Congratulations, you’ve funded!
Now you wait two weeks before the funds transfer to your account and you can disappear to a live a life in the Caribbean, dodging taxes and angry backers while you sip mai tais until you go blind! (Please don’t do this, crowdfunding has enough of a credibility problem).
Seriously though, be proud of what you’ve accomplished. You f'n DID it!
However, before you sleep for three days straight, there’s two things you need to handle right away. They're not urgent at start, but they quickly escalate into issues you'd rather not have to deal with in no time.
Take care of your backers
Your campaign's close is when backers actually get billed, and with that transaction, expectations change. Seasoned crowdfunding backers understand that most of what they’ll be doing now is waiting, but not all backers are as sophisticated (or understand anything about crowdfunding). For our video game Kickstarter where we were explicitly raising funds to create a new point-and-click adventure game, we had backers from day one getting irritated that they haven’t received their download of the game yet.
How dare we!?!
But you can’t blame these backers, crowdfunding is unlike the majority of online transactions where expectations are clear and understood by the majority of people partaking in them. Buying rainbow unicorn onsies on Amazon is a very transparent transaction, whereas nearly 10% of funded crowdfunding campaigns never deliver.
It’s your duty to educate as many backers as you can on how this whole shindig is going to happen, you dig? In your communications across all your marketing channels, especially your campaign page updates, you need to communicate the following:
1. Say “Thank you”
Yes, it’s basic, but yes, if you forget to say thanks, it will be noticed. You’ve convinced a bunch of randos on the internet to give you money for something they might get. They’ve been considerate, so return the favor.
2. Let backers know what to expect from you, when to expect it, and what they need to do.
When it comes to the post-campaign phase, crowdfunding is loosey-goosey at best. On every one of your marketing channels, you’ll need to explain to backers in crystal clear detail what will be happening next.
Backers are in the dark after a campaign ends. Do they need to email you their address? When can they expect their product? When’s the deadline? What happens if I miss it? How do I update my preferences? Are you my mommy?
These are all questions you’ll need to have answered for your backers, lest you begin drowning in customer service hell trying to answer all of these questions to everyone one on one. An ounce of clarity is worth a pound of “having to do a whole bunch of work explaining.”
3. Let backers know the right location to contact you
Trying to manage customer service across Facebook, YouTube, Email, Instagram, Twitter, Kickstarter Messages, comments on your campaign page, and telegraph will get overwhelming quickly, and you’re more likely to miss solving people’s problems with so much to track.
Choose one official channel to dedicate to answering questions and use that as the one-and-only “Official Way To Contact the Campaign”. If a backer messages you on another platform, let them know to forward their message on to this channel to get their issue resolved. This will help minimize the number of miscommunications, forgotten customer service issues, and general shenanigans you’ll have to manage because there’s only one place that your campaign will use as a place of record.
Set Up Spotlight and Presales
No matter how much you message and market your campaign, you’ll still get stragglers and late arrivals to your page asking to give you money.
Make it easy for these people to throw dollars at you!
Spotlight is a handy-dandy feature that lets you edit your campaign page after successfully funding, which is important because of how highly Kickstarter pages rank on search engine results. Often, the completed Kickstarter page will out-rank your own product website for quite some time, so this is an effective way at directing traffic to someplace where you can monetize it.
Use Spotlight to change your campaign’s call to action button to head to your company’s landing page to either capture a presale, or to capture an email to notify potential customers of when presales will open up.
Post-campaign sales aren’t something to shrug off lightly. Campaigns can raise significant funds after a campaign closes, sometimes as much as 50-75% in extra pledges happen after a campaign ends.
YUMMY MONEY IN MY TUMMY
Obviously, this is only the beginning of what it takes to correctly land this Kickstarter Campaign plane, but these are the top two issues most likely to hurt you if they’re not addressed immediately. Missing communication early means quickly escalating anger and confusion among backers. Missing spotlight and presales means missing some serious moneydollars. Easier to fix these now before they become a serious problem.