Email is an easy way to keep in touch and connect with customers, but it has to be used properly to be effective. In addition to grooming your list for qualified leads, you need to keep email etiquette front and center.

Keeping an eye on how, when and why you’re in contact with customers can make all the difference in achieving your goals. Here are some questions we ask:

How often, and when should you send? How often you send emails depends on a combination of your line of business and
Read More
customer expectations. If they explicitly signed up for a weekly newsletter, then it's a good idea to keep that obligation. Otherwise, once or twice a month may be enough. You certainly don’t want to spam them. Sending too many messages not only disturbs customers, it makes them blind to your messages so they end up hitting delete.

Editor's note: Looking for an email marketing service? Fill out the below questionnaire to be connected with vendors that can help.


What's your message? Hand-in-hand with frequency is the actual content of your message. A good policy is to only send an email if you have something to say. Did you add a new product or service to your offering? Are you holding a seasonal sale? Was your business featured in the news? These are all email-worthy topics. If nothing new is going on, and you essentially just want to send out a reminder that “Hey, I’m around," you may want to consider how to do this more elegantly. For example, if you’re a gardener, you could wish customers a happy first day of spring, and highlight your services.

What's your call to action? Like having a purpose to your message, you need what is referred to as a call to action. That is, customers need to know what do with the information they’ve received; what’s expected of them next. Examples for emails might be “Use this promotional code for a 10 percent discount” or, “Call us now for a free consultation." The CTA should tell them what to do with a verb. "Call," "sign up" or "click here" are examples. 

Is your tone right? Gone are the days of “Sir” and “Ma’am,” but in most cases, your customers are not your friends. Unless they’re teenagers, greetings like “Hey” may be a bit too casual. In other words, keep things friendly and professional. Use language appropriately, avoid slang and jargon, and don’t forget to spellcheck before you send.

Is it short enough? When it comes to emailing customers, it is crucial that you keep it short. Many people these days are checking promotional mailers from their mobile phone, or on the job (or both). They don’t have the time, or energy, to figure out what you want. Get to the point as fast as you can, and make your message as clear as possible. A good graphic can always help.

Can you deliver what you promise? You need to be able to provide what you offer. If you’re offering a “buy one, get one free” offer, you’ll need to give customers exactly that. If this offer is limited to the first 10 customers who call, or those who live within a certain radius, make sure you’re covered by adding the properly worded terms and conditions to your email. Providing a solid customer experience is critical. 

Did you talk about only yourself? You may think your competitor’s business isn’t up to par, but email is not the place to mention that. In fact, you may end up needing to file an insurance claim if you go around saying things like that! Instead of comparing yourself to competitors, focus on your own excellent qualities, and leave the judgements up to customers themselves.

Is there an unsubscribe option? Customers may no longer want to hear from you for any number of reasons. That’s their right, and why you must always add an opt-out button or link to every email you send. More than simply polite, it’s also part of the law.

Remember, email is a form of communication. It is an important face to your business, and if done well, an easy way to stay in touch with customers. While there’s no formula for absolute success, keeping good etiquette is always a good start. Use it wisely, keep an eye on your statistics, and be willing to try new things. In time, you should be able to come up with the winning email standards for your customers – and you.

Read more: business.com
Today is part one of a deep dive I’m excited to do with Adam Saraceno, the Chief Marketing Officer of a company that has done a phenomenal job leveraging Kickstarter to grow their brand and their business. I think it’s safe to say Peak Design is the most successful crowdfunded company today that’s still active and thriving in 2018. How did they do it? Adam shares that and more.

You’ll learn:

The anatomy of a successful Kickstarter launch
What makes a great Kickstarter video
Why Peak Design st
Read More
ill chooses to use paid traffic—even though they have built up a great customer base and reputation
Critical things to keep in mind when launching a Kickstarter campaign

Subscribe: iTunes | Stitcher

(With your host Andrew Youderian of eCommerceFuel.com and Adam Saraceno of PeakDesign.com)

Andrew: Welcome to the eCommerceFuel Podcast, the show dedicated to helping high six and seven-figure entrepreneurs build amazing online companies and incredible lives. I’m your host and fellow eCommerce entrepreneur, Andrew Youderian.

Hello, everyone. Welcome to the eCommerceFuel Podcast. Thanks so much for joining me. Good to have you with me on the program. And I’m excited today because I get to do a deep dive with a company that I have admired from afar for quite a while, and that’s a company called Peak Design. If you’re not familiar with them, they create products for photographers, hardware products, but also very innovative, extremely well-built and well thought out backpacks, messenger bags, things like that.

They are, I think it’s safe to say, I think it’s very safe to say, probably the most successful company today. They’re still really active thriving in 2018 that has leveraged Kickstarter to grow their brand and their business. They’ve raised over $14 million dollars just through Kickstarter alone in the last few years, and that’s not the revenues. I’m sure they’ve done much more than that, but that’s just the amount that they do on Kickstarter. And they really leveraged Kickstarter as the platform and medium to launch their new big products to the world. So, we’re gonna do a deep dive on that today.

We kick things off with kind of a pretty interesting/disastrous story from one of their Kickstarter campaigns, but then really dive into how they do it. What’s their magic sauce for everything, from gearing up for the launch, to thinking through how to make sure when they launch, they’ve got a huge amount of momentum behind them that they can unleash. We talk about what to do on launch day. We discuss paid traffic. A lot of firms and lot of campaigns today use paid traffic heavily to get where they are, and Peak Design does it too.

They wouldn’t necessarily have to, because they have such a great reputation and such a following, but they choose to. We talk about why. And then we talk about even, you know, kind of halfway through the campaign, all the way through as you wrap up, a whole blueprint for how they do this, and their world class of it. So I really want to chat with them about, of course, their blueprint, but why they continue to embrace that platform today when they don’t necessarily have to.

So, Adam Saraceno is their Chief Marketing Officer. He’s the man joining me today. And hope you enjoy the discussion, because I had a lot of fun.

Thanks To Our Sponsors!
But before we jump in, I wanna take a minute and thank our fantastic sponsors for us. A huge thank you to Liquid Web, who offers world class web hosting for your WooCommerce store. So, if you’re on WooCommerce right now, you’re not gonna get better host than these guys. These guys are phenomenal. I host all of my stores with them, eCommerceFuel, Directories is hosted with them, my blog, my WooCommerce store, everything is hosted with these guys.

