In this week’s episode of Art of the Kickstart, we speak with Adam Holden-Bache, email marketing expert at Enventys Partners. Listen in and learn more about email marketing for crowdfunding campaigns, including how to use it before your project, what to do with email on launch day, and how to get the best ROI from email marketing through the duration of your Kickstarter or Indiegogo campaign.

Topics Discussed and Key Crowdfunding Takeaways

  • What is email marketing?
  • Why email marketing is a key component of a successful crowdfunding campaign
  • What kind of results creators can expect to see from their email marketing efforts
  • The difference between email marketing performance and Facebook Ad performance
  • How to use email marketing before you launch a crowdfunding campaign
  • How to use email marketing for a live crowdfunding campaign
  • What to consider when vetting a crowdfunding marketing agency
  • How to get the best ROI from your email marketing campaigns

Links

Sponsors

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Transcript

View this episode's transcript

Roy Morejon:
Welcome to another edition of Art of the Kickstarter. This is the next episode in the series of interviews where I have been interviewing some of the most amazing marketing people here at Enventys Partners that I get an opportunity to work with every day. Our fourth guest today is Adam Holden-Bache. The director of email marketing and also author of “How to Win at B2B Email Marketing,”. Adam real excited for you to be here today.

Adam H.:
Glad to be here.

Roy Morejon:
Adam you’ve been with Enventys Partners now for over a year and a half after successfully selling your email marketing company. Really glad to have you on the show today to talk about email marketing and crowdfunding campaigns. To begin with give us a little bit of a background and tell us a bit about yourself and what you do here at Enventys Partners?

Adam H.:
Sure. I’ve been in email marketing for pretty much my entire career. Kind of been there since the beginning. As you mentioned just a second ago, I did have an agency that I ran for over 15 years and sold it and we were primarily a B2B email marketing agency. Since then, I’ve kind of moved more to the B2C side and recently I’ve been working with Enventys Partners on crowdfunding campaigns along with any internal projects here too. But it’s been an interesting ride. Emails changed a lot but it’s also stayed the same a lot.

Adam H.:
A lot of the experience that I’ve had from my career I’ve been able to extend into what we’re doing here. Along with the methodology and strategies for things like testing and stuff like that, we’ve seen a lot of improvements I think in our email marketing process recently and hope to continue that path.

Roy Morejon:
Absolutely. So let’s start with defining email marketing. Give our audience the Adam version of what exactly email marketing is.

Adam H.:
Well and I think it’s pretty self-explanatory in that we’re basically using emails to channel for marketing. I think the important thing with email marketing is making sure we’re hitting people at the right time with the right message … really trying to be relevant. I think probably one of the best things email marketing has done, in recent years, is increased its relevancy. We are doing a lot more to improve that. To make sure that we’re using personalization … Doing other things using data to actually make decisions and trying to get the right message in front of the right person so it gives them the most value.

Roy Morejon:
Why is email marketing such a key component of successful crowdfunding campaigns?

Adam H.:
It’s key because it’s probably going to be your most direct way to communicate with the people who have expressed interest in your campaign. Whether that’s friends and family or other business relationships or the prelaunch leads that we are going to use to market to when we launch. Email’s gonna be the communication channel where they are probably going to be getting the most direct path of communication from you. So it’s gonna play a huge role in the success of your campaign. It’s something that you really have to take into consideration when you’re doing your planning and executing the campaign. It needs to be really something you are putting a lot of thought and effort into.

Roy Morejon:
Let’s talk about results. What kind of results can creators expect to see from their email marketing efforts?

Adam H.:
It’s going to vary widely. I do have some ranges here which I will share in a second. The one thing that I have noticed, and the one thing that project creators should really understand, is that email is really gonna be an amplifier of the success of your campaign. What I’ve found is that when I’m crowdfunding or doing email for a crowdfunding project where the product is something that people really need and it’s at a very attractive price … Then the email is performing extremely well. Of course the universe supplies too. If it’s something people aren’t really in need of and the price is to high, then the emails are going to perform poorly.

Adam H.:
We’ve seen both ends of that spectrum over the last year and a half that I’ve been here and you know sometimes emails can just kinda offer amazing statistics and do really well. Other times, you are not going to get much traction if the campaigns just not going to be ultimately not that successful.

