13: Successful Promotion: Leads & Affiliates
In this episode, we’re going to get a little bit deeper into pre-launch. There’s no one in the entire rewards-based crowdfunding space who has generated more e-mailing addresses and more interest for new inventions and businesses than our very own Director of Lead-Generation & Affiliate Marketing at Funded Today, Mr. Tevin Christopher.
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1. College isn’t essential to either learn or prosper.
2. Crowdfunding success isn’t about either chance or “magic,” but about adhering to fundamental business principles, including in pre-launch phase—and it’s ideal to be first to enter a market, but only if you come sufficiently prepared.
3. Kickstarter campaigns should launch with a thorough prototype section, with funding goals that are not only high enough to seem legitimate but also low enough to avoid daunting people, and with support from Google Analytics to effectively analyze marketing data.
4. It helps to engage in pre-launch marketing among both personal contacts and generated leads (obtained through social-media ads), who can not only provide useful feedback to creators but also help creators to reach their respective funding goals as quickly as possible, which is a great advantage.
5. Leads may be e-mailed 24 hours before a campaign launches to prepare them, during launch to mobilize them to pledge, 24 hours after launch to report progress, weekly thereafter, daily again during a campaign’s final 3 days, and then weekly or monthly afterward as long as those leads continue to yield revenue.
6. Affiliates include backers who get paid a small cut for bringing pledges to campaigns, whether from themselves or from others, which contribute to a campaign’s success.
7. Influencers can also help (although not usually as significantly), especially those with sizable audiences that sufficiently fit one’s product—and they are best arranged in advance so that they enjoy ample time to receive a product and review it.
[01:09] Zach introduces Tevin Christopher, who has generated hundreds-of-thousands of e-mail leads for new businesses worldwide.
[01:30] Tevin talks about how he graduated from high school in 2015 to immediately start working for Funded Today, within which he transitioned from post-launch social-media advertising to affiliate marketing (through Funded Today’s Cashback Network) to lead-generation.
[02:54] Thomas notes that Tevin now has tens-of-thousands of dollars in savings, unlike many of Tevin’s peers who are still attending college with tens-of-thousands of dollars in debt, which shows that college isn’t essential to either learn or prosper.
[03:35] Tevin stresses that Kickstarter campaigns should avoid risking suspension by including a thorough prototype section that shows prototypes existing, being developed, and functioning as promised.
[05:27] Tevin recommends connecting Google Analytics to your Kickstarter page before launching it, and enabling both its demographic reports and its e-commerce settings.
[07:17] Tevin recommends keeping a funding goal high enough to look legitimate, but also low enough to be reached as quickly as possible (ideally on your launch day).
[08:17] Tevin recommends mobilizing personal contacts (“Friends, Family and Fools”) to pledge on launch day in order to encourage pledges from other sources.
[08:55] Zach and Thomas and Tevin discuss how FFF was discussed on a previous podcast episode, that few campaigners do it despite its importance, and why even a $1 pledge can help one’s rankings.
[11:28] Zach and Tevin discuss how (like FFF) pre-launch lead-generation helps campaigners to obtain helpful feedback about their products or prices or other details of their projects, and then to surpass their respective goals as rapidly as possible.
[13:36] Tevin recommends e-mailing leads 24 hours before a campaign launches to prepare them, while launching to mobilize them to pledge, 24 hours afterward to report progress, weekly thereafter, and then daily again during its final 3 days.
[15:00] Zach and Tevin note that an e-mailing list isn’t exhausted as long as it’s still yielding revenue.
[15:17] Tevin recommends e-mailing leads weekly or monthly post-launch, but advises against damaging lists by spamming them with products that they don’t want.
[16:22] Tevin notes that Funded Today’s target cost is about $3/lead, while Zach notes that even huge e-mailing lists don’t necessarily yield pledges.
[17:48] Zach and Tevin discuss lead-gen ad targeting using both lookalikes (from backer lists that are hard to find outside of crowdfunding marketing agencies) and interests.
[18:41] Tevin notes that, if e-mailing lists aren’t responding well at first, then this doesn’t necessarily prove them worthless, because other factors like invitation or product or timing are also relevant.
[19:12] Tevin discusses how to survey e-mailing lists about unsuccessful campaigns for advice about how to pivot.
[21:10] Zach introduces Funded Today’s Cashback Network as an example of affiliate marketing, and Tevin explains how affiliate marketing enables consumers to engage in self-directed marketing efforts for a small cut of any sales that they bring.
[23:38] Tevin explains how crowdfunding backers can sign up for a Cashback Network account for free, receive a special link that they can use for marketing, and then use that link to promote campaigns that they like, for which they get paid a 10% cut.
[24:51] Zach invites Tevin to cite some notable examples of Cashback Network success, like Juisir that raised $78,000+ from affiliates alone, and one affiliate who earned over $13,000 from marketing various crowdfunding projects in 2018.
[27:05] Zach transitions from affiliates to influencers, and Tevin notes that influencer marketing (except for mega-influencers like George Takei) isn’t usually as effective as other techniques for raising pledges, but it still helps.
[28:42] Zach and Tevin recommend, as part of pre-launch marketing, identifying social-media influencers with sizable audiences that sufficiently fit one’s product, and then arranging for those influencers to review that product well in advance.
