Live-Blogging Lesson #7: What Do Backers Look for When Returning to a Project via the 48-Hour “Remind Me” Message?

27 April 2015 | 15 Comments

In less than 12 hours, Kickstarter will automatically send out a notification to anyone who selected the “Remind Me” button during the campaign (and hasn’t already pledged) for my treasure chest project. So today I thought I’d discuss what backers look for when returning to a project.

This is highly subjective, as I’ll be speaking from my experience, and the reasons I clicked the “Remind Me” button often depends on the project. Usually that means I’m right on the edge of backing, and often I’ve returned to the project during the campaign to check it out.

For this post I looked over some projects for which I’ve clicked the “Remind Me” button and decided to either back or not back. I would also love to hear from others in the comments about what they look for.

Here’s what I look at when I return to a project:

  1. Number of backers and funding total. I want to be a part of something successful–it’s human nature. If a project has funded (or, even better, overfunded), I’m much more likely to back it.
  2. Number of comments and creator engagement. I look for a few hundred comments at minimum, and it’s important for me to see the creator actively engaging backers and answering questions. It’s a demonstration of what their customer service will look like in the future.
  3. Current price vs. best possible price. This ties to #3–what am I getting now for my money–but the comparison is also really important. If there is an early bird I missed out on, making me pay a higher price for the same thing, I’m significantly less likely to back the project.
  4. What’s in the box now vs. what was original included. It’s compelling for me to see the difference in stuff between now and Day 1. Sometimes I have to look for this in the stretch goal section, but the “What’s in the Box” area of a project page (or the main project image) can be structured to show the original stuff and all the added stuff. I think this is better than lumping everything together, a mistake I’ve made in the past.
  5. Cool stretch goals that have been unlocked and the next stretch goal level. I like to see (a) several awesome stretch goals that have already been reached and (b) at least one awesome, attainable stretch goal that my pledge can impact, even late in the project. I would actually recommend that creators hold off on revealing one final stretch goal until the final 60 hours if possible to create this “carrot on a stick” impact on incoming backers at the end.
  6. Compelling reviews or images on the project page that weren’t there before. This varies widely based on the project and the category, but I think these two areas are key when I skim through a project page at the end–images stand out much better than blocks of text. If there’s a reviewer I trust, it’s helpful to share a compelling quote so I don’t have to watch or read the whole review (I often do anyway, but the quote is helpful).

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Also read: The Final 60 Hours and The Final 48 Hours

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What do you look for when you return to a project after receiving the 48-hour reminder e-mail?

15 Comments on “Live-Blogging Lesson #7: What Do Backers Look for When Returning to a Project via the 48-Hour “Remind Me” Message?

  1. I use the ‘remind me’ button to tag a project that I want to look into more closely. Sometimes that means reading BGG or another third-party review, sometimes that means trying to find time to watch a video or read the current rule set. I generally like to read the comments sections too so that’s often on my list for projects on my reminder list.

    I occasionally use it to check up on a project that I’m quite undecided about. I’ll pop in after the reminder notice to see how the project has progressed from the initial launch of the Kickstarter, either in terms of funds and backers or in terms of added value. If I was undecided because of the cost this is the last chance to see whether the shipping costs have been improved or the box is now filled with goodies from unlocked stretch goals.

    Sometimes I will have heard about others in my game group backing the project and in that case I use it to decide if I want to own my own copy or if I’ll be happy to play theirs. In those cases, the upgrades or value added to the box can really be the deciding factor on whether I want the game in my collection.

  2. I knew I should not have clicked open your post. My wife walked by, saw the Treasure Chest pieces and said “We’re getting that, right.” My reply “Which one?”

    “All of them.”

  3. My reasons align very well with everything Lori mentioned above. I’m always thankful when there’s no early bird so I can tag it to be reviewed later. I prefer to wait until I have ample time to get a better feel for a project and those creating it.

