If you’ve been around-the-block in crowdfunding, then you’ve probably heard about us at Funded Today. And, if you’ve thought about hiring us before, then you may have heard about our “Crowdfunding Marketing Success Criteria.” But have you ever wanted to really dial-in on many of the things we’re looking for to see if you qualify for our services? If so, then this article is for you!
Question: What are these “Crowdfunding Marketing Success Criteria” I keep hearing about? How exactly does Funded Today assess whether my campaign qualifies for Funded Today’s Full-Service Marketing and can perhaps even skip over Funded Today’s Due-Diligence & Product-Validation Period?
We base our Crowdfunding Marketing Success Criteria upon of a number of factors, many of which we keep proprietary and consider our trade secrets. Similar to how KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken) never discloses their secret recipe for their chicken, so too does Funded Today safeguard many of the things we look for and when working with our clients. With those pre-qualifiers in mind, and in no particular order, what follows are a few factors that our Crowdfunding Consultants™ consider while reviewing your project for qualification for our crowdfunding marketing services.
CRITERIA #1: Does your product appeal to you?
A very important question to ask yourself from the start is this: Would I, myself, want to back this project? If so, then why? If not, then why not?
Ubiquity + Tech + Awesome Product + Captivating/Emotional/Moving Story = Huge Chance For Success! How universal is your idea/product/service? Is it something that everybody needs? Your goals should include exciting as many people as possible. If you expect others to back your campaign, then start by deciding if you would back it yourself. Then spread the question to a wide range of people.
If it turns out that your product is something that hardly anybody either needs or wants, then this makes our job harder.
CRITERIA #2: Is your product unique to the market?
Is your product unique? For example, can someone find a similar product on Amazon, Walmart, Bed Bath and Beyond, or anywhere else?
The lure of scarcity, urgency, “early bird pricing,” and “supporting an inventor to realize the American dream” is just not as compelling if the prospective backer can buy this invention (or something similar) elsewhere.
CRITERIA #3: Has Funded Today successfully helped similar projects to yours?
Why is this important? Chances are that, if we’ve raised money for a similar invention or worked in a similar niche before, then we’ll have a better chance of succeeding on your project or campaign. There are a few limitations to this as well.
Breaks are huge at Funded Today. If it’s been 3-4 months since we worked on a similar campaign, the likelihood of raising money for your campaign goes up EXPONENTIALLY.
Why? Consider this scenario… You’re on Facebook scrolling through your feed, and you see an ad for luggage. You click. Maybe you buy. Then, when later you see a similar ad in your newsfeed, you might get “fatigue” from seeing too much of a similar product too soon.
How soon is “too soon?” It’s hard to know for sure. Generally, the more time that has passed, the better. You just don’t want to wait so long that another similar campaign swoops in, so it’s best to keep an eye on things.
We saw this problem before with ForeverFlask and Golchi. We “exhausted” quite a few things while working on ForeverFlask, and those similar audiences for Golchi were most likely “tired” of buying or clicking to buy flasks. So, while we were doing GOOD for Golchi, we were not doing GREAT. Lookalike audiences are a plus. If we have them, then great! If you have a past campaign or CUSTOMER list that MORE THAN 1,000 customers or backers strong, then that’s a plus, too.
CRITERIA #4: In which stage is your project?
Which stage are you in? Pre-launch? If so, then when are you launching? Do you have assets of past campaigns, projects, e-mail lists, customers, and/or backers? What else do you have in your arsenal?
If you have a prototype of a developed product and haven’t launched yet, then now is the perfect time to partner with Funded Today. We can start by helping you to create a persuasive video and page design that sells, and then continue to help you all the way through your pre-launch, live-campaign, and post-launch needs.
CRITERIA #5: Did your campaign’s pledges spike on its launch day?
Did your Kickstarter or Indiegogo campaign start with a spike, maintain for 4-5 days, maybe even 2-3 weeks, with a gradual, slow decline? And, were you NOT paying to market it while this was happening?
A spike at the first shows interest, engagement, and, to some extent, “success,” while also indicating interest within Kickstarter’s or Indiegogo’s organic user base. When there isn’t enough interest to maintain a “Top 12” popularity/trending rating, you will see a gradual decline in your daily total gross pledges.
One side note regarding “spikes”… Funded Today became world-renowned for our signature “Spike at The End” of projects (i.e. the huge rise in pledges that we generate for successful projects in the last 7-10 days of a crowdfunding campaign).
CRITERIA #6: How much of your campaign’s funding came from strangers?
For the family-and-friends side of things, we LOVE to see this! But, HUSTLE is what counts. Were you able to get 250 or more of your friends and family to sign up on launch day? If not, then why not? If so, then what was your campaign’s highest ranking in popularity and, more importantly, did it MAINTAIN that rating (which is BEST), did it GRADUALLY decline, or did it IMMEDIATELY decline (which is WORST)?
