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When it comes to running a successful crowdfunding campaign, connecting with backers is the name of the game.
That is why after you set your campaign goals and launch date, you should your attention and energy on publicizing your crowdfunding campaign to bring on board as many backers as possible.
So, what is the best, and the most effective way to get your fundraiser off the ground? Well, you may have guessed it: outreach email. Yes, if you want to win in the crowdfunding game, you have got to start by reaching out to your personal networks, your inner circle.
In this article, we'll help you understand why email outreach email is essential, what emails to send, who you should send them to, and how Easyship can help plan the shipping and logistics for your crowdfunding campaign.
Why Email is Essential
There are several reasons why you should consider running email outreach campaigns before and after your crowdfunding campaign launches. They include:
- Win early supporters: Early supporters from your personal networks, Host Committee, friends, and family are usually the most willing backers. In fact, they help you raise about 30% of your funding goal. An outreach email campaign is a powerful way to reach out to these networks, win early supporters, and build early momentum for your crowdfunding campaign. When other backers from the wider audience visit your campaign page and see that your project has a strong base of supporters, they feel confident and more comfortable contributing to it.
- Affordable and effective: You may be tempted to overlook crowdfunding email marketing in favor of social media. MailMunch has shown that you should not. At the end of it all, email proves to be affordable and more effective. For every $1 spent on email marketing, you can expect up to $42 in return.
- High conversion rate: Email outreach campaigns have proved to drive high conversions. Nearly half of all crowdfunding emails sent out result in a donation! That means if you have sent out 200 emails, almost 100 people are likely to respond by donating to support your project.
- Wider reach: It is okay to think that you will reach more people on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media channels. But unless you are using paid ads, only 6% of your followers will see your organic content. This is because social media algorithms value user-generated content(UGC) when deciding which content to feed users rather than the owner's posts. On average, emails have a 21.73% open rate! See the difference?
- Personalizations: The other reason why you shouldn't overlook crowdfunding email marketing is the degree of personalization it offers. You can segment your email list into different groups, and target each potential backer by name! This is something you can't do with social media.
Who Are You Emailing
As you can see, an outreach email can make a difference between success and failure in your crowdfunding campaign. But before you hit the ground running with email outreach campaigns, you need to know who you are emailing.
The best tactic is to break down your email contacts into three distinct groups: personal networks, early potential backers, and strangers. Then, use different tactics for each of your mailing lists. Here is how to do it.
- Personal Network
As we have already mentioned, your network makes the cornerstone of your crowdfunding campaign. These are usually friends, family members, and members of your Host Committee who are really passionate about your project. They help get your campaign going with its first donations. Here, the aim is to secure 30% of your funding goal within 48 hours after your campaign launches. This acts as a vote of confidence to other backers, and crossing this threshold with your inner circle alone means that you are more likely to raise the remaining 70% from the wider audience.
Since these are people you already know, collecting and compiling their list shouldn't be hard. When sending emails to this group, personalize them as much as possible using personal messages. They will appreciate it when you send a more personal appeal for support because they probably know you in person.
- Early Supporter List
Apart from your personal network, you need to come up with a list of early supporters. This is a much larger group consisting of everyone else who might be interested, and hence more likely to support your project. To build this list, request each member in your personal network to reach out to their contacts from Gmail, Facebook, Twitter, and other social media channels.
- Building Stranger Email List
Reaching out to the people you already know, and getting early support from your Host Committee's contacts is a great way to get your campaign off the ground.
But you can't rely on them alone. You need to figure out how to take your crowdfunding email marketing game to the next level. Which is: publicizing your campaign to total strangers.
So, how do you get an email address from someone you don't know? Well, the best way is to offer an incentive in return for their email address. Offering exclusive content, or a discount voucher is an effective way to do it.
For example, you can create high-value content, such as an ebook or a white paper, that is only downloadable after someone has entered an email address.
Then, create a dedicated landing page where you will send traffic through on-site-calls and social media posts to download the content or get the discount voucher in exchange for their email contact.
Another way to do it is to take advantage of the buzz that you have generated for your crowdfunding campaign. Here, you ask people to sign up for a newsletter so that they can remain updated about the progress of the campaign.
To avoid bounces that can derail your entire crowdfunding email marketing efforts, make sure you validate your email list regularly so that you can land on your subscribers' inboxes every time you send out emails.
Build Email Templates
After you have built your email list, the next thing you should do to run an effective email outreach campaign is to build your email templates. You don't want to write your emails from scratch whenever emailing your backers.
Doing so will be time-consuming, and can result in obvious mistakes, errors, and typos that can make your audience see you as a joker and doubt the seriousness of your campaign. You don't want this to happen.
