How To Optimize Your Kickstarter Board Game Emails For Gmail

March 24, 2021

One thing that makes email marketing so advantageous for entrepreneurs and board game developers is direct independent messaging to your most loyal fans. Your emails are not dependent on another platform or social media algorithm, or in danger of being throttled or put behind an invisible paywall.


Despite the ever-changing technological landscape, for us at Crowdfunding Nerds, email remains our most significant metric when driving high-converting traffic to a Kickstarter landing page.

According to Data Axle, Gmail accounts for one out of every three email addresses. That means that at least 33% of your email list will have Gmail accounts, which will be influenced by Google’s spam filters and categorizing algorithms. You must understand how Gmail works and leverage their rules to your advantage if you are to reach 33% of your entire audience.

The following email characteristics increase or decrease your likelihood of being registered on Google’s spam list:

  • Email is opened
  • Email is replied to
  • Email is forwarded
  • Email is marked “not spam”
  • Email is moved to a folder
  • Your domain/sender address is added to an address book 
  • Email is not opened 
  • Email is marked as spam 

The result of being on an email blacklist/spam list will mean your emails will have a higher possibility of ending up in the Gmail spam folder, or worse, not reaching the recipient at all. 

Frequency Is Important 

Another factor that influences your Gmail sender score or sender reputation is frequency. If you fail to send an email for some time and many of your leads grow cold, Gmail is more likely to mark your future emails as “potential spam” which will significantly reduce your sender score, even if these new emails happen to get a lot of engagement.

Therefore, your goal in collecting emails through your Facebook ads, networking, or social media is not to have a huge list, but to have contacts actively engaged and genuinely interested in your product. 

Facebook ads help us find these people, and that is why we use them. Quality of leads over the number of leads is the key to a thriving email list. 

So then, when crafting emails, you must be utterly devoted to two metrics:

  • Your email open rate
  • Average click/engagement rate within the email 

These factors will ultimately affect your delivery and potential audience reach within Gmail. Analyzing your open rate and the engagement of your emails is something you can easily monitor within Mailchimp. 

Email Schedule

Here is our two month email schedule leading up to the Kickstarter launch:

Month 1
1st email – Send one email directing people to your Facebook group or online community.

Month 2
2nd email – Direct people to your “notify me on launch” Kickstarter pre-landing page.
3rd email – Direct people to your preview Kickstarter page and remind them of your launch date.
4th email – Direct people to your preview Kickstarter page on the day before launch.
5th email – Direct people to your live Kickstarter page on the day of launch.

How To Craft Engaging Emails That Get Opened

Now that you know the importance of having an engaged email list, it’s time to build an email that gets clicked and builds a growing community of fans.

Take a moment to look at your email.

Which emails stood out to you? 

Which ones did you read?

 I would guess that the emails you opened fell into two categories:

  1. Personal emails addressed to you from a friend or family member.
  2. Emails that required urgent attention: paying a bill, replying to a work colleague, etc. 

Did you unconsciously ignore all the “marketing” or business promotional emails? The reality is no one checks their email to be sold things.

Think about the emails you ignored and try to do some self-reflecting.

Why did you ignore those emails?

What can you do differently to stand out from all those emails?

You must get into the mind of your fans and know why they are even reading emails in the first place in order to get clicks and engagement. 

Understanding Your Fans

To help you with this, put yourself in the mind of your most idealistic fan. This is someone you would love to reach and get into your community, who will tell their friends about you and love everything you put out.

Now answer these questions from their perspective: 

  1. When do I check my email? (As soon as I wake up, during my lunch break, on the toilet?) 
  2. Why am I checking my email right now? (Am I bored, lonely, frustrated? Do I have work to do and am I just procrastinating? )
  3. How long do I have to read emails? (10s, 5min, 30min?)

Answering these questions is going to build a solid foundation for your email marketing strategy. It will affect when you send your emails, what your emails are about, and the tone or writing style you use.

The Tone Of Voice In Your Emails

Email is personal by nature, and therefore your messaging must not be corporate. In consumers’ minds, the email inbox is not for commercial broadcasts or advertisements, the spam folder is. Write your emails as if you are talking to a friend in an approachable and conversational tone. Let your personality shine through! 

It is with this kind of conversational tone that people begin to feel as if they know you. When people feel like they have a relationship with you, they will be more inclined to trust you. Design your emails to build trust and warm people to the idea of backing your Kickstarter when you launch!

Always Ask This One Question Before Sending Emails

When writing any email, before you hit send, always ask yourself:

“Is this email boring?”

If yes is the answer, then it needs some work. You want people to look forward to seeing your email in their inbox. 

Master Subject & Preheader Text For Clicks

Your subject should create curiosity and intrigue and include some or all of the following elements:

  • Lowercase 
  • Simple/easy to understand the language
  • 20 characters max 
  • Ask a question 

Your preheader text is the text after the subject, which previews the body of the email. Your preheader should communicate one of the following:

  • Humor
  • Amazement
  • Doubt 
  • Challenge 

If you would like to read more about subject lines, see helpful this Mailchimp article

Fonts: The Mighty 4

The text of your actual email and the typeface you choose is critical. Gmail does not support web fonts, so for this reason, you should stick to the safe 4:

  • Arial
  • Times New Roman
  • Verdanar 
  • Georgia  

The Body

Use short, easy-to-understand sentences. 

Don’t be afraid to put each sentence on a new line.

This makes it very easy to read.

It also feels very conversational. 

Call To Action

You should only have one call to action in an email at the end. It should always be a command, never a plea. Instead of “please check this out,” rather say, “Go ahead and check this out now!” 

You want to set yourself up as a leader in your space. Leaders command, so show your confidence by serving your fans through a strong call to action. This will assure them that you can deliver on your promise to aid them.  

Less Is More

Don’t bombard people with emails. A small amount of high-quality and entertaining emails will do more for you in the long run. 

We suggest sending an email out once a month and ramping it up to once a week as you get closer to your Kickstarter launch. Send emails out on your Kickstarter launch day to let fans know you are live. Sending a celebratory email out to everyone once you have funded is a nice touch too.

As always, if you have any questions, let us know in the comments below, and we will gladly answer them!

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