Kickstarter and Indiegogo are the big 2 in crowd funding. Both have some advantages and I’ll look at where Indiegogo excels at a later date (update: I’ve now posted The reasons why Indiegogo is better than Kickstarter), but today I want to explain why I picked Kickstarter to run my campaigns, and my experiences using it.
When you think crowd funding, you think “Kickstarter”. Or at least a majority of people do – Kickstarter began the crowd funding craze and they are now synonymous with the concept. Why does this matter? Well one, it gives your project a recognisable store front. People want to give their credit card number to sources they trust, and Kickstarter is a known quantity. You might fail to deliver your campaign pledges, but at least someone grown-up is managing the credit card handling so they are unlikely to find their details up for sale across the web.
Another thing that name recognition brings is traffic. People browse Kickstarter in their thousands, checking out new or interesting projects. However well you promote your campaign and build your email list in advance, extra free traffic is always worth having. If you can move your project towards the top of your chosen category on Kickstarter you’re guaranteed loads of extra traffic and therefore more sales. My first campaign raised around £140,000 in its first 30 days, and nearly half of that was internally referred from within Kickstarter itself. Driving that quantity of traffic via paid ads would have been unbelievably expensive.
Some crowd funding services, including Indiegogo, allow anyone to list a project without much/any vetting. This is great if you’ve designed something that will probably be impossible to make or produce at volume (or is just a total scam), but it means that the genuine projects are mixed in with the crap. Kickstarter require a level of verification before allowing a project to launch, such as working prototypes of physical products. As a result, on Kickstarter you’re likely to be surrounded by other valid projects, lending your campaign an air of authenticity.
Third party integrations
There is a vast range of tools and services built on top of Kickstarter, making management of your campaign easier. While many of these also support Indiegogo and other crowd funding platforms, Kickstarter is the default. You build for Kickstarter and then the rest. By running your project on Kickstarter you’re ensuring that you’ll be able to access the widest range of third-party services.
From a backers perspective Kickstarter is just better designed. Rewards are easy to pick, pages are laid out clearly and updates are easy to fund. From a project owners side, the colours aren’t offensive which means it’s easier to design your project based on your own colours and themes without having to worry about how it will integrate with the platform. Backer lists are easy to find and view, and the backend dashboard is powerful and simple. It’s incredibly easy to use.