Mastering Performance Marketing for Crowdfunding Campaigns: Insights from Kickstarter Experts

Roy Morejon
6 min readJun 28, 2024


Kickstarter Paid Media Marketing

As a seasoned crowdfunding marketing expert, I recently had the opportunity to attend an insightful Kickstarter Connect Session on the essentials of performance marketing and campaign strategies. Led by Andrew Marks, the session provided a wealth of knowledge I’m excited to share.

Whether you’re planning your first crowdfunding campaign or looking to enhance your existing strategies, these insights will prove invaluable.

The Foundation: Building Your Audience

One of the most crucial takeaways from the session was the emphasis on building an audience before launching your campaign. This isn’t just a nice-to-have; it’s a necessity for success in the crowdfunding world. Think of it as laying the groundwork for your campaign’s triumph.

But why is this so important? Simply put, having a pre-existing audience gives you a running start. When you launch your campaign, you’re not starting from zero — you have a group of people already interested in what you’re offering. This initial momentum can make the difference between a campaign that struggles to gain traction and one that hits the ground running.

Understanding the Economics: Manufacturing Costs and Customer Acquisition

A key aspect of performance marketing in crowdfunding is understanding the economics behind your project. This means clearly grasping your manufacturing costs and, crucially, knowing how much you can afford to spend on acquiring new customers through ads.

Here’s where the concept of Average Pledge Value comes into play. A higher average pledge can significantly boost your performance marketing efforts. Why? Because it gives you more room to maneuver when it comes to ad spend. If your average backer is pledging a substantial amount, you can afford to spend more on acquiring each new backer while still maintaining profitability.

The Holistic Approach: Beyond Performance Marketing

While the session focused on performance marketing, it’s essential to understand that this should be part of a larger, comprehensive marketing strategy. Your crowdfunding campaign shouldn’t rely solely on paid ads. Instead, consider a multi-pronged approach that includes:

1. Press and PR outreach
2. Influencer partnerships
3. Email marketing campaigns
4. Organic social media content

Each element is crucial in creating a well-rounded marketing strategy that can propel your campaign to success.

The Power of Empathy: Understanding Your Audience

One of the most powerful insights from the session was the importance of empathy in marketing. Knowing who your target audience is is not enough—you need to understand what excites them, motivates them, and challenges them.

This empathetic approach should inform every aspect of your marketing, from how you craft your campaign page to the ads you create. When you truly understand your audience, you can create messages that resonate on a deeper level, driving more engagement and, ultimately, more pledges.

The Science of Tracking: Measuring Your Success

In the world of performance marketing, data is king. The session emphasized the importance of meticulous tracking and attribution. This means not just running ads, but understanding exactly how those ads perform.

By tracking your ad performance, you can:

- Identify which ads are driving the most pledges
- Understand which audience segments are most responsive
- Optimize your ad spend for maximum return on investment

Remember, what gets measured gets managed. The more data you have, the better equipped you’ll be to make informed decisions about your marketing strategy.

Budgeting for Success: Allocating Your Marketing Spend

One of the session's most practical aspects was the budget allocation guidance. Here’s a rough breakdown of how you might want to structure your performance marketing budget:

1. Pre-launch: 15–20% of total budget
2. Launch phase (first 48–72 hours): 40% of budget
3. Mid-campaign: 30% of budget
4. Final hours: 10–15% of budget

This structure ensures you have sufficient funds to build momentum in the early stages while maintaining engagement throughout the campaign.

The Phases of a Successful Campaign

Understanding the different phases of a crowdfunding campaign is crucial for tailoring your marketing efforts effectively:

1. Pre-launch Phase: This is where you focus on building your email list and growing your social media following. The goal is to create a pool of potential backers who are primed and ready when your campaign goes live.

2. Launch Phase: The first 48–72 hours are critical. This is where you’ll spend a significant portion of your budget to ensure a strong start. A successful launch can create a snowball effect, attracting more backers and potentially catching the attention of the Kickstarter algorithm.

3. Mid-campaign Phase: This phase is all about maintaining momentum. Engage your current backers, encourage them to spread the word, and continue reaching out to new potential backers.

4. Final Hours: As your campaign nears its end, focus on creating urgency. This is your last chance to convert those on the fence. It’s also an excellent time to re-engage people who showed interest earlier but didn’t back the project.

A word of caution: resist the temptation to launch too early. It’s better to delay your launch and ensure you’re fully prepared than to rush into a campaign that’s not ready for success.

Forecasting for Confidence

Before launching, take the time to forecast your Day 1 revenue based on your existing audience. This exercise can help build confidence and give you a realistic expectation of how your campaign might perform out of the gate.

Leveraging Different Audience Types

The session delved into the various types of audiences you can target in your performance marketing efforts:

1. Prospecting Audiences: These are new potential customers who haven’t interacted with your brand before.

2. Remarketing Audiences: People who have shown interest in your project but haven’t backed it yet.

3. Affinity Audiences: Groups based on interests relevant to your project.

4. Demographic Targeting: Focusing on specific age ranges or geographic locations.

5. Lookalike Audiences: Created based on the characteristics of your existing customers or engaged followers.

Each audience type can affect your marketing strategy, depending on your budget and campaign goals.

Creative Development: Crafting Compelling Ads

When it comes to creating ads for your crowdfunding campaign, consider these tips:

- Focus on square and vertical assets, which perform well on most social media platforms.
- Use creative pillars to test different ad concepts.
- Blend videos with static images for a diverse ad set.
- Appeal to emotions rather than just listing features. Help potential backers imagine using your product.

Measuring Results: Understanding Attribution

Understanding how to measure your results is crucial. Be aware of the different attribution windows used by platforms like Meta and Kickstarter. Meta tends to have a more generous attribution window, while Kickstarter’s custom referral tags are more conservative. This can lead to discrepancies in reported results, so it’s essential to understand these differences when evaluating your campaign’s performance.

Continuous Learning: Staying Ahead of the Curve

The world of performance marketing is constantly evolving, and it’s crucial to stay updated. Numerous resources are available, including tutorials on YouTube that can help you set up ads and learn new performance marketing tactics.

In conclusion, mastering performance marketing for your crowdfunding campaign is multifaceted. It requires a deep understanding of your audience, meticulous planning and budgeting, creative ad development, and constant analysis and optimization.

By applying these insights from Kickstarter experts, you’ll be well-equipped to launch a successful crowdfunding campaign that reaches its funding goals and beyond.

Remember, every campaign is unique, and what works for one may not work for another. Use these strategies as a foundation, but don’t be afraid to experiment and find what works best for your specific project. With persistence, creativity, and data-driven decision-making, you can navigate the exciting world of crowdfunding and bring your innovative ideas to life.

If you need help, shoot me a message



Roy Morejon

I help entrepreneurs, inventors, & startups launch & market products from idea to product-market-fit. Over $1B in sales using Crowdfunding on Kickstarter