All You Need to Know About Backer Survey

Before your campaign goes offline, it's better to learn everything about backer survey to ensure your success. Here is everything you should know about it from timing tips to handling shipping details.

Cosma Zhang

July 21, 2023

Welcome to the exhilarating world of crowdfunding, where creators like you transform dreams into reality with the unwavering support of enthusiastic backers! As you embark on this thrilling journey, there's one pivotal milestone that awaits you: sending out the backer survey. This magical moment allows you to gather essential information from your backers, ensuring you can fulfill their pledges and deliver those eagerly anticipated rewards they can't wait to get their hands on. But fret not, dear creator! We're here to guide you through the crucial pre-survey preparations, making sure your experience is seamless and delightful for both you and your fantastic backers. So, buckle up and get ready to tackle that survey like a pro! 

When Should You Send Out the Survey?

If you've been scoping out Kickstarter practices on other websites, you might have stumbled upon suggestions like this: "Wait as long as possible before sending the backer survey out." Now, I won't say this suggestion is entirely wrong, but in most cases, it might not really make sense.

Sure, in some situations, it's reasonable to hold off on the survey. Backers could be last-minute address changers, or they might even try to update it after their order's already in motion. And hey, some backers might not update their address no matter how many reminders you send their way. So, yeah, there's that.

But here's the thing – we believe there are more attractive reasons for sending the survey out soon after your project wraps up. Our best practice tells us to fire off that survey within a few weeks after your Kickstarter project ends. Wanna know why? Let me break it down for you:

  • Delayed Response: You'll have backers who won't jump on your survey request right away, or maybe not at all. Some of them need a little more time to fill it out. Now, you might think it's just a timing issue, but in reality, it can turn into a bit of a buzzkill for your whole plan. Waiting too long to send the survey could make your shipping process do a little dance of its own.
  • Unknown Shipping Address: If you're doing things the old-school way, packing everything from your apartment and sending goodies to backers all over the world, not knowing their locations beforehand might not be a huge deal (though it's still handy for cost estimates!). But if you're going for the hip and efficient route – shipping pallets and big batches directly to Canada, the EU, the US, and beyond – knowing your backers' locations way ahead of time is like a secret weapon. Combine this with the first point, and it's clear you gotta complete that survey sooner rather than later.
  • Perception of Laziness: Trust us, you don't wanna be that creator who delays the survey for months and leaves backers thinking you're not on top of your game. Updates are great, but sometimes they don't feel like real progress. And that's where the backer survey comes into play. We've heard from backers who've grumbled about projects that seem a bit disorganized, and one of the reasons they cite is the lack of a timely survey.

So, our suggestion? The best way is to wait for 14 days after the project concludes before sending out the backer survey. Why? Well, it's all about making sure you've got the dough transferred safely and soundly from Kickstarter to your account. Once a successfully funded Kickstarter campaign ends, backers' credit cards are automatically charged for the pledges during the first 7 days. Then, for about 7 more days, Kickstarter takes their sweet time processing those funds before boogieing them straight into your account. 

But if you send out the backer survey too soon, some backers might still have their credit card charges hangin' in limbo. If they try to pledge again through the survey, they might end up accidentally doing the double dip, like dipping the same chip twice at a party! And trust us, that's a recipe for disaster and frustration. 

Why are Creators Embracing Third-Party Pledge Managers?

According to a recent survey, over 70% of backers prefer using third-party pledge managers for their surveys. For smaller projects or straightforward campaigns with just a couple of reward levels and no add-ons, gifts, or bundles, the choice of survey platform may not make much of a difference. However, the current trend in crowdfunding is shifting towards creators offering more choices and personalized experiences for their backers. This includes providing numerous reward levels, offering various variations, and incorporating add-ons and other additional configurations, making project setup more complex.

As projects become more intricate, creators are increasingly turning to third-party pledge managers to handle their surveys. Platforms like PledgeBox offer a game-changing solution where project information and data from crowdfunding platforms can be seamlessly imported and automatically updated with just a few clicks. With powerful features, user-friendly interfaces, and dedicated support teams, these third-party managers can cater to the demands of large-scale projects, significantly reducing the burden of survey setup for creators and ensuring a hassle-free experience for backers.

By using a third-party pledge manager, creators can rest assured that their surveys are handled efficiently, while backers can enjoy a smooth and enjoyable experience. The convenience and flexibility offered by such platforms not only save time and effort but also allow creators to focus on what they do best – bringing their creative vision to life and delivering exceptional rewards to their backers. So, whether it's a small-scale campaign or a complex, feature-rich project, embracing a third-party pledge manager can be a game-changer for both creators and their enthusiastic supporters!

What should you do to prepare before sending it out?

Hey there, superstar creator! Before you hit that "send" button on your backer survey, let's get you all set up for a stress-free experience:

1. Project Perfection

Your project is like a masterpiece, and now it's time to put the finishing touches on those product details! Take a moment to review and verify the SKU prices, ensuring each reward level's cost is accurate. Don't forget to set up the weight information for your items too; this will be essential for calculating shipping costs later on. And let's not overlook the power of eye-catching images. Upload some drool-worthy visuals of your rewards and add-ons. Your backers want to see what they're getting, so make it pop!

2. Shipping Shenanigans

Shipping can be a wild ride, but fear not! Choose your shipping partners wisely, ones that align with your project's needs and delivery expectations. Once you've got your trusty shipping pals on board, it's time to figure out those shipping costs. Crunch those numbers like a pro, considering both domestic and international rates, so you don't run into any unpleasant budget surprises later. Whether you opt for a straightforward flat-rate shipping fee or go for a more fancy regional-based approach, just make sure it suits your project and keeps backers happy.

3. Timeline and Update

Time to create a clear and organized timeline for your backer survey and reward delivery. Pick a date to launch the survey and inform your backers well in advance. Use multiple communication channels to keep them in the loop, from project updates on Kickstarter to social media posts and email blasts. The more informed your backers are, the smoother the whole process will be, and it helps prevent any "wait, what's happening?" moments. Trust us; happy backers are the key to a successful campaign!

4. Try Before You Fly

Before you go full throttle and send the survey to all your backers, consider trying out a little smoke test. No, we're not talking about setting off fire alarms, don't worry! PledgeBox has got a nifty feature that allows you to send the survey to a random 5% of backers within each reward level. Think of it as a sneak peek—a mini-trial run to ensure everything is running smoothly. This way, you can spot any potential hiccups or typos, giving you the confidence to send the survey out to all your backers with a big smile on your face!