Business
Oct 13, 2021

How to Launch a Crowdlending or Crowd Equity Campaign and Which Tools to Use

This is a list of things you can do when you want to launch a funding campaign from your own website or via your own investment platform.

This list covers the three typical phases of a successful crowd investment campaign:

  1. Preparation
  2. Pre-launch, and
  3. Launch.

We have followed the same steps, and have been able to reach a conversion rate of around 13% from cold sign-up to paying investors which is pretty good all things compared. 

Now, we uncover the secrets and put you in the driver's seat so you can prepare, launch and succeed with your very own crowd investment. 

Preparation

1: Pick a platform

Select which crowd investment solution  you would like to use as the foundation for your campaign. Should it be a customized white label or generic slot on a market place? There’s pros and cons, which we will cover in a later blog post. Either way you will need to make important decisions on design, the layout and integration on your website (if possible).

2: Legal clarification

Consult a qualified lawyer in order to determine what kind of investment offer (e.g. crowdlending or crowd equity) the company or platform is allowed to offer to the public in the specific country. Will your platform need to support more than one campaign? More companies? More investors? This is money well spent, as crowd investment is heavily regulated and can be tricky to get properly aligned with national legislation. 

Regardless of platform you choose, you as the campaign provider, will be the sole responsible for the legality of your campaigns. 

Spent your money wisely and consult a lawyer. 

3: Draft the Investment offer

Choose what the offer to the investor should be; Lending (loan) or equity(stocks). Interest rate, duration, valuation, price per stock, number of stocks for sale, etc.

Consult a qualified lawyer if needed to draw up an draft investment agreement

There is room for minor changes after this but for now aim to be at least 80-90% accurate.

‍4: Campaign

Create the campaign on the platform and set a start/end date.

Put in content that will attract users and clear out any doubt they may have about the campaign, using FAQ’s etc. Your campaign will typically consist of a combination of video/pictures, short description, investment data, etc.

There is room for minor changes after this but aim to be covering at least 80-90% of the final campaign description.

If you’re putting your campaign behind a login,  remember to make the public campaign teaser interesting and selling so visitors are motivated to log-in/create a profile to read the full campaign.

5: Graphic assets

Create graphical assets to use for posting on social media, for newsletters, for Open Graph image for the campaign page, for paid ads on social media and for press kit.

Nice graphical assets sell better, so make them look good.

Canva is a good, easy and free tool to get started.

6: Pick an email marketing solution

If possible connect the mailing list with your white label solution, through e.g. or web hooks to get segmented user data and better converting newsletter recipients. 

Newsletters with relevant content is one of the best tools to convert users, as email is still one of the most direct forms of communication. Don’t spam. With great power comes great responsibility. 

Select a paid plan/account to avoid advertising logos for the mailing system in newsletters.

Mailchimp or ActiveCampaign is recommended .

‍7: Prepare newsletters

Design emails and write content for automated “email educational flow” which can be sent to all new sign-ups/users (which comes from the visitors of the campaign = potential investors).

Nice looking newsletters sell better and are more trustworthy, so make them look good.

The automated education flow is typically 5-7 emails covering subjects like:

  • Why /purpose (platform or company)
  • Our industry (and which problems do we solve)
  • What is interesting for me (as an investor)
  • How we create ROI/interest rate to the investors
  • The risks and how we handle them
  • The transaction process / the money flow / the deposit account
  • "Exit strategy" / how to refund the investors

3-5 days duration between the emails works fine for automated email flows like this.

8: Setup visitor tracking (or similar) on the campaign page

Do this to be able to track session time, behavior from page to page, where the traffic comes from and much more. Google Analytics is still king but cool new privacy-friendly alternatives like Plausible.io are getting traction without the cost of third-party cookie banners that comes with most traditional visitor tracking services. 

9: Connect with Zapier

Do this so you can be notified via Slack, email or SMS of new users, new investments, etc. Provided of course that your crowd investment platform supports this. Zapier is a great tool to connect different third-party services.

‍10: Setup a CRM-system 

This makes it easier to manage 1-1 communication with investors and it can make it easier to communicate with investors after closing of the investment round.

HubSpot (or similar) can be recommended.

Connecting a CRM-system can typically be done via Zapier.

11: Create personal, company and media specific short links for tracking

Include UTM-codes which can be used for tracking/filtering and acts as basic marketing attribution without explicit user consent needed

Examples:

  • https://www.campaignA.cleveradam.com/?utm_source=Facebook&utm_medium=SoMe&utm_campaign=Michael
  • https://www.campaignA.cleveradam.com/?utm_source=Facebook&utm_medium=SoMe&utm_campaign=Company
  • https://www.campaignA.cleveradam.com/?utm_source=CampaignVisitors&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=Company

The point is that there should be specific links for each team member/the company, for each source and for each medium.

The variations can easily be made in Google Sheets or Excel.

Use a short link tool like ReBrandly (or similar) to convert these links and save them in a sheet/document.

NOTE: Every time you post from a team member or company profile on social media, you should use the correct short link.

This is highly recommended for tracking and optimizing purposes, so you can narrow down where the campaign traffic (and investments) comes from.

Pre-launch phase

Duration for this phase:

Typically 20-40 days before launch for companies with single campaigns and for platforms with their first campaign.

Typically 10-20 days for platforms with multiple campaigns.

The pre-launch phase must be taken seriously.

It’s simple; The better the pre-launch phase, the better the launch phase.

