Managing your campaign post-launch is something of a different beast. As the initial madness begins to die down and you edge closer to your goal, you’ll find yourself straddling your remaining salesperson and promotional duties as well as taking up a new comms role for your existing investors.
It’s a big workload, and a crucial time to keep plates spinning. These 4 key principles can help streamline your process for the post-launch phase of your equity crowdfunding campaign.
An obvious solution for maintaining fair and equal contact is a dedicated shareholder email. It should be sent to all of your investors, at exactly the same time, with exactly the same content. Treating it like an official press release is the best way to keep the playing field levelled and using an email marketing tool such as HubSpot, Mailchimp or EmailOctopus will make the process effortless.
Major updates should not be discussed with individual investors until the email has gone out (with one exception being possibly your lead investor). This way, there’s no risk of an ‘in the loop’ investor talking to an uncontacted investor and revealing insider knowledge before you get the chance. This erodes trust and can look like favouritism, even if you don’t intend it.
It takes time to manage a mailing list, but it’ll pay dividends with regards to good standing with your shareholders and possible future investment (and, let’s face it, it’s much easier than contacting each investor individually). Engaging and informative content leads to increased confidence in potential investors and continued confidence in those that have taken the plunge.
You should also make your updates as personal as possible - they should come from you, with a nice big signature or even a thumbnail photo in your sign-off. Not an assistant, PR person or executive lower down the chain.
It goes without saying the investor who contributes the most to your campaign should receive the most attention in return. If they are treated the same as everyone else, they’ll start to wonder what their proactivity is worth.
You’ll also want to make sure any questions coming in from late investors are answered as a priority, ideally within the same working day. This crucial correspondence could mean the difference between securing the last gasp of investment you need and missing the mark.
Finally, don’t just rely on emails or your mailing list to keep in touch with shareholders. You don’t have to call them every day or meet them every week, but relationship-building efforts shouldn’t cease altogether once you’ve cashed your cheques. Connecting with investors on LinkedIn is a great way to build trust and increase engagement.
The biggest mistake a crowdfunded venture can make is to deceive the people who’ve enabled its development. This will seem obvious to most, but we’re all susceptible to the temptation of staying quiet when things start to look bad. Putting off that phone call (or worse, skirting incoming calls) is a short-term avoidance that will cause long-term distrust. Not only will your investors appreciate your honesty about internal issues, PR snafus or cash flow problems, they will be able to advise you on righting the ship.
Remember - investors know the risks involved in equity crowdfunding campaigns. They will be prepared for some ups and downs. Don’t fear their reaction - utilise their expertise.
Want some assistance in reaching your existing investor connections, getting in touch with new ones, and managing your campaign from start to finish? Talk to us.