The Crowdfunding Success Matrix – By Thomas Alvord

by Sara Szado on May 5, 2016

Every month, Kickstarter & Indiegogo are minting new millionaires. Others are raising $100,000+ over 30 day launches.

What makes a crowdfunding campaign successful? There are two primary factors: The product and the marketing.

Taking these two factors, and putting them on a spectrum from good to bad, gives us the Crowdfunding Success Matrix. (View infographic at

This matrix allows you to identify the position of any crowdfunding project, and determine how to improve your results.

Products: Good vs. Bad

A product is good if it converts. That is, when people see the product, do they buy?

When live, it’s easy to ascertain whether a product is good by looking at the EPV (Earnings Per View). An EPV of $0.50 is average, $1 is good, $3+ is great.

When not live, the best formula to gauge crowdfunding success is: ubiquity + tech.

Ubiquity means it’s a product all or most of the population would buy, such as a watch, cooler, or luggage. Tech means it’s making a product smart, like a smart phone, smart cooler, or smart luggage. Tech also encompasses the notion that a product is innovative.

Marketing: Good vs. Bad

The marketing is deemed “good” if it meets two elements:

1. The marketing must drive a lot of traffic to the crowdfunding product page.
2. The marketing must drive targeted traffic to the product page.

To make things easy to understand, the Crowdfunding Success Matrix provides the following four quadrants:

Outer Darkness – When your crowdfunding campaign combines a bad product with bad marketing, you get outer darkness. These are products your friends, family, and fools won’t even support. Avoid this quadrant at all costs.

Black Hole – A black hole might very well be the worst of all quadrants. A black hole crowdfunding campaign indicates good marketing but a bad product. When you combine good marketing with a bad product, your ROI is going to suffer. You’re essentially throwing your money away, as if into a black hole. No amount of marketing will ever produce the sorts of returns necessary to justify turning your crowdfunding campaign into an actual business.

Shooting Star – A shooting star crowdfunding campaign starts off with a good product, but the marketing doesn’t last. It is fleeting, just like a shooting star. Therefore, we classify this type of case as having bad marketing but a good product.

Supernova – A good product combined with good marketing is a supernova. Supernovas result in campaigns like the Baubax Travel jacket that raised $9.1 million, and Trunkster Smart Luggage that raised $1.3 million. A supernova is an explosion of a star that briefly outshines an entire galaxy, radiating as much energy as the sun is expected to emit over its entire life span. That’s exactly what you want to do during your 30-60 day crowdfunding campaign.

By using the Success Matrix, you can quickly identify black holes and outer darkness, change shooting stars into supernovas, and raise beaucoup bucks for your campaign.

Thomas Alvord is a co-founder at Funded Today, where we’ve crowdfunded over $51 million.

This article appeared in issue 34 of FeedFront Magazine, which was published in April 2016.

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