I know a few of you are doing crowdsourcing campaigns, and are soliciting some advice. I put this list of best practices together for a (webcomic) project that I'm helping some others take to Kickstarter. These bits of information were culled from the Kickstarter blog, write-ups by folks who have had successful and unsuccessful campaigns, and third party analysts. Some of the stats might be a little out of date now, but should still be good guideposts.
In case it's of service to anyone, I thought I'd share:KICKSTARTER BEST PRACTICESGeneral
Numbers / Data (From Kickster presentation and blogs):
- Build a narrative around the Kickstarter drive. It's a campaign. What's your story?
- Prepare to invest more time in cultivating / maintaining the Kickstarter drive than expected
- Commit to other Kickstarter campaigns. Be a part of Kickstarter community, not just a leech.
- The more people give, the more others will give. Success begets success.
- Better to be almost finished with project before Kickstarting than to not have started.
- Don't ask people to invest in all stages of project. Fund just the 1st stage, draw rewards from 1st stage.
- Projects that reach 30% of their goal will be funded 90% of the time.
- $20-$25 is the magic tier, large numbers of 'casual' donors.
- $70 mean donation. $25 median donation. (No word on mode [I've honestly forgotten what mode even is -- the most repeated number?]).
- Seven = optimal number of (beginning) reward tiers.
- $4500 = average successful goal. $6000 = average successful raised money.
- 30 day campaigns = highest number of successful projects.
- Projects with a reward less than $20 succeed 54% of time. Projects without succeed 35%.
Presentation on Kickstarter Page
- Soft launch before the drive starts.
- End project on a Sunday, in the second part of a month (for people paid monthly, first paycheck = bills, second = fun).
- Donation curve during drive: Heavy 1st quarter, slow 2nd and 3rd quarter, heavy final quarter. Don't be discouraged by fewer donations in the middle! This happens to nearly everyone!
- Interact with donors. Build your own sub-community.
- Multiple social media battlefronts
- A shared link via Facebook or Twitter is almost as good as a donation
- Clear description of where money is going - i.e. a semi-transparent budget
- Profit is allowed, but make sure project funded first.
- Give some idea of how extra money beyond goal might improve project before your take home profit, especially as you near reaching the goal.
- Clear production / rewards shipment schedule. Keep backers posted, re: changes.
- Introductory video - get your big info out front. Use the inverted pyramid, ala newspaper story. Keep video short. One or two minutes.
- All info (inc. video) must be embedded in the page. On-the-fence donors don't follow links.
- Frequent updates
- Steady stream of thanks and new material
- Any additional developments
- New tiers! Capitalize on the fact that they've signed up for email updates to convince them to up their donation.
- Build community! Who are the backers? Engage them! Make them engage with each other!
After the Kickstarter Drive
- Factor in cost of production and shipping reward tier items into donation!
- Dynamic tiers - be prepared to add incremental tiers in middle of drive, based on popular donation levels. Convince people to change donation from $25 to $40.
- Have a dirt cheap tier at $5 with a low stakes reward.
- Have the tiniest stakes reward at $1 (thanks on a website?).
- Higher-level tiers demonstrate the cost benefit of middle-level tiers. They're being thrifty by not spending $400, not being extravagant by spending $70.
- Limited access, i.e. intimacy = low cost for creator, high demand from donor.
- Charge extra for int'l shipping (include in tier description).
- Digital deliverable to all backers as soon as Kickstarter drive finishes, as a show of goodwill / thanks.
- Prepare for 'no-shows' -- people whose donations, for whatever reason, aren't accepted or don't go through (Kickstarter offers no stats on this).
- Amazon takes 5%. Kickstarter also takes 5%. So take home = 90%.
- Update after successful project, once a month, to keep backers informed.