Written by Michaela Salomon, a Senior Marketing Associate at Seedrs. Michaela helps businesses navigate their online and offline channels to successfully market their crowdfunding campaigns.
The success of a crowdfunding campaign rides on your ability to incentivise your personal and professional network to come aboard as investors, and share in the growth of your business. That’s why it’s important to understand how to speak to each of your potential investors – big and small – both to educate them about your business, and inspire them to take action.
Your network is a lot larger than you think it is! This guide will help you tailor your narrative to each of your touchpoints, to ensure your investment opportunity creates a splash.
Whether you’re building an app, a brewery or a football club, your existing customers can be your most receptive audience. They already know and trust your brand, and crowdfunding will allow them to become financially invested in its future.
You should market your crowdfunding campaign to your customers in much the same way you would market your product. Get creative with the brand identity for your crowdfunding campaign – you can even give it a name or a hashtag to help create familiarity and momentum.
Don’t be afraid to leverage your mailing database and social media channels to announce your upcoming Seedrs raise. Your company’s brand identity should feature prominently and consistently in your marketing collateral across all channels, to reconnect your customers to your product and remind them why they chose you in the first place.
When using email marketing, try leading with a personalised merge tag. Greeting your customers by their first name will give your communications a friendly touch and signal to your community that you value their business, and that your invitation to invest is an exclusive one. Make sure you communicate the benefits of investing, all the way from equity, to whatever discounts or other investor perks you’ve decided to offer customers that do come on board as shareholders. Keep your subject line punchy, your copy concise and tell your community exactly why they should invest, and how to do it when the time comes.
Keep them updated! Your customers will want to know that you’re crowdfunding before the campaign is live, so they have time familiarise themselves with the prospect of investing, and navigate the Seedrs sign up process. Capitalise on the various milestones of your campaign to create social validation and encourage your customers to become shareholders because others have done the same. Just hit 100% funded? Shout about it.
When it comes to your friends and family, you know best! Phone calls, personal emails and coffee meetings can be a great way to tap into the investment capacity of your personal network.
However you decide to get in touch, make sure you give them all the information. Whether they can bring £10 or £10,000 to the table, remind them that every investment counts and the proceeds from this round will help your business evolve, grow and change the future of whatever industry you’re on a mission to disrupt.
Employers, colleagues, university peers – from way back when through to today. These are all valuable touchpoints within your professional network. If you have their personal details, consider a personal email or phone call to reconnect and let them know about your investment opportunity.
Not sure how to reach them? LinkedIn is an incredible resource to engage your professional contacts. Whether you’re already connected with them, or need to do some digging to find the potential investors among your business network, don’t hesitate to reach out on LinkedIn, or via email, if they gave their address.
To locate new professional connections, try creating a calendar of LinkedIn posts to announce your upcoming raise and monitor any traction they might get. If you notice that users are liking or commenting, reach out to them individually via LinkedIn’s direct messaging.
Whether they’re customers or just love your online aesthetic, your followers can be considered warm leads for your upcoming campaign, because they’re easy to reach.
Create a schedule of organic social posts leading up to launch, containing the link to your pre-registration page, allowing your online audiences to sign up for more information. Highlight your business’ past successes, plans for the future, and how excited you are to provide your fans with equity, and investor perks. Narrating a countdown to launch over your social channels can be an effective way of creating momentum.
If you have any budget to spare, consider creating a few paid digital advertising campaigns on Facebook and Linkedin to push your pre-registration page to new audiences. You can build audiences based on interests in companies or sectors similar to yours, or engagement with your website.
Your existing shareholders are one of the most vital pools of leads for a business thinking of crowdfunding. They’ve already expressed interest in your brand and supported your growth – chances are they will want to do so again. If this is your first fundraising round with Seedrs, communicate the benefits of investing through Seedrs, including the administrative support enabled by the nominee structure, and provision of discussion forums and update pages where investors can monitor your business’ progress. Similar to your customers, it’s important to keep your existing shareholders updated on the milestones of your campaign, so they’re encouraged not to miss out on the new round.
For bigger ticket investors, offer them a call or coffee meeting with the founders to discuss the new opportunity. Communicate to them how valuable their support has been in the past, and how their continued support will help you take your business even further.
For smaller ticket investors, set up a mailing list using Mailchimp, or your preferred email provider. This can help you reach out in bulk if you already have a number of investors on your cap table. You can use merge tags to pull in their pro-rata entitlement in this round, the value of their investment from your last round or any other details they might want to know. Highlight your growth stats, the new perk structure you’re creating for this round, and how they can exercise their pre-emption rights to prevent share dilution.
A successful campaign is a compliant one! You should be aware that your marketing of the campaign may involve financial promotions. We have prepared some frequently asked questions that you should be aware of to help you run an engaging and compliant campaign here.