En Route to Saenthood:

#13 Why We Chose Indiegogo For Our Crowdfunding (and not Kickstarter)

This series is about what I’m learning, observing and experiencing while building my startup Saent (pronounce “Saint”). The good, the bad and especially the ugly, each time in under 500 words.

Reception at the Indiegogo offices in San Francisco.

One day, not too long ago, this item was on my Next Big Worry list:

How are we going to drive enough traffic to our crowdfunding campaign?

With this question on my mind, I sat down at my computer one morning. After eating my frog, I opened up my mailbox to find this email from Indiegogo:

Hi Tim,
I recently saw the teaser page for your upcoming Saent Button, and I wanted to reach out and see how we might be able to help.
Not only do I love the product (I’m our resident efficiency nerd), but I think we can help you make it a wild success. We get closely involved with campaigns on the site to help them build out their strategies and hit big numbers.

So we planned a call with Ben, while Saent Josh reached out to Kickstarter as well. They too, turned out to be interested in our product launch, so we had to make a difficult choice: Kickstarter or Indiegogo?

The obvious difference is that Kickstarter has about three times more organic traffic. But we learned Indiegogo really shines in other areas. Here are the three most important ones.

1. Technical powers
Kickstarter is rather strict when it comes to A/B testing, contests and referral mechanisms. Indiegogo actively supports and encourages this:

  • We can reward backers for referrals.
  • We can build custom campaign pages for different target audiences.
  • We get detailed analytics on traffic and different elements of the page.

2. Booooring…
Another reason to consider Indiegogo was more boring, yet not less important: accounting.

Saent is a Hong Kong company, which is not one of the countries supported by Kickstarter. This means either Russell or myself would have to personally register the project in one of our home countries. Subsequently, our funding goal and rewards would then be listed in the local currency (New-Zealand dollars or Euros). Not very desirable when your main target market is the USA.

Indiegogo will let us register from anywhere. We can run the campaign directly in the name of Saent Holding, the official entity in Hong Kong, while also listing our funding goal and rewards in US dollars.

3. Stay hungry
Both Kickstarter and Indiegogo were nice enough to personally answer questions we had. Both seemed convinced by the potential of our product. Both are very capable of what they’re doing.

Nevertheless, the Indiegogo team just seemed that little bit more hungry. We could feel they were as excited about our product as we were. They really went the extra mile to answer our questions in detail.

To have both major crowdfunding platforms interested in our product launch was surreal. The organic traffic Kickstarter can offer is highly appealing. But we believe in our own ability to drive substantial traffic, which can be best leveraged with the tools Indiegogo provides.

We chose Indiegogo.

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