Games on the Brain

Phrases that Pay on Kickstarter

Researchers at Georgia Tech have discovered that the language used on Kickstarter projects holds a surprisingly predictive power about the success of the campaigns.

In a newly published study called The Language that Gets People to Give: Phrases that Predict Success on Kickstarter, Assistant Professor Eric Gilbert and doctoral candidate Tanushree Mitra

Assistant Professor Eric Gilbert and doctoral candidate Tanushree Mitra studied 45,000 Kickstarter campaigns to compile a list of the top 100 phrases signaling that a project will be funded, as well as a list of the top 100 phrases signaling that a project will fail.

They found that the language used to pitch projects plays a major role in driving its success — accounting for 58.56 percent of the variance around success.

The most successful language generally fit into the following categories:

Reciprocity
The tendency to return a favor after receiving one.

Scarcity
People attach more value to products and opportunities which are rare, distinct, limited in supply or are available for a limited time.

Social Proof
The idea that people depend on others for cues on how to act. Persuasive tactics use this principle by making people aware of what others are doing to increase their likelihood to follow along.

Social Identity
An individual’s knowledge that he belongs to a social group, in which individuals have common attributes and identify themselves in similar ways.

Liking (not the Facebook kind)
People are more likely to comply with a person or product if they like them.

Authority
People often resort to expert opinions for making efficient and quick decisions.

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