Ability to Gift Patronage

Hi all! Thank you so much for the comments. We rely on the collective feedback of the community to improve the product. We definitely see the benefits of gifting and free trials, and though it’s not a top priority for us at this time, it is high on our radar. With regards to the free trial in particular, there are upcoming regulations that we’re keeping our pulse on. We will be sharing more about upcoming features we know creators are going to be very excited about, and welcome any additional thoughts, and product ideas you’re passionate about.

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Ah yes, I know free trial rules (both FTC regulation and contractual obligations made by private transaction companies) have been getting wound up tighter the past years with all the free trial deceit happening out there. I’m guessing the upcoming regulation is Visa’s rules that are set to come out April 2020? That’s good to hear that you’re keeping tabs!

I had an idea regarding that as well to prevent too many closures/chargeback/complaints that could come with a free trial leading into a subscription service since the biggest complaint right now is consumers signing up for a free trial not knowing or getting any information afterwards that the trial agreement leads to a charged service… and of course, the ability to opt-out being buried.

It could be dealt with something as easy as regular in-Patreon account prompts as well as email prompts with a link/button to click authorizing a continued subscription throughout the trial period and even tacked onto headers of email notifications from Patreon updates. “Hey! You’re still on a trial tier by the way! Click here to start a subscription next month!” It could be made very clear, “when you click this you’re saying we can charge you TIER$ starting when your trial ends on DATE.”

If a confirmation regarding being charged to continue the tier is completed at any time during the trial period, the subscription continues and becomes charged as of the next billing cycle.

If no confirmation is received by the end of the trial period, it could automatically cancel.

So long as the big shiny “yes charge me when it ends” button is made very clear to the consumer, even tacked in as a scroll-required click-through agreement, as a final confirmation, it would probably work.

If you’re already keeping up with it though I’m sure this is something that’s already been discussed internally but I thought I’d throw it in here to be thorough. :slight_smile:

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We definitely see the benefits of gifting and free trials, and though it’s not a top priority for us at this time, it is high on our radar.

Well an answer of “it’s not happening now” is better than no response at all I suppose.

Thanks Ursula for the updates and I’ll continue to push for gift subscriptions since at least our personal survey data shows that it would be utilized in our community.

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It hasn’t been a priority for nearly 2 years now. I wouldn’t hold your breath :frowning:

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Same. Also what if a free trial was tied into that? So like after a month a trial member can continue the benefits for a discounted entry donation which becomes a regular patron donation after 3 months. I could give peeps a month free access to my patron onlies and then try to hook them from there haha. Seriously though what do you think?

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Hey folks! We shared in this thread that this is a feature we will be exploring in 2020. We say “explore” because we know that creators want to gift patronage for different reasons.

We’ve heard that creators that they want to:

  1. Gift patronage to your own Patreon page to friends and family as a gift
  2. Gift patronage to another creator’s Patreon page (eg if I want more people to experience Last Podcast on the Left, I could give 3 months patronage to my friend)
  3. Gift Patreon dollars as a gift card, so the recipient can pick who and how much they pledge to (eg $50 in Patreon bucks could be 5x $10 pledges for five months or one month at $50)
  4. Gift patronage to your own Patreon page to loyal members of your community as thanks for their hard work, most often the high tiers so they can see everything and automatically get access
  5. Gift patronage to those who help you manage your Patreon page so they can reply and help moderate
  6. Gift patronage as a reward or prize for competitions for your wider community as a marketing tactic
  7. Gift certain tiers to encourage patrons to pledge up

There’s a lot to unravel here as each example has different challenges and needs behind it, especially when you consider how many months a patron gets access and what the patron experience is. Our User Research team will be conducting studies alongside our Data Science team (Maura if you tuned into last Hang Time) to see what will have the most impact for creators needs.

We wish it was ready for us all to use this holiday season but for various reasons, we’ve had to prioritize other features before this one but the good news is that in 2020 we will be actively exploring and researching this. Hope that helps shed some more light on where we’re at :slight_smile:

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My priorities are #1, 5, 7, and if this is even in beta by next holiday season i’d be overjoyed. It’s an incredibly complex set of features with i’m sure a kajillion unforseen complications. I’d love to be considered for alpha/beta testing.

