I want to take some of your time to briefly go over some of the lessons learnt through running the campaign and fulfilling the game to backers. Take everything here with a grain of salt and don't assume it should apply to your campaign or everybody's campaign - this is a sample size of one.
|The Sub Rosa Kickstarter|
Keep Your Schedule (Relatively) ClearThe Sub Rosa campaign had a habit of becoming overwhelmingly time consuming, if I let it. For the first 16 hours of the campaign, I was glued to my computer, answering questions, going on forums, tweeting, emailing, updating, texting my marketing manager. I had spent months preparing the campaign, but still felt like I was scrambling on that first day. Make sure that the day you launch a campaign, you have the time to guide it.
Keep it SimpleI'm so happy that I decided to run a relatively simple campaign, without add-ons, excessive amounts of stretch goals, or even a particularly complex product. This made the whole process so much less stressful - I knew the project would be profitable and delivered on time, no matter how many stretch goals were unlocked.
Being a simple game also meant that manufacturing and fulfillment were a breeze for Sub Rosa. After all, it was just a rulebook, 10 cards, and 30 tokens. It's size and the lack of complicated add-ons meant it could be shipped straight from the factory to the backers.
Keep it ShortMost of the activity on my campaign happened in the first 48 hours and the last 48 hours. In the middle of that, there were huge swathes of inactivity. I think at one point, I went a day without a single new backer. My campaign was 21 days long and while sitting in the middle of it, it felt too long. 21 days is a long time to maintain buzz about your product. I think for future campaigns, I will reduce the length of the campaign to 14 days.
Engage the Community and Focus on Your MarketingThis is probably my biggest weakness. I enjoy using twitter and I have a reasonable following on there, but I hate talking on internet forums and BGG. I'm also a pretty bad salesperson - even if I believe in a product, I can't bear the idea of forcing it onto somebody. So for the Sub Rosa campaign, I hired a marketing manager to take the reins a little and offer some guidance. I went with the services of Wilderland Campaigns, and I was really happy with what they did provided. Nate, from Wilderland, came into the project early on and offered guidance on elements of theme, pricing, press releases, and ways to engage backers. For instance, Nate convinced me to post an update requesting all backers take a "Secret Agent name" and post it on the comments section. I thought it was the goofiest thing I'd ever heard, but reluctantly went ahead with it. And to my surprise, it worked really well! I don't think the project would have funded at all, had I not had Wilderland on board. And that leads me to my next point...
AdvertisingI should have done some. Not a lot, but I can't help but see some missed opportunity there. I should at least have tried a small amount to see what came out of it. My next campaign will be for a word game and trying to appeal to a much more mainstream audience, so I will certainly have to look at advertising for that.
Part 2 of this post is coming soon...