  4. All of the above…though, without the 48-hour notification. I’m usually prepared to become a Backer on a dozen Kickstarter Projects per year, including the revival of Reviewers (Radho Runs Through and The Dice Tower), 1-2 charitable entries (LeVar Burton’s Reading Rainbow), and a pair of games (and or expansions, such as City of Iron and Historia). So, due to my limited exposure, I’m getting their Updates, so I visit them (and Comment) with some regularity, without having to await the “48 Hour Remind Me Message.”

  5. My reasons for a reminder:
    – want to take a deeper look into the game when more videos or information is available in a project – sometimes they even don’t have a starting video, rules or gameplay info online. An excellent example for that is this running campaign: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1803723298/human-interface-nakamura-tower
    Only miniatures posing with almost no information at the start of the campaign. Normally i would just leave it but it looked well done in terms of graphic etc. so i used the remainder. I will check back then to see if they have learned.

    – interesting, but not overwhelming projects that may become better later. It is close to the above but slightly different, as they have some more info, but i am on the fence and wait if there are other projects that i want to give my hard earned money too. So i set them aside and check if i want to back in the final 2 days. For example Cave pilot 55 (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1518863617/cave-pilot-55) looked at least a bit interesting, but not that good. Reminder -> checked back -> not a lot of changes, high pricing, few updates, no awareness -> deleted.

    – EU Friendly shipping is missing at the start of the campaign, but they promise to look into it. Reminder and check back near the end if they made it. For example Boss Monster 2 – they seem to not want to sell to europe. No group pledging or cost reduce for backing 2 instead of one game. Everything was the same. Reminder -> nothing changed -> deleted.

    But more often i am using the $1 backing option to be up to date on the at least most interesting but not “want to back now” games. That way it is easier to know when they fix things that they have done in a bad way early in the campaign. So i am more and more into $1 backing than reminding. Backing a reminder campaign is a lot lower for me these days because of the $1 backing early and follow the progress.

    most things i mention are combined in your 6 points.

    1. Malte: Thanks for your comment. It’s interesting (and forgiving) of you to return to projects that don’t have what I consider fundamental elements of a crowdfunding project. If they don’t have those elements the first time I look at them, I don’t even click the Remind Me button. I like the $1 backing method too, as it lets you get a feel for the project and the creator.

  6. “I want to be a part of something successful–it’s human nature. If a project has funded (or, even better, overfunded), I’m much more likely to back it.”

    I find it even more compelling if the project has yet to fund, but has a chance of doing so. Then I feel I may be a vital part of making it successful.

    I also consider my recent game-buying expenditures… if they are low, then I’m more likely to back the project currently under consideration.

    1. Andrew: Interesting point. While part of me feels good about helping someone succeed if they’re very close to reaching their funding goal, if it’s down the last 48 hours, I’m more concerned with why they haven’t already succeeded.

  7. Hey guys, here’s what Kickstarter says about the Remind Me button:

    “48 hours before the project ends, you’ll get a reminder email giving you a chance to become a backer before the deadline.”

    I’ve always wondered why I’ve seen some campaigns end at 8AM, 9AM in the morning… do you think this is because they want the Remind Me e-mails to be sent out at a good time to broadcast e-mails (like in the morning when people are at work)?

    Our Kickstarter campaign for my anthology project I AM THE ABYSS (ending on Tuesday) I selected a finish time of 10PM. Then it got me to thinking… does this really mean the Remind Me e-mail will be sent to our backers at 10PM at night Sunday night?

    If so, that’s definitely going to be a strategic decision I make more carefully in the future. Would love anyone’s thoughts on this.

    1. Thanks for your question, Chris. A few things here: 10:00 pm for you isn’t 10:00 pm for everyone else. I’m guessing you have backers from around the world, so they might get the reminder e-mail at a variety of times.

      The other thing to keep in mind is that Kickstarter sends out that e-mail soon after the 48-hour mark, but not necessarily immediately after it. I think they often send in batches, especially for bigger projects.

      As for why campaigns end early in the morning, I’m not sure. I like to end in the evening just because I’m more available in the last few hours of the campaign–I’m not going to wake up at 5:00 am to do that. :)

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