3 Steps to Kick Kickstarter's Ass

Even if you fill your Kickstarter page with an amazing video, eye catching graphics and kickass copy, failure is certain without a marketing plan. Painfully harsh? Yes it is, but so is the reality of your dreams and aspirations crashing into the group prior to ever taking off. Let's stop that before it happens. 

But the good news is that the formula to running a successful Kickstarter Campaign is replicable! So what do you need to know and do prior to launching your Kickstarter? 

Determine Pre-Launch Goals

One of the main mistakes I see when working with Kickstarter Campaigns is that they post too early. You need to be strategic about the process so that you can fully maximize your number of days on Kickstarter. The goal is to be fully funded within a couple of days of launching. This will inspire Kickstarter to share you on their home page or send out a blast to their subscribers encouraging them to back your project.

1. How many backers do you need to reach your goal?

  • If your goal is 10,000 and the average backer will spend $30 then you will need roughly 334 backers to fund your campaign. This becomes Goal #1. To make this simple, here is a formula to help you determine your goal: 
  • Total Goal ÷ Average Contribution = Backers Needed to Reach Goal

2. Determine the number of leads needed to convert into 334 Backers.

  • This will vary depending on the product you are selling and the audience behind it. An average conversion rater is about 3%. This means that only 3% of your email list, Facebook Page, ad, etc. will go buy your product.
  • To be safe, let's assume your conversion rate will be equal to the average. Use the following formula to determine the number of leads you'll need:
    • Backers Needed  ÷  0.03 (Assuming conversion rate of 3%) = Total Leads Needed
    • In this example, you'll need 11,133 leads prior to launch.

3. Subtract any subscriber count that you've already collected.

  • Total leads Needed - Number of Subscribers on Email List = Remaining Leads Needed
  • If you do not have an email list, it's time to start building one.

Grow your Email List Prior to Launch

Now that you've set your goals, it's time to make them happen! So how do you do that? 

1. Create an incentive for someone to give you their email. 

  • This incentive is often called a Freebie, Lead Magnet, Value Proposition, among other names. The idea here is that you create something that your audience is going to want. They will gladly hand over their email to get a free version of what you're offering. 

2. Create a Sales Page with your Freebie. 

  • This is where you will host your Freebie. In order to download it, they will need to put their email in. 
  • You can create this Sales Page through SquareSpace, Opt In Monster, Lead Pages, Convert Kit and many more. 
  • Keep it Simple! You want it to be visually appealing with a worthwhile freebie that is highlighted and featured.

3. Drive Traffic to Your Sales Page

  • In order to collect emails, you're going to need to get people to your sales page. You can do this by promoting your freebie via Facebook and Instagram Ads. The Ad should link to your Sales Page with the Freebie. If your content is shareable then you will get further eyes on your page through shares. This is a great way to save money on Ads.
  • Post on your Instagram and Facebook Page to engage with your audience. Build hype about the Kickstarter and your product.

Launch Kickstarter

Once you have a substantial email list (Ideally the Total Leads Needed number from above), you're ready to Launch!

1. Keep in touch with your email list and social media platforms.

  • Send out an e-blast to your email list announcing the launch of the Kickstarter. 
  • Every week, send updates on how the Kickstarter is going.
  • Continue to engage with your social media channels and keep everyone excited. 

2. Start running Ads directly to your Kickstarter Page.  

  • Run several ads (30 - 100) simultaneously so that you can be testing which works best. 
  • Optimize the ads by making changes and updating them as you go. 
  • As the campaign comes to a close, ramp up the amount spent on your ads. 

3. Even once you're funded, don't stop pushing.

  • Create new goals that you'll do if you reach x amount. Share it with your audience and encourage them to share as well.
  • Ex. We'll create new color options! 

Example

Recently I created the video for Bad People, a hilarious and brutal card game. Not only did they successfully fund their Kickstarter Campaign, but they ended up raising $52,884 above their goal of $10,000. 

Goals

  • They already had 5,000 subscribers on their email list, but they wanted to get 3,000 more subscribers prior to launching their Kickstarter. 
  • With a total of 8,000 people on their email list, they felt confident in their ability to reach their goal of $10,000.
    • Total Goal: $10,000
    • Average Contribution: $30
    • Backers Needed: 334
    • Assumed Conversion Rate off email list: 23% (In the end, their conversion rate was 28%).
  • Pre-Launch Duration: 1 month

Freebie Offer/Sales Page

Screen Shot 2016-08-16 at 2.09.19 PM.png

They gave away a Free PDF Download of their game. 

  • You can see a screenshot of their Sales Page to the left. The Buy Now button was added after the campaign was finished.

Facebook Ads

Pre-Launch

They started the hype with Facebook and Instagram Ads promoting his freebie to acquire 3,000 new subscribers. Mike Lancaster, founder of Bad People, said that his content was easily shareable so it started to take off on it's own without needing to run ads. 

Launch:

  • $500/day for 3 days leading up to the Launch
  • $200/day for 30 day campaign
  • $1000/day for the final 2 days of the campaign
  • Ads running at one time: 30 - 100. 
  • Total spent on Ads: $9,500

Mike gave me the tip to get your Facebook Ads approved prior to making them Active. He had his "Final 2 Days Left" Ads approved 2 days prior to making them active. This way he didn't miss the opportunity to get the most eyes on his Kickstarter.