Kickstarter after-action report

As is my wont, I thought I’d share some of the details of my just-concluded Kickstarter campaign in order to help those who might also be considering jumping into the crowdfunding ring. This pertains to the Adventures Dark and Deep™ Bestiary.

First, the basics. Here is the adjusted backers report day-by-day for the duration of the campaign, May 1 through June 1. It is “adjusted” in that I have removed one backer who pledged an unrealistically large amount early on, and pulled it as the campaign neared its end. I never expected that particular pledge to actually happen, and removing it makes the true trend easier to visualize. (If you’d like to see the unadjusted numbers, you can check them out at Kicktraq.)

Some points to note:

Kickstarter itself accounted for about 28% of the total pledges. That includes things like being on the “just started” page, the “Tabletop games” page, searches on, etc. This blog accounted for about 10% of the pledges.

On March 7, stories about the Kickstarter campaign went up on various websites like ENWorld, Tabletop Gaming News, etc. That produced a noticeable bump starting on May 8. On May 30, the 48 hour warning notices went out automatically from Kickstarter to all the people that had clicked the “remind me” button on the campaign, and we see another big bump then.

One new thing I tried was advertising. I did a small buy (100,000 impressions) as a test from, which feeds image ads to various websites like ENWorld, RPGNet, etc. I ended up getting 569 clicks, which is a .569% clickthrough rate, which I’m told is very high. The ads ran from May 25 through June 1.

However, as far as I can tell, there wasn’t any appreciable uptick in pledges due to the advertising. I can tell this because on May 27 there was a freakishly high clickthrough of 228 on that day alone. If the ads were responsible for pledges, I should expect to see a spike on that day. However, I saw nothing beyond the normal slightly-up trend that came before and after. Just as a guess, I’d say the ads paid for themselves, but were a net zero overall. Did I do a fantastic job creating the ads, and couldn’t clinch the sell on the Kickstarter itself? Maybe. I’m not sure I’ll do ads if I do another Kickstarter. 

Written by 

Wargamer and RPG'er since the 1970's, author of Adventures Dark and Deep, Castle of the Mad Archmage, and other things, and proprietor of the Greyhawk Grognard blog.

5 thoughts on “Kickstarter after-action report

  1. Speaking of slacker options, what's the timeline of PDFs of the two existing books being sent to backers who got hardbacks of them.

    While I was PHB backer and it I've held in my desire for the DMG through the entire Kickstarter knowing it was coming on the back end.

    I'm about to move and after I do starting a game is in the plans…I want it to be ADD 🙂

  2. PDFs for the PM and the GMT should go out this weekend, Herb. I have to wait two weeks past the end of the Kickstarter to get a final tally of payments. It's always the case that a handful don't go through, for whatever reason.

Comments are closed.