Timing your crowdfunding campaign correctly could mean the difference between funding or nothing. Because you want your campaign to be successful, whether it’s on Kickstarter, Indiegogo, GoFundMe, or another platform, you’ve done your homework. You created a blog to promote it with, you’ve designated rewards that are sure to be a hit with backers, and you’ve created a standout video detailing your project. But timing is key to a successful crowdfunding campaign, and there are several factors to consider.
Time of Year
Campaigns that launch during certain times of the year are generally more successful others. For example, choosing to launch your campaign around the time people are receiving income-tax refunds promises to find a larger audience with disposable income with which to back a project. At the same time, launching during the time when tax payments are due can have the opposite effect. Likewise, people often have fewer financial resources available to support projects during the holiday shopping season, and the period between Christmas and New Year’s Day is the slowest time of year in terms of web traffic. It’s also important to correctly time the fulfillment of rewards when your campaign completes. If you’re launching a campaign in the summer months that rewards backers with gift items, you can motivate more backers to pledge toward your project if the rewards are delivered in time for Christmas or Valentine’s Day, for example.
Don’t forget to time the campaign so your tax situation benefits, as well. According to Jamey Stegmaier, author of A Crowdfunder’s Strategy Guide, if your project is funded during one tax year, but you don’t plan to spend the money until the next, you will have to pay a capital gains tax on what will be considered pure profit generated by your campaign, and that could cost you an extra 20 percent.
Time of Month
It’s true that backers’ credit cards aren’t billed until a Kickstarter campaign has successfully completed, but people tend to feel better able to make purchases on or just after payday when their bank balances are in the black. Stegmaier writes that since most people are paid around the 1st and the 15th of each month, those can be good times to launch strong. On a similar note, people often pay their mortgage or rent at the first or end of each month, so the middle of the month is often logically the better choice. And according to Quantcast, Kickstarter sees the least traffic on Saturday and Sunday. New and finishing campaigns tend to perform better during business days and hours.
Time of Day
The last few hours of any crowdfunding campaign are usually important push times for the creator. Vision Launch Development Group reminds entrepreneurs that whatever time they launch the project — no matter how many days the campaign lasts — it will end at the same time of day. So unless you plan to be up and busy promoting your campaign at 2 a.m. on the day it ends, you probably don’t want to launch it at that hour, either. Stegmaier says potential backers who have chosen to watch your campaign will receive an email when 48 hours remain. If that email is sent in the middle of the night, chances are higher that it will get lost among the spam messages that are routinely deleted in the morning.
Kickstarter features its newest campaigns in the “Recently Launched” section of the website. To take advantage of the site’s promotion, you should try to launch at a time of day when more of your prospective backers are frequenting the site. Morning tends to attract more traffic, so if you are targeting a U.S.-based audience, launch in mid-morning Eastern Time to catch the most traffic from across the various time zones. Likewise, if you’re targeting an audience of potential backers who reside in a single region or time zone, choose to launch and end your campaign at whatever time they are most likely to be browsing the web.
Don’t be afraid to launch or end your campaign at a time that correlates with a popular event. If your project relates to football, launching before the Super Bowl increases the chance it will receive free promotion from a sports blogger or appear in Twitter’s trending topics. A science fiction writer campaigning to fund a new book, on the other hand, might launch a campaign to coincide with the release of a major sci-fi film.
While planning your launch to coincide with a major event is a good idea, launching in the appropriate season is a must. When a campaign for Coolest — a combination ice chest, blender, and speaker box — launched in November, it failed miserably. But when a new campaign for the same product launched in July, it was a runaway success.
You probably plan to build a lot of buzz for your crowdfunding campaign through social media. But even Facebook and Twitter have their peak and non-peak viewing times. This infographic from SurePayroll offers some tips for properly timing your tweets and other updates through various social media channels. For example, the peak time to reach Facebook users is Wednesday at 3 p.m., while Twitter’s peak times are Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.