Jorge Zhang

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Kickstarter Day Seven: Student Discounts, Kicktraq, and Disabled Ad Account

Hi everyone! It’s been a while since I last posted one of these. In fact, an entire week has gone by! Wow, it’s crazy to think that I’ve been managing this project for so long. Anyway, I just wanted to share a few things about the status of the project. You can find the link to Daggers High below:

1. Student Discounts

A 15% discount to students

One of the things that has perplexed me about this project is that very few students have backed my game. In fact, based on what I can see in the Backer Report, I’d estimate that only about 15-20% of the total funding has come from students so far. That’s strange to me, since I always thought that students would be the most interested in the game (and FB ads have confirmed that). I spent a long time thinking about why, and asked for advice from several different Facebook groups. One of the things people kept pointing out was that students have a limited budget, so I should consider lowering my prices. That’s a tough ask, since Daggers High is priced fairly competitively against similar Kickstarters. Also, because the cost of each game is based on the manufacturing cost, reducing the cost to pledge could spell trouble and cause me to take losses if the Kickstarter barely funds. That’s due to economy of scale: in order to set the relatively low goal of $10,000, I had to take some sacrifices in terms of how cheaply I could offer the game.

So, reducing the price across the board was not an option. All this being said, I figured that if I could reduce the price for only some of my backers then I could probably get away with it. That’s when I remembered that student discounts are a very prevalent way of doing just that: offering a lower price to students who tend to have a more limited budget. So today, I officially added a tier level at a 15% discount…

…and, nothing happened. In fact, even the students who had formerly pledged a higher amount did not later change their pledge to the discounted rate. I was pretty surprised to discover this, as I heavily advertised the student rate to many of the people who I figured might be interested in backing at that level. I still need to gather more data, but I think this indicates that price is not what is preventing students from backing Daggers High. So the question now is, what is? I have no idea, so if you have any thoughts, please leave a comment!

2. Kicktraq

Daggers High’s final funding should fall within the cone.

Here’s where I start talking a bit about statistics, and the reality that at this point in time, I am unlikely to fund. Jamey Stegmaier talks a bit about this on his blog about Kickstarters, and he says that 91% of successful projects raise more than 25% of their goal before day 7. It’s day 7, and while we have raised a respectable 18% of our goal, we fall short of this crucial benchmark. The reason it’s so important to reach benchmarks like this is because of momentum: slow growth like what I’ve seen over the past 6 days indicates that people are not very interested in the project. Here’s the funding graph from Kickstarter:

The state of funding

All that being said, I’ve made the decision to not cancel my Kickstarter. I think it’s healthy enough to the point where if everything went right, we’d still be able to make it. It’s Kickstarter, so who knows? I also don’t want to disappoint the people who have put their faith in my project. A lot of them are friends who personally know me, and so I think it’s important that I stick it out and try my best. At the end of the day, no one really loses anything if we make it to day 30 and still haven’t funded, so I’m willing to give it our best shot. Plus, we’ve got a lot of encouraging stuff going on! I wanted to share one cool thing that happened today:

3. Jambalaya Live Stream:

Jambalaya Plays Games is run by Jeremy Howard, and he’s a really awesome board game reviewer! I really enjoyed his Facebook Live video, and I think it gave a good feel for the solo variant. The solo variant is quite nice as it is a good deal shorter than the 3 or 4 player variants, and still has a lot of the same layers of strategy underneath. Anyway, if you are interested in checking it out you can follow the link above! Thanks so much, Jeremy!

4. Disabled FB Ad Account

I’m not sure how I managed to do this, but I got this message from Facebook:

They suspended my account?

Apparently, something I did was suspicious, so they went ahead and disabled my ad account. This kind of sucks, since I was hoping to gather more data and see if the student discount helps generate clicks. So, for the time being I’m a bit dead in the water when it comes to advertising. I have taken a look at other ads from other websites, but I ultimately decided that they were not worth it. I first need to determine the content of my ads, and see what gathers the most eyeballs, before spending hundreds of dollars. At high enough conversion rates, the ads would ideally pay for themselves: unfortunately, this did not happen in my preliminary testing, which means that I still have my work cut out for me. Hopefully I get my account back soon! In terms of free advertising, I’m looking into demoing the game this Wednesday at the Dice Dojo and going to some other local board gaming stores. In addition, I’ve been looking into local libraries, and to my surprise some of them mentioned that they may be interested in backing just to support a local creator! Hopefully I can get some of them on board.

What are some of your thoughts on the Daggers Highschool Kickstarter? What can I improve or change to hopefully set us on track to fund? Let me know in the comments below, and thank you for reading!

© 2020 Jorge Zhang