Setting up a seller’s page

Threshold number of sales

For your seller’s page at CrowdMall, you need to set a target for the number of pre-launch order units you need to sell in order to make your idea viable to develop . You will only receive your funds once your product or service is ready to ship. Take into account that CrowdMall takes a 40% commission on sales to meet its costs and to support CrowdPatch, so you need to set your breakeven threshold accordingly.  If you don’t hit your baseline threshold, your project will not be validated by the market – and the funds raised to the point of stopping the campaign will be returned in full to your customers. For this reason, it is important to set your threshold target at an achievable level to build credibility with your customers.

You should set your target based on three factors:

  1. Cost: What threshold figure will be the breakeven point for you to green-light your project?
  2. Audience size: How many people do you have already in your network database or email list? How many other potential customers in core and adjacent audiences can your reach via social media and email?
  3. Available time: How much time do you have to prepare in the weeks prior to publishing your seller’s page to for promoting your idea for a product or service to secure pre-launch orders?

As a rough rule of thumb, we find that the following table is a reasonable way to set your threshold number of pre-launch orders:

AUDIENCE SIZE AVAILABLE TIME ACHIEVABLE TARGET (SALES)
Your personal networks 1 day per week Units to the value of about £3000
1,000-5,000 email contacts 2-5 days per week Units to the value of £3000-£15,000
5,000+ email contacts 5+ days per week Units to the value of £15,000+

Email contacts are the most valuable, followed by Facebook friends, Twitter followers, Pinterest followers and LinkedIn contacts.

Remember that the money you earn from pre-launch orders is not released to you from our escrow account until your product or service ships to your customers. Should you need to raise funds to create the time and space for you to realise your idea, you can set up and run a simultaneous, associated crowdfunding campaign that offers rewards relevant to your idea (but not pre-launch orders of your prospective product or service).

Timeframe

At CrowdMail, your pre-launch campaign runs as an ongoing with no designated end date. However, as your sales pitch is a long-tail project, you will be able to determined the strength of market enthusiasm by the rate of orders over time. If pre-launch orders drop away, you have choices to make:

  • Do you pivot or tweak your idea to better fit the market need?
  • Do you reach out to new core and adjacent audiences?
  • Do you edit and reframe your social media posts and direct email messages to potential customers?
  • Do you decide that the market niche is not sustainable for your project or service and abandon your idea, which triggers the action of sending refunds to your customers?

How to write up your campaign

This is where you tell your supporters about your idea for a product or service.

Tagline

The tagline is a piece of short blurb where you describe your idea in about 200 characters. The tagline is what your potential customers see first; it helps them to  understand quickly what your idea is about. They’re busy, and they’ll be skim reading, so the tagline is your chance to grab their attention and tell them why they should read your full description of your idea.

Idea description

This is the main body of your pre-launch campaign and it’s where you can go into detail about what you’re doing. The best campaigns use about 300-500 words and several pictures. You can even embed additional videos and audio clips that you might have.

You will also need to include information on the following as appropriate:

  • Format or specification: Your idea for a project or service may ultimately be available in different formats or specifications. Your customers will need to choose their preference if your are making different options available
  • Price: Set your price (per format or specification) at a level which makes your threshold target for a breakeven point achievable
  • Media: Tell prospective customer about any relevant media articles that back up the credibility of your idea about your idea

As your campaign progresses, you can keep editing your idea description. Keep your customers informed about your idea development progress to maintain their levels of enthusiasm. Share content with your customers: newsletters, activities, events, and so on.

Your banner image is the main visual element of your campaign. It’s the first thing potential supporters see and it can be shared via social media. You want your image to:

  • Make your supporters feel inspired, entertained, or curious – not guilty or shocked.
  • Be formatted to 000 x 000 pixels for optimal compatibility on our platform
  • Be in a normal image format – e.g. JPG or PNG

For clarity, CrowdMall is a guilt-free site. We reject campaigns that use guilt-imagery to drive pre-launch orders (e.g. dehumanising photos of starving children or graphic, disturbing images of animals).

Video

The best idea campaigns include a pitch video. This is a bespoke, short video created for the campaign. Videos don’t need to be expensive or have high production values; they can simply be you talking to camera about your idea. It’s far more important that your video tells a compelling story than for it to have expensive-looking production values.

Submission for approval

All ideas campaigns at CrowdMall have to be submitted to us for approval before they can go live. We check that they satisfy our eligibility requirements.

The approval process usually takes less than 24 hours. You will get an email from us that either approves your campaign for launch, asks you to modify your campaign and resubmit, or rejects your campaign outright.

Promoting your campaign

Once you are ready to publicise your idea campaign page, it’s time to get tell your potential customers about it. The most successful CrowdMall campaigns create their own momentum through a lot of promotion. Here are some stages to consider:

  • Create a campaign team
  • Create a promotion plan
  • Put everything into promoting your idea
  • Approach core and adjacent audience beyond your immediate circle of family and friends
  • Stand out from the crowd
  • Meet the real needs of real customers
  • Have fun and be human

Keep your customers in the loop

People who buy pre-launch orders of your product or service form the basis of your customer base and future mailing list. Keep your fans enthusiastic and engaged by interacting with them, especially as there may be a long gap of time between the purchase of a pre-launch order and its delivery. Your existing customers are also your biggest advocates. Given the opportunity, your buyers will share your idea around their networks, if only to gain bragging rights about their wisdom in ordering your product or service at an early idea stage. People like to spot a bargain and to be proved right; give your customers the opportunity to make your idea go viral – and thank them when they do so.