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Kickstarter Tips and Advice

Hacking the Kickstarter Popularity Algorithm

Tips to help you plan and run a successful campaign.

by BackerHacker » Tue Dec 15, 2015 11:47 am

Hi everyone,

We have just completed a 60-day metric testing of Kickstarter campaigns where we monitored in excess of one thousand projects throughout the period to identify which trends and correlations may have contributed to their rank in the Kickstarter popularity algorithm.

We have not yet broken down all of the data, but I thought I'd give you a sneak peak of our early observations. I will keep everyone updated with other findings here on KickstarterForum as well as produce an infographic on our website

We all know it is vital to get active backers on the first day. I'm sure as creators you are working hard on your pre-launch strategy building email lists, pr buzz, keeping friends and family informed, etc.
A successful day one of course helps to build and sustain momentum , as well as entice organic backers (ie. Kickstarter platform) viewing your project on the first page, when sorted by popularity (above the fold if you like).

But i would like to take a more in-depth look at how important it really is, by analyzing the list of the top 100 most popular Kickstarter campaigns, in the design category.
I will break up each data segment into the top 33% ranked in popularity (i.e. most popular 1-33 by rank), the next 33% (middle tier 34-66) and the lower tier 33% (66-100).
Note: I have performed the analyses on the 90% quadrant (ie removing the upper and lower 5% of results to eliminate anomaly/outlier projects that may affect results.
For example, projects that set extremely low goals to strategically get over-funding, or those with huge goals that seem like a disappointing day one result (but should not), would influence the analyses negatively, for possibly raising, say $56K of a $2M target.

Okay, here we go.

First observation:
The importance of getting a bulk of your funding on day one to set your campaign up for success.
To place your project in the first third of the Kickstarter popularity algorithm, you're going to need a huge 62% of your goal funded on day one.

Breakdown of data: Average percentage of total project goal raised on day one.
Projects in the top third (of popularity) - 62%
Projects in the middle third (of popularity) - 41%
Projects in the lower third (of popularity) - 27%

Still on these day one results, expect to bring in a whopping $12,538 on day one if want to earn that top third position.

Breakdown of data: Average funds raised on day one.
Projects in the top third (of popularity) - $12,538
Projects in the middle third (of popularity) - $9,073
Projects in the lower third (of popularity) - $6,120

What is also interesting is that of the campaigns that were successfully funded, it took the top third segment an average of 5.9 days to reach their goal, where the middle and lower segments took 8.7 and 9.4 days respectively. Obviously, time taken to reach their goal is a direct result of where they are positioned in popularity.

Breakdown of data: Average days taken to achieve total campaign goal.
Projects in the top third (of popularity) - 5.9
Projects in the middle third (of popularity) - 8.7
Projects in the lower third (of popularity) - 9.4

That’s all we have for now.
I hope this gives prospective creators planning a campaign some insight into what it takes to get into that illustrious (mysterious) Popularity category.

Stay tuned, we are currently in the process of accumulating data that will observe 600 projects’ movement within the popularity algorithm.
This analysis will have the objective of identifying projects that are able to turn their fortunes around mid-campaign to rapidly move up the popularity order, and what the catalysts were for this sudden spike in popularity, whether it was hiring a third-party campaign service, a PR boost or a re-strategy.

We also plan to live interview some of these creators on our Facebook group 'BackerHacker', where we hope to learn exactly what they did to turn their fortunes around.
Everyone here is welcome to join

It is a closed group, however just send a request to join and I will approve. We like to keep the group mostly for backers to discuss the best crowdfunding projects each day, but if you have a great product, we'd love to discuss it.

Feel free to share your thoughts.
I'd love to hear some input from upcoming and previous creators.
Steve from
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