Intro to BackerKit

Welcome to BackerKit 

BackerKit is crowdfunding fulfillment software, which is just a fancy way of saying it’s a software tool that helps you with the fulfillment stage of your crowdfunding campaign. BackerKit helps you support your backers and ship their rewards in one easy, integrated interface. BackerKit is a really powerful tool intended to save you time, money, and hassle.

BackerKit works with crowdfunding sites to take the pain out of getting your great product to your backers. For project creators, such as you, there are several sites that allow you to raise money in exchange for the goods you produce. A few popular sites include  Kickstarter and Indiegogo, as well as Seed&Spark and Patreon.

How does BackerKit help you and your backers? Keep reading to find out.

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BackerKit Lifecycle

BackerKit is a key component to all phases of the crowdfunding fulfillment lifecycle. You can use BackerKit with any in-process campaign. If you haven’t started your campaign, now is great time to get started learning about BackerKit and how it can help you and your future backers.

We help you get your great product to your backers, make sure the communication between you and your backers goes smoothly, and we help you raise additional funds with add-on items and pre-orders.

BackerKit is focused on helping you automate some of the more labor-intensive parts of taking your product to market, all while providing great service to your backers.

Check out the BackerKit lifecycle:

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Setup

You can set up BackerKit to help you manage your campaign and backers as soon as your campaign is launched on your crowdfunding platform, or after it is fully funded. You can even set up BackerKit for your campaign after it has ended.  

To get started with BackerKit, all you have to do is set up your account and set up your project. Sounds simple, right? If you have just one or two rewards or add-on items you're providing to your backers, then this part is easy. If you have a lot of rewards and add-on items, or a lot of options for your items, such as color or size, you may find yourself lost in a jumble of item IDs (SKUs) and confusion. In flies BackerKit to the rescue. We provide the tools to keep you organized (and keep your sanity!) through the setup process.

Project Review

During the setup phase of your project you’ll assign your items to different pledge levels and set up add-on items for your backers to buy. Setting up your items in this way helps you generate survey questions, where you’ll gather information from your backers about the specifics of the rewards they are due to receive from funding your campaign, and to allow them to purchase additional add-on items.

Once your survey questions are finalized and your add-on items are ready for purchase, you’re almost ready to send your surveys. Ready to hit send? Is everything set up to collect the information you need? Are the surveys set up so your backers aren’t confused by anything? What about add-ons? Are they set up so your backers can easily buy more items?

You might feel a little nervous about sending surveys right now. Not to fear! Before you send your surveys to your backers, your dedicated BackerKit Success Manager will do a complete review of your project. We’ll make sure that both you and your backers have the information you need to lead to successful fulfillment.

Gather Backer Information

Once we’ve reviewed your project and worked with you to make any needed changes, you’re now ready to send your surveys to your backers. BackerKit will remind any backers who have not filled out their survey that it’s waiting for them, so you'll quickly receive the greatest possible number of responses without needing to keep track or remind backers on your own.

Typically, most backers respond to their survey within three days. We recommend leaving your survey open for at least two weeks to ensure that all of your backers have enough time to respond.

Raise Additional Funds

If you’re offering add-on items to raise additional funds, once you send your surveys your backers can begin to purchase these extra items to support your campaign. Or maybe they just want to leave you a tip in your tip jar, because you’re such a great product creator. BackerKit helps you generate this additional revenue, and we help you collect payment too. More money, less headaches; everyone wins!

Another way to raise funds is to offer a pre-order store for anyone who missed the chance to fund your campaign. You can set up a pre-order store any time after you set up your items in BackerKit. BackerKit has built-in tools to get your store up and running, and will even help you share the link to your store on social media.

Finalize Item Counts

Once you’ve given your backers enough time to fill out their surveys, it’s time to get final item counts! You’ll lock down your surveys, meaning your backers can’t make any further changes to their orders or purchase additional add-on items. They’ll still be able to update their shipping address up until the time you start shipping rewards.

Once your surveys are locked down, you can generate reports to see your final item counts for manufacturing.

Finalize Orders

While you're putting the finishing touches on the rewards and add-on items you’re preparing for your backers, you can start to charge credit cards for any pre-orders and add-on items your backers purchased.

Next, you’ll finalize the shipping addresses for your backers. BackerKit’s built-in global address validation tool makes sure your rewards are sent to the right place.

Fulfillment

Time to ship those rewards to your eager backers! We’ve partnered with several great fulfillment centers to help you ship to your backers. If you use one of our partner fulfillment centers, you can easily connect to the fulfillment center directly from BackerKit, sending them all the order information quickly and easily in the format that they need.

