Is $25 or $50 the magic price point for more serious fans? With artists and labels increasingly using digital tools to sell bundles of music, merch and special access, a couple recent blog posts about Kickstarter campaigns have shed light on successful bundling strategies.

Craig Mod and Ashley Rawlings used Kickstarter to raise pledges to re-print their 2008 book, Art Space Tokyo. Mod explained how he looked at successful Kickstarter campaigns before creating his own campaign. Before asking people to fund the project, he wanted to know what people would pay and what he would need to offer at each pledge level. In his sample, the top grossing support tiers were, in order and with number of pledges, $50 (1,699), $25 (1,253), $100 (586), $250 (92) and $500 (60). Some levels of support, such as $30 and $150, had more pledges but did not generate nearly as much revenue. In 30 days, the Art Space Tokyo raised $24,000 in pledges on a goal of $16,000.

After seeing Mod’s post, Kickstarter analyzed every one of its successful campaigns (those that reached their funding goals) and listed its top 30 pledge tiers. The top five, and their percent of pledges, were $25 (18.4%), $50 (13.6%), $10 (12.1%), $100 (9.5%) and $20 (8.4%). While Mod believes the lowest tiers aren’t worth the artist’s time, Kickstarter urges people to offer those more affordable options.

In his report, Craig argues that lower tiers are “statistically insignificant” and that creators should avoid them. Without launching a batch of fake identical projects, it is impossible to determine whether lower priced rewards cannibalize demand for higher priced ones. That said, we’ve always been confident that sub-$25 rewards offer an affordable way to get more people involved in a project, and this data does not change our mind. Remember, additional backers don’t only offer additional money, they also spread the word.

These posts offer numerous lessons about bundling products. Here are three of them:

Offer Physical and Access
Offering the right combination of rewards can entice far larger pledges than any single digital product could generate. Kickstarter campaigns tend to add both physical items (books, posters, CDs, DVDs) and access (Skype calls, backstage passes) as the pledges increase in value. Kickstarter also removes risk as pledges for different campaign options are taken in advance, so there isn’t a question about how many items to create (T-shirts, books, DVDs, etc.).

Limited Time Offerings
“We recommend a 30-day duration as sufficient to maximize the burst of activity at the beginning and end,” Kickstarter writes. “And still have a small trough where you can regroup or allow some momentum to build. In the end, it’s the Internet, things spread fast — even 30 days is a long time.”

Keep It Simple
“Having too many tiers is very likely to put off supporters,” says Mod. “I’ve seen projects with dozens of tiers. Please don't do this. People want to give you money. Don't place them in a paradox of choice scenario.”

-- Glenn Peoples