To Boost Your Chances of Kickstarter Success, Use These Key Phrases

Some phrases shows up time and again in successful Kickstarters, while others are associated with failure

Photo: KoryBing

Kickstarter fundraising campaigns are finicky affairs. Sometimes, lucky fundraisers walk away with a cash reward many times over the goal they originally set. Other times, a perfectly fine-looking campaign will fall flat, leaving its organizer empty-handed. There are many variables that can affect a campaign's success—what type of project it is (an album's more likely to be funded than an accessory), how long the campaign runs for, how many different rewards are offered, and how much money the campaign is looking to raise. But it also matters—quite a bit, it turns out—what Kickstarter campaigners write in their fundraising pitches.

Georgia Tech researchers analyzed 9 million phrases from 45,000 Kickstarter campaigns, looking for words that were associated with cash-rich and cash-poor campaigns, while controlling for other variables, Motherboard explains. To the researchers' surprise, the phrases that campaigns used were very strong predictors of success—after adding in the phrases as a variable, their model became almost 60 percent more accurate at predicting whether a particular campaign was funded or not.

This isn't magic, though. The phrases that were associated with success used "general persuasion principles"—like reciprocity, the researchers say. "For example, 'also receive two' one of the top predictors of successful funding," they write.

Ultimately, the researchers say they want to create ways for everyone using crowdfunding sites—both backers and funders—to make the best use of their time and money. Working towards that goal, here's a sample of phrases that did and did not work for campaigns: 

Winners said:

  • we are fully
  • good karma and
  • testament
  • got you
  • given the chance
  • farm
  • we have chosen 
  • christina
  • two friends
  • some help with
  • future is
  • cats

Losers said: 

  • logo on it
  • provide us
  • need one
  • hope to get
  • the produciton costs
  • no extra
  • hand made by
  • trusting
  • kids of all
  • an honorable mention
  • we have lots 
  • nm

So, basically, grab your friend Christina, start feeling the good karma, and choose to give everyone some help with whatever it is the future is. Just don't hope too hard to get a hand-made logo on your product.

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