Great thread! I am also researching how to conduct a successful crowdfunding/Kickstarter campaign. Some of the key elements have already been mentioned like build awareness in your target market before the campaign, get known sponsors on board before launching the campaign (get at least a few friends and family to commit to supporting you on launch day), test your materials prior to launch (including rewards, descriptions).
One way to improve the campaign is to study both successful and unsuccessful campaigns in your area to see what works and what doesn't.
Having a good video is critical. It doesn't have to be professionally created. If you are decent with video editing software, you can create your own. I've seen successful campaigns with what are clearly home-made videos. But all the successful ones told a compelling story.
I think the most important factor is not to just post the campaign and expect anyone to come to you. I am planning on working hard for 4 months building awareness before launching my campaign.