Adam H.:
With that in mind though, what we are finding is that for 2018 our average cost per lead for generating email addresses was just right around the dollar or so across all of our campaigns. Some were lower down into the thirty cents range. Some were a little bit higher than that but we also took into consideration the price of their product when were doing that as well. That’s across a wide range of products.

Adam H.:
We’re seeing that email will tend to deliver about five to ten percent of the entire crowdfunding campaigns pre-orders. Keep in mind that what we usually do here is that we’ll collect emails through a lead generation campaign during the prelaunch phase. Then after that all the traffic that we generate will go directly to the page. We’re basically pushing ad traffic to the page throughout the entire campaign. Whereas for emails mostly what we’re doing is from the prelaunch leads of what we’ve collected and continuing to email them throughout the campaign duration to try to get them to convert. So I don’t have as much of a audience as something as something like the Facebook ads team does as far as continuously delivering new traffic.

Adam H.:
So during the prelaunch, we are seeing open rates generate at around 15-35%. Click rates can be up to 15%. After the launch, it tends to drop a little bit because people who are really interested will pretty much purchase or pre-order right away. Then they will drop off over the course of the crowdfunding campaign because they’ve either already expressed their interest or decided they don’t want it … So it’s hard to get them to convert.

Adam H.:
What we do see is that about 50% of our prelaunch leads will convert. Meaning that they’ll pre-order within their first 48 hours of the campaign launch. That’s gonna be the critical time and a lot of my efforts right now are centered around trying to maximize that time frame … Trying to get people to convert quickly. Then the other half is going to convert roughly over the next couple of weeks of your campaign. Through things like flash sales and anything else you can send to them that will give them reason to pre-order.

Roy Morejon:
How would one use email marketing during prelaunch?

Adam H.:
That’s a good question. During prelaunch what’s really important is to … Obviously we are going to collect people who are interested. Usually that’s through Facebook or it can be other methods too. We will run contests and we will do things like that as well to try to get people in to the top of the funnel. What we will do with them is during the time up until the launches, we’ll send them more or less like a nurturing campaign. We’ll try to inform and educate them about the product, its features, its benefits … I really try to get them hyped and ready to go on launch day.

Adam H.:
We’ll also try to get them to stay engaged by having them participate in a contest where they can get the actual crowdfunding product. During that time, we’ll also try to get them to share with their friends and family posts on social media … make referrals and that sort of thing too. So when we get all of that going on, it really creates this nice set of data we can use for our email marketing efforts on launch day.

Adam H.:
We have found that people who are engaged during prelaunch tend to be about 1.6 times more likely to purchase than people who are not. So it’s really important to not only just email them but to try to give them a reason to stay engaged during that prelaunch phase because those are the ones who are probably going to convert better for you on launch.

Roy Morejon:
Getting more into the specifics … What size email list, if there is one, does a crowdfunding creator need to grow? How can they go about growing that list?

Adam H.:
That’s a good question too. I haven’t found that there’s any magic number there. This is really gonna be dependent on a lot of things. Including your price of the product, the over head that you have on it, the return on investment are numbers that you can have for that particular product. What I have found is that quality trumps quantity. What you really want to be doing is trying to collect as much really high quality data as you can.

Adam H.:
When I send emails out on launch day, the lists that always convert the best are the ones were the project creator has a relationship with the recipient. Whether that’s friends and family or former business relationships … That one always does well because there is a connection there. One of the other things that I am trying to do with emails, is trying to make that connection between the project creator and its audience or its new audience … The ones that we are gathering through the gen efforts and trying to formalize that personal relationship. When we do that, we see higher numbers there too.

Adam H.:
But you should try to collect as much data as you can. Usually I end up starting with a couple thousand records. But if clients come to us and they have an existing list that’s golden because that list will do even better than anything we can bring in during the prelaunch phase.

Roy Morejon:
Absolutely. What happens after the project launches? How do you use the email marketing then?

Adam H.:
One of the things that we do pretty successfully I think is we do a lot right around launch and we really try to make sure people try to get in at the best price possible. We really emphasize that if they take advantage of the super early bird rewards they’ll get the best price out there.

Adam H.:
We’re gonna push that pretty hard at the beginning. Once the product is launched and once some of those early bird rewards are sold out, then we’ll do other things with the client to try to spark interest and engagement there. Some of the things that we’ll do is we’ll send an email about once a week. We’ll either push something … one of the rewards. We’ll give them more information about the product and make sure they fully understand the benefits. We’ll push things like flash sales. We’ll make sure that if the client’s doing a live stream, we’ll send a couple of emails around that.

