We completed the AVID Assistant Kickstarter on Sunday, and more than tripled our funding goal. I’m more than a bit exhausted and asocial at the moment, having been pushing this through my social media contacts for a month.
It’s been a very long – and very fruitful – ride. Final tally was $15,942– over triple our initial funding goal–with 350 backers on the nose. It was something that consumed my life for the last three weeks, and it’s going to consume my life for the next two weeks getting everything ready for order fulfillment.
Here’s what I learned worked:
1) By far and away the biggest bang-for-the-buck was emailing my existing customer base. It took some work getting it through, but it had the most consistent payout.
2) I suspect the videos helped a lot – they made the case for me, and were entertaining.
3) My single most common “backer pledge” was the PDF bundles for one or the other of my games, with the Joint PDF bundle being the second most common. Third most common is a toss up between the minis grab bag and the challenge coins.
What didn’t work?
As near as I can tell, the most valuable social media platform for me was Google+. Facebook was inconsequential, due to their algorithm that kept my content from reaching everyone who’s followed me.
I got a fair number of contributions–25%, roughly–from people searching Kickstarter or exploring through the “Games” category. I also got a last minute surge from people who starred the campaign and got the “tell me about this when there are 48 hours left.” email from Kickstarter.
I didn’t believe the advice about keeping your backer reward options simple, and I spent more effort than I thought I would on answering questions that I thought were clear. In some ways this is my own fault, because the program I’m funding works for two games I publish, and I wanted to cover both fan bases.
I’ll definitely take more care with that in the future.
I’ll also make sure to have specific Canadian shipping options.
And yes, there will be another Kickstarter in May, for Squadron Strike: Traveller. I’m already assembling assets for it. It will have a comparatively modest goal.
Its teaser trailer is on Jeffro’s Space Gaming Blog, along with some Q&A from Jeff Johnson about the product.