Indiegogo Crowdfunding Review 2019
Ratings, Pricing & Comparisons
Is Indiegogo the best Crowdfunding website for you?
With lower marketing costs and online technology which allows us to globally connect with customers, now is the perfect time to start up a new business.
However, there’s one issue…
Entrepreneurs need to raise investment funds to get started!
Well, don’t worry – there’s good news!
Let me introduce Indiegogo. This platform was founded in San Francisco way back in 2008 and was amongst one of the first companies to offer the concept of Crowdfunding. Indiegogo provides an easy and quick way of giving people the power and resources that are required to breathe life into their ideas and is available in excess of over 200 countries.
Indiegogo has the added benefit of offering both fixed and flexible funding – depending on what is required. Their fixed funding works the same as many other crowdfunding platforms, in that the fundraising goal must be achieved within a set period of time, whereas with flexible funding users aren’t required to reach their target and are able to withdraw and use the funds whenever they so wish.
What makes Indiegogo different from other platforms is that they offer both a marketplace and fulfillment tools. What this means is that those who have raised funds in order to create a product either by using Indiegogo or any other site are able to sign up to the marketplace and then go on to sell their finished product.
Another rather neat feature is that Indiegogo also offers a non-profit arm – aptly name ‘Generosity,’ which allows charitable causes to fundraise without incurring the usual fees.
With so many crowdfunding platforms available, it can be difficult to know who to choose.
To help you make your mind, I have reviewed what exactly Indiegogo has to offer including what type of crowdfunding it is suited to.
So, if you’re ready, grab a cuppa, get comfortable and let’s get cracking…
I will put Indiegogo through our rigorous testing and will look at the following aspects.
How does Indiegogo perform and what features does it offer to help create the perfect crowdfunding campaign?
Does Indiegogo offer everything necessary that users expect from a crowdfunding platform?
Does Indiegogo offer quick customer support solutions and help, and can users count on them when it matters most?
Does Indiegogo offer the best pricing in the marketplace? And more importantly, what deals are available that can help users save money?
Indigogo is extremely flexible compared with other platforms. Both all-or-nothing or flexible campaigns can be set up together, and ‘rewards’ can be given by choice and aren’t a requirement. It offers a multitude of features including a merchandising partner, product marketplace as well as the option to carry on raising money even after the campaign is finished.
Indiegogo doesn’t charge a platform for charitable campaigns and their fees for both in-demand campaigns and creative projects (run over 60 days) is 5%, and their payment processing fee is 3% +$0.30 per pledge.
Indiegogo is straightforward and easy to use and offers both ‘traditional’ crowdfunding and equity crowdfunding via a MicroVentures partnership.
Indiegogo offers an extensive help section and also provides a contact form, and their responsiveness to user concerns is way above average for the industry.
We Don't Like
Indiegogo was launched at the Sundance Film Festival in 2008 and was originally a crowdfunding platform designed for independent films. Fast forward a few years, and Indiegogo has now extended its reach and is amongst the leading crowdfunding platforms for charitable and creative projects and is available to both backers and creators worldwide.
One of Indiegogo’s unique features is that they offer the option of setting up either a flexible campaign – which means that any funds that are raised can be kept or an all-or-nothing campaign – which means that before any funds are transferred the fundraising goal must have been reached.
They also allow creators to offer rewards (which Indiegogo refer to as ‘perks’) to their backers – but it is not a necessity.
Indiegogo offers a vast spectrum of project categories for approval and when combined with their unique features, becomes a crowdfunding platform with extensive reach and appeal.
Be careful though…
Because Indiegogo is so flexible, this makes it easier for shadier campaigns to slip through the net than they would on platforms that are more restrictive.
#1 Ease of Use
If a crowdfunding site is difficult to use or understand, then the chances are that no-one will want to use it. A good way is by having a look at the startup process, if it’s tough, to begin with then this most definitely is not a good sign.
The question is though, how easy is it to use Indiegogo, was it a walk in the park or more like trying to make tea in a chocolate teapot?
Well, keep reading and let’s find out…
It’s always best to start at the beginning, so let’s look at how to create a fundraising campaign…
First off, click on the ‘Start a Campaign’ pink icon to start the ball rolling. Next, select a cause or project; remember personal fundraisers and causes need to be channeled via the non-profit arm of Indiegogo which is ‘Generosity’ and projects through Indiegogo.
Like many other crowdfunding platforms, Indiegogo lets users sign up by either creating a login or via Facebook. The next step is to punch in the amount that needs to be raised – keep in mind the minimum is $500, then give the campaign a name.
A great feature that Indiegogo offers is the rather unique ‘coming soon’ page. This is fab as you can launch it prior to publishing the finished campaign to create an intense build up.
A location (country, city or state) needs to be added and a category assigned. Deadlines can be included as can taglines (no more than 5 tags per search).
Now for the creative part…
The telling of your story. This is done using multimedia and text introduction. Indiegogo also insists upon the uploading of a video or image together with a card image for its landing page. Now, I have to be honest here, I had issues uploading both image types, and it did take quite a few attempts before it worked. What made it more frustrating was the fact that no error message was displayed, so I didn’t have a scooby doo what was wrong.