Adam H.:
We have a series of emails. We have, I think, up to about 70 different templates that we use now for different communications. Depending on where the product is, how well it’s doing, the success of the campaign … we will vary that message to customize it for the actual point in the campaign … where we are at that point.

Adam H.:
We’re pretty much able to be flexible there and do something that’s fairly custom for each client to make sure that we’re getting the right message out at that point of the campaign.

Roy Morejon:
Nice. If a project creator is looking to work with an email marketing company, what should they consider when vetting agencies? What are questions for them to ask?

Adam H.:
I would probably start by taking a look at their experience and asking to see what they’ve done for other clients. We run hundreds of campaigns here a year, for us it would be very easy for us to kinda demonstrate our expertise in that area. I think the other things would be, asking them to see examples of their campaigns and to see some of the results. Understand that the results are going to vary widely. A lot is going to be dependent on your project, your campaign, your costs and things like that. Really I would just be looking for experience. Because the one thing that we do here is we take a lot of the data that we’ve accumulated from the campaigns, we review that, we make changes, we use A/B tests or multi-varied tests … We do a lot of things to try to continuously improve our marketing efforts and that should help our clients in the future.

Adam H.:
We are taking all that experience that we have … We’re turning it into something that is usable and we’re trying to always improve and constantly try new things.

Adam H.:
Some of the things we are doing now include adding countdown clocks and calendar reminders to emails to try to give people another way to be informed when the crowdfunding campaign launches. We’re also doing things like collecting phone numbers now and sending text messages on launch day because we’re finding that those convert at a higher rate than email. These are all things that we’ve done kinda done through experience and are changing our processes to try always improve and get the results for our clients.

Roy Morejon:
Absolutely. Adam also just secured our partnership with Mailchimp as well.

Adam H.:
We’re now a part of the Mailchimp partner program. That’s been a great experience. Mailchimp has been more than awesome with us and continues to be a great platform for what we do. It’s so flexible in the ability to do templates and things in there and apply them to all of our clients … As well as syncing up all of the different accounts that we work on is kinda second to none. We’ve been really glad about that.

Adam H.:
That being said too, if we do have someone who comes in that’s using a different platform already we can work with them in that space or we can help convert that over to Mailchimp so we continue to work there too. All in all it’s been a really positive experience and I think our clients find it very easy to use and are able to kinda jump in there. Even with little to no experience … see their results and the campaign reports and pull their lists and whatever else they might need to do.

Roy Morejon:
Nice. Talking about results, what should project creators do to help their email marketing team or agencies, like ours, get the best ROI from their efforts?

Adam H.:
I mentioned it before. The biggest thing they can do is really just try to be as direct as possible, as transparent as possible, offer the best price possible. Because when you give somebody something that they want at a price that they need you’re gonna get the results. I can’t get around that with an email campaign. As pretty as an email I can send, I can’t have it trump a bad product at a bad price. Really consider how much you really need to make and that’s going to be reflective in the success of not only your emails but everything else with your campaign.

Adam H.:
That being said there’s a lot of things we can do with the emails to push that engagement. Push that interest. We’ve found that sometimes people are unclear about the benefits of a product or are mislead about its features. Because sometimes these things are so new, so unique, and so interesting its really hard to make people understand what they can get from it.

Adam H.:
We’ll do a lot of things to inform and educate. We’ll include video in our emails, things like that. We do a lot where we’ll include animated gifs and things to try to better demonstrate the product and make something that’s more interesting visually. All that I think will help the project creators. In the end, what they can do best is just to deliver a great product that people need at a great price.

Roy Morejon:
Nice. What else should crowdfunding creators know about email marketing?

Adam H.:
I think that they just have to realize that it’s really just gonna be reflective of what their doing. Emails are just a marketing channel when it comes down to it but it’s an important one because it’s going to be your most direct line of communication. You wanna work on really creating something that’s going to engage the recipient. You wanna try to form a connection. Anything you can do to try to keep it personal is always helpful because really what you are trying to do is to have people understand what it is that you are offering … Why you’re doing it … To understand the blood, sweat, and tears that you’ve put into it.

Adam H.:
When you can communicate that people tend to respond positively or at least are willing to share it with their friends and family or someone else they think might be interested. Kinda getting that connection, I think, is key and that’s something that we are working on here too … Is trying to do that even better. But that’s an important part of the process.

