Indiegogo Playbook – Creating Your Campaign

7.10.14 indiegogo

Story provided by Indiegogo – 

Strengthen your campaign by focusing your idea, establishing a feasible timeline, and creating a great pitch with compelling perks.


1. Focus your idea

What you are trying to achieve by running a campaign? Successful campaigners take their big idea and break it down into meaningful chunks that they can share as concrete objectives with their audience.

Campaign: Mission Cheese

Their big idea was to open a new restaurant, but their Indiegogo campaign objective was to install glass refrigerators and cabinets.

Campaign: The Horror Short, Black August

Their big idea was to make a film, but their Indiegogo campaign objective was to finance equipment rentals, food for the crew, and postproduction.

Campaign: The Tasmanian Forest Campaign Hub

Their big idea was to save the Tasmanian Forest, but their Indiegogo campaign objective was to pay for the first four months of rent in a shared office space in Tasmania’s capital city, Hobart.

2. Think beyond the money

Before creating your campaign, you started growing your community. Think about how those people can help you achieve your big idea in the long term, even after your campaign is over.

For example, your community can:

  • Establish the foundation of your new company’s user base.
  • Become beta testers or evangelists.
  • Share excitement for your campaign and attract media attention.
  • Validate your product with the market.

Aside from money, determine other needs your community may be able help you with. Prioritize those needs and communicate them during your campaign.

3. Establish a timeline

When should your campaign begin?
The best date for your campaign to start is when you are completely prepared and ready to start. Don’t rush it.

Once you’re ready, consider launching on a Monday or Tuesday to help you gain momentum through the week. On average, campaigns launched on a Monday or Tuesday raise 14% more in the first week than campaigns launched on all other days of the week.

icon-alert Avoid launching during a major holiday. People are more likely to contribute when at their computers during a regular workweek.

How long should your campaign be?
We encourage campaigners to set a campaign length of 40 or fewer days for the following reasons:

  • Momentum: Your campaign should be long enough that you have time to build interest and reach your audience, but not so long that it becomes background noise.
  • Engagement: The longer the campaign, the harder it is to continue to keep your audience engaged, excited, and contributing.
  • Urgency: Seeing that a campaign has just a few days remaining creates a sense of urgency for potential contributors, motivating them to act now, rather than later.
  • Resources: Take into account that you’ll be closely managing the campaign through its duration; you may not want to dedicate 60 days to it.

Also, make sure to factor in the amount of time that it will take for your funds to be disbursed following your campaign. Learn more about disbursements.

4. Pitch your idea

Your pitch is your first impression with your audience, and the single most important part of your campaign.

When putting together your pitch materials, make them easy for contributors to digest. Instead of explaining your campaign in huge blocks of text, visualize as much of your information as possible. Use charts, infographics, and timelines to present your budget, schedule, or a product comparison.

Check out more examples of how to get creative with your pitch materials, and learn how to add media to your pitch.

If at all possible, use a video for your pitch. Campaigns that use video raise 115% more money than campaigns that do not, so use a video to more effectively deliver your pitch.

In a pitch video, you should:

Introduce yourself.

  • Who are you?
  • What are you trying to do?
  • Include shots of yourself and your team speaking to the camera. Let people see your face and hear you explain your project in your own words.

Pitch to contributors.

  • Why are you crowdfunding?
  • Why do you need that specific amount of money?

Showcase your progress and experience.

  • What have you already done to work toward your objective?
  • What are your qualifications?

Honor short attention spans.

  • Your video should be no more than 2-3 minutes long.

Ready to start pitching?

5. Create perks

Perks are incentives offered to contributors in exchange for their support.

We’ve found that campaigns offering perks raise 143% more money than those that do not. Perks help you attract a larger audience, make people feel more valued for their contributions, and help you spread the word about your campaign.

Here are examples of different kinds of perks:

  • Material: The product you’re crowdfunding to manufacture, or other physical items like t-shirts.MaterialPerk
  • Personal: An acknowledgement for contributing, a social media conversation, a handwritten thank-you note or another kind of interaction between you and a contributor.
  • Experiential: A unique experience, like tickets to the premiere of your film or an hour with you and your band in the recording studio.ExperientialPerk

Be creative and frame your perks in a way that will appeal to your audience. Look around at other campaigns for inspiration and great perk ideas.

Strategically price your perks.

  • $25 perks are the most frequently claimed.
  • $100 perks raise the most money and often make up nearly 30% of total funds raised.
  • Do the math and make sure you’re not losing money. (Factor in shipping costs, manufacturing, and time.)

Consider fulfillment. If 10 people choose the same perk, fulfilling those 10 orders might be easy. But what about fulfilling 1,000 of that same perk? Think of the challenges of scaling, and cap the number of contributions for that perk with the number that feels achievable.

icon-alert Remember to make sure that your perks abide by our Terms of Use

6. Set a goal & funding type

Flexibility is one of the things that make Indiegogo special, and it’s especially important when it comes to funding.

You can choose between two types of funding—Fixed (all or nothing) and Flexible, an option unique to Indiegogo that lets you keep whatever amount of money you earn during your campaign.

Choose flexible funding if any amount of money will help you reach your campaign objective and you’ll still be able to fulfill your perks. Flexible funding is suitable for almost all the campaigns on Indiegogo.

Choose fixed funding only if your campaign objective requires a minimum amount of money to be accomplished, and if you cannot fulfill your perks without raising the full goal amount.

There is no secret formula for calculating your goal, but here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • The minimum amount that will let you accomplish your objective is good place to start.
  • You can always exceed your funding goal and on average, campaigns that hit their goals exceed them by 42%. So it is in your interest to set a lower goal than you might have expected at first.
  • Your funding goal should be based on the size of your network. You should be able to raise about 30% of your goal just from your immediate network.
  • Fees will absorb a percentage of your earnings.
  • The cost of perk fulfillment is almost always higher than you think. Remember to think about shipping costs.

7. Set up to receive funds

All campaigns receiving contributions by credit card must have a bank account in order to receive funds, unless your campaign is raising funds on behalf of a 501(c)(3) nonprofit in the United States or if your campaign is fiscally sponsored by one of our partners.

The bank information we request depends upon what country your bank account is located in. You will be prompted to provide your bank account information only once your campaign has received its first contribution by credit card. Learn more about how to set up your bank account to receive contributions.

Contributions given via PayPal to Flexible Funding campaigns can be accessed immediately by campaign owners. Contributions given via PayPal to Fixed Funding campaigns can be accessed by campaign owners once the campaign goal has been met. Learn how to prep your PayPal account to receive funds.

8. Plan for early momentum

Most campaigns that meet their goals raise about 30% of their funds from their immediate network. It’s best to raise this money right away, because early momentum can be leveraged for marketing and press. When people outside your network see that others trust you with their money, they gain the confidence to contribute, too.

Achieve early momentum by “soft launching” your campaign:

  • Before it goes live, ask everyone you know to contribute in the first few days of the campaign
  • Make a list of the people who committed to helping out, and ask them to make their contributions within the first 1-3 days of your launch.

If you don’t think that your own network will be able to provide roughly 30% of the funds for your campaign, scale back. Try aiming for a lower funding goal to complement a more manageable objective.

Next, look ahead at what’s required to run a campaign so you can be as prepared as possible.

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