Everything You Need To Handle After Your Crowdfunding Project End

The crowdfunding project is over, but the work isn't done yet! Make sure your backers are taken care of, and that doesn't stop after funding. PledgeBox is here to make sure you get everything sorted out quickly and with ease.⁣

Lucy Wong

February 23, 2023

As a pledge manager, PledgeBox helps creators to manage their orders and shipments efficiently. From sending surveys to shipping products, the platform provides an end-to-end solution for creators to fulfill their backers' orders seamlessly. In this blog, we will walk you through the process of fulfilling orders with PledgeBox, step by step.

Step 1: Communication and Customer Service

Throughout the fulfillment process, it's important to communicate with your backers. Let them know when their product is expected to ship and provide tracking information once it's on its way. This helps build trust and ensures that your backers are happy with their purchase.

For example, Posting a timeline is one of the key steps in any crowdfunding project, but it can be tricky to determine the right timeline. it’s important to figure out the right time to balance that with giving backers enough time and flexibility to update their surveys. And one of the key determinants of your timeline is your ability to quickly gather accurate information from your backers, which will enable you to move on to the next phase of the process - production. This, in turn, depends on your ability to communicate effectively with your backers, set expectations, and gather necessary information on time.

Overall, creator communication is the key factor in driving quicker and higher survey completion rates. By keeping backers informed and engaged throughout the post-campaign phase, you can foster a sense of community and trust that encourages backers to fill out their surveys in a timely and accurate manner.

Customer service is also important during this process. Be responsive to emails and messages from backers and be proactive in addressing any issues that arise. This can help prevent negative reviews and maintain a positive reputation for your brand.

Step 2: Collect Backer Information

Before starting fulfilling orders, you need to collect information from your backers. This includes their shipping address and any other pertinent details like size, color, or other customization options, which can be collected through a survey sent out after the campaign has ended. 

You can use PledgeBox to manage this process, which provides an easy-to-use survey builder that creators can use to create custom surveys that collect the necessary information from backers. PledgeBox recommends sending out surveys 14 days after your campaign has ended, 7 days for Kickstarter to collect payments, and another 7 days for Kickstarter to transfer funding to your account. Once backers have completed the survey, you organize and manage the data.

Step 3: Lock the completed surveys

Once the survey phase is complete, you can lock the surveys and then production can begin. This typically involves working with manufacturers to produce your rewards, while keeping a close eye on your download center to track SKU quantities. 

Lock the orders to prevent backers from making any changes to their survey information, including variants. If you are starting production early and have a stock limit, you can disable this variant option on surveys after clearing the stock.

Since the shipping address cannot be changed after locking the order, you need to decide whether to lock the order when you confirm the production quantity or when it is shipped. Even after locking the orders, you can help backers to change the address on the PledgeBox creator-end.

Step 4: Production

Once you have collected the necessary information from your backers, it's time to start producing your product. In the PledgeBox Download Center, you can check the quantities of SKUs before fulfilling all the orders.  Depending on your product and the complexity of your campaign, you may be managing production in-house or outsourcing to a manufacturer.

Notice: During production, it's important to remain transparent with your backers and keep them informed about any potential delays or issues that may arise. This can help to manage expectations and minimize frustration, while also fostering a sense of community and connection between you and backers.

Step 5: Fulfillment

Once production is complete, it's time to ship your rewards to your backers. This involves packaging, labeling, and shipping products to your backers. Fulfillment can be a time-consuming process, and mistakes can be costly, so it's important to have a plan in place.

This may involve working with a fulfillment center or shipping company to ensure that all rewards are packaged securely and delivered promptly. One option is to work with third-party logistics (3PL) like ShipBob or Fulfillrite. These companies specialize in order fulfillment and can handle the packaging, labeling, and shipping of your products. This allows you to focus on other aspects of your campaign, like marketing and customer service.

Shipping is a crucial part of any crowdfunding project, as getting rewards to backers on time and in good condition is essential for maintaining a positive relationship with your audience.  One of the most important factors to consider is the scale and complexity of your project. The more backers you have, and the more complex your rewards are, the longer it will take to ship everything out. It's essential to plan carefully, especially if you are working with a fulfillment center or shipping everything yourself.

To make the shipping process smoother, it's a good idea to separate your backers into similar package groups and ship based on those groups of similar items. This can help ensure that everything is organized and easy to track, which is important when dealing with a large number of rewards.

Step 6: Notify Shipping process

Ultimately, another reason for shipping is a critical part is that it's essential to plan carefully and communicate clearly with your backers to ensure a smooth and successful delivery process. Once you upload the tracking code on PledgeBox, it will trigger automatic email notifications to your backers. And email alerts will be sent for each key step to shipping. This is a critical step in ensuring that your backers receive their rewards and can track them throughout the shipping process.

Notice: You need to consider your project's manufacturing timetable as well.
Generally, the first items to come off the manufacturing line that passes quality assurance are often the first ones to start shipping. However, this can create a problem if you have another item in the same order that is not manufactured yet. In this scenario, some project creators might choose partial fulfillment, while others might wait until everything has come off the line.

Conclusion

Running a crowdfunding campaign requires careful planning and organization. Overall, the pledge management process requires careful planning, effective communication, and a willingness to adapt to unforeseen challenges. By following these general guidelines and remaining transparent with your backers, you can successfully navigate the post-campaign phase and deliver rewards to your backers with confidence.

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