Last week I received a newsletter from Indiegogo outline 7 key crowdfunding stats. Their first headline stat was that 30 day campaigns work best. I feel stating that is a little too simplistic and it needs to be somewhat unpacked. How in particular the length needs to be much more tailored to you and your campaign.
First off the Indiegogo stats.
Their figures show that just under a third of campaigns succeed when they are 30-39 days long, which is hardly a ringing endorsement of the 30-day idea. When the rest of the time nearly 70% of campaigns succeed.
As a slight aside here, I’m somewhat surprised by the fact that a campaign of 0-29 days in length, are successful only 26.7% of the time compared to campaigns 40+ days in length which are 43.2% of the time. I naturally would have thought the shorter campaigns were more successful in general, so its interesting that 40+ days have more success than 30-39 days according to Indiegogo’s stats.
Kickstarter recommend a 30-day campaign a few years ago when they dropped the maximum campaign length from 90 to 60 days, though they weren’t as literal as to say that you’re more likely to succeed if you run a campaign of 30 days.
They pointed out that as per the graph below that in general the longer the campaign the less likely it is to succeed. Going on to say….
“This doesn’t mean that those longer projects failed to reach their goal because of the longer funding period, or that choosing a 30-day (our recommendation) duration would have caused them to succeed. Rather it means that choosing a shorter duration better positions a project for success.”
Which oddly is in contradiction to Indiegogo’s stats!
As with the following graph showing every pledge ever made on Kickstarter in relation to when in the project’s lifecycle it occurred – shows that most pledges happen at the beginning and end of a project. So if you have an over long campaign you can have soul crushing periods in the middle where there can be no pledges coming in for days – which can in turn lead to a lose of momentum.
I’ve run 45-day, 21-day, 30-day campaigns all of which were the right length for the project at the time.
The Fitzroy would have been unlikely to succeed if we had done less than 45 days. We were learning on the job how to run a crowd funding campaign and didn’t really get our heads around what we needed to do until after day 30. The first 30 days or so also was part of building the grown swell of support we would have had ideally done before the campaign started.
I could also imagine a scenario where a campaign lengthens its duration due to the team not being as available as they would like around the 30 day mark, or if a major holiday like Christmas happens right around this period.
The Enemy of Man had momentum behind it when we launched and we could dedicate a whole month of campaigning, so felt the full 30-day period was a good idea given the target of $250K.
I think there is something about a period of time longer than a month when it comes to crowdfunding. For backers it can feel like a long way away, so may lead to people thinking they will just come back at some point after 30 days – maybe when they have been paid! The often don’t…
The Fitzroy Comic and One Last Dance both had lower targets of under £20K. Having done a couple of campaigns before, we knew the amount of work they took to manage and we didn’t have the time and energy to commit to a longer than 21 day campaign (if memory serves we considered a 14 day campaign for the comic). We also thought if we reduce the time we’ll keep momentum up, as it stays fresh in people’s minds.
Sometimes it can come down to key date milestones you have to hit for the launch, end date or when you need the money by. If you think short campaigns are only for those with small targets, think again. These guys raised $630K in 21 days!
In the end, you have to weigh up the time you have and how you want to run your campaign before committing to duration that is right for you. Just like you, every campaign is different and it needs to be treated as such.