Reaching all of your friends while crowdfunding can be a lot like that bad dream where you are in big, BIG trouble and you can see help right in front of you but when you open your mouth to yell, no sound comes out.
“Help. Help. HELP!”
But no sound, nothing, not a peep.
Unfortunately, that bad-dream scenario is hardly different from sharing your crowdfunding campaign with your Facebook friends.
“Help. Help. HELP!”
Facebook Kind of Sucks
Yeah, I said it.
It doesn’t totally suck. You can benefit from your efforts there but you just can’t reach everyone. Even when they are your friends in real life!
Some quick research via Google will find that your posts are probably reaching 12% of your friends. Or 35%. Or 2%. Yes, the numbers are all over the board but in all cases they are a fraction of your friend list.
During your crowdfunding campaign, reaching every single one of your friends is exactly what you need to do in a literal sense. Your top priority is to make personal contact with the people that you know because they have the highest likelihood of becoming a backer.
So what do you do? How do you get your crowdfunding campaign in front of your friends?
One way to do it is to send a private Facebook message to each and every one of your friends. So, yeah.
Wait, what? Your laptop battery dies after 90 minutes? Or the coffee shop asks you to leave after 3 hours? Or you actually have to go to the bathroom a couple times a day? Or you don’t have 10 hours to sit around messaging people?
Well fine. Go make a Facebook post that 13% of your friends will see, kick back and enjoy watching all of those potential pledges from the other 87% disappear into the Facebook ether…
Seems like one of those things you should be able to automate…
Green Inbox Gets Your Crowdfunding Campaign to More People
Shazam! One of the tools that we have successfully used with our campaigns is Green Inbox, a service that will send individual, private messages to each of your friends’ Facebook inboxes. So, instead of your campaign post getting lost in their feed, you get a personal message plopped right into their inbox. They even get a notification!
Disclosure: I am not affiliated with Green Inbox in any way. We have no business relationship beyond the fact that clients have used Green Inbox and been happy with the results.
Green Inbox’s current price is 6 cents per Facebook friend with a minimum spend of $30 which is 500 friends. This is a real bargain to be honest. There is nowhere else you can spend $30 to reach five hundred qualified sales leads, er, I mean friends!
As you can see, Green Inbox says Facebook is the best return for your money. I am in general agreement though I would guess your Gmail contacts and your personal Email contacts to be similarly effective give or take a bit. (We have had campaigns use the email option as a time-saver instead of sending cut-and-paste emails by hand.) I cannot vouch for Linkedin or Twitter.
It should be appealing to reach your friends with a small amount of time and a modest amount of dough! But be certain to put some effort into the process or you risk looking like a money hungry fool and alienating your friends.
How To Compose Your Crowdfunding Message For Green Inbox
The composition of your message is the key to using Green Inbox effectively> This is almost exactly the same as writing an effective email for a list of people. It is something that thousands of people do every day and it is not hard to find examples to learn from.
I have studied email scripts and composition from many leading digital marketers such as Ramit Sethi, Pat Flynn and Bryan Harris. (I sign up for people’s lists just to see their emails!) Here is the list of best practices that show up in all of their work:
1) Write to a friend
Write your message to one single person with a liberal helping of the second-person pronoun “you”. This may seem like an obvious way to approach writing but the most common mistake I see is people writing in terms of “you guys”, “everybody” and “all of us”.
When you sit down to write, be sure you are picturing a single person not a group of people. Write your message to that person. Then edit it to replace specific, personal references with broadly applicable language.
For example, instead of saying “I can’t wait for everybody to check this out,” you might say “Please check out the video and let me know what you think!”
2) Keep it simple.
There is no need to overcomplicate things! Be straight-forward and non-apologetic. To convey your point, you should only need 3 sentences or so.
3) Include your campaign link on a line all by itself
Do put the link on a line all by itself. Do not tack it onto the end of a paragraph. Also, make sure it is the full campaign link so the reader knows exactly where you are sending them. Short links can make people cautious.
