3 Tips to Boost Your Kickstarter Funding with Upsells

How to Boost Your Kickstarter Funding with Upsells

Lucy Wong

December 1, 2022

One of the best ways to increase your funding and smash through your crowdfunding goals is by upselling your current backers with add-ons, such as premium versions of your product, exclusive color choices, and accessories that boost your funding goal by encouraging backers to pledge more either during or after your campaign. Upselling is a great win-win because it gives your backers incentives that add value to their pledge while resulting in more income for your project. 

Upselling to current backers can be easier than converting new backers for a number of reasons. First, your current backers already love your product. They believe in the project enough to back it in the first place so offering them more value at a reasonable price is highly attractive to them. Second, with smart planning and the help of a Pledge Manager, the add-on sale can be virtually seamless for your backer. It can take place at the point of the initial sale or during the backer survey. With just a few clicks, your backer can opt-in on an attractive add-on or accessory offer and it can be included and shipped with their reward. 

Having an upsell strategy is an important part of any campaign but it requires a little preparation and timely execution. Here are three important tips to help you succeed with upsells.

1. Plan Ahead

Saying ‘Yes!’ to an upsell should be a no-brainer for your backers. The time to prepare for upsells is long before your campaign launches. Make this step part of your pre-campaign planning so you will be ready to upsell for early momentum or for a mid-campaign boost. During this step think about useful add-ons or accessories for your products that will add value for your backer and increase their contribution at the same time. A good rule of thumb is to offer add-ons that are directly related to your product so that they increase its benefits. A premium version or exclusive color choice is a great option for many products but the possibilities are endless.

For example, 

A watch product might include the option to add an additional strap of a different color or material,

A tabletop game could offer a premium version upgrade, a companion book, or dice. 

An electronic device such as a phone or power bank might offer a protective case.

Collector’s editions of a book could be appealing.

A 3D printer could offer special filaments.

One example of an appealing upsell for virtually any product is customization with a laser engraving of a name or other message that gives your backers a more personalized experience with the product. An upsell such as this is especially beneficial because it doesn’t require additional manufacturing and also doesn’t affect the shipping cost. Be creative with what you offer your backers and consider how easy or difficult it will be for your team to implement the upgrade.

As part of your planning, consider upsells when determining your initial shipping costs. If you have estimated shipping correctly, you may have enough extra cost built-in that may in fact cover the additional freight for a small upsell item. If not, plan for how you can manage the additional shipping cost of the item or accessory. A great way to do this is with Pledge Manager system which allows you to customize shipping costs for backers. 

2. Upsell Strategically

There are two main approaches to using upsells to boost your crowdfunding goals. First, you can start right away by building your upsell directly in the rewards tiers of your campaign. This is a great way to maximize backer pledges right at the beginning of your campaign, which is helpful for gaining early-campaign momentum. 

The second is to use your upselling efforts as a mid-campaign tactic to reinvigorate traffic after your campaign launch momentum begins to taper off. This can be helpful if you haven’t pre-planned your upsell items and want to use feedback from your backers to guide your choice of add-ons. Use the following techniques for mid-campaign upselling.

 - Listen to your backers, what are they asking for? A different color or a premium version of your product? If you have the ability to fulfill the most popular requests from your backers then you know that your upsell will be successful. 

- For mid-campaign upsells, make your pitch through direct communications such as backer updates and emails. Communicate how to upsell items that add value to their pledge and directly benefit them.

- Make the cost reasonable. An upsell of 10%-25% is much easier to achieve than an upgrade that doubles the price of the pledge, don’t get greedy. 

- Send the upsell item at no additional shipping cost if your initial shipping charges can absorb the added shipment fee of the upsell item.

3. Use a Pledge Manager

For most creators, using a Pledge Manager will be incredibly helpful to keep track of backer information, collecting reward option choices, as well as offering and managing upsells. Trying to manage backer info using Kickstarter’s built-in survey can be difficult and the addition of add-ons can complicate things even more. Pledge Managers streamline the process of collecting backer information and are a great way to manage add-ons, handle mid-campaign address changes, and assign additional shipping charges that may apply to upsells. 

The most popular and feature-rich pledge managers available to creators include PledgeBox, BackerKit, and KickBooster. Each has its own special benefits for use during and after a campaign and is proven to help ensure a smooth reward fulfillment process for your backers. Pledge Managers allow backers to make additional pledges during their customer survey, which makes it easy for them to add to their campaign contribution. The information is then collected automatically which is a valuable time-saver for busy creators and avoids costly mistakes during fulfillment and shipping. 

The PledgeBox pledge manager service will help you restore failed backers’ payments, collect shipping addresses, sell more add-ons, collect extra shipping fees/Tax, and more functions for you to customize surveys.
The system is very user-friendly and fees are reasonable - Free campaign fee, only charge 3% of upselling through PledgeBox.

Upselling with add-ons is the perfect way to offer backers the opportunity to select additional items to add to the reward tier they selected and increase their individual pledge amount. Upsells instantly boost your Kickstarter funding, are easy to implement if executed properly, and help you reach funding goals. With a little forethought and planning and the help of useful pledge manager software, getting the benefit of add-on upsells can be a potent tool for crowdfunding success.