Why Do Most Kickstarter Campaigns Fail?

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Why Do Kickstarter Cmapign Fails? The reason behind kickstarter campaign failure.


Before diving into the article, first, let me explain what a Kickstarter is. Kickstarter is a funding platform for creative projects. Everything from films, games, music, design, and technology can be a part of Kickstarter. It is full of ambitious, innovative, and imaginative ideas brought to life through the direct support of others. Funding on Kickstarter is all-or-nothing. No one will be charged for a pledge towards a project unless it reaches its funding goal. This way, creators always have the budget they scoped out before moving forward.

Well, with every project, pros and cons are always intrinsically embedded. Therefore, Kickstarter campaigns also fail due to several reasons. The most notable ones are:

  • Poorly Defined Goals.
  • Inadequate Planning.
  • Lack of Marketing and Promotion.
  • Unrealistic Funding Targets.
  • Ineffective Communication.
  • Low-Quality Campaign Content.
  • Lack of a Prototype or Proof of Concept.
  • Over-Reliance on Crowdfunding.
  • Failure to Adapt.
  • Legal or Ethical Issues.

By overcoming the above-mentioned issues, Kickstarter campaigns can be made successful which would eventually become one of the many reasons to achieve specific goals.

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Overview of a Kickstarter Campaign: Popularity & Crowdfunding.


A Kickstarter campaign is a crowdfunding initiative that allows creators to raise funds for their projects by soliciting contributions from many people. It has already been a valid source for many project’s completion. Ultimately, a successful Kickstarter campaign involves a combination of a compelling project, effective marketing, community engagement, and careful management of the crowdfunding process. Combining all these aspects can successfully bring a project to its dedicated destination.

However, two important aspects such as popularity and crowdfunding in this regard are discussed below:


Popularity and Virality:

  • Kickstarter campaigns can gain popularity through word of mouth, media coverage, and social media sharing.
  • Viral campaigns often have a unique or innovative product, compelling storytelling, or strong community support.

Funding Goal:

  • The funding goal represents the amount of money the creator needs to bring the project to completion.
  • It should be realistic and cover production costs, manufacturing, shipping, and other expenses.

Statistics on the success and failure rates of Kickstarter campaigns:


Well, up to 2018, the success rate of fully funding a project on the crowdfunding website Kickstarter was 35.64 percent. In other words, more than three out of ten projects on Kickstarter were successfully funded, while roughly six out of ten projects were unsuccessful. Shown below is the pie chart with both success and failure rates.


Stars of failed and successful kickstarter marketing campaigns

  As of January 2024, the success rate of fully funding a project on the crowdfunding website Kickstarter was 41.15 percent. In other words, more than four out of ten projects on Kickstarter were successfully funded, while roughly six out of ten projects were unsuccessful. Well, some progress in success has been seen in the last 5 years(2018-2023).


Common Reasons For Failure:

There are many reasons for the failure of the Kickstarter campaign. Well, I am about to share the most common reasons that needed urgent retrospection to make the Kickstarter campaign successful. These are mentioned below:

1- Lack of market research and validation:

Lack of market research and validation is a common pitfall for many Kickstarter campaigns. Conducting thorough research and validation is crucial in understanding your target audience, refining your project, and increasing the chances of a successful campaign. Moreover, a lack of understanding about your audience can result in mismatched expectations and a failure to engage potential backers.

Also, validation helps in setting realistic funding goals. Knowing the market demand and the potential number of backers can help you determine a reasonable target for your campaign. A lack of research may make backers skeptical about the feasibility of your project, leading to a lack of trust. Without research, you might struggle to convey the value of your project, making it difficult to attract support. It may result in unexpected issues that can derail your campaign.

2- Weak campaign presentation:

Creating a weak campaign presentation can indeed lead to a failure in a Kickstarter campaign. Some common mistakes must be avoided when presenting your campaign. These are:

  • Unclear Value Proposition: Failing to articulate the problem your project solves clearly can confuse potential backers about your campaign’s purpose.
  • Lack of Compelling Storytelling: A dull or poorly constructed story can fail to captivate potential backers.
  • Incomplete or Inadequate Information: Lack of information about the project, its development, or potential risks can deter backers.
  • Unappealing Visuals: Poor-quality images, videos, or graphics can make your project seem unprofessional.
  • Unrealistic Funding Goal or Rewards: Setting an unrealistic funding goal or offering unattainable rewards can discourage backers.

