Reach Your Crowdfunding Goal: Structuring Rewards and Launching

You’ve built out your audiences, created your ads and landing page, and nurtured your email list — it’s finally time to launch!

First, set up your rewards structure. Rewards are what Kickstarter calls your main product offering. When someone pledges to your Kickstarter campaign, they are technically donating to you. In return, you are making a promise to give them something.

That said, we must treat Kickstarter like what it is: an e-commerce platform.

As with all e-commerce, you want to be careful about offering too many products during the campaign. We want to make a reward structure that is easy to understand.

Tactics we will use:

  • Discounting
  • Price anchoring
  • Scarcity through limited quantities
  • Urgency through limited time availabilities

Now let’s dive into actually creating your reward structure. First, download our Reward Structure Spreadsheet which will help you design your pricing.

Enter in every product you will be offering in your campaign.

You’ll want to enter in both the estimated retail prices and cost of goods sold (COGS) of each item you will be offering. This will help you in the next tab on the spreadsheet.

After you have listed everything out, you can now design the reward structure.

I suggest first answering the question: what is the lowest price I am willing to discount my product at? Typically, the biggest discount should be over 30% off the expected retail price.

On Kickstarter, a very effective tactic is what we call Reward Stacking.

You pick your main product offering and then design 3 discount tiers. For MyWidget, the main product offering is the MyWidget product. The reward stack is as follows:

  • Super Early Bird: $59 (40% discount)
  • Early Bird: $69 (30% discount)
  • Kickstarter Special: $89 (10% discount)

We use the Super Early Bird tier to fuel the launch. If you remember, we’ve been building an email list and letting them know that a huge benefit of being a part of the community is getting access to the best deal. We typically leave the Super Early Bird open for at least the first 24 hours of the campaign.

After closing it out, the Early Bird becomes available. We plan to sell the Early Bird for the remainder of the campaign.

You may be asking: “why have the Kickstarter Special then?”. The Kickstarter Special acts as what is known as a price anchor. It’s the same reason why when you go to a steakhouse, they have one ridiculously priced steak on the menu. After seeing that, the others don’t look so bad (even if they are still expensive).

In the same way, it reminds prospective backers that the price may go up, so they better take advantage of the discount you are giving them now.

Besides stacking your main product offering, you will always want to offer multi-packs. This is very straightforward. Two and four packs are most common. Simply make the discount slightly better as they order a higher quantity.

With your campaign live, it’s time to tell your community!

Email marketing strategy during the campaign is broken down into three phases:

  1. Launch :  the first 14 days after you go live
  2. Middle :  time between launch and ending phases
  3. Ending : the final 7 days of the campaign

The majority of your sales from your email list will come during the Launch phase and it is the most important phase to get right.

The launch is the most exciting time of your campaign and we need to play to that excitement with your email strategy.

During this phase, you are going to be emailing your list a lot. Probably more than you feel comfortable with. It’s okay because with each email we are providing valuable content and/or a valuable offer.

To give you an idea of how many emails we typically send, here is the timeline of emails we sent for eWheels.

Day 1
8 a.m.: Announce the launch to the email list.
5 p.m.: Recap how much we got funded over the day and remind them that there are still discounted products available.

Day 2
8 a.m.: Announce a new reward that is still an amazing deal if they missed out on the first-day deal.
5 p.m.: Remind them that the deal will close at midnight.

Day 3
8 a.m.: Educate them on the #2 reason why backers backed the campaign. Let them know that tomorrow we’ll share the #1 reason.

Day 6
8 a.m.: Educate them on the #1 reason why backers backed the campaign.

Day 9
8 a.m.:  Give them answers to our frequently asked questions.

Day 12
8 a.m.: Share testimonials from past customers and exciting comments and messages from current backers.

Day 14
8 a.m.: Remind them that at midnight the current discounted reward will close and the price will rise.
5 p.m.: Give a final reminder that the price will go up at midnight.

That was 10 emails over the course of two weeks, helping drive over $80K in revenue for the campaign.

Wrapping up

In the end, building a pre-launch email list takes the uncertainty out of how you will get your initial backers for your crowdfunding campaign. Instead of launching your campaign and praying that backers will magically appear, you are taking control by building a community of people that want to buy your product before you even launch.

Building your pre-launch email list is just one part of running a successful Kickstarter or Indiegogo campaign. You can learn much more by visiting these links:

Learn more

Learn how to get your backer reward shipped out as planned and prevent your campaign from running into common but costly mistakes that other crowdfunders have made. Download “The Complete Crowdfunding Fulfillment Guide.”

Read the full series