Hey again Kickstarters and gamers,
I hope you're having a great time - either working on your own Kickstarter project, or maybe developing the future's Settlers of Catan :)
Today I wanted to make a "light" article about Kickstarter. So I thought I would give you guys some statistics on my first Kickstarter project - Burning Suns (visit it here).
Ever since I started to look into Kickstarter I've tried to analyse on the results of other's projects and see what I could make of it. That also means looking into already done statistics of Kickstarter.
Here are a few stats of mine :)
Stats from the first Burning Suns campaign
We collected a total of £17.579 of a £20.000 goal (88%)
According to Kickstarter's stats (http://www.kickstarter.com/help/stats), that almost leaves us in a league of our own.
Quote > 81% of projects that raised more than 20% of their goal were successfully funded.
Numbers of unsuccessful projects with 81-99% funding: 48 in the games category.
Statistics I collected for successful campaigns in 2012 (over 220 campaigns in the table top games category), put up against our campaign stats.
Some assumptions on statistics
Yea, it's assumptions I've done based on qualified guesses. It's not stats I've been able to pull, I'm just putting my 50 cents on the table ;)
6.365 people started my presentation video on my last campaign and 24% finished it too (and a small percentage must have seen it more than once).
I have to assume that between 95-100% of the people backing my project saw some or all of the video.
So I've had at least 6.365 initially interested people, of them 272 ended up backing (till the end, read my other post about how many cancelled during the campaign here) - a conversion percent of 4,27%.
A quick calculation tells me a conversion percent of 4,92% would have been enough to reach the goal of approx. 313 backers.
What does the future hold for my next Kickstarter project?
As most of you probably have noticed, I'm currently previewing my new Burning Suns campaign - You can find it here!
Though nothing is "set in stone" for my Kickstarter campaign yet, I've still made some decisions we can put some statistics on.
New goal: £55.000 (149% more than the average reached amount)
Which means that I need at least, 40 updates, 1004 FB likes.. and have to estimate around 623 comments during the campaign.
Currently I'm planning on a 45 days campaign, meaning that we'll have to raise £1222 per day, where the average was £650 per day.
We'll need approx. 860 backers (assuming the average pledge is the same).
If we assume that the conversion rate will be 4,27% again, almost 20.000 people has to "start the intro video"...
Well, as we all know - statistics can be deceiving! As the Kicktraq website is addressing on their blog from time to time.
Of course this is not a proof of neither success nor failure - but I think it's not a bad idea to do some estimations on the amount of work that lies ahead of you, when you want to start a Kickstarter campaign ;)
May you all have a pleasant day - and happy gaming and pledging!
Best regards Emil
PS: Be sure to sign up for the Kickstarter alert, as we launch the campaign.
Hey Kickstarters and developers,
I had actually forgot about this article. Since I started on preparing the new Burning Suns campaign I've probably unconsciously tried to block out the negative feelings or vibes from the first failed project.
But this is no good - you need to stick to the lessons learned, if you're going to move on successfully!
I want to talk about the "cancel of Kickstarter pledges". There's a lot of good articles out there about how you should price your pledges etc., so I'll stick to the "cancelling" part of it.
Hope you'll enjoy it :)
How many will cancel their pledge and why?
The percentage of backers cancelling their pledges is affected by many factors, after all, most of us have tried the same thing in a store where we in the last minute cancelled a purchase.
I've read on other blogs that the usual percentage is about 3-7%
When I started to experience backers cancelling their pledges for my first Burning Suns campaign (see old campaign / see new campaign), I was of course puzzled - "Who in the world would want to cancel their pledge for my awesome game?" :D
After some days it simply became too much of a headache for me - I had to know what people were thinking about my game and why they cancelled.
So I started to contact each and every one of the backers that had cancelled their pledge again.
This is the numbers I came up with.
The 39 persons wrote me many and long answers to my questions, which is why I've combined and simplified the answers into the following:
This is of course hardly something to base a complete statistic on, but it still gives you some clues. Let me try to go through the here, so that we can share some pointers on what to do and what not to do.
(1): With 33% of the answers this is by far the most common explanation, but unfortunately also the only one of the explanations that you won't be able to affect or prevent in any way.
- People told me about their lost jobs, new additions to the family and so on. This is life - and things changes all the time.
(2): A mistake by my part, placing my butt between two stools (read my blog post about that here).
(3): It's not fun to get the "your project is not as interesting as this other person's project", but this is the essence of the explanation, and with soooo many Kickstarter campaigns being launch every week, it's just part of the business like any other product out there - fighting for survival.
(4) + (7): Although these answers are different, the occurred more often than this statistic can show. The "early bird offer" I had on my game was on fire. Which was good in the beginning, when people where arriving at the campaign and the 100 early bird offers where gone within 1½ day.
BUT, here's the catch! People jumped on an early bird with the "just in case" attitude, which meant that people also cancelled their pledge again when they looked closer at the game and understood it wasn't for them - which thereby had a negative impact on the momentum of the whole campaign.
In short: Don't use early bird offers (there are many other reasons I might go through in another post).
(5) + (9): Something you can avoid to a certain extent. You can't please all, but you should do your best.
(6): A problem I particularly face because my game company lies in Denmark. In general our game prices, salaries, shipping and production costs are higher and therefore the game will be a bit more expensive than many counterparts. But of course, this is closely related to (2), it's much easier taking more for a game when it comes with great minis.