[30:16] Thomas notes that it’s good to be first-to-market, but not to come to the market unprepared.
[31:01] Zach emphasizes that crowdfunding success isn’t about magic but about adhering to certain fundamental principles, including pre-launch.
[33:05] Tevin and Zach and Thomas present this episode’s Projects of the Week.
Zach Smith: (00:00) Funded Today Nation, welcome back to the Funded Today Podcast. Last time as you might recall we talked about “how to get 16 times better results with the same amount of effort” that one was really insightful, and I think you’re going to get a lot out of it, so, go check it out let us know what you think. Today, we’re going to get a little bit deeper into Pre-Launch that’s what our masterclass is all about. There is no one in the entire Rewards-Based Crowdfunding Space who has generated more email addresses and more interest for new inventions and businesses than our very own Director of Pre-Launch and Cashback at Funded Today Mr. Tevin Christopher, we’re excited to have him on the show today.
Annnouncer: (00:36) The Funded Today Podcast is hosted by World-Renowned Entrepreneurs and Business Experts Thomas Alvord and Zach Smith. To get a help with your next big business idea or to take your business to the next level go to fundedtoday.com.
Zach Smith: (00:51) Welcome back, I am Zach Smith.
Thomas Alvord: (00:52) And I’m Thomas Alvord.
Zach Smith: (00:54) And in our last episode we talked about how to get 16 times better results with the same amount of effort let us know what you thought about that one by rating us, leaving us a comment and telling us what you thought of it. What you think of our podcast so far? We’d really, really appreciate it every five star review helps us help more people just like you. Now let’s get into the meat of the presentation, we got a special one for you today. We’ve got The Director of Pre-Launch and Cashback of Funded Today Mr. Tevin Christopher along with us, he’s worked with hundreds of campaigns generating hundreds of thousands of email addresses for new businesses across the globe, and he’s going to tell us all about it, so Tevin, welcome to the show, before we get started tell us a little about your journey and what you do exactly at Funded Today?
Tevin Christopher: (01:35) Yes sure, so I started with Funded Today about three years ago doing Facebook Marketing and then I went into the Cashback Network and started running that, and so basically the Cashback Network it gives 10% cashback to anybody who signs up and they can get 10% cashback on any campaigns in a marketplace. The other thing that I oversee and direct is the Email Lead Generation at Funded Today where we generate emails for campaigns that are going to be launching and then we can do Email Blasts and hopefully generate pledges on the first day you know the launch day and we continue to email those leads throughout the duration of the campaign.
Zach Smith: (02:17) Tevin, why don’t you share a little bit real quick about what your corporate and educational journey has been, because I think it’s interesting for some people may be listening to this to hear what your journey has been in that regard?
Tevin Christopher: (02:32) Okay, yes so I graduated high school three years ago, so I’m 22, I graduated high school three years ago, and then basically right after I graduated I had started working with Funded Today doing marketing so there are no background with marketing, no college experience and just jumped right into it and just learning from other people’s experience.
Thomas Alvord: (02:53) And I asked that because it’s interesting because as I talk with Tevin here and there, and you have I guess you could say tens of thousands of dollars in your bank account right because your expenses are limited, you’re not married or anything like that and but then you have your friends who have gone to school and they have tens of thousands of dollars in debt, and as Zach and I often comment and discuss and again this is kind of a tangent, you can go and produce value and learn and grow and expand your capabilities without having to go to college, so at Funded Today we often say the secret to success is work, you just got to work and that’s what Tevin’s done, and he’s been great, so let’s discuss Tevin what successful campaigns have ready before their launch?
Tevin Christopher: (03:40) So, firstly, you want to make sure you’re Kickstarter Page has a thorough prototype section, even Kickstarter reviews and approves your campaign for launch your campaign can still be risk for being suspended. If Kickstarter review is life campaign determines there is insufficient information about your design, they can actually send you a 48 hour notice to update the information on your campaign, and if you don’t then you know they can suspend your campaign. So we’re having an in-depth prototype section is likely the number one thing that you can do to show your journey in with legitimacy of your product?
Thomas Alvord: (04:12) What is that some that happens frequently, suspensions?
Tevin Christopher: (04:15) It’s not super frequent that it comes up but it happens enough that you it’s worth it to create a prototype an in-depth prototype section for your campaign.
Thomas Alvord: (04:25) And what exactly does that mean for the listeners here, you’re saying an in-depth prototype section so they should have some good renderings that show what their prototype is?
Tevin Christopher: (04:36) Right an in-depth prototype section meaning just showing the journey up to their launch, where did they start with their product? What did it first look like when they first created it, what did they learn, what didn’t work and what did work? How has the product changed throughout, then maybe the years or months how long you’ve been creating your product so really just showing everything you have pictures, information and everything you can just to show your legitimacy.
Thomas Alvord: (05:03) Okay, wonderful, and I think and I’ll add just a little bit of commentary on that, Kickstarter wants to see you’re creating something, so if you took it from Alibaba they’re going to suspend you right, and if it looks like you actually are not going to be able to create what you’re trying or saying you’re going to create and that’s a problem as well so I like that they want to see that journey, that’s great, what are some other things people should look at doing before they launch?
Tevin Christopher: (05:30) So another very important item to have is Google Analytics linked with your campaign, and you want to make sure you have the demographic reports and e-commerce settings enabled those are two very important things to be tracking.
