You’ve exceeded your funding goal, run a successful campaign, and have decided to set up a pre-order store. Now what?
Pre-orders are an integral part of BackerKit’s offering to project creators, but as BackerKit product manager Dan Goldenberg notes, project creators “often forget to promote them” once their project is live in BackerKit. “It’s not as if once you build a pre-order store, people will show just up,” he says.
While some projects are able to harness their brand power to drive sales, most won’t have that luxury. Goldenberg says it only takes a little effort to reap large rewards. “We’ve found the people who perform the best in terms of pre-order sales really get a lot of people visiting it.”
The most effective methods included embedding BackerKit’s pre-order store widget on personal websites, running Facebook ad campaigns, and sending out targeted email campaigns.
Feeling overwhelmed? Here are simple steps you can take to make your pre-order store a success.
Before you Launch
Set Up Your Pre-Order page
When you set up your pre-order store, make sure that all your items are clearly named and accompanied by high-quality images and accurate descriptions.
BackerKit’s image gallery lets you upload multiple images for each item, which lets you display an item from multiple angles or highlight all variations of an item to make it easier for backers to make their selections.
This helps to make your products as appealing as possible to backers.
Our help center has more information on how to set up pre-orders.
Pick Your Items
Ideally, your pre-order store should offer items that are enticing for both your earliest supporters as well as latecomers to your campaign.
Project creators can differentiate between pre-order backers and original backers by offering slightly different pricing for pre-order rewards, or shipping those pre-order rewards only after the original backer rewards have shipped.
This approach allows you to give your most fervent backers preferential treatment while keeping your project open to the crowdfunding community.
Link Your Pre-Order Store
Post the link on Kickstarter Spotlight, your website, social media, forum and communities you are on, and embed it on your home page. Share it often!
After You’ve Launched
Gather Email Addresses
People often browse pre-order stores but may not make a purchase straight away. Sometimes, they might require more information about the product.
To solve this problem, we’ve introduced the ability for creators to collect email addresses from customers using our mailing list tool.
The mailing list feature has an opt-in form that allows project creators to collect email addresses from prospective customers.
Project creators can use their mailing list to highlight special offers. You could do this by splitting your list into two sets of people: folks who pledged, and folks who didn’t.
Send Marketing Emails
Stuck for ideas on how to write a great marketing email? It’s easy as ABC.
a. Send messages to your existing backers, telling them their friends can preorder your product here. Make sure to include a link to your store
b. Send messages to people on your list who didn’t back you project. You can do this by using BackerKit’s coupon codes to offer an exclusive discount.
c. Promote any new accessories, options or colorways through an email campaign.
Make sure to highlight specific products that are available for sale and consider including a promotion, such as a limited-time discount, to increase the sense of urgency. You can do this through coupon codes, which we’ll talk about later.
If the email has a prominent call-to-action – a ‘ Buy Now’ button, for instance – it will ensure customers have an easy way to visit your store.
Once you’ve split your mailing list, it’s time to start crafting your message. To folks who pledged, be sure to thank them for pledging to your campaign, and tell them they can forward this email to a friend to give them a discount off your product.
To folks who didn’t pledge, we recommend writing a message that will spur them into taking action. Letting them know that this is the final chance to get receive a discount on your product creates a sense of exclusivity and scarcity and increases the likelihood that they will convert into sales.
Use Coupon Codes
Coupon codes can be used to entice new customers with discounts, offload inventory, and reward repeat customers. They’re an easy, useful e-commerce tool.
For project creators, they can be a simple, effective way to compel backers to buy their products by giving them an attractive discount.
“We know that one of the big Kickstarter tropes is providing a discount off retail, and we want to keep that going forward,” Goldenberg says.
Coupon codes give project creators the ability to provide flat-price discounts off add-ons and pre-order items, and are easily tracked.
Project creators can create individual codes for different mediums: one for promotions on a podcast, and another for an email marketing campaign. (If you’d like to learn more, this explains how coupon codes work in more detail.)
Fun things you can do with coupon codes: celebrate survey day with a $5 discount off add-ons, run promotions for your pre-order store through email and other marketing channels, give repeat customers a special offer.
Continue to Market Your Product
Marketing your product doesn’t end once your campaign does.
Is holiday season approaching? Consider offering customers a discount with BackerKit’s coupon codes, and make sure you email them to let them know. If you’re making an appearance at an event or conference, an email can help spread the word.
Notifying your customers of new product milestones or project updates is a great way to keep them engaged in your campaign.
Some of the most successful pre-order store campaigns on BackerKit include Formbox, which embedded BackerKit’s pre-order widget on its website and ran paid ads directing visitors to the site, helping it amass $192,256 in pre-order sales, and Friday the 13th, which made $1.37 million in pre-order sales on BackerKit – more money than it had made in its initial crowdfunding campaign.
The lesson? Marketing your pre-order store is an ongoing effort. The more you hustle, the more likely you are to reap big rewards. Even a little bit of promotion can go a long way in raising awareness of your pre-order oferings.
Many creators have enjoyed success running Facebook ad campaigns to increase the visibility of their pre-order store, and BackerKit recently conducted an experiment to test the claim that Facebook was an effective marketing channel. (Spoiler alert: it can be, but you must have strong audience targeting to achieve a lower cost per acquisition, as well as higher click-through rates and conversion rates.)
You can learn more about marketing strategies for pre-orders here.