Complete Checklist for Crowdfunding Success

An effective checklist can be a powerful tool to assist the creator in organizing a crowdfunding campaign. Especially for newbies, there's no longer a mess!

Kaman

September 6, 2022

Anyone who has managed a crowdfunding campaign knows how overwhelming it can be. Even successful campaigns run the risk of getting behind on crucial tasks that are necessary to reach and exceed funding goals. Remember, it takes more than a great product to achieve success – it takes careful planning and execution throughout each phase of the campaign. Below is a complete checklist for crowdfunding success to guide you along the way.

Pre-Launch Tasks

1. Prototype Your Product

Design and validate your product. Having a working prototype will help define your feature set, production costs, and final product goals. This information is critical to calculating material and manufacturing costs and ultimately, helps you define your funding goal.

2. Market Research

Become familiar with your market segment and identify your target customers. Understanding the needs and demographic of your customers can guide you as you set the product price. Make an honest comparison of your product versus competitors and make sure that your product is priced accordingly.

3. Research Similar Campaigns

Learn by others who have come before you. Take a close look at other campaigns with products similar to yours and see what stands out (both good and bad!) about their projects. Get inspired by great ideas and incorporate those into your campaign.

4. Prepare Marketing Assets

Every campaign needs great images, an informative product video, and other visual assets to convey the value of your product and get people interested. Decide what you need early because assets such as photography and videos require adequate production time. 

5. Build a Campaign Task Calendar

Successful campaigns often begin planning several months before the campaign begins. From day one, through the end of the campaign, you need to have a task calendar to ensure nothing is missed and to allocate enough time and resources to each task. At this time, it is helpful to decide on the length of your campaign.

6. Decide on Funding Goal

Understanding product costs, necessary marketing assets, and resources needed to complete your task calendar will help you define your overall costs and final funding goal. In our previous blog, we discussed in detail how to plan a crowdfunding budget, and use it as a tool to determine your minimum funding goal. You can also define your reward tiers to offer different price points for your backers.

7. Define Team Roles

Which members of your team will complete each necessary task? Is your team large enough to handle running the campaign effectively? Now is the time to decide whether you will personally take on the management of the entire campaign or if your team will work with a crowdfunding agency staffed with experts in the field. 

8. Build a Landing Page

Now is the time to create a landing page for your product with a sign-up for launch day specials or a newsletter. This will allow you to begin building an email list of qualified potential backers. Third-party software such as Mailchimp can help to collect data and send on-going updates and newsletters. Having a large, qualified email list is essential as it is the best chance to get early backers and gain much-needed momentum for your campaign. 

9. Establish Social Media

Support your landing page with relevant social medial channels. At a minimum, prepare Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts and add product information, visual assets, and social ads. Begin this process as early as possible to create buzz for your project and to further capture emails. It is also a good idea to create a social post calendar and populate it with posts that will be used during the campaign.

10. Media & Influencer Outreach

Don’t wait until your campaign begins to reach out to KOLs, reviewers, and media, they can be the best way to create early buzz about your project. Look for media reporters who have previously written about products like yours and engage them with a short email to pitch your product. Now is also the time to prepare a quality press release for distribution on various press release networks.

11. Draft Your Campaign Page

Begin the campaign draft early so you can refine and improve it as you complete visual assets and see how it looks onscreen. Use a combination of images and videos with clear, concise, copywriting to convey the features and benefits of your product and demonstrate how it solves a problem for your backers. Include pricing and reward tiers and your brand story. Make sure that your campaign meets the requirements of the crowdfunding platform so it won’t get held up in the review process.

12. Create a Pre-Launch Page

Kickstarter allows campaigns to be promoted using a Pre-Launch Page. This technique is a proven way to get more pledges. Think of it as a platform-based landing page that helps mobilize your community in the important early stages of your campaign. 

13. Get Valuable Feedback

Before you hit the ‘LAUNCH’ button, take some time and ask trusted friends, family, and associates to review your campaign. Find out what they liked, disliked, and what could be improved now, before you enter the busiest part of your campaign. 

During the Campaign

1. Announce Launch

You’ve prepared well and have your team and product in place. Now is the time you’ve been waiting for but before you hit the go button, make sure that EVERYONE in your community knows the launch is imminent. You may prefer to do a “soft launch” to engage friends and family, or have a launch event to get the ball rolling. Then, send out your launch announcement to all your email lists, and social media platforms, update your landing page, and inform your media contacts that your campaign is live.

2. Make Regular Campaign Updates

Keep your campaign page fresh with regular updates on product production, new features, the status of the campaign, and team activities. This is also a great way to push promotions such as giveaways, contests, and events related to your project.

3. Interact with Backers

It is essential to interact with backers. Reply to all comments as timely as possible on both your campaign page and social media accounts. Make your backers feel like they are invested in the success of your project and they will share it with their networks. You may also set up an on-page FAQ to answer commonly asked questions and keep your page updated. 

4. Track Campaign Progress

Use platform resources and third-party software to track the performance of your campaign and understand your traffic sources. This information can guide your marketing efforts and let you concentrate on the advertising campaigns and actions that are giving your project the greatest return on investment. 

5. Send Out Newsletters

Now that the campaign is underway, it’s likely that you will have news and information to share with our community. Use newsletters and email updates as a way to engage followers who have not yet made a pledge. 

6. Promote Your Campaign

As the campaign goes on, it is normal to see traffic and backer activity ebb and flow. Now is the time to boost your campaign with promotions and giveaways. You can also re-engage previous backers with Add-Ons and Stretch Goals.

7. Update Your Story

Keep your page fresh with new visual assets and news about the action behind the scenes. Backers love to see the project as it develops and get to know the team behind the product. As your campaign gets mentioned by media or reviewers, post on the page accordingly. Having a positive product review update on your page can increase trust and interest in your project. 

8. Prepare a Pledge Manager

Keeping track of backer data such as color choices, shipping addresses, and payment information can be a daunting task, especially for team members who are busy updating the campaign and engaging with backers. Use a pledge manager to handle this important information, send out surveys, and record Add-On sales. This data will be essential after funding to help with post-campaign logistics and communication. 

Post Campaign Actions

1. Begin Fulfillment

Don’t wait until the campaign ends to begin the fulfillment process. Have a qualified logistics partner in place, high-quality packaging ready, and a shipping plan laid out. Fast delivery of your product not only makes backers happy, but can increase pledges sales and post-campaign orders. 

2. Continue Updates

Just because the campaign ends, doesn’t mean that communication with your backers is over. Keep making updates about production and delivery and keep your backers in the know about the entire process.

3. Be Open About the Process

Keep backers informed, answer on-going questions, and communicate with transparency regarding any problems or delays. Backers understand that new products encounter issues and busy teams can get behind on fulfillment. The most important way to keep backers happy is with constant, honest communication. Remember, you aren’t just trying to make a one-time sale. You are trying to win a customer for life.

4. Establish Online Store

Keep the fun going. Launch your online shop or use Pre-order services to continue sales after the campaign ends. Many people may discover your campaign after its conclusion, giving them an easy way to make a purchase online to continue to build your brand.

In conclusion…

For those new to crowdfunding, the process can seem complicated and yes, there are many things to consider. However, proper planning can make the journey much easier. Plan early, do your homework and start your campaign off right. Use this checklist to get started and enjoy your success. 

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