It is always best to get your offer right before launch. So hopefully you will not find yourself in the position where you have a failing campaign on your hands, but what if you need to rescue an offer after it has already launched?
Truthfully, it is going to be much tougher to change your campaign after going live, because many of the most important aspects are already “locked down” at this point. You can’t change your crowdfunding platform, and it’s going to be very difficult to run around changing other things on the fly, especially when the clock is counting down.
But if you are in charge of a failing campaign, a lecture on what you should have done differently before launching is the last thing you want to hear. It’s like experiencing a computer crash, losing the progress you have been working on, then calling technical support and having them smugly tell you ‘you should have saved your work more regularly.’ True. But completely unhelpful in getting yourself out of the hole you find yourself in at this very moment.
What you really need, right now, is some ideas for how to turn things around.
1. Analyze Why Your Offer Is Doing Poorly
If your offer is failing, it might be tempting to respond by spending more on public relations and advertising, but first you should take a step back and work to understand whether getting more eyeballs to your offer page is really the issue.
The platform you are listed on should be able to give you the statistics on the number of people coming to your campaign page for the days it has already been live. Look at these numbers, and then ask: does your campaign need more traffic, or is the problem more to do with converting visitors into investors?
If you already have enough people coming to your campaign page, but they don’t like what they see once they are there, then spending money to drive more people to the page will not be helpful – and in fact, will leave you even worse off, because of the additional expense. Don’t throw good money after bad.
Once you have identified the most important source of the problem – traffic, or conversion — you will be much better placed to know what to do next.
2. Find Out What Is Already Working Best
Look at the day-by-day amount of money committed, and try to match this with outreach activities that the campaign has been doing. Did you get a spike of money committed on the day you posted a new video update? What about when the crowdfunding platform mentioned your campaign in their email? Or was it when you were featured in the local news? Whatever is working best, try to do more of it.
3. Try Other Outreach Channels
You might be surprised that when you try a new tactic, it makes all the difference. Even if people see your campaign in one place, there is a multiplier effect of using many tactics at the same time. They can reinforce each other and make each of them stronger than when used alone.
4. Ask The Platform To Give You A Boost
Ask your crowdfunding platform if they can mention your campaign in their email dispatches, arrange a new webinar or appear at an upcoming investor meeting of theirs. They may also have other ideas.
Platforms are more inclined to promote campaigns that are already succeeding, rather than promote ones which are not doing so well, because they want to be sharing messages of success with their audience, rather than sharing “needy” campaigns. But that should not stop you from asking for help from your partners at the platform – remember, they want to see your offer succeed too.
5. Extend The Offer
You might be able to get an extended deadline from the platform. When you have more time, it gives investors more of a chance to see your offer, but extending is only a reasonable tactic if it is realistic that more time would actually help. If your offer has raised 80% of the money you need, then maybe an extra week or two to corral investors to your page could see you get over the line.
But if you are only 5% of the way to your target, then the need for more time is not your problem – something else needs to change.
6. Change The Offer Terms
Once the offer is launched, it may be possible to change the terms of the offer itself to make things more attractive to investors. Changes to your offer after it has been launched are naturally more difficult to justify, as it gives your campaign a whiff of desperation. But if you’re reading this section, you probably ARE desperate. If it looks like your campaign is headed for failure anyway, you might as well give it your best shot to turn things around.
A warning – significant changes to your campaign after launch could be restricted or illegal, depending on which regulations you are governed by. So ask your platform whether changes after the raise is launched will be possible. If there are legal barriers to post-launch changes, it is even more reason to get the terms of the offer right before launch.
So which terms should you change? The question and answer forums are a goldmine for objections,and you can probably recall what people didn’t like about your company from personal meetings too.
Time spent understanding whether your campaign page needs more people to see it, or a better experience once they are there, getting a grip on the return you get from your different outreach efforts, and listening to what investors are thinking can help out any campaign.
Expect to go through the entire spectrum of emotions during your campaign. Expect the days to be stressful, especially if it looks like it will be a close-run thing. Even if things look like things are going badly, keep going! It can be amazing how everyone waits to the very last minute to commit to an offer. Get as far as you can, and don’t lose heart.
Have you ever found yourself in a situation when you could have done with this advice? Did you use any of these ‘rescue tactics’ or did you find other solutions? Please share your experiences with us.