Indiegogo also gives users the option to upload extra videos in order to create an image gallery for the campaign as well as inline advice on writing the story including what the perks are, how the funding will be used, why the campaign is so significant and more importantly what the challenges and risks could be.
There is a section for links within each campaign which can be used for any related websites or social media pages where potential funders are able to find further information.
Creating the perks…
Rather conveniently, Indiegogo has partnered with Amplifier – which is a company that gives users the ability to produce, package as well as ship, customized items such as bags, hats, stickers, and t-shirts, etc. Indiegogo members are eligible for a 10% discount when using Amplifier’s services. Indiegogo also gives users the option to set feature perks which are displayed at the top of the page.
It is not advisable to promise thousands of perks, as this isn’t realistic and is something that Indiegogo warns against. It’s best to set limits on the number of perks that apply to each level of funding.
Secret perks can also be added – how cool is that!! These are available via special links and sit in the top spot of the campaign page, on top of the feature perk – but the beauty is, only those with the special link can view it!!
Additional members can be added to the campaign and will be able to access the dashboard. A primary contact is necessary for each campaign; these are published and are so that contributors have a point of contact regarding any issues or questions. A link to the draft can be generated in order to share with friends who can then provide feedback.
Choose whether the campaign is to be fixed or flexible – flexible campaigns can only accept payment via PayPal whereas fixed campaigns accept PayPal and credit cards. If accepting credit card payments, users will need to designate someone to whom the payments will go to. What I found really annoying was that you weren’t allowed to select the primary contact, which meant filling out the same information thrice over!!
If PayPal is to be accepted, then in order for Indiegogo to match the account, users will need to provide their full name and email address that is associated with the platform.
To make things easy, illustrated below is a brief anatomy of the Indiegogo page, which includes the 7 assets that need to be created to post a campaign:
1 – Create a video
This is a really important asset – ensure its compelling!!.
2 – A thumbnail image
As this is the image that will be displayed to potential backers before they click onto the campaign – make it count.
3 – Include a short description
160 characters below the thumbnail image are all you have to describe your campaign.
4 – A custom URL
There is an option to customize the link, which does help with SEO. For example, you might choose to call your page igg.me/at/super-cool-project.
5 – Set both a funding goal and deadline
This is where you need to either select either all-or-nothing or keep-it-all and of course work out how much you are aiming to raise. Next choose how long the campaign will run for, keeping in mind it can’t be longer than 60 days.
6 – A lengthier pitch
Brief potential backers about the product, what impact it will have and what you are looking for.
7 – Perks
Work out what perks you want to offer, whether there will be limited numbers and of course delivery dates.
Verdict – Overall, Indiegogo was easy and straightforward to use as everything is laid out in stages, the only downside was the mystery as to why the images wouldn’t upload on the first few attempts.
#2 Customer Support
One thing that I consider to be really important when testing and reviewing anything is what support is available and what shape and form it comes in. After all, we’re all human and need help at some time or another, and I want to know that when (not if!!) I need it, that it isn’t too far away.
In this section, we’ll have a look at exactly what help and support Indiegogo offers to both investors and raisers.
So, if you’re ready, let’s dive straight in and get on with it…
By crowdfunding standards, Indiegogo’s customer service is held in high regard. It includes a rather extensive help section, and if the answer to the question is still nowhere to be found, a contact form is available which enables users to get directly in contact with the platform.
Overall, Indiegogo’s responsiveness rates regarding the concerns of their users are pretty average. I couldn’t find a telephone number to call and even when I emailed directly through to their system it still took about seven days to receive a response.
What about their FAQ?
Well, not too much to report here either. Indiegogo simply sends automatic answers to any questions asked rather than helping users on a one to one basis.
Verdict – Indiegogo does have various options available to offer help and support for their users; however, the problem lies with the time span that they take to provide answers.
#3 Networking tools and features
It’s always a good idea to have a look at what social networking tools a crowdfunding site offers together with what reporting features are offered. As social networking is a crucial piece of crowdfunding, these features are essential. Also, does the crowdfunding site have an active community and more importantly one that is suited to your cause?
If it hasn’t then you need to really ask yourself, what exactly are you getting from the platform fee?
So, how did Indiegogo stack up, well keep reading and let’s find out…
Promoting and Tracking the Campaign…
Once you launch your campaign, no doubt you will be eager to track where the funding is coming from – either by geographic location or by domain (e.g., email, Indiegogo or Google search) as well as how much per day is being raised. Referral programmes can also be set up to which track success and include incentives.
Based on how much money is raised or via the number of people contributing, referral rewards can be set up. It’s also possible to see a breakdown of all fees associated with the campaign as well as tracking the perks.
There are some pleasant options available to help promote the campaign as well as track the activity. Facebook enables an image to be uploaded that appears when the campaign is shared – this is a nice touch as often Facebook tends to select the ‘wrong’ image. Various social media links can also be added to the campaign, which makes it easier for contributors and visitors to share. If you opt to use Facebook Ads or Google AdWords to promote the campaign, this is able to be tracked via the dashboard, and if that wasn’t enough, Google Analytics can also be integrated with your account! Last but by no means least is the ‘InDemand’ feature which allows funds to still be raised even after the campaign has ended.
