In order to launch your campaign with a bang and maximize your ability to reach an early 30% goal, be sure to include the following during your kick-off:
- Send an email. You should have a mailing list already established which includes three categories: your inner circle (closest supporters, associates and friends), your middle circle (general supporters, friends, clients) and your outer circle (acquaintances, peers from other organizations). Get your launch email ready and send it out to your inner circle on the day you kick-off your campaign.
- Announce the launch of your campaign on social media. You should have a launch announcement ready and optimized for each of the social media platforms you plan to use to promote your campaign. This will allow you to quickly synchronize your kick-off announcement across platforms. Don’t forget to share your campaign video on social media, (if you made one).
- Post an announcement on your blog or website. Make sure to include links to your campaign page and explain why people should donate. Remember, at this stage, your message should be crystal-clear. Make sure that your blog post doesn’t simply talk about how great you are, but instead answers the question of “Why?” your service is needed. According to Will Schroter of Fundable, “The most important aspect of explaining your product isn’t around the benefits; it’s around the problem it solves.” Schroter advises that when talking about your launch to potential donors (through any medium), you should start with the problem, explain your solution and then verify that a sizable population for your service exists.
- Have a launch party. This can take place both “in person” (involving volunteers, staff, friends, and anyone else directly involved with the campaign) and as a Facebook event (don’t hesitate to contact people via Facebook’s messaging, or Facebook Live, to notify them of the launch). Remember to take a lot of “behind the scenes” photos of this event to use in blog posts, on Instagram, etc. Make it look exciting to be involved in your campaign.
- Notify people of the launch by phone. Have volunteers make calls with a scripted message they can easily read when phoning potential donors. It’s smart to use a scripted message. At least half of the calls will end up on voicemail, and without a script to follow, the messages left can sound rambling, unprofessional, or leave out vital information.
- Send out press releases. Again, you should have these prepared in advance and optimized for each media outlet – TV, radio, newspapers, blogs, etc. The launch release should be the first in a series of press releases announcing the campaign’s major milestones.
If you do all of the above successfully, you will increase your odds of achieving 30% of your target amount funded soon after your launch. You may even get featured on the home page of the crowdfunding platform you have chosen. The majority of crowdfunding sites rely heavily on early traffic statistics and funding to determine which campaigns to feature. IndieGoGo, for example, states that 50% of deciding who gets featured comes down to “page views, number of funders, and % of goal completed.”