3- Limited outreach and marketing efforts:

Limited outreach and marketing efforts can indeed contribute to the failure of a Kickstarter campaign. If you do not effectively communicate your project’s value proposition, goals, and rewards, potential backers may not understand why they should support you.

Proper marketing helps convey your message clearly and persuasively. Limited outreach may result in a lack of credibility, as potential backers may question the legitimacy of a campaign that is not widely promoted. Trust is crucial in convincing people to invest in your project.


4- Overreliance on the Kickstarter platform:

While Kickstarter can be a valuable platform for crowdfunding, overreliance on it can indeed lead to potential challenges and failures in a crowdfunding campaign. Relying solely on Kickstarter may limit your campaign’s exposure to a specific audience. It is essential to explore other marketing channels to reach a broader audience and attract potential backers who may not regularly browse crowdfunding platforms.

 Moreover, by focusing solely on Kickstarter, you might miss out on other marketing opportunities that could enhance your campaign’s visibility. Exploring partnerships, media coverage, and promotional activities beyond the crowdfunding platform can contribute to the success of your campaign. So, it is advisable to diversify your marketing efforts, leverage multiple platforms, and engage with potential backers through various channels.


5- Issues with product viability and execution:

Running a Kickstarter campaign can be an exciting but challenging endeavor, and several common issues may lead to product viability and execution failures. Well, there are certain problems associated with product viability and its execution. These are mentioned below:

  • Inadequate Market Research: Insufficient understanding of the target market and its needs can lead to a product that lacks appeal.
  • Unrealistic Funding Goals: Setting overly ambitious funding goals without a clear plan can deter backers.
  • Poorly Executed Campaign Page: A lackluster or confusing campaign page may fail to convey the product’s value and benefits.
  • Weak Marketing and Promotion: Inadequate pre-launch and ongoing marketing efforts can result in low visibility.
  • Production and Supply Chain Issues: Underestimating the challenges of manufacturing and fulfillment can lead to delays and dissatisfaction among backers.

By addressing the above-mentioned issue, the Kickstarter campaign can attain new heights. Our Kickstarter marketing team at NoveltyAds will help you to get your campaign funded before time.

6- External factors and competition:

Certainly, external factors and competition can indeed contribute to the failure of a Kickstarter campaign. There are some ways in which they might influence the outcome. Let’s discuss them:

  • Market Saturation: If there are already several similar products or projects on the market, potential backers may feel less inclined to support yet another one. This saturation can make it challenging to stand out and attract attention.
  • Timing: The timing of your campaign can also play a significant role. If you launch your campaign during a period when there are many other high-profile projects or events happening, it may get lost in the noise and struggle to gain traction.
  • Competing Offers: If similar projects are running simultaneously on Kickstarter or other crowdfunding platforms, backers may have to choose between them. If another project offers more attractive features or perks, it could draw attention away from yours.
  • Marketing and Exposure: The level of exposure and marketing efforts can greatly impact the success of a campaign. If your project doesn’t receive enough attention or fails to reach its target audience, it may struggle to meet its funding goals.

Conclusion and Takeaways:

Summarizing the key reasons why most Kickstarter campaigns fail:

Kickstarter campaigns can fail for various reasons, but some key factors contribute to the lack of success. The main reasons for this are given below:

  1. Inadequate Planning.
  2. Weak Marketing and Promotion.
  3. Poorly Crafted Campaign Page.
  1. Lack of Transparency.
  2. Insufficient Prototype or Proof of Concept.
  3. Mismanagement of Funds.
  4. Inadequate Backer Engagement.
  5. Unrealistic Timelines.
  6. Failure to Learn from Past Campaigns.
  7. Legal and Intellectual Property Issues.


