Ultimate Crowdfunding Checklist for Kickstarter and Indiegogo
Planning a successful crowdfunding campaign can be tedious. This is exactly why we thought of designing a specific crowdfunding checklist for Kickstarter and Indiegogo. You can also download it as a PDF file and keep it for reference as and when you launch your crowdfunding campaign.
After promoting more than 4,000 crowdfunding campaigns since 2012, we are now considered experts according to Kickstarter. Using our expertise, we set out to create one of the best crowdfunding checklists for anyone who is interested in launching a crowdfunding campaign either on Kickstarter or Indiegogo. Crowdfunding isn’t just about launching a prototype of your idea. It’s about how you get into the business of transforming the idea into a mainstream product. Although crowdfunding sounds like a unique form of raising money, it’s still quite similar to any other business model out there. Our best crowdfunding checklist (Kickstarter promotion checklist plus Indiegogo checklist) will help you get started and plan a successful crowdfunding campaign.
Just like a more typical business, you have a minimum viable product (MVP). For this reason, you still need a proper business structure. This isn’t confined to the product idea alone. It’s about how you present it to the online audience (AKA backers!) and structure your marketing plan. It’s about how you plan the entire business model starting with a simple crowdfunding project. So, to keep you on track, we are here with our Crowdfunding Checklist (Kickstarter checklist and Indiegogo checklist):
Pre-Launch Crowdfunding Campaign Checklist
1. Design Your Product Prototype
2. Calculate Your Exact Funding Goal
Your funding goal is going to depend on a number of factors, but you must consider each aspect of bringing your product to life from production to shipping. This establishes your minimum viable goal. This means the minimum amount you need to get your project off the ground. If you already have part of the capital raised, you can set a goal as the minimum amount needed to meet your final budget. Any money raised beyond that will add to your overall capital.
3. Do Your Research on Past Crowdfunding Campaigns
Along with understanding your industry, you should also do research on past crowdfunding campaigns and create your own crowdfunding campaign checklist based on your findings. Gather their strengths and weaknesses and try to incorporate them into your campaign. For example, if you are coming up with a wallet, check to see what other wallet crowdfunding campaigns were like and which ones were successful. Try to find out that one aspect of those campaigns that made them tick. It’s very important to realize what works for your campaign and why.
4. Plan Out Your Task Calendar
You need to form a detailed calendar based on the activities you need to do. From designing a prototype to shipping the first version of your product, the calendar should be as detailed as possible so you don’t miss a thing.
5. Set the Length Of Your Campaign
We recommend a span of 30-45 days for your campaign. Once you are done with the campaign, you can list in the InDemand program on Indiegogo to keep collecting orders. Once the entire crowdfunding phase is over, you will need to switch to your own online shop.
6. Use Crowdfunding Services
Start planning your budget for using the popular crowdfunding services that are available online. Platforms such as Gadget Flow, BackerClub, and so on can help you reach more backers. You’ll need to think about using them at least a month before your campaign starts. The best way to choose which one works for your campaign is to read user-generated content in the form of testimonials and forum discussions. If you’re looking for a bit more direction, we’ve provided more services in a specific blog on this topic.
7. Create a Landing Page to Capture Emails
While you’re generating buzz about your campaign, you need to give the viewers a place to go, which should be a landing page. On that page, you’ll need to offer newsletter signup so potential backers can stay informed about your campaign. Keep a list of all the sign-ups and use them as your newsletter subscribers.
8. Send a Monthly Newsletter with Updates
Create a newsletter and start sending monthly updates to your subscribers (sign-ups) regarding your campaign. You can use services like MailChimp, MailerLite, or Campaign Monitor. Once you send the updates, track the open rates and click-through rates to see how many users are interested in your newsletter and work on it accordingly. Our detailed article on this topic can give you more input.
9. Set Up the Social Media Channels
Go for Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Additionally, make sure to have an attractive cover image that highlights your campaign and where potential backers can find it, on Kickstarter or Indiegogo. Add images, videos, or GIFs on your social posts as they perform better than links only. You can create Facebook Ads to spread the word. Try doing this at least 1-3 months before you launch your campaign. Check out how this campaign got successful with Facebook Ads.
