A Kickstarter launch is a huge undertaking. Get it right and your business could soar, but make some silly mistakes and your big idea could be dead before you’ve even given it a chance. Why would you want to do that?!
Easy to control factors that will boost your Kickstarter launch
Build out your email list
The single most important factor in a huge Kickstarter launch is your email list. Sure it’s nice to have lots of Instagram or Twitter followers, but when it comes to actually converting in to sales nothing gets close to a decent email list. I’ve keep writing about how important this is, and I won’t stop. It’s impossible to overemphasise how critical it is to your launch, and then to the long term viability of whatever you’re trying to do.
Check out a few of my list building resources:
- How big should your email list be?
- Using landing pages to build an email list
- All my articles on building an email list
Launch at the right time
Exactly the right time for your campaign depends somewhat on the product you’re offering, but there are some basic rules that are important to follow.
- Your customers are likely to be from many countries, so try to time your launch for a time when most of them are awake. You want to launch big to build up free coverage. I’ve written in more depth on the best time to launch a Kickstarter campaign
- Some days are better than others. Surprisingly, weekends are especially bad. Tuesday is a popular pick, you miss the Monday catchup where everyone deals with the stuff they ignored on Friday or that built up over the weekend
- The best month to launch a Kickstarter depends on when you expect to deliver your rewards, but if you won’t ship by Christmas, make sure you avoid clashing with the holidays at all.
The success of my launches, alongside the data I’ve found from other campaigns, suggests that 4pm GMT on a Tuesday tends to work well.
Get your product out to reviewers
The reviewers that work best for your campaign will depend on what you’re making, but getting your product in to the hands of real people will do wonders to your chances of success. Reviewers offer two huge advantages to your campaign that you can’t get any other way.
- They are (or at least appear to be) independent, so your customers aren’t only relying on your word when assessing the quality of what you’re selling.
- They bring their own audience. However well you build your email list and social media following, a wider net is always a good thing. If you can get your product on to a popular YouTube channel or blog, you’ll find customers flooding your way.
This is important before you launch, as you need those first day customers. But it’s also important throughout your campaign to keep sales ticking over. Line up as many reviewers as you possibly can, and keep your prototypes moving.
Design an amazing page
The design and layout of your campaign page really matters. If you don’t have a good eye for this kind of thing (or have ever used the phrase “style over substance”) then find someone else to work on this for you.
There will be hundreds of campaigns launching the same day as you, and lots are likely to compete directly. You need to stand out, and that means putting in the extra effort with your sales page.
I spent nearly 3 months building the pages for my campaigns, hiring designers where needed. It was time well spent. If you think you can throw together a design just before you launch, you’re mistaken. If you’re not a designer, checkout fiverr or 99designs and find specialists to work with.
Get professional photos taken
Planning on launching with a few photos you took using your mobile phone? You’re competing with well funded campaigns that will have paid professionals lots of money. You don’t have the same money as them, but the difference between a poor photographer and a good one is huge, while the difference between a good one and a great one is far less obvious to most people.
Find a photographer that can shoot your product with decent equipment. Don’t pick your friend that “has a good camera”, find someone with a catalogue of work that you can see and that is applicable. If you’re selling sunglasses, find someone that has shot accessories before at a good level, then pay them to work with you. It’s one of the few places you need to invest, a well taken photo will stand out and bring you customers.
But I need to launch my Kickstarter next week!
Don’t. Seriously. If you’ve not got a list big enough to fund your campaign and you’ve not got your product in to the hands of reviewers yet, you’re not ready. Stop, work out a realistic schedule, and start again based on that. You get one chance to launch your product, and you need it to be big. If you fail, even if you relaunch that initial failure will remain part of your story.