From Failure to Success! Great Tips on Relaunching a Failed Kickstarter Project

Mike Gonzalez August 1, 2015 12
From Failure to Success! Great Tips on Relaunching a Failed Kickstarter Project

This is a great story about not giving up on your crowdfunding project after it fails. These guys learned from their mistakes and came back stronger and ready to win big on Kickstarter!

Their Current Project, EMBRACE+ – a smart piece of wearable technology currently has $108,000, surpassing their original goal of $80,000 with 33 days to go as of today. I think everyone could learn a thing or two from reading this article, even so called crowdfunding experts and gurus.

Dear Crowdfunding creators and backers,

My name is Rudi and together with my friend Paul we developed a new product called the EMBRACE+. It notifies the wearer through visual and tactile cues of incoming calls, messages, and reminders on their phone.

On 22 February we launched our first campaign, without any experience whatsoever with crowd-funding and Kickstarter in particular. We put a lot of work in the prototyping but also the Kickstarter content such as a video, product photos, graphical design/illustration, and the story text. If you have invested so much time it is a real dissapointment when you campaign fails. This happened to us. But don’t give up yet! Because Kickstarter let’s you relaunch your campaign so take the time and re-focus, re-design, and re-launch your campaign.

What did we do wrong?

1. We set a funding goal that was perceived by backers as ‘too high’. The funding goal you set is very important! If you set it too high people will think you want to make a quick buck or that your campaign will never achieve the goal. Backers want to be part of a successful campaign, not a failing one! Better you set the goal very conservative and try to go beyond it by using stretch goals and PR.

2. The video was more about us than the product. We edited all footage to 1.30min of video and most of the time the viewers saw us talking about details in difficult sentences. We were looking a bit tensioned and all this took the attention away from what it is all about: showing how a backer can benefit from your idea/product. Therefore you should focus with your video on the product, and if you have little experience in front of a camera then keep it very short and use a narration in the background while demonstrating the functionality and benefits of your product. In general: depict a phenomena/problem and present the solution/your product. Keep it simple!!! We are not all Einsteins!

3. The story you write on the Kickstarter page is also very important. Don’t use too much text, and keep it simple! The best way to go is to use a lot of graphical banners and illustrations to explains the functionality, characterictics, and benefits of your product.

4. After several days into the campaign we started to get worried we wouldn’t achieve the funding goal. Although we did pretty good the first few days, the funding goal we set was just too high. A marketing company approached us through the Kickstarter messages inbox and told us how good they are and how many other projects they helped to succeed with their social marketing campaigns. We decided to use them and looking back at this now, with the numbers analyzed, it didn’t help too much. Nevertheless they ask a fixed fee and a percentage of the funding. Don’t do it! Looking at the statistics that Kickstarter provides we could see that the vast majority of backers came from Kickstarter itself. The marketing company did get us on many popular blogs with nice articles but it won’t attract a lot of traffic that makes a pledge. Kickstarter itself is THE source for your backers, so use a facebook and twitter account, link it to your Kickstarter page, and update it every day with a post. That should be enough…

Now the relaunch…

1. We improved all above 4 mistakes: setting a much much lower funding goal, make a new video with the focus on product demonstration and narration in background, hired a designer who improved the logo and made a lot of nice banners and illustrations for the story, and do our own marketing which only costs half an hour per day!

2. Very important: you have access to your the page of your failed campaign even after the funding has closed. You can post comments and updates which allow you to add photos, videos, and files. However, the story page cannot be edited anymore so if you know your campaign will fail then before it closes add a link (register a domain for 2 bucks or so) and use a 301 redirect to link to the relaunch page once it’s online. Anyway, STAY CLOSE WITH YOUR BACKERS! So that once you have relaunched your campaign they are willing to back you again.

3. We posted an update on the old page with a video in which we asked all backers to back our relaunch when it goes online within the first couple of days. This way we were able to achieve the 50% funding mark within two days. Result: we are shown in the popular category which rotates on the main page! This gives you an enormous amount of extra visibility.

Last comment: most people say you should keep the funding period short (not more than 30 days) to create a sense of urgency, but i don’t agree… The more time you have the more chance to get funded because each day you will receive new backers and they don’t care whether you set the goal to 30 days or 45 days.

This post is based on our first campaign which failed, and our relaunch which is currently funding:

[old] EMBRACE+, smart notification bracelet for iPhone and Android –
[new] EMBRACE+, a smart piece of wearable technology –

Compare them to understand my tips better, and you’ll do great with yours!

Take care,

– Rudi

  • Excellent post, great information. I appreciate that you made the time and effort to share.

  • Chau Nguyen

    nice article and website

  • This was very helpful! I wonder if failing the fist time actually helped rather than doing it right the first time?

  • My Guitar Pal

    Great article. It’s nice to know that all is not lost if your first campaign goes unfunded. This should take some weight off my shoulders when we launch our campaign.

  • Miles Thorne

    Very helpful!

  • Helen Stringer

    Very helpful! I’m in the middle of a relaunch myself and rethinking the approach is crucial. Your advice is excellent!

  • Glenn

    RE BUDGET SIZE: Sum of all fears! Rudi… thanks for your post. We are looking at CF for a small oil and gas exploration project but worry budget too high. Here is info I think useful on larger projects…

  • Chris Faith

    Nice perspective! This post is helpful to me, as I am planning to relaunch my Kickstarter also. Thanks for sharing!

  • Don

    My campaign is about to fail with about 50% funded. This article told me exactly what to do. Thanks!

  • Jon Baldovin

    Thanks for the info my friend and I just started our own kickstarter

    If anyone could message me some feedback or even help back us that would be great!

  • Sachin Mistry

    Great story! I’ll keep these points in mind when we’re working on our relaunch. Right now, I’m trying to figure out a more reasonable amount to ask for with our Kickstarter campaign.

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