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Lessons Learnt On Indiegogo

On december 4th after several bumps on the road we launched our first Indiegogo campaign for Loochi, our open-source Bluetooth 4 lamp.

In this post we share the data we collected in a month to give you an idea of what to expect, metrics to compare to and a few lessons learnt on the way.

Lessons learnt in our first crowdfunding campaign

Web traffic and referrers

Approximately 3000 people visited our Indiegogo page.

  • 1000 came directly through getloochi.com - Those are mostly people who saw our facebook banner image (which people shared quite well) and decided to type the url manually.
  • 1000 came from blogs and articles.
  • 263 came as a result of Facebook ads we had bought (approximately 200€)
  • The rest is twitter (66 clicks), and some posts we made on the eevblog forum, on reddit, etc.

Lesson learnt: It is all about press coverage: your only scalable source of traffic. We only had one article in a major french blog and a few in medium sized blogs (none in the US). We could have easily multiplied this by 10 with better PR preparation but we could not have multiplied our friends by 10.

  • Mailing journalist through their website (or tips@xxx.com) does not work. Take the time to meet the journalist and show them your project, it is the best way to make sure they will write about your product.
  • It is hard to spread a product launch on social networks.
  • Do not launch a connected lamp a few weeks after LiFX, Philips Hue, Lightcloud, Illumi, …

Vimeo stats

One of the nice thing with Indiegogo is that you can choose to host your video on Vimeo instead of YouTube. We purchased a Vimeo Plus account to get detailed stats.

Vimeo detailed stats for Loochi's campaign

The video was preloaded (appeared in a browser) 36837 times during the campaign. It was played 2689 times and 36% of our viewers watched it completely.

Of the people who played the video:

  • Only 32% watched it on indiegogo.com;
  • 21% watched it on Mac4ever;
  • 35% on vimeo.com (probably through facebook links).

Lesson learnt: Embed in the video a clickable link to reach your Crowdfunding page because most people will see your video in a different context.

Pledges by type

Pledges by type

We offered three options to our backers:

  • Become a Fan and show your support with $1 or more
  • Buy an early-bird Loochi for $78 (limited to 42 backers)
  • Buy Loochi at the normal price of $98
  • Buy a stereo pack - two Loochis for $180

Three people chose the basic reward. With one at $1, one at $5 and one at $25. Interestingly enough, one of them also decided a few days later to buy a Loochi.

Three people chose the stereo pack, the most expensive option. Two of them clearly did it because they wanted to show some extra support to the project. With only three backers, this “expensive” option ended up bringing almost 9% of the funds.

Most backers chose the standard Loochi: first at the early-bird price (42 backers) and then at the normal price (24 backers).

Lesson learnt: having an option that is more expensive than the standard package is important and is a great source of revenue.

A closer look at our backers

Backers we knew and new friends of Loochi

Considering our small number of backers we looked at how many we knew personnaly.

It turns out that 45 backers (62.5%) are people we know in real life. We emailed 187 people directly and got in touch with a bunch more through our social networks. If we consider that 400/500 people that we know in real life heard about the project, that is a 10% conversion rate among our friends.

27 people who we did not know before chose to buy Loochis. Out of the approximately 3000 people who ended up on the page, this is .1% conversion rate which sounds about right.

Lesson learnt: A good network of friends is a great asset to leverage when you launch. We had prepared individual emails for each of them and used a script to send all the email on D-Day. Start working on your list of contact early!

Backers by country

Backers by country

Most of our backers are french (77.5%). 8.6% from the US and then we have backers from different countries around the world.

Lesson learnt: Expect backers from all arount the world. If you expect a lot of traffic from a non english speaking country, localize! (we did not)

Our campaign day by day

Funding day by day

Our first day was the best of the campaign. We received $1810, 25% of our total funding. Almost exclusively (90%) from people we knew. This is obviously the result of the emails we sent and our efforts on facebook and twitter.

On the second day $749 and on the third day $1498. This is the day that most of our press coverage happened (including an article mac4ever.com, a large and very well-known iPhone/mac blog in France).

After that, pledges quickly went down and we got one or two backers at most every day.

Lesson learnt: There is a direct relationship between how much you kick yourself in the butt to spread the word and how many new backers you get. We kind of stopped pushing the campaign after day 3 and it showed very clearly.

Campaign funding

When our campaign reached its time-limit on January 6th, we had 72 backers for a total of $6288. That’s 8.38% of our goal.

But more important than failing to gather the money to start production, we finally showed our project to the world. Got feedback from what is becoming our community and raised awareness on our project.

Lesson learnt: The biggest failure is not to launch. Do not fear exposing yourself and your project. It is for the best!

Conclusion

We hope those figures help you get a better idea of what to expect during a product crowdfunding. Something else you would like to know? Ask away!

We would love to hear about your own experience, please share in the comments. Do not hesitate to post link to other similar stories on the web!

Photo by Thomas Sarlandie - Copyright 2009 - CC-BY-SA

Thomas aka sarfata spends most of his time working on open-source projects that mix hardware, web technologies and software. When not blogging on TB ideas, he can be found on sarfata.org.

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