Thomas Alvord: (05:44) Why is that important or what does that matter?
Tevin Christopher: (05:48) Yes, the demographic reports are important because they show you the age of the people that you are visiting your Kickstarter page, so you can see if they’re younger in their 20’s or maybe if they’re older and also with the e-commerce settings you can see people’s pledges coming through and where their pledges - are the sources they attributed to so you can do you can track where like your ads or email blasts or different things like that.
Thomas Alvord: (06:15) So where can people find how to turn on the demographic and e-commerce settings?
Tevin Christopher: (06:21) Yes simple Google Search or a YouTube Search there’s likely tutorials out there or easy articles.
Thomas Alvord: (06:31) And so why else?
Tevin Christopher: (06:32) So you want to set up before your launch because you want to make sure it’s tracking all of the data So, if you turn on Google Analytics midway through your campaign you’re not going to have data from when you launched and that’s really important because without all of the data it’s incomplete and it’s not very useful, it’s not as useful or reliable.
Thomas Alvord: (06:57) Alright that’s good to know I remember back in the day when Zach and I used to run things you couldn’t even place a Google Analytics Pixel on the page and it was so hard and frustrating to be able to track anything and now they make it easier so yes you’ve got to make sure you do that. What are some other things they should be looking for their launch?
Tevin Christopher: (07:18) Alright so third you want to make sure your Kickstarter goal isn’t too high, but you also want to make sure isn’t too low. You want your goal high enough that it looks like a legitimate goal that would need to be -- that would be needed to deliver your product. But you also want your goal well enough that it could be hit as soon as possible. Ideally you want your goal well enough that your campaign is funded on your launch day. Another benefit of having a little goal is that the percentage you’re funded looks much more impressive, to beat this all and an example let’s say you have a goal to raise $50,000 on your first day, and you raised $20,000 when people come to your page they see you’ve just launched and that you’re 40% funded. Now what if you goal is $5,000 well now people come to your page and they see that you smashed your goal and that you’re 200% funded. Even if you do actually need a $50,000 to deliver you have better odds of getting there with a lower goal, if you don’t hit your goal, no harm no foul and then you can cancel.
Thomas Alvord: (08:10) Interesting, that’s some good logic.
Tevin Christopher: (08:14) And then our final topic for the what successful campaigns have ready before their launch is what we at Funded Today call the “FFF”, and “FFF” stands for “Friends, Family and Fools”. The idea is to create a list of 200 people who have confirmed that they’ll back on day one as soon as you launch your campaign. The reason for that is having loads of pledges on day one tremendously helps your popularity ranking on Kickstarter. Also if you can hit or surpass your goal with friends and family within an hour or two it will increase the odds, direct traffic, ad traffic, and reign of traffic will convert.
Thomas Alvord: (0:08:50) And that’s one of the things we spoke about in one of the previous podcasts and if you don’t have the “FFF” yes you really shouldn’t be launching.
Zach Smith: (0:08:59) That’s good to kind of see you emphasizing that Tevin. We’ve talked about FFF we even dedicated an entire podcast episode to it. Do you see in terms of all of the clients that you work with how many would you say actually get through that 200 or 300 number or more?
Tevin Christopher: (09:16) A percentage I would say 10% or 20% that really are drive into it, and get 200% and really push for it a lot of our clients do use the sheet and they’ll fill it out but not I don’t see so about 10% or 20% that actually go through that to 200%.
Thomas Alvord: (09:34) And it’s the most important thing you can do to launch and yet only 10% or 20% of people are doing it. Does that surprise you?
Tevin Christopher: (09:42) That doesn’t really surprise me too much for me being a campaign - if I were to be a campaign creator I could see it difficult reaching out to friends or family asking them to pledge and especially if you have something that’s more expensive and if that’s the case for you, you can actually ask for friends and family to do a $1 pledge and even that can help your ranking so it doesn’t even have to be a massive pledge, just really any form of support is something that you should be looking from your friends and family.
Thomas Alvord: (10:07) Man I had never thought of that and that’s interesting, hey if you don’t want to or can’t pledge will you pledge a dollar to show your support and so I guess if they don’t pledge a dollar they’re not really your friend or family.
Zach Smith: (10:19) That’s the only time a dollar pledge level makes sense actually, if you can get 200 of your friends and family to pledge a dollar you’re going to rank higher on Kickstarter. We always say remove all of the unnecessary extra baggage from a Kickstarter page but Tevin makes a good point. If you’re selling a product that’s maybe a couple hundred bucks and you’ve got some friends and family and some people who just believe in you no matter what the fools as we affectionately call them maybe it’s good to add a $1 pledge level and therefore those who aren’t going to be able to give you the $200 for the full price but can still support you with a dollar because here’s a tip that people don’t know about Kickstarter to rank high on Magic and Popular it has very, very little to do with how much money you’ve raised and almost everything to do with how many backers you have, so a $1 pledge is just as good as $100 pledge and a lot of people don’t know that. Normally we say remove the $1 pledge because nobody backs at that level, but if you’re going to engage with “FFF” and you don’t think your “FFF” network is going to be able to help you out one of the best things to do is add a $1 pledge help them get all the pledge there, if they’re are not going to give you a buck I wouldn’t be calling those people friends or family. Now let’s move on to topic two I want to talk a little bit now about the benefits of “email lead generation” why you actually do it. I mean you talked the very first about how you generated more emails than anybody and all of Rewards Based Crowdfunding but why do it? What’s that, let’s go way back for maybe a lot of people who don’t even understand the idea behind this what is the benefit of “Email Lead Generation” before and then while your campaign is live and then after your campaign is over and a little bit more on that what should actually be included in these emails. What are we hoping to achieve content wise to build your tribe of raving fans can you take us there for a sec Tevin?
