A couple of years ago Kickstarter released a new feature allowing creators to set up a pre-launch page for their Kickstarter. This page is very simple and only has a title, short description, and image, yet it is very powerful for building a following and measuring how much interest your project has.
Ever since the feature was added I’ve asked myself, how many followers do you need in order to fund, and today I would like to share the stats from The Isle of Cats: Don’t forget the Kittens!
A few considerations
I believe in a very organic marketing approach and spent no money advertising my pre-launch page, every follower was organic. This is important as I’ve found people who discover something themselves are more likely to convert than those finding something through adverts.
The total number of followers I had when the Kickstarter launched was 8,382, but when it finished I had 18,076. This is because people can continue to follow via the remind me later button during the campaign and there is no way to differentiate between pre-launch followers and followers who joined later. Meaning, the conversion numbers for the first few days are going to be mainly from pre-launch followers but the further we move into the campaign, the less certain we can be.
Finally, all these stats are manually recorded by me during my campaigns. I love stats and record a lot of data, but Kickstarters are a very busy time and I often don’t take recordings at the same time each day. I also didn’t think to record the live follower count for the first 2 hours which is why it comes in later.
- Date – The date the stat was recorded.
- Time – The time the stat was recorded in the UK.
- Followers – The total number of followers.
- Converted followers – The number of followers who backed the project.
- % converted – The number of followers who converted into backers
- Total backers – The number of people backing the project.
- % of backers – What % of backers were followers.
Let’s take a look at 3 key time points:
- In the first 3 hours, 19.88% of followers converted, making up 73.20% of backers.
- In the first 6 hours, 22.18% of followers converted, making up 70.40% of backers.
- In the first 24 hours, 24.12% of followers converted, making up 65.79% of backers.
If you assume a goal of 300 backers, we can predict the following:
- To fund in the first 3 hours, you need 1,105 followers.
- To fund in the first 6 hours, you need 953 followers.
- To fund in the first 24 hours, you need 819 followers.
These numbers alone are a little deceptive and there are many other factors to consider:
- Where the followers came from, mine were organic and other sources may have different conversion rates.
- How much ad spend you have on launch, I had very little (a few $100) so a higher ad spend would get more non-follower backers early on.
- The quality of third-party content (videos) releasing on launch, I didn’t have any and these can bring in backers.
- The general momentum of the project, my campaign funded very quickly which can encourage others to join earlier.
My suggestion would be for 300 backers, you should aim for a minimum of 1,000 high quality followers prior to launching if you want to fund in the first 24 hours. Alone this wont bring you success, you need a good product, Kickstarter page, pricing, and to follow all the other lessons on this blog, but it’s a rough benchmark that I follow.
I’ve included the full breakdown of my follower conversions throughout the campaign for your reference so you can use this to make your own predictions based on different funding timelines.