Looking to launch your crowdfunding campaign? Indiegogo might just be the place to do it. It’s the second-largest crowdfunding platform in the world, drawing over 10 million website visitors every month.
When people think of crowdfunding, Kickstarter might be the first thing to come to mind. But that doesn’t mean that Indiegogo isn’t a strong contender. Indiegogo creators don’t have to go through Kickstarter’s onerous approval process, and they’re allowed to raise funds for charity as well as many items that Kickstarter prohibits.
In addition to having a built-in pledge manager with Indiegogo InDemand, Indiegogo is also a very popular place for launching products in the technology, fitness, outdoor, and home categories.
But is Indiegogo right for your campaign? In this article, we’ll weigh the pros and cons of launching an Indiegogo campaign. Then we’ll share a list of helpful resources that you can use, should you decide to launch on the platform.
Why Choose Indiegogo?
If you’re committed to crowdfunding and you do the research, there are two names you can’t avoid hearing about over and over again – Kickstarter and Indiegogo. Here is a quick overview of why you might (or might not) choose Indiegogo.
For most, Kickstarter is considered the “default” choice. However, Indiegogo has some considerable positives that might make it a better fit for your campaign.
First and foremost, Kickstarter does not allow fundraising for charity. If you’re raising funds for a charity event, Indiegogo should be on your shortlist – full stop.
On a similar note, there is a long list of items that are prohibited on Kickstarter. The list for Indiegogo is a bit shorter.
If you’re launching a product in tech, health, or education, Indiegogo may be a perfect fit. All three of these categories draw quite the crowd on the platform.
It’s also an easy platform to use as a creator. They have a 24/7 support team available who can help you if you run into issues creating or running your campaign. After launching, you can take advantage of their partnerships with Amazon and Newegg to expand into retail distribution. They also have fulfillment partners – Easyship and Zenpack – to make fulfillment easier.
Indiegogo is more flexible when it comes to funding. You can choose between all-or-nothing or partial funding. In the former case, it works just like Kickstarter – you don’t meet your goal, and no one’s cards are charged. This creates a sense of urgency and means you’re never on the hook to deliver without enough capital to do so. But in the latter case, if you fall short of your goal, you still walk away with some money.
Lastly, Indiegogo has a built-in pledge manager – Indiegogo InDemand. This will make it easy to continue taking preorders, collect updated shipping information, cross-sell, and up-sell even after the campaign ends. You don’t need any extra software to do this (which is not something you can say of Kickstarter).
- Allows fundraising for charity
- No approval process required before projects go live
- Popular for products in the tech, health, and education categories
- 24/7 support team
- Retail partners include Amazon and Newegg
- Fulfillment partners include Easyship and Zenpack
- Allows partial funding (opposed to Kickstarter, which is all-or-nothing)
- Has a built-in pledge manager with Indiegogo InDemand
Indiegogo has a well-established community in certain niches, and its page-building system, built-in pledge manager, and 24/7 support make it very easy to use. But that doesn’t mean it’s a good fit in every situation.
Let’s start with the biggest drawback. Indiegogo is a lot less popular than Kickstarter. That means it’s hard to attract enough backers to your campaign if you fall outside of the niches where Indiegogo typically excels. As a direct result of this fact, Indiegogo campaigns tend to be less successful overall, with about 18% succeeding (compared to Kickstarter’s 40%).
Similar to Kickstarter, Indiegogo does not allow for equity, revenue sharing, or investment options as incentives for backers. If you’re interested in equity-based crowdfunding, you will need to consider other options such as CircleUp, EquityNet, or Fundable.
- Platform is much less popular than Kickstarter
- Campaigns tend to be less successful on Indiegogo than Kickstarter (about 18% of campaigns succeed)
- You cannot allow equity, revenue sharing, or other investments as incentives
When is Indiegogo a good fit?
If you are looking to launch a campaign for a technology, fitness, outdoor, or home product, Indiegogo is a good place to launch. Indiegogo has thriving communities for these niches, which will make it easier for your products to take off there.
Another benefit of Indiegogo is that it allows for flexible funding, as opposed to the all-or-nothing funding model used by platforms like Kickstarter. If you opt into flexible funding, you can still keep the funds you’ve raised even if you fall short of your goal.
If pledge management is a worry of yours, using InDemand can help streamline the process of managing backer rewards and orders. No extra software or complicated technical setup necessary!
Finally, if your product is considered a Prohibited Item on Kickstarter, Indiegogo may be a good alternative. This is especially true if you are raising funds for charity.
Indiegogo is ideal for:
- Projects for technology, fitness, outdoor, and home products
- Those who need flexible funding instead of all-or-nothing funding
- Creators who prefer a platform with built-in pledge management
- Creators raising funds for charity
Setting Up A Indiegogo Campaign
Setting up an Indiegogo campaign for the first time comes with a learning curve. To help you get started, here is a quick overview which you can use as a guide to setting up your campaign.
It’s important to keep in mind that each Indiegogo campaign should be unique and tailored to the product and its target audience. The best and most reliable way to do this is to research and analyze 10-15 other successful campaigns in your niche and learn from their approach. Copy what works and scrap what doesn’t.
