How to Use Google Analytics to Raise More Money on Kickstarter

I had just finished running my third Kickstarter campaign. I’d been knee deep in conversion hacking bootcamp throughout 2014 and practically begged Kickstarter to add Google Analytics tracking code to their campaign pages. Alas, just 8 days after our campaign ended, they released this blog post:

I was crushed. Me and the team at WP Films had spent countless hours hacking a way to get any kind of conversion and traffic data flowing to Google Analytics. We had created dozens of custom subdomains that automagically redirected visitors to our Kickstarter campaign page simply to have “” show up in Kickstarter’s simplistic Referral data table on the Creator Dashboard. We also learned a trick that Kickstarter must use to assign traffic to internal sources on their charts, like Search, Advanced Discovery, Popular, and Staff Picks. You simply add “?ref=[your source here]” to the end of a link, and if pledges come from that link, they will show up in the Referrer table on the Creator Dashboard. The key to getting all this data is that the iPhone app shows the entire list of referrals, while the web view doesn’t.

I am overwhelmed with joy that you don’t have to worry about any of this! You would be a fool to not hook Google Analytics to your Kickstarter campaign. It’s free, it’s simple, and best of all, it could be a huge key to your success. Unfortunately, neither Google or Kickstarter have published practical and detailed guides of how to best use this new integration, so I’m going to lay it out for you right here, in the same style as the Kickstarter Bible Chapters: no fluff, only what you need to get the job done!

Step 1: Sign In or Create A Free Google Analytics Account

I know you’re smart, so I trust you to figure this part out!


Step 2: Set Up Google Analytics

You’ll want to do this immediately once you launch your campaign. There’s no real reason to do it earlier. Actually, if you are going to be sending trusted friends to your campaign page for feedback, setting this up before you launch can actually create noise in your data that will be annoying at best, and misleading at worst.

  • If you created a new Google Analytics account, you be taken to a page that says “New Account”.
  • If you have an existing Google Analytics account, navigate to the Admin tab, and under the Account dropdown, select “Create new account”.

This is what you will see when you add a new account in Google Analytics.

  1. Your Account Name could be the name of your company, or just your name.
  2. Your Website Name should just be the name of your Kickstarter campaign.
  3. Your Website URL should match the URL of your Kickstarter campaign.
  4. Select the Industry Category and Time Zone that are appropriate for your project.
  5. Choose your Data Sharing settings, based on how paranoid you are that Google is watching you.
  6. Click Get Tracking ID, and accept Google’s Terms of Service.
  7. Grab your Tracking ID (should look something like UA-92349879-1).


Step 3: Set Up Kickstarter

Your Google Analytics tracking ID is entered on your creator Dashboard under the Reward Popularity chart.

  1. Log in to Kickstarter.
  2. Navigate to your Creator Dashboard.
  3. Near the bottom of the page, paste your Tracking ID from Google Analytics into the field labeled "Google Analytics tracking ID"


Great! You should have data flowing nicely now!


Step 4: Filter Google Analytics Data

No one wants dirty data! You’ll want to exclude yourself as much as possible from the incoming data because you’ll be proofing changes, as well as refreshing like crazy to see your pledge amount rise! (It’s a little known fact that you don’t actually have to refresh, but it’s a habit, I know.)

  1. Navigate to your Admin tab in Google Analytics.
  2. In the View column, click the dropdown and select “Create new view".
  3. You’ll just need to name your view and choose a timezone. You can call it “[Project Name] Filtered”.
  4. Now, click Filters in the View column.
  5. You will be adding three filters here.
    1. First up, you will filter the URIs to be lowercase.
      1. Click New Filter.
      2. Name the filter “Force URI Case to Lower"
      3. Choose a Custom Filter Type.
      4. Click the radio button next to Lowercase.
      5. Choose Request URI in the Filter Field dropdown.
      6. Your filter should look like the "Filter Number One" image below.
    2. Second, you will filter the Hostnames to be lowercase.
      1. Click New Filter.
      2. Name the filter “Force Hostname Case to Lower"
      3. Choose a Custom Filter Type.
      4. Click the radio button next to Lowercase.
      5. Choose Hostname in the Filter Field dropdown.
      6. Your filter should look like the "Filter Number Two" image below.
    3. Lastly, you will want to exclude any IP address where you will access the internet frequently.
      1. Go to the place where you will be most frequently accessing the internet regarding your campaign.
      2. Go to this website and copy your public IP address:
      3. Click New Filter on your Google Analytics filtered profile view in the Admin tab.
      4. Name the filter “Exclude [Home/Work/Starbucks] IP".
      5. Choose a Predefined Filter Type.
      6. Choose Exclude, traffic from he IP addresses, that are equal to.
      7. Paste your IP address into the IP Address field.
      8. Your filter should look like the "Filter Number Three" image below.
      9. Repeat these steps to create a new filter for each WiFi location where you will be working on or checking your campaign page.