Three big reasons why you should consider hosting with them: first, incredibly elastic platform. They’re gonna be able to scale up with any traffic that comes your way, so you’re online when, you know, it’s most important to build or close sales. They know WooCommerce and WordPress so well. This is their bread and butter. Automatic upgrades, backups, all sorts of tools to stress test your store.

The whole hosting environment is architected for WordPress. And all of their customer support and their tech support knows Word Press and WooCommerce. If you call them up, all of their phone support is all stateside. These guys know their stuff.

So if you’re on Woo and you want a rock solid platform to get your store up and running, and to keep it running smoothly, check them out at ecommercefuel.com/liquidweb.

And then secondly, an enormous “Thank you.” to the team over at Klaviyo, who sponsors the show. Klaviyo, who makes email automation easy and powerful. What they do, in a nutshell, is they let you make more money with email through sophisticated segmentation and personalization. So, marketing is all about getting the right message to the right people, at the right time, and with Klaviyo, you can do that in an…you send the time to set up some of these flows, and they just more or less, generate ROI for you while you sleep.

What’s an example? Well, let’s take some motorcycles. You could create a flow for someone who’s purchased a motorcycle from you but has not produced any protective gear or helmet, and fought with a whole series about being like, “Hey, man. I hope you’re liking the new ride, but you really should get some gear to take care of yourself in case you get in a wreck.”

This is one, I mean, that’s an example I kinda pulled out of thin air, but you can do that with all of your different products, all of your different scenarios. With your VIP customers, you can set automated flows to say “Thank you, and here’s a special discount.” The possibility is really endless.

So, if you’re not doing email marketing like you should be, or if you’re on email platform that doesn’t let you do this really cool type of, you know, segmented personalization, check them out with a free trial at ecommercefuel.com/klaviyo.

All right, thank you to both our sponsors, really appreciate your support. You know, with that being said, let’s go ahead and jump into my discussion today with Adam, from Peak Design.

Adam, I wanna kick things off by asking you about the time you guys manufactured a ton of camera straps that had defects, and the ensuing chaos that came after. Can you talk a little bit about that? Hey, Andrew, quick little sidebar. One thing I wanted to clarify after the chat with Adam, after the podcast, was that Peak Design, they went ahead and quarantined all of the units that had this problem in their supply chain, and none of them ever made it out to retail.

So, they were pretty aggressive about getting taken care of. So, I just wanted to make sure that I mention that. All right, back into the discussion.

A Kickstarter Gone Right, A Product Gone Wrong
Adam: Sure. Cool. What a grim thing to open up with? Yeah, so this was in 2014. We launched Slide and Slide Light, or Slide and Clutch, which were a couple of cameras straps, via Kickstarter. And it was a really successful campaign. We raised upwards of $800,000 over 60 days.

Everything was hunky-dory, and we were on schedule for fulfillment. And we just started releasing, we had probably, I don’t know, 10,000, 15,000 backers, and started releasing those camera straps. A couple of days later, we got an email from a few customers saying like, “Hey, my spring popped out of the strap.”

Then we get about five emails the next day, and then about 30 emails the next day, and then we realized that we had a major problem whereby there was a manufacturing defect, where one part had been made not quite to tolerance, and because of that, the camera straps would actually drop the camera if just kind of pushed just in the right way.

And then we had a big media hit right about that time on Pedo Pixel and on FStoppers, which are two be camera blogs of…Actually, a writer for that company had basically dropped the camera and broken it, and we thought, “Boy, this is it. This is what’s gonna do us in.” It didn’t, because, luckily we, well, the first thing we did was we went back to our backers and we said, “Hey, guys. We messed up big time. Put down your camera straps, don’t use them.

There’s a manufacturing defect. And we’re gonna fix it, we’ve just got to figure out how. Give us 30 days.”

And we just kind of treated it with full transparency. We explained to our backers exactly what the defect was, exactly what had happened. We sent them videos. We immediately booked trips over to factories that we had set up in China that were making the straps.

We were kind of giving them daily and weekly updates on what we were doing to fix it. Within months, luckily, we were able to actually create a kit that people could be sent to just kind of pop up their old spring and pop in a new one, and they would have a camera strap that was totally functional, and totally safe, and good as new.

I think because of that sort of transparency, and because we had that conduit of communication Kickstarter between us and our customers, I think we emerged from it better than what probably had started. We got a ton of goodwill, a ton of support from our backers that were like, “Hey, we get it. Sometimes you mess up. Thanks for being honest with us.” So, it didn’t do us in. We’re still here.

They’ve Raised $15.5 Million Over 7 Campaigns
Andrew: And I mean, of all the things that you don’t wanna be dropping, you know, $3,000, $4,000 digital cameras comes to mind. I mean, it kind of ties into a question about Kickstarter, you guys have been around for you know, years and years, done over $15 million or close to, you know, over $14 million on Kickstarter, half a dozen campaigns. I would say it just seems like maybe you’re definitively, have you raised more money than anyone else on Kickstarter as a company?

Adam: There are companies that I believe has raised more than us, but we are the most crowd funded active brand right now. Pebble has since been purchased by another company. So, yeah, cumulatively, over now seven campaigns, we’ve raised about $15.5 million.

Using Kickstarter To Bring New Products To Market
Andrew: It’s amazing. And do you launch all new products on Kickstarter? Is that the only way you bring products to market, or is it only, you know, when it makes sense?

Adam: Not everything, but most of our new big products, yes, we launch on Kickstarter. We will do sort of what we call mid-season launches of, you know, a new color way, or a new size, or maybe a smaller accessory. But, you know, if we have something big and new to share with the world, we definitely will use Kickstarter as the launch platform.

Why a Successful Brand Continues to Crowdfund
Andrew: And why, so far into the business, why continue to do that? I mean, there’s yes, you know, you can tap into the kickstarting platform but you pay for it. I think it’s 10% that you pay for, for all the things that you raise. It’s a lot of work, as we’re gonna get into, designing a great crowd-funding campaign and the video, and, you know, all of that. You’ve got an audience, you’ve got a great email list, you’ve got people who love your products, why continue to do Kickstarter at this point?

Adam: That’s a great question, and one that we get asked a lot because I think Kickstarter is often perceived as, well, it’s called Kickstarter, it’s perceived as a company launch pad and not as a sort of continual business model. But for us, we’ve actually found that, I mean, we sort of have found no reason to not continue using it. You know, for us, Kickstarter is equal parts marketing and finance.

