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FAQ: Should you ever buy a backer database?

We have a crowdfunding course called The Crowdfunding Essentials, and often get a bunch of really great questions from people who take the course and who want to know more. In these very short FAQs we'll answer some. Hopefully, these answers prove useful to you too. Check out the video below if you'd rather watch than read the answer to this question.

Read the previous question here.


So here's a question that's rather uncomfortable, but which we get asked all the time: "I know it's not highly recommended to buy backer databases, but if I want to run my pre-launch lead generation ads on my own, and I don't have any customer lists, could I buy a backer database and then create lookalike audiences?

There are companies who are mostly, or primarily, illegally selling large customer databases from previous Kickstarter backers that they scrape from other projects, and then those are either directly targeted or imported into Facebook to create lookalike audiences. The people selling this data are not doing so legally.

Kickstarter has very specific language in their agreement, which states that backer data may only be used to fulfil rewards for that specific project. It may not be used for marketing. It's also not allowed to use them for reselling.

Our advice? One: don't do it because it's illegal, and two: don't do it because the efficacy of those lists is probably going to be really low.

Build your own lists, do the work, build great funnels. There are many ways to retarget backers if you don't have a list yet. One way is to run a traffic campaign to a landing page on the topic of your project. Use the audience that builds up in the pixel as a source for your lookalike audience.

There are better ways and entirely legal ways to do this so I strongly discourage you from buying these lists from these companies. There really never is a good reason to do otherwise.

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