16 September 2014 | 28 Comments
UPDATE: Kickstarter now does this automatically for backers, but it still helps for creators to do this when you’re structuring your pledge levels.
I have a tool I’d like to share with you that I think will significantly change the way you look at Kickstarter projects as a creator and/or a backer.
Last year I wrote a Kickstarter Lesson called “How to Get US Backers if You’re Running a Non-US-Based Kickstarter Campaign.” Here is a core part of that entry:
Okay, US backers, admit it. When you see a reward level that says “Pledge £55,” you have no idea how much money that is in US dollars. Kickstarter will tell you the US amount at checkout, but not on the project page. So it leaves US backers confused and intimidating by how much £55 could be. The real answer? Right now, it’s around $89. Here’s what you [non-US creators] can do to help US backers: Tell them the converted $ amount right there in the reward level.
I still think that’s solid advice, but the solution I’ll discuss today makes the need for that extra text obsolete.
The problem extends well beyond US backers looking at non-US projects. Kickstarter is a worldwide platform–there are backers in every country looking at projects from an increasing number of other countries (just yesterday Kickstarter announced that the platform is open to creators in Denmark, Ireland, Norway, and Sweden).
As a fellow backer myself, I still find the various currencies to be a barrier to entry for international projects. This isn’t fair to those projects, but it’s human nature. My solution levels the playing field for any project based anywhere in the world.
The flip side of this is how creators like me can make their projects as appealing as possible to backers in other countries. A big part of this is pricing. For example, in KS Lesson #92 I write about the psychological benefits of reward level prices that end in the number 9 (i.e., $39 vs. $40). But…that’s in US dollars. When backers in other countries look at your reward levels, what do they see when they do a quick calculation in their minds?
It’s a great exercise in empathy to put yourself in backers’ shoes as you construct your project. The tool I’m sharing today will help you do that.
So what is this solution now that I’ve way overhyped it? It’s called the Chrome Currency Converter. You can find it at the top of this page of Google Chrome extensions (there’s also a version for Safari here).
This currency converter was created by developer George Papadakis (I don’t know him). I literally just discovered this today.
The amazing thing about this converter–the thing that makes it perfect for backers and creators–is the extension automatically converts all prices on any website to the currency of your choice. You don’t have to manually type each price point into a currency converter.
The result is somewhat magical. For the first time I feel like I’m looking at my projects through the eyes of an EU backer (when I have the extension set to Euros), and for the first time I feel like I’m viewing non-US projects through an unblemished lens.
As cool as it is, the extension isn’t perfect–due to Kickstarter’s coding, the current funding total will only convert temporarily when you load the project page. It then reverts back to its original state. I think that’s because of the coding behind that number–it’s a number that updates itself without you having to load the page.
But for all other numbers on the page–particularly the reward prices, shipping fees, and funding goal–the numbers convert automatically. And all of the numbers are up to date based on the current conversion rates.
This is, in my mind, an absolutely indispensable tool for creators and backers. I’m going to leave mine set to US dollars most of the time, but when I prepare my next project, I’m going to use the extension to look at the reward levels through the eyes of backers around the world.
What do you think? Give it a try and let me know your reaction.