And that financial independence, you know, because we run a big Kickstarter campaign every year, we are able to kind of run our company without major outside investment.

So, we don’t have any like equity shareholders of our company, it’s just us, and our customers, and our Kickstarter backers, and therefore, we sort of view Kickstarter as something that allows us to continue doing what we love, which is designing great products.

Without Kickstarter, we feel that we would sort of maybe be burdened by a less pure product design process, one where you have these kind of external stakeholders, people that are investing in your business, that are sort of requiring returns or, you know, just wanna sit at the table on how you’re doing stuff. You know, without that, we can kind of just fully focus on designing the products that we think are surely the best.

Nabbing The Impulse Buyer
Andrew: You mentioned the marketing aspect, of course, and the finance, which makes a lot of sense. How much of it is the relationship with customers? I would classify myself as someone who almost never makes impulse purchases, almost never, with one big exception, and that is Kickstarter.

You know, like just this last week, I backed a, you know, a new French press because I thought it was phenomenal, and I loved the design, and I felt like I knew the company, you know, the founder behind it, and there’s a…I felt like you almost even build rapport with a well done Kickstarter video that you can’t in other ways. I imagine that probably ties into, at least, partially you guys stick with it.

And also, thinking through like that, you know, the snuffing you had with the camera straps failed, I’m guessing because of the Kickstarter campaign, you probably got a lot more understanding and empathy from your backers than you would have just random kind of customers who didn’t know you as well.

Adam: Yeah, absolutely. I mean, Kickstarter brings us face-to-face with the best customers that you could possibly ask for. And, you know, part of that is that it’s a communication platform, but, you know, yeah, it is a platform that allows a customer to become sort of very intimately familiar with the person or company that is making the thing that is solving their need. There’s just a lot in goodwill that comes out of that, you know, so I totally agree.

And it’s interesting, you know, like I think there’s plenty of people that Kickstarter purchases are impulse buys, but it’s actually a very, you know, on Kickstarter versus our other platforms, our customers drill us with questions. You know, they wanna know everything. These people are, they tend to be early adopters. They tend to be super passionate about what you’re doing and how you’re doing it, and they wanna know everything.

So, you know, we go into incredible depth on every nook and cranny of every bag and camera accessory, and everything that we launch on Kickstarter.

We really have to go deep on it. We have like weekly hangouts, video hangouts with our backers, where they can ask us anything, and we’ll all stand there and answer it and, you know, kind of give them an inside view on the latest prototype.

So, you know, I think for many people, it’s a much more considered purchase than if they were just kind of like, “You know what? I needed a new lamp, I’m gonna go find something on Amazon.”

How Crowdfunding Has Changed Over a Decade
Andrew: I mean, you have such a unique, and you probably have more so than maybe anyone else, a really unique perspective on how crowd funding has changed and evolved over the last, you know, seven, eight, nine, ten years. How has it changed launching something on Kickstarter back from your first campaign to today, 2018?

Adam: You know, it hasn’t changed that much, I would say. Certainly, the platform itself has not changed that much. Kickstarter has stuck pretty true to their sort of initial goal and platform, with the exception of a few functionalities and features, and usability tweets. You know, the Kickstarter page of today looks a lot like a Kickstarter page of 2011.

Another important thing that hasn’t really changed a whole lot is the number of people who have ever backed a Kickstarter campaign. I think it’s over 13 million people have ever backed a Kickstarter. And if I remember right, that number three or four years ago was like 11 million. So, it’s interesting, like there’s not a ton of new people coming to the platform, but the people that are they are kind of continue to come back.

And then, you know, with the public perception of Kickstarter, I think when it first came out, nobody quite knew what to think about it, something that we’ve…I sometimes think that we hit it at a very lucky spot, because when we launched in 2011, a big key to the success of that campaign was that Gizmodo paid us up on day three, and like ran an article about us, and it was just like, boom, we were on the map.

Nowadays, most, you know, most media sites as a rule, will not cover Kickstarter projects.

And we tend to get goodwill from that because we’ve sort of done a whole bunch of them and kind of created a consistent reputation of actually delivering what we say we will, but there’s been so many high profile disappointments that, you know, I think a big struggle that people now have with running Kickstarter is kind of avoiding that stigma of, you know, some people say like, “Yeah, you’re running a Kickstarter, but, you know, we’ll see what happens when it comes time for you to actually manufacture and ship that day, you know.”

So, I think there’s maybe a more of an uphill battle than there was before. I think there’s also just a ton…there’s so many more projects, there’s a lot more millions, it’s a lot harder to speak out on Kickstarter like we were able to kind of so easily back in 2011.

How To Get Traction With a Launch
Andrew: How many more campaigns are competing for that attention? Most, not all, but I would say most campaigns that I see that do six figures these days, they launch organically.

You know, they’ll queue up kind of a PR blitz beginning to launch, they’ll kind of tap into all these people they have lined up, and then they’ll run for two, three, four days, kind off that original burst, and then of course, you get that lull, and they’ll supplement that with, you know, a company funded today, or one of others that are out there that will come in, and they specialize in using paid traffic to continue to really grow that campaign.

So, is that something that like…I guess two-part question for you then, one, do you guys do you that? Do you guys kind of use paid advertising to really grow those Kickstarter campaigns that you launch? And if so, do you think that’s something that like is, you almost have to do today to get decent traction to break that six-figure mark?

Adam: You know, paid up advertisement is a big part of our strategy. We use a company called Jellop. They’re a shop based on a tele-viewed. Super cool guys. We love working with them. You know, it’s definitely a part of our strategy, and it’s just sort of something that we know we’re gonna do.

The great thing about these companies like Jellop and Funded Today, are that, you know, like you said, they’re experts at reaching not just the people that might find your widget interesting, but they’re finding those people who are also really familiar with the Kickstarter platform, and have likely backed other projects in the past. That’s actually the super important part of it, kind of going back to the whole only 13 million people that have backed a campaign, you know.

If you’re bringing somebody who’s never backed a Kickstarter campaign, or never seen a Kickstarter page to a Kickstarter page, they don’t really know what’s up at first.

