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The Story of Almendo Technologies and bluSensor

The Story of Almendo Technologies and bluSensor

👏 Crowdfunding

Marcus Harringer

Marcus Harringer

Co-Founder

Almendo Technologies GmbH

We make innovative IoT sensors for smart home, industry 4.0, logistics, and prop tech.

🇦🇹 Salzburg, Austria

📅  2012

🏆 2 Founders

💵 Hoping to raise $35k

The Story of Almendo Technologies and some insights into their Kickstarter marketing strategy!

Intro

Who are you and what business did you start?

Kickstarter Marketing Strategy

Walk us through your pre-launch marketing…

Did you do any advertising for your Kickstarter?

Content Marketing Strategy

Walk us through your content marketing strategy.

Final Thoughts

Do you have any advice for other entrepreneurs about Kickstarter?

What are your sources of inspiration?

What apps or tools are most important to your business?

How are things today and what are your plans for the future of Almendo Technologies?

Where can we learn more about your business?

Intro

Who are you and what business did you start?

My name is Marcus Harringer, and I am the co-founder of bluSensor®, a product line and brand of Almendo Technologies GmbH, and we are located in Salzburg, Austria. We make sensors for the Internet of Things (IoT) and our target markets are smart home, industry 4.0, logistics, and prop tech. Our current sensor portfolio covers air quality sensors, distance sensors, infrared cameras, hygrometer data loggers, and ambient light sensors. We are continuously adding more and more sensors to our portfolio and all our sensors have open APIs and can be integrated easily into any system (from makers to industry customers).

Our first product on the market has been a Bluetooth Low Energy humidity and temperature data logger that can be used with an app (iOS and Android). Customers using this device range from logistics companies or cigar humidor owners to food designers on TV or famous film sets (unfortunately I am not allowed to name it).

Our new bluSensor AIQ we are currently launching on Kickstarter is a tiny and powerful sensor that has been developed as a result of tons of customer feedback we’ve got from our existing products. We tried to build the most flexible sensor that can be used by anybody and everywhere.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/blusensor/blusensor-aiq-the-flexible-air-quality-monitor

Kickstarter Marketing Strategy

Walk us through your pre-launch marketing...

We’ve launched our campaign in November 2019 and it’s currently running until 13th of January. Usually, Kickstarter recommends using the 30-day campaign (statistically more successful), but since this is our first campaign we decided to go for the 60 days. And in the end it was the right decision. There is much more to do, keeping momentum for the campaign than we’ve expected 🙂

We’ve also promoted our campaign on our own website (pre-launch website), where we collected some emails. This worked pretty well when launching the campaign. We had also collected (much) more emails via other channels (apps, free e-books, etc) but we could not use those emails because of new legal regulations (GDPR). We have also promoted the project in our personal network (family, friends, work colleagues) and on social media (posts and ads). Social media did not work really well.

Did you do any advertising for your Kickstarter?

During the campaign, we had always some Facebook ads running. To be honest, I am not sure if they did work well. We were able to generate clicks, but conversion was low.

When launching your first campaign, you will always ask yourself if you should book an agency or use some paid email lists like GadgetFlow. We’ve been in contact with many of them, but in the end we decided to do it on our own for several reasons. Usually, if you do the math and calculate the ROI it’s usually a zero-sum game. You will generate pledges for sure, but in the end it does not bring you any further. And agencies take a lot of your margin (3k fixed + 15%-18%). Why not giving this margin to your backers by reducing the reward price?

And in the end, you should learn to do marketing yourself. Once the campaign ends you are on your own!

Lots of projects are promoting their campaign on Reddit. You should be really careful with that. People there feel “burned” by that (not my words). It’s better to run some Reddit Ads! However, you cannot target every subreddit by ads.

Content Marketing Strategy

Walk us through your content marketing startegy for bluSensor.

Our content marketing strategy is all around air quality.

We’ve written an e-book covering all topics like ideal air conditions, airing your room properly, mold prevention, and much more. The e-book is available as a free download and also available on our website: https://www.blusensor.com/en/guidebook-indoor-climate/

Our content marketing strategy is all around air quality.

Another free goodie we have is our app “bluSensor AIR” for iOS and Android. The app shows you the current outdoor air quality at your location and also the current humidity and temperature levels. The app has more than 50.000 downloads. People also interested in their indoor air quality can buy a sensor that work perfectly together with the app. The app has an integrated airing assistant that calculates from indoor and outdoor air quality if it’s a good time to air your room.

Final Thoughts

Do you have any advice for other entrepreneurs about Kickstarter?

I would recommend the 60 days campaign time if it is your first campaign. You will have enough time to learn how to promote your project and keep momentum. Before setting the campaign goal, you should estimate the budget to run ads and add it to your goal.

Something, we found difficult on Kickstarter is handling taxes and tolls when you do world-wide shipping. You should be aware what backers will have to pay in the end (shipping, taxes, tolls). That might be much higher than your rewards.

What are your sources of inspiration?

My sources of inspiration and motivation are mostly from podcasts and books. Here are some of my favorites:

Books

  • Crossing the Chasm (Geoffrey A. Moore)
  • The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing (Al Ries, Jack Trout)
  • The Long Tail (Chris Anderson)

Podcasts (mostly German)

  • The Hardware Entrepreneur (Balint Horvath)
  • Crowdfunding Demystified
  • OMR (Online Marketing Rockstars) Podast
  • Unternehmerkanal (Hendrik Klöters)
  • Die Grenzenlos Erfolgreich Podcastshow (Dr. Julian Hosp)

What apps or tools are most important to your business?

Google Analytics: tracking website and webshop performance

Facebook/Google Ads: running paid ads, target audiences

Mailchimp: collecting e-mails and running e-mail campaigns

Hootsuite: managing all our social media accounts

HubSpot: customer relation ship management (better to use this from the beginning)

How are things today and what are your plans for the future of Almendo Technologies?

Our plans for the future are to extend our sensor portfolio for much more sensors (radon gas, gamma radiation, air flow, and many more). Moreover, we want to support much more clouds like Amazon Alexa, Conrad Connect, OpenHAB, and we also plan to provide more APIs and development tools to make it much easier to integrate our sensors in your systems, apps, clouds, or whatever!

Stay tuned!

Where can we learn more about your business?

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