Photo by JESHOOTS.COM on Unsplash
Recently, I’ve been updating the posts in our Kickstats blog series with data from the entire year of 2020. Today, however, I thought I’d take a little break from all that to address some of the fears that Kickstarter creators regularly face.
So, here are two of the most common fears of Kickstarter creators and what 16,000 campaigns have to say about those fears.
My Kickstarter’s pledges have drastically slowed. Is my campaign dead?
Here’s the scenario: You just launched your fancy new campaign on Kickstarter and it’s all the rage! Pledges are pouring in and you’re having a hard time keeping up with all the questions, comments, and private messages from backers. Stars fill your eyes as you think about reaching your goal by day 3 of your 30-day campaign (never mind that it should have been a 21-day campaign). With all that extra time, you dream about all the stretch goals you’ll be able to offer!
But then, day 3 actually comes and the clouds start forming. For the first two days, you were gaining new pledges with each page refresh, but now it’s been hours since the last one came in. Just yesterday you were the king of Kickstarter, and now you’re left begging for scraps. What happened? Did your campaign die?
Don’t worry. You’re campaign (probably) didn’t die. This is a common phenomenon for pretty much every Kickstarter campaign out there – even the crazy successful ones. The first few days of almost every campaign are filled with people who have been following your project and are excited to finally back it. That level of excitement comes back during the last few days as you see another surge of backers coming in just before the door closes.
It’s that in-between time that’s a killer, making you wonder if you’ll really make it. Well, here’s graph that will hopefully help calm some of those fears.
There’s obviously a lot of variance here, but on average, even successful campaigns will see the 27% that comes in on day 1 drop down to only 7% by day 2.
Put another way, you should expect to see something like the below funding progression throughout your campaign.
Notice that the slope is not linear, meaning that some days you’ll receive a lot of pledges and some days you’ll see relatively few pledges. That’s perfectly normal, and nothing to be terribly concerned about.
Of course, that leads right into the next common concern…
My Kickstarter is at X% funding on Day N. Will it fund?
Perhaps that last chart didn’t calm your nerves. Maybe you looked at it and said something like this:
“By day 8, my campaign has probably reached the halfway point of all funding it will receive. But if that’s true, it’s not going to reach the funding goal. Does that mean it’s done for? Is my Kickstarter going to make it?”
Now this one is a bit harder to predict, but I’ve tracked a little over 16,000 thirty-day campaigns to see where they were in their funding for each day of their campaign.
The below table shows what percentage of campaigns that reached X% of their goal by day N ended up being successful. It can’t tell you if your Kickstarter will succeed, but it can at least give you a general idea of where you’re at. I hope it helps.
I think my Kickstarter is going to fail.
It might be that nothing in this post is comforting to you. After looking at these charts, you realize that, chances are, your campaign just isn’t going to make it. Maybe you’re even weighing the options of cancelling early (more on that later).
I know your pain. That’s exactly where Rucksack was on its first launch. Thankfully though, all is not lost. If you’re willing to stick with it, learn from your mistakes, and try again, you just might get to see your idea come to life.
Being a Kickstarter creator comes with some great highs, but also some real lows. It’s completely understandable to be nervous about where your campaign stands or what the future will look like. Believe me, I’ve been there. But if something in this post – or anywhere else in this blog series – has helped you even a little bit, I’ll be happy.