You know, it’s a non-standard eCommerce experience, and it doesn’t kind of fit the paradigm that’s in their head of like, “Okay, add to cart, check out,” and so they need a lot more handling.

So, long story short, the beauty, you know, and the value of using something like Jellop is that they’re finding those people that are gonna be most likely to convert. They’re making sure that those people are getting to your page. I’ll say all this with a caveat that we can never just hang our hat on, you know, well, paid ads are gonna make us hit our goal. You know, it’s a part of a much bigger strategy that we employ to run successful campaigns.

Best Practices For Marketing Your Launch
Andrew: I’d love to, you know, walk through the anatomy of a successful Peak Design Kickstarter launch, because you guys have nailed it so many times. Obviously, a huge part of that is you gotta have a great product, right? And you have to have a good story behind that to tell, but an enormous part also is being able to market it well, and to get the word out. So, how do you… get there kind of focused on the marketing side of this first versus the products side?

Assuming you’ve got a great product, what do you do before you go live? What are the things you really have to have in place? How are you thinking about making sure that when you launch, you’ve got that momentum that you can unleash to get the project off to a good start? What are you doing to prepare for that launch?

Adam: I mean, a big part of that preparation is working with our media partners to kind of ensure everybody is in the know before we launch, and that when we do launch, they’re ready to go. They know the story, if at all possible, they’ve like seen and used the products. Like having media units is such a big part to running a successful campaign for us, being able to…

Andrew: Sorry to interrupt, what did you call…you called them BD, is that business development units?

Adam: Oh, excuse me, media units.

Andrew: Oh, media units? Okay, got you, sorry.

Adam: Yeah. Just being able to get the product in the hands of journalists, and influencers before you launch, or if not before you launch, sometime during the course of that campaign, so that they can kind of feel it and experience it, and really, you know, when they do share your campaign, really do so in a convincing manner, and put a little oomph behind it. That’s big for us.

Another thing that we kind of do to build the buzz at the beginning and come out the gate with a bang, is we sort of run a, kind of about hack of an affiliate program where by Kickstarter, in your project, you can create unique tracking links to your project. We create those before we launch. We send it out to, you know, media and influencers, and then we basically say, “Hey, at the end of this campaign, we will sort of pay you a 10% or 15% share of the funds that come through from your link.

And because Kickstarter is tracking uses first click attribution, all the incentive is for them to, you know, share that link first thing right when your project launches.

PR + Influencer Outreach
Andrew: Interesting. So, you kind of broke this down to media and influencers. For media, can you give me a sense of who you’re reaching out to? And it’s gonna be a little different, you guys obviously have such a good reputation in the space. You’ve done it half a dozen times, people know you’re gonna deliver on great products, so you have a little bit of a, you know, an advantage, a well-earned one.

What do you do, like let’s say, do you have any thoughts or suggestions for people thinking about trying to get out to the media maybe if they’re less well-known? What are the important things to do, maybe to get in the mindset of that media person? Because I’m sure a lot of, I mean, media people in general just get pitched all the time, so any thoughts on how you can stand out with a physical product and get them to maybe get some coverage for you when they’re swamped with other things?

Adam: I think that like that hire, you know, for us, we outsource that. We have a PR agency. They’re a real small company called Purple Orange in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and, you know, they manage our media outreach.

And it was something that we tried ourselves, you know? A big part of my job back during our first few campaigns was sending out all these cold emails and follow ups, and trying to get people’s addresses to send them things. It’s a really hard thing to do, and, you know, it’s why PR agencies exist, because there are people who sort of have these relationships with media built up, you know.

A part about that is that they’re not just representing your brand, they’re representing a bunch of different brands, so when, you know, from when Matt here, in our PR guy, calls up Outside Magazine and tells them about Peak Design’s new product, you know, that editor at Outside knows that Matt’s not talking just because he’s working with Peak Design, you know, there’s a little bit more clout that he’s built out. Whereas if he was listening to me, it would just kind of be like, “Of course you think your new bag is great, you know, you designed it.”

So, I guess my long story short recommendation is it’s worth hiring a PR agency. There are, I think, a lot of, sort of there’s a lot of PR agencies out there, and PR “services” that prey on Kickstarter creators and sort of say offer for, you know, for a certain amount of, you know, for $500 they’re gonna send an email out to 50,000 media contacts.

Those are almost, you know, I really think that they are a total farce, and they’re taking advantage of people that have limited experience with PR.

So, you know, in the end, I think it’s really worth seeking a legitimate PR shop, you know, even if you have to pay them, you know, $3 grand, $4 grand, $5 grand a month, they do really good work.

Andrew: And then influencers was the other side of that. Is that something that you guys also outsource to somebody else? Do you keep that in-house? How does that work?

Adam: I think the line is sort of blurred between media and influencers nowadays. So, there are certain folks that our PR agency managers relationships with, and there are certain people that we manage relationships with. You know, ultimately, our philosophy with influencers is that is basically, we’re gonna become friends with people, and, you know, we’ll give them products, and in some cases, maybe we’ll pay folks to create content or things like that.

But I think over the years, we’ve built up sort of enough friends, enough like believers, in our company that we don’t, you know, we don’t sit down with folks before a Kickstarter campaign and say, “Okay, we’re gonna pay $500 for this Instagram post, and if you do this Instagram story, $300.” We just don’t do that anymore. We have our friends in the business, and we sort of scratch their back and they scratch ours.

Launch Day Checklist
Andrew: So, you get to launch day, and you get ready to launch. You click the button, and of course, you’re telling all, you know, you’re probably sending out email to, or your PR firm is sending an email to all the contacts that they have, especially the warm ones. You’re reaching out to those influencers, those friends, those good connections that you’ve made. You’re sending your email list out. What else do you do on launch day to get the word out? Or is that, really, the bulk of it?

Adam: That’s really the bulk of it, right there. You know, we’ve done so much tree work up until that point that, you know, on launch day, we press ‘Go’ and then we just pull all the levers, you know, all of which, you know, there’s been quite a bit of pre-work going into it.

I think another general theme that we were often sharing with first time Kickstarter creators is that, you know, when you’re pressing a launch on your Kickstarter, you want to have already done, you know, months of pre-work, you know, of creating that collateral, and building that buzz, and kind of priming your network for that day.

