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Jun 30, 2015 10:40 EST

Dealing with crowdfunding campaign failures

iCrowdNewswire - Jun 30, 2015

Learn how to cope with failure and be successful in your next crowdfunding campaign

As it happens to most things in life, failing in crowdfunding for the first time around is a normal thing. The industry is booming and attracting the attention of early buyers, investors and supporters every day. But that doesn’t mean you’ll be successful at your first go at it.

Why crowdfunding campaigns fail

Along with some failure cases (like the first Coolest Campaign, which we will discuss below), many researchers have conducted case studies on the reasons why some projects succeed and others fail. Here are some reasons that can make your campaign not reach their goals:

• Bad timing: you must choose to make your pitch when people interested on buying your product will be thinking about it. It’s a bad idea to launch your campaign when most investors are on vacation, for example.
• Too high of a funding goal: you shouldn’t run the risk of not delivering your product to market by not raising enough money, but aiming too high can be counterproductive. Actually, after the first week, if your campaign is far from the goal, it’ll likely flop. Most of your campaigns will have their best time during the first or the last week of the project [4], so adjust your goals accordingly.
• Bad rewards: the best campaigns usually provide some tangible product to backers or they highlight supporters in the final product or site in some way [4]. Although perks like cups or T-shirts might attract some funding, fact is that those are usually barely funded and are disliked by most backers [3]. Therefore, it’s important to aim at producing rewards directly related to the project.
• Inadequate language: you should use authoritative language, implying that you already have a good, advanced project and that you know how to do it. Besides, it is key to be reassuring on availability of resources and delivery dates.
• Lack of interaction: a crowdfunding campaign should be updated and promoted in social networks all the time. No backers’ questions should remain unanswered and it is important, even after failure, to update the project and provide a website or social profile where backers could follow future campaign developments.
• Lack of social media outreach: you should not just rest on the platform’s shoulder. Actually, you should market your project or product using established channels, while encouraging people to share your message.
• Bad product: this is self-explanatory of course. A bad product that is not innovative in some way is certainly likely to fail. People expect some cutting edge technology, so you should aim at that.

Did it fail?

If your campaign was a flop, you should thoroughly analyze the reasons why it failed. Analyze how far you were from your goal and how innovative your product was.

Quitting it is not always a good idea. Actually, some successful projects did not succeed in their first attempt, so some tweaks to your campaign may be just enough to reach your goals. Let us analyze a case study below.

Coolest Cooler was a failure for the first time

Actually, many good people failed for the first time. People like Ryan Grepper, from Coolest Cooler, for example. After having failed some inventions, he tried to start a campaign for his cooler on Kickstarter. Well, that was a successful campaign right? Wrong.

The first Coolest Cooler campaign aimed $125,000 in funding. He had a prototype but it didn’t look that good. The same could be said about his video. Although well produced, it was not really catching. In addition, he started his campaign in November, a time of the year when nobody is thinking about going outdoors, let alone hiking [1].

Still, the project showed a clear chance of success by raising $100,000. Not enough to make the project work, but a good sum nonetheless. So Grepper went back to work, slightly changed his design, refined his pitch and chose a better time of the year to launch the product: Summer. He also lowered his goal, to just $50,000. Then he went on to make more than $13 million.

Additional resources

[1] http://www.theverge.com/2014/8/27/6074101/the-biggest-kickstarter-ever-failed-the-first-time-around

[2] http://www.cc.gatech.edu/news/266771/georgia-tech-researchers-reveal-phrases-pay-kickstarter

[3] http://juliehui.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/CSCW_Crowdfunding_Final.pdf

[4] http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/Papers.cfm?abstract_id=2234765

Via iCrowdNewswire
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