Monday morning the 11th December our crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter ended and unfortunately Kickstarter and enveo was not meant to be to his time. It was a wild ride with its ups and downs. We are extremely happy of the awesome feedback we received which really made our day.We learned much about ourselves, our users and Acorn during this period – and in this process we adjusted some along the way due to the feedback we received.Even though we didn’t reach the finish line on Kickstarter we still:
Out of this experience we have created a little list of things we feel are essential when preparing, creating and maintaining a crowdfunding campaign.
There is no doubt about how invaluable your network is when starting a Kickstarter campaign, the essential aspect is to "activate" them, both marketing-wise and financially. Contact the "safe" backers for example friends, family and colleagues, and make sure they will back the project at the launch date and in general as soon as possible so the campaign gets some traction. Not only do they support the campaign financially, but they are also a very good marketing opportunity if you activate them and let them go on social media. We have probably been too cautious and been a little afraid to push them too much forcing it down their throat, an essential aspect is to ”let them see behind the closed doors” of your company, hear their opinion and involve them before the campaign starts.
Marketing is the most important element in the entire crowdfunding period. Prepare yourself thoroughly both before and during the campaign itself. Marketing is an extremely important element for boosting the campaign and depending on your product, it is essential to get in touch with bloggers, media etc., before you launch your project. We really had a hard time breaking down the barriers between the bloggers/media and us. We contacted hundreds of blogs and other media with personal inquiries and the response ratio wasn’t overwhelming. Think how you can creatively come in contact with them, creating a unique history "only" for them and involve them before starting the campaign. We actually experienced social media functioning better to get in touch with the media, especially Twitter was a great tool.
We experienced early on in the campaign that when blogs were interested to mention our Acorn dock, they would typically like a sample dock to inspect and review - which is a very reasonable claim. At that point we only had one prototype available and that were used for photo shoots and product demonstrations. When they heard a sample wasn’t available their interest in our Acorn dock declined quite substantially - so it is a great idea to have several prototype / sample products available that you are able to send out to interested media.
Before the campaign started, we were very focused on developing great rewards to private individuals, but we hadn't focused very much on rewards created especially for companies. Halfway in the campaign we created rewards specifically for companies, which promptly made an impact. Think about how you can target both regular consumers and companies with your rewards to reach a broader target group.
Building a Kickstarter page is very time consuming, where there are extremely many aspects to be aware of. Our Kickstarter page was prepared under too much pressure to fit in the schedule. In addition, everything in this world is destined to be delayed regardless of the amount of planning. Therefore, develop the campaign page well ahead of time so you have a buffer for delays and you have the opportunity to involve various stakeholders and take their thoughts into account.