Any data on tier pricing

Hi Patreon team,

Just wondering if you have data on success rate with certain tier pricing.

For example, I have $2, $5, $10 now.

I am thinking of changing to $3, $7, $10.

Does the data say if this is a good or bad direction to go?

Cheers,
Johnn

Hey @johnnfour, thanks for making the post! It’s great to see you thinking so deeply about this and we do see creators wanting this kind of info - a magic tier number that will help with their patron retention. Sadly, I’m the bearer of bad news as we don’t have that level of precision to be able to help on this one as so much of this kind of thing depends greatly on your community and what you’re offering in those tiers.

The answer I can give you is not very exciting :smiley: but I’ll share what I can. Our research does show that…

  • Across Patreon there isn’t one optimal pledge or tier level for creators
  • In very un-emotional and transactional terms, patrons are buying a benefit, so it greatly depends on what the patrons are getting for that value for value exchange and can get very confusing quickly when looking at the raw numbers without context. For example, if a creator was offering a custom drawing at the $3 level, it may retain really well as that’s a bargain and something fun to get every month vs a creator who was offering a custom drawing at the $30 level, where a patron might get it for one month and then leave as they got what they wanted. That’s not to say one is performing better than the other, they are just very different.
  • Very often, patrons are supporting fully for emotional reasons, just to support a creator, and not for the benefits at all, in which case their decision might be a financial one with what they can afford.
  • We do see that creators know their community and art best; if you’re $5 tier is retaining really well, you might not want to fix what isn’t broken. But it’s up to you how much you’re willing to experiment and try new things with your Patreon page. @MelissaSueStanley recently spoke at our Chicago meetup about how she experiments a lot, for example.

Are you thinking of changing the benefits with these tiers? Have you polled your patrons and wider community to see what they think? What would this increased revenue allow you to do?

3 Likes

Johnn, assuming your benefits aren’t hugely different at different tiers, you might consider if you can fit a demand curve to your tiers. That might let you estimate the # of patrons at your hypothetical, new price points (and therefore work out total revenue).

2 Likes

This is also something I was thinking about at the start. I decided to stay with ‘even’ numbers as, personally, I prefer the more even numbers than odd. Too many odd numbers give an overall confusing look. This is also something I’ve heard many speak about in my own discord. Patreon pages with odd numbers feel ‘messy’.
Another issue that may arrive with changing tiers now can be a loss of patrons when they are now suddenly being charged more. This is worse the more patrons you have.

I can confirm what mindy is saying about the benefits. I’ve experienced this many times, especially with my high tiers such as the $30 tiers, that the benefits are just a nice ‘plus’ and the main reason for the pledge is the support. If the quality is there they’ll stay.

2 Likes

Agree with all of this in my experience - to add some data and dollar amounts from my success to date (tier price and total active now):

  • $1 - 19
  • $5 - 61
  • $10 -39
  • $20 -28
  • $100 - 4
  • $200 - 1
  • $400 - 2

It really comes down to if you know your niche and are offering value that can support that dollar amount.

5 Likes

Hey Michael! Congrats on your recent amazing Kickstarter.

Could you tell me more about what you mean by demand curve? I’m not understanding.

Cheers.

1 Like

Thank you for the responses, everyone!

1 Like

A demand curve is a graph of the quantity of a given product people would buy give different selling prices. Usually people buy more when it’s cheap, but some products have flatter lines, while a sharply descending line indicates very price sensitive demand.

Knowing the demand curve is useful.
Let’s say you knew you could sell 1000 copies of a PDF at $3, but at $10 you would only sell 200. $3 is the price with better revenue.

1 Like

There’s a percipitous dropoff in patronage we’ve found once you get higher than $20.00.

2 Likes

To add to the data, a year later:
$1 - 2
$2 - 2
$3 - 1
$5 - 8
$10 - 2

Contrary to intuition, I actually gained a patron after the pandemic started and lost none. I actually only have one tier: $5. The rest are voluntary. The number of voluntary $10s and the popularity of thedailyba’s $20 tier suggest it’s worth finding something to make tiers out of with those prices.

edit: I made a $10 tier and a $5 patron immediately switched to it.