Kickstarter Lesson #148: Google Analytics

5 May 2015

Google-AnalyticsSince its inception, Kickstarter has made it a bit difficult to find out exactly where backers come from. Each project dashboard provides some referral data, but its often convoluted.

This is still a bit of an issue, but last week Kickstarter announced a big step in the right direction: Creators can now link their project page to Google Analytics.

Google Analytics tracks and compiles data about each and every person who visits your website (age, location, the referral website, links clicked, etc.). It shows you how many people have visited the website and how they’re interacting with it.

For a Kickstarter project, the more data you have about your visitors, the better. The referrals stand out as the key data point, especially as you determine which interviews, articles, reviews, and ads are resulting in actual traffic.

It’s also helpful to see which links people are clicking on, especially in comparison to one another. You might see that people are clicking a link way down at the bottom of the project page more than links at the top, indicating that the link at the bottom is more interesting and you should elevate it.

You might also see a lot of traffic on one day and not another, and you can try to figure out why.

Even though I’m not currently running a Kickstarter campaign, I’ve added Google Analytics to all of my previous campaigns, as I want to continue to learn about consumer behavior post-project as I plan my retail strategy.

There’s a fantastic article on the Spellforge Games website about setting up Google Analytics, but I’ll highlight the key points here:

  1. After signing up for Google Analytics (it’s free), click on the Admin tab at the top of the page.
  2. On the left side of the page under Account, select “Create New Account” and name it “Kickstarter.”
  3. After entering the basic information, go back to the Admin tab, look at the middle column under Property, and click “Select new property.” Enter the basic information about your project page.
  4. You’ll be presented with a short code (11 digits). Copy that code and go to the Dashboard on your Kickstarter project page. Scroll down until you get to Google Analytics, then enter the code.
  5. Wait a day or two for the data to start compiling, then revel in all of that information like Scrooge McDuck in a pool of gold coins.

I think I’ve barely tapped into the wealth of information that Google Analytics can provide. The Spellforge article goes into much more detail, and if you know a lot about it, feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.

32 Comments on “Kickstarter Lesson #148: Google Analytics

    1. I think this will give us a much more granular view of where our backers come from, both from a fulfillment and outreach standpoint. Not only will we be able to view referrals from users and use this for future prospecting and outreach, we will also be able to see with much greater detail what part of the world users are coming from and how they interact with your campaign.

  1. Thanks for the mention and the great summary! I would be interested to hear how many converting referrals you get from your own site to your Kickstarter campaigns, Jamey. It gives a lot more context to the idea of promoting a community for your brand :)

    1. Larry: Thanks for the detailed blog entry! It has been interesting seeing Kickstarter’s info about referrals from my site, but I hope to learn a lot more than the generic “direct referral” category on their dashboard that tells me basically nothing. :)

  2. I had an idea with this new Google Analytics integration and would love some feedback. Now that a person can create custom URLs and track them to conversion….. What are your thoughts on incentivising a person to get a free game if they can find enough people to back at a certain reward level?

    Example:
    Create a custom URL and send it to “Suzi” who wants to try for a free game. If, for example, Suzi gets 15 people (or whatever number is decided) to use her custom URL to back the kickstarter game then Suzi would get a free game and we would get more backers.

    1. Kevin: That’s a really neat idea. A few thoughts come to mind:

      1. Kickstarter is a little weird about contests. I think the heart of their guidelines about contests are to prevent lotteries and random selections, so your system shouldn’t be a problem. But you never know–I would suggest running it by them first.

      2. Just so simplify things, I would give your most influential supporters an extra copy of the game rather than making their reward free. Thus it can simply be a nice surprise at the end of the project when they learn that they get an extra copy (instead of dealing with refunds or unmet expectations).

      3. Custom URLs can track traffic, but I don’t think they can track actual conversion. How will you know who backs the project after clicking the link? Perhaps instead of tracking conversation, you can simply track clickthroughs from unique IPs.

      4. How will you make and distribute individual URLs to every backer? Perhaps by request? Or you could create a Google Spreadsheet with 50 custom URLs listed in rows 1-50. Any backer can claim one of the URLs on the spreadsheet and use it to share the project.

      Let me know when you decide how to implement this, and I’d love to hear about the results!

      1. Just a thought as to the potential upside here: It seems like it would be a great way to incentivise backers who want to support you as much as they can, but aren’t able to back at a level that would get them the game.

        And if you’re small enough to still be sending out personalized messages to backers, it would be pretty easy to send them their referral link in the message, wouldn’t it?

        The sticking point would probably be the question of whether or not Kickstarter would view this as a contest, but I suspect if it was available to all backers they likely wouldn’t?

  3. Jamey: thanks for your response! So….

    1. I just contacted Kickstarter to get an answer on this :-)

    2. I like this a lot!!

    3. I think it is possible to track conversions. I was listening to “Funding the Dream” with Richard Bliss and he had Larry Lembcke on Episode 249. Larry indicated that it was possible and wrote a post about it on his site. He said, “There is a little set up involved in tracking conversions, but it is pretty easy.”

    4. My first thought would be if an individual requested it then I would create a custom URL, but I like the idea of creating a google spreadsheet. I’ll think more about the distribution of URLs.

  4. So, I just heard back from Kickstarter. Here is what they said, “Note that contests, giveaways and other promotions which offer prizes or rewards are not permitted on Kickstarter. However, lots of projects do find creative ways to get backers involved without offering prizes.” …..Bummer

  5. Do I need to wait until my campaign is live to set up Google Analytics for it? I’m trying to set it up for my campaign’s preview (hoping it will just carry over), but that isn’t working. Is this one of the things I’ll just need to set up the minute after I launch?

        1. Jamey: Thank you so much for sharing these information!

          Matt:
          I happened to have the same question. I emailed Kickstarter team and asked them if I can use Google Analytics to track my preview page before I launch.Here is their reply:

          “Hi there,

          In order for Google Analytics to properly track your campaign, you’ll need to enter your project URL. If your project hasn’t gone live yet you can enter your preview URL, which you can find in the ‘Preview’ tab of your project edit. Once you’ve gone live, you’ll want to go back and enter your full project URL.

          To set up Google Analytics, just enter your tracking ID on the “About You” tab when you’re setting up your project. If you’ve already launched your project, you can enter this information through your creator dashboard.”

          Hope this helps!

  6. Jamey, in KS analytics, one category says direct traffic (no data), or some such. Is that Twitter possibly? Every other source is identified, like FB, own website, etc. Wondering what that is. Thank you!

  7. Randall: Direct traffic is most likely e-newsletter subscribers (or anyone clicking on a link in their inbox), as they’re clicking on a link that isn’t connected to any specific website.

  8. We already have Google Analytics on our website. Do you recommend adding the same tracking code to our Kickstarter or should we set up a separate property for the Kickstarter in our Google Analytics account?

    1. you can set new property or set the same code +creating new GA View +filter so you will get only the KS traffic to this view

      Tsvik dotcom

  9. I found this much useful information on google analytics. I am searching on google for google analytics information. I read your blog and i get some information is very helpful for me. such you share the blog is really nice. Thanks for sharing this so interesting post! I really want to be thankful for the way you have put it here.

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