Tevin Christopher: (11:58) Of course, so having a list of emails before your campaign is live can be very helpful. One thing you can do is email up the list opinions on your product before you’ve launched. You can ask people’s opinions on the price, maybe the color, stretch goals really whatever you want to be asking them, whenever you need help on or answers for, that accounts really good idea to leave an open field for feedback so at least have a chance to share whatever they like. Once your campaign is over, the obvious benefit to an email list is launched email blast, and the second you launch your campaign you want to do everything you can to raise as much as possible.
Zach Smith: (12:35) It’s kind of like another network of “FFF’s” right? Like you got your friends and family but then you’ve got these people who are excited to be on your email list who you’re going to give an early discount to for being on your email list as soon as you launch your campaign.
Tevin Christopher: (12:47) Exactly, yes and having an email list is actually one of the quickest ways campaigns hit their goals.
Zach Smith: (12:53) You bring up a good point there Tevin I think we could back it up even a second. Everybody asks us and you probably hear this all the time how did these guys raise a $100,000 in the first five hours of their campaign? How did they raise a $1 million? And the answer literally a 100% of the time is well they had an Email List of 200,000 people, well they’ve ran six past campaigns and they have 200,000 backers and they emailed all those backers, is that pretty much unanimously the answer when we see these big raises on launch day?
Tevin Christopher: (13:21) Definitely. If the campaign has a massive first day there’s always something behind it, campaigns they won’t just raise hundreds of thousands of dollars on their own just for being that good.
Zach Smith: (13:32) Now, okay continue well a little bit more.
Tevin Christopher: (13:37) Alright so what you want to be doing with your emails so you want to be sending them - you want to send an email 24 hours before your launch when your campaign launches as well as 24 hours after you launch we going to update on how your campaign is performing.
Zach Smith: (13:50) What the idea on the one 24-hours before the campaign?
Tevin Christopher: (13:52) So the idea for the email 24 hours before your lunch is just to get a little bit refresher in their minds just so they know that it’s coming, so when the next time comes and your campaign launches they’re expecting you to be launching and they’re expecting that launch now.
Zach Smith: (14:07) Have you found any benefit to having them click the remind me or launch button or any of that kind of stuff like sending them to the Kickstarter preview link page or?
Tevin Christopher: (14:15) We have tried that in the past, it can be nice if they want to leave feedback on the preview page but we don’t do that very often.
Zach Smith: (14:25) Okay just to as and converted as well as perhaps you thought or…
Tevin Christopher: (14:28) Yes it’s not as useful as we thought it maybe.
Zach Smith: (14:31) Got you.
Tevin Christopher: (14:31) So I recommend emailing at least once a week while your campaign is live, as well as 72 hours, 48 hours and 24 hours before your campaign is over.
Zach Smith: (14:41) Just for that urgency side of things?
Tevin Christopher: (14:44) Right yes you just really want to drive in the point that the campaign is going to be over and they need to get those last minute discounts on your campaign.
Zach Smith: (14:55) So you bring up a good point here right, you told me before this episode that you know your list isn’t exhausted if your emails keep bringing in pledges and I think the question there is a rhetorical one well how do I know if I’m emailing on my list too much and the answer is if you’re still generating money from your list you’re not emailing it too much.
Tevin Christopher: (15:13) Right, exactly.
Zach Smith: (15:14) I like that, tell me little bit about lifetime value Tevin campaign is over, you’ve done all the pre-launch, you’ve done all the in-campaign, live campaign, emails now your campaign’s over let’s talk about CLV Customer Lifetime Value?
Tevin Christopher: (15:25) Yes so once your campaign’s over you want to continue emailing your list maybe once a week, two weeks or three weeks it could even be a month in between if you really have no updates or anything to be putting out there, but if you have a list and you’ve seen that they will pledge, they will buy things and there’s value there and you can use that whether it’s for your own products that you will be recreating after your Kickstarter is over, that you’re going to be pushing out there it could be for another Kickstarter in the future, you could even join in an affiliate program and use your list to push other campaigns or products. But you want to make sure you’re monitoring how your email is performing and doing because if you just keep sending out email blasts and campaigns and products for them to go checkout and lookout and nobody is buying well then that’s not doing you’re thing and you’re just damaging your list for no value and for no reason.
Zach Smith: (16:17) Let’s talk about that for a second I hate to go there but a lot of times we will have a client come to us and they have an email list or maybe we generate an email list for them let’s say it’s 5,000 or 10,000 people strong and then they launch their campaign and it doesn’t raise money. A lot of people think that if you have an email list, I’ve got an email list of 5,000 people I’m going to raise $50,000 on my first day why is that logic not true? Why if somebody opts in they get an early bird discount on a product and then you raise very little money from that email list what it is there to learn from that? What can you do if that happens and why does that happen in your opinion? I’m not necessarily sure there’s a right or wrong answer but I think a lot of listeners would like to know well I’m building this email list its 10,000 people strong, why am I not raising $100,000 on launch day?
