Crafting a Powerful Day One Launch
Of all the marketing you’ll do for your campaign, the pre-launch phase is by far the most important. If you get this right, you’ll surpass your fundraising goal on Day 1, get a ton of free press, get ranked in the Kickstarter search, and have marketing partners chasing you.
If you mess this up, you won’t get ranked in Kickstarter, you won’t get free press, and you’ll get worse terms from marketing partners. It becomes an uphill battle. Your pre-launch marketing is a multiplier on your entire campaign.
By focusing on our pre-launch marketing, we were able to build an email list of 5,000 customers before we launched. Using that email list, we were able to generate $10,000 in sales in 25 minutes, and $32,756 in the first 24 hours.
So, the question is: how do you get thousands of buyers on an email list, ready to buy when you launch?
Build Up Your Prelaunch Email List
The email list and Facebook Group you have on launch day will more or less determine whether or not you have have a successful Kickstarter campaign. When we launched our campaign, we had approximately 5,000 people on our list and 500 people in our Facebook Group.
We built this from scratch. We had no email list prior to beginning our pre-launch marketing.
All of our emails we collected using Facebook Ads. The process looked like this:
Facebook Ads > Email Landing Page > Email List
We started our Facebook Ads campaign about 2 weeks before our campaign started. This is enough time to give your campaign the chance to test and scale, but not so much time that early subscribers start forgetting why they signed up.
The Storytelling Email Series
What kinds of emails should you send once you collect the email address?
Your email series should focus on building your audience’s connection with you. Your backers are not just buying your product. They’re buying you. You’re asking them to trust you. You’re asking them to give you money today, so that they can receive a product 6-12 months later. You’re asking them to take a big risk.
That’s why it’s important to not just instill the desire for people to buy your product – but to build a sense of trust, rapport and connection.
When we wrote our email series, we focused on our story. We shared the history of how the product was invented, who the inventors are, how the product is manufactured, etc. We used vivid imagery and painted a detailed picture for our readers, so they felt like they knew us.
That way, when we asked for their money, we’re not just two random dudes on the internet.
To put together your email series, ask yourself the following questions:
- What’s your back story?
- What’s the “emotional hook” of your product?
- How can you tell your story in a Hero’s Journey format?
- How did the co-founders meet?
- When and how did you come up with the product idea?
- What was it like getting your prototype made?
- What did other people think when you showed them your prototype?
End your emails with a call to action – to be online when your campaign launches, so they can get the early bird discounts.
Use a Facebook Group to Create Urgency
Scarcity is a tactic often used by marketers to try and get people to take action. Unfortunately, phrases like “limited quantity offer!” are so overused that it often backfires. That’s why we wanted to do things a bit differently when we launched our Kickstarter.
We did this by creating a Facebook group. Whenever someone joined our email list, they were taken to a page that asked them to join our Facebook Group. The email series also asked them to join our group.
We asked people to post about why they were interested in the Flexr. This resulted in a steady stream of dozens of people posting about why they wanted to buy our product.
As a result, anyone who joined the Facebook group would see messages in their Facebook feed from other people who were excited to buy.
This helped us create social proof. People in the Facebook Group could see hundreds of other people also interested in buying the product. Since we had a limited number of early bird products, it also created a sense of competition – people knew they had to be online when we launched, or they’d miss out.
Here’s just a small segment of the comments we got:
As a result of this marketing campaign, we had hundreds of buyers hitting refresh on our page when we launched, allowing us to sell $5000 in 5 minutes and $32,000 in the first 24 hours. This in turn helped us quickly rank on Page 1 in Kickstarter’s search engine algorithm.
The Pre-Launch Snowball
I cannot emphasize this enough: your pre-launch marketing is the most important thing you’ll do in your entire campaign. Nailing your pre-launch marketing allows you to:
- Surpass your funding goal on Day 1
- Get free press, and have press contact you
- Quickly rank on Page 1 in Kickstarter’s listings
- Negotiate better terms with marketing partners
- Improve the quality of your cross-promotion partners
If you had to focus on nothing else, focus on your pre-launch marketing. If your launch is weak, it’s very difficult to recover from that. With a strong launch, your momentum will carry you even if you make mistakes in other areas.