5 Website Enhancements for Greater Kickstarter Campaign Success

Too many Kickstarters leave money on the table by failing to synchronize their website with their crowdfunding campaign. With a few simple tweaks, your website can become a powerful mechanism for mobilizing your tribe and attracting press coverage.

Your website is really just a tool. And like any tool, you rely on it to do something specific so you can accomplish a goal. With crowdfunding, your website should build credibility, communicate a clear message, and trigger specific actions from your visitors.

With these goals in mind, here are the five website modifications every creator needs to make before launching their Kickstarter or Indiegogo campaign.

1. Put a Campaign Announcement on the Home Page

First things first, you want everyone who visits your website to know that you’re preparing to launch (or are currently running) a crowdfunding campaign. The best way to do this is to put an announcement on your homepage at least one month before your campaign launches.

A good campaign announcement will have four components:

a) Headline. You want a headline that has simple language, is clear, and straight to the point. For example, “Smyle Sunwear is Launching a Kickstarter Campaign

b) Summary. Below the headline should be 2 or 3 sentences that gives a brief description of the project and the amount of money you are trying to raise. Keep it short and sweet, like “We’re trying to raise $40,000 to launch our new line of heart-shaped sunglasses. Our campaign launches on June 28th. Enter your email below and we’ll let you know when you can order your first pair of Smyles!”

c) Launch Date. The date and time of your campaign launch should be abundantly clear. For this you could use a calendar icon like the one above, or you might use a countdown timer to illustrate the buildup to launch.

d) Email Capture. You want to be able to capture visitor email addresses as part of this announcement. To do this, it’s best to setup an account with an email marketing service like MailChimp. They have a suite of free awesome sauce features to build email forms, collect email addresses, and send out campaign announcements with ease.

Here’s an example of a basic campaign announcement in action.

4.4 B Roll - Homepage Announcement Mockup

You want to position your campaign announcement in the upper part of the page so that people don’t have to scroll down to see it. This is known as placing it “above the fold” and will increase the likelihood that your visitors will see it, read it, and interact with it.

4.4 B Roll - Above the Fold Slide 3

Alternatively, you could incorporate your announcement as a pop up box. Basically the way this works is the visitor loads your home page, reads the content on your page for a few seconds, and then the screen goes dark and your campaign announcement pops over the page. This effect can be implemented with just a couple of click through the Bloom WordPress plugin.

2. Build a Campaign Preview Page

A campaign preview page is a duplicate version of your crowdfunding profile. It includes everything that would normally show up on your Kickstarter or Indiegogo campaign page like your video, project description, creator biography, rewards, photos, mockups, shout outs, etc. The only thing it doesn’t include is the ability of taking donations.

Your campaign preview page should be live on your website at least one month before your actual crowdfunding campaign launches. Once your campaign launches, the page should be redirected to your actual campaign page.

Here’s what your campaign preview page is designed to accomplish.

a) Creates Excitement within Your Tribe. You want your tribe to be able to preview your campaign and get excited about it before it goes live. This is useful for generating momentum for your launch, but also for getting valuable feedback from those who are willing to go above and beyond to help you succeed.

b) Keeps Visitors on Your Website. During the time leading up to your campaign launch, you want your visitors to stay on your website instead of previewing your campaign directly on Kickstarter or some other pre-launch promotional website. When people go on websites other than yours, it’s easy for them to become distracted with other campaigns, ads, or photos of furry animals. When they are on your site, you have their attention. You can communicate with them, rally their support, capture their email, or direct them to your blog or to social media properties like Facebook or Twitter.

c) Gives the Press an Early Heads Up. You want members of the media to be able to see your campaign before it launches so that they can see that it’s real, evaluate its merit as a potential story, and have access to the information they need to prepare an article that gets published the day your campaign launches.

When laying out your campaign preview page, you can pretty much stick to the same page layout as your crowdfunding profile with just a few minor changes.

  • Top Banner. Place a banner at the top of the page explaining to visitors that this page is only a preview and calling them to action.
  • Launch Date. Display the campaign launch date prominently above the fold.
  • Email Opt In. Insert an email opt-in form where visitors can be notified when the campaign goes live.

