The Last Days of a Kickstarter

The last days of a Kickstarter are not as important as the first few; but they are still a big part of the process. I haven’t talked about the first days yet, so this is a bit weird for me, writing things in the wrong order.

Still, the process of the last days is currently foremost in my mind, as Location Cards have only a day left; and explaining things often makes me understand them better.

So, what do the final days involve? Well, much of it depends on how you’re going about them, but one thing is always certain: You will get a surge in backing, as people can no longer put off making a decision.

And you need to feed that as best you can…

… the main method for feeding this surge is to remind people that the project is ending, preferably in many of the places you’ve already been plugging the project. People who haven’t seen the project before are valuable, but so are those who have.

Indeed, if you’re on a forum, whether UK Roleplayers, RPG.net or Reddit, the people who have already backed are among the most valuable, because they’re likely to supply positive comments which will attract others. People know that you like your creation, otherwise you wouldn’t have created it. When unaffiliated individuals respond positively, especially those known to the community, the project suddenly becomes much more attractive.

The other huge, and common, force to speed up the ending days is a barely reachable (squeeze¹) goal. The common understanding is that people will push to bring others in, in order to get an improved product. Certainly for base goals this always occurs, the backers want the project to succeed for themselves, and for you; but squeeze goals are not quite the same. The backers should already be receiving what it was they pledged for, and so unless the squeeze goal is something truly amazing, that’s not why they’re spreading the word.

The best backers to have at this point are the ones who both want you to do as well as possible (those who like you not just your project) and those who believe in your project enough to truly believe their friends will want it too.

I probably should write more on this issue, but there’s so many places I need to post about Location Cards today, and I can’t exactly skip the Day of the Doctor, so I’m sure I’ll get back to it later.

Be Well

-Ste

1. A squeeze goal is a goal that grants pre-existing backers a bonus, without any extra pledge required
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One thought on “The Last Days of a Kickstarter

  1. Hi Ste. Thanks for posting. Kickstarter is an extremely interesting phenomenon both anthropologically and psychologically speaking, and in all sorts of other ways, but it’s a huge topic so I’ll confine myself to just a couple of observations here.

    First, the last days factor, the main thrust of your post: for a number of years I’ve sold a card game that I produce at craft fairs and the like, and one of the things that always amazes me is the way a lot of other stallholders start packing up an hour or more before the fair closes. Sure, if you’ve got a lot of stuff- and especially delicate stuff- to pack (I don’t) it makes sense not to pack up at the last minute, but their rationale is usually not that but the fact that ‘It’s nearly over and we won’t get many more, or any more people in’. Not true: at almost every craft fair I’ve attended as a stallholder I’ve found that nearly 20% of my sales come in the last hour of the event. It’s not hard to see why: as with Kickstarter, folks are suddenly thinking ‘OMG it’s nearly over, I’d better get down there and grab some stuff before they pack up’.

    However, you need to alert potential customers to the fact that the doors are about to close, which brings me to my second observation: you need to constantly tell people what’s happening with your campaign, from beginning to end, because most people don’t have the time to be continually checking up on campaigns that interest them, and if you don’t keep all the potential backers informed, especially during those crucial last days, many people who might well have pledged if they’d realised it was coming to an end will fail to do so. They will then be annoyed at the lost opportunity, and who will they blame? Yep, you got it.

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