Kickstarter tips and tricks

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Kickstarter tips and tricks

I've run five successful Kickstarters so far, and have learnt so much from other bloggers and books that I felt it was important to pay it back and share what has worked and not worked for me. This page is a work in progress, and will be added to whenever someone asks me for advice!

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Those were the good...

Crowdfunding promotion strategies which didn’t work

They say that marketing is like throwing jelly at a wall and hoping some of it sticks. I’ve had some great successes with promoting my Kickstarters, but also had some things which didn’t work at ALL. Here are some of them, so you can pivot or avoid!


We’ve all dabbled, and I think I’ve dabbled more than most, but I’ve never had any success with Facebook to the point that it has repaid what I have spent in Ads. I have tried broad reach ads, Kickstarter-specific ads, ads for the games, and ads for my potential backers - none have been in the numbers that would justify the cost. I would humbly suggest that if you consider Facebook Ads for your spend, you farm it out to someone else or play with tiny amounts to get used to the system before your Kickstarter campaign.

Past Backed Campaigns

We all know to avoid the ‘First Kickstarter, 0 Backed’ campaigns, and I try to keep a healthy amount of reinvestment n new ideas (I’ve backed 55 projects to date). On my last campaign, I messaged every single one of the campaigns I backed, asking for a little support and maybe a message in a future update.
Maybe I operate in a different way, but this had a really low success rate - I think two mentioned it on their feeds in the end. Did it come across as needy? Possibly. Did I think it would help sales? Yes, because these were often in the same games realm as my backers, and had obviously gotten over the first crowdfund hump. I may well do this next time, but have parked the idea for now.

Ask to Share the CAMPAIGN

This is an important distinction - if all every update is features a ‘please share this campaign’ I fear this fall on deaf ears. Kickstarter make it so easy for people to share a campaign. I’m at about 1,000 backers over five projects now, and I think this has only happened a handful of times.
You have to learn to restrain yourself from asking and instead incentivise the share. Jamie Stonemaier recommends only asking to share the campaign to your existing backers once, and I’m inclined to agree.
Instead, try and make a product/game/campaign so ridiculously engaging that you want to share it with the world. For my current campaign, I have three different activities which have had backers constantly talking about the campaign, talking to each other, building small communities and revisiting the page. NONE of this is about buying more or finding more backers, yet that is what has happened, constantly.

Make your game hyper local

One of my capmaigns was for Pouroboros - a set of nine beer coasters with puzzles on them, which led you on a drinking route around London. Superb fun in theory - fatal in terms of reach. While I was proud that it was the highest percentage of backers from the UK, I really should have taken a step back and had it as Nine modern wonders of the world, or Nine major capitals. Feedback during the campaign made me realise how off-putting using London was. There’s just a disconnect if you are in Seattle, Berlin or Tokyo. It feels too distant.
That is not to say I wouldn’t make a local game again, but I would definitely scale it back further, or make it more adaptable, so I could have had a London edition, a New York Edition, and so forth.