Continuing to debrief from our crowdfunding campaign (and re-center after all the holiday gift giving!), we are talking about how we thought of the rewards for our Kickstarter this week!
Kickstarter wouldn’t be half as unique without its reward system, that’s for sure - just look at all the options! From the inside, it can be tough to create all the different support levels and rewards, but it’s worth taking your time and getting it right!
First comes the high level stuff - figuring out how much money you want to raise and how much money you want to ask for. Kickstarter is an all or nothing platform: while your campaign may get backers, if you don’t reach your set goal (the “ask”) you won’t receive anything at all. Because of that, it can pay to be conservative in your total “ask” even if you think you have a shot at beating that official target, like we did (thanks again!)
But, remember that success is actually based on reaching your own internal fundraising goal!
After you get past that high level strategy, you have to break it down into tactics.
The first question is:
1.) What do people want?
At a high level, a KickStarter campaign is going after two kinds of folks: supporters and customers.
Supporters are your close “crowd” - your grandma, your favorite teacher, your friends - people who would support you almost no matter what. This crowd is more sensitive to the dollar amount than the physical rewards. They also probably view backing as more of a “gift” - so whether that’s $20 or $500, you’ll want to set up appropriate support levels with tailored rewards. T-shirts, hand written letters, update calls/skype sessions, and featured placement in your acknowledgements are all good options. This is about what feels right, fair, and fun.
Customers, on the other hand, want stuff and they want to feel like they got a deal. For us, that primarily meant discounted snacks, but it could range from custom options to special requests and more.
Throughout all of this rewards stuff, you can’t forget to:
2.) Do the Numbers!
Even the “customer” types on Kickstarter are different from regular in-store customers, because there’s a wait and the risk the project might fail. That means everyone really wants you to succeed!
And remember, success is NOT hitting your “ask” - it’s achieving your personal fundraising goal! That means $ raised MINUS the fees, the cost of running the campaign, the cost of producing rewards, shipping, and lots of intangibles (like time or brand awareness) that can be positive or negative.
In other words, you have to think about your margin; That is, crunching numbers to make sure you can actually make enough money to DO what you said in the campaign and then, hopefully, continue to do it and spread your project to more and more people!
Once you get it all figured out, there’s just one more thing to consider, how to:
3.) Get organized and get it done!
You did the math, you did the marketing, you hit your goal and the campaign has come to a successful end! But the work is far from over!
Now is the time to DO. For us, that meant - first - using the money we raised to go to Expo East and starting to increase the exposure we need to become a successful mission-based food business.
Second, we started assembling the rewards: writing thank you notes, compiling backer information (2 people still haven’t responded!!), and figuring out how we were going to organize and send out 200+ packages!
How to survive that?
* Organize, organize, organize
* Double check, double check, double check
* Find a great source of help!
For us, the great help came from the incredible people at The Blick Center. Blick is one of the non-profits we work with to create jobs for people with developmental disabilities here in OH. The folks at Blick are the people who label all our products and pack all of our orders for shipping!
In this Kickstarter case, they helped us put together and ship all the hundreds of reward packages! A partner like that can make all the difference between a big job and an overwhelming one!
By now almost all of our backers should have received their rewards and we are winding down the campaign.
Thank you again, and if you are interested to know more about the internal workings of the campaign - feel free to reach out!
Happy New Year! :-)