Why do people back projects? To start, they want to support what you’re doing. But they also want to feel like they’re getting something in return — and rewards let them share in your creation.
Some rewards are simple. If you’re making a book, for example, you offer copies of it. Other rewards — like behind-the-scenes souvenirs or personalized work — get backers more involved in the creative process.
What should you offer?
You know better than anyone what your community wants. Think of things that would get you to back a project. Offer copies of your work in different formats, from digital downloads to limited editions. Consider custom work and chances to be a part of the process. Need inspiration? Try this list we made of 96 reward ideas.
What should you not offer?
There are a few things Kickstarter prohibits, including offering financial returns and reselling items from elsewhere.
How to price.
Be fair. When people think about backing your project, they’re asking themselves whether your rewards are a good trade for what they’re contributing. The most popular pledge on Kickstarter is $25 — it’s handy to offer something substantial around that level.
Offer a range of rewards.
Some backers can spare $100, some $20, some $5. Every one of those backers counts. Make sure there’s something worthwhile at every level — even simple $1 rewards. You’ll need to produce and deliver every reward, though, so think through each tier and make sure your budget works!
Once you’ve decided on your rewards, you’ll find plenty of tools and options that let you organize them so they fit your schedule and budget.
Itemize or limit your rewards.
Kickstarters itemization tool allows you to give titles to your reward tiers, clearly list out what you're offering, and specify exact quantities. You can also limit the available quantity of any reward tier to a certain number of backers — because, well, if you were planning to hand-knit twenty scarves, you might not want pledges for 2,000 of them! Quantity limits can also create excitement around special-edition rewards or signed copies. Limited “early bird” rewards, where a certain number of backers get something for a slightly lower pledge, can also help build momentum during the project’s early days.
Estimated delivery dates.
These are your best guesses for when you expect to deliver rewards to backers. For each tier, choose a date you’re confident about hitting, and don’t be afraid to give yourself breathing room — it’s definitely better to underpromise and overdeliver. For complex projects, it can be useful to stagger the estimated delivery dates for different reward tiers, sending out rewards in batches over a period of time.
As you add each reward, you’ll be able to specify whether the item involves shipping, which locations you can ship to, and the shipping costs. Shipping costs can sneak up on you, so make sure you have them covered — the costs you set will be added to backer's pledges as they check out, and count toward your goal.
Don’t forget the survey tool!
You don’t need to build separate reward tiers for different styles of the same item. Once your project is successfully funded, you’ll be able to send backers a survey to collect information like their shipping addresses, sizes, color preferences, and so on.
Remember: once your project is live, you can add new rewards any time — but once someone has pledged to a reward tier, you can’t change it anymore.