Kickstarter released a trove of interesting metrics covering their two-year history. The big revelation? 90% of projects that reach 30% funding will succeed. That's a very low tipping point and just confirms my instinct that the "opening weekend" is a huge pacesetter for the rest of a fundraising campaign. So, here are some key takeaways:
1) You want to reach 30% as early as possible: That means your marketing has to be top notch before you ever launch a Kickstarter campaign. We benefited from a looong, public development cycle with Do. Four years of forum threads, blog posts, AP reports, and countless tweets is a lot of build-up. You probably don't need to wait that long, but make sure people know about your project.
2) Assume you're putting up half: Get good, solid quotes and estimates from your vendors, but assume that Kickstarter will only raise around half of the funding you need. You're doing this so that you don't abdicate your responsibility to see the project to fruition. Knowing that you're putting up at least half the dough keeps you honest and shows the public your commitment to the long haul. It also makes the goal not seem so daunting to the individual backer. And lastly, you'll reach 30% of $4,000 way faster than 30% of $8,000.
3) Reaching 100% is just Phase 1: First of all, congratulations! Now begins a new narrative in your marketing plan. Now it's about offering incentives based on economies of scale at 150%, 200%, and so on. Include a mix of exclusive incentives for high-dollar backers and low-cost incentives for backers who've been with you since the beginning.
There's been a flurry of blog posts from people with their own thoughts on how to succeed at Kickstarter. Each comes from a different perspective and context, so let's take a quick look at each.
» 3 Ways to Get My Money on Kickstarter: Rob Donoghue shares what he looks for in a kickstarter campaign and highlights a few actual counter-examples.
» Kickstarting Do and So Can You: I feel a little self-serving linking to this one, but Christoph Sapinsky breaks down some simple actionable tips that are very valuable.
» How to Succeed or Fail on Kickstarter: An actual survey of funded and unfunded kickstarters in the board and card game categories. Fantastic responses in this post, people. I highly recommend it.