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How A Waitlist Campaign Helped Swingly Toys Raise $17,000 on Kickstarter!

"I just came across KickoffLabs and fell in love, especially with the UX. It made it very easy for people to share my project, get other folks excited about it... Now we're up to almost 3,000 subscribers on our email list."

Melissa Moran CEO + Founder Swingly Toys

3,000+

Leads Collected

The total audience collected with a KickoffLabs campaign.

2-3

Emails per Week

Emails sent during a campaign to keep people sharing and engaged.

200

Facebook Comments

Comments made to a post on Facebook asking for feedback about swingly.

$17k+

Dollar Raised

Crowdfunding $ raised after seeding an engaged audience with KickofLabs.

Key Takeaways

Build a relationship with your email list, even if it’s small.

Know Your Target Audience

Swingly toys built their product and marketing around both their child target audience and the busy parents too

Get a Testing Mentality

It is okay to test and fail and continue testing. Swingly toys did not succeed with their first kickstarter, but they didn't give up. They reworked some things and made more than their goal!

Done is Better Than Perfect

Getting started and having a task accomplished and put out in the world is better than it living in your head. Melissa was able to share her ideas and build from it when discussing with friends, potential clients, and women in targeted Facebook groups.

A Waitlist Campaign Helps a Kickstarter Grow

The option to have a growing waitlist is an incredibly useful way of growing a Kickstarter. Swingly Toys was able to not only grab the attention of new interested leads, but keep in contact with everyone who took interest to their brand.

Company:

Swingly Toys

Campaign Goal:

Build an audience before and during a crowdfunding campaign to market to that will ultimately purchase the product.

Key Features Used:

Contest Type(s): waitlist

Interview Bio

Melissa picture

Melissa Moran- CEO + Founder - Swingly Toys

With 20 years of marketing and product development experience and with children of her own, she decided it was time to create something space conscious geared towards keeping kids creatively entertained at home amongst the pandemic. Melissa also volunteers and serves as a troop leader with her community Girl Scouts, making her even more keen to the needs of parents and children alike. She created a simple design to transform your child’s space into something magical with minimal space, as well as free resources and games to go along with the Swingly Doorway Playhouse.

Full Transcript



Josh: Welcome back to the On Growth Podcast from KickoffLabs. I'm your host, Josh Ledgard. Today's guest, Melissa Moran's first attempt at a Kickstarter campaign for her company, Swingly Toys failed. After that, she started engaging with her customers online and built a pre-launch wait list with KickoffLabs. This waitlist helped drive her second attempt on to be successfully funded on Kickstarter with over $17,000 raised. It got her a much larger email list that's now the lifeblood of her online store. I love her brand, her story, and how they've taken lessons learned from their waitlist campaign into their audience growth strategy today. Give it a listen and don't forget to subscribe to the On Growth Podcast on your platform of choice.

Josh: All right, I've heard the Zoom robot voice say the recording is in progress. So thanks for joining me today. I am here with Melissa Moran from Swingly Toys and they launched a waitlist on KickoffLabs and then turned that into a Kickstarter campaign and turned that into a store online. And I would like to talk to Melissa about how she did that and what they achieved at each step. So first of all, thanks for being on.

Melissa: Oh, thanks for having me. It's been a whirlwind since we started off with KickoffLabs.

Josh: Let's go back a little bit before that first. Can you tell people a bit about yourself? Like your background, do you have a marketing background? Do you have a technical background? People just like to know a little bit about where you came from to get to the point where you wanted to have a waitlist for something?

Melissa: Yep. I have been working in marketing, particularly in brand development and product development for about almost 20 years, working with large Fortune 500 companies. And it was really during the pandemic that I realized that I needed a new product especially for my kids. That's really where Swingly Toys came through. But I had been really developing brands and products for 20-plus years before I started my idea. So I have a little bit of background in brand development as well as product development.

Josh: Okay. So that explains, when I was looking at your site and the pages you created, one of my first things I thought was, "I really like this brand."

Melissa: Aw, thank you.

Josh: There is something about the logo and the text you used on the pages and the images you used, where I said, "Whoever did this really knew how to create a brand." So that totally explains it. I feel like...

Being able to convey what I feel the brand will do for parents, for kids, inspire creativity, really means so much to hear these words from people and not only yourself, but other parents as well.