10. Prepare a Social Media Campaign Chart
You should be posting regularly on your channels and post your content at least once or twice per week before your campaign goes live. Twitter is also a great platform to look for influencers. You can tweet and ask them if they can go through your campaign or give it a shout out if possible.
11. Prepare a List of Influencers
Look for influencers based on your product niche and ask them to spread the word. You can also collaborate with previous campaigns on Instagram or other social channels. In fact, we have a specific blog that discusses more on this topic.
12. Prepare Your Visual Assets on Time
This includes great lifestyle images of the product as well as GIFs and a crowdfunding campaign video. Try avoiding white background images as they don’t make your product look real. Instead, go for images that show your product in the real world and how it can be used. Our statistics say that lifestyle images perform 60% better than white background images.
13. Set Up Appealing Reward Tiers
Start setting your reward tiers based on your main goal. Your rewards should be related to the product and not just $1 Thank-You cards or $10 T-shirts. In fact, those rewards work only for the backers who consider your project as more of a charity. But otherwise, it’s quite vague to offer that kind of pledge instead of doing your reward chart based on the actual product. Think about bundles like 3+1 free or 4 + free shipping to entice potential backers.
14. Prepare a Draft of Your Story
Craft your story and prepare a draft for the campaign. Always remember that crowdfunding is about the story and your journey towards making the product. Narrate your story in an engaging way to pull viewers in. It’s always wise to hire a copywriter to go through the entire project to make sure it looks perfect.
15. Reach Out to Media for Launch-Day Coverage
On the day of your launch, you should reach out to media outlets for getting coverage. You can either hire a PR firm like Command Partners or Smart Crowdfunding LLC to do it for you or try yourself. Media coverage is essential to get the word out. But you should always know where to draw the line. Don’t try to overdo it. Be professional and stick to the features of your project. If you have a million-dollar idea, press attention is inevitable. Here is a free cheat sheet and 7 proven steps to get your tech campaign in top-tier media for launch day.
16. Plan the Fulfillment Process
Services like Crowdox, BackerKit, and Fulfillrite can help you here. It’s better to deliver your product earlier than expected. When you plan a proper fulfillment process, you can better determine a realistic delivery timeline.
17. Be Active On Crowdfunding Forums
Start showing your presence in online crowdfunding forums as much as possible. This will help you increase your contacts and enhance your credibility at the same time. Answer questions or ask your own and listen to what others in the same field have to say.
18. Get Help from the Experts
If you are planning to raise more than $100,000, you definitely need some outside help from a consultant or an agency to guide you through the process. Our favorite consultants are Khierstyn Ross and Ivaylo Kalburdzhiev. Both have an impressive track record. You can also check the official experts page on Kickstarter.
During-Launch Best Crowdfunding Campaign Checklist
1. Create Your Official Press Release
Once your campaign is live, you need to make sure that the word reaches the media on time. It would be advisable to create an official press release 24 hours before your campaign goes live. Send it to all the media outlets you have reached out to before. That way, you’ll be able to spread the word immediately after your campaign goes live.
2. Send a Dedicated Newsletter Blast to Subscribers
Use a newsletter service like Campaign Monitor, MailChimp or MailerLite to send your subscribers a dedicated newsletter blast as soon as your campaign goes live. Keep updating them with the progress after two days and then again after a week. Finally, give them a final newsletter blast five days before your campaign ends.
3. Schedule Social Media Posts in Advance
Ensure you have your social media queue filled up on Buffer. Keep posting updates about your campaign across social media channels and discuss its importance through your posts. Using a scheduler will help you post to all of your channels in a single place.
4. Respond to the Comments As Soon As Possible
Interacting with your potential backers is extremely important. Make sure to reply to those comments on Facebook, Twitter, or your campaign page on time. You can use a service like Mention for this.
5. Track Your Traffic Sources
It’s essential to keep track of your traffic sources. Tools like Bit.ly or referral programs like Kickbooster will help you understand where your traffic is coming from. But remember that mobile apps are not considered here. This is because referral attributes are stripped from mobile apps so you won’t be able to see the sources.
6. Send Updates As and When Required
Sending updates about your campaign is vital. Whether it’s a stretch goal or an early delivery, you can publish your updates once every two weeks. Don’t overdo it.
