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How Reddit can Ignite your Kickstarter campaign

Published by Salvador Briggman. Find him on Twitter.

This is an incredible story. I first met Kimiko on the Kickstarter Forum (unofficial) when they decided to do an AMA (ask me anything) for the community, which generated over 35 replies.

Since then, their project, “Tabletop Simulator by Berserk Games” has raised over $37,000 from more than 1,800 backers. Here’s the kicker: They only had a $3,000 goal!

I think the best way to share their story is to divide up their responses on the AMA and their blog post into various sections of the Kickstarter campaign. Check it out below and if you find it to be helpful, leave a comment on this article!

Leading up to $37,403 in pledges

kickstarter referrer chart

The first week

“The first day we had 18 backers at 14%. We really weren’t sure how the reception would be for a game like ours. The first 6 days, we reached 68% of our goal with 93 backers which was super exciting. For those first 6 days, most of our backers came from either our Reddit threads or Hardocp.com, which Jason is a member of.”

Getting traction

“Then on the 7th day, something amazing happened. Our game finally got noticed by one of the big guys, namely Rock, Paper, Shotgun. We went from 93 backers and 68% to 188 backers and 136% funded! And we still had 3 weeks to go! The next couple of days, we rode on that article, and then it started to slow down again.”

Maintaining Steam

“We were trying to come up with new ways to promote the Kickstarter. So we began sending keys out to YouTubers and I re-emailed all the press with a new message and a reminder about the keys we sent in the previous email. But it wasn’t until someone posted about us on /r/Steam on Reddit that we got another big boost.

It’s amazing that up to this point, our two biggest referrers were from Rock, Paper, Shotgun and Reddit. We were now at an amazing 352 backers, 259% funded and surpassed FOUR stretch goals!

We also added PayPal to the mix for those who couldn’t use Amazon Payments. As the next few days went on, the amount of backers slowed down once again. So we were really racking our brains trying to come up with some other ideas to get the word out.”

Another Boost

“March 1, we’re back on Reddit! At this point, Reddit is our second highest amount of supporters.

We posted an AMA, Screenshot Saturday and the /r/gamephysics sub-reddit is where we got the most support. So the next two weeks was just about posting everywhere.

We really over stretched on Reddit. Overall, we posted probably over 30+ times on there (new threads). I’m pretty sure people got sick of our “spam”! I’d research various places that we could post at; like what sites were the best for us.

We were lucky because we had a variety of genres we could go under: pc gaming, game physics, board games, tabletop gaming, etc. I also did a third round of mailing out all the press people. This time around, I tried to make it more personal, including their names when possible. We never got another big bite like Rock, Paper, Shotgun, but that’s okay! We did get a couple of very small sites write some articles about us and it’s good for us both, because it’s helping the small guys get the word around. Someone out there is reading it.

So from March 1 to March 9 we averaged about $477 per day and things were going really well and very steady for us. At this point, we already reached our first 6 stretch goals and was about $500 away from the Oculus Rift stretch goal and the next day it just exploded. We woke up to find hundreds of emails. It turns out we ended up on the front page of Reddit from a gif that someone had made.

We were over 500% funded and down to the last few days. But the day never ended. It just kept going and going. We participated on the Reddit thread, kept posting about it on other threads and then boom, we got on the front page AGAIN.

We made our 8th stretch goal and put in a final one just for fun – a space theme pack. And decided that if we made that goal, anything after that would go into improving the game and the stretch goals over all. And in 3 hours we made that space theme goal. Like I said, that day never ended! We now had over $25,000 and finally got into the top 100 on Steam, so we could see how we were ranked. The last couple of days, the days were very steady.”

The Final Days

“Once we got on the front page of Reddit (twice), it just kept going. People were talking about us and were searching for us. March 10th and 11th were our two highest days at $8633 and $9433. The final two days ended up at $3474 and $2355. These amounts were just on Kickstarter and don’t include PayPal.

