Shopify Sellers: How to Launch Your Next Product On Kickstarter

In this blog post, we’ll dive into a series that focuses specifically on existing Shopify store owners who are interested in launching their next product on Kickstarter. 

We’ll also walk through a case study of an upcoming Kickstarter launch for a journal brand to help illustrate the process and planning that goes into a successful Kickstarter campaign.

We will help you see if Kickstarter is the right fit for you and to better understand how it can work as a product launch platform or channel for one or subsequent products. 

We’ll also talk about how to build a marketing plan for existing brands looking to use Kickstarter. This is important as you need to onboard your existing audience to get them excited to help support your Kickstarter project. 

Is Kickstarter for everyone?

We believe that Kickstarter is an amazing platform for existing brands that already have an audience. 

By audience, we mean that you have already brought a product to market, have a supply chain figured out, and already have a couple of hundred customers who have bought your first, second, or third product. 

If you are a brand doing five to ten thousand dollars per month or higher, Kickstarter can be a great platform for you to build your audience. 

Why Do Brands Use Kickstarter?

There are two main reasons why brands use Kickstarter: 

  1. To build their audience online 
  2. To use it as a product launch engine. 

Kickstarter is a platform that helps new products be discovered by early adopters constantly looking for cool new products to pre-order. 

By introducing your product onto that platform, you can get more eyeballs on your brand. After a 30 or 60-day campaign, you get a list of buyers, which can be carried into your audience. 

This is great if you have a subscription product or other products that you can cross-sell or upsell after the Kickstarter launch.

How To Launch Your Product 

Now let’s dive into an example, an existing journal brand launching its next product on Kickstarter in a few short months.

The Goal

The brand already has an existing customer base and social media audience, so they don’t need as much time to prepare for launch as a beginner brand starting from zero. 

They have an eight-week runway to prepare for launch and a goal of raising $75,000 on Kickstarter.

To break down where the $75,000 will come from, the brand is assuming that 25-30% will come from the Kickstarter audience, 10% will come from existing customers, and 25-30% will come from pre-launch efforts such as email marketing and social media. 

The remainder will come from traffic during the campaign, which includes influencers, word of mouth, PR, and paid and organic social media.

What Is A Private Launch Announcement?

The first thing to do is a private launch announcement, this is a marketing strategy where a business reveals a new product or service exclusively to a select group of individuals, typically its existing customers or email subscribers. 

This announcement is meant to make these loyal supporters feel special by giving them early access to the product or service, as well as to test their interest and gauge their level of excitement.

It also creates a sense of exclusivity and can generate buzz and anticipation for the official public launch. 

This is also where we can have an opt-in page where the customers can sign up to have little information about the product and updates regarding the product. 

This will gauge how active they’re going to be in your launch based on the response rate. 

How To Do A Public Pre-Launch

The public pre-launch stage is where you start to build awareness of your upcoming launch. This includes posting on social media to make a big announcement with a link to your landing page in your bio. 

You’ll also want to turn on ads to build your waitlist and reach out to influencers to build awareness publicly for your new campaign.

The Two-Pronged Marketing Approach

To ensure a successful product launch, you need to take a two-pronged marketing approach. The first prong is your existing customer base, which includes your email list and social media followers. The second prong is everyone else.

You’ll want to drive everyone to your Kickstarter waitlist, so you’re building a waitlist of people who are specifically interested in your new product. This will help you segment your audience and provide them with specific relevant information for the launch.

How To Do Email Marketing

Email marketing is a powerful tool for building buzz for your product launch. When you email your existing customer base about your launch, you’ll want to send them to your landing page, where they’ll receive follow-up emails with more information about the launch.

To build up your audience more with cold traffic, you’ll want to test your product with a broader audience. This is where email marketing can be effective. You can send targeted emails to specific groups of people to build awareness and generate interest in your upcoming launch.

Use Social Media Advertising

Social media advertising is a cost-effective way to build buzz for your product launch. You’ll want to target your ads to people who are interested in your niche and have a high likelihood of being interested in your new product.

To make your social media advertising more effective, use eye-catching visuals and clear messaging that highlights the benefits of your product.

Use Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing can be a powerful tool too for building buzz for your product launch. Reach out to influencers in your niche and offer them your product in exchange for a review or shoutout on their social media channels.

To make your influencer marketing more effective, choose influencers who have a large following and a high engagement rate.

Building buzz for your product launch is crucial to ensure a successful campaign. By taking a two-pronged marketing approach, using email marketing, social media advertising, and influencer marketing, you can create a successful product launch that captures the attention of your existing audience and new potential customers. 

Remember to focus on the benefits of your product, rather than just its features, and keep the momentum going after launch day by continuing to promote your product and offering incentives to those who purchase.

To incorporate this breakdown into a marketing plan, the brand needs to focus on pre-launch efforts to drive traffic to its Kickstarter campaign. 

This can include email marketing, social media posts and contests, and other promotions to get their audience excited about the upcoming launch. During the campaign, they can leverage influencers and PR to drive additional traffic and pledges.

Shopify -or- Kickstarter? That is the question!

Take the quiz to find out where you should launch your first (or next) product

Take the quiz to find out where you should launch your first (or next) product