How to Overfund Your Kickstarter Campaign: Part 2

17 October 2012 | 12 Comments

In the first part of this 2-part, pompously titled series (please take my advice with a grain of salt. I barely know what I’m talking about), I talked about the various places that people found out about my Kickstarter project. Today I’m going to talk about the three remaining datasets I have to share. See the chart below.

Location of Backers

This data isn’t all that telling. I mean, it’s amazing to me that 29% of backers were from other countries. It was great to see the localized support, but also glad that the project had supporters from all over.

I’ll revisit this data when I pay the shipping costs to distribute the games. International shipping will widely vary, and I’m sure most of it will vastly exceed the $20 international shipping add-on I requested. As long as we’re not losing money per copy of the game shipped abroad, I’ll be happy. It’s exciting to me that people around the world will be playing the game.

Future Playtesters

I’m blown away by this data. Nearly 90% of all backers will at least consider testing a future expansions? That’s astounding, and I think future expansions will greatly benefit from such a large, varied source of blind playtests.


Okay, here we get into some of the nitty-gritty details. First, it’s very encouraging that there’s such a large intersection between wine drinkers and gamers. It’s a sign to me that there’s an even larger audience out there for Viticulture.

Second, it’s telling that only 4% of the backers are wine lovers. I think part of that is promotion: We focused more on gamers because gamers already know they like games. Among wine drinkers, there’s only a certain percentage of people who know about Euro-style board games. It’s tough to sell something to people if they don’t already want it. However, my hope is that Viticulture will be a gateway game for many people who are unfamiliar with this type of strategy game, and we’ll focus a lot of our energy on wineries, wine merchants, and wine blogs in the future.

Third, the biggest takeway here for potential Kickstarter created is the small percentage of backers who actually know Alan and me. 9%. That’s it. You can’t launch a Kickstarter campaign expecting that the bulk of your support will come from people who know you, even if you’ve already built an audience through social media or blogging.

Honestly, I think that’s a good thing. I think it pushes us to create something that people will freely pledge to because they want it, not because they feel some obligation to support you. It pushes you to make something not just good, but great. (I’m not saying that Viticulture was necessarily great, but because I launched the product knowing that its success hinged on strangers, not friends and family, I think I focused on the right things when refining the game and the campaign).

I will say, though, that friends and family are key for those first few days. Starting strong is hugely important. Spend those first few days sending individual, personalized e-mails to everyone you know who might be interested in the project. Even if it’s just a part of the project. I sent a number of e-mails telling friends that they might get a kick out of my poor acting in the video. I didn’t want to make them feel obligated to support me, so I found something of value to offer them instead. I would highly recommend that approach. Run your campaign like a business, not like a charity. (I say that with all due respect for charities–I work for one for my day job, after all!)

Is there any other data you’d like to know? I’m happy to share anything that might help you run your Kickstarter campaign.

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12 Comments on “How to Overfund Your Kickstarter Campaign: Part 2

  1. Jamey – do you think that putting same shipping cost for all backers, regardless of their origin would encourage more international backers? I’m currently resolving a plan for eventual global shipment that could be done (with some extra work) without making high differences in costs regardless of country of reception.

    1. Hmm…I like consistency, and I think backers appreciate that, but only if they don’t feel like they could have gotten a better price if you had broken it down by region.

    1. George–Good question. I should have pointed out that I’m based in St. Louis, as is Alan. I extracted that data because I was curious if we’d see a significant amount of local support, especially considering that I was on the local news to talk about the game and in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

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