Our total at the very end including PayPal and Crypto Payments was over $39,200 and we were 1246% funded. We were amazed at 400%.. but 1200%… Unbelievable. Our goal was a modest $3,000. What an experience this was. Everyone was extremely supportive and overall we didn’t have too many cancellations. Definitely a wonderful experience.

It’s funny about the referrers. You see other games whose biggest supporters come from articles or reviews. For us, it came from Reddit. In the end, 36% of our pledges came from Reddit, with a total of 716 users. Our next closest was Direct Traffic (wish I knew where they came from!) with 17% and 291 users. Rock, Paper, Shotgun, which was our biggest one for awhile is down in 5th place at 4.68% and 80 users. Kickstarter account for 15% of our pledges.” 

Screen Shot 2014-03-21 at 2.36.41 PM

What’s been the strategy behind your campaign?

Our strategy has just to been proactive every single day. We had no idea when we got started, that this would turn into a full time job. You have to be on top of your Kickstarter every day. You can’t just sit and hope the pledges will come in.

Every day was all about finding new places to post, getting the word out, etc. I woke up today and saw a boom of pledges. Then found out we got on the front page of Reddit. In fact, our largest amount of supporters (and now total pledges) have come from Reddit.

Once we saw how we did early on in the campaign on Reddit, we focused a lot on there. It’s tough to get that one bump though and thankfully we had a couple, but today was the biggest one! The other thing is to make sure to write everything down. Keep track of your popular sites, be organized, make a press/media list, etc.

What advice do you have for marketing to Reddit?

We tried a LOT on Reddit.. and I mean a LOT. And it didn’t always work out, but when a gif would be made and someone ELSE posted it, for some reason, it’d go crazy. Reddit is hit or miss and it really depends on the community. It definitely has a great gaming community overall. Sometimes you have to change it up a bit too. We changed our wording multiple times til’ we found the right one. Added images and most importantly, never giving up. We posted our game to ALL the press. I sent out hundreds and hundreds of emails and finally one wrote an article on us, which really gave us a huge boost. That was a week after we started.

Our last 24 hours have been insane. We got on the front page of Reddit TWICE in one day, so our Kickstarter has exploded. We’re now almost 1000% funded with 48 hours to go. This is amazing.

We’ve posted in about 30 sub-reddits or so. At least that’s how many I have written. Then there are the ones other people have posted about us that I’d randomly find or they’d go viral. Like I said previously, it was more when other people posted that they’d be successful. We had a few somewhat successful ones if I remember correctly. Here are the ones that were most popular (you listed them).

Lesson learned: We did all our promoting after the Kickstarter was up and running. But I really recommend to do pre-promoting beforehand, it’d make a huge difference.

What was your marketing strategy?

It’s more about getting the word out into the public. You want to look up places that fit your theme or what you’re doing. So for us, we looked up all different gaming review sites and forums. Then we’d go to specific sites like board games, tabletops, rpgs, pc gaming, etc. You have to go to ALL outlets. And then Reddit has been our #1 place. Just be sure to read the rules on each sub-reddit before posting. It’s all about being pro-active and keep at it!

It’s just perseverance. Every single day we made sure to get the word out somewhere. Even if it was negative (as in people were just like “oh these people again and rolling their eyes”), at least people were seeing it. We didn’t want to be annoying, but it probably got that way on Reddit at times. We had some days that were super slow and then we had some awesome days and then in between. It just depends on who has an open mind and who is interested in something that you’re doing.

Conclusion

Be sure to check out the Tabletop Simulator Kickstarter Postmortem post for more detail. Leave a comment below if you have any questions.


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  • Brad

    Great stuff!! I’m hoping Reddit will be a success for my campaign as well. Though my niche isn’t as large as gaming, so that might be a factor. Congratulations on your campaign!!

    Here’s my project: http://kck.st/1m22pqr Any suggestions which subreddits would be best?

