I am now about 20 days away from launching my crowdfunding campaign. The closer I get to launching my campaign, the more nervous and excited I get. It is nice to have so much information out there on the web to guide me through these last steps. As I mentioned in my last post, Tim Ferris’s blog post, “Hacking Kickstarter” has some of the best information. In this post, Ferris emphasizes the importance of building a large email list of friends, family, and influencers. Luckily for me, I started gathering emails about a year ago, so I have had a lot of time to build my list.
Creating the email list is a bit daunting because of the amount of work it takes. Also, sending the email will be a little unnerving because I’ll be asking people for their support. But, if you don’t ask, nobody will ever help.
The friends and families email list is not necessarily hard to put together, it just takes time. I started by exporting all of my emails from Gmail, Linkedin, and Facebook. Once I got all of these emails into an excel spreadsheet, the hardest part was going through each name to make sure the email was up-to-date and that there weren’t any duplicates.
In contrast, finding influencers and online publication emails is much more tricky. Since I am selling a product that will most likely appeal to young professionals, I want to focus on influencers and publications that connect with men between the ages of 25 - 45. Around this time last year, I started following fashion forward men--or dandies, as my wife and I call them--on Instagram. Over time, I have found about 100 different dandies on Instagram. Most of them have their email address on their Instagram account. If the email address is not on their account, they have a link to their blog, which has all of their contact information.
After creating a spreadsheet of emails for influencers, I started searching for online publications that connect with my audience. The trick for online publications is to create a list of priority, so that I target the most relevant publications first. To determine the most relevant online publications, I entered each of the domain names on my list at compete.com, which gives an estimate of how much traffic a site gets every month. This allows you to target the sites that get the most traffic first.
My current list includes about 1500 emails. Now that I have this list, I need to draft all of the different emails that I am going to send. A great service for pre-writing emails is Boomerang, which is an extension of gmail. Boomerang allows you to prepare emails and then schedule them to be sent at an exact date and time.
Collecting emails over the past year has been overwhelming at times, but I am so glad I took the time and effort it required, so that when I launch my campaign, I will be able to get the word out as quickly and efficiently as possible.