No need to cross your fingers for beginner’s luck. We’ve analyzed our most successful campaigns for patterns and themes to help you experience their same results. If you consider the following best practices, you’re guaranteed results.
Create an engaging campaign
The most successful campaigns are the most fun and engaging.
Just look at this photo:
Remember, you don’t have just any random cause to support. Get people excited, get their hearts pumping, show them people they recognize and support, use your organization’s logo and colors to make the page feel like “home”.
- Campaigns with videos have better results.
- Gallery photos get people excited. People especially love to see themselves or people they know.
- Communicate your story with words. Yes, a picture’s worth a thousand words, but words are still very powerful.
Be sure all of your page elements help tell your story.
- Why does your group or team exist in the first place?
- Why is your group trying to raise money?
- What are the results you want to achieve?
Limit your store to only 1-3 items
Think Chipotle. You want a burrito, a taco, a salad? You don’t have to agonize over the choices. Simple, wholesome, and easily-decided-upon-deliciousness.
The more items you sell, the more time people spend deciding, and the more likely you’re going to lose a potential purchase all thanks to overwhelm and indecision.
So, when deciding how many items to sell, you have to consider a few factors:
- The size of your supporter base
- Any potential item minimums
- The price you set for each item
If you’re confident that the demand is there, and that your supporter base is big enough to justify several items in your store, then go for it! If you find out otherwise after you launch, you can always deactivate items.
Sell items people love
- Sell bestsellers. Short sleeve tees, hoodies, and long sleeve tees.
- Offer an item with a safe design. In cases when your group has never had access to custom apparel, most people will be happy with a basic logo accompanied by a basic team/club identifier.
- Be brave with a backup plan. If you want to experiment with design, at least offer one basic item and one unique item. That way you’ll have a clear idea the next time around what your supporters respond to the most.
Build a team
Recruiting help could give your campaign’s success an exponential boost. While IgniteCX is designed so that you can do this by yourself, you’ll have a much better time and outcome if you rally some teammates. Some roles you could delegate:
- Preparing and managing a list of contacts for promotion of the page
- Updating social media with the launch, progress, and closing results of your campaign
- Sharing the link on personal social media pages
- Collecting photos and story content for your page
- Using word of mouth tactics to raise awareness
- Recruiting people to promise to make a purchase as soon as the site is live
Prepare an email list
Start collecting names and email addresses of potential supporters. The earlier you start, the bigger and better your list will be. The bigger your list, the more support you’ll get.
Pro tip: Google sheets are a SUPER helpful tool for this. Simply create a sheet with three columns: First Name, Last Name, Email Address, and send it out to all your members so they can pitch in and add content themselves.
That way, you don’t have to limit this list to just people that you know. Just think, if everyone gave you just ten email addresses….that adds up!
Master the money
How do I set my target money goal, without shooting too high or too low? How do I price my items with that goal in mind?
Ah, good questions.
Setting your money goal
- What do you need the money for? Does the purpose for the money – a cause, event, item, travel need – already have a required minimum amount?
- Is there a compelling story behind every dollar you are requesting? The more engaging the story, the higher you can shoot.
- What’s the minimum amount required to make a difference? Set that as your base goal. If you add too much to that number, you may experience an unwanted affect: if you reach the end of your campaign without getting close to the number, your supporters may wonder if it’s a lost cause, and not contribute.
- What kind of numbers did you experience with previous campaigns? If you’ve already run a campaign for this purpose, what was your previous goal? Did you reach it? Exceed it? Not get anywhere close? How long ago was that campaign? If it was too recent, that might also impact how you set your goal.
Setting smart item prices
- Select items with a reasonable base cost. The cheaper the base cost for your item, the more room you will have to build in profit. White t-shirts with one color and one location are much cheaper than, say, a purple t-shirt with five colors on the front and four on the back.
- Don’t shoot too high. As a general rule, most people won’t pay more than $20 per short sleeve tee. When setting your price on top of the base cost, be smart about the margin you add. Shoot for about 30 – 40% on top of the cost of the item.
- Keep your design costs low. Each location and color adds to your cost. You don’t want to design something with a bazillion colors and designs on every printable surface (front, back, both sleeves, etc.). The reality is, most people don’t even notice if there are four colors versus two.
Know your timeline
Campaign durations are limited to 60 days, but the successful campaigns have found the sweet spot for their end date: 2-3 weeks from launch. You’ll want enough time to spread the word and market your campaign, but don’t leave your campaign up so long that people think they can just act later, and then forget. Give them a reason to act right away. Nothing motivates people like the promise of time running out. Tick. Tick. Tick.
- If too long, then you don’t have a “sense of scarcity” in your favor. People are always more likely to act when they think time is running out. It’s all about keeping momentum and a sense of urgency (the good kind) among your supporters.
- If too short, you may not be giving your supporters enough time to act. However, if you have a plan in place, we’ve seen campaigns experience huge success in a quick 24-hour blitz.
Don’t forget to work in about two weeks after your end date for your items to be delivered. Unless otherwise noted by your supplier, items typically ship within 2 weeks of campaign end.