Melissa: Aw. That is so awesome. Thank you.

Josh: And we'll show people in the notes and on the recording, if they're watching an online version of it, the examples of the pages I'm talking about. But just, it's hard to describe the visions from the logo to the kids playing to the color palette, it all spoke in a unified voice about what your brand was.

Melissa: And thank you so much for saying that. I mean, coming from corporate and being always in that mindset, and there's always someone sort of approving your work, being an entrepreneur was a whole new experience for myself. And being able to convey what I feel the brand will do for parents, for kids, inspire creativity, really means so much to hear these words from people and not only yourself, but other parents as well. So we're really proud of what we've done with Swingly, and we've done it all from scratch. And I keep we, but it's me, and so many people have come out to really help me and support me and have many mentors along the way as well.

Josh: Great. So you were working and developing these brands for other companies, and what inspired you... First, tell us what Swingly is, the initial product, and then what inspired you to say, "This is where I'm going to step out and do something on my own with this product."

Melissa: Yep. So our Swingly storefronts are basically a modern take on the traditional playhouses. So we all grew up... I was born in 1980s, so I grew up with these big playhouses with the plastic sticks. Then fast forward when my kids were born, the tents were very popular, but everything was so big and large. And so I wanted to condense that, remove the clutter, but still keep the fun for the kids. So it's basically a playhouse that sits right on a doorway. You can also hang it on a closet, but it keeps the imagination going, but removing that clutter for parents.

Josh: Yeah. And obviously the version of the sign up page I looked at talked about, and just so people can hear the headlines, the space-saving doorway playhouse. Which I love as a main headline because you just explain it right away, and there's an image of the playhouse hanging in the door. And then the next two things you say in the headlines are, "Bye-bye clutter, set up as a breeze. Beautifully illustrated, inspires creativity." And you go on from there. And so I think that's a great explanation of what it was, and I'm with you. I grew up the same plastic... Same generation, grew up with those plastic playhouses. I've got now a 12 and 10-year-old, and we had the huge tents and the house was filled with tents and tunnels going everywhere. And it takes up a lot of space and you never want to bother taking it all down and packing it away and putting it back up. And so I totally see the need for the product you're building. Okay, so you had the concept, you had an idea, what did you do next?

Melissa: So the pandemic happened. And so, it is 2020. I had thought of this idea, but in very much in passing and then the pandemic hit, and then me and my husband were here with our kids. Our kids were then, oh, my gosh, six and eight. And so you can imagine, we're doing everything we can to keep them occupied, and all I kept thinking was, "I wish I had the storefront for them to play with." We had every toy outside. We had our tents out there, our playhouses. And of course, when you take it down, they want to play with it again. And my kids have always grown to be like little mini entrepreneurs. They love playing restaurant and shop, but there really was nothing in the market that was really exploring these entrepreneurial play settings.

I was Googling around landing pages and I just came across KickoffLabs and I did the free trial and fell in love, especially with the UX. And then there was this other component of the context and the emails, it made it very easy for people to share my project, get other folks excited about it, and then kind of snowball that effect to get... Now we're up to almost 3,000 subscribers on our email list



Melissa: There was for cute houses, but nothing like we are offering today, which is our farmer's market, our taco stand, our tea house, things that can let them explore these entrepreneurial play settings and learn a little bit more about how to be entrepreneurial. So fast forward, the idea came, I started working with an amazing illustrator who is Isabel Serna from Black Lamb Studio. She hand draws all of the illustrations, then she vectorizes and makes them into actual digital art. And then we came up with four different storefronts, which my kids helped me design all of the themes and all of the cute little illustrations, and even the accessories that come along with it. We found a supplier and then we knew that we needed funds. And so that's when KickoffLabs and Kickstarter came into the picture for us to really build our campaign and be successful towards the end.

Josh: So can you tell me how you discovered our product KickoffLabs?

Melissa: Okay. So I was using a different platform for a landing page and it was a terrible user interface. I am not a techie, I'm not a web designer. I didn't have the funds to hire a web designer as a start-up, and I was getting very frustrated with the aesthetics. As you know, building a brand, you want to make sure you bring mom in and that she trusts your brand and it's able to relate to your brand. So that look and feel was very important for me, but I just was not able to do this freely in this other platform. I was Googling around landing pages and I just came across KickoffLabs and I did the free trial and fell in love, especially with the UX. And then there was this other component of the context and the emails, and it made it very easy for people to share my project, get other folks excited about it, and then kind of snowball that effect to get... Now we're up to almost 3,000 subscribers on our email list.

