Whether you’re a small business owner in need of funds for new product development or an artist who wants to create something from scratch, earning the funds through Kickstarter could prove the difference between daydreaming about a project and making it happen. If you hope to attract backers, your job is not only to pitch your project, but also to provide attractive rewards. These rewards should be personalized to remind the backers of your project but should cost you little enough to enable you to put the maximum amount toward your project. Besides providing backers with the finished product itself, which is sometimes an option, offer some more general rewards at different levels of sponsorship.
Pens are in purses. Pens are in desks. Pens are used for note taking, signing papers and jotting down memos. There are few things more useful than a pen, and the pen isn’t going anywhere. Head to www.thepenguy.com for examples of colorful, durable pens to give to your backers at lower levels of sponsorship.
Because they cost you less than a dollar a piece when you order in bulk, they won’t take away from the donation. Since there’s room on both the pen itself and the clip to personalize, you can easily fit information about your project along with your contact information. Every time a backer reaches for her pen, she’ll remember she believes in your vision — and may want to contribute more.
Stickers and Bumper Stickers
Stickers and bumper stickers are cheap for you and attractive to the backer who believes in your vision. Like a pen with your project’s information on it, a sticker placed in a visible location is a conversation starter. Whenever your backers see the sticker, they’ll wonder how far along you’ve gotten in your project and perhaps visit your website to learn more. Offer both bumper stickers and smaller-sized stickers; they can put their stickers on places like bikes, bags and desks.
A Personalized Audio or Video Recording
Being able to work on your project is a dream-come-true, and you probably wish you could thank everyone who helped make it happen. Make one of the rewards a personalized audio or video recording thanking each backer for his donation. If your campaign is extremely successful, you might not have time to thank every backer individually, so set the personalized thank you as a limited-number, high-level gift.
If you want to thank everyone, it’s possible to make it a low level gift by recording one basic “thank you” message before which you record the few seconds stating the backer’s name and edit the audio or video together. This can still prove a lengthy reward to fulfill, but it might be worth it if you attract many backers. Personalized thanks are especially attractive to buyers if you have someone somewhat famous on your team to provide the thanks.
Incorporating the Backer Into the Project
Depending on the nature of your project, you may be able to pay homage to your backers in the project itself. For example, reward a backer by:
- Naming a character in your book after her
- Using a photo he sends of himself in an art project for which you use many people’s faces
- Putting her name in the credits after a film
Be creative. Think of some way you can manageably incorporate all of your backers into whatever your project might be, or at least a limited number at a higher level of contribution.
According to Kickstarter, 90 percent of projects get at least some donations from backers, and 43.5 percent of projects earn all of their goals and more. While any amount raised will certainly help, you can’t just slap a project description up on the site and hope for the best. You might wind up in the percentage that doesn’t earn its goals, or worse — doesn’t earn anything at all. Not only do you need to effectively market your project to spread the word, but you also need to offer your backers appealing rewards. Personalized rewards will remind your backers of your project and are the best option — and they needn’t cost you much at all.
About the Author: Gary Austin is the founder of Gary Austin Advertising, and he knows how hard it can be to attract investors to your brilliant idea.