20 July 2014 | 42 Comments
I recently wrote about some of the data compiled from our recent Treasure Chest Kickstarter project on this blog entry, so the statistics for the Treasure Chest are split between that post and today’s post. If you love stats, here’s the data for Euphoria and Tuscany.
The intent of these posts is to give other project creators a more detailed, behind-the-scenes look at our data than what they can see on the Kickstarter project page. Please keep in mind that this is data for our fourth board-game related Kickstarter campaign, so if you’re a first-time creator, the percentages may be more relevant than the total values.
Let’s start with the bottom line, according to Kickstarter (we also received some payments via PayPal, which aren’t shown on the following graphic):
These are healthy numbers, and definitely in line with our projections. The only trend I’m a bit concerned about is that our total backer count per project is dropping:
- Viticulture: 942 backers
- Euphoria: 4,765 backers
- Tuscany: 4,333 backers
- Treasure Chest: 3,221 backers
I’m not too concerned at this point since the Treasure Chest was an accessory, not a game, but it’s something I’ll keep an eye on for our next project.
As was the case with our last few projects, our fulfillment system allows us to offer low pricing worldwide (as well as shipping from within the EU, Canada, and the US to avoid imposing customs fees on backers). The “shipping per backer” total shown here is the total shipping cost to us (freight + courier); $10 of that was included in every reward.
A few things to note: The “total backer” number is less than the actual number of backers because some backers pledged at the $1 level (no shipping involved for the backer toast). Also, Croatia stands out a bit here because even though it’s part of the EU, Amazon.de and Amazon.co.uk won’t ship there via multi-channel fulfillment yet for some reason.
In a vacuum, this data doesn’t tell us much, so let’s compare it to the overall location data for our other projects:
The numbers are pretty much on par with Tuscany. My goal is to figure out worldwide shipping (and other factors that are compelling to international backers) so that backers are evenly split 50/50 between the US and the rest of the world.
A new element we factored into the Treasure Chest campaign was timing as a premium option. For $33, you could pledge to receive a Treasure Chest in January 2015. Or you could pledge $39 to receive your Treasure Chest in December (this was also applicable to the $59 level, with extra stuff included in that reward). We’re able to offer that premium option by completing production on the Treasure Chest by late November and air freighting the December copies right away, followed by a regular ocean shipment of the January and post-Kickstarter copies.
I’ll weigh in on whether or not this was a good idea in December, but for now I have the data for the breakdown between the two.
I’m pretty pleased with this breakdown. The air freight option wouldn’t be worth it if we’re only shipping a dozen games to a certain area, but it worked out well here. I probably wouldn’t offer this option for any project, but if we’re trying to deliver some products by a certain seasonal date (i.e., before a big convention or the holiday season), it’s something I would consider doing again.
Where do backers come from? I’m always thinking about that. We’ll start with the overall data for Kickstarter vs. external referrers:
I’m always interested in this number, because I want more people to discover our projects through external sources than Kickstarter. Kickstarter isn’t here to promote our projects–it’s our job to get the word out about them. So this data tells us if we’re doing our job. Let’s compare to past projects to see how that’s working out:
- Viticulture: 54%
- Euphoria: 66%
- Tuscany: 48%
- Treasure Chest: 42% of backers referred by Kickstarter
I’m very pleased to see that trend. Let’s dig deeper to see how Kickstarter views the various referral sources. Notes below, followed by a long chart to end this post:
- The “direct traffic” at the top of the chart likely refers to backers coming directly from our e-newsletter (MailChimp). We had about 7,700 subscribers, so 1,211 of them pledging to the Treasure Chest is a solid conversion rate. That compares to 379 direct traffic backers on Euphoria and 1,104 on Tuscany.
- While I was pleased with our BoardGameGeek ads for the Treasure Chest (info here), the overall numbers of backers from BGG was down quite a bit (both Euphoria and Tuscany attracted over 300 backers from BGG). I think that’s mostly a result of us not being able to list the Treasure Chest as its own product on BGG, unlike a game, which has its own page, can get on the Hotness list, and can have photos listed on the homepage.
- I’m always intrigued by niche websites and blogs that directly refer backers to us (for Tuscany the big one was Shut Up and Sit Down, which didn’t mention the Treasure Chest). In this case, two websites stand out: boardlife.co.kr and divedice.com. Both are Korean websites, and I appreciate them linking to the Treasure Chest!
- Kicktraq continues to be a hugely invaluable resource for people interested in any Kickstarter campaign–in addition the 60 backers it referred to the Treasure Chest, it referred 94 Tuscany backers to us and 249 backers for Euphoria.
I’m happy with the Treasure Chest campaign. Perhaps the one thing weighing on me from both Tuscany and the Treasure Chest is that neither campaign seemed to capture the same fervor that Euphoria did. Euphoria had more backers than Tuscany or the Treasure Chest. The click-through rate on our BGG ad for Euphoria was one of the best BGG has ever seen. Euphoria spent more time on the BGG Hotness list than Tuscany, and it attracted 3x as many backers from Kicktraq.
What was it about Euphoria that made it so special? Here are a few differentiating factors I can think of:
- Story. Euphoria had a fictional, speculative story interwoven into it–it had a worldbuilding element not present in our other products. Tuscany is more of a real-life simulation, and the Treasure Chest doesn’t have a story. Backerseven had an impact on Euphoria’s story, as they were able to vote in the Tournament of the Apocalypse.
- Funding Goal. Euphoria had the lowest funding goal of any of our projects ($15,000).
- Custom Dice. Euphoria had custom dice. Maybe that’s a factor? All of our products have plenty of fancy tokens and resources–are dice more compelling than any of them?
- Free EU Shipping. Euphoria offered free shipping for the entire EU. This was a miscalculation on my part, but it made the project very compelling for EU backers. Aside from the UK and Germany, where we’ve consistently offered free shipping, 14% of backers for Euphoria came from the EU, compared to 10% for Tuscany. Backer percentages from Asia and Australia/NZ were way up for Tuscany, though.
- Big Final Stretch Goal. The final stretch goal for Euphoria (doubling the number of realistic resource tokens) prompted a huge upswing in pledges the final two days. 1,264 backers joined the project in that time, compared to 660 for Tuscany (which had a much bigger Day 1).
- Project Glut. Finally, Kickstarter continues to attract more and more projects, so perhaps part of this is symptomatic to Kickstarter as a whole. I try to view each project as its own entity, but these projects don’t exist in a vacuum.
It’s hard to tell which differentiating data points are relevant! I’d love to hear what you think.