Tevin Christopher: (17:03) Right, exactly. Yes so sometimes you’d expect if you have an email list of 5,000 or 10,000 that you send out an email and no matter what it’s going to recoup your costs and it’s going to bring in tons of pledges, but that’s not always what happens and we see that from time-to-time. So what we look at.
Zach Smith: (17:24) Any idea why, any idea why that doesn’t happen?
Tevin Christopher: (17:25) We’re not really sure exactly why I mean when we generate emails we try to make sure we’re generating them at a cost that seems like a decent value we go for $3 per email at least, and we’ve seen that metric generally it can pay off so far often it’s worth it and there’s value there with the list.
Zach Smith: (17:44) And the targeting, in terms of how you target people what does that look like, like let’s say I’m doing a wallet what are you going to do in that regard?
Tevin Christopher: (17:54) If you’re launching on Kickstarter or Crowdfunding we’d likely use a Kickstarter interest coupled with interest in wallets, if it’s a minimalist wallet we would use an interest for a minimalist. We also have access to a lot of passed backer list for past campaigns so we’d have tons of wallets that we could tap into and try.
Zach Smith: (18:13) So that’s a benefit of having Funded Today to your Email Lead Generation that if I’m just barely starting out I wouldn’t be able to pair that with any sort of look-alike and probably running there are some issues there right?
Tevin Christopher: (18:25) Definitely.
Zach Smith: (18:25) So you’re saying if you generate an email list then it doesn’t raise money. There is no way anybody else is going to generate an email list that’s going to raise more money than what you’re doing simply because you’re targeting as about as dialed in as it can get.
Tevin Christopher: (18:37) Exactly.
Zach Smith: (18:37) Is that a fair assumption?
Tevin Christopher: (18:38) Exactly and also it can be - it could be the Kickstarter pages and maybe laid out the right way or your product launched during the wrong season there are so many different variables if you.
Zach Smith: (18:50) On those 7-P’s right?
Tevin Christopher: (18:51) Right if you email your list and it doesn’t respond immediately, it doesn’t mean there’s no value there you just need to experiment with it try different subject lines, different email types, different products maybe just play around with it and see what your email list will respond to.
Zach Smith: (19:08) I like that a lot. Tell me about that, tell me about a little tip you do for unsuccessful email lists where you basically says get feedback from them tell me a little about that process let’s say the email list doesn’t raise any money, it’s 2,000 people strong and the campaign’s not going to get funded what you do at that point to your email subscribers?
Tevin Christopher: (19:25) Right at that point we would set up a survey and we would email to all of those leads a link to the survey and ask them to fill it out, it would only take couple of minutes of their day and just ask three simple questions, you can ask why did you not back this campaign? You could say what could we do differently, and if we were to relaunch what would you back?
Zach Smith: (19:50) I like that, they’re all free response essentially so we let the customer speak freely and describe everything that’s on their mind.
Tevin Christopher: (19:55) Right yes so those two questions with the free response and then a third feel just asking for any suggestions or recognitions or any final notes and then that really is the final field of just they can put really whatever they, whatever is on their mind.
Zach Smith: (20:10) It’s funny you mentioned this Tevin, it reminds me to an episode of that Thomas and I gave earlier in this podcast about Aaron Johnson in SHOTBOX 2.0, I went through all of our history and it turns out we did that exact same survey with those exact three questions, and the feedback that we got allowed Thomas to figure out exactly what he needed to do to change the page, to change the video it’s like you describe it wasn’t anything to do with emails it was those backers were great they just didn’t understand what they were purchasing, they didn’t understand the benefit, the unique selling proposition what’s in it for them and as soon as those were fixed by leveraging their exact feedback from their exact voices it allowed us to say exactly what they needed to hear so that they would purchase the product so that’s a winning strategy for sure and it’s funny that we get that before we even made a systematic process of Funded Today.
Tevin Christopher: (20:58) Yes so it can be a great tool to pivot for sure.
Zach Smith: (20:58) Love it, anything else you want to say on this topic before we wrap it up?
Tevin Christopher: (21:02) No I’m good on this topic.
Zach Smith: (21:06) Okay let’s move on to our last topic of today and this one is kind of exciting we are the only company in the world that does Cashback which is what Tevin described earlier 10% off all products you back on Kickstarter that are part of the Funded Today Cashback Network so really simple fund a backer and a product $100 and Funded Today is working with that product let’s say it’s a wallet again or we’ll do a watch and use a model - so it’s a watch and it’s $100 if it’s in the Funded Today Cashback Network if you back that watch you actually only have to pay $90 and Funded Today gives you $10 back. Tell us a little bit about how people can use Affiliate Marketing with Kickstarter, not just as a backer but to drum up huge amounts of money, I mean we raise what $200,000, $300,000 a month sometimes for the Cashback Network is that right Tevin?
Tevin Christopher: (21:53) Yes that is correct.
Zach Smith: (21:54) What is Affiliate Marketing how does it apply to - how does it apply to Rewards-Based Crowdfunding. How are you using it in Funded Today to drum up big interest from lots of backers?
