Today’s guest post is by serial creative and longtime cool customer, Andrew Spear. Andrew’s projects have always used email marketing in interesting ways, so when he mentioned that he was sending campaigns to encourage people to back his My Little Geek children’s books and iPad app on Kickstarter, we knew he would have a good story to share.
We’ve seen a fair few of our customers use email marketing to seek out backers, especially designers and creators that have established an audience, prior to seeking funding on Kickstarter. So in this post, we’ll be not only looking at Andrew’s work for My Little Geek, but a couple of other Kickstarter email updates that you may like. Now, onto the show.
Kickstarter campaigns are a lot of work at the best of times. Add a day job and two kids and there’s very little time to spare! When promoting My Little Geek, we needed solutions that you could get running, forget about, then move on to the next thing.
While we used Campaign Monitor in a bunch of different ways, here are the three most effective things we did.
#1: Give a little, take a little
The original My Little Geek book has been available for a while now, so initially, we wanted to email our existing customers and ask them to support our Kickstarter campaign. As they had previously purchased the book and were likely interested in the two new books and iPad app, these were high-quality leads. That said, we didn’t want to jump straight in and ask them for a favour, so instead, we took Shayne Tilley‘s advice and used a “give-give-take” approach – which meant giving our subscribers a little something first.
We used Campaign Monitor to queue up three separate emails to be delivered over a ten-day period. Our schedule looked like this:
- 10 days from launch (give) – We introduced the campaign by giving some exclusive behind-the-scenes photos of our video shoot, and previewed initial sketches of our new books.
- 3 days from launch (give) – We offered a link to our unlisted trailer on YouTube as another exclusive preview, just for these subscribers.
- On launch day (take) – We scheduled this email to coincide with the Kickstarter launch, right down to the minute. This gave our subscribers the first opportunity to snap up the limited pledges as soon as the campaign went live. We also gave them a link a sharing-focused landing page so they could help spread the word.
The give-give-take approach broke the ice with customers that hadn’t heard from us in a while. It made them feel better about our final request and built anticipation ahead of the launch date. Overall, the feedback we received regarding the project and email campaigns was really positive.
#2: Plain-text, for a personal approach
We didn’t want this to feel like a big expensive corporate enterprise – why would people pledge to that? The reality is, My Little Geek is a side-project run by a mom and dad from home and we wanted our campaigns to convey that. So, most of our email campaigns were sent as plain-text:
We love creating pretty HTML emails, but decided to give that up this time around and got the personal touch we were after.
#3: Get competitive
A week after the Kickstarter launch, we started a competition in which we gave away autographed copies of our first book. This raised awareness for the campaign, as well as our existing products.
We decided to use a Campaign Monitor subscriber list as our database. Initially, the idea was to use a Subscribe Page, but instead, we settled on embedding their subscribe form code on our own site so we could take advantage of the viral subscribe form we had built earlier. As an incentive, entrants got a bonus entry if they shared the form.
Every time a new entrant filled in the form, we had a confirmation email sent to them, which included a link to the Kickstarter campaign. We also scheduled an autoresponder to be sent to entrants the day before the competition closed, encouraging them to share the giveaway with their friends. Once set up, both follow-up emails were automatically sent to all new entrants, saving us valuable time.
Once the competition was up, our marketing was largely run on auto-pilot. Even better, we didn’t have to use any special tools beyond what we were already using to promote My Little Geek, which meant little extra cost and no unexpected learning curve.
Many thanks to Andrew Spear for taking the time to show us how used both Kickstarter and email to give the My Little Geek book series a well-deserved boost. If his books and iPad app sound like something you’d like, why not swing by his Kickstarter page and pledge your support? The little geeks in your life will love you for it!
If this has inspired you to get your email on when collecting pledges for your own Kickstarter campaigns, check out these other designs by Ghost and Eyetoons.