Filter Number One.

Filter Number Two.

Filter Number Three.


Step 5: Help Kickstarter Speak to Google Analytics

Getting good data is all about learning. What Facebook post or Tweet was most effective in driving pledges? Should I spend more of my time creating short YouTube videos talking about the campaign, or posting flyers around town? These are questions that can be answered definitively by using the brand new data you’ll be getting. However, you need to make sure that you know how much money is coming from each place where people are clicking it. In this final section, I’ll show you how to create links, so you can know whether a pledge came from someone searching for your campaign, or a link you posted on Instagram.

Introduction to Google Analytics Campaign Tags

There are four different items you will need to think about when creating a new link.

  1. Campaign Source: Where are people coming from who click this link? An email? A television ad? A Facebook post?
  2. Campaign Medium: This is just the general category of how people are encountering your link. This could be email, social media post, web video, or flyer!
  3. Campaign Content: You can use this to differentiate different social media posts, different versions of paid ads, or even different versions of physical flyers. It will let you know exactly what the creative content accompanied the link that was posted, so you’ll know which was more effective.
  4. Campaign Name: Because this is a Kickstarter campaign, you will likely set this as your project name and it won’t change from link to link.

While Google has a tool to help create these links, it’s not very helpful for keeping track of dozens of links posted all over the internet! I’ve created a Google Spreadsheet for you that will help you create your links, and keep track of which like is which. You can find it here:

You may have come to the conclusion yourself that these tagged out links would be awkward and long to post on the internet, especially Twitter. You’re right! You’ll need to use a link shortening service to make these manageable. Here are a couple options:


Step 6: Enable E-Commerce Tracking in Google Analytics

UPDATE: In rather quick fashion, Kickstarter has enabled E-Commerce tracking, which provides much better data than creating a simple goal. Thanks Kickstarter!

  1.  Navigate to your Google Analytics account and click Admin.
  2. With your Kickstarter Campaign AccountProperty, and filtered View selected, click E-Commerce Setting in the View column.
  3. Change the Status of your E-Commerce tracking to On
  4. Click Next Step
  5. Click Submit!
Setting up Google Analytics E-Commerce Tracking

Setting up Google Analytics E-Commerce Tracking


Step 7: Data Analysis

This last step is the most important one! Once you start getting a few pledges from your various links, go to your Reporting tab in Google Analytics. On the left sidebar, select Conversions > E-Commerce > Overview. You can select Source/Medium from the bottom left of the Overview report to see which sources and medium combinations are driving the most pledges.

You will also want to check out the Real Time view on the left sidebar, which shows you how many people are on your site RIGHT NOW! It also shows where they are located.

The last crucial view that will help you analyze traffic is the Acquisitions > All Traffic > Referrals view. Here, you can see where your potential backers are coming from, and it's made rich by the campaign tags you've implemented.

Just a note: If you're not familiar with Google Analytics, this may be overwhelming, but there are many quick tutorial videos available to make you feel comfortable with the richness of data analysis that Google provides!

Congratulations! You are ready to start driving traffic and getting good, actionable data. Just remember, data is worthless unless you actually do something about it. You should have at least one experiment running every day of your campaign, so you can adjust and be more effective with the little time you have.

Questions? Comments? I would love your feedback! Let me know if this was helpful for you, or if it was downright confusing and overwhelming.


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