Providing tips and strategies for aspiring Kickstarter creators to increase their chances of success:


Running a successful Kickstarter campaign requires careful planning, effective communication, and strategic execution. There are some tips and strategies for aspiring Kickstarter creators to increase their chances of success. Let me explain them:

  1. Thoroughly Plan Your Project:
    • Clearly define your project goals, scope, and budget before launching.
    • Conduct thorough research to ensure feasibility and identify potential challenges.
  2. Create a Compelling Project Page:
    • Use high-quality visuals, including images, videos, and graphics, to showcase your project.
  3. Set Funding Goals:
    • Calculate your budget accurately, including production, shipping, and other associated costs.
  4. Build a Strong Online Presence:
    • Engage with your audience through platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and relevant forums.
  5. Build a Community:
    • Engage with your backers and potential backers through comments, updates, and messages.
  6. Optimize Your Campaign Duration:
    • Consider a campaign duration of 30 days, as shorter campaigns tend to maintain momentum.
  7. Showcase Prototypes and Samples:
    • If applicable, share prototypes, samples, or demonstrations to build trust and confidence in your project.


Emphasizing the importance of thorough planning, execution, and post-campaign activities:

The importance of thorough planning, execution, and post-campaign activities in a Kickstarter campaign is crucial for the success of your project. They are very crucial in determining the outcome of the Kickstarter campaign. Let’s discuss:

  • Thorough Planning: Clearly outline your project goals, including funding targets, timeline, and deliverables. This will help you set realistic expectations for both yourself and your backers. Understand your target audience, competitors, and the crowdfunding landscape. Calculate the costs associated with your project, including manufacturing, shipping, marketing, and Kickstarter fees. Ensure that your funding goal covers all expenses to avoid financial setbacks.
  • Execution:  Design a visually appealing and professional campaign page. High-quality images, videos, and a well-written project description enhance credibility and engage potential backers. Leverage social media, email lists, and other channels to build anticipation. Actively engage with your backers during the campaign. Respond to comments, provide updates, and foster a sense of community. This builds trust and encourages more people to support your project.
  • Post-Campaign Activities:  Have a detailed plan for product manufacturing, packaging, and shipping. Keep backers informed about the progress of your project through regular updates. Address any issues or delays promptly, maintaining transparency to build trust. Provide excellent customer service by addressing inquiries and issues on time. A positive post-campaign experience contributes to your reputation and can lead to repeat support for future projects.


Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ’s):

How many followers should a Kickstarter campaign have before launch?


A couple of years ago, Kickstarter released a new feature allowing creators to set up a pre-launch page for their Kickstarter. This page is very simple and only has a title, short description, and image, yet it is very powerful for building a following and measuring how much interest your project has.

However, I recommend reaching up to 10,000 followers before the campaign goes live. For tabletop campaigns, you can expect a 15%-20% follower conversion rate (on the Kickstarter pre-launch page) within the first 72 hours of the campaign.


What is the success rate of Kickstarter?

The average success rate of Kickstarter projects is around 38% to 41%, meaning that nearly 38% to 41% of projects reach their funding goals. Kickstarter success rates varied depending on the type of project. Keep in mind that these numbers can change over time, and it is advisable to check the latest statistics from reliable sources or directly from Kickstarter’s official website for the most up-to-date information.

Agencies also have an important role when it comes to kickstarter success rate. We’d suggest you choose a kickstarter marketing agency with proven-track record and case studies like ours.


What are the highest-earning Kickstarter campaigns?

Some of the highest-earning Kickstarter campaigns are:

  • Pebble Time (2015): Pebble Time, a smartwatch, raised over $20 million.
  • Coolest Cooler (2014): A multi-functional cooler with a built-in blender and other features, it raised over $13 million.
  • The World’s Best Travel Jacket with 15 Features (2015): A travel jacket with various built-in features, it raised over $9 million.
  • Exploding Kittens (2015): A card game, it raised over $8.7 million.
  • OUYA (2012): A gaming console, it raised over $8.5 million.


What happens to money if a Kickstarter project fails?


Kickstarter has an All or Nothing Funding Model. This means that if a campaign does not hit its funding goal, all the pledges are canceled and the project creator still needs to receive the pledged funds. All the money pledged by backers is returned to them and no money exchanges hands.

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