Can you market your Kickstarter for free?
We had no idea what would work. So, we tried everything.
We paid influencers. We got free PR. We paid for FB ads. We got free listings on crowdfunding sites. The list goes on and on.
At the end of our campaign, more than half of our sales came from free traffic sources.
The paid traffic was important, as it gave us our first boost of sales. But a lot of our traffic ended up coming for free. So, this is this list of Kickstarter marketing tips I wish we had when we launched.
Without further ado, let’s take a look at some free ways you can get traction on your Kickstarter campaign.
I LOVE Kickbooster. Kickbooster got us into AskMen, BroBible, and a number of other publications. Although those publications drove under $1,000 in sales, just adding their logos to our Kickstarter gave us a big boost in credibility.
Our biggest media mentions, Men’s Health and Uncrate, drove close to $40,000. But I’m convinced those journalists wouldn’t have written about us without the credibility from Ask Men and Bro Bible. Kickbooster helped us get those mentions.
BackerKit’s Weekly Favorites
BackerKit sends out an email of their favorite projects every week. Getting this feature generated a few thousand dollars for us. You’re more likely to get featured towards the end of your campaign.
This is probably not a surprise to anybody. But cross promoting with other campaigns is a great way to bring in free sales.
In total I think it was less than $10,000 in our campaign. It’s not a home run traffic source, but definitely something you’ll want to do.
Our Kickstarter training program goes into detail on how to generate thousands of dollars in sales through cross promotions.
Improve Your Kickstarter Ranking
One of your biggest drivers of traffic will be organic traffic from Kickstarter. Naturally, it makes sense to try and get your listing higher in the rankings.
How do you do that? The most important thing is momentum. Generating a large volume of sales in a short period of time will shoot you to the top. Slow trickles of sales will keep you at the bottom. Check out our pre-launch email marketing article for more on how to do this.
Thunderclap is a tool that lets you co-ordinate shares from friends, so all your friends can share your campaign the moment you launch. We didn’t have our Google Analytics setup when we did our Thunderclap (doh!) but I think it brought in a few hundred bucks.
Beta List is a product launch listing website, specifically for people who’re launching interesting and innovative products. Note that you’re more likely to get approved if you have a working product that people can poke around and use, especially if it’s software.
KickTraq is a Kickstarter funding tracking tool. Kind of like competitive intelligence. Other creators use it to spy on each other and see how much sales everyone is generating.
For some reason, we managed to make some sales from it.
KickTraq also has an advertising program, which gets exposure to 300,000+ Kickstarter enthusiasts every month.
Working With Influencers
We had a handful of influencers share our Kickstarter. One of them, we actually paid for. We paid $1,000 for the sponsorship and made like $50 in sales. Oops.
But, we had a few other influencers that promoted us for free, and that worked quite well.
Generally you want to start reaching out to influencers before you start your campaign. Start by reaching out to people in your network, who are connected to influencers. Get an introduction. For those you can’t find a warm introduction to, just send them a cold email.
If you have an innovative product, don’t hesitate to reach out to people. They’re usually interested in seeing new products in your space. That’s why they built an audience in your industry to begin with.
You might have more luck going into specific sub-reddits and posting. For example, if you’re doing motorcycle earbuds, post in motorcycle forums. Just make sure not to come across promotional.
“This is Why I’m Broke”
This is Why I’m Broke is a site that lists cool products. We got listed, and they drove close to 2,000 visitors to our Kickstarter campaign.
“Shut Up and Take My Money”
A very similar type of website to “This is Why I’m Broke”, Shut Up and Take My Money also specializes in listing interesting products.
Product Hunt can bring in a lot of traffic. It’s also very difficult to get into. You’ll probably need a fully functioning product that’s already launched.
Werd is a site for “cool stuff, mostly for men.” They drove a moderate amount of sales for us. But hey, free sales is free sales.
Media Sites to Reach Out To
These are media sites that are known for writing about crowdfunding campaigns. Some of them have a very high bar, some have a low bar.
For example, we got featured in TrendHunter within the first few days of our campaign. Gizmodo, on the other hand, reached out late in the campaign. We sent them our prototype, but in the end they passed on the article.
Personally, I think as long as a site has a policy of writing about crowdfunding campaigns, it’s worth reaching out to them. Try to reach out to the specific author or editor who covers crowdfunding campaigns, rather than a general mailbox.
- TrendHunter – Seems like they list just about anything. We got in within a few days of launch.
- Uncrate – Our biggest driver of traffic. We sold over $20,000 thanks to Uncrate.
- CoolBacker – As the name implies, they like to feature cool Kickstarter campaigns.
- Gizmodo – Gadgets and things. Tons of traffic, but very selective. Expect them to ask for a prototype.
- Consumerist – A consumer news site. But they feature Kickstarter campaigns now and again.
- The Awesomer. A website that features awesome stuff. Is your campaign awesome? If so, you might try reaching out.
- Cool Things. They feature cool things.
- Gajitz. This is specifically for tech related gadgets.
- Design Taxi. They focus on design related products.
- Not Cot. They’re also a design focused news site.
There you have it. 23+ places to launch your Kickstarter, for free. I hope these Kickstarter marketing tips help you make your campaign a home run.
Of course, just having a list of free marketing tactics probably isn’t enough to bring you a stellar campaign. You need to have a cohesive plan that takes you from Day 1 to Day 30.
Build Your Kickstarter Marketing Plan
Want to make sure your Kickstarter goes off without a hitch? Learn how we sold $10,000 in our first 25 minutes, and $200,000+ by the end of our campaign. I pull back the curtains and show you everything our Kickstarter Training Program.