[UPDATE: We were right. Lee’s Kittyo Kickstarter campaign is already fully funded! He raised $30,000 in less than an hour! And the funds raised total is still rising rapidly. Huge congratulations to Lee and the entire Kittyo team!]

Last September, Lee Miller came to me for crowdfunding advice.  We met for coffee to discuss his unique idea for a device that would allow you to play with your cat, even when you’re not home.

Now, seven months later, Lee Miller’s Kittyo project is launching (in just a few minutes) on Kickstarter.

Most project creators get very nervous about finally publishing their project and baring their idea to the world.

But Lee doesn’t need to get nervous.

He doesn’t need to worry at all.

Because Lee’s project is already funded.

Not because he has a rich uncle or outside investor money. I mean “Kickstarter-funded”, from backers that want his product.

My guess is, he’ll get fully funded in a few hours and by the end of the campaign, hit a multiple of his $30,000 funding goal.

So how did Lee do it?

Lee’s imminent Kickstarter success wasn’t the result of one “silver-bullet” trick or tactic (although there were a few key ones he executed on brilliantly.)

It was the result of months of planning and smart execution of a robust marketing plan.

  1. He invented a new and novel product idea that people actually wanted.
  2. He partnered with an amazing design team to bring his idea to life.
  3. He found the tribes and sub-tribes of people who desperately cared (and he ignored everyone else).
  4. He used clear design, copy and calls-to-action in all of his marketing and messaging.
  5. He designed a perfect Kickstarter project page, from a great video to compelling reward level pricing and copy to high resolution product images.
  6. He built and optimized a perfect landing page that explained the product, the benefits and the offer. (It worked so well, it converted at more than 40%.)
  7. He used that landing page to get permission to announce his launch to over 13,000 cat lovers that opted in to be notified of the launch.


Want to go behind the scenes of Kittyo’s success?

Lee and I are working closely together and over the next 32 days, I want to bring you behind the scenes of Kittyo, sharing the exact tips, tricks and marketing strategies that are going to make Kittyo such a smash success.

  • I’ll share how Lee is maximizing the press story and the impact of that story.
  • I’ll share how he’s getting his backers to share the project with their friends.
  • I’ll share exactly how Lee is planning and creating his project updates to keep backers interested.
  • And much, much more…

I look forward to sharing Lee’s and Kittyo’s success with you.

  • chris brisson

    Looking for to it… sounds great!

    • Clay Hebert

      Thanks, Chris!

  • Jessica T.

    Holy crap. $37,801 already funded?! I agree, this kickstarter page is amazing! It makes me excited to launch mine. Please oh please teach me the ways!! >_<

    • Clay Hebert

      Jessica, stay tuned. That’s the plan!

  • salman

    Wow….you its already funded :). Great post and congratulations on smashing your goal.

    • Clay Hebert

      Thanks, Salman!

  • Tom Fairhall


    I’m launching my campaign in a couple if months so this knowledge will prove invaluable so thanks for sharing.


    • Clay Hebert

      Great, Tom! If there are specific topics you want me to cover, let me know and I’ll try to get them in the queue.

  • Jeff B.


    Thanks a bazillion …

    What did you mean by: 1) landing page and 2) opted in to be notified of the launch?

    Thanks, Jeff

    6. He built and optimized a perfect landing page that explained the product, the benefits and the offer. (It worked so well, it converted at more than 40%.)
    7. He used that landing page to get permission to announce his launch to over 13,000 cat lovers that opted in to be notified of the launch.

    • Clay Hebert


      Sorry – I’ll explain in more detail, here and in future blog posts.

      (Also, what Bret said is great.)

      1) A landing page is a website designed specifically to collect email addresses of interested parties to let them know about a future launch. There are good free landing page platforms like (simple, free, recently acquired by Crowdfunder), freemium services like Unbounce and more robust paid services like LeadPages.

      I’ll be doing some future blog posts specifically on landing pages.

      2) Opted in to be notified just meant that people gave Lee their email address (13K people over the last 5 months) to be notified when he launched on Kickstarter.

      You can see an example of a landing page here (this is my landing page for my email list + online crowdfunding course) ->


  • Bret

    Jeff, I have been doing a lot of research on kickstarter, and this is what came up. One platform that people seem to use, but doesn’t have to be specifically this, is ‘launchrock’ basically its a page that has an email optin option, where you can get people to join up to your email list. This is done before your launch your campaign. That landing page describes the product you are trying to get backing for. This way you can gain momentum through updating the email list of launch dates and such. It’s a great idea, launch rock allows you to put a video up, although even if you had a wordpress website you can detail it to what ever you want.

  • Leah

    Amazing story Clay,

    In the middle of planning a relaunch and your behind the scene insights could be more timely.

    • Leah

      “Could not be more timely” can’t wait to learn more

      • Clay Hebert

        Great, Leah! Excited to hear about your re-launch.

  • Mark J

    This is a great success story. My only question at this point is why go with Kickstarter at all?

    There are many other (and cheaper!) solutions out there that would allow Lee to collect money from the opt-in community he’s built.

    For example, Crowdtilt open ( only charges 2.9% for credit card processing and would have saved Lee a good $10,000 on this campaign.

    Yes, Kickstarter may broaden your reach, but if you have an initial community and you are marketing savy entrepreneur, you can have an equally successful campaign and keep an additional 5% in profits.

    • Clay Hebert

      Thanks for the comment, Mark.

      Sometimes there are good reasons to use more standalone platforms like Crowdtilt but despite Lee’s successful opt-in pre-marketing and press, the additional exposure from Kickstarter has far outweighed the platform fees. (It’s possible to see analytics on this on the back end.)

      Platforms like Kickstarter or Indiegogo only need to bring 5% – 10% of the traffic and backers to a campaign to make up for the platform fees, and they usually do, especially with a cool, unique product such as Kittyo.

      I’ve helped products use both platforms. ShotTracker decided to use Crowdtilt at the last minute and they likely would have been much more successful on Kickstarter.

      Crowdtilt and similar platforms are great for projects like Soylent, where it may not fit Kickstarter’s guidelines and the creators are able to bring basically all of the traffic themselves.

  • Helen S

    Hi Clay,

    Some of the most successful crowdfunding campaigns out there have been done through Tilt/Open (formerly Crowdtilt) such as Navdy. With Tilt/Open you do not have the built in community. I agree but if you already have an existing community there is no reason to go with Kickstarter. On Tilt/Open you can incentivize your community with referral discount, like Coin did. You also have the ability to drop in re-targeting pixels (lookalikes, etc) on Tilt/Open campaigns which means you have more exposure than the Kickstarter platform.

  • Pingback: Crowdfunding For Music Industry Professionals 101 - Music Industry How To()