Understanding Kickstarter's Referral Metrics: A Comprehensive Guide

If you're new to launching projects, you may not understand the dashboard referrers without help. This article will explain the common referrers.

Echy Wong

September 5, 2023

If you haven't had any experience launching projects in the past, or have only created one or two projects, you may not be able to figure out what the referrers in the dashboard mean without the guidance of a professional marketing agency, and thus not be able to integrate them well into your marketing analytics review. But never mind, this article will explain what the common referrers stand for.

Usually, we categorize referrers into the following three types.

Hard Kickstarter Leads

Hard Kickstarter Leads include individuals who found you on Kickstarter and support your project. Includes:

  • Advanced Discovery – The Kickstarter explore and search filters are used to find your project.  
  • Discovery – Related topics used to suggest your project to users browsing Kickstarter. 
  • Recommendations – Your project is recommended to a Kickstarter user on their home page or the footer of similar projects. 
  • Internal – A pledge internally sourced from Kickstarter but not related to the discovery and recommendations already defined. 
  • Email – An email from Kickstarter notifying the individual that an acquaintance has backed your game, saying “Your friend just backed project A”, then you may back it too.
  • Activity Feed – Lists user activities on Kickstarter and includes updates about projects they have supported. If customers are following you as a designer or creator then they will be notified about your new project here. 
  • Thanks things – from the thank page. Someone has backed your project, got to the thank you page, and shared it and another backer came from that tweet, email, etc.

Soft Kickstarter Leads 

Soft-Kickstarter Leads are pledgers who came to Kickstarter looking for you and already knew about you from another source. Includes:

  • Email – This can be included in your email referrals. Sometimes Kickstarter will email particular projects to certain people. 
  • Remind me – some backers may back your project before it ends by tapping “remind me” on your project page
  • Follow – When someone visits your designer profile page, they have the option to follow you and receive updates on your future projects. Like the email leads, these followers could have been found organically on Kickstarter or be a direct result of your marketing efforts. 
  • Profile saved/starred – Kickstarter allows you to save/star projects to track them in your profile, so this referral is when someone backs from browsing their profile and saved projects.

User Leads

User Leads are directly attributed to you. This includes your ability to mobilize your fan base by cultivating an engaged email list, Facebook Group, or YouTube Channel, among others. User Leads are also acquired through the effectiveness of your landing page and advertising efforts through Facebook ads or third-party reviewers. Includes:

  • Search – There is a possibility that while browsing Kickstarter, a pledger saw your project went away and came back to it by searching for you within Kickstarter. This is rather unlikely, however, as people tend to only commit games to memory if they intend to back the project. It is far more likely that these searchers represent people coming to Kickstarter with your project already in mind and seeking to find you quickly. 
  • Push – Your pre-launch Kickstarter landing page has the option for individuals to receive push notifications on their mobile phones once you launch. Pledges from this referral stream would have resulted in your efforts to attract people to your pre-landing page. 
  • External – The acquisition of backers from any non-Kickstarter page, including social media sites or your own website. 

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