We did a lot of research also within Facebook groups.



Josh: That's amazing. So where I think I want to fill in the gap now for other users of KickoffLabs is, you set up the page, you like say the experience on our page, and you got that up. You've got these great images, you've got the brand and everything going. How did you get the word out? How did you go from zero to your first 100, 200, 500 subscribers? Because that's where people struggle the most, I feel like, is how they do that initial push to get the first... Beyond your best friend signing up, what do you do beyond your friends to get other people to sign up?

Melissa: We did do a mixture of just organic reach outs, be it your friends, family. We did a lot of research also within Facebook groups targeting mom groups, other... I was part of this mom boss group, where I posted the idea of like, "Hey, you guys think this is a great idea?" And we had over 200 comments just on that post. So then that's when we started to begin to share our KickoffLab webpage and parents learning more about it. We also did a combination of Facebook ads, which we did lead generation to get us to the landing page, but then they would provide us their email address and find out more about what they were learning. But again, very limited funds. So a lot of it had to be sort of organic mining of folks or parents that would be interested in our product.

Josh: So can I paraphrase that correctly, as you discovered where your customers were hiding out online in your case, these mom groups on Facebook. You were maybe part of a couple of the groups already and you also went into some of the other groups and you started or engaged people in discussions in those areas?

Melissa: Yes. Because some of those groups, you really have to be kind of a little bit careful because they'll kick you out if you just promote. But it was mostly a lot of the time I wasn't really even there to fish for emails, I was really there to get parents opinions of stuff. Like, "Hey, I have this idea, what do you think?" Because our original product actually had a hanging rod, like if you imagine a rod for your bathroom to hang up curtain. Me as a manufacturer, I was like, "It's going to be harder ship." But for parents like, "Well, what if it falls down? I could hit bump hits on the head." So then what will be switch over to our Velcro hanging strip, which was a game changer, not only for shipping, but also for the ease of setting up the product. So that's really how we found our way through these Facebook groups to get people interested in the product.

Josh: Oh that's perfect. The version of the page I'm looking at has I think the early version because I can see the hanging rod.

Melissa: Yes.

I mean, it's really being in that testing mentality where you can tweak and knowing your consumer and their needs. That's really where we found a lot of success.



Josh: And I can imagine... And as soon as you just said that, I was like, "Oh yeah, those kids are just going to yank it and what if it comes down and it doesn't hold up?" So you did exactly what I tell people to do, which is all the time people say, "Well, I don't want to get kicked out of a Facebook group for promoting." And I say, "Well, think about it this way, you A, should be having a conversation with customers anyway. B, you have an idea and if you're at the stage where you're trying to validate the idea, you want their feedback on the idea. So you were genuinely posting and saying, "I want the idea and I'd love your feedback." Because presumably they might have something useful to offer. And this is the perfect example. People looked at it and they said, "Well, what about at my kid pulling on that and it coming down?" And you were able to make a change before you had something to ship in the store or you were mass producing more of them, right?

Melissa: Absolutely. Yeah. I mean, it's really being in that testing mentality where you can tweak and knowing your consumer and their needs. That's really where we found a lot of success. I mean, we even asked these Facebook mom groups, I had different packaging. It's a polybag that we ship our storefronts in, but even just a design like, "Which one is more appealing?" And people always want to help a startup. They want to help an entrepreneur. So they want to be able to be part of that development process. And that's another way that I got consumers or moms to sort of join our mission. Right?

Within the Facebook ads, we also had an opportunity for folks to put in a dollar to reserve their spot in our Kickstarter. Which gave them exclusive access, not only to early Kickstarter, but also to our exclusive Facebook group. So I created our own Facebook group.



Melissa: So within the Facebook ads, we also had an opportunity for folks to put in a dollar to reserve their spot in our Kickstarter. Which gave them exclusive access, not only to early Kickstarter, but also to our exclusive Facebook group. So I created our own Facebook group. Well then it was more like, "Hey, come in this group." And then in that group, I got very, very detailed about the things that I was doing, but I created this sort of tribe and community, which then in turn has become... Now they've become my biggest influencers, my biggest promoters of the product.

