He explained his startup was able to surpass its Kickstarter campaign goal of $25,000 by 500% in just two weeks by offering options for backers to add different types of meat to their delivery box when certain financial milestones were met. For example, when the campaign reached $100,000 it offered backers the option to add chicken and pork to their boxes and at $150,000 it promised free bacon.
Given the popularity of bacon in the US, this incentive “was really good at activating customers to share [the campaign] with their friends because they wanted to hit that stretch goal,” Salguero said.
By getting investors to do some of the work of spreading the word about Butcher Box’s campaign, the startup beat the odds at successfully funding a project on Kickstarter, which Salguero says only about 20% of campaigns do.
Tip 2: Team with public relations firm
Salguero did not rely only on his backers to raise awareness, he also invested time and money into the outreach effort, including hiring a public relations firm to help generate media attention to raise awareness.
“A lot of people don’t touch PR or think about paying to get people to come to the site” to view their campaign, but it is an important component of a successful fundraising campaign, he said.
Tip 3: Carefully curate rewards
Carefully curating the rewards backers receive if the campaign succeeds is important to attract sufficient attention, Salguero said.
“You definitely need cheap options in the $1 to $5 range” for backers who want to give some, but not a lot, he explained. For example, Butcher Box offered an “exclusive audio file of our happy mooing cow” for $5 and it added a branded tee shirt for $25. These items have an added benefit of low-shipping costs so they don't eat up too much of the funds raised, a lesson Genki-Su learned during its Kickstarter campaign.
Salguero also had a lot of success with an “early bird” reward that was a limited supply of Butcher Box kits offered at a lower price than normal. These “flew off the shelf,” Salguero said. The early infusion of promised funds likely encouraged later investors and helped them see the campaign as a winner.
Salguero also advised potential campaigns to limit rewards to no more than eight. Otherwise, he said, backers could become overwhelmed and lose interest.
Tip 4: Be responsive
Campaigns can further gain the trust and investment of backers by being responsive, Salguero said.
“You get notifications every time there are questions and you have to answer them right away,” so potential backers understand the campaign is legitimate and run by responsible individuals, he explained.
“The campaign really is all encompassing,” he added.
Tip 5: Strategize before starting
Firms must carefully plan their campaigns before they launch because once the round starts, it can’t be changed, Salguero cautioned.
“Once you set the goal, that is what it is. And once you set the rewards, they are what they are,” he said.
To help formulate a successful strategy, he carefully studied other campaigns that reached their goals to see what lessons he could learn and what mistakes he could avoid.
Delivering on success
Now that Butcher Box’s campaign, which ends Oct. 8, is more than fully funded, Salguero is ready to ramp up his business and help make 100% grass fed meat more accessible.
Salguero said he came up with the idea for the grass fed meat subscription box service when he began eating grass fed beef from a friend with a family farm. He says he could taste the difference and didn’t want to go back to conventional meat, but had trouble finding it in stores.
“In a major city you might be able to go to a supermarket and get a brick of ground beef that was 100% grass fed, but getting other cuts is pretty tough. If you don’t live in a city, it is even harder to find,” he said.
He noted that currently only 1% of beef in the US market is 100% grass fed, but there is an increasing demand for it, especially as consumers seek healthier food options.
To help meet this demand, Salguero is harnessing the bulk buying power of subscribers to source sufficient grass fed meat from a collective of farms in the Midwest. He then divides the meat into the monthly boxes, which will contain enough meat for 15 to 20 “American-sized” meals.
The mix in each box will vary by month and be a surprise, but it will include familiar and new cuts that can be prepared a variety of ways. The boxes will even include some recipes, he adds.
The service, which Salguero likens to a “neighborhood butcher for modern Americans,” also taps into the consumers’ increasing desire to have food selected and delivered to their homes.
Salguero is still finalizing the subscription options, but for now the service will cost $129 month and include 15-20 meals worth of meat packed in dry ice for safe delivery. He also is considering different size boxes and less frequent delivery options for the future.