chapter 12

Optimizing Rewards and Perks

The Ultimate Guide to Crowdfunding takes a different approach to advising you on your crowdfunding campaign. This guide brings you the tips from people who know crowdfunding best – the experts who have run great campaigns and crowdfunding sites themselves – and presents raw data collected from a sample of some of the 15 most funded projects on both platforms.

What Kickstarter Advises

To date the most popular pledge amount is $25 and the average pledge is around $70. Small amounts are where it’s at: projects without a reward of $20 or less succeed 28% of the time, while projects with a reward of $20 or less succeed 45% of the time.

There are four common reward types that we see on Kickstarter:

  • Copies of the thing: the album, the DVD, a print from the show. These items should be priced what they would cost in a retail environment.

  • Creative collaborations: a backer appears as a hero in the comic, everyone gets painted into the mural, two backers do the handclaps for track 3.

  • Creative experiences: a visit to the set, a phone call from the author, dinner with the cast, a concert in your backyard.

  • Creative mementos: Polaroids sent from location, thanks in the credits, meaningful tokens that tell a story.

What Indiegogo Advises

We’ve found that campaigns offering perks raise 143% more money than those that do not. (Shopify note: Unlike Kickstarter, offering rewards, or “perks,” is not mandatory on Indiegogo.)

$25 perks are the most frequently claimed.

$100 perks raise the most money and often make up nearly 30% of total funds raised.

What the Experts Advise

“We knew that most people pledge $25, and so we set that as the core product. And then we worked out from there. We wanted to cover a lot, from the smallest amounts to really large amounts. So we added a few limited edition boards for people to select.” - Bill Trammel, Catan Boards.

“We created unique t-shirts to give to the people who backed our original Kickstarter campaign and then back our new Kickstarter campaign. You know that this isn’t going to be available after the campaign. That makes them feel special.” - Mariquel Waingarten, Hickies.

“We made an early mistake by introducing colors too early on. Most people care about getting the product, not which color it was in. We should have just have chosen one color instead of four.

We also found that offering more rewards made things increasingly turn into a logistical nightmare. That’s something that we wanted to avoid.

Make it easy, make it scalable, and get your products out to people.” - Noah Dentzel, NOMAD.

“When selecting your rewards it’s important to include other perk levels besides the minimum amount required for a backer to receive the product. There should be a tier for backers who simply want to contribute a small amount to the campaign but don’t necessarily want to receive anything in return. Similarly, other backers will want to contribute a smaller amount in order to receive an entry level perk, like a t-shirt. Finally, there may be backers for whom money is no object, so you should consider creating an exclusive perk that gives them special access to the team or a unique experience.” - Adam Sager, Canary.

The Data

Product Amount raised Platform Number
of funders
of rewards
Largest reward amount
3Doodler  $2,344,134  Kickstarter 26,257
 18  $10,000
ARKYD  $1,505,366  Kickstarter 17,614
 17  $10,000
Canary  $1,961,862  Indiegogo  7,461  10  $8,800
Emotiv Insight  $1,643,117  Kickstarter  4,459  18  $5,000
GravityLight  $399,590  Indiegogo  6,219  8  $5,000
Kano  $1,522,160  Kickstarter  13,487  11  $10,000
Kreyos  $1,502,828  Indiegogo  11,723  14 $11,000
Misfit Shine  $846,675  Indiegogo  7,957  11  $14,999
Pebble  $10,266,845  Kickstarter  68,929  11  $10,000 
Pono Music
 $6,225,354  Kickstarter 18,220
 44 $5,000
Robot Dragonfly
 $1,140,975  Indiegogo  3,203  12   $2,899
Scanadu Scout  $1,664,574  Indiegogo  8,523  10  $16,000
SCiO  $1,774,489  Kickstarter  8,520  19  $10,000
StickNFind  $931,870  Indiegogo  12,312  3  $150
The Dash  $3,390,551  Kickstarter 15,998   9  $2,999

In this sample of large design and technology projects, Pebble has the largest number of funders: 68,929, kicking in an average of $150 each. Robot Dragonfly has the fewest number of funders: 3203, who kicked in an average of $356 each.

The average number of rewards/perks offered is 14. Pono Music offers the largest number of rewards (44), while StickNFind offers the fewest (3).

The highest reward level with the largest number of funders is $399, from Emotiv Insight. The lowest is from ARKYD, at $25.

Next chapter

13. Optimizing Your Campaign Page

3 min

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