Monday Morning Quarterbacking a Kickstarter Success

At Geekopia Games, we are humbled and flattered and overwhelmed with the success of Kickstarter for Fearsome Wilderness: a tabletop gaming experience crafted for gamers, hobbyists, and horror fans alike!

A sincere thank you to all who contributed or even just checked out our campaign, we really appreciate it.

I kept certain things under wraps because I honestly wasn’t sure how it would all work out, but with the benefit of 20/20 hindsight I can now share some things:

  • Both Matt and I have spent years building up followings in this blog, on Board Game Geek, on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, the Star Wars Epic Duels community and through publishing one game already.  We’ve built up an email list over time too.
  • We employed substantial marketing efforts, specifically a partnership with MyMiniFactory, with our 3D printer tie-ins, and Tabletop Backer Party and their suite of products, along with the usual reviewers like Fen and YouTubers like Board Games in a Minute.
  • The above, plus people the 5 of us in Geektopia Games personally know, got us enough support to fund our game without any help from Kickstarter itself.  A lot of our traffic is “direct/unknown” (which includes anyone typing directly into a browser) and even our email list (which isn’t huge but did directly drive some backers) was partly populated by marketing efforts, so it’s hard to say exactly what we got from marketing efforts versus our personal followings and connections.  The overall number I can attribute directly to marketing is low, but I suspect the actual number is higher than it appears.
  • Then, for every 3 backers we got, Kickstarter found 2 more, and they make up about 40% of our overall support, enough to hit numerous stretch goals.
  • Fearsome Wilderness always had the Kickstarter community targeted.  It has the lore and art and miniatures that market is looking for.
  • I think following the Kickstarter wisdom of launching on a Tuesday helped, though I think a Monday would work too.  I wouldn’t want to launch to close to a weekend because it’s harder to keep the momentum going.
  • The wisdom would also have said to put up the preview page sooner than we did, and to get more reviews than we did, so the wisdom isn’t everything.
  • We’re not done yet.  We’ve got 23 days to go and still have marketing activities planned.  I expect a surge towards the end of the campaign as well.
  • That stated, one thing the wisdom is definitely right about:  You want to succeed in the first 48 hours or better yet, the first 24.  There’s a lull after the first 2-3 days, cancelations are inevitable, and you’re in a tough spot if you’re ending your first week still needing to claw and fight to reach your goal.  I think our marketing activities will work better talking about a funded project instead of one that still needs to get over the top.

I’ve seen a lot of what I thought were great projects fail, so I know for sure it is not easy and we probably had a little luck on our side as well, though there certainly were a lot of high profile projects we were up against, so I don’t know how much luck was really involved.  Right product, right marketing, right time — you have to hit on all of those to succeed in Kickstarter, which is definitely the right place.  There are other crowd funding options but none bring together buyers and sellers of board games like Kickstarter.

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