Learn the exact strategies we've used to raise millions of dollars on Kickstarter.

The Myth of the Kickstarter ‘Spike At The End’

A lot of people tell me, as I consult with them on their Kickstarter project: 

“I’m on track to raise X number of dollars, because I know I’ll have a huge spike in pledges at the end of my campaign.” 

I usually disagree with them. 

Instead of telling you why I disagree, let me show you. 

Here are a few graphs from Kicktraq showing funding data of popular Kickstarters. 

These graphs display the daily amount pledged.

Coolest Cooler ($13 million raised)

Exploding Kittens ($8 million raised)

Reading Rainbow ($5 million raised)

As you can see from the graphs, these Kickstarters had huge spikes at the end.

The Coolest Cooler raised over $3 million in the last few days. 25% of all their funding happened in the last 3 days of their campaign!

I call this funding pattern the “Half-Pipe,” for obvious reasons.

We often notice and remember Kickstarter projects like these, which have huge spikes at the end.

But we fail to notice this. Look at these graphs:

Pebble Watch ($10 million raised)

Pono ($6 million raised)

Bunch O Balloons ($1 million raised)

Where, I ask, is the spike at the end of these Kickstarters?

Pebble Watch had a small spike at the end, but an insignificant spike compared to the overall funding. The last 2 days raised less than 1% of their campaign’s overall funding.

Pono had a small spike the last two days, but daily pledges only increased 2X what they were doing daily.

Bunch O Balloons had no spike whatsoever.

What Causes A Kickstarter To Spike In Pledges?

As we can clearly see, some Kickstarters will spike at the end, and some won’t.

What’s the difference? What causes a Kickstarter to spike, and others not to spike?

The difference is marketing.

I’ll prove it to you right now with a few graphs of Kickstarter projects Funded Today has ran.

Trunkster ($1.3 million raised)As you can see in this graph, on December 26 pledges started rising. That was the day Funded Today turned on its marketing for this project.

The last few days of the campaign pledges dropped slightly. This was because some of our paid marketing became inactive and took a few days to reactivate.

The very last day of the campaign, pledges spiked. If you didn’t know any better, you would look at this graph and say: “Yep, Kickstarters spike at the end.”

What you don’t see in this graph, however, is the fact that we increased our paid marketing by 3X on the very last day. Our paid marketing accounts for about 70% of all our marketing results.

So was there a spike at the end with Trunkster? Yes.

Did this transpire because “spikes just happen at the end of Kickstarters?” No.

Rather, this spike happened because we increased our marketing budget.

Basics Wallet ($171 thousand raised)

As you can see in this graph with Basics Wallet, on October 13 we turned on our marketing, pledges increased quite a bit (compared to previously), and stayed steady throughout.

Then on the very last day pledges spiked!

As with Trunkster, so with Basics Wallet. We increased our marketing budget by 3X. Our increase in ad spend was the direct cause why pledges spiked.

FreeWavz ($325 thousand raised)

With FreeWavz, you can clearly see the spike at the end.

Funded Today ran the marketing for FreeWavz the last 5 days of the campaign.

That spike you see is because we turned on our paid traffic, and started marketing FreeWavz.

So what’s the difference between Kickstarters that spike at the end, and those that don’t?

It’s the marketing behind the project.

If a project has an effective marketing plan, you’ll see a spike in pledges.

For some projects, this end-of-project marketing may be PR. For others it may be sending another email to their email list. And yet for others it may be increasing their paid media spend.

But if you’re going to do PR you better have something that is newsworthy. Otherwise, most likely, anyone who would write about your project, has probably already done so.

In the case of Coolest Cooler, they became the most crowdfunded project of all time, beating out Pebble Watch, with just 3 days left on their campaign. That was very newsworthy, so a lot of people wrote about it!

It wasn’t a coincidence that right at this same time, Coolest Cooler had a spike of $3 million in pledges, during the last 3 days of its campaign.

Pledges don’t just happen. Pledges happen because relevant traffic sees your Kickstarter, and then pledges.

If you think that your Kickstarter is going to spike at the end, I would ask, what is your specific end-of-campaign marketing plan?

If you don’t have an end-of-campaign marketing plan, that actually works, don’t expect a spike in pledges at the end of your project.

If you want help getting that spike, Funded Today can help. Click here to learn more.