails can be illegal, according to GDPR and CAN-SPAM Act. Legal ramifications aside, the leads on a purchased list don’t know who you are, don’t know about your project, may not know anything about crowdfunding, and are extremely unlikely to help you get funded for all of these reasons.
- Making sure that everyone who signs up for your list knows what they’re signing up for. If, for instance, you held a giveaway to collect leads, you’ll need to make sure that people know that they’re signing up to get updates on your Kickstarter campaign. You should always be transparent about what people can expect from you in exchange for sharing their information.
Qualifying leads for a crowdfunding campaign
Lead qualification in crowdfunding is the process of determining which of the people on your email list are most likely to back your project. If you’re using Launch, you can qualify your leads and make sure you have the strongest email list possible. We’ve found that people who have crowdfunding experience, meaning they’ve backed projects in the past, are more likely to pledge to campaigns than people who don’t.
Take a look at the “Community” tab on almost any Kickstarter project, and you’ll see that most of the backers are returning backers.
You can use Launch to see how many of your leads have crowdfunding experience. Looking at this number is a great way to gauge how prepared you are to launch.
Growing a list after crowdfunding success
Email list-building never ends for a crowdfunding creator. If you’re a creator who has run a successful campaign and you’re planning to launch a new project, you will have to go out and grow your email list. This is especially true if you’re hoping to raise more money than you did previously.
When you start sharing your new landing page, pay attention to how many of the leads have backed your campaigns in the past. BackerKit Launch is the only email platform that allows you to do this easily. Look in your Landing Page results tab, and you’ll see the number of leads who are your previous backers.
Not only is this a way to qualify your leads — you know that these people are likely to pledge — but this information can also show you how much more work you have to do. If you want to grow your existing community and increase your funding goal, you’ll need to reach people who aren’t already in your community. Keep an eye on this number to make sure that you’re on the right track.
To build the best email list for your Kickstarter project, you have to be deliberate. You have to be strategic. Celebrate when you get new leads, and then take a moment to look at your results and replicate what’s working. You can start building your list today and preparing for your campaign by signing up for BackerKit Launch.