Tevin Christopher: (22:04) Alright first let me go over Affiliate Marketing just really basic what that is. Affiliate Marketing is a type of performance based marketing that rewards affiliates for each signup or sale they bring to a site by their own marketing efforts. So whatever you can bring through your own efforts you would get rewarded on that.
Zach Smith: (22:24) Why do you like this type of marketing better than let’s say hey Tevin I’ve got an email list of 5,000 people give me $5,000 and I’ll email them?
Tevin Christopher: (22:32) I like this type of marketing because it allows people to really come out of it however they’d like to anybody can come to the Cashback Marketplace create an account and they can pick whatever they want to promote. It could be design, it could be a food product, it could be really anything that’s in our marketplace and if it resonates with them if they like that product and they can choose to promote it or push it.
Zach Smith: (22:54) And is it free to sign up to the Funded Today Cashback Network? The free sign up.
Tevin Christopher: (22:58) Yes it's completely free.
Zach Smith: (22:59) Alright how long does it take to sign up?
Tevin Christopher: (23:02) Probably less than a minute actually.
Zach Smith: (23:03) So you’re saying if I back projects on Kickstarter I’m kind of stupid to not be using the Funded Today Cashback Network if I’m going to back projects anyway like it’s literally no catches I get 10% cashback and it’s free to sign up.
Tevin Christopher: (23:16) Exactly yes, for your account you sign up and you get 10% back on any campaign that’s in the marketplace.
Zach Smith: (23:21) And then you can promote other campaigns as well so not only do you get 10% cashback on campaigns that you like but you can get 10% cashback if you convince other people to purchase different products within the network.
Tevin Christopher: (23:32) Exactly.
Zach Smith: (23:33) Okay, gotcha. Well that makes sense, that sounds pretty good, so I think it’s this is a rhetorical question but maybe you can expand upon a bit how does it how does it work for creators how does it work for backers and why might that be beneficial?
Tevin Christopher: (0:23:46) Alright, sure. So first like we were discussing you can create an account for free yes that would be the first step that be to create your own free account. Once you have your own account you would have access to a unique link for each campaign that’s in the marketplace. So any pledge made through those links would track back to you and you would earn a commission.
Zach Smith: (24:04) Okay.
Tevin Christopher: (24:05) Alright.
Zach Smith: (24:06) And this is we’ll link to the website it’s funded.today/cashback we’ll put a link there so everybody could figure out how to sign up is that right Tevin?
Tevin Christopher: (24:15) Yes, that’s correct.
Zach Smith: (24:16) Okay.
Tevin Christopher: (24:17) So if you were trying to do your own Affiliate Marketing once you created your own account you would need someone to promote, you could create your own site or even make a Facebook Page and then you could create a marketplace of your own or you could write articles that have excellent content really anything about the products within our marketplace that you want to push on your own site or on your own terms, and from there you could build your audience use your links to promote and then you get paid.
Zach Smith: (24:46) Okay well that’s simple enough that makes sense. Now I got a big question for you is there anybody within this Funded Today Cashback Network that is making a career out of it, making enough money that it’s like well they’re making thousands of dollars a month on this? Is there - what are some of the biggest success stories that you’ve seen?
Tevin Christopher: (25:00) Yes there are actually.
Zach Smith: (25:00) For the last several years - there are wow okay.
Tevin Christopher: (25:04) So for campaigns that have raised a lot in Cashback or users that have.
Zach Smith: (25:09) Sure yes, let’s go with campaigns first and then users?
Tevin Christopher: (25:11) Okay yes let’s go with campaigns. So over the years there have been some amazing campaigns have seen massive successful cashback, so one has been “Cubiio”, a Compact Laser Engraver that had raised $30,000 from cashback alone. “ZeTime” the first Smartwatch with hands over touchscreen raised $56,000 from cashback, and another campaign “Juisir” had raced $73,000 from cashback $35,000 of that being on their launch day alone from cashback.
Zach Smith: (25:42) Wow, any idea why those may have done so well?
Tevin Christopher: (25:45) Those were campaigns that they had a lot of push themselves from the creator, some of them were established companies before they launched on Kickstarter which gave them a lot of push and help cashback give.
Zach Smith: (25:57) They essentially leveraged their “FFF Network” and said hey guys you’ve backed our campaign now go make 10% and tell everybody else you know and they kind of, they kind of made it a multi-tiered, multilevel marketing approach in terms of FFF where their friends told their friends and their friends told their friends and it just catapulted and escalated from there right?
Tevin Christopher: (26:16) Exactly.
Zach Smith: (26:16) That’s pretty exciting, what about users-wise do we have any good cashback users people just like single people that are making lots of money every month is there I’m sure there are some people within the network if we’re generating that kind of money, is there like if I were to sign up for cashback how would I go about making some money, substantial money maybe a couple of 1,000 bucks more a month needs tips or tricks or strategies for what you would do?
Tevin Christopher: (26:40) So our biggest Influencer and user in Cashback Today has I believe generated about $13,000 for himself and that he just started using Cashback this year. So that just shows you how powerful Cashback can be if you have the means to push traffic.