7. Get to 30% of Your Goal As Fast As You Can
You have more chances to get featured on Indiegogo or Kickstarter if your campaign reaches 30% of its goal within 48 hours. You can also rely on family, friends, and acquaintances to help you reach that 30% even faster.
8. Set Up Special Early Bird Perks
Offering special early bird perks for those to pledge early will make your first backers feel special. You should offer free shipping or 10% discount vouchers to websites or blogs or influencers and grab more attention from their users.
9. Prep a Stretch Goal Chart
Once you start getting more attention for your campaign, start setting up a stretch goal chart. That way, you can grab your backer’s attention even more.
10. Highlight the Press Coverage on the Crowdfunding Page
Just getting press mentions is not enough. You need to highlight them on your crowdfunding page as well. Follow a specific structure of highlighting your most popular press mentions with quotes. This will increase the credibility of your campaign.
Post-Launch Best Crowdfunding Checklist
1. Be Ready With a Fulfillment Process
Once your campaign is over, you’ll need to get to work delivering the first batch to your backers as early as possible. Plan the fulfillment process with services like Fulfillrite and don’t let your backers start complaining because of an unwanted delay. Mitigate any pressure by individually answering any questions they may have.
2. Keep Updating Your Backers of the Progress
Update your backers about the progress once in every three weeks. Let them know that your project is under works and keep the excitement going. Sharing behind-the-scenes and production images will heighten excitement and your backers may even continue to share your project.
3. Never Delay the Delivery Timeline
Avoid a delay in delivery as much as possible. If you have an unforeseen issue that causes a delay, make sure to explain why you are delaying the delivery to your backers in full detail. We would still suggest you avoid a delay especially if you are planning a second or a third campaign. It would be wise enough to choose a later date for delivery in the campaign and possibly deliver early rather than delaying your proposed date.
4. Respond to All Genuine Queries
Never miss a query from your backers that comes your way. Additionally, if you have enough budget, outsource your customer support team and make sure all those queries are answered on time. Delaying responses can lead to angry backers. Turn on notifications on your smartphone and respond to those emails and questions on time. This will let your backers know that you care.
5. Switch to InDemand Indiegogo Program for More Orders
Once your campaign is over, you can switch to the InDemand program on Indiegogo to keep getting more pre-orders. Make sure you take orders only if you can fulfill them. You need not keep all the perks open in the InDemand program. Just go for special perks you can fulfill to keep getting those orders pouring in.
6. Launch an Online Shop if You Can
If you think you can fulfill an entire second batch of pre-orders, then launch your online shop. Don’t make it too detailed; a simple website based on Shopify that takes pre-orders will do.
7. Participate in Podcasts for Media Attention
Voice your success with the help of podcasts arranged by Art of the Kickstart, Crowdcrux, and similar other platforms. It’s important to do these little things and make yourself more visible in the industry. Like we said before, crowdfunding is not just about a product. It’s also about the story behind the creation of that product. If you truly have an inspirational story, it’s better to share.
8. Thank Every Backer Individually
There should be a thank you video clip and newsletter for your subscribers and backers once the campaign is over. A little gesture of gratitude always works. It adds a personal touch to your overall campaign and makes you more visible in front of your backers.
9. Make the Packaging Attractive
Once you start working on the package delivery, you should try to add a personal note to each one of your backers. Always remember that since this is your first batch, you should be thanking all those who helped you with your campaign success. It can be anything from a thank you note to a bookmark to chocolate for localities. But whatever you do, make sure your gratitude shows.
We truly believe you can find crowdfunding success if you structure the process the right way. This checklist isn’t about ticking off every task and moving on. It’s about getting into the details of each section of your campaign and working hard to do it right.
We have had many campaign creators asking us what the key to crowdfunding success is. Many believe that it has to do with the product. But we think it’s also about how you do it. Think of campaigns like EyeQue or the X-Frame Mechanical Watch. They received immense success due to the specific strategies they utilized during their campaign. If you do the same, there’s nothing stopping you from having a successful campaign. We hope our crowdfunding campaign checklist (Kickstarter checklist as well as Indiegogo checklist) will make it a smoother process. Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.