(8): An unfortunate snowball effect when people are speculating in the outcome of the campaign and base their pledge decision on that (You can find the Kicktraq stats here). As you can see, I had 3 days in a row with -$200 as the biggest setback. This is a significant psychological setback for all involved, and though I don't want to sound dramatic, I believe such days can cost you the campaign!
Ask for feedback!
If you want to understand your backers you have to get in touch with them, also the ones that for some reason left you.
Here's the message I used, to get in touch with my "ex-backers".
I hope it’s okay I’m writing to you - I’m the game designer of Burning Suns :)
I’m of course watching my Kickstarter campaign like a hawk, and saw that you had cancelled your pledge for Burning Suns.
As a new and small developer, I have to learn fast and be ready to react on situations, so I can stay ahead of the big companies.
I would love to ask you a few questions (it’s of course completely fine, if you don’t want to answer them):
- What made you pledge in the first place?
- Why did you cancel your pledge now?
- What would make you go back to pledge anew?
Thank you so much for your time, I’m extremely happy with all the knowledge I can collect, in order to make my products, presentations and offers even better.
Kind regards Emil, SunTzuGames
Conversion - from cancel to pledge
What I haven't talked about yet - is the conversion from cancel to re-pledge.
Out of the 80 ex-backers I contacted and 39 of which returned with an answer.
The two last answers could be "anything", but I believe that I still had their attention - and this is also important during your campaign.
The really interesting part - is the 2 persons re-pledging! It's a conversion percent of 2,5% which might not seem like much. But every percent matters, plus those persons also have friends etc.! Both persons stated that they were thrilled to get a message from me, showing how much I cared about the project! This is what Kickstarter is all about :)
Until next time - happy gaming to you all!
Best regards Emil
PS: Sign up for Kickstarter alerts here!
Hey Kickstarters and board gamers,
Today I want to talk about the the content of my last Kickstarter campaign vs. the new campaign I'm building.
I'll talk about this because I got so much positive feedback on my last campaign, and yet still didn't manage to get all my messages through to my backers.
As you'll notice with all of my articles about Kickstarter - you can easily find campaigns that contradict my logic towards the subjects when it comes to success/failure.
This is because you have to take so many other factors into account (famous designers, already established companies, viral effects, miniatures*). When you look closer, you'll usually find one of these factors to be a more deciding than the absent of the others.
Be aware that this will also not be factors that you can calculate on to the same extent as doing your pre-production of the campaign properly.
* Especially miniatures - above all else :D
Kickstarter advises and my experience
The Kickstarter team advises you on many points about what your campaign should contain, which is great. What you need to do - is to take that information and streamline it towards your audience.
Many things have changed during the last couple of years - and one of the fundamental things is backers perception of a project on Kickstarter (especially board games/computer games).
Here are the subjects I had laid out in my campaign, below the video of course (want to check out the campaign? Find Burning Suns here).
PROS: I had almost no questions to the campaign in general. Lots of comments on different aspects, but there were no questions to the campaign, what I wanted to do with the fundings or where I expected to get things printed etc.
PROS: I didn't have to use my FAQs section of the campaign, which I thought was a very nice thing. No; "whooopsy, I forgot to tell you that...."
CONS: The campaign page got very long and it was hard to point out specific sections for backers in updates or comments.
CONS: It was hard to update the project page itself with new stuff, without cramming things even more together.
My future Kickstarter project's layout
No doubt that my future Kickstarter projects will be shorter in total amount of "sections", put I also want to reorganize the chronology of them.
Though it's not final - The layout/setup will be something like this.
How to shorten the layout Kickstarter campaign?
There are of course many tricks to shorten your campaign, just like a journalist knows how to shorten or lengthen a news story.
Some of the ideas I'm going to use.
It's hard not to get caught up in "how great your project is", and how much you want to share all your thoughts with your backers, friends and family. But you really have to kill your darlings!
Like me you've probably spend between 1-3 years killing board game darlings on a weekly basis to end up with the product you have now. Now you have to kill your Kickstarter darlings - if you want to see it through to the end :)
Happy gaming and kickstarting out there!
Best regards Emil
Hi board game developers and enthusiasts :)
I hope you're all doing great today... I was going to do a different post for you today, but unfortunately I caught a cold yesterday which made me think of my Kickstarter campaign where I also caught a cold during the fund raising period.
I therefore figured out, that I should talk about the "force majeure" aspects of a Kickstarter campaign. The idea behind the force majeure paragraph in a contract is to make sure none of the parties involved will be responsible for losses connected with events out of their control, like hurricanes, volcanoes, war and similar. In this article I'll cover the minor factors that probably will affect your Kickstarter campaign, but still is somewhat out of your control.
Making room for unforeseen events
It's of course impossible to foresee the future, but planning on a few events will certainly help you when you want to start your own campaign. Some of the following things I experienced during my Kickstarter campaign
There's a wide variety of events you can't control to the fullest extent - and of course these will have an impact on your campaign proportional to the experience, size and flexibility of your team/company.
Some of the things I did to reduce the impact of these events was:
But as I learned through my campaign, this was far from enough if I wanted to keep my head above water during the entire campaign.
What I hadn't taken into account was the impact of things like:
For my next campaign I'll have addressed these potential challenges beforehand - and I hope you'll do the same :)
I few things I'll be planning on for my next Kickstarter campaign and that you might want to listen in on.
I hope these inputs have thrown down some new items on your "to-do-list" before launching your own Kickstarter campaign. My list has certainly expanded since my last campaign :D
Have a great day - and happy gaming guys!
Best regards Emil
Sharing my thoughts, ideas and lessons learned from my Kickstarter projects.