4) Include a direct call to action
Directly ask the reader to watch your video, it’s as simple as that.
This simple request limits their reasons to decline. You are not asking the person to overextend. You are not asking them to fully commit to something they are unsure of. You are just asking them to watch a video.
This strategy let’s each step do its part. The message gets them to the campaign video. The campaign video gets them to pledge if it makes sense for them.
The Green Inbox website also has some good pointers that you ought to read through. The one exception I take is their example. It doesn’t sound like anything you would ever say in real life, thus it’s not really writing to a friend. Its call to action also overreaches and confuses by asking for multiple things (“be a part”, “tell me what you think”, “support the campaign”).
Does Green Inbox Really Work?
The short answer is yes, it will work in almost all situations.
Here is what Green Inbox had to say when I asked them:
The average open rate (industry wide) [for emails] is 20%. Green Inbox average open rate is 50-60%… The average $ return for using the Facebook package is above 1,000 USD.
The numbers work in their favor as well as yours. Spending $30 to message your campaign to 500 people will almost certainly result in enough pledges to cover the cost. Given that the average Kickstarter pledge is in the $50-70 range, you would only need one person to pledge to cover your cost.
A Few Notes About Using Green Inbox
Let’s cover a few things you may be wondering about…
Will Green Inbox Message People Who Like Your Facebook Fanpage?
No, they will not. Too bad for artists who have lots of likes on their fan page. But Green Inbox was pretty clear about this saying, “No – we do not support [messaging] public fan pages.”
You Will Need a Yahoo Mail Account
According to Green Inbox, “Facebook changed the API in April 2015 and since then we shifted [from Facebook only] to email. Surprisingly, the $ return is a bit higher than before.”
Thus, when you go to the Green Inbox website, you will need to have an active Yahoo email account and give the log-in to Green Inbox. This is a small hurdle and shouldn’t affect anything substantially.
Does Green Inbox Offer A Guarantee?
Maybe, maybe not. I read their website several times and asked them directly and I’m still a bit confused… The website makes it look like there’s a guarantee. But the fine print says the guarantee is only available with a “valid coupon”. It is not real clear to me how you get a coupon. Here is what Green Inbox told me:
From time to time we provide coupons through people that already used our website. This is an exclusive program… The 100% risk free program is an exclusive program where only people that we select / friends of people that used our website can obtain. It’s sounds like a “closed club” but we give away 4000 coupons each month.
So maybe you have to know somebody who used it.
Regardless, you should not need to worry about this. As I said above, if you spend $30-60 to contact between 500 and 1,000 people, you can be highly certain that you’ll get a backer or two which will cover your cost. But you are very likely to see returns in the hundreds if not thousands of dollars.
You May Get Some Pushback
Some of your Facebook friends are also friends in real life and may even be on your email list. It is possible that by the time your Facebook message gets to them, they’ve already seen your campaign or even pledged. Our clients often mention having a few people who do not appreciate being hit up several times.
To be fair, if you are doing your job during your campaign, this dynamic will likely come up whether you use Green Inbox or not.
There are a few things you can do about it. First, you can offer a sincere apology and take some time to visit with the person about what is going on. They’ll appreciate this opportunity. Second, you can actually select which friends get the message and which friends do not. Combing through hundreds or thousands of friends to unselect a few people can be very tedious but if you have the patience to do that or are concerned about imposing on specific people, it may not be a bad idea.
Get More Backers Through Green Inbox Using These Techniques
If you want to get more backers for your crowdfunding campaign, you should consider using Green Inbox. It will save you time and will assure that you effectively contact the people you know.
In order to help you do this, I’ve put together some scripts for you to download that you can use to craft your Green Inbox message. These are exact scripts that we have used with clients that are proven to work and have produced results.
Click here to Download Green Inbox PDF
As always, you can start with these scripts but you should turn them into your own language. While I might say, “Dude, check out my video, brah!” it is possible that will not sound like you. It is critical for the message to be consistent with your voice and for it to convey what you want to convey.
Good luck, get backers!