Let's talk about one of the less glamorous aspects of running a business and website: mailing lists. Even when your job is as fun as creating games for a living, you still need to get word out about your product, especially when you're trying to run a successful Kickstarter campaign. Used properly, though, your mailing list can be a lot more than just a captive audience.
1. Announce Your Kickstarter
This is kind of the obvious one, but it shouldn't be overlooked. Remember that, depending on how long your sign-up form has been up, some people might not remember that they signed up for your mailing list, or they might have forgotten what your game is about. Use this opportunity to explain why their getting an email, remind them about your game and get them excited to back it!
2. Give Early Adopters a Sneak Preview
Kickstarter gives campaigners the ability to contact their backers through Updates, but you can also use your mailing list to this same effect. Close to funding? Unveiling a stretch goal? Something new happening in your campaign? Let the people on your mailing list know.
You may get some overlap of people who signed up for the mailing list (get an email) and people who've backed your campaign (get an update). One easy fix, and a cool idea, is to send out the email as a sneak preview, maybe a day or even a few hours before officially announcing the update. This gives the people on your mailing list an extra perk and a feeling of exclusivity, which may encourage them to sign up for future mailing lists, or tell their friends.
3. Stay in Touch After the Campaign Closes
Once your campaign is over, you'll have a whole list of backers who you can contact through updates. Indeed, it's not uncommon to see publishers release an update advertising their next project. But there is a certain set of rules you need to follow when talking to these backers, the main thing being that you always need to contact them through the lens of the Kickstarter.
A mailing list gives you a little more freedom, and a more direct connection to your customer base. Think of your backer list as a customer list, while your mailing list is your loyalty club membership. It's important to note that if you have a mailing list exclusively for one game, you should have those members opt in to a more general list. Likewise, you can invite your backers to opt in to a general list as well (i.e. join the "loyalty club").
In doing so, you now have a more robust list of contacts you can reach out to with future projects, as well as building a relationship with those members. Because ultimately, a successful Kickstarter campaign can rely on email addresses. But a successful company requires passionate and loyal customers.
Incidentally, if you'd like to sign up for our Imperial Harvest Kickstarter announcements(launching February 17!), you can join our mailing list below.