12: Start online marketing

Select several relevant target groups/audiences, drive traffic to the campaign page and get new sign-ups/users/leads. Facebook/Instagram and LinkedIn are useful channels.

Focus on the data and narrow down to the ad splits/audiences who perform best.

Be active and available - Reply to comments on ads. Hide comments that are not constructive.

If you are good at online marketing then you can do it yourself. Otherwise digital marketing agencies - with experience in investment-related online marketing - can assist.

Remember to use the right short link for important tracking.

13: Start posting on social media

Use company profiles and all team member profiles to drive the initial engagement. Talk about the company/project, small/big stories, the customers, the industry, the team, the story, the journey, the future, etc.

Only 1 topic per post – Receivers can’t remember or focus on many topics.

Remember a CTA in every post to the campaign page.

Remember to use the right short link.

14: FFFs

Ask Family, Friend & Folks to talk about the campaign/the project on SoMe.

Basically, reach out to people you know (professional or private) and ask for help.

This can also be partners/customers/sub suppliers which post on SoMe about their cooperation with your company.

Also a good idea to use short links for this segment.

15: SoMe groups

If possible and allowed by the group administrator, talk about the campaign/the project in relevant groups on social media.

Talk about the company/project, small/big stories, the customers, the industry, the team, the story, the journey, the future, etc.

Remember a CTA in every post to the campaign page.

Remember to use the right short link for tracking.

16: Start sending newsletters to sign-ups

Talk about the good story about the company/project, use Q/As in newsletters and make it personal.

Talk about the company/project, small/big stories, the customers, the industry, the team, the story, the journey, the future, use-of-funds, give insights, etc.

Only 1 (max. 2) topic per newsletter – Receivers can’t remember or focus on many topics.

The idea is to build hype, expectations, and interest in the launch of the campaign.

If the sign-ups are looking forward to being able to invest, then you have done a good job.

An email sign-up is the best converting element – Never forget.

Newsletters and sign-ups should be treated with great respect.

Remember a CTA in every newsletter to either the campaign page or other company page.

Remember to use the right short link for tracking.

You should expect that some sign-ups will unsubscribe. This is normal, but be aware that the trend (of number of sign-ups) in general goes up.

17: Get some PR exposure

PR is interesting if it is free - as we suggest that you invest your time/money in push marketing, as the marketing attribution (return of ad spend) is much more tangible than a spread in a local newspaper.

But of course, you should do what you can to get some PR attention as it will always provide authenticity to you and your business/campaign.

18: Webinars

Webinars are a highly effective and useful communication and interaction tool, and a way of being more personal.

You can speak directly to many in one session and participants can ask questions directly.

In the agenda for the webinar, you could/should list some of the most relevant/obvious questions and/or answer some of the comments from SoMe posts.

Be honest, personal and polite. 

If possible, it can also be a good idea to invite a customer/partner/sub supplier to a webinar to build trust.

Promote the webinar via the newsletters and SoMe posts.

You can also promote the webinar via paid ads to the segments/audiences which performs good.

Demio is a recommended tool.

19: Analyze the data

At least a few times a week it is relevant to look at the data from the different activities and optimize where needed.

Example on things to look for in terms of newsletters:

  • Open and click rates (Typ. in email marketing program)
  • Session-time and behaviour (Typ. in Google Analytics when filtering on UTM-codes. Find them from point 11)

Example on things for look for in terms of SoMe posts and paid ads:

  • CPC, CR, CPL/sign-up, etc.
  • Session-time and behaviour (Typ. in Google Analytics when filtering on UTM-codes. Find them from point 11)

 Knowing and optimization based on data, is typically where you will “find the gold”.

Kill the things/ads that do not work – Increase the things/ads that do work.

To have a central overview of the data from all channels/activities, setting up a Google Sheet can often be the flexible way to go. This way you can create your own metrics, can put in comments/learnings, invite digital marketing agencies to the document, and other useful stuff.

20: Finalize investment offer

Consult a qualified lawyer if needed to get the final wording on point before launching the legal framework for the campaign.

21: Finalize campaign

Make it look good, trustworthy and with a good story.

If the funding campaign is also backed by VCs, BAs, banks or other professional investors, then describe this and describe/insert the amount (from them).

Launch phase

Duration:

Typically 20-60 days. It depends on the state of investors, amount to be raised and the perceived profitability of the campaign

22: More of the same

In the launch phase you very much do the things as in the pre-launch phase, but with one big difference:

Instead of focusing on building up hype/expectations, you target the communication (on all channels) of how things are going, how much money you have raised, who you are partnering with, new commercial deals (if there are any), etc.

23: Newsletters

Test if a lower frequency of 3 days gives better results.

24: Paid ads on SoMe

When analyzing data for paid ads on SoMe, be aware that you should look at both CPL and CAC, as new visitors might not invest the first time they visit the campaign.

Sometimes a few newsletters are needed before they make the move to invest.

25: Webinar

It is a good idea to schedule webinar often and with (more or less) fixed frequency.

Like once a week, so interested investors always have a possibility to join.‍

Things to remember

The list of things to do may sound exhausting, but actually it is not if you put it in a project management system (Asana.com, Notion.com or similar) and follow it step-by-step.

We (CleverAdam.com) can support you all the way through the process. Our success depends on your success.

Don’t panic if things do not work out perfectly in the first attempt in the pre-launch phase. They rarely do, which is why testing and data analysis is important. 

Happy customers can be converted to loyal investors.

Investors are potential customers for your products. 

CleverAdam provides a white label crowd investment platform supporting the entire process of raising money from the crowd. Book a free demo account today. 


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