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The 3 things I will do differently with my next Kickstarter campaign

While I had a fair bit of success with my Kickstarter campaign for Relics of Rajavihara, there are a number of things that I would consider doing differently next time. I’m sure after I’ve had even more time reflect, there will be others, and I will gladly share them with you at that time.

There were a few surprises and definitely a lot of learnings along the way. I’m always of the mind that no matter how well you do something, there’s always something you could have done better and improve upon. There’s always a learning experience.

So, while I am celebrating the successes, I’m also using this as a time to learn so that I can improve upon myself and my next project.

#1. The importance of data

I have a degree in math and statistics. I love working with numbers and figuring out problems. You could definitely call me a data nerd. ?

That’s why I was so surprised that I hadn’t thought enough about tracking data in the most efficient way.

You see, Kickstarter allows you to create individual referral links that you can use in individual ads, social media posts, reviewer links, as well as interviews and podcasts. Basically, anywhere you are directing people to your campaign page.

This allows you to see exactly where backers are coming from when they back your game.

I strongly recommend creating individual referral links for each specific ad you run on any platform, Facebook and other social media posts, and anywhere else a link to your campaign may appear.

When you’re running a Facebook ad for example, Facebook Business Manager will show you how many times your ad was shown, how many people clicked on it, as well as your costs related to this. What it doesn’t show you is how many of these people actually backed your game. This is where you need to combine these stats with the backer data on your Kickstarter page to see which ads and posts were the most effective.

This will allow you to focus your time, money, and energy on whatever is bringing you the best results.

I set these tags up late. I should have had them up and running as soon as I hit launch in order to give me all the data I needed right from the start.

It’s an easy step to miss or forget, but an important one you’ll want to have in place.

#2. No habla ingles?

I had no idea how many backers would request the game in another language. Nor was I prepared for the number of backers who were willing to translate the game into their home language – many of them offering to do so for free!

French, German, Italian, Spanish. You name it!

The good thing is, this will not necessarily require me to make different language versions of the game (although I am considering this for some languages). Nowadays, it’s easy enough to have someone translate the rulebook into another language and post it on your website and Boardgamegeek (BGG) for anyone to download.

Of course, it does depend on how much text you have on your cards, board, and anywhere else in your game. If your game is very language-dependent throughout, then just having the rulebook updated may not be enough.

I’ve even been approached by a couple of publishers who are interested in having Relics printed and distributed in another language. This would be really cool if it works out!

Next time around, I will definitely be thinking more about different languages and how to make my games more language-independent before I launch.

#3. Spreading the love

My campaign had a fantastic start. It funded in only four hours and kept up some really good momentum over the first four days.

I can’t really complain about that!

But what I realized was that I had front-loaded so much content that I didn’t have nearly as much left for updates throughout the campaign. Most of my reviews and other media content was right there on launch day or prior.

I was very fortunate that a number of podcasters and reviewers reached out to me during the campaign as well. The only difficulty was all my prototypes were already out with reviewers and I had to make arrangements to pass copies along to them. I also had to squeeze in a number of interviews to be recorded and posted before the campaign would end.

Next time, I will try to plan for more events and reveals throughout the campaign to keep the interest level high throughout.

I still want to include enough amazing stuff on day one and leading up to the launch that my next project will fund quickly, but I also want to maintain this throughout the campaign a little better.

Do you have any thoughts on anything I could have done better with the Relics of Rajavihara campaign? I’d love to know!

Please hit the button below and leave me a comment.

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    Super helpful perspective, thanks! I love that none of these are hyper difficult or time intensive to implement. I’m all for way to make my campaign better that don’t require 40 hours and and entire new chain of to-dos.
    Congrats again on the successful campaign, BTW!

    I have watched your campaign with interest, and I’m glad it went well. My only suggestion is trying to make the name of the game less of a challenge to pronounce and remember. Despite seeing the name of the game dozens of times at this point, I can never remember it 5 seconds afterward. Relics of… something. And even when I look at the name, it’s very hard to pronounce. It may be the greatest game in the world, but word of mouth will be tough if the name is hard to remember. Good luck!

    Thanks, Joe! I agree. That’s another lesson learned for me: Make sure the name of your game is easy to remember and easy to spell!