Josh: Absolutely. I saw on some of the... You'd had different variations of what happened after people signed up and it looked like at one point I was going to ask the question, you were running, getting people to join this VIP group. So is that what that was at that point? Because it said like you can reserve or get exclusive access to VIP group. So once somebody signed up, you that engagement and you were asking them to pay a dollar to get access to this private group.

Swingly status page

Melissa: Yep.

Josh: Presumably then those are your most engaged people because they're willing to put up something to be in this group.

Melissa: Correct. Yeah. And that dollar reservation, we couldn't transfer it to Kickstarter, but we donated to a local charity that actually sponsors creative programs for underprivileged youth. So it was almost too like it's not just a dollar for a dollar it's really to... We always wanted to give back to communities. And within that group, I got a ton, a ton of feedback on, "Look guys these are the colors, this is the way they're coming out." We got a ton of updates. So we were really able to get engaged and they were able to be part of the process. And then the people in the group themselves were inviting other friends and family to join and sort of get the word out about our campaign.

Josh: And were you doing similar things on Instagram? So when I looked at your campaign stats, the thing I noticed is you had a really large chunk of people as you're describing came from Facebook, and then probably about half as many people, but another large chunk in the campaign came from Instagram. So can you tell me about how you were promoting and engaging people on Instagram?

Melissa: Yeah. And so we need to find different avenues to find different customers, right? I mean different people hang out on Facebook, different people hang out on Instagram. But with Kickstarter and my target, a mom, doesn't really typically shop on Kickstarter. She's not very aware of that. So I knew that I had to educate her. So on Instagram, we took a lot of time to do a lot of stories. We took a lot of posts just to educate her and for her to trust us and build that relationship that we were one, a brand that she could trust and two deliver our product when we say we would. So with parents, as you know, it's all about trust building. If a parent doesn't trust you, they're not going to buy that product from you.

Josh: Tell me, so you do this engagement, you're building up a list. You've got both kind of a broader list and then now a VIP list. And you're setting up the Kickstarter campaign, which has its own requirements that you have to do a video. It like you guys put together like a 20-minute video for stuff. And so tell me, what was that process like setting up the Kickstarter?

Melissa: Oh, I mean, it took us such a long time to set up that Kickstarter campaign. It was months and months and months. Before that I had, now my background, I've been developing product and brands for many, many years. So I developed a first campaign in February of 2021 and I did not make my goal. I didn't have kickoff laugh involved. That was just me. And I was like, "I've done this for years. How could this is... This seems like fine." But it's a whole other ballgame. So after that fail campaign was because one, I didn't educate my customer. I didn't know where she hung out. There was the thing with the rod that could have been an issue. And then the price point, because I was making these in the US.

So that failed campaign was because one, I didn't educate my customer. I didn't know where she hung out. There was the thing with the rod that could have been an issue. And then the price point, because I was making these in the US



Melissa: I also learned through research, for the mom groups that things are... It's not very high priority if it's made in the US or not for them to toys. So then I decided to put a pause on it, but I knew the idea was still good. So from February all the way till probably late August when we launched a campaign or mid-August is when we were working really to set up not only the pre-campaign, but then work through the page. We did, we shot video, we shot photography. I mean everything to emulate what the product would be like because I was working with prototypes then. They were working prototypes, but some of them we're piecemealing some of the prototypes together to show at least what the product looked like. We had some full working ones, but not all of the playhouses were ready to be selling at the time.

Josh: Okay. So you had this failed campaign, you then kind of regrouped that's where you started doing the pre-campaign on KickoffLabs and you were able to relaunch the Kickstarter campaign. Aside from doing the pre-campaign probably part of it, so you had a list to email for the new one already when it launched? People always ask me if you understand what percentage of people that you've been in touch with previously were then funders of the Kickstarter campaign? So if you had a contact with them, do you know how many participated then in the Kickstarter campaign?

