Secrets to a Successful Kickstarter, Part V: Stretch Goals

Stretch Goals

Overfunding sounds great at first, and sometimes it really is – how could more money mean seomething bad? Extra rewards sounds awesome as well. But maybe you asked for $10,000 and your backers loved your project so much they gave you $100,000 – does that mean $90,000 more for you? Well, not exactly. Here are some tips that we talked about on our now not-so-secret meeting with game creators who had successful Kickstarter campaigns.

  • More money = more backers = more work. You’ve prepared 1000 items to ship, and now, just because your backers multiplied, you have to prepare 9000 more. Remember how hard the production of these items is? Remember Part V of this article where we told you how hard shipping all the rewards could be? Also, now there are 9000 more people with different questions, wishes, and demands. So don’t get too excited – keep your head in the game and prepare to work extra hours.
  • Plan your extra rewards. Improving your project with the extra money is extra work on it s own. It’s easier that way – you can just use better quality materials (replace plastic figures with ceramic, aluminum, or glass ones etc.), make it “shine” a bit more in different ways – that’s totally okay! But maybe you want to add a little something “extra”? Maybe you want to add an extra pack of game content? Good! Just make sure you’re not going to overwhelm yourself and ultimately fail with your deadlines. Do some planning and make sure you can finish the work in time. Also…
  • Make sure your early backers don’t feel disrespected. So, I backed you up when you were at 3% and no one knew about your awesome project, and now you offer some exclusive reward for people who found out about you when your project got famous? Not cool, I am disappointed and for some reason I think I deserve more now. And maybe I’m right. That’s how your backers might feel if you forget the ones who were you from the very beginning. So please, make sure you’re not offering something exclusive for your stretch goal backers – just think of something everybody can get in the end.
  • Don’t overstretch. One example from our meeting was about a stretch goal for 5 additional gameplay cards for a step of $5000 over the budget. It didn’t go well so they decided to split the big $5000 stretch goal into 5 smaller, $1000 goals. It was an instant success. Lesson learned – plan smaller steps for your stretch goals. Lower your prices if the stretch goals are not going well.
  • Put the best stretch goal first. You know that from the start of your campaign – the best offers should be the most visible ones. You’ll be surprised how people tend to forget such simple things but it’s normal – you’ve been through that, ad at this point you feel confident and experience so you might forget some little obvious details like putting your best offers first. Another example from our meeting shows that rearranging a not-so-well working stretch goal campaign brought amazing results.
  • CommunicatIe with your backers. We know, it goes without saying, and we probably have told you this in every part of this guide but we still say it – communication is really, really important. Be careful when announcing your stretch goals to your backers – be absolutely clear and honest with them, explain why these stretch goals are good and assure them that you’ll be able to meet your deadlines. Again, remember to honor your initial promises to your early backers and make them feel as special as they are. And don’t just say „Here’s the new goal”, leaving your backers wonder what is it. Explain what it is and why it’s cool. Saving time is great but spare some time to communicate with the people who help you realize your project.
  • Your stretch goals must be cool, but not essential. In other words – don’t put stretch goals that should have been regular goals. Yes, you have a great idea for a stretch goal, but shouldn’t it exist in your product in the first place? Just… don’t do that. Your product must be great without the stretch goals. They are just a cool bonus. Just like a great music album is great as it is but a bonus track is a nice little addition. No music artist puts his hit single as a bonus track in the limited edition, right?

That’s pretty much it when it comes to stretch goals. Plan, communicate, and don’t be too greedy. In the end, as long as you don’t go over-budget and behind schedule, you’ll be okay. Good luck!

And here are the other parts of our Kickstarter guide: