How to Talk About Your Campaign So Backers Listen

At this moment, there’s 3,881 live campaigns on Kickstarter, and there’s no way anyone is going to sort through every single one of them. I'm definitely not, I'm busy watching garbage videos.

To help manage that glut of information, Kickstarter relies on algorithms to help sort through the good projects, and the hilariously-garbo projects.

Instead giving up in the face of algorithms, and throwing up our hands in the air as if we just didn’t care (about being funded), let’s jump in the way-way back machine to 1999, when the Y2K Armageddon was inevitable and boy bands grazed through the plains of Nebraska.

Permission Marketing

Seth Godin, an exceptionally-succinct internet marketing guru, who you should be reading, proposed an idea nearly twenty years ago.

Traditionally, marketing / advertising / selling / hawking was based around what he called Interruption Marketing. Here you are, minding your own businesses walking down the street and SPLADOW, you’re hit in the face with a billboard from someone trying to sell you life insurance. You deftly dodge lefty, but POW there’s another flyer stuck in the windshield wiper of your car trying to get you to join a Tribal Fusion Bellydance Collective for only the low low price of whatever that sort of thing would cost.

This is what people associate marketing with, a forced, ham-fisted message interrupting your day, and it’s why people hate marketing with THE FIRES OF A THOUSAND SUNS

How often are you SUPER FUCKIN’ AMPED to get an email from someone you don’t recognize asking for money? Twenty times a day? Four hundred times a day? THIRTY TIMES A MINUTE?

Interruption marketing sucks, but it does still return (modest) results because some people do respond, so businesses won’t give up on it.

There’s another way.

Permision Marketin is all about flipping the script and having people ask for your marketing, instead of it being thrown at them. You've experienced it by liking a Facebook page, signing up for an email list, or tattooing "Send Me Coupons" on your forehead.

Sales and marketing feel "dirty" to people because that's what we label all unwanted communications crammed in our face. This isn't true for messages that we want to hear. As annoying as YouTube pre-roll ads are, if there's an ad telling me there's a new fusion burrito restaurant opening up in walking distance from my house, I'll actually click through that ad. Hell yeah I'm gonna get me one of those burritos. (For further reading on the stigma of sales, I highly recommend To Sell Is Human by Dan Pink

While it sounds like a small detail to have a like on your Facebook page, it's a huge boost to your campaign. Every message you send to a willing recipient is more likely to be acted on compared to a rando, lowering the cost and time you need to spend to land every sale. 

There's more to Permission Marketing than getting a like on your FB page though.

Seth lays out three criteria to define the essentials of Permission Marketing:

               Anticipated – Do people anticipate messaging from the company?

               Personal – Does the message explicitly relates to the customer?

               Relevant – Is the marketing information something the consumer is interested in?

These are uber important factors for your campaign, since each influences the likelihood that someone will view your communication (open rate), click through to your page (click through rate), and actually buy something (conversion rate). If these three rates are awful, then no amount of marketing you do for your campaign will mean anything and you're headed for the Marketing Death-Spiral. 

The Marketing Death Spiral is when a campaign becomes desperate so it start experimenting with spammier forms of marketing, which lowers conversion rate on the page because these tactics send low quality traffic, which in turn leads to the campaign trying even spammier methods and so on and so on until we all die.

Your time is a limited resource.

You’ve chosen crowdfunding because you’ve got more time than money, but that doesn’t mean you can spend time willy nilly. Every minute you spend on your campaign is time you couldn’t spend elsewhere.

That’s why I harp so much on the value of building your email list pre-launch, (40-72 rule). While it takes more thought, time, and planning than buying bulk emails to spam-message, the return on your investment will be be far more valuable.

Permission Marketing is nearly twenty years old at this point, but as the amount of information on the internet continues to increase exponentially, the importance of convincing people to actually ask for marketing will only increase.

Seek permission.

Get conversions.