Zach Smith: (26:58) Oh yes, that’s great, now let’s shift gears for just a second. In addition to Cashback there’s also “Influencer Marketing” and essentially to be an Influencer the idea is you have a crowd, you have a following, you have a tribe and then you tell your crowd following tribe about something and then they purchase, and you’re an Influencer because you have the power to commence others based upon what you say. How does Influencer Marketing relate when it comes to Crowdfunding? What are some of the positive you’ve seen and then what are some of the negatives and how do you kind of foresee Influencer marking playing a role in Crowdfunding as the months and years go on?
Tevin Christopher: (27:34) To be honest Influencer Marketing is not as impactful as you might think unless you’re like George Takei or someone who has massive.
Zach Smith: (27:43) I remember that George Takei’s story Evolution Bra I think he did a Facebook Post and it raised over $200,000 but you make a good point right like just because you got a million followers on Twitter doesn’t mean those million followers are going to go back something when you tell them to do it. I remember Thomas’s sister Tiffany Alvord she posted about some different things for us some were music related others were completely unrelated Tiffany is a YouTube Celebrity and she sings and does covers, and original music and when she posts about music related things it does okay but if she posts about something that has nothing to do with that she can -- I can probably raise more money than her. So it definitely does matter what type of influencers you’re reaching out to just because you’ve got somebody really famous and influential. Again I have no idea how George Takei is so good selling bras but that was one he did really well, anyway continue on Tevin.
Tevin Christopher: (28:32) Yes so there are definitely opportunities if you have the right influencer you push the right campaign but it’s definitely a hit or miss and even if you have tons of followers like you said that doesn’t mean you’re going to generate lots with a promotion.
Zach Smith: (28:46) What would be your strategy if you were trying to get influencers involved and add them to your FFF outreach efforts if you’re launching a campaign or midway through a campaign?
Tevin Christopher: (28:55) If I were to try to get into Influencer Marketing I would try to make sure I’m finding Influencers that whose audiences clearly fit with the campaign I’m trying to promote and whose audience would clearly resonate even they would likely back the campaign because.
Zach Smith: (29:12) Any strategies you do for searching out those types of people?
Tevin Christopher: (29:15) Not really no, I go on YouTube and you could just search tech products or really just any key words to the product that you’re trying to promote, and then.
Zach Smith: (29:26) And those can be really well if they review your product with like a YouTube review or something.
Tevin Christopher: (29:30) Yes, yes those can do well, it can be a little bit tricky with the timing of Kickstarter as you only have 30 days to ship the product and record a review and have that posted within time to benefit from the promotion but it can be done.
Zach Smith: (29:43) Another reason for pre-launch right? That’s why we’re having you talk about this because this is the kind of stuff that you want to line up months before your campaign even launches, get the prototype in these peoples hand have them record the video and tell them to post it with 14 days left on your campaign get all this stuff done well in advance so that your launch and your launch process and the entire timing of your launch just run seamlessly start to finish, don’t be trying to do these things midway through your campaign, have them all coordinated from the moment you push go right.
Tevin Christopher: (30:09) Definitely.
Thomas Alvord: (30:10) I would also add Zach in a way it’s a double-edge sword because with any startup you want to be lean right and get to market and test it in the market as quick as you can but at the same time you want to make sure you’re doing the things that you should be doing and you have the right structure so when you launch you can have a big launch. So and I think that’s where probably just depends for where everybody and where they’re at and their resources what they’re going to do but the stuff Tevin has shared today is so core to just any good launch like FFF, Google Analytics everything there, if you don’t have those you’re pretty much just setting yourself up to fail I would say.
Zach Smith: (30:55) Yes I mean it's so true. A lot of times - people used to say well what you guys are doing to Funded Today is magic and it might seem like magic when you raise one $100,000 in the first few hours of a campaign, but Tevin as granularly and as planned and detailed as possible I just laid it all out for you. This is what you do, there isn’t any magic, this is how you raise millions of dollars and it’s you do this then you do this then you do this then you do this and if that doesn’t work then you do this, and if that doesn’t work then you do this, and it’s systematic and it’s process oriented and it works and if it doesn’t work processes isn’t broken the product is broken, one of the other piece is broken and that’s all it comes down to, and I think that’s what’s in our day and age everybody is looking for a miracle everybody is looking for the next big thing or I mean even our strategy is to use a lot of curiosity based ad copy to convince somebody to check something out, but really all it comes down to is the basics, and we say this week-after-week on this podcast and that’s why we’re going to keep on beating this into all of your minds the basics are how you have a successful company, the basics are how you build something that’s going to last long term and this is how it starts, it starts from the pre-launch, it starts right from the beginning and I don’t know this stuff makes me excited I actually like when I can see it all when it’s all laid out late I know it makes you excited as well as our listeners to think wow I get it, this is how it works I’m going to try to raise $50,000 in my first campaign, then I’m going to raise $100,000 on my next campaign then I’m going to raise $500,000 on my next and then I’m going to raise a Million on my next, and that’s kind of how it works, you set those little stepping stones and then you progress from one to the other until you have this big thriving successful lifestyle based company that started with the Kickstarter pre-launch. So Tevin loved having you today is there any other final comments, words of advice parting wisdom you want to share with the listeners of the Funded Today Podcast.
Tevin Christopher: (32:51) No parting advice or wisdom, I do you have a product of the week though that I’d like to shout out.