Resources to help you set up your Indiegogo campaign
Let’s say you’ve decided to set up an Indiegogo campaign. Knowing what to do is not easy, especially when it’s your first time. To help you get started, we’ve compiled a list of resources to help you along the way.
3 common mistakes to avoid
All crowdfunding platforms have similar issues. A lot of creators are inexperienced or in over their heads, and this leads to the majority of campaigns being late.
Backers expect this, and they are remarkably patient. But you still don’t want to leave them waiting any longer than you have to.
Luckily, most delays come down to three basic mistakes, detailed in this video:
If you’re unable to watch that right now, the three mistakes are:
- Setting unrealistic expectations
- Mismanaging freight shipping
- Fulfilling too many orders without enough help
Remain aware of these issues and try to prevent them before they arise, and you’ll already start off better than about 80% of campaigners!
Why pledge managers are useful
One of the key ways that Indiegogo sets itself apart from Kickstarter is that it has a built-in pledge manager – Indiegogo InDemand.
On Kickstarter, pledge managers such as BackerKit and CrowdOx make up for missing features. These systems allow creators on those platforms to handle add-ons and cross-selling. It also allows creators to collect shipping after the campaign, rather than during it.
Indiegogo has InDemand, so there’s no need to set up a separate system for pledge management. Still, it’s a good idea to read this article, because it talks about the role of pledge management in crowdfunding in general.
How to handle add-ons and stretch goals
Indiegogo, like most crowdfunding platforms, lets creators raise more than their goal. Sometimes, creators go far, far beyond their goal and are expected to improve the product with stretch goals. Many creators also opt to sell add-ons after the campaign as well.
Stretch goals and add-ons are awesome, and they’re part of why crowdfunding is so unique. Still, it’s important to approach them carefully. This helpful post discusses the importance of stretch goals, potential pitfalls to avoid, and best practices for selecting effective stretch goals for your Indiegogo campaign.
How to write Indiegogo project updates
If you back an Indiegogo campaign, there are few things as uniquely frustrating as not hearing any updates for months on end. How else are you supposed to know what’s being done with your money?
As a creator, it’s essential to avoid putting backers in this situation by providing regular project updates. This helpful article outlines the best practices for making good use of Indiegogo project updates, including how often to update your backers, what to include in your updates, and how long to continue providing updates.
Good project updates will keep backers informed, engaged, and excited during and after the campaign.
How to find manufacturers
When it comes to selling products, there are three main options: buying pre-made items, creating your own, or having them produced for you. If you choose the latter option, it’s essential to find a reliable manufacturer to work with. This informative article explains how to find a manufacturer to produce your products.
If you’re not yet ready for a full manufacturing run, creating a sample or prototype is the best place to start. In that case, this article will cover what you need to get started.
When manufacturing, always make sure you’re thinking about shipping costs. If your products are larger or heavier than they need to be, you’ll pay more for freight and order fulfillment. Those extra costs can be hugely damaging to growing businesses. Check out this article for tips and best practices for manufacturing products while keeping shipping costs in mind.
How to handle freight and customs
If you successfully fund on Indiegogo, you will probably need to have items manufactured. Then you have to have those items shipped from the factory to your warehouse for fulfillment. That means booking freight, which can be very intimidating if you’ve never done it before.
To help you navigate this process, this quick guide offers an introduction to the basics of freight. Additionally, if you prefer to book freight on your own, check out the video below on how to use the popular freight marketplace, Freightos.
When importing goods, don’t forget about customs! Clearing customs requires paying taxes and passing safety exams so your goods can be imported. This informative article will give you a primer on what you need to know to get your goods past customs.
When to hire help with order fulfillment
Managing fulfillment for an Indiegogo campaign can be a challenging and stressful experience, especially for creators who are doing it on their own. While it is possible to fulfill a campaign on your own, many Indiegogo creators opt to hire help instead of taking on the task themselves. Here’s how you know it’s time to hire some help.
This is something we can help you with at Fulfillrite, so if you need help shipping your Indiegogo orders, request a quote here.
How to migrate to eCommerce
Indiegogo is awesome for gaining attention and raising funds for your project or product. However, if you want to build a lasting business, you probably need to migrate to eCommerce. If you’re not sure where to start with that process, Shopify is a great option.
In this post, you can discover why it makes sense to launch a crowdfunding campaign and then transition to Shopify. The article highlights how this approach can support your long-term business goals. You’ll also learn about the benefits of transitioning to eCommerce, including the ability to scale your business and access a wider range of customers.
Indiegogo can be a great fit for certain types of crowdfunding campaigns, particularly those for technology, fitness, outdoor, and home products. If you’re launching a product in one of those categories, you should consider setting up a campaign on Indiegogo.
If you are lucky enough to fall into one of the niches best served by Indiegogo, you can take advantage of some of the qualities that set Indiegogo apart, namely flexible funding and the built-in pledge manager.
If you find that Indiegogo is a good fit for your business, check out the guidelines and insights provided in the articles we’ve compiled above. They’ll be sure to put you on the path to successful crowdfunding!