Your Crowdfunding Perks Need Work

I just took 5 minutes and pulled up a random sampling of projects on the Indiegogo crowdfunding platform. For a $50.00 backing I can get a postcard, for $25.00 a ceramic mug (for a coffee shop fundraiser – no bottomless coffee refills or discount included), for $40.00 a DVD, a $50.00 Facebook shout out (accompanied by a sticker) or a $5.00 gift certificate for $20.00. I don’t know about you, but these thank you rewards do not motivate me to run and get my wallet. Also note, I am not singling out Indiegogo as overpriced rewards can be found on any and all crowdfunding platforms.

I understand many project owners are devising their rewards based on math – as in, I need to make as much margin on each pledge level as possible to go towards my venture (hence the $50.00 stickers). But arithmetic should not be the only factor that goes into devising campaign perks. If you want to attract backers to your project, and even benefit from these supporters sharing your project link, you need to invest some time into designing creative rewards. Ideally your rewards will be based on your own products or services but if this is not an option, brainstorm about unique items or experiences to which you – or someone you know – may have access.

Inspiring Rewards

So you are raising money for your coffee shop like the example above? Why not offer a coffee tasting evening in your restaurant, or for those non-local backers, perhaps they get to name a special coffee drink?  I love that a crowdfunder I know who invented a filming support case for the iPad Mini (that allows users to add lighting and lenses) packaged his product with access to a learning hub full of tutorial videos for those who backed him.  Look for opportunities like this to build in added value.

Watch Your Value

Another example of uninspiring rewards are those that charge more upfront for a product than they will sell for once the campaign is over.  I’ve seen many campaigns where, for instance, an App in development is being offered at a $5.00 pledge level yet when the campaign ends, that same App goes into the iTunes store for $1.00.  The message that this sends to backers is “Hey – thanks for making this happen – sorry we fleeced ya”.  While an overpriced reward may not stop a backer from contributing, it will put a damper on their enthusiasm for sharing your project with others.  Again, simply adding some additional benefit such as a screen credit on the App or first access to updates shows you value their early support.

You Are The Reward

Yes, most backers in crowdfunding want a cool reward but they also are motivated by building special connections with those they support.  Donors want to be involved in bringing products and companies to life so offering them access to you – or early access to your product – via a meet-up or Skype call is also a welcome addition to pledge levels. There are many ways to enhance thank you perks at little to no cost to your project.  Please dispense with the $25.00 key chains and $75.00 Tee-shirts and persuade me to open my wallet!