Thomas Alvord: (32:59) Okay yes, yes let’s talk about that.
Tevin Christopher: (32:59) Alright yes, recently we started working with a campaign called “Twins Chopsticks” before we started working on the campaign they had raised $46,000, and since being on the campaign for four days they’re now at $78,000 total raise with $7,800 directly tracking from Funded Today. So, yes with 31 days left we’re really excited to see how far we can take this campaign.
Thomas Alvord: (33:22) What is this product?
Tevin Christopher: (33:21) This campaign is a they’re chopsticks they are “Eco-Friendly Titanium Chopsticks”.
Zach Smith: (33:29) We’ve seen that trend right now actually that might be a good product idea for anybody who has any, we saw that with straws, we saw the big switch with Starbucks to look at things more internationally and now Tevin just given you a little insider information that Twins Chopsticks is doing really well by saying let’s not throw away chopsticks, let’s make some reasonable titanium based chopsticks and it sounds like it’s off to a really good start.
Thomas Alvord: (33:50) And those are absolutely dynamics again kind of on a tangent here that people need to look at because look at the “Smart Luggage” where people had batteries and then TSA banned batteries and all of these Smart Luggage companies literally not all but a couple who had raised millions of dollars on Kickstarter and Indiegogo were now literally out of business overnight from a policy change so understanding the market it often is critical and can be useful.
Zach Smith: (34:21) Well absolutely. Well Tevin thanks again for stopping by today. We love to having you once again this is Mr. Tevin Christopher he is the Director of Pre-Launch and Cashback at Funded Today, and if you’d like to get in contact with him Tevin what’s the best way to do that.
Tevin Christopher: (34:35) You can email me at email@example.com if you like you can talk
Thomas Alvord: (34:38) And how do you spell that?
Tevin Christopher: (34:39) Tevin is T-E-V-I-N.
Zach Smith: (34:43) firstname.lastname@example.org okay perfect.
Tevin Christopher: (34:46) Yes.
Zach Smith: (34:47) Okay, perfect, and if they want to join the Cashback Network we’ll include a link to that in the show notes. Thanks again Tevin.
Tevin Christopher: (34:52) You’re welcome.
Zach Smith: (34:55) Okay we had Tevin earlier give a shout out about the Product of The Week, and now Thomas and I have a couple of Products of The Week for you as well. For me it is none other than the “Travel Bag Buddy” that is an RFID Travel Organizer and it’s the quickest way to access your items on the go and secure a second bag to your rolling luggage, it’s designed for speed and efficiency through airport security and I think that’s what everybody’s looking for the whole minimalist aspect of things this product got fully funded on Kickstarter in two hours they’re based out of Chicago Illinois is doing pretty well there’s only nine days left on Kickstarter so you might not catch this one on Kickstarter but you can probably get him on Indiegogo-InDemand on their website once again this is the “Travel Bag Buddy” that is my Product of The Week. Thomas what do you have for us.
Thomas Alvord: (35:37) The “E-Fusion Charger” that’s spelled “E-Fusion” and it actually is a pretty cool product it’s one I actually think I might back and I typically ironically even though we’ve worked with thousands campaigns I don’t back all the campaigns but I see a campaign here or there and I think that will be useful and basically this charger has I believe it’s three I’m not sure how many different outlets, so people who travel internationally nor if you’re in the US or if you’re in South America, or in Europe or Asia the outlets change, and you’re not able to plug your devices and, so this charger actually has all of the different outlets plugs that you can swap and then there’s 5 USB Plugs that you can plug into the back. So you can charge your phone, or your laptop or any other device that allows you to charge with a USB and it allows you to plug into the wall to charge your devices but it’s also a portable battery so you can take it with you and the charging capability is allow you to charge like two to five times faster than you are able to charge with other charging devices. So it’s a pretty cool charging device it covers 150 plus countries if you travel at all check it out it’s that “E-Fusion Charger” on Kickstarter.
Zach Smith: (37:04) Once again we are so that we have the Director of Pre-Launch and Cashback at Funded Today Mr. Tevin Christopher on the podcast and next time we have another special guest for you that’s all I’m going to say, I’m going to leave it a little bit mysterious so you’ll want to tune in I think this one’s going to be very exciting and as always remember don’t wait until tomorrow get Funded Today.
Announcer: (37:24) Funded Today is the worldwide leader in Rewards-Based Crowdfunding on Kickstarter and Indiegogo. Combined they have raised over $200 Million and counting for thousands of new ideas and inventions worldwide, if you got an idea for a new product or invention visit www.fundedtoday.com to speak with one of their experts.
References and Resources
- Funded Today: Blog: “If You Build It, They Won’t Necessarily Come - The Power of Promotion”
- Funded Today: Blog: “The 7 P’s For Crowdfunding Success”
- Funded Today: Blog: “Why You Should Raise As Much Money As Possible While Your Kickstarter Campaign Is Live”
- Funded Today: Cashback Network
- Funded Today: Marketing Services
- Funded Today: Podcast: “Friends, Family, and ‘Fools’”
- Kickstarter: Cubiio
- Kickstarter: Juisir
- Kickstarter: SHOTBOX with PANELS
- Kickstarter: ZeTime
- Wikipedia: Affiliate marketing
- Wikipedia: Influencer marketing
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