Kickstarter Topic #1 - When Should I Launch and How Long Should my Kickstarter Campaign Be?

The question of WHEN to launch your Kickstarter campaign is a difficult one to answer which much authority or objectiveness because it depends on so many things. But hopefully we can shed some light on some of the most important details to consider.

What Time Of Year Should I launch My Kickstarter Campaign?

Here are the most important things to consider (in my opinion) with respect to time of the year.
  1. Launch your campaign when your customer is feeling the most need for you product
  2. Don’t launch your campaign when your potential backers are distracted by other events
1. Launch your campaign when your customer is feeling the most need for you product If your campaign is for a revolutionary pair of winter gloves, then I think it’s best to launch when people are frustrated with their current winter gloves. The coolest cooler is a great example of this (of course it’s only one example, but it’s a good one). They first launched in December but their product was a cooler mixed with a blender and a sound system and tons of other gadgets for a summer outing… None of which would be of much use to anyone in December. The project failed. Then, they relaunched in the summer, when the need and desire for a product like this was very real to their potential customers (even though they wouldn’t’ receive the product for many months after that need was over). They ended up raising over $13 million. 2. Don’t launch your campaign when your potential backers are distracted by other events These could be things like the start of a new school year, Thanksgiving or Christmas, or any other event that might be specific to your product or industry. I think this is self-explanatory. Here's some data I compiled trying to figure out if some months are better than others.

What Day Of The Week Should I Launch My Kickstarter Campaign?

Again there is not a right or wrong answer here, but I think there are some clear principles. The data shows that project’s that launch on Saturday have a statistically significant lower average success rates while projects that end on Fridays have also share in theses lower success rates on average. The data also shows that projects that launch on Tuesdays have averages success rates a bit higher than all other days, but all other days (with the exception of Friday) are not very far off. In my opinion, people are most likely to spend time surfacing the internet on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday mornings and afternoons, because they are already on their computers for work and checking their email, and even Facebook and Twitter, more regularly. Monday is the day to catch on work after the weekend and Friday is the day to get the last few bits of work done prior to the weekend. Saturday and Sunday… I try and spend time with my family rather than being online. I think this is true for a lot of people. Jamey Stegmaier from Stonemaier games (one the most exhaustive and helpful resources that exists) echo’s this advice, “launch on a Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday.” In my opinion, Tuesday or Wednesday is best because day two of your campaign is also a very important day to gain momentum, and if you launch on a Thursday, your day two will fall on a Friday. I used to think that launching and ending around the beginning or the middle of the month was important because people usually get paid around then. But researching this ideas more and trying to see if I saw any significant in the data, I changed my mind. It doesn’t appear that launching or ending your campaign around the beginning or the middle of the month made any significant difference at all.

How Long Should My Kickstarter Campaign Last?

The more I learn about Kickstarter the more I am convinced that shorter is better. And the data supports this. Actually, it shows that successful campaigns that are longer than 35 days have average daily funding’s levels that are 50% to 75% LOWER than successful campaigns with durations between 2 to 4 weeks. And this trend is consistent for first time projects and project creators with multiple campaigns under their belt. Kickstarter’s very own Kickstarter School also recommends a shorter campaign length. “Statistically, projects lasting 30 days or less have our highest success rates” I was not privy to this information on my first campaign, which lasted exactly six weeks. It was a successful campaign and part of me felt like that duration was a little long, but it did give me a little more time to really learn how Kickstarter works. But all of my subsequent campaigns were roughly four weeks and I think three to four weeks is the sweet spot that I will continually shoot for. Here are a couple reasons why: First, it helps to create a sense of urgency. Numbers by themselves are abstract things and to make sense of them we compare them to other numbers we are familiar with. Seeing 45 days… well that’s way over a month and there isn’t much urgency there. But seeing 17 days or 21 days, that much less than a month. This seem a bit more urgent to me. Second, running a Kickstarter campaign is all-consuming and stressful. And if you need 60 days to get the funding, it’s probably because you’re launching too early and hoping to start promoting after you launch. With Kickstarter, you need to start promoting your campaign and product early, so that you have a pre-established crowd waiting for you launch. I won’t say much more about this now, just keep doing your research and you’ll see what I mean.

The Most Important Factor For When to Launch Your Kickstarter Campaign

I am firm believer that the best time to launch is when you’re really ready for what’s ahead. Don’t set an arbitrary deadline and then try and hit it even though you’re not ready. Plan ahead, create your Kickstarter page and get tons of feedback, get great prototypes of your products and have it used, played with, tested out by people within your market who don’t know you and don’t care about hurting your feeling, hire a professional graphic designer to create some representative images for your campaign… etc. I think you know you’re ready when you see a shift in feedback from people. When people stop pointing out big holes in your product or campaign and instead, start focusing on tiny grammar issues, or nit-picky stuff rather than blatant issues with your product or page. Please Leave a Comment! So what do you think? Would you modify any of this advice, or do you think anything is incorrect or missing? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.