Kickstarter First Week

1
ducks_01

The first thing I’d say about planning for your initial crowdfunding campaign week is to prepare for the unexpected then plan to adapt.

At the end of week one, my COOLEST Kickstarter campaign is sitting at $82k, which is approximately 60% of our target goal of $125k.  I’m very pleased with this number, but I’ve got to say I had hoped for more.  When you put your dream project out to the world you naturally think that yours will be the next Pebble, and by this time you’ll be planning your stretch goals to get you over the seven figure mark.  That’s a perfectly fine dream to have, just make sure you’re got five or ten back-up plans in place.  Here’s a few of my week one take-aways:

Screen shot 2013-12-05 at 10.02.23 AM

THE GOOD:

- KS is a great platform to test market your product. It forces you to sink or swim and put all your assumed marketing plans to the test. It also allows you to be flexible and adjust strategies if something’s not working (which would be hugely expensive to do in a “live” market).

- Social media is king, at least for getting eyeballs. We’re really getting the word out about our product via Facebook and Twitter campaigns. We’ve had over 7000 people click on the Kickstarter video. The difficult part, however, is converting that to actual monetary contributions (see below).

- Our biggest success in securing actual backers has been through direct email campaigns. My sense is that people like to hear directly from the inventor in his own voice rather than a paid NewsFeed advertisement.

- Getting out there and personally promoting the product has been one of the most enjoyable parts of the campaign so far, and I’ve done that by bringing the Coolest to numerous tailgating events. People are generally receptive to new ideas, especially when there are cocktails involved!  Interacting with people at different events keeps up your motivation through the campaign’s ups and downs.

THE BAD:

-Timing is key.  I initially thought the week of Thanksgiving would be a good time to launch a fun and family themed product, but I wouldn’t do that again.  People seemed to be too busy with their holiday plans and commitments to pay as much attention as I hoped, plus there was a lot of marketing noise that week geared towards Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping rather than crowdfunding.

-Don’t plan on getting featured on Kickstarter and don’t expect them to deliver traffic.  Less than 10% of our supporters have come from Kickstarter, which means that 90% is from traffic we’re generating.  I like to think of any backers who discover us on Kickstarter as a wonderful bonus and you should too.

- We’re getting a lot of interactions with our Kickstarter page, but there’s a huge gap between the number of people who check us out and the number of people who actually go forward to back the project. Time will tell the real reason behind that… is it the product? the pricing? the reward levels? the season?

- It’s said that every Kickstarter campaign has it’s natural slow points. We shot out of the gate and made 50% of our goal in the first 12 hours, but weren’t able to maintain that momentum. It’s forcing us to re-examine our approach, our investments and our assumptions and give up on whatever’s not working.

In my next post I’ll tell you about some of the methods we’re using, testing, and discarding for bringing traffic to our page.  SNEAK PEEK: don’t be shy about asking people to promote your project to their social networks!  Would you please help us spread the Coolest word?  Here’s a special page that make is easy: http://coolestkickstarter.com/share/

Let me know what you want to know about our Kickstarter launch in the comments here>

 

Post your comment

Current ye@r *

9 comments

  1. Posted by John Klein, at Reply

    Ryan: Congradulation on the first phase. Questions:
    How many email addresses did you send to?
    What email lists did you use, and if you used more than one, which one(s) were most successful? Did you send out more than once to each email address? My company, Klein Direct, does email marketing and we sure would be interested in your answers.

    • Posted by Ryan Grepper, at Reply

      We sent to our IBP members list, family , friends, acquaintances, and other friends with lists also helped promote our launch. We haven’t purchased lists yet, but that is definitely on our agenda in the coming week. I’ll go into greater detail in the next post.

  2. Posted by Maggy, at Reply

    I didn’t get your email for support but I got Brendon Burhcard’s. This is where Brendon got me per his email “If you back Ryan’s campaign at any level, we’ll give you access to my interview and training with him once his project is complete. (I’ll be charging $997 for this later, so get in now just by backing any level of his project).” I love Brendon’s courses and can’t wait to see what he’s going to share.

    How much of your own money have you used to promote?

    This is great stuff and I definitely need the ‘Coolest’. Thank you for posting your experience with us.

    • Posted by Ryan Grepper, at Reply

      Thanks for the support and I’m really looking forward to my interview with Brendon. :) Regarding the capital invested I’ll provide a breakdown of where it all went at the end of the campaign so stay tuned!

  3. Posted by Joel Gonzalez, at Reply

    Hi Ryan, I’m from Connecticut and I placed my pledge and doing my part to spread the word about your project. In the near future, I plan to give kickstarter a try and I’m putting together a marketing strategy. I’ll be following you in order to learn from your experience. I’d like to share part of my planned strategy which you may try. I plan to ride the train from Connecticut to N.Y. City and hit Manhattan and Wall Street. On my trip I shall pass out cards or a flyer and make pleas to riders and people I meet along the way. Some of the wealthiest people travel by train to Manhattan and Wall Street so for me this may be a good. I shall contact all newspapers that cover the areas I shall cover to see if they write a story. If you know anyone (friends) in the N.Y. City area, you may want to contact them to see if they can do some marketing for you this way. Make a flyer they can print and If they need help, let me know ASAP. My cell # is 203-360-6094 (text is better than call) Home 203- 345-9597 and I believe you have my e-mail. You may also try this marketing strategy where you live too. Good Luck!

    • Posted by Ryan Grepper, at Reply

      Hey Joel,
      Thanks for the ideas… I’ve got a post coming up here soon that talks about all the things we tried to get the word out. Best of luck!

  4. Posted by Julian, at Reply

    Hey Ryan,
    Been following your posts for a while now in particular your kickstarter campaign. I just saw now that it wasn’t successfully funded. I think it’s a really cool idea, and am surprised you didn’t get more pledges. I’m curious to see what you think the issue was. Maybe you have a post coming up sharing what you learned, but was it a problem of a lack of PR around the time of the launch on kickstarter? Or some other reason?
    Would love to hear your thoughts.

  5. Posted by Connie DeCoito, at Reply

    Invested in Coolest Cooler onAugust 25,2014. Was supposed to receive my cooler in February 2015. I was told the project was fully funded. What’s happening?????????????

  6. Posted by L Thomas, at Reply

    I paid for my cooler a year and a half ago and have not received it yet.