How to Reward Your Kickstarter Project's Backers - dummies

How to Reward Your Kickstarter Project’s Backers

By Aimee Cebulski

Like it or not, almost no one does something for nothing. A very small percentage of your Kickstarter backers will support your campaign without expecting anything in return, but not most. Thankfully, Kickstarter lets you create a series of rewards to say “thank you” to those who back your project and want to see you succeed.

Now that you’ve built your contact list, determined that your list of contacts could realistically support your fundraising goal, and experimented with the levels of support you need, you’re ready to start thinking about possible rewards at each level of support.

Kickstarter allows you to set rewards at any level, from $1 to $10,000 (or more), and to also limit the number of backers at any one level.

The following tips can help you fine-tune the different levels of support for your rewards:

  • Start with four reward amounts. You can always add more before your campaign goes live.

  • Estimate who might contribute at each level. As a basic guideline, think about the potential backers on your list. How many will be willing and able to give $5? $25? $50? $100? The likelihood of the number of backers to donate a certain amount will help you determine where to set your levels.

  • Make sure one option is a low amount. Because Kickstarter is a crowdfunding site that’s designed to let as many people as possible into your project, you don’t want to set your starting reward too high!

After creating a list of your goals for your different backer levels, you need to associate a reward that goes with each amount. Your rewards should correlate to the dollar value invested by the backers, meaning your best rewards should be saved for your largest backers.

Be sure you factor in the cost of your reward when setting the reward level; do not promise a CD to a $10 backer if it costs $15 to produce and deliver each one!

No matter the dollar value, each reward should offer something that has a personal meaning for your backer. These rewards are designed to thank a backer for support of your project, not anyone else’s. Consequently, rewards should be directly related to the project, not just a random reward. For example, a personal thank-you card showing an image from your project would be ideal.

The following list offers just a few sample ideas of rewards at various levels.

  • $1 – $5 Backers:

    • A thank-you on your project’s website

    • A personal thank-you card

    • The backer’s name listed in the finished product

    • The backer’s name in the credits

  • $10 – $25 Backers:

    • Electronic versions of your finished product (e-book, CD/DVD, download)

    • Invitations to a performance event

    • Invitations to a VIP party for the project

  • $25 – $50 Backers:

    • Printed versions of your finished product (book, comic book, photos)

    • Finished versions of games, toys

    • Signed copies of printed versions

  • $100-and-up Backers:

    • Printed thank-yous in project foreword or on the cover or jacket

    • Combo packs of e-versions of your project, as well as finished products

    • Multiple copies of a project to give as gifts

The list of potential ideas for backers is nearly limitless; if you can think of a creative way to say “thank you,” do it!