Promotion is essential to the success of every vinyl campaign. And because so much pledging activity happens in the first 24 hours, we strongly recommend having a plan in place before you publish your campaign.
Campaigns tend to follow the same pattern
The first thing to note about vinyl campaigns is that they have a predictable profile: about a tenth of all pledges happen in the first 24 hours, a full third in the first 3 days. Things slow down during weeks 2 and 3, and another third of the money raised comes in during the final 3 days. The very last day is often the most active day of the whole campaign. We see about 16% of funds raised on a campaign’s final day.
You can use these numbers to gauge how well your campaign is doing. For instance, you should aim to have raised 10% of your goal by the end of the first day, and if you haven’t hit that mark, you'll want to increase your promotional efforts.
Prior to launch
Before you publish your campaign, you should focus on planning.
Think about your strongest promotional channels (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, your mailing list, etc) and plan out how you’ll use them during the course of the 30-days. Write all your opening posts, tweets, emails, etc ahead of time, and get feedback from bandmates, friends, your manager, and anyone else who might have creative insights about the message you intend to start with.
The first day sets the tone for the rest of the campaign. Be ready! As soon as you launch (i.e., publish) your campaign, Bandcamp will send email notifications to all your followers. These are very effective, but fans will likely respond especially well to a personal message from you, explaining why you're doing this, why it's special, and what their involvement means. So contact them via every channel at your disposal, and above all, don't forget to include a link to the campaign page.
You can also send messages to your Bandcamp followers from your campaign page. Once the campaign launches, just go to the Updates tab, compose a message, and send it to your followers. The messages you post will appear in your fans’ message feeds on Bandcamp and will also get sent to them via email.
Your campaign will hopefully be at least 10% of the way towards your goal by the end of the first day. If not, don’t panic or give up—lots of campaigns recover after a slow start—but do think about how you can adjust your efforts over the remaining 29 days.
We recommend updating your social networks once a day for the first three days, and after that, once a week. Each post should include info on your progress, how much further you have to go, and why people should pledge. Pictures, humorous anecdotes, shameless pleas—the enthusiasm of your fans is key, so anything to foster that.
Remember: 33% of pledges usually happen by the end of day 3. If you fall short of this mark, continue to adjust your plans and messages to increase the odds of succeeding.
Weeks 2 and 3
After the initial burst of excitement and activity, things tend to taper off for a couple of weeks. Don’t be alarmed or too concerned, that’s normal. Any pledges you can get in the middle of your month are icing on the cake. Continue talking with your fans and followers, hit your strongest socials, and use the Bandcamp messaging feature built into your campaign at least once a week.
Still, a note of sincere and breathless thanks to all who supported you is most assuredly in order. It’s also a great moment to encourage all fence-sitters to come down and pledge. Some people, for instance, won't pledge until it seems like a sure thing. So let those people know as soon as it is. The Bandcamp messaging service built into the Updates tab is a great way to do this.
The last 3 days
For most vinyl pressing campaigns, the last 3 days of the campaign are as busy (if not more so) than the first three days. For most campaigns, 25% of the pledges are made in the last 48 hours, and 16% are made in the last 24. So keep up the momentum, keep talking to your fans and followers wherever they are, and let them know they only have a few days (or hours) to get a copy of your vinyl record by pledging to your campaign. Fans sometimes get excited watching the dollar amount grow and will compete with each other to be the one who boosts it over this or that threshold.
In this final stage, you can pull out the stops. One enterprising band live-streamed a telethon. It was fun—and remunerative.
If you reach 100% before your campaign ends
If you’re already at 100%, keep the pressure up, as the best way to turn a profit is by significantly outperforming your campaign goal. When you pass the 100% mark, celebrate, yes, but in a tempered way: your campaign will very likely succeed—that’s huge—but it's not yet certain, given people can still cancel pledges and given that ~3% of credit cards will sadly, but reliably, fail in processing.