You simply cannot do a Kickstarter campaign with just a product. You also need rewards.

You MUST include stuff beyond the product/service that you’re offering.¬†With Outlive Outdead‘s kickstarter, I offered the following: customized adventures, zombified pics, stickers, test tubes filled with “zombie blood”, PDFs, paperbacks, hardcovers, dice, and battle mats. That’s a lot, but that’s expected these days with a kickstarter project.

How do you choose what kind of trinkets to offer? I tried to balance three ideas:

  1. Thematically linked to my product
  2. Cheap & small (or at least not prohibitively expensive)
  3. Valued by the customer

For example: Dice. Outlive Outdead is a roleplaying game, so offering dice is thematically linked to the game; they’re cheap; and the customer would (in theory) value them because they’re necessary to play the game. (Yes, most gamers already have such dice, but have you ever met a gamer who didn’t want more dice?)

They also need to be scaled, as in bigger money gets bigger rewards. This can be ignored, though, if the rewards stack. Adding a small reward at a higher backer level will work if it’s in addition to other rewards.

Then there’s the “cool factor”. Offering mundane items like dice, even if directly related to your product, isn’t enough sometimes. That’s why I went with a vial of zombie blood. It has no real value and can’t be used per se, but it’s weird enough to get people’s attention–it has some “cool factor”.

Rewards won’t make or break anyone’s plans to back your product, but they will entice people who are indecisive or otherwise on the fence and can increase someone’s purchase. Think carefully about what to offer your customers. Your product will ultimately decide if people back your project but rewards can help.