Melissa: So I estimated myself because of the way that they engage with our email list, at about 10% from my email list would convert to backers. And it was pretty darn close. I mean, with between... If the dollar reservation, it's probably about 30% that will come back, right. Because they actually already took their wallet out for you. And then another 10% would come from my email list. So I think my estimation in my mind of my numbers was like I was going to raise $17,500. That was in my mind based on my email list, my dollar reservations and just general engagement. At the end of the day my campaign I think closed at $17,757 or something like that. It was really close. So the estimate I felt that to me was pretty telling of how I estimated the numbers. So it was about 10% that I figured would come from my email list. My first campaign, I didn't have very many. I think I maybe had like 2000 maybe, and then with KickoffLabs we were able to grow another 1000 or so.

Knowing that we were able to successfully launch a Kickstarter campaign is a huge proof of concept. I think people know how hard it is to launch a campaign, all the struggles especially if you're trying to target a mom because she's not the typical Kickstarter target market. And it's really opened up a lot of doors for us knowing that we've been able to have that proof of concept early on in the product life cycle.



Josh: Cool. Yeah. That's amazing. I see the final number it said on Kickstarter was $17,754 of your $15,000 goal. So congratulations. That's awesome. Was that the money... Of the goal you had, was that just a proof point for you? Was that the money that was required to do a minimum shipment of what you were doing? How did you come up with determining how much money you wanted to raise on Kickstarter?

Melissa: It was really both I mean, but really the money was all going towards building that first inventory and being able to bring these products home for Christmas. So that's really what I needed and then the extra was just extra. But then since then I have to say, even now talking to retailers, we've had some calls of some investors as well, knowing that we were able to successfully launch a Kickstarter campaign is a huge proof of concept. I think people know how hard it is to launch a campaign, all the struggles especially if you're trying to target a mom because she's not the typical Kickstarter target market. And it's really opened up a lot of doors for us knowing that we've been able to have that proof of concept early on in the product life cycle.

Swingly Kickstarter

Josh: Tell me about how you transitioned. You had the Kickstarter, you ran that and you guys ended up shipping... You did successfully ship all those for Christmas, right?

Melissa: Yes we did. Yep. Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Josh: Congratulations. And then that was this past Christmas and so since then, now you have... It looks like there's a storefront where I can go and I can buy them here directly on the store.

Melissa: Yep.

Josh: What platform did you use for the storefront?

Every time we send out an email, we send out emails two to three times a week. And from everyone, we always get someone to purchase a new product or a returning customer purchasing now for a friend or a gift.



Melissa: So right now we migrated into Shopify. It is an e-commerce platform and there's just a lot of companies that work within it. And our fulfillment center that we were working with then also was able to migrate into Shopify. So there was a lot of connections or integrations that we took advantage of and again, I built that site from scratch. Again, as an entrepreneur, you don't want to spend too much time, do your research or spending money where you could do a lot of things on yourself. So that we've been successfully able to transfer over to Shopify.

Josh: And then has the email list you collected before, have some of those people who maybe didn't back the Kickstarter once there was a product you could immediately buy, did more of those people convert from the email list into customers.

Melissa: Absolutely. Every time we send out an email, we send out emails two to three times a week. And from everyone, we always get someone to purchase a new product or a returning customer purchasing now for a friend or a gift. But yes, our email list is our prize possession for sure.

Josh: That's great to hear because it's also a common thing where people say like, "Hey, what about the people who don't convert right away? Do they convert later?" And I think that seems fairly common that there is a segment of people who no matter how much education you do, they're not going to trust a Kickstarter. But once the product is available, they're waiting for that moment and then they do it. And then you said something else which really resonated, which was that anytime you send out an email, you're seeing purchases. And that the email, I think you said is still the lifeblood of your purchases.

We ask for their opinions constantly. It's a relationship that you're building. Imagine people are already shown you interest, they've already given you a way to contact them. So the best way to keep that relationship going is to continue communications with them.



Melissa: For sure. I mean, they are cheerleaders. They're the ones that have been with us from the very beginning. And we take care of them. We give them exclusive discounts, early access to things that we're doing, early access for our blogs, for our free downloads. We ask for their opinions constantly. It's a relationship that you're building. Imagine people are already shown you interest, they've already given you a way to contact them. So the best way to keep that relationship going is to continue communications with them. And I'd struggle with how to write emails before, but if you just write them from the heart and write them to create a relationship, it comes very easily.

Josh: So I wanted to ask about that. And I'm glad you mentioned the downloads as something that's there. I noticed on your campaign, when I was looking at the campaign, you guys eventually set up a landing page, which you called the Activity Center.

Swingly Toys landing page.