  • Our Kickstarter Campaign, we will enable us to get our designer jeans manufactured up and running. Booty Licious Jeans…By Niece, they are made with the most comfortable and technologically advanced fabrics. Designed to suit all shapes and sizes offering women and girls a perfect booty in an instant. High quality craftsmanship, and exceptional fit. http://kck.st/1qVEvhm

    • CrowdCrux

      Congrats on your new Kickstarter. Let me know if I can help answer any questions related to crowdfunding.

  • Thanks! That’s really helpful. We are working on our KS campaign at the moment, and somehow I didn’t really think about Reddit a lot. But now I see that I should not underestimate it.

    • CrowdCrux

      Glad it’s helpful! Yea, the best social network or social bookmarking website varies from campaign to campaign. Part of campaigning and research is determining which is best for yours. Keep me updated on the progress of your campaign.

  • Thanks! Very useful information

    • CrowdCrux

      Glad it’s useful! The team really killed it.

  • Have to say these last 2 posts have been phenomenal.

    Its amazing how much of their support came from outside Kickstarter, even without Reddit. My project http://kck.st/1fFKpd4 has been funded almost exclusively from people who use Kickstarter. If you can grab supporters from both outside and inside Kickstarter I can only imagine the fire a project could catch.

    • CrowdCrux

      Have you considered sharing the stats for your campaign the way this team did? They did an AMA on Kickstarterforum.org. Could be a good way to spread awareness in the last week.

  • A note of caution regarding reddit! We are preparing to launch an Indiegogo in April for kornersafe.com. A month ago we posted our concept on reddit, but had a third party do the posting so it didn’t come across as promotional. Well, our product went viral immediately on the Geek subreddit, we went right to #1 on the Hot list (see facebook.com/kornersafe for a screen shot) and we got tons of emails. But then we made a mistake. We started to insert ourselves in the dialogue, to clarify some questions and misinterpretations regarding the product. Eventually the community interpreted our involvement as too promotional, and “shut down” the dialogue. So be very careful how you post and manage anything on reddit. It is a terrific forum, but you need to be very careful with community etiquette.

    • CrowdCrux

      Thanks for sharing this! Great info/heads up.

    • Louise Dutton

      Yikes, thanks for the heads up!

    • Ulysses Magnus

      Reddit is a strange beast. My main account is 4 years old and would have gotten a lot more “suction” if I had posted my project under it and said, ” hey reddit, this is my passion!”

      But I also know the community. There is an entire subreddit called /hailcorporate where they try to find posts that they feel are marketing attempts. I just made a separate account where I focus on art and engage the artistic community on reddit.

      I suggest to find subreddits that focus on the genre of your project, be part of the community and when your project launches, link it on the crowdfunding subreddits. Then maybe mention it on the subreddits you have been part of that you launched a campaign and maybe you will find support.

    • Kimiko

      Hi Steve. That’s really strange. We made sure to be very involved in the discussions when someone else posted about our game. And didn’t have that come up at all. I guess it depends on the sub-reddit and who’s running it. Sorry that happened :/

  • greg Menzie

    Great bit of info!I haven’t posted on Reddit at all. I’ll be sure to present and post my project in a professional, fun manner!

    • CrowdCrux

      Be sure to report back here with your experience :).

  • Louise Dutton

    Great article, especially how much daily work is involved in a campaign. It’s definitely not post, sit back and watch the money roll in. Sal, I learn something every time I read your articles. Keep it up!

    • CrowdCrux

      😀 Thanks! Yes – it’s kind of like a full-time/part-time job.

    • Kimiko

      Hi Louise,

      You’re 100% correct. This turned into a full time job. From morning til’ night, we were on top of this Kickstarter like nothing else! You really have to be dedicated. You can’t just assume the money will roll in 🙂

      Thanks,
      Kimiko

  • Kitto

    Hi Sal, Great article once again! I have a question. The above article mentioned that they implemented 2 other payment options on Kickstarter. How did they implement Pay Pal? Pay Pal has increased my sales by at least 20% on my web site http://www.liquidhardware.com and I would love to find out how to do it on my Kickstarter campaign I am running currently here:

    https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1857082487/sidewindertm-insulated-magne
    tic-bottle

    Does any one know how to integrate other payment methods other than Amazon? I have looked at the Q&A on Kickstarter and nothing comes up. This could be a big deal to help other campaigns.
    Kitto

    • Kimiko

      Hi Kitto,

      I’m Kimiko from the article above. You can’t actually implement other payment options with Kickstarter. They only accept Amazon Payments. Once we met our goal, we decided to open up PayPal as another option. I don’t recommend doing this before reaching your goal, because you want to ensure that your goal is met first and foremost. So you just offer a link to your PayPal or other options in the actual Kickstarter message.

