What Makes A Successful Kickstarter Campaign?

What Makes A Successful Kickstarter Campaign

CreatorClub.com is an e-learning platform for startups to launch and grow innovative physical product businesses using Kickstarter, Indiegogo, e-Commerce, and beyond. Learn via 20+ online classes by industry experts, connect with fellow creators, join community discussions, weekly webinars, and more. JOIN THE CLUB HERE. 

Kickstarter campaigns are a great way for creative individuals to get their amazing ideas running without investing all their money or applying for a bank loan. 

A successful campaign can validate demand, boost brand awareness, connect with a larger number of potential customers and allow to gather feedback, attract potential investors and partners, and more. 

Unfortunately, many Kickstarter campaigns fail, in fact, close to 60% of design-based campaigns never meet their funding goal, and a whopping ~80% in Tech: 

Kickstarter campaign stats in Design and Tech

That means all that effort, months of sweat and tears, and countless resources, was for nothing. 

So, what does it take to make a successful campaign? Let’s find out!

What Makes a Successful Kickstarter Campaign?

Here are 12 traits of any successful Kickstarter campaign:

5 Core Elements Before Going Live

  1. Thorough Research

With enough research, you’ll know how much funding you need, if there are similar products on the market, how much other campaigners are raising, what your potential backers need, and much more.

Keep in mind: Kickstarter operates on an ‘all-or-nothing’ model. If you set your funding goal too high, chances are you won’t reach it . And if you set it too low, you still need to be able to deliver and produce it, so aim to strike a balance.

  1. Market Validation

Before spending months, or even years, and potentially thousands of dollars building something nobody wants, we always recommend running a product-market validation campaign first. 

This is by far the number one mistake we see founders make – falling in love with their ideas, building them prematurely, and spending all the time and effort to launch them, just to see their launch fizzle. 

We’ve built tools such as Prelaunch.com that allow you test your product market fit before you go live.

  1. Pre-launch List Building

To crush day 1 of your campaign, you must set up a landing page (think single-page website) for your upcoming Kickstarter project, share essential product information for building hype around it and present a call-to-action for potential backers to be the first to know when your campaign goes live.

Almost all failed campaigns ignore this step, and they pay the price once they go live. If you don’t want to hear ‘crickets’, you should spend the time in advance building a community that loves your idea. 

  1. An Appealing Landing Page 

This is where you showcase your product and add all the details about the idea, features, and backstory. 

With a landing spot in place, you’ll be able to track who is viewing your website through Google Analytics and find similarities between backers which can help you target them through ads.

The quickest and most effective way to bring traffic to any landing page, is a targeted Facebook ads campaign. We teach you how to set up and run the entire process in our dedicated classes.

We always aim to reach the campaign funding goal within 24 to 72 hours from the launch of the campaign, so reverse-engineer that goal.

  1. Email Marketing Campaign 

An effective email marketing strategy is at the core of any successful project. 

During your list-building process, the more email leads (contacts) you gather before going live, the more people will know about your upcoming Kickstarter campaign.

This step is aimed at warming up those leads so they are ready to buy once you go live. Think about it – how often do you buy from strangers or companies you don’t like or trust?

Your goal should be to have at least 3-5 part email sequence ready the moment you start building your list (we provide word-for-word templates in CreatorClub). 

7 More Core Elements After You Go Live

  1. Having a Compelling Story

Facts are necessary but won’t attract backers. 

It would be best if you shared a great story that will connect you with potential supporters on a deeper level.

  • What inspired you to create the product? 
  • How long did you spend building it?
  • Who is it for and why they need it?

A story helps make your brand more relatable and improves the chance of backers connecting with you emotionally. 

  1. Engaging Video

This is what attracts attention from the start.

The video needs to be of the highest quality (if not, backers may be skeptical about putting their hard-earned money in). 

It should explain how the product is solving a particular problem. It has to hold the attention with an exciting storyline. 

It also needs to be short, two to three minutes (though there are exceptions).

We always recommend hiring an external agency to lead the process. Costs can go anywhere from $5,000 all the way to $20,000 for the highest quality videos. 

One option is Milenium5 who worked on projects like Volterman ($3M+) and PomaBrush ($500k) or LemonLight who have produced successful videos like Winston Privacy ($1.5M)  

  1. Stunning Visuals 

Aside from videos, you need to have quality images taken by professional photographers or that are shot with a good camera and bring confidence to first-time visitors.

One e-bike campaign in particular had a funding goal of around $120,000 and raised just shy of that, mostly due to not investing in a professional photo session and video, as well as proper location planning.  

  1. Solid Facebook Ads Campaign

Facebook is the most effective advertising platform, and we’ve seen a significant portion of our marketing budgets go towards media buying there. 

It’s quick, effective, and you can find your ideal customers easily since they aggregate billions of users and have data points on every single action we take, as well as interests we might have. 

  1. PR, Journalists, and Influencers 

These serve a few core purposes – 1/ sales channel (though not the most effective), 2/ social proof and bringing credibility to the project, and 3/ potentially snowballing the campaign and making it viral (though it’s rare).

Reaching out a few weeks in advance before going live is a must as all of these people are busy and bombarded with 100s of pitches per day (tech journalists usually get 500+ daily).

Influencers are a great way to produce UGC (user-generated content) and use in your ads, campaign, and social media strategy. 

  1. Sound Reward System

No matter how much funds you’re planning on raising, you need to offer appealing rewards at a price backers are willing to pay (preferably with a discount over the regular price).

In CreatorClub, we teach many pricing principles such as Price Anchoring, Add-ons, Upsells, and more, but keep in mind that you can easily increase the AOV (average order value) by simply adding complementing accessories to your core reward.

  1. Keeping Backers in the Loop 

People choose to back a crowdfunding project because they believe in it and want to make it happen. They trust you, the creator, to deliver a quality product on time.

That’s why you should constantly keep backers up to date about your progress, milestones, and struggles and treat them as friends, not as ‘customers’ per se. 

They will stay enthusiastic and feel more invested in your creative project. 

Oftentimes things don’t go according to plan, and you might have 6 or 12-month delays for any reason. 

Always, always, always be open and transparent about your challenges and hurdles – backers will appreciate a lot more than you imagine over staying quiet.

Conclusion

Running a crowdfunding campaign is a challenging task that can easily take months, sometimes years, to prepare, run and deliver.

That’s why we started CreatorClub, to show you the shortcut after raising tens of millions of dollars for tech and design projects.  

The club provides the best industry-tested knowledge packed into easy-to-follow, step-by-step classes taught by experts with significant crowdfunding experience (and beyond). 

Sign-up today and create a bullet-proof Kickstarter campaign destined for success!

CreatorClub.com is an e-learning platform for startups to launch and grow innovative physical product businesses using Kickstarter, Indiegogo, e-Commerce, and beyond. Learn via 20+ online classes by industry experts, connect with fellow creators, join community discussions, weekly webinars, and more. JOIN THE CLUB HERE.