There’s equal, I mean, equally much more pre-work to be done on the product side too. You know, having a product that’s, basically, ready to press the “Produce” button on, the manufacture button on, is also pretty important. I think a lot of first time creators launch with something that’s much closer to concept than finished product, and then that’s how they kinda get themselves into trouble in that fulfillment stage where they thought something was gonna be ready in October, and it’s February next year and they’re still ironing out kinks, you know?

Crazy Things Happen When You Go Live
Andrew: Yeah, I’ve backed a few of those. Those are frustrating. Can you give me an anecdote? I mean, I’m thinking about the launch you did recently, of kind the, you had the everyday messenger, which I think is the first one that I kind of really put…where I got to know who you guys were. What’s it like in the office when you guys have, you know, months and months of work, you press the button and everyone just kind of sits back?

The closest thing I can imagine is doing like a big site redesign and migration, and you press it live, and four months, five, six months of work, all goes live at once. What’s that like? Any thoughts or anecdotes you can share around for when those go live? Because that’s gotta be so much fun.

Adam: Yeah, it’s definitely a very special feeling. And, you know, that feeling lasts for the entire duration of a campaign. When we have a campaign going, it just seems like there’s more people around, things are more hyped up, where every other day we’re doing hangouts with our backers, we’re answering your questions, or, you know, somebody is calling us out because some photo contains an older prototype. One of our backers is like, “Hey, that flab is supposed to be green, not yellow,” and I’m like, “Oh, shoot, yeah. We better take that picture of…”

I mean, there’s just kind of a constant feel of electricity there. But specifically when we launch, we’ve learned that, I mean, there’s so much hard work that goes up to that point that when we press that launch button, we usually do it from a bar. We usually do it with beers in hand, then we press “Launch,” and we all stare at it until we get the first one, you know. And the first one is often, you know, one of our super fans who’s been, you know, who’s backed our last five campaigns, and we’re like, “Oh, thanks Adam, you know, thanks.”

And then we just kind of relax and have some beers that first night, just to let it slide and sort of, you know, kind of take a breath and get ready for the, you know, upcoming 60 days of hard work.

The Power of a Killer Video
Andrew: In terms of a video, I love you guys’ videos. When we first hopped on before we started recording, I instantly could recognize your voice as the, you know, the voice on your videos, which is cool. We could probably do an entire episode just on putting together a great Kickstarter video, but what are the things you really try to do well, you know, maybe the two or three things that you try to really nail in a Kickstarter video for it to be successful?

Because I feel like of all of the Kickstarters I’ve ever backed, it was because the video was well done, it spoke to me. Obviously, it has to be a good product, but the video is what sold the deal for me.

Adam: Yeah. I mean, for us, you know, specific to Peak Design, we make very, sort of, functional products, and we need to really nail, and do so early, the value proposition. Like, what does this thing do? Why is it the best? And kind of quickly hammer home the main points about why, you know.

We also try to really just go into as much visual detail that we can on the product itself, you know, like get them familiar with every little piece of hardware, and strap, and show the backpack on a bunch of different people in a bunch of different environments. You know, show how the zipper opens up, and how you access this pocket, and you, you know, undo this latch, and really just kind of like…You know, people ultimately, when they’re supporting you, they’re pretty ordering your product, and you know, they’re stoked about your business.

They wanna support you, but ultimately, they’re there to get a cool new backpack, and so that’s really where we try to keep the focus of our video.

I think secondary to that is telling kind of the story of who we are, and how we got there, sharing our design philosophy and process. You know, Peak Design has a unique business model, so we try to kind of make sure that people understand what that is, and why we think it makes us special.

So, every company has their own story, you know? It’s a different ballgame, I think, making a Kickstarter campaign for a new album, or an art installation, you know, or an app, versus a physical thing that you hold. You know, the story’s gonna be a little bit different for everybody, and I think that that sort of like video equation is gonna be a little bit different for everybody as well.

When To Use Paid Traffic
Andrew: So once you launch, when do you start using paid traffic? Because I’ve heard, you kinda make two arguments. I’ve actually chatted with a couple of different Kickstarter founders who, they wait until that initial launch wears off, because in their minds they say, “Well, if I’m gonna pay…” because, at least, the way they had it set up with the people who are running their paid advertising, is they paid a percentage of every acquisition that came for a certain period of time.

So they used all the bullets they had in their chamber, and then once they didn’t have anything left, then they went ahead and brought in someone else so they wouldn’t have to pay extra commission unnecessarily.

Whereas you could also make the discussion, I think you probably will, or the argument rather, that, you know, you spend a lot of your paid traffic right from the get go to get as powerful of a launch as possible, is that the way you guys do it? And what makes you do it that way versus the other option?

Adam: Yeah, we’re definitely more of the latter. We concentrate our paid ads at the beginning and at the end of the campaign, when we’re seeing our highest conversion rates. That’s a strategy that’s sort of promoted by Jellop, our sort of partner record there. But in general, yeah, during the middle part of the campaign when, you know, when things slow down quite a bit, conversion also slows down quite a bit, and so we find that paid advertising is not necessarily the best strategy to use, unless we really have something kind of new about that campaign to share.

So, one of our strategies for kind of creating bumps during that long, middle period is to, we’ll often sort of release a secondary product, or a accessory to that hero product of the campaign midway through. And it gives our backers a reason to come back, gives people a reason to share about, and it gives potentially, media, a reason to talk about it. You know, during then, we will sort of then maybe do a small paid push, but really only if we have, you know, kind of something new to offer there.

Andrew: What about the Kickstarter algorithm in and of itself? Of course, all these other things you’re sending to people that are off site, or that are on the email list, or media, or influencers, right to the page. But, of course, you know, a lot of people…though this is the way I usually find campaigns, is I’ll just head over to Kickstarter every, you know, couple of times a month, see what is trending, what’s popular, what pops up in the technology section. Is there, and I’m sure there is…any thoughts on how you get to the top of that for kind of organic discover when people are on the website?

Is it totally a function of how much money you raised how quickly? Or is it more nuanced than that, like, you know, Kickstarter is looking at the views of the videos? Any thoughts for being able to be as high as possible in the rankings on the Kickstarter homepage?

Adam: Yeah, I don’t know the exact algorithm there, but, you know, I think it has to do with your total planning amount, it has to do with how many people are coming to your page and leaving comments, and how many update you’re creating and how much engagement there is there.