Spread the word. Share. Share. Share.
Think about how a viral video works. The more people watch it, then even more people will watch it, until people are just watching it for the sake of watching something that everyone else is watching.
So, focus on getting a fast start with some initial purchases. When a supporter visits a page that already has a bunch of positive comments and activity, they’re much more likely to make a purchase.
Take advantage of email blasts, social media, word of mouth, knocking on people’s doors – anything you can do to make sure people know about your project. There’s certainly a balance between zero communication and being annoying, but sending people to your page at the beginning, middle, and end of your campaign should be a minimum.
Don’t forget about the “old fashioned” channels like emails and snail mail. Postcards and letters are actually a novel idea in this digital age. Surprise people. Make them smile. Give them every reason possible to go in and support your campaign.
Emphasize the sense of urgency.
As the final days approach, push hard through your communication channels to remind your supporters that your campaign will end soon. Even the final hours can make a BIG difference.
Know when to be flexible with live campaigns
You can check your sales and contribution stats by logging in and clicking “Reports” from the “Manage My Campaigns” page. If sales aren’t quite where you want them, there are still steps you can take to boost those numbers!
- Deactivate items that aren’t selling.
- Update (or add) more engaging visuals by clicking “Edit” in the status column of the table on the “Manage My Campaigns” page.
- Extend your campaign end date.
Hit your minimums!
You must sell a minimum number of items (typically 12) in order for us to push those orders to production. Remember, we batch all of your orders at the end of your campaign, and send them into production all at once (which is another reason why you don’t want to run your campaign for too long. If someone purchased an item on day one of a two month long campaign, they essentially have to wait for just under three months before getting their item).
Because 12 is such a doable number, we know you can blow your order count out of the water!
Our pro tips:
- Send out another round of emails, social media posts, phone calls, and elbow nudges to all your friends and supporters.
- If you sold 11 (or a lot of) shirts out of 12, consider buying the remaining one or few so that we can run the orders and you can receive your profits.
- If your timeline permits, consider extending the target date out a few days, to give yourself more time to spread the word and collect more orders. You can do this at any point before your campaign closes.
- Let your campaign end, and create a plan to clone it and run it again at a later date. Perhaps this just wasn’t the right time. All your people were probably on vacation with zero access to internet and technology.
- You have until 11:59 pm Pacific Time on your end date before your campaign closes, so take advantage of every last minute.
- We don’t charge anyone’s credit card until your campaign closes. That means, if you didn’t sell enough to hit the minimum requirement for an item on your page (let’s say you sold 3 out of 12), then we won’t charge any credit cards for those orders. If those same supporters also purchased another item that did hit minimums, then we will still charge their card for that order.
- Once your campaign closes, we can’t recover any orders that were cancelled. We also can’t add, edit, or remove orders that were finalized. Something to keep in mind.
What’s the story behind minimums?
The last time you went shopping, you probably didn’t see a sign that said, “You must buy a minimum of 12 of these if you want to take any home.” So why are you having to deal with that now? Here’s a little fun fact: while you don’t have to buy a certain number of items to make a purchase at a store, that store had to buy a minimum number (sometimes hundreds at a time) in order to have anything to stock the floor in the first place. They just have to hope they can sell everything they buy up front. Not always a fun place to be in.
Why did they have to buy so many pieces upfront? The moment a production facility turns on its machines, costs start to add up. For many of these facilities, they’d actually lose money producing just one item, because they had to invest so much labor into running the machines, mixing the unique ink blends, sourcing the blank goods, executing the design as requested, then shipping it out. They compensate with “minimum order requirements,” so they can be sure to recover all their costs. (We’re sure they’d be happy to print as few as one piece, for the right price. And we’re pretty sure you wouldn’t like that price.)
For a custom order, we know you don’t really want to invest in inventory upfront. What if you don’t sell everything? That’s why we developed the campaign-style Ignite Page. To give you time to collect your orders, and then we batch produce only and exactly what you sell. Nothing more, nothing less. No more nightmares about 100 leftover extra larges that you have no idea what to do with.
The campaign style page also keeps everything at zero risk. IF you don’t sell enough, because we don’t charge cards until the end of your campaign, our system will “remove” any orders on items that didn’t sell enough to hit minimums. Those cards won’t be charged, which means we don’t have to worry about refunds.
Evaluate your success
What did you do well? What could you have done better? Anything you wish you had done differently? While the experience is fresh in your mind, go ahead and jot down some notes. You’ll be glad you did if you ever run a campaign again, or if any of your friends or family ever run one and need some expert advice.
“Thank you” can never be said enough when it comes to letting your supporters know how much you appreciate them. Depending on the context, it may be a good idea to follow up with your supporters over the following weeks and months to let them know how their donation was used and appreciated. Either way, be sure to extend your first personalized thank you via email or phone within the first 48 hours of a contribution.
Clone your campaign
Did you get some great results? Want some more? It’s super easy to clone a campaign and do it all again! All you have to do is update the URL, add a new product design, upload some new photos, and boom. Good as new.