When Abby Epstein and Ricki Lake raised $119K in 30 days to fund their upcoming documentary, “Sweetening the Pill,” — they did it by tapping into email lists.
In other words, they found lists of people who were most likely to support the documentary, and they asked those people for money.
The response was overwhelming.
When I interview Abby earlier this year, she told me: “Direct email is the best way to attract backers.”
Amen! It’s not Facebook, Instagram, or being “popular”…and it’s not getting a high number of views on certain blog posts.
The best way to raise money — whether it’s through donations or sales of a product — is to directly email the people who are most likely to support your cause.
You see, not everyone is going to support your cause or have a desire (let alone intent) to buy your product.
Don’t waste your time searching for random people.
Instead, focus your energy on finding those who want what you have. Email them directly (or mail them, or text them) — but go to them directly!
The reason direct email works so well is because it’s focused. You’re not searching for just any Joe or Jane to view your stuff… you’re searching for people who have an intent to buy your product.
The keyword is “intent.”
Where can you find lists of people who are most likely to want what you’re selling?
And once you’ve found those lists — what short, simple emails can you write, to inspire them to get on board with your mission?
When I work with clients, these are the exact questions we focus on, until we find the answers.
In the case of Sweetening the Pill (STP), Ricki Lake’s fame or popularity wasn’t the thing that caused money to flow in.
It was the fact that the STP team looked for LISTS of people who were most likely to support natural birth control.
The result was $119K raised in 30 days.
This never would have happened, without the email lists.
“In the end, I’m actually not sure how much the celebrity status helps,” Abby told me. “We have done campaigns in the past where Ricki appeared on a National TV show to promote a crowdfunding campaign and it didn’t move the needle one bit toward reaching our goal.”
“These campaigns revolve around getting access to mailing lists.”
So if your goal is to increase sales — forget about “views” and “visibility.”
Start building your list full of the right people…Then write short, simple emails to those subscribers, offering them your product. Simple.