Already working with a fulfillment center? Your order data can be exported into a variety of formats to meet the requirements of your fulfillment center.  

Planning on fulfilling and shipping orders on your own? With the BackerKit Postage feature, BackerKit helps you charge the correct amount for shipping, buy shipping labels, and sets you up to ship efficiently.

The Power of BackerKit

Here at BackerKit, we want to take away some of the drudgery of managing your campaign, so you can focus your efforts on making your product. BackerKit automates tasks that could take you days to complete and keeps everything organized so you can focus on what you do best: creating. Here are a few ways we help:

We have a proven track record

Thousands of successful project creators have used BackerKit to send surveys and process orders for over 4.5 million backers. Are you a first-time creator? If you don’t have a successful project portfolio, you’ll need to convince potential backers that you can deliver on what you promise. By announcing that you’re using BackerKit to manage post-campaign fulfillment, backers will be confident that you’re putting the infrastructure in place to support them (and you’ll get lots of happy comments from the community of backers that love us).

We keep track of your backers

Once your campaign is funded and you import your backers into BackerKit, we keep track of everything for you in one convenient interface. No Post-it notes, no looking through multiple spreadsheets, no confusion.

Here are a few things that BackerKit keeps track of so you don’t have to:

  • Backer status—know at a glance which backers have filled out surveys, and which haven’t. We automatically send survey reminders to nudge your backers to complete their surveys.
  • Which backers get which rewards and add-on items
  • Which backers have added funds to buy more items
  • Which credit cards are successfully charged, and which failed
  • Who you’ve shipped to, and who you’re ready to ship to
  • Backer addresses—with our built-in address validation tools, and by allowing your backers to update their mailing address until the time you’re ready to ship, you know your order is going to the right place.

We help you raise additional funds

BackerKit lets you raise additional funds from your backers and anyone who may have missed your campaign.

Project creators typically raise an additional 10-15% with add-on sales after the campaign. In fact, we’ve learned that a whopping 25% of backers purchase additional items through BackerKit.

Setting up add-on items is easy with BackerKit.  Your backers will see your add-on items when they fill out their survey and BackerKit will handle the payments.

You can also set up a pre-order store with BackerKit to continue the momentum of your crowdfunding campaign. A pre-order store allows anyone who isn’t a backer to pre-order your great product now that you’ve been funded. You’ll manage your backers and pre-orders all in one place.

We make sense of all those items you’re creating

We bet a few things changed during your campaign. Did you make your project more awesome by adding stretch goals? How many items do you actually have? Different sizes, colors, and gender-specific items can make things complicated. Let BackerKit help you manage all of the details.

We help you deliver digital downloads

Are you providing your backers with digital assets, like PDFs, text codes, or other digital information? BackerKit has built-in tools to help you notify your backers that digital downloads are available and helps you deliver digital assets. Your backers can download their files at any time, and can even come back later to download them if they’ve been misplaced.

We handle customer support

You have quite a few backers. They are your first, best and most vocal fans. What’s more, they want your attention.

The more backers, the harder it is to have bandwidth for all of them, and the more possibilities there are to make mistakes. BackerKit takes care of the heavy lifting for you.

Aside from normal communications with backers, individual backer inquiries will also trickle in. Or pour in. But don’t panic! It’s normal for projects to generate hundreds of inquiries. After you send your surveys, if you’d rather not spend your time managing customer inquiries, you can choose to allow the Backer Support Team at BackerKit to handle customer support for you.

We can manage the frontline and let you stay focused on the execution of your products. People are going to need help updating credit card information, have questions about when items will be delivered, and may even have questions about the crowdfunding process in general. We can take care of all of this for you. We’ll do our best to solve all customer issues and answer questions before putting backers in touch with you directly.

Keep driving the success of your campaign forward and don’t get tied up answering all those backer inquiries—let us help with that so you can focus on delivering an amazing final product.

We make sure your survey is perfect

How do you make sure your survey is perfect? There are so many ways you can set this up. Do your rewards or add-on items have multiple options—that is, does a backer need to supply you with more details about the specifics of the item they want, such as t-shirt size and color? Do you allow your backers to type in answers to open-ended questions?

BackerKit can point you in the right direction. We make sure you don’t go live with a survey that may confuse your backers or lead to unclear order data when you start production and fulfillment. Our thoroughly comprehensive set up reviews make sure you hit the ground running.

We track down failed payments

What happens to payments that remain failed after numerous attempts by your crowdfunding platform? Good question! Typically, they fall off a cliff never to be heard from again. BackerKit saves the day by continuously sending automated emails to folks with failed payments that may have just missed previous emails and are still interested in pledging. On average, we help project creators claim 24% of pledges with failed payments. Don’t leave pledge money on the table! Gather all the happy backers you possibly can.

