Kickstarter Advice: the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly Truth. Issue 4: the Kiss.

With new projects launching almost daily, the time spent by a prospective backer on your Kickstarter is now shorter than ever. How to maximize your chance of getting another pledge?

Inspired by a great blog post where Superbackers pass their advice to project creators, I take a look at many ideas about creating successful Kickstarter projects. Whether you’re a creator or a curious backer, this series of blog posts is here to show you what works, what doesn’t work, and what a creator can do to make their project bigger and better.

On any given day multiple projects fight over the attention of backers. Interesting game ideas and great looking art are key, but there is one more crucial factor to take into account: keeping the project clear and simple enough, so that a prospective fan can indeed pull the trigger on your game (instead of dozens of others).

Keeping your communication clear and to the point is something I have already discussed (here), and building your project with this idea in mind is merely an extension, or – more appropriately – a foundation of that idea.

Putting all of the relevant information (like the idea of your game, the components, the play time and player count) at the front allows whoever is viewing your project to make an informed and swift decision. Making sure that the pledge levels fall in line with these principals makes it certain that a prospective backer will simply become a backer the moment they decide they’re interested in your game.

There’s a difference between “simple” and “ascetic”, and while the former allows you to communicate your ideas effectively, the latter may make whoever’s looking at your project feel that – much like your project – your game is also underdeveloped.

I have already mentioned a specific bond of trust that is formed between a backer and a creator, and making your project too simple will make the backer feel that you are not treating it with enough dedication and care to invest their money in your dream. That is why you need to strike a delicate balance between clarity and the beauty of your project.

After about thirty seconds, a Kickstarter user is ready to make their decision. If there’s a piece of crucial information missing, they will move on. If the pledge levels are complex and difficult to parse, they will move on. If your project is too lean to secure their trust, they will move on.

Proud project creators often want to show all their game has to offer, hoping that this will convince backers to flock to them. With a more complex project, they also want to give everyone the opportunity to simply choose one pledge level that would be ideal for them, so they create multiple pledge levels, each only slightly different from the others – but each ready to answer to a specific need.

The truth is that if you make backers do actual work in order to understand what they should pledge, you’re already in trouble. Too many choices often leave all but the most disciplined of us unwilling to make a choice at all.

You know what our solution is – it’s in the title of this blog post. Over the course of nine successful Kickstarter we’ve learned that it is actually better to err on the side of simplicity, especially when it comes to pledge levels.

You might be tempted to make multiple pledge levels, especially that it could potentially make fulfilment easier. However, you need to remember that whatever work you don’t do, will have to be done by your backers.

In essence, it is a much better solution to keep pledges simple, even with projects that offer multiple options and add-ons, and it’s something many biggest and best Kickstarter creators have already tested: just look at CMON and their gigantic projects with one or two pledge levels only.

So, if you’re having problems with keeping everything simple, make sure that you make the pledge levels as accessible as possible, as their structure may often be the straw that breaks the camel’s back – and drives away a backer irritated that suddenly they need to further research that expensive thing they wanted to buy for fun.


Do you have questions? Would you like to know more about a specific facet of Kickstarter project creation? Shoot us a question in the comments, or visit our Strawberry Kickstarter services website to get the insight and help you need with launching your own successful campaign.

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