The $40m Genius Behind Most Successful Crowdfunding Campaigns

Zach Smith The Top Podcast Episode 178

In Episode #178, Nathan speaks with Zach Smith, the cofounder and CEO of Funded Today, the world’s leading crowdfunding agency. Listen as Nathan and Zach talk about how to grow a list and what makes a crowdfunding project successful.

Famous 5

  • Favorite Book?- David and Goliath by Malcom Gladwell
  • What CEO do you follow?— Elon Musk
  • What is your favorite online tool?— Google Drive and Skype
  • Do you get 8 hours of sleep?— Yes
  • If you could let your 20 year old self know one thing, what would it be?— You can learn much on your own, find a mentor and try to learn as much as possible from them.

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 01:00 – Nathan’s introduction to today’s show
  • 01:24 – Zach joins the show.
  • 02:43 – Funded Today built a big list months in advance before launch.
  • 03:31 – RooSport 2, attachable magnetic running wallet.
  • 04:41 – Funded Today built its list for about 10 to 65 cents a click. With about a 30% opt-in rate.
  • 05:33 – Zach’s favorite customer acquisition channels are Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.
  • 06:36 – RooSport 2 spent about 10-15K to build their list through various means. They raised 50K for the product in the first ten days of launch.
  • 08:22 – Funded Today makes money by taking a percentage of all the money raised.
  • 11:49 – They take about 35% of total sales as commission.
  • 13:21 – In order to know which campaigns to back safely, the Funded Today runs a testing period during which they find statistical significance from their list and project growth.
  • 14:09 – Another advantage of using Funded Today’s services is they’re well connected in the crowdsourcing industry.
  • 14:29 – Funded Today has 31 employees and a list of over one million emails.
  • 14:57 – The business made about 8 million in 2015, aiming for 16 million in 2016.
  • 15:32 – Zach’s ideal client is someone who understands the factors that go into running a successful crowdsourcing campaign.
  • 15:54 – Some factors for a successful campaign are: ubiquity, techie-cool, story-exciting.
  • 17:10 – Genuine stories behind crowdsourcing campaigns seem to have greater success.
  • 20:34 – Famous Five

3 Key Points:

  1. In order to back campaigns that will a nearly guarantee a return, Funded Today utilizes its massive email list to gauge interest and calculate projections for project candidates.
  2. Ubiquitous products that are used widely with an interesting backing story are qualities of a project that would perform well in crowdsourcing.
  3. Social media customer acquisition channels are invaluable for growing a list. Zach believes that Instagram in particular is the next big thing.

Resources Mentioned:

  • Edgar – Nathan uses Edgar instead of other scheduling tools for Twitter because Edgar cycles through content over and over (buffer/others you have to re-input content over and over – time consuming). In the last several months, Edgar has driven Nathan over 3728 clicks that he didn’t have to work or pay for. Here isNathan’s Edgar Content Calendar:




Zach Smith is the cofounder and CEO of Funded Today, the world’s leading crowdfunding agency. The business has raised over 40 million dollars and counting for over 300 campaigns for Kickstarter and Indiegogo.



Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives



  • Michael Ogden and Peter Dean interview creative entrepreneurs who share the stories behind their crowdfunding success and talk about what they learned along the way using platforms like Kickstarter and Indiegogo