What is "testing the waters" (TTW) in crowdfunding?

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"Testing the waters" (TTW) in crowdfunding refers to the practice of gauging interest and collecting potential commitments from potential backers BEFORE officially launching a crowdfunding campaign. This pre-launch phase allows creators to assess the viability of their project and gather insights into how well it might be received by the crowdfunding community.

Creators often create a preliminary campaign page or use a specialized "pre-launch" page on a crowdfunding platform to showcase their project idea, outline key details, and, in some cases, offer early incentives or exclusive rewards for those who express interest or make a commitment to back the project once it officially launches.

During this testing the waters phase, creators can collect email addresses or other contact information from interested individuals. This information can be used to build a mailing list and keep potential backers informed about the project's progress, updates, and the official launch date.

Testing the waters serves several purposes:

1. Assessing Interest: Creators can gauge whether there is sufficient interest in their project before investing time and resources into a full-fledged crowdfunding campaign.

2. Building a Community: Gathering a list of interested individuals allows creators to build a community around their project, which can be beneficial when the campaign officially launches.

3. Feedback and Refinement: Creators can receive feedback on their project idea and make necessary adjustments based on the responses they receive during the testing phase.

It's important to note that while testing the waters can be a valuable strategy, creators should be transparent about their intentions and clearly communicate that the project is in the pre-launch phase. Additionally, not all crowdfunding platforms have specific features for testing the waters, so creators may need to use alternative methods to gauge interest, such as social media or a dedicated website.