So, there’s definitely a number of factors that go into there. But, you know, that’s kind of the reason why we really try to build huge out the gate, so that when we do go big, we sort of get that additional boost by kind of being one of, if not the hottest projects on Kickstarter for a handful of days. And it always blows my mind at the end of a campaign how much of our funds are, you know, attributed to, essentially, people browsing the Kickstarter platform.

Granted, you know, these are Kickstarter’s analytics, and so one might argue that maybe they’re over attributing. But even if they are, it’s still pretty incredible to see how many people find out about our campaign through Kickstarter itself. We do independent surveys after our campaigns, and it’s always one of the top, you know, when we say, “How did you first hear about this campaign?” most people, you know, or at least, a big chunk of people say Kickstarter itself.

The Kickstarter Influence
Andrew: Wow. What percentages is that? Is that a quarter, 30%?

Adam: That is a great question. It’s probably closer to a quarter, you know. Thinking back, I know that when we ask people, simply that people got and bought our products, and they’re registering them online. So, they could have bought it at a retail store, or at Best Buy, on Kickstarter, on our website. We know that about a quarter of the people that buy and register our products, when we asked them like to close their eyes and think about how they first heard about Peak Design, about 25% say Kickstarter.

So, that’s kind of just a testament to, you know…I mean, that’s why we keep going back, really.

Andrew: Is that how you phrase it in the survey, “Sit there, close your eyes, hum softly, and try to go back to the time when you first heard about us”?

Adam: Yeah. Put yourself in a happy place, exactly. You know, we try to make our surveys fun and engaging.

Don’t Set-It-And-Forget It
Andrew: I love it. I wanna talk a little bit about kinda your culture and stuff, but the last question here before we move on from the Kickstarter mechanics covered, I think most of the lifecycle, at least in terms of, you know, the pre-game, the launch, and then, I guess we didn’t talk about wrap up, but maybe as we close out this section, thoughts at all on things you should be doing at the very tail end of your campaign as it closes, or anything else that we’ve missed that’s of real critical importance for launching a successful campaign from a marketing standpoint?

Adam: You know, I think just a general important thing is to really put, Kickstarter is not set it and forget it. I think a lot of first-time creators turn it on, and maybe turn their ads on and kind of sit back and hope for things to happen. And, you know, for us, it’s a very different experience. We are sort of every week, trying to get as kind of like intimate and engaged with our backers as possible, to answer their questions, to have hangouts with them, to share with them pictures of our latest factory visit, or, you know, quick videos of our latest prototypes.

It can be stuff that you take on your phone. It doesn’t have to be, you know, pretty, it’s just people…people eat it up, and people really wanna be a part of it.

You know, when you make people a part of it, you’ll often kind of learn things about how you’re telling the story, about how you’re sort of marketing the product, or maybe even things about the product yourself, that you wouldn’t have otherwise learned.

Looking back, there’s a number of kind of like little features or tweaks, either to our products themselves, or a messaging, that we learned simply from engaging our backers, you know. And things to do with the end is just, I would recommend having a countdown hangout, that’s for sure. Get all our customers in there, you know, and toast together. We’ve actually, for our last few campaigns, have had like a little countdown party somewhere in San Francisco. I’d just encourage anybody who’s out in the bay to come and join us, and have some drinks and, you know, toast to a fun and exciting campaign well done.

Stay Tuned For More Next Week!
Andrew: Hey, guys, Andrew here. I’m gonna jump in, and we’re actually gonna end the episode today right here, because we kinda start transitioning from Kickstarter into some other marketing and cultural things with Peak design. But next week, we’re gonna have part two of this episode where I talk with Adam about some of the core values of their company, why they’ve decided to prioritize happiness as a company over growth, what that looks like, what that means.

We’re talking about why they decided to start a brick and mortar store in San Francisco. Adam shares what’s working best for him and Peak Designed on an ROI/return on ad spend basis. And we just talked about kinda culture and marketing in kind of a general sense beyond the Kickstarter.

So, if you enjoyed the talk today, make sure you check in next week when I pick the discussion back up with him.

That’s gonna do it for this week’s episode, but if you enjoyed what you heard, check us out at ecommercefuel.com, where you’ll find the private vetted community for online store owners. And what makes us different from other online communities or forums is that we heavily that everyone who joins to make sure that they have meaningful experience to contribute to the broader conversation. Everyone who we accept has to be doing at least a quarter of a million dollars in annual sales on their store. And our average member does seven figures plus in sales via their business.

So, if that sounds interesting to you, if you wanna get, you know, connected with a group of experienced store owners online, check us out at ecommercefuel.com, where you can learn more about membership, as well as apply.

And I have to again, thank our sponsors who help make the show possible. Klaviyo, who makes email segmentation easy and powerful. The cool thing about Klaviyo is they plan your entire catalog customer and sales history to help you build out incredibly powerful automated segments that make you money on autopilot. If you’re not using them, check them out and try them for free at klaviyo.com.

And finally, Liquid Web. If you’re on WooCommerce, if you’re thinking about getting on WooCommerce, Liquid Web is the absolute best hosting platform for three reasons. One, it’s built from the ground up for WooCommerce, and optimized by some of the best industry professionals in the WooCommerce and WordPress space.

They really know their stuff. And it’s highly elastic and scalable, as well as comes with a whole suite of tools and performance tests to optimize your store. You can check them out and learn more about their hosted WooCommerce offering at ecommercefuel.com/liquidweb.

Thanks so much for listening, really appreciate you tuning in, and looking forward to talking to you again next Friday.

Want to connect with and learn from other proven eCommerce entrepreneurs? Join us in the eCommerceFuel private community. It’s our tight-knit, vetted group for store owners with at least a quarter of a million dollars in annual sales. You can learn more, and apply for membership at ecommercefuel.com. Thanks so much for listening, and I’m looking forward to seeing you again next time.

What Was Mentioned

Andrew Youderian: Blog | Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn
Adam Saraceno: Website | LinkedIn
The Original Capture Camera Clip by Peak Design Kickstarter Campaign
Slide Camera Sling and Clutch Hand Strap by Peak Design Kickstarter Campaign
Capture Camera Clip v2 by Peak Design Kickstarter Campaign
The Everyday Messenger: A Bag For Cameras & Essential Carry Kickstarter Campaign
Camera Carry, Reimagined: Capture v3, Slide, and Slide Lite Kickstarter Campaign
The Everyday Backpack, Tote, and Sling Kickstarter Campaign
The Everyday Messenger – Official Kickstarter Video

Flickr: Beppe

The post How Peak Design Raised Over $14 Million on Kickstarter appeared first on eCommerceFuel.

