You’ll hear from most people who have done crowdfunding campaigns that the most important thing to have is a mailing list, and it should be at least 3,000 + for you to even consider launching your campaign.
I agree with the logic behind this and I also recommend that you build your audience as large as possible before you launch your campaign. The more the better. However, I wouldn’t say it’s that black and white, and there are other things you must consider. Would it surprise you to know that we launched our Kickstarter campaign without even being close to that number?
Think of your cellphone, what brand is it? If you were to buy a new one today, would it be the same brand, or would you buy another brand? Most of us would stick with the same one. Well, are you subscribed to that brand’s newsletter? That cereal you buy every week, your favorite beer or soda, are you getting their updates every week?
There are many considerations to keep in mind when looking at this, especially in this security and privacy conscious society, not everyone is willing to give out their personal information and we found there are several reasons for this. First, they may get spammed. Who wants to have email after email of people selling them stuff, on top of the email updates if they are active on Kickstarter? Second, your email may get sold to other companies and more spam is imminent. Third, even if they do subscribe, most have an alternate account – or more than one – which they use to subscribe to stuff which barely gets checked once a month.
I believe we owe our success to the time and effort we made in going to all the conventions we could go, showing and demoing our game in game shops all around, and wherever we could, including overseas in France, Spain, Australia and Venezuela.
This, coupled with a direct marketing push which included a list of board game bloggers, podcasters and reviewers we met throughout our time at conventions, as well as paid press releases from board gaming news outlets or popular sites, were all working in unison to help us succeed. You have to find those key people in the community that love what you’re doing and want to help you be successful.
Now that you have a marketing plan thought out, what’s the next move?