Kick Start Your List Building Efforts

The internet is an intriguing space for entrepreneurs. For some, it takes away the need for a physical business location. For others, it’s a place for their website to serve as a virtual business card for their their business.

And for those budding entrepreneurs who haven’t established a business but have a myriad of amazing ideas? The internet offers hope…and funding in the form of the Kickstarter website.

As they sum it up in their FAQ, “Kickstarter is a new way to fund creative ideas and ambitious endeavors, powered by a unique all-or-nothing funding method where projects must be fully-funded or no money changes hands.”

And it’s setting new precedents in email list building. Keep reading to find out how Kickstarter is paving the way for entrepreneurs to build exclusive, value-packed email marketing campaigns.

What is Kickstarter?

What is Kickstarter?

Kickstarter is a website where individuals can post creative project proposals that need financial backing. Visitors to the site can then browse through pages of ideas and pledge money to support them, and project owners only get the money if their funding goal is met.

This way, donors aren’t upset if a project doesn’t come to fruition because the goal hasn’t been met, and their money won’t go toward something that is only partially funded.

A common question about Kickstarter is: “Why do people support projects?”

It’s brilliantly simple. Visitors are compelled to pledge donations because they are rewarded for their contributions. Sometimes this means that project-backers will get a handwritten note or a digital download. Other times, their names are included in movie credits or album notes.

But the most typical reward on the site? Donors are granted access to an exclusive email list.

Why Make Subscribers “Pay” for Emails?

Why Make Subscribers Pay for Emails?

There’s a certain psychology to the responsiveness of subscribers. In terms of opening, clicking and supporting your product by purchasing, subscribers are more apt to truly pay attention to your messages because they have invested their hard-earned money with you.

This makes receiving your emails a value proposition for paying subscribers. Think about all of the email newsletters that you are subscribed to. Even if they’re filled to the brim with relevant information, they were probably free to sign up for, making them easier to take for granted. You’re far more likely to read one you’ve paid for, so that you “get your money’s worth.”

By positioning email updates as incentives upon donation, project owners on Kickstarter promise that their emails are exclusive and valuable; a worthy trade-off for the the money that contributors give them to start their dream projects.

How Real Project Owners are Using Email

How Real Project Owners Are Using Email

Cody Sai Picture

Cody Sai

Cody Sai, an independent fashion designer, positioned email updates about news, events, and discounts as a first-tier reward for contributors. Then, any higher tier backers were also given the initial reward.

Cody Sai Pledge Options

Stalker Chronicles Picture

Stalker Chronicles

The Stalker Chronicles, a web series about two girls who stalk a boy they found on YouTube, promises email updates to anyone who donates on the $10 level.

Stalker Chronicles Pledge Option

Greg Holden Picture

Greg Holden

Poet and singer Greg Holden stresses the exclusivity of his email list for all donations of $15 or more to his album project.

Greg Holden Pledge Option

The Benefits of “Paid” Subscribership

As is the case with Kickstarter, the cost of getting onto an exclusive email list is not high. For a small donation, people are able to receive emails and help out entrepreneurs.

But you don’t have to use Kickstarter to benefit from the support of your subscribers. Even if they aren’t paying money to support your project/product, subscribers are paying in other ways – through purchases and referrals, for instance.

How do your susbcribers “pay” you? What do you provide in return? Share your answers in the comment section below!


  1. Isaac

    10/28/2010 4:38 pm

    With little donation subscribers can easily recieve emails but wont be constantly allound as their quikstart.

  2. rich

    11/1/2010 6:34 am

    i think it’s a great idea. A little give and take. I reckon a lot of budding entrepreneurs would love this.

  3. Cynthia Thompson

    11/2/2010 12:41 pm

    Awesome this is an inspiration for alot of us who want to be successful…The sky is the limit….Thank you for this opportunity…

  4. Ella Jackson

    11/3/2010 6:24 am

    Amazing idea! I am fired up now to think of ways to reach people who are passionate about other people’s success! My passion is in early child development that leads to success in adulthood…