Stretch goals are the answer to a very common question: how do you keep the momentum in your campaign once you’ve reached your funding goal? But besides that, used cleverly, they can have many other benefits. Let’s take a good look at them!
What are stretch goals?
A stretch goal is an additional goal set for a crowdfunding campaign once the main goal is achieved. They are very popular in certain categories, such as board games and video games. It has even become an expectation for habitual backers of those categories. To the point campaign owners stack several of them, releasing them as frequently as possible during the duration of the campaign. By the way, I have a full blog post focusing on how to crowdfund a board game, in case you’re interested.
Usually, these stretch goals are used to increase the number of features of the product and the quantity or quality of the components. Sometimes they also add free merchandise to the pledges.
Benefits of stretch goals
The key benefits of this system are:
- They allow you to lower the cost of the base reward, which in turn will lower the campaign objective.
- They’re natural milestones that mark the progress of the project. They are a great way to keep communicating with your existing backers, as you’re increasing the value of your rewards.
- They create a feeling of collaboration within the backer community, enticing them to share your project so they can benefit from the extra features.
How to design them
Here are some principles on how to design good stretch goals:
- Think about what will motivate your audience. James Stegmaier has written extensively of the different types of stretch goals. He uses examples in the board game category, but they could be a great inspiration for other categories.
- Design them so they benefit all of your backers. For a board game that could be higher quality cards thicker box. For a journal, extra pages for notes, for example.
- Make them achievable – otherwise, they will not motivate your backers. A good rule of thumb is not to make them bigger than double the previous milestone.
- Engage your backers in the decision process. You could do that through a poll, for example. They will feel part of your creation.
A couple of examples of stretch goals in action
Let’s see the stretch goals in action in a couple of campaigns.
Simple happy kitchen
This quirky vegan recipe book for kids had an interesting approach to stretch goals. For a start, they used very odd thresholds (pun intended). The goals benefited all of the backers and they were really relevant, motivating new and existing backers. I particularly like the second one (jar labels) as it is practical and educative.
This is a campaign for an engaging board game that teaches sustainability. I love their use of stretch goals as they are identifying different personas or profiles of the typical gamers and backers on Kickstarter. They also have social objectives – this could be a great idea for a new blog post… but for the moment, take a good look at their campaign. Really well designed all round!
Wrapping it up
Stretch goals are a great way to keep your backers engaged once you’ve reached your main goal. Widely used in board and video games (even expected by the backers!) I think many other categories would benefit from wider use of them. If you have any questions or comments, don’t hesitate to get in touch!