Article #9 – Speed Tips

A list of short to-the-point tips in relative order of Kickstarter Chronology that don’t quite warrant their own major Article.

  • Seeing the forest from the trees is never easy.  Let plenty of people give feedback on your Kickstarter Preview Page; not just your friends who never Kickstarted, but friends that have Kickstarter experience  (…me?).  They each will find something you overlooked.  And they’ll do it just because the like helping people.  It also helps them feel a part of it before it even goes live.
  • Arrange your page with a short CATCHY welcome at the top; followed immediately by details about the game; with reviews, stretch goals, and add ons near the bottom.  The non-game stuff (like kicktraq links, “About Us” section, and misc other stuff you feel the need to share should be at the very very bottom).  Note: “Risks and Challenges” is always at the very bottom and can’t be moved.
  • Kickstarter’s main column of information is 680 pixels wide in full size.  Design your images at 680px wide or KS will resize them.  This is not an issue for most art, but resized text in your images tends to get blurry.
  • Create your own website that has at least 1 major area dedicated to the project where people can find out more information, see more pictures, find out about you, and all that jazz that is too wordy, long, or excessively detailed for the main KS page.  Thus, you keep your KS page crisp and easy to look at.  “…visit our webpage for more information…”
  • Be aware that Kickstarter functions on USA East Coast time (GMT – 4:00), regardless of where you are. Plan accordingly.
  • Monday and Saturday are some of the busiest days for Kickstarter.  You’ll see pledge spikes on these days.  Tuesdays trend above average also.  Use that to your advantage.
  • Launch at 12:01am on a Monday Morning. (East Coast time).  You’ll catch Europe’s Monday workday, along with that of the USA.  This will also help align your “Final Day” date correctly; else Kickstarter will state a different end date than the one for your more westerly Time Zone (where applicable).
  • Bear in mind the 48 hour reminder that “watchers” will get who click that “Remind Me” Star.  This the the reason for the famous final 2 day rush.  Plan your campaign length to make sure that the 48 hour reminder goes out on good day (Monday/Friday/Sat) with a good day that follows (Tuesday/Sat/Sunday) to close on. Launching at 12:01am makes the 48 Hour Reminder go out at a sweet time as well.  (Sunday is come-or-go for Kickstarter, use with caution.)
  • Therefore: Saturdays and Tuesdays are good days to end (Reminder on Fri with a close on Sat; or Reminder on a Monday with a close on a Tuesday.)
  • Don’t end on a major Holiday, or on Black Friday.  If it’s a traditional day for people to be away from the computer they’re not pledging.  Nobody is going to choose you over Christmas Mass or even 70% off at Target; nothing personal.
  • Remember that profit comes after the campaign, not from it directly.
  • Kickstarter takes 10% of the final amount, that means you should add your total financial needs, and add 11.2% to that total; that’ll be the 10% for Kickstarter.
  • Plan for shipping costs.  It can cost roughly as much as manufacturing for a big-box game.  See our Budget Page for help here.  TKA’s shipping bill is to the tune of $24,000.
  • Double check everything with your manufacturer during the quoting process.  They’re human too and can make mistakes.  Make sure they fully understand your needs in no uncertain terms, and make no assumptions.  You can protect yourself, your company, and your backers this way.
  • Advertise.  What we see, and see often, we trust more.  Contact sites early; many book up early or take a few days to process.  Concentrate advertising during the beginning and the end, with sprinkles in the middle.
  • Change your ad image at least once during the campaign.  A great mid-campaign slump killer.
  • Create Bitly.com links for everything you link to.  Learn who’s clicking what and where and when, especially your advert links!
  • Use Kicktraq.  Post their link on your Kickstarter page (at the very bottom); doing so will increase your ratings on their site, and brings Adam, who offers his services for free, a little extra traffic.  –  Make sure Kicktraq knows about you the very moment you launch.
  • Get art & reviews long before you launch.  If they are video reviews, request that they finish the video but wait to post it until launch day (or stagger them if you have multiple).  The same can be done for written reviews.
  • Avoid launching in July unless you’ve got a summer based item.  It’s both Convention season, and everyone’s spending their extra income going to Disney World.
  • Engage your comments section DAILY.  Encourage it as a welcome place for ethusiastic posts, and make those that post feedback feel welcome for leaving it; because they should be.
  • Make each Kickstarter Update NEW.  Repeating boring text gets… boring.  Include new art each time if you can, so people enjoy reading them.
  • Consider using www.EmailMeForm.com for Pledge Management.  It’s our little secret, and you’ll save that precious 1%.  Tell Elkin I sent you.
  • Add Ons only print in sets of 1500 from most major manufacturers.  If you only sell 200 during the campaign, you’re still printing 1500.  That is 1) expensive; and 2) means you’ll have stuff left over to sell afterwards.  Be aware of that con and pro.
  • Rearrange your page order once you’re within 20-25% of funding.  Put your stretch Goals and Add Ons just below your welcome pitch; as this is when they become most relevant.
  • Prep your “Unlocked” images for your Stretch Goals in advance.  You might rip through them quickly, and now that you’re picking up steam, you want this time to answer email questions and comments.
  • Prepare your “Final Days” and “Final Day” Kickstarter image in advance.  Post them hours before they’re accurate in your time zone.  1) You don’t want them to be late.  2) They bring attention. 3) There’s a lot of the world that is hours ahead of you; it’s true somewhere.
  • Don’t freak out in the final hours of your campaign hoping for more pledges.  It’s not worth it.  Choose to be content in the last 2 to 3 hours and enjoy the party in the comments section.  (I made this decision in the final hour to save myself a heart attack.  It was one of the best choices I made the whole campaign.  Now I’m still alive to follow through!)
  • Thank your backers by name.  They’re people.  People with family and friends and jobs and budgets and faces just like you.  You don’t need to meet them in person to treat them as valuable as they are.

Click here to be brought to Article #10: Kickstarter Advice Panels FAQ – Where I post the Qs & As from all of our Live Convention Advice events, often with guest panelists.

 

 

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