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Stuart McKeownMarketing a Successful Kickstarter With Contests

  • Saturday, May 3, 2014   - Get post updates via email + a special bonus growth hack here

Bill & Nate from Catan Boards have completely designed a new experience for the classic Settlers of Catan board game. Their project was successfully funded via Kickstarter in 2012.

Settlers of Catan Kickstarter

We get quite a large number of customers that have Kickstarter projects that are always looking for inspiration to grow their crowdfunding campaign via giveaways. This particular example from Catan Boards should validate that giveaways are a great mechanism to drive Kickstarter campaign awareness, now if only Kickstarter had an API then we could really start doing some cool stuff 🙂

The Prize

Bill put together an awesome prize pack with over $500 of Catan gear, some of which was unique & some was available to buy on the Catan Boards Store:

  • 1 Reversible Custom Beech 5-6 Player Catan Board (Not available publicly)
  • 3-4 and 5-6 Player Settlers of Catan Games (4th Edition)
  • Catan Baking Set
  • Catan Christmas Ornament
  • 6 Catan Cappuccino Mugs
  • 6 Catan Bread Boards
  • 2 Catan Bottle Openers

One of the important things to consider when getting a prize ready for a contest is ensuring that not only does it give enough incentive to enter, but that you’re giving something away that the user can’t get by any other means. In doing so you increase conversion rates & usually also the number of actions completed per contestant.

The Contest

The purpose of the contest for Bill was achieve a few outcomes, he wanted more people to visit his online store in the lead up to Christmas & purchase merchandise for themselves or as gifts for friends/family. With this in mind the contest ran from the 5th December through to the 17th of December.

The second area was increasing the overall footprint of Catan Boards on social networks, so they could continue to keep members updated about new products.

Bill made a great feature image to show off the prize pool for the contest, you can see how it makes the contest visually appealing whilst also letting entrants know what prizes are on offer.

Catan Boards Competition

To drive more users to their store Bill setup some visit action types, these reward the user for visiting pages that you specify.

Catan Boards Image Sharing

Bill also setup our Facebook media action type which allows users to select images from any Facebook photo gallery as an entry into a contest. This allows businesses to collect images to use in Tweets, Instagram posts or even as marketing material.

Image Entries

The Promotion

Bill primarily tapped into his network of 5000+ backers on Kickstarter which gave him a huge boost to kickoff the competition.

The contest was also posted to the Catan Boards twitter account, then cross posted on the Settlers of Catan account both of which had a combined follower base of ~2500.

The contest was also promoted heavily on the Catan Boards Facebook page, which started at ~810 fans.

Campaign Results

The contest saw 9755 actions from 6841 impressions at a 21% conversion rate. The conversion rate number normally get reduced heavily when you have daily entries enabled on action types. For example, this contest allows daily entries on the visit entry types which meant lots of users were coming back to re-enter – thus driving down the new contestant conversion rate. We plan to add unique impressions soon to improve the visibility here.

The Viral Sharing entry type really kicked in with over 1000 referrals alone:


9755 Actions From 6481 Impressions or 1.5 Actions Per Unique Impression
132% Increase In Engaged Facebook Fans
313% Increase In Twitter Followers
200+ New Pinterest Followers (Starting From 0)
1000+ Viral Referrals
300% Revenue Increase For December
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Stuart McKeown

Stuart McKeown is one of the Co-founders here at Gleam. Shoot a Tweet to @thegyppo if you liked this post ☺

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