Melissa: Yep. Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Josh: And on the Activity Center, you had a place for people to click and download. It looks like coloring pages, an actual printable doorway, a bingo game, and then some other kind of activities. What was the idea behind putting this up?

We love to promote creativity within adults and help them promote their businesses so we continue that collaboration to this day.



Melissa: Yeah. So Swingly creativity, and our mission to do that is not only about playing with our toys, because our storefront is really meant to compliment all the toys that you already have. If you have play fruit and veggies, they go well with that. So it's not a standalone toy, but we know it goes beyond that. Like my kids love coloring. They love printing things out, that bingo game. Anything to keep really the creativity going. And we continue to partner with other collaborators, especially in artists, other folks that we find on Etsy. We love to promote also creativity within adults and help them promote their businesses so we continue that collaboration till this day.

Josh: Were you asking people at the time to... before the launch to download these things? Or was this set up as part of when they joined the email, you'd eventually refer them to the Activity Download Center.

Melissa: Correct. Mm-hmm (affirmative). And then they could free download coloring pages. I mean, it was still during the pandemic. So parents were looking for anything.

Josh: Absolutely.

Melissa: So we could keep them. So it worked out really well. And a lot of our artists, the partners that we collaborated with really appreciated the exposure as well and we just love their art as well.

Josh: No, that's a great.. Another thing that people often ask is they're worried about setting up the wait list, because they say, "Well, how long do I have to keep this email list engaged? Or how do I keep them email list engaged if it's longer than a couple weeks before the product comes out." And I say like, well, if you've got other things that help them solve the problem in meantime, you can give them for free. Whether it's just educational, whether it's videos, you can share those. And in this case it's perfect. You're basically like... I love the concept. You're almost like, rephrased it, as like you're giving away some accessories to go with it because your main product is obviously something that kids are going to be trading toy food. They're going to be going in and out. They're going to have costumes. They're going to have... Playing other games around it. And so to be giving those parts away for free is sort of teasing the main product. It's a great thing. And you're doing that to this day then with the store.

Melissa: Absolutely. Yeah. So we're expanding into a blog as well, but the download center is there all the time for parents to get free printables now, more coloring pages. We're trying to add a couple more games or we're doing some other collaborations. So if anybody out there is an artist that would love to do a kids game or anything contact me, I would love to have you on our site but we do get a lot of traffic there. We're also here to help moms, make it easier for her to inspire creativity and play for their kiddos as well.

Josh: How do you guys focus on driving traffic to your store today? It's a little bit off topic of the launch, but it's something that I know people are curious about. As once they do have the store, what are you doing today to keep people engaged? Not just in the email list you have, but to keep traffic coming to the store so you can keep growing that audience.

Emails are number one. Social is the next. Again, I think it's super helpful to know where she or he or your target hangs out.



Melissa: Emails are number one. Social is the next. Again, I think it's super helpful to know where she or he or your target hangs out. We're very active on Instagram. We just started being a lot more active on Pinterest because we do know moms also hang there to find ways to keep kids creative. We are starting to look into TikTok and seeing how that platform might help us inspire some creativity but our core still remains to be Instagram. We do run a couple of ads, but really we are testing everything because ad conversion right now on socials is becoming a little bit more expensive and it change every day. All of these new algorithms and all these new rules, especially privacy laws. But we are just now really starting to focus on SEO optimization and then Google ads, because organically we've just seen people are just finding us on Google. And so in order to make that easier for parents we're trying to optimize our SEO.

Josh: Yeah. Anything that like these downloadable activities, I don't know how many different coloring pages I've searched for and printed out in the last 10 years. That I've searched for and printed out like any source for them, I'm sourcing nothing. I say like, "You'll find it?" And you're like, "Yes." I will give you my email address. Just give me these downloads. I can print them out. So I think this is a great strategy to have, the SEO behind the Activity Center, behind the blog post, behind creative activities. Because I hear you like just searching for those things is kind of one of the jobs of parenting

Melissa: I know. And everybody loves me on Instagram especially parents. And the last blog that we did was top five, pretend play toys. But every time I go on Instagram, I see these implements of these cute little wooden toys. So I reached out to some of them like, "What are these?" And we put them all one blog post where parents can find them right away instead of digging through the internet trying to find cute block telephone. So we try to create content that our target is going to find useful and share it with others was our hope.

