You may have seen a few campaigns teach their goals fast while others stalled and lingered and wondered, why? It is very easy to fill in the form and launch the campaign but the marketing aspect can make or brake it. Here are some tips to get you on the road to success a bit faster:
1. Launch your campaign in more than one medium.
Use newspaper ads, work, church public/private businesses bulletin boards and social media to reach a broader audience. You want to reach potential donors, customers and leads, not just friends of friends. (Go beyond the twitter handle, Instagram and the Facebook page to keep people engaged. Use flyers, billboards and word of mouth too.)
2. Use your network, ask friends who have 1k or more contacts on social media to share on your behalf.
Have them redirect others to your webpage or campaign url. Recruit as many “sales reps” as possible since these people will help market your fund. If you are offering a product include testimonials of users or of prototype performance. Sell, sell, sell.
3. Target as many people as you can by tugging at their heart strings.
Depending on where you are from, where you work or what schools you attended there may be people willing to help out of solidarity. Also, the more in common they have with you, the higher the chance they will contribute or spread the word.
4. Post and distribute a “canned” statement.
Let the audience know what the effort is and how the money will be used in two or three sentences. Be consistent. If posting on your own wall avoid posting conflicting messages. No one will donate to a person who just touted their last $$$ purchase while asking for cash. The same goes for those kickstarting businesses or products. People like helping equals, thread lightly.
5. Use high quality graphics, pictures, borders and fonts to make the campaign memorable and stand out.
If you have friends who work in this space ask for a donation of their services or for a referral to discounted/cheap services of good quality. (FedEx Stores for example or Staples.) If doing it yourself, clean all camera lenses and make sure the lighting is optimal and use high quality images or stock pictures. Elegance over sloppiness gets you farther ahead in the game that mediocrity.
6. Get someone to check your spelling and grammar before posting.
Many think this is not a big issue but the people with $$$ can be subconsciously turned off by poorly written text. Some may equate it with your link or campaign being a scam. The last thing you want is to alienate people who can contribute. Dot your i’s and cross your t’s.
7. Launch during prior to work lunch hours or near prime time hours.
My blog trends highest during the 5pm to 8pm window or time EST for both Eastern and Pacific traffic. Hit them when they are close to their wallets and available to pull the money handle. If you don’t grab someone’s interest and turn it into action in the first minute of reading your campaign, they will tag it for later and forget.
8. Remind people that now is the time to help.
It may not sound polite but fundraising corporations use this line all the time: “Help now, tomorrow may be too late.” Your cause my not warrant such a statement but telling the public by when funds are required or how urgently works wonders. That’s the difference between a quick response and a campaign that lingers.
9. If applicable, indicate that additional funds raised will be used for a similar case or for a particular purpose.
Don’t limit people’s ability to give by closing a campaign too early. If you have momentum, use the cash to help others in need or launch a product faster. If they trust you with their cash, they trust you will honor your word.
10. Post an update to let people know how well the campaign is doing or to call for help spreading the word and securing donations.
Don’t go quiet into that good night; spread the word far and wide. You may get additional donations or angel investors if they realize your cause is worthy but no one else has $$ to back you. A campaign I saw recently closed out with a bang because a donor decided to fund the delta required to meet the goal. 🙂
11. Thank those who have contributed personally or with some kind of grand gesture email with a picture or account of what success looks like.
Once you get the funds or while an ongoing effort is being pushed, post updates. People like to know how their money was invested. Makes them want to donate more to you in the future and gives them a sense of participation. “Look what I helped happen!”
12. Share your story with anyone that will listen.
Create cards, cheap give aways and reminder cards to donate with the campaign’s information. Leave flyers at coffee shops. Talk to business in the area that may offer sponsorship. Free publicity and bad publicity are better than none at all.
13. Don’t forget to ask readers or viewers to share if they cannot donate.
If one person shares over 25% of their network or feed will see it. That’s a lot of people! Usually 10% (in my experience) of the people that see it will donate, if not less. The greater the views, the greater the chance for success. There’s strength in numbers.
14. Offer a gift with the donation if there is no product to develop.
People like trinkets or mementos of their good deeds. A picture, a letter signed by the person in need, a shirt or treats, anything of a lesser value than the donation can move people to sponsor your cause or goal. Make it funny or a gag gift and you may get people sponsoring you just for the freebie
15. Maximize your returns.
Depending on the amount of funds required and urgency, a campaign can last anywhere from a week to months. Many don’t realize gofundme and Kickstarter, for example, collect fees from your raised funds and it can be up to a percentage of the goal’s total. You don’t need to use their platforms but if you do, you may want to get sponsorship the fees. If you can swing it use PayPal and free websites to maximize the earnings. Place the funds in a high yield account until you need to use them. Also, take advantage of perennial sponsorship; some people are willing to pay month to month to help while the campaign is open. This type of support is usually passed up because people don’t set up PayPal accounts as an alternative. Now you know!
Much success to you in your endeavors!