Running your 1st Kickstarter campaign? You need 500 backers.

posted in: blog, kickstarter, kickstarter lesson | 0

When should I launch my Kickstarter? What’s the best time to launch? What should my funding goal be? How do I build up interest for my game? Creators ask these questions all the time and Kickstarter is all about bringing your crowd to the platform in the first few days. This post sets out to quickly answer these questions and explain why you should set your funding goal for your first project around $10,000.

When should I launch my Kickstarter?

You want to launch when you’re ready and leave yourself a good 2-3 months of marketing time lead-up time before you hit that launch button. For first time creators, the short answer is when you think your page is ready to go, pick a date on a Monday or Tuesday 3-6 months in the future.

What’s the best time to Launch?

I think it’s easier to talk about when NOT to launch. For your first project, I wouldn’t launch in the summer (June to August) and I wouldn’t launch at the end of the year (November-December). There are successful projects in every month so it’s not like you can’t get funded in those months. Generally speaking in the USA, those times are simply when a lot of people take vacation. In normal times, the summer is sort of board game convention season so a lot of your potential backers are going to Origins, Gencon etc and spending money on new games they can buy there.

Lots of people launch on Tuesday and that becomes the de facto launch day and a self fulfilling prophecy. In general, I think it’s a mistake to launch on Friday, Saturday or Sunday. Avoid those and the day shouldn’t matter too much.

What should my funding goal be?

Your funding goal for your first project should be around $10,000 USD. For a tabletop kickstarter, you should be shooting for 500 backers. Why do you need 500 backers? Economies of scale. Most manufacturers require a minimum print run of 1k units – but the bare minimum is 500. Less than 500 and you’re paying through the nose or Printing on Demand (POD) where the quality suffers. Needless to say with a $10k goal and a $20 pledge level that comes out to 500 backers. Now if you’re doing a truly simple card game at $20, you should bring down that funding goal but more than likely your base pledge is more than $20. That’s fine. If you get 350 backers on KS and fund, you still have late pledges and will likely have the cash to manufacture 500-1000 games. If you’re serious about becoming a publisher, you’re bolstering this number even more with convention sales, web sales, and maybe even distribution sales through a consolidator.

The point is that going into a Kickstarter, you need 500 people that want your thing because you’re going to need to make at least 500 of it. The faster you bring those 500 backers in the more successful you’ll be. Launch when you know you have at least 500 people interested. The great news is that Kickstarter makes tracking this super easy with their free prelaunch promo page where you can track followers:

I’m not saying you have to have 500+ followers before you launch, but this page along with your newsletter list, facebook group, social media followers, and all the other marketing things better add up to more than 500 because you’re going to need 500 backers.

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