Rewards have always been and always will be a huge part of Kickstarter.
Kickstarter is not a store and it is not a charity either.
The essence of Kickstarter lies somewhere in between.
People support projects and project creators, but they also get something concrete in return.
They don’t give you their support only because they want the reward, but because they want to see your project succeed as well.
However, receiving a great reward will be a great motivator to turn a regular viewer into a full-fledged backer.
Rewards the Basics
Kickstarter projects are created so innovative ideas can get the necessary funding and support from the community to become reality. Every backer chooses a reward tier which fits their needs the most and contributes a certain amount of funding. By backing a certain project, a backer receives a set of rewards which are included inside the chosen reward tier.
What’s really important here is the fact that the value of the rewards (which you’ve prepared for your backers) should come as close to the contributed level as possible. These rewards can offer great value through their awesomeness, uniqueness /rarity, the personal touch of the creators and so on. Offering additional rewards besides your main reward can immensely increase your campaign’s chances of reaching the target funding goal.
This is especially true for the video games.
Video games alone can be worth from around 15 to 50 $max, but creating one of them costs tens of or hundreds of thousands of dollars. In these hypothetical situations (if you were only to offer the game as the reward for your backers’ support) you would need thousands of supporters.
However, the problem here is that it is very hard to reach the large amounts of people to support your Kickstarter campaign. Even with a good pre-Kickstarter campaign, it is still very difficult to get that many people to even see, let alone back your project.
So what do you do then?
Well, the project creators have realized that in order to increase their chances of getting the necessary funding, they would have to find a way to somehow get a greater piece of funding from single backers which have more money and are willing to spend it on their projects.
The solution was very simple: Offer additional rewards, besides the game itself.
With these rewards, they were able to get their target funding goal from a smaller number of people than they needed before.
Rewards from some of the best video game Kickstarter campaigns
As most of you probably already know, we will soon be coming to Kickstarter with our own video game, called Champions of Gods. You can check out what Champions of Gods is all about, right here.
Since video games are the Kickstarter category with which we are most familiar with, we wanted to share with you some types of rewards, that are most commonly offered for backing a Kickstarter video game campaign.
This is the most basic reward for any video game campaign creator. Backers are getting the product which they are trying to help create in the first place.
Offering the players to try out the game in its early, pre-Alpha, Alpha, Beta stages of development. This is a great reward for two reasons:
- You are giving your players a chance to test the early version of the game, which no one except them can do!
- Your players point out to you the existing bugs, so you can correct them, without having to hire testers.
It’s a win-win situation!!
These rewards can be given to the players who pledge larger amounts of funding to your project. These can be things like:
- premium accounts,
- unlocking of some locked in game characters,
- creating some special characters for your backers and so on.
The last one should be given to the greatest backers only because too many of these could bring disbalance to the game.
Personalized notes, signed CDs and so on. You may not be a superstar, but your supporters do like and want to have things signed by you because in a lot of ways you are one of their heroes. You are bringing the game they always wanted to play to life, so your signature means something to them.
The same applies to personalized thank you notes.
When you take the time to do something special for someone, you are showing that they mean something to you and therefore, you mean something to them as well.
Personal rewards not only enable you the opportunity to receive additional funding but more importantly, they strengthen the bond between you and your backers.
Interaction between the team and the backer
Video chat, behind the scenes and meeting the team. This is yet another type of the personal rewards. However, what makes this type of reward special is the fact that a backer gets to meet and chat with the team, as well as to see how the game is being made, which is a very rare opportunity. That is why these rewards are usually only available to the top tier levels of any campaign.
Special physical rewards
A small figurine of the in-game characters, buttons, posters and so on. These types of rewards bring memories of the project in physical form.
What is very important for these rewards is their uniqueness.
These rewards must be specially created for the game and it should be pointed out that these will be available only during this campaign and never again.
Now, all of the rewards in Kickstarter are grouped into what are called tiers (levels).
Reward tier is a pack of rewards which are going to be given to the backer if he pledges the amount of funding which is assigned to the chosen tier. Each tier has a list of rewards and each following tier has additional rewards compared to the previous one. Also, its value is bigger than the previous one.
There are of course exceptions to this rule. For example, there have been projects that have offered multiple tier of the same money value, but with a completely different set of rewards in it.
So even here you can use your creativity in many different ways.
However, our tip and opinion is that you should keep them as simple as possible.
You can put many different tiers, but then you should probably go with the “all rewards from the previous tier+” system.
By using this system, you tell your backers that in the chosen tier, they get all rewards from the previous tier and the additional rewards that are being introduced for the first time in the following reward tier.
A really helpful and a really smart thing to do here is to make pictures on which your backers can see exactly what they are getting by choosing a certain reward tier.
You can see an example of an awesome campaign of Bloodstained by Iga!!!
Now that you realize what different reward tiers bring, it is time to talk about the big elephant in the room called Pricing.