Another part of this criteria is if you secretly arranged for any “fake” pledges to your campaign. This one should be obvious: If you have gamed the system on Kickstarter or Indiegogo, then we need to investigate. We want REAL, organic backers. At worst, fake backers generally indicate false success. At best, fake backers indicates a lack of interest in your invention/product/service being sold (at least as that interest pertains to rewards-based crowdfunding in general).
CRITERIA #7: How much organic funding is your campaign raising daily?
A project that CONSISTENTLY raises money—particularly WITHOUT any money being spent (see criteria #9 below)—is a very special project indeed.
An example on Kickstarter that fits in this criterion is the FireFlies campaign. We didn’t really “hit our stride” until well after the first week or so. However, you can see how CONSISTENTLY this project raised money, while also maintaining a “Top 12” popularity ranking throughout the entire project (with or without Funded Today even)!
This was also true of our client, BetterBack. However, with FireFlies, unlike BetterBack, we ultimately started to contribute at 35-50% of total daily gross pledges.
CRITERIA #8: What is your current funding status?
How much money has your campaign raised so far? Why does this matter? A successful campaign WITHOUT Funded Today is VERY ATTRACTIVE when coupled with what we MIGHT be able to do.
On the flip-side, if a campaign has been live several days and has raised very little the whole time it has been live, then this is a red flag. This doesn’t always indicate failure, either.
SpineGym is an example of a campaign that was struggling to get off the ground from the start. Then, Funded Today came onboard and our crowdfunding marketing services boosted their campaign from only $8,097 raised to $1,039,212!
CRITERIA #9: How much money have you spent to raise what you’ve raised so far?
Are you still spending money? If so, then how much daily? If so, then are you tracking that spend? If so, then how? Where are you spending money? What's your own ROI? By asking these questions, we can determine just how much value Funded Today can add to your campaign.
For Hiral Sanghavi, of Baubax Travel Jacket, he confirmed that he spent more than $100,000 USD to raise roughly that same amount (At least what was directly tracking and showing up as “Facebook” in his backend on Kickstarter). So, his ROI was essentially 1:1… in short, HORRIBLE.
When Funded Today came on, we produced positive results working at 25% of LINKS ONLY! This means that for every dollar raised from fnd.to links, we were spending 25 cents or less to get that backer! And, for every $100 raised that tracked back through fnd.to pledges, we were spending $25 or less!
That’s impressive, to say the least, particularly considering just how much the Baubax Travel Jacket had spent BEFORE even hiring Funded Today and the undesirable results they produced beforehand, before hiring Funded Today. The near-miraculous results of Funded Today’s efforts made all of the difference for this campaign.
CRITERIA #10: How popular/trending has your campaign been?
Here are a few questions we ask to determine this: What was your highest ranking in terms of popularity on Kickstarter or Indiegogo? Did you maintain that ranking? If so, then HOW did you do it? For how long? Are you STILL maintaining a “high” (i.e. Top 12) ranking?
You can sign up with Funded Today at any point in time, and the campaign’s popularity maintenance will play a factor in what deal you can receive. A great project on its own will get a better deal than a project that is dead in the water or stagnant.
For instance, if a project is already raising $10K CONSISTENTLY per day, then Funded Today doesn’t need to take a percentage of that total. So, we would “buffer” that sort of deal and give you that first $10K per day in fundraising, if you are ALREADY making that money consistently WITHOUT Funded Today. And then, we’d simply be paid 35% on the increase (i.e. anything above $10,000 USD per day).
A stagnant campaign will require more help to get off the ground, so we will need a larger percentage to work with so that we can optimize what we raise to bring you further success. Even though it may not feel like the best deal from the start, Funded Today is looking out for your best interest.
CRITERIA #11: Did your campaign’s platform ever feature it?
If your campaign finds favor with one of Kickstarter's staff, then they may feature it as a “Project We Love” or in some other manner. Indiegogo also features campaigns that it favors through newsletters, social media, and other means.
CRITERIA #12: How well does your campaign media convert views into pledges?
For this, we often examine how conversions correlate with video views. Whenever we take a look at how many video plays your campaign has, we can see how many people are viewing your campaign and what percentage of viewers are becoming backers. Let’s break down the project video stats for the FireFlies campaign to use as an example.
When we took this screenshot below, they had 7,968 backers and 106,361 video views with a 46.91% “plays completed” rate. This means that of all the potential backers who had watched the video, roughly 49,894 people had watched the entire video from start to finish. Still, 106,361 people had watched at least one second or more of the video.
If we take the total number of backers and divide by the total number of video plays, we can see that the video is converting at roughly 7.49%. Here is the breakdown with numbers: 7,968/106,361 = 0.0749 * 100% = 7.49%.
Additionally, if we take the total number of video views and divide by total number of backers (106,361/7968), we get 13.35. This means that for every 13.35 video views, they are getting one new backer.
All of these Crowdfunding Marketing Success Criteria help us to determine if we can actually add value to your campaign. If YOU don’t make money, then WE don’t make money, so you can be sure that we will be just as invested in the success of your campaign as you are!
If you'd like one of our professional Crowdfunding Consultants™ to evaluate YOUR campaign and to discuss a potential partnership, then please submit your project to us right away!