How To Make 30K In Five Days On Kickstarter
On July 5th we launched JoeyWears on Kickstarter. We’d been working for about 30 hours straight when we went live, and in that time we went from anxious to confident and back again. When we launched, we were ready to turn on every marketing trick we’d learned over the last 10 years, but we didn’t have to. The orders started flooding in, and we spent the day communicating with our brand new, incredible community rather than setting live ads. It was really, really awesome.
Now the dust has settled, we’ve raised almost £60K ($79.35K) in the past 27 days, with 70 hours left to the end of the Kickstarter campaign. We’ve had a look back to work out how we beat our funding goal by 200% in the first and the most important week so quickly. Here’s what we learned.
*** Preparation, Preparation, Preparation
This didn’t happen overnight — the design process started last August — to create an eco-friendly pair of men’s underwear that combated sweat, prevented riding up, was super-soft and unimaginably-comfy. This mandate came from extensive user research, to find out what exactly men wanted from their underwear and how we could make it better.
In fact, almost all the things we’ll talk about in this article happened before the launch.
FIRST LESSON: Piss poor preparation leads to piss poor performance
*** Build Up Communities
Bet you’ve heard this one before. Annoyingly, that’s because it’s so true. It can be a daunting task, so I like to break it down into smaller communities.
If you’re lucky enough to have amazing friends and family as we did, this is a great start. If you’re passionate about your campaign, they will be too — as long as you tell them. Make sure they know what’s going on, add them to a Whatsapp group and post updates, send a Facebook message to people you haven’t seen in a while to let them know what you’re doing ahead of time, or send an old colleague an email. Try and make it personal, and meaningful — it takes more time but is way more effective than mass email templates (I know personally from a mail merge disaster that gives me the chills to this day).
We found several viral referring marketing platforms, but the only one that worked for us was Viral Loops. We used it for pre-launch email sign up. With in a month we accured over 500 people who were interested in our porduct.
Friends and family (almost definitely) are going to support you. But if you can turn strangers into fans, you know you’re onto something. If you get a stranger to sign up, through Facebook advertising, or email — don’t send an automated email if they’re your first, second, tenth sign up. Send them a personal email — find out what they like and don’t like. Stalk (not in a creepy way) them on Instagram and find out where they hang out and what they like doing. It helps you build up a persona of who your perfect customer is. I thought we would work best with single guys — but it was actually men in relationships who made up a huge bulk of our pre-launch audience.
SECOND LESSON: Build up a community, and get to know them as you do!
*** Make sure you test everything
Proposition, visuals, product, messaging, video script — we ran all of these past target customers. Doesn’t need to be many — maybe send to 10 on a Facebook messenger group, and ask them for small bits of feedback every now and then. People are way more generous than you expect, especially if you’re just asking for their opinion.
Make sure you listen to the feedback — but don’t follow it blindly. If something isn’t working, but the suggestions from the feedback aren’t any good — get creative and come up with a work around. When testing JoeyWears — 50% loved the JoeyPouch, and 50% didn’t really get it. Solution: we were able to create two versions (the Pro and the Active).
THIRD LESSON: Make sure your community understands your vision!
*** The First Day Really Matters
On the first day — around 75% of the sales to our page were driven by us. Right now, over half of the revenue has been driven by Kickstarter. If you can nail your first day, Kickstarter will help promote your product. If you mess it up, it will be tough work.
So make sure your community is primed. Make sure they know what Kickstarter is and how it works. Make sure they know they need to buy on the first day (we used Earlybirds). Make sure your fans know this information to tell their friends. Email them with a link to create an event in their gmail calendar. The more they know ahead of time, the better your first day will be. I even sent our superfans a very extra doc which had all the information about our launch so they could tell their networks about.
Our Kickstarter project exploded in the second hour, as our network activated. It’s an amazing feeling to watch friends, fans and strangers part ways with their hard earned cash to help support your dream.
FOURTH LESSON: Make sure every person you think may buy, knows exactly when and how you’re launching
*** Respond To Them
When our backers began flowing in, our priority was to thank them. We tagged the ones we had on Facebook in a picture of us with a thank you sign behind us. We reach out using the Kickstarter Messenger to thank each of our backers that we didn’t know. Pre-prepared banners went up on Facebook and Instagram when we hit any targets.
For us, we weren’t trying to get anything out of this, it came from genuinely wanting to express our gratitude. But what we did find was people would up their pledge, and share with their friends. Just be nice, it pays off.
FIFTH LESSON: You’re nothing without your backers, make sure you let them know
*** Track and improve
We used a combination of GA UTM tracking and Bit.ly to know where our sales were coming from. If something isn’t working, we abandon it and move on to the next. 1–2–1 email outreach isn’t working particularly well for us, so we’re focusing more on influencers and press now.
Getting every link right is quite tricky to do, and in all honesty, we’ve messed up a few times, but even if you don’t track 100% of links — some data is way better than no data.
SIXTH LESSON: Stop doing shit that doesn’t work
We’ve learned a lot over the last few days about the sheer power of community, and the importance of preparation. I reckon if you’ve nailed these things, your Kickstarter has a really great chance to succeed. If you feel a bit underprepared, make sure you’re not being too hard on yourself. We were. We were focused on the 20 other things we could have done if we had more time, rather than the 100 other things we had done already. Have a little faith and good luck with your project!
There are only 70 hours left before the Kickstarter project finally ends. You can check us out and support us at http://kck.st/2tVCJCZ