25 April 2013
Ah, the final 48 hours of a Kickstarter campaign. Those magical, legendary hours when a flood of backers realizes how awesome your project is. You’ve heard the stories about those hours: A campaign goes from 50% funded to 200% overfunded. A campaign earns $30,000 over a weekend. A campaign doubles their backers over two days.
Well, I’m hear to tell you that the final 48 hours can indeed be magical and legendary…if you do a few things right. But just like any other element of a Kickstarter project, you can’t just sit back and watch the backers roll in. A lot of hard work and key decisions go into ending strong.
The reason the final 48 hours matters is because anyone who clicked the “Remind Me” button on your project page will receive a reminder e-mail from Kickstarter with exactly 2 days to go in your project. This is a great piece of functionality, but remember that getting a backer to pledge even $1 earlier in the campaign is MUCH better than getting a backer to come back in the final 48 hours. If a backer pledges to you project on Day 1, you have 20-40 days to engage and connect with that backer. Not so much if they wait until the final day or two.
My point is, don’t rely on the final 48 hours. Every aspect of your project should be geared towards getting backers to support the project early in the campaign, not late.
There are a few things you can do to give yourself the best chance to convert those “Remind Me” potential backers into financial backers after they get the reminder e-mail from Kickstarter. Some of these methods were demonstrated by the Storm Hollow campaign (nearly $40,000 raised in the final 2 days), Dungeon Roll (nearly $100,000 raises in the final 2 days), and Compounded ($40,000 raised in the final 2 days). Myth, which just ended the other day, raised over $500,000 in the final 48 hours.
- Be fully funded: When a backer gets the reminder e-mail, they’re going to see a limited amount of information (as seen in the image on this post). There’s nothing more compelling than seeing that a project is already fully funded and that a ton of people have already backed it. When you see that, you think, “Wow, I must be missing out on something–I need to check this out.” That’s the whole point–you want people to click through that link to see what they’ve been missing.
- Polished project page: When people click over to see your project, they should not see some bloated project page. This should be the very best version of your project page. You get one final sales pitch, and here’s your chance. You’ll probably want to rearrange your project page so the stretch goals are at the top and a few of the most compelling reasons to back the project are right below that. This is your last chance to make a first impression.
- Stretch goals: Unlocked stretch goals are one of the top reasons that backers support a project in the final 48 hours. Remember, many of these people saw your project when it was in its infancy–they saw the basic version of what they might get. If they check back at the end of the project and see how much stuff they’re going to get at the same price, there’s a very good chance they’ll support the project. At the same time, you should have at least one stretch goal that you have yet to meet–that gives backers a sense of community and camaraderie as they band together in the final hours to try to reach it.
- Be available and responsive: If possible, the only thing you should do for the final 48 hours of your campaign is to work on your campaign. Be there for every comment, every discussion thread. Send out multiple updates. Thank backers one by one as they pledge. Also, make sure this isn’t something you wait to do until the final 48 hours. If I arrive at a project page and only see 4 updates and 11 comments over the course of the project, I’m not going to be enthused about the creator’s ability to interact and engage. So this is something you need to demonstrate over the course of the project, and you can kick it into high gear at the end.
Good luck making your final 48 hours some of the most memorable hours of your Kickstarter campaign!
Next: The Final Hour
I would also recommend reading this data-driven post by Jeff Cornelius of the League of Gamemakers about the influx of backers (or lack thereof) during the final 48 hours of a Kickstarter campaign.