Read more: ecommercefuel.com
James Gunn, director of the first two Guardians of the Galaxy movies, has been fired from the third movie by Disney.

Gunn is well-known as an outspoken critic of president Trump and the Republican party and had become much more frequent in his criticism over the last two weeks. This provoked a response from top conservative voices on Twitter such as Jack Posobiec and conservative magazine The Daily Caller, who combed through Gunn's Twitter feed. Posobiec and others discovered tweets from Gunn dating back ten years
Read More
where Gunn acted as a provocateur and made offensive jokes.

A favorite taboo subject of Gunn's was to joke about pedophilia, putting himself as the punchline sometimes cast as the victim and sometimes the rapist. The tweets in question were mostly from 2008 and 2009, but went viral in the last few days. Gunn attempted to delete them, but screenshots were taken and shared alongside calls for Disney to remove Gunn from his executive director position within the Marvel Cinematic Universe brand.

Yesterday, Gunn expressed regret about the old tweets and tweeted out an explanation. "Many people who have followed my career know when I started, I viewed myself as a provocateur, making movies and telling jokes that were outrageous and taboo," Gunn said. "As I have discussed publicly many times, as I’ve developed as a person, so has my work and my humor."

Disney seems unmoved by this explanation and fired Gunn today.

"The offensive attitudes and statements discovered on James’ Twitter feed are indefensible and inconsistent with our studio’s values, and we have severed our business relationship with him," Walt Disney Studios chairman Alan Horn said in a statement released today and given to The Hollywood Reporter.

Gunn was also an executive for this year's Avengers: Infinity War and next year's still unnamed follow-up Avengers movie. In the past, Gunn wrote the Warner Bros. and Grasshopper Manufacture game Lollipop Chainsaw.

Read more: gameinformer.com
There is no magic pill when it comes to losing weight or getting in shape. Fortunately, there’s something even better: It’s high intensity interval training (HIIT). No, this isn’t one of those workout trends that will be outdated next year. Nor is it a workout designed by some exercise “guru” who promises you that you’ll
Related posts:

Exercise Hacks for Busy Women
Move it Side to Side Workout Circuit
Spot Reduction: Can you really just lose belly fat?
You may not be exactly sure what your metabolism is, but you’re pretty sure it has something to do with burning calories and you know you want it to be “fast.” You’ve heard that having a slow metabolism is bad for weight loss. You’re on the right track. Metabolism is basically the engine that keeps your body chugging. It’s a collection of chemical reactions that takes the food you eat and turns it into energy. Fast or slow, it’s always on, even when you’re sleeping, bec
Read More
ause it keeps your tissues and organs alive and functioning.

And yes, fast is better. Some people are born with fast metabolisms. They seem to be able to eat anything and stay slim. But genetics aren’t destiny. You can play a major role in keeping your metabolism in high gear—and conversely, you can take some measures to ensure you don’t become the victim of a slow metabolism.

Here are a five things that may be contributing to your slow metabolism and how to avoid them:

1. You’re not getting enough ZZZs.

Missing one good night’s sleep may result in a yawn-filled next day but your metabolism will likely be unchanged. But make that a few nights of sleep deprivation, and you could risk turning your metabolic hormones on their heads, according to a number of studies examining the link between lack of sleep and gaining weight (yes, it’s a thing). For one thing, getting too few ZZZs can make your cells less responsive to insulin, the pancreatic hormonal messenger that tips your cells off that it’s time to absorb the glucose (sugar) in your blood stream. If they ignore the message, your blood sugar goes up. Lack of sleep can reduce the production of leptin, the hormone that tamps down your appetite, and also alters the production  of ghrelin, the hormone that encourages you to eat.

Very important for dieters: One 2010 study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine found that people whose sleep was restricted to only five and a half hours a night lost less body fat and more lean muscle than when they were allowed to sleep eight and a half hours—all on the same calorie-controlled diet. It may seem outlandish, but not getting enough sleep is a huge contributor to a slow metabolism.

Solution: The Sleep Foundation recommends doing the same thing you may have done with your children when they were babies. Stick to a steady sleep schedule (going to bed and waking up at the same time), have a relaxing bedtime ritual, get some exercise every day (though not within a few hours of bedtime), and make sure your bedroom and bed are conducive to sleep.

2. You’re not eating enough.

We live in a 21st century world where food is always just a few steps away. But our bodies are still designed for the feast and famine years of eons ago. When you cut back too severely on how much you eat, your body is likely to react as if you’re starving and it starts slowing down your metabolism, say researchers at Harvard Medical School. Your body then burns fewer calories, which contributes to a slow metabolism.

Solution:  The key thing is to prevent your body from hoarding calories because it senses famine has arrived. You can do that by never skipping meals and by exercising, which helps thwart metabolic slowdown.

How to Eat More without Gaining Weight: Volumetrics Explained

Read More

 3. You’re not exercising.

Speaking of exercise… It’s true that you’re more likely to lose weight by cutting calories than by exercising. Think about it—you can probably cut 250-500 calories out of your diet every day, but to burn that much off you might have to be on the move for an hour or more daily. According to MedLine Plus, regular exercise not only helps you burn calories while you’re active, you’ll continue to torch those pesky calories for an hour or so afterwards.

Solution: Put exercise on your calendar. Sign up for classes three days a week, plan walking dates with family or friends, flick on an exercise video, or go mall walking early in the morning. A recent Duke University study found that cardio—the aerobic exercise that makes you huff and puff—is better for burning fat than weight training. In their study, people who spent all their exercise time on cardio lost weight faster than those who also did weight training.

But include some hefting with your huffing and puffing. Weight training builds muscle, which can boost your metabolism. One recent study conducted by Duke Health found it can boost metabolic rate by about seven percent, and other studies suggest it may keep chugging at a higher rate even when you’re at rest. It’s not a lot, but every little bit helps.

4. You’re eating too much.

Sounds contradictory, but research suggests that just as not eating enough can contribute to a slow metabolism, eating TOO much overwhelms the cells responsible for regulating how your body burns what you eat for fuel, according to research done at Duke University. Those cells are like traffic cops. They keep traffic flowing so your blood sugar remains stable. But when these traffic cops are facing a logjam, everything just moves much more slowly.

