The Portland Press raised over $50,000 during their 30-day campaign on Crowd Supply. They did this by designing a great product and getting the word out every way they knew how. The day the campaign was over, they set off doing the hard work that is actually manufacturing a product. That same day, we at Crowd Supply flipped their campaign from crowdfunding mode to pre-order mode, and the orders kept coming in without interruption.
Six months later, exactly according to plan, they delivered hundreds of beautiful french presses to our warehouse for us to ship out to their backers. And they had raised over $20,000 in additional funding from pre-orders without lifting a finger. That’s over 40% on top of what they initially raised during the campaign. Not quite free money, but pretty close.
There are two key insights here. First, if an idea is appealing enough to attract customers (beyond friends and family) to back it during the crowdfunding campaign, it will almost certainly be appealing enough to do so after the campaign.
Second, every successful campaign is successful because of the written articles, blog posts, social media, and other media placements that spread the word about the product and these placements will continue to drive traffic to the campaign page long after the campaign has concluded.
If the URL those placements are pointing to is a frozen campaign page, your potential customers will leave disappointed. If it’s a page redirecting to another page where the user can place a pre-order, you’ve just lost half your customers (count on losing half your traffic with every click you force a user to go through) and you’ve just doubled the complexity of your operation (setting up a website to take pre-orders, managing two separate lists of orders, and dealing with a new third-party service provider).
However, if the URL those placements are pointing to is simply the same campaign page that’s always been there and your potential customers can just as easily place a pre-order, now with the added comfort of knowing that you’re already off manufacturing your great product, then you can count on more orders coming in.
This is exactly what happens on Crowd Supply. How much a particular campaign will raise in pre-orders obviously depends on many factors, such as the level of exposure the campaign initially enjoyed and how long the campaign remains in pre-order mode, but unless you are creating a limited edition, there’s no good reason not to continue to take pre-orders after your campaign successfully concludes.
Given Crowd Supply’s focus on product development and enabling our creators to do what they do best, building pre-orders into our process is a feature we’ve had since day one. We’re glad to see it paying off so well for our creators.