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09 - Kickstarter Momentum

Posted: Mon Jun 29, 2015 10:21 am
by matt
In this developer diary, I talk about how important momentum is to a kickstarter project and discuss some ideas for how we are going to help create momentum by reward early backers to the project.

Re: 09 - Kickstarter Momentum

Posted: Mon Jun 29, 2015 11:46 am
by evilkinggumby
totally in love with the fact you gave kudos to Lobster in this video. hehehe

Re: 09 - Kickstarter Momentum

Posted: Mon Jun 29, 2015 11:51 am
by matt
He is super awesome, and the time limited early birds as well as the alpha early bird were both totally his idea. I wouldn't have thought of either!

Re: 09 - Kickstarter Momentum

Posted: Wed Jul 01, 2015 1:38 am
by LobsterSundew
Thanks for the shout-out.

The $1 tier
This is a great way to help with the popularity ranking for better visibility within Kickstarter. Kickstarter doesn't rank projects by pledges because that would actually be very vulnerable to abuse. A campaign with a real/fake $10,000 backer would have a great advantage over campaigns without such a large backer.

Kickstarter focuses on the number of backers per day. A $1 backer appears to mean as much as a $10 or $50 backer to the ranking. This is why project creators are getting spammed by people offering to sell them bulk $1 pledges to boost their ranking.

If people don't think they will play the game, but still like the personal story behind the game, then that $1 tier is what they can pick to help.

People short on income that maybe can't afford $10 or $15 right now could get into the credits with a $1 pledge now and then buy the game later when it releases.

People sitting-on-the-fence about the game may also pick this $1 tier, but hopefully upgrade later.

Neverending Nightmares had 257 $1 backers. A bunch of $1 backers helped keep the ranking from slipping further during the trough phase of the campaign. Many of the Kickstarter regulars that check every week and have backed hundreds of projects often will throw a $1 pledge at a well executed campaign or an underdog story.

The $10 tier
The 3,000 slots would contribute at least 20% of the minimum goal if filled. A campaign that raises 30% in its first week has a great chance of tipping towards success.

$5 savings is significant. If Devastated Dreams can get some good launch press then the $10 price should get a bunch of backers who may have hesitated too much if they had to pledge at $15.

On Neverending Nightmares there were 750 $10 backers and 1,369 $15 backers. That adds up to 2,119 backers. Not everyone can be expected to return, but there should also be newcomers.

I've watched how too many early-bird slots makes them ineffective. The hybrid type of early-bird reward that has two conditions for ending has some advantages. Calculating how many traditional slots to decide upon gets complicated.

If the early-bird slots aren't going to disappear any time soon because there are still hundreds of slots, then there is less urgency to pledge than if less than a hundred were remaining. Some campaigns ended with early-bird tier slots still open. Having a time limit creates a sense of urgency to grab the savings before the opportunity disappears. The time limit makes it a true early-bird tier and means there is less worry about having too many slots at that tier.

If there was only the time limit then there is the risk of getting too many early-bird backers. This can harm the efficiency per backer at covering funding distances. Because the hybrid approach also has a hard cap in the number of slots it prevents too many early-bird backers. The hard cap can also create another source of urgency to pledge quickly to grab the deal if the slots start disappearing so fast that it may be full on the second or third day instead of a week from launch.

The $25 early-bird
If filled, this tier would contribute approximately 16.7% of the minimum goal. This may be the second best performing tier early in the campaign to help it get to statistical tipping points.

As Matt mentioned in the video, this reward tier is a way to thank returning backers from Neverending Nightmares. It allows existing fans to join in alpha feedback on shaping Devastated Dreams.

While the early-bird $25 tier is still available, the normal $25 tier should see little activity. The $35 tier should also have potential backers being funneled to the special $25 tier.

This tier is unlikely to actually max out all its slots. The generous amount of slots is so that returning backers that want it should be able to grab a slot. The time-limit is more aggressive than the $10 tier because it is for fans. It might end in the first 48 hours. Returning backers wanting to grab this reward tier can be concentrated very close to the launch to boost the ranking. A $25 pledge on launch day can be viewed as more valuable than a $25 pledge in the trough period or near the end.

Devastated Dreams should have some strong early tiers with this setup. Where planning efforts are being shifted is to the $35 to $100 range. The preview has good enough rewards in that range, but there is still room for improvement to make the campaign perform a bit better. The hard part is brainstorming reward ideas that fit the game and have low costs per backer to fulfill.

Re: 09 - Kickstarter Momentum

Posted: Wed Jul 01, 2015 9:59 am
by matt
Lobster always says it much better than I. :)

Thank you so much for your help Lobster!