The pre-launch phase of your campaign is about more than just gauging interest in your product. It’s a time to build a community of followers so that come game time, you have a group of potential backers and potential customers as excited as you are..
That’s why we’re excited to be rolling out our latest community feature, Pre-Launch Discussions. With Pre-Launch Discussions, now you can begin building your community right in the Indiegogo platform before you publish your campaign page. Pre-Launch Discussions allow you to build your community early on, begin building a list of potential backers & customers, and understand potential backers’ expectations for your product. You can post specific topics and questions about your campaign, and collect feedback as you prepare for the materials of your campaign launch.
To help inspire you around this new feature, we put together a list of the top 7 most effective tactics for building a community pre-launch using Indiegogo’s Pre-Launch Discussions feature.
1. Ask Open Ended Questions
The pre-launch phase of your campaign is all about creating a dialogue with your community. Whenever possible, avoid asking closed questions. Rely on the tactic of open-ended questions to get your community talking and engaged with you and your idea.
Example: How will you use the perk when it arrives? Which color would you like us to add?
2. Form a Connection
Pre-launch is your window of time to form a connection with your community before your campaign is live. Share your inspiration for the product you’re launching, a little bit of your background, and what your goals are for the campaign and beyond.
Backers point to connection with the campaign founders as one of their primary motivations for contributing to crowdfunding campaigns. Backers love being able to offer a helpful idea or suggestion and seeing that idea incorporated in the final design. This is a perk that is not available in any other type of transaction.
3. Give Open Responses
When your community starts responding to your questions, it’s important to acknowledge your community by being open and inviting in your responses. Allow your community to begin feeling that connection with you that they will crave when your campaign is live. Encourage dialogue, and invite backers to continue engaging with you and your team.
If backers have feedback or criticism for your team, welcome it and thank them for caring enough to offer it. If you intend to incorporate it, let them know. If you aren’t sure you can incorporate their feedback, acknowledge their idea, and let them know you and your team will review it together.
4. Incorporate Feedback
Feedback may not always be easy to hear, but it’s invaluable to you, your team, and your final product–and it’s one of your backers’ favorite things to be asked for. Let’s face it, your community is going to have feedback whether you ask for it or not, so you may as well invite it. And remember, the members of your community are your likely customers. The fact they joined your community already tells you they’re highly interested and likely to back your campaign. Their feedback is invaluable to you at any stage, but especially during pre-launch.
5. Host an AMA
Hosting an AMA (“Ask Me Anything”) on your pre-launch discussions page can be a great way to really drive engagement during a focused period of time. It can also reveal great insights and information from your community that can improve your campaign page before it’s live.
6. Share Progress Updates
Just like they love to hear your progress updates during the live campaign, your community will also be eager to hear what’s going on behind the scenes during your pre-launch phase. Let them know what progress you’re making, what challenges you’re working on, and what the overall status is for the product, the company, and the campaign. Showing measurable progress during pre-launch will also help your community to see that you’re taking the project seriously and moving things forward even before you have backers on board.
7. Remember the “Rule of Seven”
Most consumers only convert to buying (or in this case backing) your product once they’ve heard about it seven times. It may feel like you’re repeating yourself and saying the same thing over and over again, but it’s a proven tactic based on countless marketing studies. Engaging in conversations with your pre-launch community is an effective (and not pushy!) way to continue to talk about your product idea in a way that achieves that “Rule of Seven” goal without feeling like you’ve been too salesy with your community.
Embracing the Pre-Launch Phase
During the pre-launch phase of your campaign, your community can go from never having heard of your product or idea to desperately wanting one. As your potential customers move through the marketing funnel, some will want to convert to buyers, and some will decide this idea isn’t right for them. That is okay! Remember, this helps you really dial in who your audience is for this product. By engaging with your pre-launch community you will be able to know exactly who to market your product to. By the time you’re ready to launch, you will know who your superfans are and who isn’t quite there yet, which is a huge milestone for your marketing efforts.