Josh: Cool. And I'll point out, I think the other thing that I liked about the messaging that you guys had is it speaks really well to the mom. I mean, you talk about like the inspiring creativity, but also the goal of like reducing clutter and just saying like... Especially as you said earlier where you were in the pandemic. With the kids not being in school, I was like, "Wow. It's like the tornado hit my house every day. How do I reduce the tornado?" But you hit on that need and so you were speaking, not just about the reasons to... It is a reason to have the product, but a lot of people get caught up in the benefits of the actual product. Saying the product does this, does that, does that but they don't think about the benefits to the person.

Josh: And you did a great job thinking about the benefits to your customer of like, you will be the one inspiring the creativity. You will be the one removing the clutter. You're turning them into a superhuman, like a superhero in a sense. And that was the other thing I really liked about your branding is the way you spoke to your customer in a way that made them feel looking at it like, "Oh, this is going to turn me into a superhero."

Melissa: I think maybe it's just the mom guilt in all of us. You're like, "I'm a working mom. I'm doing this, I'm doing that. I'm trying to be a better parent." And so enabling us to help her to be that by offering a product that one, can reduce clutter in her house so she's not having to clean more, but then also help her child become more creative, a critical thinker. All those things that were important for us to share, because we almost had two different targets, right? The user, the child. How do we get him or her to love this product and play with it? And then mom, right? How do we make it easier for her and for her to see the benefits of not just, this not just another toy that's going to take up more room in house when everybody's doing TaeKwonDo, homework, working, everything in the home.

Josh: Watching my kids doing their in a pandemic, like how having nightmares about both of them doing online gym class at the same time.

Melissa: Believe me. I remember the pandemic I went into my son's room because... he's six, he was in kindergarten and I'm like, "You got to settle down. You have to sit at the desk." And then I shut the door. I went back in, I'm like, "Jack, I told you need to sit." He's like, "I'm doing PE." I'm like, "Oh, I'm sorry."

Josh: Yeah. Same thing. Like, "I'll just back out slowly and let you keep doing PE."

Melissa: Like, "I'm sorry. Okay, go ahead. Keep on with the jumping jacks." It's just a time that I love to pick their brains 20 years from now and just like get, "What did you think of those times? Now what do you remember?"

Josh: Absolutely. I want to be careful with the time and I want to give you an opportunity to... Is there something advice you would give, if there's somebody else in your situation who maybe they've got an idea maybe they've taken to the next step, they have a prototype and they're thinking about putting together an email or starting to grow an audience. Is there something that you would tell them or advice we haven't covered yet? Or you would want to reiterate and say like, "This is really important for you?"

Melissa: I always talk about these three things. So people ask me all the time, right? The three things that I've learned from just doing this from the beginning was one does know your target, right? You could spend a lot of money and waste a lot of money if you don't know your target. Especially how to speak to him or her, where do they shop? Learn everything about them because that'll make it easier even to just write copies. So know them inside out. Something that it took me a long time to get here from this corporate mentality I used to have is have a testing mentality. Get out there and test things, test different messages. You saw, I tested a clutter free message and then this entrepreneurial message. Go ahead and test things. It's okay to test and fail at them and then just retest again. We're not Nike. If it doesn't work, just take it down and start over again.

Melissa: And really, it doesn't have to be perfect. I've always been told done is better than perfect. And that's something that I struggle with even today, but it's something that's always on my mind. And then the third one is really is the email list and continue to build that relationship with your tribe. Like no matter what, even if you have 10 people on that list, build a relationship because those 10 people will then tell 10 more people and then 10 more people. Very similar to sort of the KickoffLab contests, how those work but it really is that engaging and keeping them... Build and continue to build that relationship with them.

Josh: Cool. Thanks again for your time today. And I want to give you one more opportunity. So if people want to either learn more about you, get in touch with you or Swingly Toys, where can they find you and where should they go?

Melissa: So you can definitely visit our website, which is www.@swinglytoys.com. You can find us on Instagram at swinglytoys and you can direct message me there, or you can drop us an email at hello@swinglytoys.com.

Josh: Great. I encourage everyone to do that. It's a great site. You guys can learn a lot from this interview. And when you're subscribing to this podcast, take a look at the show notes and look at everything that went along with the campaign so you can follow along with some of these best practices.

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