8 July 2014 | 14 Comments
Here’s a little secret about Kickstarter: When you have 48 hours left to go in a campaign, anyone who clicked the “Remind Me” button gets a notification letting them know the project will end soon. However (here’s the secret), current backers don’t get that notification (unless they also clicked the button at some point).
Granted, as a project creator, you can let your backers know via project update that the project is about to end. But no matter how awesome your updates are, many backers aren’t going to pay attention to them at all. So many of your backers don’t realize the project is ending soon.
No big deal, right? After all, they’ve already taken care of their pledge–why would they need a special reminder?
That’s what I thought until a few backers gave me some really good advice after the Tuscany project ended. They wrote to me and said they wished I had contacted them before the end of the project so they could upgrade their pledge or at least double check it to make sure it was correct. In most campaigns, new add-ons and rewards are added during the campaign, and backers might wait until the end of the project to make a decision about adding those elements.
Even with that feedback, I was hesitant to send out a reminder for the Treasure Chest a few days ago. It’s not in my nature to upsell backers or keep asking for more–backers are constantly asked to buy more, add more, share more. I want to make them feel valued for what they’ve already given instead of making them feel like they haven’t given enough.
However, a backer today reminded me of the whole point of sending out a reminder message to backers–many backers want the opportunity to add more stuff. They don’t want to be pressured into it, and many of them won’t add anything. But they appreciate the option.
Ideally this message would be sent sometime between the 60-hour mark and the 48-hour mark. You don’t want to wait until after the 48-hour mark (as I did) because the influx of backers you get from the Remind Me message don’t need another notification that the project is about to end. They just backed the project, like, 15 minutes ago.
So what you do is go to “View Backer Report” and select “Message Backers.” You’ll then choose a reward tier to send the message to. My message contained the following recommended elements, but yours might be different:
- Write the message as if you’re writing to one person, not everyone. I was just talking about this tonight in a YouTube interview with JR Honeycut. When a backer gets a message from you, they’re much more likely to read it if reads as if it was written to an individual, not a group. (e.g., don’t start with “Hello everyone!”) [I learned this from Michael Domeny on the League of Gamemakers blog]
- Be grateful. Thank the backer for making the project a reality.
- Tell the backer that the project is ending soon. That’s the main point of this message.
- Tell the backer how to change their pledge. You do this by clicking the blue “Manage Your Pledge” button on the project page and manually changing the $ amount at the top of the page (or the reward level, if applicable).
- Tell the backer that their pledge is great just the way it is. Because it is. If they want to upgrade, they now have the information they need to do so, but I think they appreciate not being pressured to pay more.
What do you think about this concept? I’m very new to it, so if you have suggestions on how to refine it, I’d love to hear them.
Next: The Final 48 Hours