Let’s face it, your Crowdfunding campaign would be nothing if not for the crowd. Your idea would still be brilliant, but to blow life into it, you need to please the backers. The value of crowdfunding campaigns has brought us films, books, games and products that would never have seen the light if it wasn’t for a group of people who shared the same passion. By combining resources, we can make amazing things happen.
Provide Incentive, Urgency and Exclusivity
Provide a strong incentive for people to back your crowdfunding campaign, one that has considerable value to encourage your backers to pledge more and get into a higher tier. Creativity has great value in this instance. Rewards with a personal touch and a measure of exclusivity garner far more attention and funding.
Also remember to put a limit on your tiers, especially for early backers. Offering early-bird pricing creates urgency. By limiting the number of opportunities for a given tier creates the idea of exclusivity. This is precisely what you need to generate the necessary excitement you need early on in your campaign. Show the early adopters that they’ve stumbled across something valuable, and then reward them for that. Let’s look at a few different types of rewards that would get a lot of attention and generate excitement.
The Physical Reward
The most obvious choice when your campaign involves a physical product, is to allow your backers to pre-order it at a lower price than the retail value. However, never go below your landing cost for production. Also take into account the fulfillment cost to get the products to your backers, especially if international shipping is going to be a factor. To add more value for early adopters or backers in a higher tier, keep collector’s editions and exclusive add-ons in mind.
The Creative Reward
In the case of music, a movie, a book or even a game, you can get your backers emotionally invested by including them in the creative process. Instill a sense of ownership in your backers and let them have a say in the project. Have them name a character in a book, do a voice-over in the game, or script a sign in the background of your movie set. There are several ways they can add to the story or creative process that will not derail your project, especially if these rewards are very limited.
The Experiential Reward
Kickstarter David Iaituri likens involving your backers in the experience of your project to seeing a performance, very much like watching a Hibachi chef cook your meal. By offering something that is so unique to the creative process, whether it be strategy meetings, a team lunch or a conference call, you give them an experience they can take away and share. It might not seem like much to you, but what if you could be a fly on the wall at the creation of your favorite brand’s stellar product?
The Sentimental Reward
Throughout the journey of your project there will be things that you use, throw away, break and decide against. These all carry sentimental value as something that came out of the creation process. In a movie, it could be something from the set. For a product, it could be an early design that broke, or pages on a character in a book that you decided to change. Any exclusive content can be of value to your backers. Creating a behind-the-scenes booklet, photos and videos will also give them a peek into the experience.
Make updates and keep your backers involved in order to cultivate a long-lasting relationship. You will have the opportunity to still email the supporters that own your product in future. Use this leverage for future projects and building out your brand.
Continuous updating will also encourage lower tier backers to up their pledge, if you’ve created an opportunity to do that. And always make good on your promises. As mentioned above, keep in mind the logistics of getting rewards to your backers. Fulfillment for crowdfunding can be a headache, and if you don’t do a good job on delivering the well-deserved rewards to your backers, it will hurt your brand and project.
Kickstarter, Indiegogo, whatever your crowdfunding platform might be, use a third-party fulfillment company with experience in crowdfunding fulfillment. They will ensure that the rewards get to your backers on time, and in good condition. The last thing you want after a successful crowdfunding campaign, is to not be able to deliver, literally.