And that’s not all, the Indiegogo mobile app, campaign performance can be tracked in real time as well as communication made with any contributors.
So, in a nutshell, users can insert analytics, use Indiegogo’s public API, receive backer information in real time plus loads more. Indiegogo is easy to understand, and everything is spelled out concisely which means project creators don’t get any nasty surprises, which is always a bonus.
Verdict – Indiegogo offers a variety of networking tools and features and allows project creators the ability to project themselves across social media sites as offering manufacturing and fulfillment support.
#4 Platform Fees
Platform fees are when a crowdfunding site takes an amount or percentage of the monies raised for either yourself or your cause, and I guess its sort of paying for the privilege of actually using the platform. These fees can range from anywhere between 5-12%.
Be careful though, as some fees can increase if the goal isn’t met, while others offer an ‘all or nothing’ model which means that if the expected goal isn’t reached then no funds are received at all.
So, how did we rate Indiegogo’s rates? Well, let’s get on with it and find out…
Indiegogo, like many other crowdfunding sites, does charge the standard industry rate of 5% per donation, together with fees for the processing of the payment.
Payments made via a credit card will attract a 3% fee (plus 30 cents) with PayPal fees ranging from 3-5%.
Indiegogo has a small number of restrictions – similar to that of Patreon and GoFundMe, all of which are basically common sense: no fraud, no harmful or illegal activities and of course campaign owners must at all times comply with all applicable regulations and laws.
To make things easier and for the benefit of this review, illustrated below are the fees and terms for Indiegogo’s crowdfunding campaigns:
The credit card payment processor that Indiegogo uses is Stripe and keep in mind that PayPal is no longer a payment option.
Also, it mustn’t be forgotten that once a fixed crowdfunding campaign has been launched and it DOESN’T meet its goal, then all the contributions will automatically be refunded, and no fees are taken.
I’m sure that you will also have noticed that when a charitable fundraising campaign is launched via Indiegogo’s Generosity brand, it will then waive the 5% fee on raised funds. This makes it a superb option for perhaps crowdfunding to meet someone’s medical expenses. It certainly is great to see that Indiegogo helps and supports such campaigns and helps by waiving their fees.
Indiegogo offers their project creators the choice of offering contributors perks – but don’t insist on it. It does, however, recommend it as it has been proven to increase the probability of the funding goal being achieved. They have estimated that campaigns that offer perks generally raise 143% more monies than campaigns that don’t. Up to 20 levels of perks can be offered to contributors which are based on the amount they have contributed to the campaign.
Verdict – Indiegogo’s fees seem pretty much on par with many other crowdfunding sites. What makes them stand out from the rest is the fact that they waiver the 5% fee on raised funds for any charitable fundraising campaign that is launched via their Generosity brand – nice one Indiegogo.
Is Indiegogo the right crowdfunding platform for you?
Of course, Indiegogo won’t be the correct crowdfunding platform for everyone, so let’s try to get down to who precisely this platform is best suited to.
Indiegogo is suitable for those on a budget as the fees are pretty much in line with most other platforms plus, they offer free fundraising for non-profits.
Indiegogo is great for beginners as it allows the set-ups of non-profits and also offers Flexible Funding which means even if the goal isn’t reached any funds raised can still be kept – which is imperative for those starting out.
Indiegogo can be used for entrepreneurs to launch their products with the top 13 being in the category of Design and Technology, however, for those looking for a platform which solely focuses on ‘high impact’ ventures, Crowdfunder might be a more suitable choice.
Well, that’s it I’m now nearing towards the end of this review, and I hope that it has given you an overall idea what Indiegogo is about and what if has to offer. I’m guessing though that the final and most important question is – Is Indiegogo THE ONE, I mean the right crowdfunding platform for YOU and your campaign?
Depending on what the money is being raised for, both flexible and fixed funding is offered along with a load of extra features which include a merchandising partner, product marketplace AND the option of continuing to raise funds even after the campaign is finished.
I must say, that overall, my Indiegogo experience was smooth, apart from the minor glitch with the image uploading. I would say though that for those who might be considering launching campaigns for fixed amounts, another option which should be considered is Kickstarter based on its success record and thorough support.
At the end of the day, Indiegogo might not be king of the crowdfunding industry, but it is certainly up there with the best of them. Specific expertly-conceived projects could perhaps be better off using one of its competitors, but it still remains that Indiegogo is a solid choice. It gives the project creator the opportunity to source funding across the globe, and it really is difficult not to admire them.
Of course, it’s inevitable that there are risks when backers sink their hard-earned money into any campaign, but with the open-armed approach of Indiegogo, the risk is inherent.
Indiegogo really is a credit to the crowdfunding spirit.
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Now, over to you...
Now I’d love to hear from you:
Are you still unsure of which crowdfunding website is best for you?
Maybe you’ve tried Indiegogo before and would like to tell us about it?
Leave any comments below and I will be sure to answer as soon as they come in!