Here’s a screenshot of the top of a campaign preview page in action.

4.6 B Roll - Campaign Preview Page - cropped

3. Create a Tribe Resource Page

As you begin to communicate the news of your upcoming campaign to your contacts and the world, a group of people will emerge who truly want to see you succeed and are willing to go above and beyond to help. These people are your tribe.

Your tribe resource page is a page designed to mobilize your tribe so that they can promote your Kickstarter campaign as effectively as possible to all of their contacts. It is spells out exact steps you want your tribe to take and provides all the materials they need to take action.

Here’s a link to a sample tribe resource page: http://fundster.com/tribe-resource-page-example/

A good tribe resource page should eliminate thinking so all they have to do is follow directions by copying and pasting your promotional messages into their emails, blog postings, and social media accounts. Below are just some of the things you might include in your own tribe resource page.

a) Personal Message from You. Tell your tribe a little bit about your campaign and ask them to support you by doing the specific things laid out on this page. Don’t forget to thank them.

b) Request Feedback. The act of evaluating your campaign and giving feedback creates a deeper connection between that individual and your campaign and will dramatically increase their overall participation.

c) Outline a Specific Series of Social Media Posts. Instead of simply asking them to share your campaign on Facebook, you should specifically write out what you want them to post about your campaign over the course of a week. The more specific you are the better results you will have.

d) Ask for their Social Media Interaction. Explain to your tribe that you’ll be making a lot of posts over the 30 days your campaign is active. Ask them to interact with these posts so that more people will see and become engaged with the campaign.

e) Search for Press Contacts. Ask your tribe if they know any bloggers, journalists, local reporters, or anyone else who might be a potential target for getting your campaign some press coverage. You’ll often be surprised at who some people know.

4. Add a Pop-Down Notification to all Website Pages

Not everyone is going to visit your website’s home page or pay attention to your home page announcement. To combat this, you need to install an above header pop-down notification bar on all the pages of your website.

Pop-down notifications are those annoying little bars that appear at the top of the page a second or two after the page loads.

Here’s a screenshot of one in action.

On Page Load:

Before

After 2-3 Seconds:

After

The text appearing on your pop-down notification can be pretty simple. Something like “we are currently doing a crowdfunding campaign and need your support” will do just fine. A “find out more” button should also be displayed that takes the user to your campaign preview or your tribe resource page.

For WordPress websites, this effect can be done using the WPFront Notification Bar. It’s free, simple, and awesome.

5. Build a Page Dedicated to the Press

Press coverage is one of the most effective ways for your campaign to reach a massive audience in a short amount of time. The right coverage can literally get millions of potential backers talking about your campaign.

Your press page is designed to make a journalist’s job of reporting on your campaign as easy as possible by putting everything they want to see in one place.

Here are the things you should include on your press page.

a) Downloadable Press Kit. Your press kit should include the interpersonal insights into you, your company, your project, and your campaign. It’s the human side of your story that goes a little bit deeper than what’s disclosed on your website or through your campaign page. It should be made available to download in a PDF format.

b) Complete Contact Information. You want members of the press to be able to reach you through whatever method they want. Your contact details should at least include an email address and phone you will actually answer. Reporters who go to voicemail may never call back.

c) Social Media Properties. Include links to all the social media accounts that are actually active. For example, do not include a link to your YouTube channel if it only contains one video. There’s nothing worse than wasting a reporter’s time.

d) Website & News Mentions. Publish a list of all the articles or websites that have mentioned you, your company, or your campaign. This list might be blank at first, but once you get rolling, it will grow. Keep it up to date.

What Do You Think?

Have other tips for enhancing your website to better support a crowdfunding campaign? Know a campaign that’s really doing a great job?

Need feedback on your own Kickstarter or Indiegogo campaign title?

Please share in the comments!

About The Author

Matt Dahse

Matt is an investment banker and entrepreneur specializing in raising capital and building business infrastructure. Prior to founding Fundster, Matt co-founded multiple social-collaboration businesses, including Newswire, Backpack Forever, Cancer.im, and EXT.