Roy Morejon:
Absolutely. Well Adam you’ve survived. You’ve made it into the launch round where I’m going to rapid fire a handful of questions at ya. You good to go?

Adam H.:
Yeah, let’s do it.

Roy Morejon:
If you could meet any entrepreneur throughout history, who would it be?

Adam H.:
You know, it’s funny cause I listen to the podcast, and everyone seems to say Elon Musk and I really have no desire to meet him. One of the most interesting people to me has always been Steve Jobs. While it might be a little cliché to say that, I’ve been an Apple user literally since day one. I think I had a [inaudible 00:16:16] and I still have a 2SE that works.

Adam H.:
I remember saving up as a child to spend a couple of hundred dollars on 40mb hard-drive. I would like to interview him before he kinda had all of his success and try to get into his head a little bit. Then try to understand just what drives him. I always found him to be a really interesting person.

Roy Morejon:
What would have been your first question for him?

Adam H.:
My first question would be how you measure success or how are you going to measure your success. I always wondered what he thought about what was happening with Apple and with him. Was it based on the amount of people who were using their product? Was it based on his revenue? Was it based on his stock price? Things like that. I always wondered what he looked at to figure out whether or not he was being successful.

Roy Morejon:
Who did look up to growing up as a kid?

Adam H.:
Again, this probably sounds cliché there too. I think I’d just have to throw my mom out there. My mom raised three of us single-handedly until she got remarried and was always a big driver for us. Being that both myself and my two brothers became entrepreneurs at some point in our lives. I think she instilled some of the sense of wonder and then kinda drove us to do what we all did professionally.

Roy Morejon:
Nice. What book would recommend to our audience?

Adam H.:
I’ve heard there’s this book called “How to Win at B2B Email Marketing,” out there. At [inaudible 00:17:39] pretty cool guy and he might be someone people wanna check out. Seriously, it’s available on Amazon and the website B2Bmarketingbook.com. I published about two years ago and even though it’s a little bit older now, I think the information in there is still really valid and relevant. If anybody wants to get in touch with me about that, they can hit me up through Enventys Partners and I’d be happy to provide a pdf download or something like that if people really want to check it out.

Roy Morejon:
Nice. What’s been your favorite project that you’ve worked on so far?

Adam H.:
I don’t know that I have a favorite that stands out because really what I am trying to do is look at everything [inaudible 00:18:18] and try to figure out what makes these things tick. I think one of my favorite things is just looking at the data and trying to understand how are reacting to it and psychologically what drives them to engage and pre-order. I think there’s been a couple that I do like. I mean I do know this one that we’ve done recently and the emails are pretty successful there. The campaign did over a million dollars and that was a fun one to work because people were generally interested in it. It was, again, something people really could use at a price that was attractive and I think all that put together led itself to be a pretty successful campaign for us.

Roy Morejon:
Nice. Last question Adam, what does the future of crowdfunding look like?

Adam H.:
One of the things that I do like about crowdfunding is that I think that it is usable for pretty much anybody out there who wants to market test an idea. I think that all brands are probably gonna be doing this at some point in the future, including all the fortune 500. If they are not doing it already, they probably have clearance to do it. I think we’re going to see more and more of that happening.

Adam H.:
Where my reservation lies is, I feel like the audience that’s participating in crowdfunding is not growing at the rate that I’d like to see it. I’d like to see people purchasing on Kickstarter the same way they do Amazon or Ebay or something like that. I’d like to see more of a crowd getting into it, understanding it, and using it. I think one of the biggest challenges is just getting Kickstarter and Indiegogo to get their brands out there more.

Adam H.:
I’m looking for the day when we see Kickstarter ads on TV and Indiegogo ads on the radio and things like that to try to get more people interested in using crowdfunding. Because I think once people understand what it is and how it works and get excited about potentially being an early adopter of a really new product … It’s a lot of fun. You kinda become more else a serial crowdfunding buyer. I know I have. I like to see that happen more but I see the trend continuing to grow and I think it’s just going to become more relevant as people introduce more products in market.

Roy Morejon:
Absolutely. Well, Adam this this has been awesome thank you listeners for tuning in. Thank you again to our crowdfunding podcast sponsors the Backer Kit and the Gadget Flow. Adam, thanks so much for being a guest on Art of the Kickstart.

Adam H.:
Thanks for having me.