      After our Kickstarter ended, we continued accept pre-orders through our website by accepting PayPal.

      Thanks and good luck!

      Kimiko

  • Thanks for the great article. I just signed up on the forum and reading each article carefully. Just learning more and more. Doing a kickstarter campaign won’t be a walk in the park but it sure is exciting. Looking forward to more articles.

    • CrowdCrux

      Thanks for signing up on the forum :). Look forward to following your progress.

  • Wish I had read this one before, I didn’t think much of reddit at first for launching my kickstarter. But a friend of mine posted my project and I’ve received some great feedback from it. Thank you! Your site and forums has been very helpful in the process as well.

    Here is a link to the project! http://kck.st/1dZ51mx It’s an art project that will be exhibited in Istanbul, Turkey. The work explores visual doc for social uprising spaces and networks.

    • CrowdCrux

      Yea, I feel like reddit is not on most people’s radars. Glad the post was helpful and that the forum is. Look forward to following your progress :).

  • Mary-Jo de Leeuw
  • Michael Nappi

    Nice article. Check out my campaign at http://www.PocketDockIt.com for a cool smartphone charger.

    • CrowdCrux

      Thanks! Glad it was useful.

  • John

    Lol, nothing like an article by a spammer, for other spammers, to bring spammy comments to the comment section.

    If you spammers are going to poison the reddit community with your self promotion, remember to (a) be transparent about who you are and what you are doing, (b) choose your subreddits carefully, and (c) be prepared to be gracious and humble if you get any pushback from anyone.

    • CrowdCrux

      “nothing like an article by a spammer” – Don’t agree with this part, but your tips for engaging the reddit community are helpful!

      • John

        Well, there are spammers and then there are spammers. There are degrees of spamming. 🙂 I was just going off of your description of how you’ve promoted your project, I’d call that ‘spamming’ but its not as bad as other kinds of spamming.

        Thanks for your courteous response, btw.

  • I’ve just discovered reddit now, and I think I’ll be using it even after Kickstarter. I find it a very community based way of sharing….

    • CrowdCrux

      Agreed. It’s a great way to discover trending topics, interesting articles, and news stories.

  • white puppie

    Hi, I have used Reddit and it just does not give any hits. I think you were just being lucky that you got enough traction on first day itself. I have launched an Art project on which I have worked and spend a lot of money and time. I have been able to publish book myself. However, I need some help in launching a volume 2 of my art book.

    ‘Windows and doors of Europe’ project is a celebration of culture, art and the people behind it. It is a visual documentation of the architecture of several Windows and doors across several European cities. I am passionate about sharing the charm of these beautiful creations and it’s array of vividness with the wider community.

    https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/windows-and-doors-of-europe-cherish-art-in-book/

  • Pumili.com

    Thank you CrowdCrux for this article! It is very helpful to know how Reddit could be use to further market our product. Just launch an Indiegogo campaign for Pumili.com, do check it out at http://igg.me/at/pumili

  • Platonics Land

    I hope my campaign has the same success 😉 I need more information about Reddit, I can search the correct subreddit for my product. Thanks for the information. http://igg.me/at/platonics-polyhedrons-brass-and-bronze/x/13351870

  • Abbadon Richardson
  • Kristin Taggart

    Nice article! Please check out our Kickstarter Campaign if your a billiards fan! American Made Billiard Rack https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/398956422/patriotic-billiard-ball-rack-american-made-persona