The perfect length for your crowdfunding campaign
Spoiler alert: it's 30 days. Here are three reasons why.
By Noah Blumenson-Cook on March 14th, 2018
So here's a question we get a lot: "How long should my crowdfunding campaign run?"
Most crowdfunding platforms will let you run campaigns as long as 60 days. But should you? The longer you run your campaign, the more money you raise, right?
Well, it turns out it's not quite so simple. We've found 30 days to be the perfect campaign length for three big reasons:
1. The Plateau
The vast majority of crowdfunding campaigns follow a fairly similar funding trend: lots of activity and support in the first and last week of the campaign, and slow, steady progress for the middle. This is what we call the plateau. Every campaign we've worked on has showed this trend, and it's a phenomenon both Kickstarter and IndieGoGo have observed when they look at their platform data.
Campaigns on IndieGoGo, for example, raise 42% of their entire goal in the first and last three days of the campaign's duration. We've observed this same trend for most of the campaigns we've worked with, and if you look at sites like Kicktraq, it's clear that the majority of campaigns follow this trend.
When campaigns run longer than 30 days, those first and last week boosts don't change. Only the middle period is stretched out. Ultimately, what that means is that extending your campaign past 30 days puts you deep into the territory of diminishing returns. More time, in this case, does not equal more money.
2. Sense of Urgency
So what causes this plateau phenomenon? It boils down to one thing: sense of urgency. The initial burst of excitement at the launch of your campaign gives your backers an important energy boost that will motivate them to get in on the ground floor. The drive to the finish line at the end of your campaign is another shot of adrenaline that will push your community to help you achieve your goal (or your stretch goal!)
As we touched on in our article on busting crowdfunding myths, your campaign backers are not a faceless crowd. For people to support you, they need to trust you, and that takes time. By the time you're ready to launch your campaign, your community has been receiving your mailing list content and social media updates for at least a month. That's enough time to develop enough excitement for a fantastic launch, and your backer updates and campaign events can carry that momentum through the end of your campaign.
The more you stretch out the campaign, however, the easier it is for that sense of urgency to fade, and the more effort you'll have to put into maintaining the excitement of your launch. Four weeks is the perfect balance to maintain the momentum you need without overstaying your welcome.
3. Your energy
Crowdfunding is exciting, rewarding, and challenging. A well-run campaign has many moving parts: events to run, copy to write, backers to communicate with, rewards to plan, and video to produce.
In all the excitement of running a campaign, it's easy to forget that you're a human being who needs to pace yourself. Running the best possible campaign means you need to be your best possible self. If you feel like you need to run a long campaign to meet your goal, consider taking more time to plan your strategy instead. If you still feel like you need more than 30 days for your campaign, check out our crowdfunding pre-launch checklist and make sure you have all your ducks in a row.
Ultimately, what's important is that you do the right thing for your campaign and your practice. We've found that for the vast majority of artists, 30 days is the right campaign length. That said, we're sure there are scenarios where it might make sense to run a longer or shorter one. If you've found success with a different strategy, get in touch and let us know! We'd love to hear your story.