While we have mentioned before, that offering additional rewards can get your campaign funded more easily, there is one problem that we haven’t talked about.
Many people forget that on Kickstarter the point is that a larger number of people, with smaller contributions, can help project creators bring their projects to life.
So what a lot of project creators do is, while forgetting this basic logic, put basic reward as a first reward tier at about 20$ and then put the next reward tier at 200$…
The reason why this is so wrong is because they have missed the opportunity to get support from so many people.
What do I mean by this?
Well, first of all, we must know that not many people have money to throw around.
So, what every single backer does is look for a tier level that suits them and their budget the best.
So, for example, there is a person that has just 5 $ to spare. He can’t get the game, but he wants to be part of the project and one of the people that help to bring it to life. This is the reason why you should have a tier level this small. A reward for this tier level can be a simple thank you or a free wallpaper. It seems like nothing, but if you have 20 people like that you get 100$ if you have 100 you get 500$.
Then let’s talk about people that have a bit more money to spare than what the game itself costs.
These people are ready and want to spend their extra money on your project if you can offer them some additional goodies. These people are the exact reason why you should have more tier levels with a less difference between their prices. Through every additional tier level, you increase the chances of getting new backers, as well as the old ones raising their tier levels and pledging additional funding to your project.
Through every additional reward tier, you increase the chances of getting new backers, as well as the old ones raising their tier levels and pledging additional funds to your project.
By this logic, adding a 50$ tier would make some of your 20$ tier backers increase their pledge. If 30 backers were to do this it would bring you additional 900$. Additional 100 backers? 3.000$.
See what I am getting at?
This is the latest addition to the reward system, that was once again thought of by the creators. They wanted to increase their chances of getting the necessary funding for their campaigns.
The way add-ons work is this:
Project creator puts a list (usually the picture) on his text pitch page. All the rewards that can be added to the already selected tier levels are displayed on this list with the costs for their addition displayed on these lists.
Now, here is how it works from the angle of a backer.
Backer chooses a tier level that fits him the most. Then he decides which add-on rewards he wants to add to his chosen tier. Then the backer adds the amount of money that is the combined amount of all the chosen add-ons to their already chosen tier level.
I know it sounds complicated, but is actually pretty easy, once that you try out the system.
Now remains the question of how do the creators know which add-ons have their backers chosen and how can they save info for them all.
This is a bit more difficult part.
Kickstarter doesn’t have any system for this, so you have to do work here by yourself.
At the end of the Kickstarter campaign, you can send a survey to all of your backers. In that survey, you can include a field in which all of the backers have to type in their chosen add-on rewards. Then after all of them fill out those surveys, you must write down all of their orders somewhere (probably the best option is in the Excel file) and save them for later when you start fulfilling these rewards.
And let me just say this, you won’t be able to send them another survey again… So be very careful with that.
However, these services will have their costs like 1% of the campaign’s fundings, so if you decide to use these, be sure to calculate them as well inside of your funding goals.
Think about campaign costs
One more thing that has to be done while choosing which rewards will be included in a certain reward tier, is to calculate the costs of producing every reward and compare them with your reward tier price.
There will be a lot more talk about this in funding goal and fulfillment sections, but the main thing that I want you to remember is the fact that the fundings which you receive from your backers aren’t your profits.
Your profits are the resources which you will be using for the production of your game and they are what is left after you pay many costs, such as: Kickstarter 5%fee, Amazon3% fee and reward production costs (and maybe some additional costs, depending on what sort of arrangements you made leading up to your campaign).
Because of this, you should be very precise while trying to determine the price of each of your tiers.
Again, in this case, an Excel table would be of great use for calculation of the costs.
Well, now that you know more about the Kickstarter rewards, you are ready to go start making your own reward tiers and dominate Kickstarter.
In the next chapter, we will be talking about the best ways to determine your funding goal.
Also, if you are thinking about creating a successful Kickstarter campaign, you should also check out our previous posts about creating a video and text pitch as well as the general Kickstarter campaign way of thinking.
How can you join us on this amazing journey?
Creating Champions of Gods and bringing all of these legendary civilizations, their mythologies and awesome characters to life is dream come true for many of us, and we hope that it is for you as well.
We want Champions of Gods to be one of the first games that were truly created by its community.
We will soon be coming to Kickstarter and your support would mean a lot to us.
If you like Champions of Gods, and you want to join us on this amazing journey, you can subscribe here for Free and receive some awesome, pre-Kickstarter exclusive rewards, like:
– Your name in game credits with the title:
“I was here even before Kickstarter”
– Special in-game gift box and more.
Here are also some additional, very simple, and yet very important things that you can do:
- Follow us on all our social media profiles;
- Help us to spread the word about Champions of Gods;
- And finally, give us your thoughts and opinions about what you think should be in the game,
Because in the end you enjoying and having fun while playing this game, will truly be our greatest success!
Thank you very much!