To help you out here, we give you three email template examples from FUNDLY and Indiegogo that you can customize and use at different stages of your crowdfunding campaign.
- General Crowdfunding Email
This is the first outreach email template that you should have. Usually, the purpose of this email is to help get your fundraiser off the ground, and update your backers on the progress of your campaign so that you can encourage more people to donate.
While a general crowdfunding email can be sent to anyone at any time, there are optimal times when it works the best. Send this email out at the very beginning of your campaign, whenever you hit a substantial fundraising milestone, or towards the end of your campaign.
Here is a good example of a general crowdfunding email template from FUNDLY:
“Dear [recipient’s preferred name],
I hope that you’re doing well! [Insert a relevant or personal anecdote].
As you may have heard, I’m raising money for [cause, project, event, etc.], and I could really use your help. I’ve already raised [amount], but I’m trying to make it to [amount] by [deadline/date].
Even a small donation would help me reach my goal. I plan to use the money to [list out goals in as much detail as possible].
You can make a donation on my crowdfunding campaign page by clicking here [insert URL to campaign page]. Feel free to share my campaign on Facebook and Twitter, too!
Thank you in advance for your support. Please let me know if you have any questions about my campaign, my goal, or [your cause, project, event, etc.].
2. Time-sensitive email
This is an email that shows your backers the financial goal that you need to meet by a certain deadline. The best time to send this email and spur your supporters to action is when you have just a couple of hours, a few days, or a week to go.
You need to frame this email in an urgent way to make undecided backers jump on the bandwagon and make their donations before the finish line.
To help you understand how a time-sensitive email works, look at this example from FUNDLY
“Dear [recipient’s preferred name],
[Your campaign’s end date] is almost here! Do you know what that means?
It means that I only have [number] of days left to raise [amount] for [cause, project, event, etc.].
Would you consider giving a donation of $20 [or other small amounts] to help me reach my goal? A $20 donation could [list out goals in as much detail as possible].
You can easily make a donation here, on my crowdfunding campaign page [insert URL].
I would also appreciate it if you would share my crowdfunding campaign page on Facebook and Twitter to help me reach more people.
I couldn’t have raised as much as I already have without the help of people like you. Please join me and make a donation by [deadline] to help me [fix the problem, accomplish the goal, etc.].
Thank you in advance for your support.
3. Acknowledgment Email
Whether you reach your goal or not, you need to have an acknowledgment email template. This is an email that you send out after the campaign has ended. Here, the aim is to thank everyone who donated to support your project.
To nail it, make it thoughtful and genuine, and be specific on where their money will be going. Consider giving a phone call to any of your backers who went above and beyond to make your campaign successful.
Here is a good Acknowledgement email template from Indiegogo that you can use:
Thank you for being a part of our incredible journey to bring [campaign name] to life. Before we launched, we didn’t know who else would be as excited about our idea as we were. Now, because of your support and the support of [# of backers] backers, we’ll be able to start [describe what you will do next].
Our priority is to deliver on our commitments to you and we’ll keep you updated on our progress. As we hunker down to make [campaign name] a reality, you can expect to receive open, honest, & substantive updates from us monthly. Feel free to contact us [Campaign Team Email Address] in the interim if you have any questions in the interim.
Thanks again for your support!
All the best,
7 Email Best Practices
Here is a list of some outreach email best practices all fundraisers should adhere to to make the odds of running a successful email outreach campaign more favorable.
- Your email should include photos and/or videos to break up the text.
- The image/ video you choose should capture and reflect the basic idea for your campaign
- Use fonts that are easier to read. Large serif fonts work well.
- To make your paragraphs more inviting and easier to read, keep them under 5 lines
- Run your email copy via a readability calculator. Make sure your average readability level is around the 6th grade.
- Write as you speak, and avoid using overly formal and stuffy language. Using simple English written in a conversational tone is the way to connect with the everyday donor.
- Proofread before you hit send. Reading out loud is a good way to make sure that your ear catches what your eyes have missed.
How Easyship Helps Crowdfunding Campaigns
Clearly, you will miss out big when you overlook outreach emails in your crowdfunding campaign. If you do it right, it can turn out more effective than social media. But it doesn't have to be a tradeoff between outreach email and social media. You should do both. In fact, crowdfunding email marketing used in conjunction with social media sharing increases your chances of reaching your funding goal faster.
Easyship has a lot of crowdfunding experience, and we have helped many startups run successful crowdfunding campaigns. Our platform integrates directly with Kickstarter and Indiegogo to help you run and fulfill your crowdfunding campaign by offering you the best advice and the most affordable shipping solutions. We can help you plan your fulfillment costs, and send rewards to your backers wherever they are.
To get started, you can generate a Crowdfunding Shipping Cost Estimate using our handy tool.