Kickstarter Class – 101 An Introduction

Welcome to Kickstarter Class, in this series of articles I will share my thoughts on what you should or shouldn’t do to make a Kickstarter campaign successful. While I will mainly focus on board game campaigns, most things can be applied to other products. Today’s lesson will focus on what I believe are the three fundamental questions which you should aim to answer with your campaign page.

When I first started looking deeper into the marketing aspects of running Kickstarter campaigns I found the Kickstarter Critique series on Bowers Game Corner. This series looks at Kickstarters from a unique point of view, Rather than review the game itself, we look at the project page from the perspective of a customer. These videos helped me understand that some people shop on Kickstarter in completely different ways than I do. However, most importantly it introduced me to the fundamental questions that he asks At the start of each video.

1. Do I Want It? This is the first question you need to answer for any prospective customer. They need to look at your campaign page and think “This is something that I can’t miss out on”. The best way to answer this is to find the unique selling point of your project. What makes your board game stand out among the many other projects? Do you have innovative mechanics? Maybe you have beautiful art? Or perhaps you have lots of cool minis? Whatever it is, shine a spotlight on it. Show people that your project is one of a kind and that they can’t miss out on it.

2. Can You Do It? Whenever you back a project on Kickstarter there is a checkbox you need to tick which says “I understand that rewards or reimbursements aren’t guaranteed by either Kickstarter or the creator.” Which means there is always a risk involved for the customer on Kickstarter. Your campaign page should help ease the sense of risk of anyone viewing it. This can be easy for those who have ran successful projects before, they can just point to their previously fulfilled projects. For first time creators it’s more difficult but not impossible. Having images of physical prototypes, for example, can help show that you already know how to get the game made.

3. How Much Is It? Once they have been convinced that they want your game and they feel comfortable that you can deliver on what you promise all that is left is the price. Most backers will not be new to Kickstarter or board games in general and will have a sense of what certain games would cost. Your pledges should represent value for money to them based off their expectations. It is also important to note that shipping and any potential custom charges need to be considered into your price too. Your game might be great and well priced but if it is going to cost twice as much to get it delivered people will be put off from pledging.

If you can answer all three of these questions on your project page then you have a great foundation to being successfully funded. We will go more in depth to how you can answer them in future articles along with other important aspect to consider for any future Kickstarter campaign.

As always I will finish with a question for you. What is the most important question you ask yourself before deciding on whether you buy something or not?

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