How To Get Kickstarter Backers For Your Board Game

How do I get someone to pre-order my game? That’s probably the question that every single game designer has going into a Kickstarter launch. 

The other day we covered How To Generate Traffic To Your Kickstarter Board Game. It’s the first, and very important, part of the equation to get your game funded. Why? Because of this equation:

Total funding amount = Total traffic to your Kickstarter page x Kickstarter page conversion rate

If traffic to your Kickstarter page is zero, then your total funding amount will be zero too.

Today let’s talk about that second part of the equation to get you to crush your campaign.

Kickstarter Page Conversion Rate

This is the number of people who actually decide to support your game out of the number of people who come to your page. 

I was watching the Great Food Truck Race the other day and it got me thinking about Kickstarter pages. In season 7, there were two food trucks left in the final episode (Grilled Cheese All-Stars and Carretto Siciliano for those curious), fighting for food truck dominance. In this particular episode, the two were parked next to each other and competing head to head for sales. Not only did these food truck owners have to cook delicious food, but they also had to make their food the most enticing and get passersby to buy from them.

Just like these food truck owners, your job as the creator is not only to create a great game, but also to make your page as convincing as possible to get casual Kickstarter browsers to pre-order. 

This is your Kickstarter page conversion rate: how well you are able to convince casual browsers to become a backer. The better you are at convincing people to become backers, the higher your conversion rate.

If you want to raise $15,000 for your campaign, you can either increase the amount of traffic to your page, increase your on-page conversion rate, or do both. Boom!

What’s A Good Conversion Rate?

When you look at eCommerce as a whole, the average conversion rate of a website is about 3%.

Image from Smart Insights

You’re probably wondering, what about crowdfunding? 

From the chart above, the different industries have different conversion rates. And I’d bet you that different niche segments within those industries also have different conversion rates for their sites. This also applies to crowdfunding and tabletop game campaigns.

However, I’m not going to just tell you “it depends”; that would just be rude. 

Since Kickstarter campaigns include highly-engaging activities over a short period of time (i.e. lots of legwork in the 30 days of your campaign rather than months and years of an eCommerce site), it’s important to aim for higher than the average 3%. That burst of energy and limited time availability means much better chances of you getting someone to spend money.

A “good” conversion rate for a campaign means getting higher than the eCommerce average of 3%. What you can typically see is between a 5%-10% conversion rate overall throughout the campaign. 

Don’t be surprised to see a huge spike in the conversion rate on Day 1 since you’re channeling your email list and Facebook Group members into your page on Launch Day. Everyone knows you, has been eagerly waiting for your project and can’t wait to contribute. 

However, as the campaign continues and you start sending colder traffic (i.e. new Facebook ad traffic or someone stumbling to your campaign from a podcast you were on), your conversion rate decreases. For a deeper dive, check out How To Use Content To Market Your Kickstarter Board Game Launch.

At the end of the day though, you’d want to see a campaign average of between 5%-10% taking all of these various pieces into account.

Before we move on, be sure you’re in the Kickstarter Board Game Marketing group on Facebook to get daily tips!

Today, we’ll learn about how you can convert traffic into backers for your board game. Here are the topics that we’ll cover today:

  1. Get Funded Quickly
  2. Have A Good Video
  3. Add A Logical Structure To Your Page
  4. Use Good Design
  5. Include Social Proof
  6. Show Off Reviews (And Previews)
  7. Make The Game Easy To Understand
  8. Create Enticing Rewards
  9. Remain Active On Your Page
  10. Always Say Thank You
  11. Where To Go From Here

Get Funded Quickly

Imagine you see these two campaigns:

They both launched today and have about a month left. Which one do you think people are more likely to support? 

If you’re like most backers, then definitely the one on the left! 

The campaign by Etcher Laser has a bunch of social proof already behind it. 94 supporters have already put in more than $60,000 worth of support to this campaign and it just launched.

People who go to the page are thinking, “Wow, there must be something special about this campaign! It funded so quickly! I should learn more about it.” Just getting this first reaction is crucial, because it encourages people to stay on your page, continue scrolling through, read the content, and consider backing the project. 

So how do you reach your goal and blast past it very early on in your campaign? How do you do this so that you can pique someone’s curiosity and get them to consider your game? I write about this in detail in How To Build An Email List For Your Board Game Launch.

Have A Good Video

Kickstarter projects with a video succeed at a higher rate than Kickstarter projects without a video (about 66% vs 33%).

Since you’re here on Kickstarter to ask people to contribute their hard-earned money to help bring your game to life, it’s important to make content that is convincing. 

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then videos are worth a million words. This medium is effective because both sight and sound come together to deliver content in a way that explains the game and convinces a viewer that they want it in a short amount of time. 

Trust me, I know that making a video can be intimidating. When I started working with crowdfunding videos, I didn’t know what to do to get started either. 

GIF from Giphy

That’s why I’m interviewing various video creators for Kickstarter board games and putting all their advice together in a comprehensive article. To be notified of this, be sure to join the Kickstarter Board Game Marketing group on Facebook since I’ll be sharing that information there first. 

Add A Logical Structure To Your Kickstarter Page 

One of the most critical things you have to do to get Kickstarter backers is work on your campaign page. Beyond the default sections on Kickstarter, you can choose to do whatever you want with the Story section of your campaign. 

As you’re planning out your Kickstarter page, be sure to think back to how you like to learn about a new game and what information you look for as you browse through Kickstarter. 

If you stumble upon a new game while browsing Kickstarter, you probably don’t want to see the reward first thing on the page. At that time, you don’t have a connection with the creator yet, don’t even know exactly what the game is, and aren’t even sure yet if you want it or not. Seeing a price without understanding what value the game brings will probably throw you off and get you to navigate away from it. 

