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How much does it cost to launch a product on KS?

TL;DR – The more skills you have at writing/photos/video and the bigger your pre-built audience, the less it will cost to launch a campaign.  Assuming a $10K goal with a small pre-built audience… you need $2K-2,500 for campaign prep and ads, broad strokes… NOT including prototype costs.

Some companies have spent tens of thousands on their campaigns, so it depends on how far you want to go with the product, its level of appeal and the size of your pre-built audience.


Let’s assume that your product is niche enough that you can run ads for it and hit a target audience.  Let’s also assume you have NO pre-built audience, so you are doing everything from scratch.  You spend $20 on a Facebook ad, get in front of 1000 people, 5% of them click (50), 4% of them (2) back your project for $25 each = $50.  So in this rather ideal scenario, you make $50 for every $20 spent on ads.  Spend $400 to make $1000, spend $4000 to make $10K.

This does not take into account diminishing returns or that people may not respond well to your ads, but we at least have some metrics if you are starting from scratch.

Let’s say you have a 1000 person social audience that you can specifically target with that same $20.  15% of them click (150) and 8% of them buy (12) for $25 each = $300.  These are not unreasonable numbers for a “warm” audience.  Spend $20 to make $300.  This is why audience building is important and affects the numbers significantly.  Again, this is not necessarily scaleable (if your audience is only 1K) but you are at least hitting your numbers more efficiently.

Bottom line: budget 15-25% of your goal for advertising spend.  The smaller your pre-built audience, the more you need to spend to reach people using ads.


There’s no rule for this.  If you’re making straw sandals or VR headsets the numbers will be completely different, so this isn’t something that can be estimated in abstract.  

Word of advice: it’s extremely rare for a prototype to be correct the first time, and it’s uncommon for it to be correct on the second round.  So be sure to account for multiple rounds in your budgeting.


Are you a photographer?  Your photo costs will be low.  Are you a writer?  Great – you don’t need to hire one.  There is a lot of swing in content figures.

  • What is the best time to launch a KS?

A Monday or a Tuesday during the morning.

The more successful (and the faster you are successful) on Kickstarter, the more they will promote you with visibility on their site.  Starting earlier in the week gives you more weekdays to rack up wins.