Crowdfunding campaigns are quickly becoming a popular way of funding start-up businesses or side interests for established businesses. In trade for a donation, the a crowdfunding event will offer some sort of incentive. Often the incentive is an item associated with the product the start-up will be offering. People who try crowdfunding are becoming more and more creative with their incentives. Some offer signed books, bulky, handcrafted items or a sample product. While being creative with incentives is a good way to garner donations, once the campaign is over, the nightmare of shipping the items begins. Before you start a crowdfunding campaign, it is best to consider how you will provide incentive fulfillment. Here are some things to think about.
Choosing Your Incentive
When choosing your incentive for a crowdfunding campaign, your biggest considerations should be:
- Will this item entice donations?
- How hard will it be to package this item for shipping?
- How much will it cost to ship this item?
While coming up with an enticing donation may not be all that difficult, the shipping part may have you scratching your head. Remember, items that must be boxed take longer to prepare for mailing and usually cost more to mail. Items that can slip into an envelope or padded envelope, like buttons, postcards, DVDs, CDs or bookmarks are much easier to send out and the mailing costs are much more affordable.
Of course, you can skip mailing costs altogether by focusing on incentives that can be sent out digitally, such as MP3s, videos or ebooks. In this case, you would just need to come up with a fulfillment process that would send out these items using a password system or email address.
After you are sure of your incentives, then you need to plan how to get them out to your benefactors in a timely fashion. Of course, you could always mail them yourself. If you are going to be sending out a large number of incentives, though, there’s a chance that you don’t have time to bother with incentive fulfillment. Often, doing it yourself can take days, if not weeks. A better solution may be to hire a fulfillment company to do the work for you.
Find Fulfillment Companies with Crowdfunding Experience
It is important to find a fulfillment company that has experience with crowdfunding campaigns so that you can get the very best service for the best price. These types of fulfillment warehouses are extremely unique, because they handle a very large volume of incentives in a short period of time, all the while accurately shipping them without mistakes.
Not a lot of fulfillment firms specialize in this new area, so even though a company will probably tell you that they can handle your incentives, you want to be sure that they actually can. Ask for references and don’t be afraid to contact some of their previous clients. This is the best way to find out if your prospective company will give you the service you need.
With your incentives, processing and shipping planned, you can be on your way to a successful crowdfunding campaign!