Part 1: How I’m growing a mailing list for my Kickstarter campaign

This July, I'll be launching a Kickstarter campaign for Storyteller Tactics. The successor to Workshop Tactics. A Kickstarter campaign is like launching a rocket. It can't take off without a tonne of fuel to overcome Earth's gravity. But once it's up, it's up and away. That fuel is the audience who already want your product.

One thing I've taken for granted is I've already launched a rocket by myself - Workshop Tactics pre-sale happened without Kickstarter, or a sizeable mailing list. Just a patient two years of developing it in public. What's different this time round is I've partnered with an expert who is doing the most important job: writing the cards' content. This is brilliant because it means I can spend more time growing an audience for the launch. Better still, the branding, illustration and card template is already in place, thanks to the initial legwork from Workshop Tactics.

Before I get into the Yin of the marketing plan, it's worth to take a pit stop at the Yang: the product itself.

To develop a great product effectively, you must reduce the feedback loop time as much as possible. A painful lesson learned with Workshop Tactics - sending out physical decks to test the content slowed down the development massively. So this time, we're keeping the early prototype cards digital. At the very least, until we are confident that the content is useful enough to move into card form. This means we can test the content with more people, and as a bonus side effect, we build up a mailing list, and create a steadily rising buzz for the launch.

So the plan is to do two things at once: build a mailing list, and test the product.

Here is my to-do list mashed together with a rough plan. (I'm working this out as I go!)

  1. Collect an initial mailing list with email capture page, to be shared on Twitter, LinkedIn and sent to Workshop Tactics mailing list. [Done, List at 170]
  2. Turn the landing page into an index of all the cards that will be in the deck. Implement a feedback capture form for each card. [In progress]
  3. Encourage clicks on unreleased cards by showing the name and a curiosity evoking CTA. Reveal the description and present another email subscribe form. [In progress]
  4. Release two cards a week over the next four months, revealing them on the collection page with the first draft of the cards' content
  5. Send an email to the campaign mailing list & share on social media - directing them to the newly released cards on the collection page.
  6. Create a referral campaign to encourage existing subscribers to invite others to the campaign, and give away free goodies as rewards.
Storyteller Tactics email capture landing page

Here's how it's going, a work in progress campaign page.

That's the plan (thanks Dan H for the idea!). I will update as and when there’s meaningful progress or discoveries worth writing about.