Solution: To help your metabolism chug along smoothly,  eat smaller, more frequent meals, the researchers say. When you’re on Nutrisystem, you should be eating six times a day.

5 Reasons You Owe It to Yourself to Try Nutrisystem & Start Living Healthy

Read More

5. You’re stressed to the max.

In one 2014 Ohio State University study, women who dealt with one or more stressors, like arguments or work issues, before consuming a high-fat test meal burned 104 fewer calories after the meal than women who weren’t stressed. The stressed-out women also had higher levels of insulin, the pancreatic hormone that tells your body to store calories as fat, and their fat didn’t oxidize as much (meaning the fat didn’t burn off as much) thereby increasing fat storage. Chronic stress could result in as much as an 11-pound weight gain in a year, the researchers said.

Solution: You can’t always get rid of the things that are stressing you out, but you can change your response to them. About to explode? Take a walk. According to a study conducted by Harvard Medical School, exercise  helps by reducing levels of the chemicals your body produces in response to stress.

Can’t get your worries out of your head? Write them down. Studies conducted by the American Psychological Association—including those on students, Holocaust survivors and people who just lost their jobs—have found that journaling about what’s bothering you can help reduce your stress. Need an escape? Try meditation or prayer. According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, meditation—essentially finding a quiet place and quieting your mind—can reduce stress even among people worried about health problems.

Ready to get in the driver’s seat with the help of Nutrisystem? Get started today! >

The post Slow Metabolism? Here Are 5 Ways You’re Sabotaging It appeared first on The Leaf.
The age-old trainer debate: to run distance or to run sprints?

The post On Long Distance or Sprints appeared first on Under Armour.

Are you passionate about Runtastic and our products? Apply to be a Runtastic Ambassador today & gain exclusive access and insights!
Der Beitrag "Runtastic Ambassador Program Arrives in India – Apply Today!" erschien zuerst auf Runtastic Blog.
New Podcast all about the Mount Everest Marathon recap with Holly Zimmerman, author of Ultra Marathon Mom. We’re going over all the logistics, what she ate, the bathroom situation and more! And I’m sharing some random thoughts on that documentary I always talk about and my love language.

I first talked to Holly about her book in podcast episode 80. A few days after that interview she was about to head to Mount Everest to run a marathon and I asked her about her training and how sh
Read More
e was getting ready for that race. You don’t have to listen to that episode for this one to make sense but it’s a super interesting chat about running all over the world. I ask her everything from what she ate to the bathroom situation to what shoes she wore to run a race on the top of a treacherous mountain?!!

Previous show with Holly Zimmerman – Ultra Marathon Mom : From the Sahara to the Arctic interview Podcast 80

Warm Up:

I’m answering a few questions I’ve received this week. If you have a question please send it over.

Email me RunEatRepeat@gmail.com OR call the RER phone # and leave a voicemail. You can also comment on the show notes and ask which is how I got this first question…

1. What’s that documentary you always talk about? (Insert lengthy disclaimer about how I don’t think the documentary is life changing to everyone but just spoke to me.)

The Minimalist Documentary is called – Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things

Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things is now on Netflix

or Amazon…

The 5 Love Languages info and you can take the quiz to find out your love language on the site:  http://www.5lovelanguages.com/ 

And get the book: The 5 Love Languages book on Amazon

2. Everyone was super awesome about me taking time off and pointed out that basically everyone else gets a break (outside of parents, right?)

Thank you. xoxox

3. What’s my coffee order?

Just iced coffee, preferably cold brew with stevia and milk or fancy creamer (by fancy I mean the kind with flavor and trans fats).

4. Summer Running Gear Must Haves!

NEW post up now with the best running gear for hot weather AND an IGTV video with extra tips and breakdown of each item!

Check out the video on @RunEatRepeat IGTV

Mount Everest Marathon Recap Podcast with Holly Zimmermann

Mount Everest Marathon Recap Podcast with Holly Zimmermann – author of Ultra Marathon Mom. I first talked to Holly about her book in podcast episode 80. 

A few days after that interview she was about to head to Mount Everest to run a marathon and I asked her about her training and how she was getting ready for that race. She kindly agreed to come back to the show to share how it went. So I get to live vicariously through her adventure and it’s so interesting (almost interesting enough to make me want to do it?).

Mount Everest Marathon Recap Podcast with Holly Zimmermann – author of Ultramarathon Mom: From the Sahara to the Arctic (available now on Amazon).

I first talked to Holly about her book in podcast episode 80. A few days after that interview she was about to head to Mount Everest to run a marathon and I asked her about her training and how she was getting ready for that race. You don’t have to listen to that episode for this one to make sense but it’s a super interesting chat about running all over the world. I ask her everything from what she ate to the bathroom situation to what shoes she wore to run a race on the top of a treacherous mountain?!!

Previous show with Holly Zimmerman – Ultra Marathon Mom : From the Sahara to the Arctic interview Podcast 80

This time we talk about her recap of the Mount Everest Marathon. Note – SHE WON 1st international woman!! 

How do you get to base camp at Mount Everest? It takes days to travel to the city where they’d start their journey.

What did you bring for camping, hiking and running a marathon?

What was the bathroom situation? Showers??

What did you eat?  — Holly mentioned in the last episode she was vegan but had to make some accommodations in preparation for this race.

Oatmeal, black tea and toast

Gels and sports bars – she brought with her

Camelback to stay hydrated

What shoes did you wear? What gear did you wear to run a race on Mount Everest??

Did you get altitude sickness?

How does someone run the Mount Everest Marathon? Is it with a tour group? Can someone do it solo?

The pictures and recap on her blog are amazing:

We’ll keep an eye our for that next book! Thank you so much!

You can follow Holly on Instagram @the_ultramarathon_mom or on her blog  http://www.hollyzimmermann.com/

Links you need:

Ultra Marathon Mom interview Podcast 80

Holly’s recap of the Mount Everest Marathon

Ultra Marathon Mom book out now on Amazon


Lexus Lace Up Races – 4 races around Southern California in Sept, Oct, Nov and Dec.

Use discount code: RER10

Questions on running? eating? life? watermelon?

Let me know! You can send me your questions for the podcast via email or voice mail…

RunEatRepeat@gmail.com or 562 – 888 –1644
Latest Comments