21 June 2018
In this series, I highlight some of the interesting choices made by creators regarding their project’s reward levels, stretch goals, and overall campaign design (the projects themselves, not the content or product). This isn’t an endorsement or promotion.
I backed this project a few months ago. Last week when they posted an update about their pledge manager, they included a note about one of the Backerkit add-ons: The option to pay more for shipping.
For a few different reasons, the shipping costs they charged on Kickstarter ended up not being accurate. But instead of requiring backers to pay extra, they took this approach: “We believe we should own up to our mistakes. You won’t have to pay an extra dime, because we don’t feel that it’s fair to spring surprise costs on you. However, if you’re in a position to help, we’d be incredibly grateful if you chose support us through the S.O.S. [Save Our Shipping] option!”
I really like how they did this. It was a no-pressure way of asking backers for help but not making those backers feel guilty if they decided not to. That’s a very fine line to walk, and I think their wording was perfect.
Trickerion: Dahgaards Academy
I love aspects of campaigns that encourage strong community engagement. The new Trickerion campaign is doing just that with their “Mystery at the Academy” ongoing metagame. Every other day they post a public riddle in an update, formatted as a thematic letter.
Now, we’ve seen stuff like that before. Here’s the really cool twist: Soon after a new riddle is posted, the creators also send clues via private messages to a few different backers (they encourage backers to express their interest in the comments). I really like this, as it creates a sense of fellowship among the backers–they’re working together with limited information, and their chances of success increase if they communicate with each other. Also, it lets Trickerion post public updates with the riddles to draw people in, but only backers (deservedly so) get the full level of engagement.
5-Minute Dungeon: Curses! Foiled Again! Expansion
I’m always intrigued when a project succeeds without stretch goals, and this is an excellent example. The 5-Minute Dungeon expansion campaign raised over $450k (CAD) in their recent campaign, and they did so by including all of the goodies for all backers from Day 1. They kept the excitement by revealing many of those goodies during the campaign and letting backers vote on art/names of cards.
I’ve seen some amazing Kickstarter videos, but few are as cinematic as the Solomon Kane trailer. It’s worth watching for sheer entertainment value. While this level of video probably isn’t budgetarily feasible for most creators, I think there’s something we can learn from it in terms of how it transitions back and forth between theme and gameplay.
What do you think about these strategies? Have you seen any crowdfunding projects implement some unique tactics recently?
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