You crushed your campaign and hit your goal, or you’re well on your way to finishing strong. So, what’s the next step to stay engaged with your backers after crowdfunding?It’s unfortunate, but for every dozen campaigns that are successful, there’s always one or two that fail to deliver. Products never come out, rewards and perks never get fulfilled, and backers walk away angry and skeptical of you and the platform. So many things can happen that you can’t control, but there are a few post-crowdfunding pointers you can use to minimize the chance of failure and make your backers glad they helped fuel your success.
Don’t Hide in the Shadows
Your backers funded your campaign and helped you meet your goal. Now is the time to thank them, share your results and follow through on rewards or perks you offered. This isn’t the time to remain silent or ignore them. They want to feel involved and a part of whatever comes next. Contact them through email, blog posts, a YouTube video or by giving them a shoutout on social media – whatever works best for you. But, what is really important is to show them how much you appreciate their support by keeping in touch and keeping them in the loop. After all, the key to happy backers is honest communication. You never know when you’ll need to depend on their generosity again.
Building for the Future
As important as keeping in touch and thanking your backers for helping you reach your goal is, updating them on the progress of manufacturing is equally important. You may have just entered into the development phase and had a breakthrough that will save you both time and money. Or, you may have hit a snag, and manufacturing your product will get pushed beyond your original target date. Don’t let yourself get so bogged down in your product’s development that you forget to give frequent updates to your backers. Share the details and keep the lines of communication open. Your backers are less likely to get anxious if they understand you’re doing your best to fix a few snags that may crop up, solve problems and ultimately launch your product.
An Idea Whose Time Has Come
There may be times when you’re just not able to meet your original deadline, regardless of how hard you try. Most backers will understand if they know the reasons why. Try offering an updated timeline if possible. Share reasons for the delay and apologize for any setbacks. Most of your backers have no idea what goes into making a product or fulfilling a project, so communicating your plan for moving forward and setting a new timeline will reassure contributors that they will get what your campaign promised. You may also want to show pictures or videos of your progress and share product changes or details that have been altered to guarantee your backers receive a stellar product. Whatever you do, no matter the issue – good or bad – the best way to bankroll your success is through timely, honest communication with your backers.
Consistency is Key
Building trust is difficult, even for the most successful crowdfunding campaigns. That’s one reason why open communication helps your backers feel confident in your ability to follow through on your rewards, perks and promises. The best way to do that is by setting up a consistent plan of communication that brands you as a real person who is reliable, dependable and truly excited about building ongoing relationships with your backers. This can be especially true if you’re a solo entrepreneur. Your contributors have depended on you through every step of the campaign process, and staying in touch on a regular basis is more important than ever after your campaign has ended. Make sure your message is clear, constant, unchanging (unless there’s a snag in the process of fulfilling your rewards or in manufacturing) and systematic.
Keep Calm and Carry on
Your backers are smart people. If until now you have failed to communicate with them, they may be questioning your intentions and may have even posted negative feedback or said something bad about your project in social media channels. It would be easy to get angry and retaliate. Don’t do it! Step back and look at it from your backers’ points of view. You made a promise via a reward or perk, and because they haven’t heard from you, they might be afraid you skipped town. Keep calm and carry on. After all, they single-handedly made your project a reality. Email or use social media or some other means to say you understand where they are coming from. Apologize for leaving them hanging and not communicating more often, and use this opportunity to update them on your progress.
Another thing to keep in mind: When you fail on Kickstarter, it becomes very public, very fast. Stalling for time, missing a deadline, hitting a manufacturing snafu or just not keeping your backers updated can wreak havoc on you and your campaign. Make sure your backers remain glad they backed your project with consistent, expedient and truthful communication.
Need help? Start a conversation with your crowdfunding backers with Enventys Partners email marketing tactics. When you recruit Enventys Partners, a full-service crowdfunding email marketing agency, you’ll get list segmentation, lead generation and collection, branded templates, engaging and shareable content, and strategies to build – and improve – campaign relationships.