Best practices for backer communication
Why Backer Communication is Important
Backers are your first, most loyal customers. With any customer, backers have expectations. When those expectations are not met, backers can lose faith in you and your project. Frequent and clear communication is the best way to ensure your Crowdfunding comments stay positive, reduce the number of backers writing in support tickets, and reduce the frequency of chargebacks and refund requests. Here we will lay out some strategies for effectively communicating with your backers.
- Smoke Test / Send Surveys - Be Available for backer questions!
- Post regular Project Updates
- How to make announcements
- Create an FAQ page
- Include BackerKit logos
- Manage non-responsive backers
- How to keep backers informed
- Project update email templates
Once you have sent your Smoke Test, please make sure to be available to field backer questions. The Smoke Test will reveal any issues with surveys (add-ons, shipping fees, etc) and backers will either write into BackerKit's Support Team, or send you direct messages through your crowdfunding platform (BackerKit / Kickstarter / Indiegogo). Please monitor your email inbox for forwarded tickets from our Support Team and messages or comments coming from your crowdfunding platform.
After you begin sending survey invites, please also be available to answer questions for our Support Team, as they will be handling most of your backer questions ( if Support is turned on in your dashboard). Our Support team will forward any tickets they are unable to answer, usually in regards to the actual rewards, or other special case scenarios. If you followup with our Support Team to let them know how to handle certain requests, they will add notes to our Staff Page to answer future similar inquiries. We are here to help!
Let backers know how your project is progressing and what steps they need to take to receive their items. When posting time-sensitive information to your backers, be sure to make your announcements well in advance of a deadline.
BackerKit recommends the following schedule for announcements:
|As your campaign is finishing or right after the completion date
| One to two days before sending surveys.
While you may want to wait until you’re closer to production to start sending surveys, you should wait at least 14 days after your campaign ends to allow all of the funds to reach your account.
| Sending surveys soon
|One week before your order due date
|Survey deadline reminder
|One to two days before charging credit cards
|Charging credit cards
|Two days before your shipping address due date
|Finalizing shipping addresses
|Soon after your items ship.
|Items are shipping
You can make announcements to your backers on various platforms, such as through your crowdfunding platform, on social media, on your website, or by email.
To make sure all of your backers get the information they need, you may want to to post announcements on more than one platform. You can supplement the project updates you make on your crowdfunding platform with posts on social media to help spread information about your project. You can also post a link in your updates sent from BackerKit that includes a contact form for your backers to contact BackerKit directly with any questions.
Crowdfunding by BackerKit, Kickstarter and Indiegogo, all have a simple, built-in blogging system to keep backers updated on how things are going with the campaign.
The communication tools from your crowdfunding site are the best way to reach your backers.
Announcements you make on social media are not as visible as announcements posted from your crowdfunding site, but can be helpful in spreading information about your campaign. You should engage your backers and supporters regularly without overwhelming them with information.
Your posts should have a conversational tone and provide regular updates on your project’s progress. Regular engagement also helps to attract more followers to your project.
In addition to your crowdfunding site and social media announcements, you can also email your backers directly. Note that your crowdfunding platform will automatically email new project updates to backers, so be sure to vary your message so your backers don’t receive the same message twice. If you need to get in touch with a specific group or segment of your backers, email is the best way to reach them. You can create a custom report containing the email addresses of a certain group of backers and use the list with your email platform, such as MailChimp or MailGun.
In order to allow your backers to find their own answers to common questions, BackerKit allows you to make an FAQ (frequently asked questions) page. Be sure to post the link in your announcements.
We recommend including information such as a sizing chart, a color chart, technical specs, and anything else that may make it easier for backers to choose their items.
To create an FAQ page:
- On the menu on the left, click Support.
- Click Project FAQs.
- Create answers to common questions you anticipate from your backers.
- Click Save.
- To preview your page, click Preview Project FAQ.
- Include a link to your FAQ page in your announcements. The link follows the format: https://[project name].backerkit.com/faq.
Let your backers know you’re using BackerKit. You can include any of our official logos in your announcements. Find our official logos and posting instructions on our Brand Assets page.
Most backers complete their surveys within three to seven days of receiving them. However, in the world of crowdfunding, it's common to have backers who may not immediately fill out their survey, and they may even fill it out a year or more after you send it.
To help your backers remember to fill out their survey, BackerKit automatically sends reminder emails to backers who don’t respond in a timely manner. You can also do the following to help your backers complete the survey:
- Make announcements about survey deadlines through your crowdfunding platform, social media, via your website, and by email.
- Resend surveys to backers who deleted them or never received the survey. For more information, see How do I resend a survey?
- If requested, complete the survey for a backer. For more information, see How do I complete a backer’s survey?
Focus your efforts on delivering items to the initial group of backers who gave you the necessary survey information. Delivering items on time to these backers will help you run a successful campaign.
- Make sure to communicate that you will be charging for shipping later to your backers via BackerKit, Kickstarter or Indiegogo updates. There is some messaging in the survey, but over-communication is always better!
- Example Update Template (Feel free to use and edit for your Campaign Update): Sending surveys soon w/o shipping prices entered
- In addition to this messaging in the survey, it's recommended to post an update on the campaign page directly, to your project FAQ page, as a pledge question, and also in important pledge level information for each pledge level so backers are notified about this in multiple places, the more information the better so there are no surprises.
- Example Message: "We currently don't have shipping prices entered for physical rewards in BackerKit. We plan to wait until closer to fulfillment to enter & charge you for the physical items on your survey to get the most accurate/fair fulfillment prices. We will update backers after entering those shipping prices before we charge you in BackerKit."
Project update email templates
Use the following templates for sending updates to your backers.
- Thank you
- Sending surveys soon
- Sending surveys soon w/o shipping prices entered
- Survey deadline reminder
- Charging credit cards
- Finalizing shipping addresses