17 July 2017
A few months ago I saw an interesting thread on a tabletop game Kickstarter Facebook group about a service called InDemand. One of the commenters, Vojkan Krstevski at Final Frontier Games, had experience using InDemand to collect pre-orders after both of his Kickstarter campaigns. He had some interesting data to share, so I invited him to write a guest post here to delve deeper into his experience. Thanks, Vojkan!
InDemand is an interesting new tool by Indiegogo. It serves as a hybrid between a regular crowdfunding page and a store front, and it’s typically used to collect pre-orders after a crowdfunding campaign on any platform.
We first used InDemand after our Cavern Tavern Kickstarter campaign:
- Funds raised on Kickstarter – $107,966
- Funds raised on InDemand – $12,785
- Funds raised on CrowdOx (pledge manager) – N/A
- Time – 8 months
- Percent increase on our funding – 11.8%
- Total number of backers on InDemand – 322
The campaign for Cavern Tavern, was pretty simple. We just had one version of the game, with no add-ons during the Kickstarter, and it was not that difficult for ourselves to sort out the pledges of each backer. That’s why we didn’t use a pledge manager, and we were pleased with the InDemand results.
Fast forward one year later to our Rise to Nobility campaign, which was much bigger. As this game was a sequel to Cavern Tavern, we offered both copies of the game, metal coins, custom dice and resources, 2 books based on the games…. You get the picture–it was a logistical nightmare without a pledge manager.
So, we decided to use a traditional pledge manager, redirect everyone over there, and also open up an InDemand page and see how it will go without doing anything to promote it. Just opened it up and forget about it. Here are the results:
- Funds raised on Kickstarter – $370,760
- Funds raised on InDemand – $4,759
- Funds raised on CrowdOx – $48,433
- Time – 2 months
- Percent increase on our funding – 1.2%
- Total number of backers on InDemand – 64
As you can see from the data above, we managed to raise close to $5,000 from 64 backers. Almost all of this is from InDemand’s organic traffic (75% to be more precise).
We had a chat with Nate Murray, head of Gaming on IndieGogo, before our Rise to Nobility campaign and he said that they are working hard to promote InDemand projects and in fact they sent out an email blast to all of their backers (contributors) with a handful of tabletop projects. The result? $3,000 pledged on our page in one week.
The number of backers have slowed down since that email blast, but we still see a couple of backers on InDemand every week, even though every single social media post, every single KS update, and also the KS button, redirects to our pledge manager on CrowdOx.
What would the numbers be if we weren’t featured in that newsletter? My estimates would be around 70% less.
However, the fact remains that InDemand is bringing us customers that we weren’t able to reach. Or to be more precise, that we can’t reach. We pride ourselves in pre-campaign promotion of our Kickstarters, we start with heavy promotion of our games at least 5-6 months before the Kickstarter campaign, but there are still people that find out about our products on IndieGogo’s platform.
I’m aware that this is not a huge number, but also, it’s not something that needs to be underestimated. I remember how I “fought” for every single potential backer during promoting our first game, and seeing we have 60+ new customers brought by IndieGogo, without moving a finger from our side, is a big deal for us and the future of our company.
Key Points to Know About InDemand
- Fast setup. InDemand page looks almost exactly like a Kickstarter page, so it’s just a matter of copying your content from KS to ID. Max 20 minutes of your time.
- Ability to create secret perks (pledges) and only backers with the special link can see them. We’ve sent a link to a secret perk to everyone that pledged at the $1 level so they can upgrade to a full game. Yes, there is a possibility that that link can be shared publicly, but we didn’t experience anything abnormal.
- Indiegogo’s organic traffic. Even though Kickstarter is the King in the crowdfunding world, Indiegogo does have it’s own organic traffic. According to The Crowdfunding Formula, Indiegogo gets an average of 12 million unique visitors a month. As comparison, Kickstarter gets around 27-28 million unique visitors a month.
- IndieGogo is stepping up their game in terms of promotion. Indiegogo wants to expand their user base for this service, so there’s a good chance they may share your project on an e-mail blast if you chat with Nate Murray.
- It’s not a pledge manager. If you are looking for a platform that will let you manage your backer pledges, features like combined orders, changing addresses and all the stuff that a traditional pledge manager can do, this is not it. We used it as a place to sell the add-ons and accept pre-orders. That means you need to combine 2 excel sheets, because you will have one person pledge for your product on Kickstarter, and then order some cool add-ons on your InDemand page. You will have to manually combine those orders.
- Questionable transparency of your campaign. When you visit our Cavern Tavern InDemand page you’ll see an amount of $120.751 raised. But this is not true, there is a small question mark below the amount that says, that $107.966 were raised on another platform. So, the amount shown on the InDemand page is total from both platforms. This can be misleading to people that browse your InDemand page.
- Backers are not yet familiar with this platform. At the beginning, someone will think that you are running a second campaign for your game. You need to communicate this to your backers and tell them what this is really is and what they expect. If you don’t do that, they’ll start asking of you to open up more stretch goals.
- Fees. There is a small but reasonable fee to use InDemand (5% + 3% processing fee, same as Kickstarter).
- No ability to select multiple pledges or to add-on to your amount. If a backer wants to buy the game and order some metal coins, they’ll have to select the game pledge, check out and do it again for the coins and every other add-on they want to buy. This can be quite a hassle for your customers.
Mistakes We Made:
- We didn’t teach people about InDemand. Their first assumption is that you are running a second campaign for your game. Make absolutely clear with them what this really is, and what they can expect (and not to expect). For our first campaign, we didn’t communicate this quite clearly, and there were half a dozen Kickstarter backers asking will these funds open up some new stretch goals.
- We failed to post updates on InDemand. This is another one of our mistakes for Cavern Tavern. We set the page up, redirected everyone from Kickstarter and started accepting funds. But, as mentioned above, there were people that came from IndieGogo and we received a couple of emails from them, asking if everything is all right, because they were concerned that we didn’t post an update on our InDemand page for months. Even though this is not a crowdfunding campaign, post updates on that platform too. Maybe not as regularly as on KS, but inform them of major milestones of the production of your product. Your customers will stay informed of the process and you’ll keep them excited for your product.
Dan Letzring from Letiman Games sums up his experience on InDemand with the following: “I would say that my experience with IndieGoGo InDemand has been a positive one. It was really easy to set up and although I have only gotten a few new backers, I am happy to connect with new people regardless of the amount.”
These words are exactly how we feel about InDemand. If you are here for the long run, and you are just starting, you need to use every opportunity to introduce your company and products to new people. InDemand will help you do that, and it does not exclude other platforms from accepting pre-orders.
Do you have any recommendations for pre-order sites that can bring some amount of organic traffic?