Jumpshot My Heart: A Tale of Kickass Crowdfunding

In light of last week’s wildly popular Colludo post on a failed Kickstarter campaign, this week I want to share a Kickstarter (and fundraising) success story with you. Both examples we have used are for-profit campaigns, but we really feel each project is a great learning opportunity. Here is one that got everything incredibly right. 

Jumpshot: A New Weapon to Battle PC Frustration

The idea is simple, but the product was complex to build and deliver. Basically, Jumpshot helps “unbloat” your PC, tune it up, and generally make it run better, faster, and safer. Sounds good, right? Trust me, it is.

The team behind this software as a service (SaaS) product offering won my support and undying loyalty by:

  • getting my attention and drawing me in enough to became a modest backer (I only gave $35 – in retrospect, I ought to have given more)
  • staying in touch and on top of mind by employing humour, mascots, plenty of photos/videos, karma, great creative content, requests for and responses to feedback, and so many thank-you’s (!)
  • providing a fun and engaging Kickstarter experience from beginning to end

This Kickstarter campaign helped launch the new product/service which (soon after) was purchased by mega antivirus provider Avast (the goal of any startup is to be bought by a bigger fish.) I was pleased as punch to be a part of the journey and let me tell you why.

“Our main focus since we released Jumpshot to you all has been improving the stability and robustness of the software.”

The Jumpshot team gave and gave and gave to their supporters. Free access to the service was initially set for about 6 months. Then, it was extended for another 3 months. Eventually, the extension was increased to one full year. Not only that, but with their acquisition by Avast, Jumpshot offered its backers a free-for-life 1 PC subscription. Incredible. How fortunate was I to be on the groundfloor (for once.)

Don’t bore us, get to the chorus

To follow last week’s post, here are 7 characteristics of this successful campaign:

1) Transparency. As with any new venture, there were hiccups along the way, but these bumps were always taken in stride and quickly, honestly, and effectively communicated to their backer community. For instance, final shipments were a few weeks behind original schedule, but the Jumpshot team was constantly managing expectations via updates and providing further incentives to backers.

2) Realistic. Donor expectations were well managed throughout the process from backing to funding to delivery to now. Jumpshot managed their queue for providing the service to backers with “now serving” numbers published on their website. You always knew where you stood in the line for receiving the service. They were realistic about Kickstarter campaigns when they said, “We’ve seen projects on Kickstarter struggle with the success of over marketing and we don’t want to fall victim to the same fate. Our number one goal is quality over quantity.”

3) Respectful. Even after project was funded, they continued to work hard to push their backers for support with incentives and with “please” and “thank-you”, naturally. This differs from a one-time project pitch – in this case, the pitch was for a product just coming to life and its success would be heavily reliant on uptake from the backer community.

4) Promptness. Jumpshot responded to every single customer request, question, and beef. Not only that, they also provided 17 updates after the project was backed. They made public commitments for prompt and frequent updates by stating during the fundraising period, “Moving forward we are committing to a weekly update each Friday.” And, after it was funded: “To further this effort you can now expect kickstarter updates from us every other Friday, instead of every Friday.”

5) Honesty. It wasn’t all rosy. There were manufacturing delays and problems with USB sticks and t-shirts. However, Jumpshot responded in kind by extending service periods by 3 months – more than generous. They even offered a “holiday IOU” for delayed xmas gifts. Further, when technical issues were encountered, they provided instructions for troubleshooting and invited backers to contact their support team. I even spoke with one of the founders via email in real-time during a Jumpshot scan that was problematic. In the end, great customer service!

6) You not we. From the get-go, this project was a team effort (and I felt my membership on that team.) Jumpshot promoted this idea by saying things like: “Your pledges and feedback have been an uplifting validation that we’re on the right track. We’re dedicated now more than ever to moving forward with our vision.” And, “Just because we’ve met our funding goal however doesn’t mean we’re sitting idly by. We’re working hard to respond to all of your comments and private messages. Your suggestions have been awesome, please keep them coming.”

7) Loyalty isn’t forever (or, is it?) Jumpshot extended free unlimited use from an initial offering of 6 months to a lifetime. Plus, they offered plenty of incentives for signing up new customers. They celebrated their successes with their donors by extending their service far beyond expectations. Simply wow!

Donor Engagement

In terms of engaging their backers, Jumpshot did absolutely everything right. While traditional donor engagement doesn’t start with the ask like a crowdfunding campaign does, I think we can learn a lot from just how well they handled this campaign. This is truly the fundraiser’s dream, and it was well won with hard word, dedication and their commitment to customer service. Not only did they pique my interest in what they were doing, but they brought me right through from modest donor to brand advocate. Isn’t that what we all want? And, laid out, doesn’t it look so simple: great service to your donors will result in big fans of all you do. We’ll continue to support, talk to our friends and family about you, and even write blog posts about how amazing you are.

For more details on Jumpshot, check out these links: