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Updates

This section is less a list of todos, more like a bunch of advice.

Don’t drown backers in updates! Save up until you have something important to say, then say it in one update, putting any ancillary information at the bottom. Avoid writing an update on consecutive days unless it’s absolutely imperative that backers read it right away.


No backer-only updates

Kickstarter allows you to lock your updates so that only backers can read them. Don't do that. It provides no benefit, it looks suspicious from the outside and you rob yourself of a promotional opportunity. Some potential backers read the updates of your project before deciding to back and they may be swayed by all the goodies and changes you post there.

Personal tone

No one likes a corporate tone. Try to be personable and not use reserved company lines. Write as if you are talking to me face to face. Also, don't address your backers as a group, write as if you’re talking to one person. A good rule of thumb is to write as if you are writing to your best friend.

Contrast this: 'Hey backers! We are pleased to inform you that we have received the proofing from the factory. They meet every requirement we set forth. Manufacturing is set to begin in May. We are excited about this development.'

With this: 'Hi! Guess what? The factory proofs arrived yesterday and they look amazing. I told the factory they can begin hammering away on the game. They'll get started early May.'

Have some fun

This is a similar point to what I shared in the Stretch goals section, regarding the eldritch dimension. Try to have some fun.

Selling a game about aerial combat? Instead of saying Please share our project, say 🎯 Tag a gaming buddy you’d want to best in a dogfight

Instead of We have sent the survey, please make sure to provide your an accurate shipping address, you could say We are in the process of duct taping the GPSes to our carrier pigeons, please make sure to pencil in an accurate shipping address in the backer survey we sent.

Tell us everything

The advice about not spamming your backers every day still stands, but do make sure to include everything in the updates that is of value. People love to gain insight into the process. It's fun and it eases our mind that we didn't just throw our money into a well.

You have pics of various prototypes? Send them! Have pics from the manufacturing line? Send them! Have pics of the hundreds of finished products sitting in their boxes? That looks awesome, send it! You managed to stuff it all into your 20-year-old car on your way to the post office? Send it!

Share any and all status changes with regards to the product, be it related to finalising the product, sending the survey, production, shipping, delays, etc...

If you are using a fulfillment company, you might want to tell backers that fulfillment centers try to make the shipping process go as quickly as possible by shipping similar orders all at once (i.e., all orders containing exactly 1 edition of the game and 1 bonus pack), so even if your neighbor received their game, yours might still be a week or two away. Always tell us anything that might put our mind at ease.

Include images or videos

Use at least one image or video in each update, to add a little color. You may not mind reading a long update, but some people are more visual.

'No news' is worse than 'bad news'.

So many creators get this wrong. Keeping us in the dark is way worse than telling us about issues you haven't foreseen. Even if you directly did something wrong, just tell us. It's always, always, always better to keep people informed. We understand. Everyone makes mistakes. I've backed 55+ projects. People are always understanding when a creator confesses to a mistake. What people don't tolerate is long stretches of silence.

Mid-campaign slump

It's very likely that your campaign will experience a slowdown of new backers towards the middle of its lifetime. Some ways of mitigating this slump:

- Send personal emails to backers thanking their support.
- Continue updating the campaign with updates and new photos.
- Interact on Facebook groups, reddit pages and other social media. Get people talking about your campaign, and asking questions.

Stay vigilant

Don't leave your computer directly after posting an update. You'll probably have an influx of feedback. Kickstarter allows project creators to edit project updates within 30 minutes of posting them. You can make clarifications based on feedback and fix typos during that time.

48 hours reminder

Kickstarter sends a reminder email to every person who click 'Remind me' for your project. A bit before that happens, move the list of unlocked stretch goals to the top of the page, as they are one of the top reasons that backers support a project in the final 48 hours. At the same time, you should have at least one stretch goal that you have yet to meet–that gives backers a sense of community and camaraderie as they band together in the final hours to try to reach it. You can always direct attention to a few new reviews you received in the last couple days.

10 minutes out

You cannot change the content of your project page after the campaign is over. Make sure to figure out how you want it to look like for all eternity after the campaign is finished and change your layout in the last 10 minutes.

Continue with updates afterwards

After the campaign ends, write updates consistently, at least every two weeks even if nothing important happens. You'll probably have something to share and more importantly it's really frustrating to hear nothing about a project for a month.

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