94 – How to Run an Outstanding Campaign on a Small Budget | feat. Elena Favilli

Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls, a book of short stories about extraordinary women,  surpassed one million in preorders, in spite of the small budget that was available for advertising. Elena Favilli and Francesca Cavallo did not expect the success that came their way. But, looking back, they have realized the steps they took that all worked together for their project to become the most funded book in crowdfunding history. Listen to this interview with Elena Favilli to hear the story of their campaign and learn the secrets to their success.

How to know if there is a market for your product

Testing the market for Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls began with Elena and Francesca’s newsletter audience. In this episode, Elena details how they entered into open dialogue with their readers and how that dialogue informed the decisions they made and eventually led to the launch of their book. Listen to this conversation to learn how you can engage your audience early in your project and ensure that you are creating something they really want.

Taking orders before your product goes live – Does it help or hurt your campaign?

Once Elena knew that there was a market for her product, she sent out a Google doc with a link to purchase. While it might seem that this could be a mistake and hurt her campaign, the result was quite the opposite. In this interview, Elena discusses how they went about choosing the people who would receive the Google doc, and how the response to it drove the success of their campaign and helped them exceed their goals even with their small marketing budget.

How to keep the community energized throughout your campaign

Keeping the community #engaged and energized throughout their #campaign was important to Elena and Francesca of Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls. In this episode, Elena explains how they managed their updates and stretch goals in such a way that their community became their ambassadors for their campaign. The engaged community was a major factor in allowing their launch to succeed with a small advertising budget. Listen in to find out what you can do to keep your community energized!

Elena Favilli’s top two marketing tips for people on a budget with a great product

Elena Favilli has two marketing tips for anyone who has a great product and a tight budget. First, do a lot of research for journalists who might be interested in covering your campaign. Second, make your video great. In this episode, Elena shares details about both strategies. She clarifies when and how to establish relationships with journalists that can help your campaign succeed, and describes the most important qualities for your video, which don’t include spending a lot of money on it. Listen to this interview to get the details on these two tips that can lead to a successful campaign on a small budget!

Outline of This Episode

  • [0:18] Why Khierstyn loves Backerkit (sponsor Info).
  • [1:58] Introducing Elena Favilli and the surprising success of Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls
  • [5:56] Elena’s first steps in discovering that there was a market for her product.
  • [8:48] Elena’s story of testing the market and starting preorders before the campaign.
  • [13:04] The process and effect of taking pre-orders before the Goodnight Stories campaign.
  • [15:13] How Elena chose the people for the preorder release  
  • [16:01] Break: BackerKit – How to keep organized after your campaign (sponsor info).
  • [17:04] The value of validating your product and educating yourself on the crowdfunding process.
  • [20:59] How Goodnight Stories kept building and avoided the mid-campaign slump.
  • [22:34] Keeping the community energized through updates and stretch goals.
  • [23:38] How Elena and Francesca used their small advertising budget.
  • [25:03] Elena’s top two marketing tips for people on a budget with a great product.
  • [29:28] How Elena pitched her project to journalists.
  • [32:20] How Elena and Francesca completed their launch without outside help.
  • [36:58] Khierstyn’s similar experience with validation, and your invitation to Crowdfunding Product Launch Academy.

Resources Mentioned


BackerKit – use the code “UNCUT” at checkout to get 50% off of their set up services
Gadget Flow

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Backerkit is a crowdfunding fulfillment software service that helps you take care of managing customer data post-campaign.  They’ll help you with upsells, down sells, changing customer data, and streamlining communication. They are the service you desperately need but don’t think about until it’s too late. They’ve helped more than 2,000 creators deliver more than 3.5 million products to their backers. Get 50% off of their set up fees using code ‘UNCUT’ at checkout.



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