In the previous Communicating with Backers segment, we discussed the notion of setting expectations in regards to communicating delivery dates of your rewards. In this feature, we'll be focusing on another critical component of a campaign: Updates during the campaign.
Once a campaign takes off and the backing community joins in, it's important to keep your backers updated along the way. For new crowdfunding project owners that are unfamiliar with what updates are, each platform, such as Kickstarter and Indiegogo, provides the capability for you to communicate with your backers throughout the campaign. Updates provide the opportunity for you to share what has been and is taking place behind the scene. On a normal basis, most updates revolve around and/or include one or more of the following topics:
Unfortunately, we've seen and experienced way too many project owners fall on the extreme ends of the update spectrum. On one end, once a project begins, a backer never hears from the project owner(s) ever again. It wouldn't do it any justice if the following wasn't in bold and in all caps: DO NOT, WE REPEAT, DO NOT EVER EVER EVER RUN A CAMPAIGN AND NOT SEND UPDATES!
One wonderful feature of crowdfunding that separates it from other industries is the passion that comes with it. Without backers, our ideas will remain just as ideas. Backers are not just after cool products, rather they support us because a part of them wants to help us succeed. Their investment makes them part of the process, and they have the right to be updated throughout the campaign.
On the other end of the spectrum, there are project owners that abuse the update feature. They send countless updates, filling up inboxes more than spammers. Yes, the backers are invested and should be in the know, however, this does not mean that you need to update them once a day (sadly, there are project owners that send multiple updates in a single day.) Backers don't have time for unnecessary communications, so please be cautious.
When it comes to updating backers, there is no right amount of how many updates or how frequently you should communicate to your backers. A good rule of thumb to follow is one per week, keeping it short and to the point. This approach will keep your backers up to date, without overwhelming them. Before you communicate the update to them, put yourself in their shoes. Will the update provide any type of value, for both the project and the backer? Is the communication clear or would it create confusion? These two questions can help guide you as you prepare each update.
In summary, it's beneficial to know that updates can be a powerful tool for your campaign. Updates are a great way to further connect with the backing community, keeping them involved along the way.