This is the second post on Kickstarter advice based on what I’m learning from my own campaign. The previous post was on setting a reasonable goal amount:

As I ran my campaign, I made sure to regularly communicate with all of my donors through frequent updates and by responding to as many personal emails as reasonable. They don’t tell you about this part on the Kickstarter site, but maintaining communication, especially during the actual fundraising portion of the campaign, is important to build trust with donors.

Most of the donors don’t know that I’m a trustworthy person, so without going through my fiscal background, they trust me with a donation of real money. They make the first act of trust, and in my case, they were saying they would trust me with their funds for six months before they would get their rewards. The least I could do is keep them up to date on the project, even though I don’t really have time to produce constant contact.

The updates allow me to communicate with all 1,725 donors, and I can show them my due diligence by inviting them in to the process of both running the Kickstarter campaign as well as the construction of the project, in my case, a book. So I showed them images we were scanning, even showing them mistakes that we needed to fix. I got an outpouring of personal thank you’s from the donors and I was surprised to found out that other campaigns didn’t regularly communicate with their donors.

This advice comes with two warnings. 1. Some donors will send too many emails! I had to gently remind them that I couldn’t respond to every piece of communication, but I try to take care of big questions and big problems that multiple donors are asking about. 2. Don’t give too many updates! Every update sends a Kickstarter reminder to every donor and they can feel like the communication is too frequent and bothersome. If I didn’t talk to the donors for a few weeks I thought to myself, “If I donated to a campaign, I’d want to know if the guy was still alive at this point.” Usually there was some point of progress I could put together and send it out to the donors.