After going through multiple Kickstarter game pages, here’s how I would recommend you structuring your page: 

  • Intro/Story (default first section)
  • How to Play
  • Components
  • Reviews/Previews
  • Playthroughs (optional)
  • Character Deep Dive (optional)
  • Rulebook
  • Reward Levels
  • Stretch Goals (optional)
  • Add-Ons (optional)
  • Shipping
  • Timeline
  • Social Stretch Goals (optional)
  • About & Credits
  • Risks & Challenges (default last section)

This is a general outline for a project, but be sure to check in with your audience with a preview link before you launch to get feedback from them.

Use Good Design

First impressions are critical. They’re crucial in the real world and also determine press, pledges, and shares for your Kickstarter and Indiegogo project.

Unfortunately, a lot of people getting started underestimate the importance of their crowdfunding page design. Since a website’s navigation and layout can have a drastic impact on sales, the same can be said with a Kickstarter and Indiegogo page. The way you layout your content and illustrate key points can make or break your campaign. 

Even the best product on earth will not get backed, let alone shared if your page doesn’t look good. There’s no way that you’ll see any crowdfunding success if you don’t take the time to create a beautiful campaign page. It’s one of the first things people will see for your project and how they subconsciously determine your competency.

And really, successful crowdfunding projects have great graphics – it’s something we see over and over again. Graphics bring your project to life and help create an informative and interesting campaign page.

Include Social Proof

Social proof comes in many shapes and forms. We already talked about one form of social proof: getting your campaign funded early and blowing straight through it. 

Industry Awards

Another form of social proof is industry awards. 

For musicals and broadway, you have the Tony’s. For movies and films, you have the Golden Globes, Emmy’s and Oscars. For American football you have the Super Bowl. For soccer you have the World Cup. 

Is there a well respected governing body or organization in the game niche that presents awards? The answer is yes

Image from Fire Tower

In the early stages of launch, you can even show off game design awards instead. Awards show potential backers that your project has substance. That there are other people out there who are at the top of their industry who recognize that this project that you have created is one for the books. 


Testimonials are another great way to show social proof to get Kickstarter backers. By now you’ve gone through countless rounds of playtests. Capturing some of these emotions (or direct quotes) from playtests and showing it off on your campaign will be priceless. 

Quotes from Dice Miner

Show Off Reviews (And Previews)

A lot of gamers religiously follow YouTube sites for new game recommendations, putting themselves into the shoes of the YouTube reviewers to see if they themselves should back a game.

Imagine that you’re scrolling through a Kickstarter campaign and you see one of these video reviews for the game you might be backing: 

Screenshot from Salt & Sail

That’s probably plus 100 Victory Points for the game right there!

There are a myriad of other channels that provide board game reviews (and previews) so search far and wide. 

If you do get an influencer to playtest your game and create a review video, be sure to extract quotes from the video to use on your crowdfunding page, insert the video to your updates, and share the video far and wide to gain more exposure!

Make The Game Easy To Understand

A bulk of backers will be people who have not seen or heard of you or your game before this campaign. When these people arrive on your page, is it easy for them to understand the game? As I’ve talked about in How To Market A Board Game For Kickstarter, people need to know what your game is before they can care about it and want it.

I’d recommend heading back to the article to learn more about the journey someone takes from being a casual Kickstarter browser to being a superfan of your game.

Create Enticing Rewards

From a marketing perspective, there are 3 things to consider when pricing your game:

1. Cost: what does it cost for you to make your game. Will what people pay be able to cover that? What type of profit are you looking to make? If in the long-run you will be working with retailers, there is usually a bulk-purchase markdown when you sell to them, will your costs still be covered? 

2. Price: the actual price you will set that people will shell out to pre-order your game. For this, consider what other similar games are priced at. If you’re working on a quick 5-minute game, there’s probably no way other 5-minute games are going to be priced at $200. Be sure to keep your competitors, industry standards/norms, and customer expectation in mind when you’re working on this

3. Value: this is completely separate from price, but people usually put them together. What is the value that people will get from buying and playing your game? If the replayability is incredibly high, then the value people get from buying the game is so much higher than a game someone only wants to play once. If the artwork is so beautiful that people want to frame your board, then the value is incredibly high. If you’re offering limited Kickstarter edition meeples, that value of getting it now on Kickstarter is so much higher than something else at retail.

Basically, you want to make sure that the value people get is higher than the price and the price is higher than the cost (value > price > cost).

Remain Active On Your Page

This is crucial to getting people to back your game. If it looks like there’s no activity surrounding your game, people you bring will lose interest and meander off elsewhere with their dollars and support. 

Always Say Thank You

Take real-life common courtesy and bring it online. No matter what people are saying or doing, be sure to always say thank you. They’ve taken the time to come to your campaign and leave feedback, drop a comment, ask a question or cheer you on. It’s really important that you say thank you, even if the comment they’ve left doesn’t rub you the right way.

This is something Jay Cormier actively worked on during his campaign for MIND MGMT that raised over CA$191,611 on Kickstarter. I had the opportunity to talk to Jay about his campaign on the Board Game Marketing Podcast.

Where To Go From Here

This is just one piece of the puzzle when it comes to your Kickstarter board game crushing its goals. Remember the equation?

Total funding amount = Total traffic to your Kickstarter page x Kickstarter page conversion rate

If you haven’t yet, be sure to learn about the first part of the equation in How To Generate Traffic To Your Kickstarter Board Game

By combining the two, you’ll be able to effective drive traffic to your Kickstarter page and efficiently convert that traffic into paying backers.

If you want a second set of eyes on your Kickstarter page, be sure to share the preview link in the Kickstarter Board Game Marketing group on Facebook.

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