The User Acquisition Funnel for Crowd-Funding Platforms

crowdfunding business model

A crowd-funding platform is a 2 sided platform requiring fund raisers and funders to function effectively. Hence users include people who are looking to raise funds and people who are looking to fund projects.

The User Acquisition Funnel comprises of 3 parts:

-          Inviting

-          Engaging

-          Acquiring

crowdfunding marketing funnel


This is the first step of the funnel where the platform uses different advertising strategies to pull in traffic.

Goal for this Phase: To get ‘desired traffic’
Here desired refers to what you quantify as traffic. Some platforms may consider all traffic received desired traffic. Others may want users to fill in a small interest form (maybe just name, email id, whether investor or startup etc.) to qualify as a lead received.

Action for this Phase:
Platforms need to draw out various use cases and use different advertising media to reach out to them. 

For example, an equity crowd-funding may be interested in very early stage startups and may reach out to accountants who assist in company incorporation. To get investors, platforms can reach out to seed investors and HNIs through professional networks. Scraping data from other platforms is also a good strategy to collect data and leads.

Important Metrics:
Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC): As defined above, you start by defining what a conversion is. For example, a visitor to the platform may be a conversion or a visitor having filled out a form on the platform may be a conversion. Then CAC has to be worked out based on the following:

Advertising Strategy Wise: assess the marketing spend on different media like SEO, SEM, Social, Guest Blogging etc. and calculate the CAC figure for each separately

Target Market Wise: do the same for different users targeted. For instance in the case of rewards crowd-funding, calculate CAC for film producers, technology product creators etc. separately.

Handy Tools to Use: GoogleAnalytics, Kissmetrics


This phase is about engaging the conversions from Phase 1.

Goal for this Phase:  To engage conversion from above.

Action for this Phase:

The best way to engage visitors is to give good and relevant content to them.

The content should be structured based on the nature of the visitors. If they are informed about the product, i.e. they are better qualified leads, showing them projects live on the platform, success stories, customer testimonials, FAQs & terms and conditions of the platform (in a concise and visually appealing manner) should suffice.

For informed visitors, i.e. if leads are totally raw and not qualified, you should start off by defining what solution your platform is giving in very clear layman terms. An example for a potential investor can be ‘earn higher returns than stocks or bonds’ or for a fund-raiser can be ‘raise money in 24% of the time required to raise seed funding’. After this, you need to clearly explain the benefits of the platform with facts and statistics to back this. Thereafter, you show the other content, same as in the case of the informed visitors. Since these uninformed visitors generally tend to enter the platform without sharing any details. Their data should be captured so that push marketing techniques can be used to bring them back if they leave. Filling up forms to download ebooks, guides, webinars etc. is a common trick to do this.

Content is the best way to build trust and must highlight all the factors which affect trust building with the platform. Data and monetary security is a big factor and must be addressed clearly with no ambiguity for the user. Tools such as chat should be used to ensure a continuous interaction of the platform and the user.

Important Metrics:

User Behavior: User flow on the platform must be analysed to see how closely it resembles what the platform had thought it would be. Here different metrics of importance include

-          User flow (planned vs. actual)

-          Pages viewed per user

-          Time spent on different pages

-          Total time spent/invested by users on the platform

-          Drop off rate at different points of the user flow

Content Metrics: To assess the performance of the content offered to users, the following metrics can be used

-          Times accessed (as a percentage of total users reaching it)

-          Time spent on it (if it is an online read)

-          Shared through Social Media etc. (if sharing option exists)

Handy Tools to Use: Kissmetrics, Zendesk Chat


Here the user makes the desired interaction with the website.

Goal for this Phase: Users makes the interaction desired.

For example in an equity crowd-funding platform, a startup starts a fund raising campaign or an investor makes a commitment to a project.

Action for this Phase:

This step is about customer onboarding. The platform needs to guide the user step by step as to what has to be done. Information and help must be provided and also tools like chat can prove useful to ensure successful onboarding. The platform should also integrate tools to get back any users who abandon the process half way. For example if a startup founder is filling up a new campaign form and leaves the process half way, a reminder email can be sent to bring back this user.

Important Metrics:

User Flow: Since the user acquisition funnel completes in this stage, the following metrics to be assessed based on different advertising strategies deployed and different potential users targeted

-          Final conversion rate for the whole funnel

-          Total time taken to convert for the whole funnel

-          Drop off points of users in the funnel

-          Pages viewed and time spent on them

-          Step at which final conversion happens. Users may skip certain parts and reach this final          step directly.
-          Usage of different tools used (like chat)

Complete vs. Partial Acquisition: Here user abandonment during the onboarding stage needs to be studied. High abandonment may imply a long or unclear form, confusing terms and conditions etc.

Handy Tools to Use: Kissmetrics, Zendesk Chat

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