Note: Payment tracking is available only with Kickstarter campaigns at this time.

We provide tools to organize your orders and customer information

Once your surveys start coming in, you can enhance your experience as a creator by using our powerful dashboard and reporting tools to track your backers and be the expert you need to be on what’s really happening with your backers and orders.

BackerKit makes things simple. It gives you a visual representation of the ins-and-outs of your survey flow. Nobody wants a spreadsheet big enough to crash computers.

If you aren’t using BackerKit, you’ll soon find yourself managing all backer data in plain text. That’s like deciding software was better in 1991 than it is today.

Some of the great time-saving features of BackerKit include:

  • Real-time updates to backer information. As soon as one of your backers changes a survey response, the information is updated in real-time in BackerKit. Don’t put the burden on yourself to manually update everything—this is a terrible use of your time and leaves you vulnerable to numerous costly mistakes.
  • Easy handling of items that come in different variations, such as different colors and sizes. Don’t confuse yourself and your backers by complicating what should be a simple response: which size, which color. BackerKit makes sure all of this information is organized in one place. Having data in silos makes your life a whole lot harder.
  • Up-to-date item counts. When backers make their item selections, they are adding to the total counts of all the products you need to produce. With BackerKit, you know in real-time the exact count of each item you need to manufacture and which items backers are excited about. No more manually updating spreadsheets to get exact item counts.
  • Top-notch reporting tools. BackerKit has built-in reporting tools to identify backers based on a variety of criteria, or segments. Some backer segments you might want to generate reports on are: items backers selected, shipping country, order state, or any other data you've collected with BackerKit.
  • Self-service tools for your backers. With BackerKit, your backers can update their shipping address and check their order status on their own, which saves you from having to do it!
  • Streamlined shipping process. Whether you're shipping from home and using our BackerKit Postage feature, or using a fulfillment center, we help streamline the shipping process. Built-in tracking tools make tracking packages easy for both you and your backers.

We help you through shipping

Address validation

One of the most important pieces of information you’ll need from your backers is their shipping address. The problem is, a backer’s shipping address may change from the time they fill out their survey until the time you’re ready to ship their rewards. With BackerKit, backers can update their shipping address on their own instead of emailing you, telling you on LinkedIn, Tweeting at you, calling your house…etc.

Furthermore, BackerKit has address validation software built in. Eliminate costly typos and returned packages. Sarah might think she just moved to 3146 Jackson Lane, but she actually  moved to 3165 Jackson Way. Don’t let your goods get shipped to the wrong door!

Shipping cost optimization

It’s crucial to ensure you’re not leaving money on the table by undercharging for shipping costs. Once you finalize your item counts, you can get quotes from several third-party fulfillment centers and let our carefully curated experts take care of it.

If you’re taking care of shipping on your own, don’t manually keep track of postage and tracking numbers. You can use BackerKit to keep track of this final phase of your project. You can purchase shipping labels directly through BackerKit, and the tracking numbers are automatically available to both you and your backers.

Are you shipping internationally? If shipping rates aren’t calculated correctly, errors can become extremely expensive. In BackerKit, you can attach specific shipping rates to each item and ensure the transparency, accuracy, and fairness of the shipping process. We also help you use the correct international shipping costs.

Data accuracy

If anything is wrong with your survey data, you may not have the correct level of detail to send your backers exactly what they want. Furthermore, people will get the wrong items and things will get lost in the mail. You can’t allow this to happen – and BackerKit won’t let you.

If you chose to use a shipping or fulfillment center to ship your items, rather than manually providing the order data, you can use the tools built in to BackerKit to automatically send correctly formatted data to our shipping partners. If you try to give them a spreadsheet edited by hand, it will likely not meet the fulfillment center requirements and cost you and your fulfillment partner time and money. Even worse, you’ll have many disappointed backers who were expecting their rewards on time.

We help you manage late backers

While the majority of your backers will fill out their survey within in the first week, outstanding surveys will trickle in over the next 24 months, or even longer. Don’t get bogged down by managing different batches of survey takers in dozens of spreadsheets. BackerKit makes sure you have continuously updated survey information to prevent you from making costly errors, and lets you see the status of each one of your backers, all in one place.

What BackerKit Looks Like to Your Backers

So you’re sold on all the benefits BackerKit provides to you, the project creator. But what about your backers?

We strive to give your backers a best-in-class experience with your campaign and BackerKit. We help you communicate with your backers to let them know what’s going on and what they should expect next.

Here are a few samples of some of the emails they’ll see. To see more details about the survey and what your backers experience with survey questions, check out our sample survey.

   

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