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This is great. I’ve been asked but patrons if they can gift patronage to their friends or family whom they feel would benefit from the community. Is that on the drawing board at all?

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I feel like #2 kinda works that in or #3 even depending on how the friend/family member wants to give the gift!

I do see benefits to and needs for every one of these reasons though so thank you for tackling something that’s been on our minds for many different reasons!

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Here are my ideas on how gifting a patreon access to your site would work.

  1. Unpaid gifted subscriptions from the creator should not count towards # of supporters that is publicly viable (to prevent people inflating their numbers).

  2. Gifting should be done via a link/code… IE I can buy 5 subscriptions and give them to others via 1 of 5 unique links/codes. They click the link, fill in their info, and now they have access for 1 month. I can picture setting up a Discord channel where people can post that they would like to join but cant afford and then other supporters gifting them subscriptions publicly. Which (much like twitch.tv) would possibly encourage more and more gift “subs” being given. Seriously, I have seen “sub trains” on twitch go upwards of 1000 NEW subs in just a few minutes.

  3. Being able to gift 1 or 2 “moderator” accounts with limited access would be nice to help manage the patreon site.

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Hello all!

This has probably been requested many times before but COVID-19 has reminded me.

I recently mentioned I’d like patrons who cannot now support the podcast, for whatever reason, to message me so I could come to some arrangement, making it possible for them to not miss out on bonus podcast content at this difficult time (likely a refund).

A number of patrons came forward to say they have not been financially impacted and probably won’t be - and that they would like to gift a pledge to those who cannot afford it.

With COVID-19 inevitably leading to a decline in pledges due to financial hardship, this seems like a perfect time to ask those who can to step in, and gifting would give them the satisfaction of being able to directly support another member of our community.

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Honestly would love to see gifted patronage be a thing - I could be wrong but I think it was mentioned on a Hang Time a while ago as being a possibility?

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Hi @Benfs, and welcome to the forum! this is one of our most popular feature request and one that I’m excited to say we are actively researching right now!

As @francesca mentioned, be sure to tune into Hang Time where every month we stream live for an hour to give updates and answer questions from our community.

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So on note of gifting patronage, I think it’s a great idea, and I think there could be two lanes/uses for it.

  1. Patron-to-Patron - when a fan gifts to another fan. They could gift any tier to a different user at full price. Ideally, they gifter will be able to choose how many months to gift (defaulting at 1). If it’s a physical gift tier that needs an address filled in - the gift-receiver will get an email and a notification to remind them they need to do so.

  2. Creator-to-Patron - this is when the creator gifts a different user. They could gift any tier to a different user, and the price will be only Patreon’s cut from this tier (So if its a 100$ tier and Patreon’s cut is 5%, it will cost the creator 5$, that will go in full towards Patreon fees. Not sure how merch tiers work but same concept there - the gift tier price is only Patreon’s cut). Gifter ideally will be able to choose how many months and receiver will be notified of any extra details needed (same as in point #1).

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I think that’s an excellent way of going about it.

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Having a gift patronage option would be great, this has come up a few times in the past from my backers. Some don’t want to register to a monthly fee, but would like to prepay for a full year of the same amount. I’m assuming that a gift option might make something like that work.

One other option that would be nice to have, but is definitely more niche, would be to allow a patron to increase the pledge level of someone else. I’ve got two patrons at at $2 tier, but someone else increased their own pledge by 2 x $3 = $6 a month so that these two get the benefits of a $5 pledge. I’m keeping track of this manually, but having the two grouped within the $5 pledge level, even if I had to tag them manually in the platform, would make it easier for me to track rewards that I need to send out.

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It would be great if we had the ability to offer complimentary subscriptions (and specify term length) for patrons.

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Thanks for taking the time to share your feedback, @Sarah_McQuaid! Gifting is on our radar :slight_smile:

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Ok thank you Reyna!

Sarah McQuaid

sarahmcquaid.com

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Continuing the discussion from Ability to Gift Patronage:

I would very much like to be able to gift a patron to join one of my tiers. This could be done simply with a discount code and I wish it would be added. It would not be difficult to do. Especially with the difficult times right now I had some main patrons have to drop out because they lost jobs or are struggling. I would love to give them a free month in thanks for their long term membership.
Please add this Patreon!!!

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