4 March 2015 | 23 Comments
When I launched Between Two Cities on Kickstarter last week, it had been about 8 months since my last crowdfunding project as a creator (the Treasure Chest). I had received spam during previous campaigns, but I was surprised by how much more I’ve received during this project.
Now, I like to keep these KS Lessons positive and constructive. I’m not here to judge promotional services (I’ve already done that). Rather, the reason I’m writing this is to help crowdfunders identify spam, as spammers have gotten really good at disguising their services.
Why is spam a bad thing? Well, let’s look at this blog. You’re choosing to read this entry. Maybe you subscribe to the RSS feed or to the e-mail subscription. Or maybe you saw it on Facebook or Twitter and clicked on the link. The point is, you made the choice to read this.
When someone spams your inbox, they’ve taken that choice away from you. They’ve shown up on your digital doorstep without your permission. That’s not cool.
So what type of spam can you expect to receive during a Kickstarter project? Here’s the list:
- Campaign Boosting Services: Typically you’ll get these messages through Kickstarter itself, but sometimes the service will track down your e-mail and send it to you there. I’ve gotten a few that said that claim to have carefully selected my project out of all the other projects–this is just a trick to make you feel special. Don’t fall for it. This is spam.
- Campaign Consultants: These message come under the guise of friendly advice. I’ve gotten the same e-mail from 3 or 4 people that says, “Hey, I thought you might like this article about crowdfunding!” The article itself is actually decent, but the core point of these messages is for you to go to the website and pay for the consulting service. This is spam.
- Social Media Boosters: This is a new one–I haven’t seen this on previous campaigns. I’ve gotten several messages that say, “Hey, we can help you use Facebook better to attract more people to your campaign.” I can’t speak to how well these services work, but they’re certainly not in line with a relationship-driven business like mine. This is spam.
- Cross Promotion from Strangers: If a stranger contacts you on Kickstarter and asks you to promote or cross-promote their campaign, this is spam. I’ve written more extensively about this here.
- Exclusive Clubs: I’m not going to name names because I don’t want to promote this website, but there is a new website where creators sign up to offer special deals to backers who have pledged to more than 50 Kickstarter projects. I don’t like to treat people differently just because they’re new to Kickstarter, so I’m not a fan of this concept. The generic invitations I’ve gotten to it on Kickstarter are all spam.
Like I said, I don’t mean for this to be a negative post. You might find value in these types of services–that’s totally up to you. But I want to help you separate the spam from the other messages you get about your campaign, because some of the messages are from people who genuinely want to help you (those aren’t spam).
What should you do when you receive spam on Kickstarter? Mark it as spam (there’s a button that lets you do this). That way Kickstarter can identify the spammers too and hopefully prevent them from spamming others.