Charge Upfront: A Simple Fix

We all know one of the main problems with Charge Upfront is that it discourages new pledges after the middle of the month. A potential patron realizes that they’re going to get charged for the current month — and then charged again in a few days — and decides to wait until next month to pledge.

And then forgets.

How easy would it be to add a button that says “Remind me next month” that pings the person on the first of the following month, reminding them to pledge?

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I really like this idea!

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Second that!

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Yes, this would be -so- useful!

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Thank you for the suggestion, @bradguigar! I will add this to our feedback around how we can improve Charge Up Front.

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I think this concern is overstated. I have not seen this to be a problem. Not infrequently, new pledges happen later in the month, and most pledge again the following month. My advice: whenever you are presented with the opportunity to be paid now, take it. If you don’t, you might never see a payment at all. If the patron likes what they receive, they will almost always return for more.

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Yeah certainly for me I don’t seem to have people deterred from pledging towards the end of the month, sometimes they pledge the day before!

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But it would be a good option to have out there I think, the same as Kickstarter does with the ‘remind me’ button towards the end of a campaign.

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Another option for “Charge Up Front” could just be to pro-rate the charge based on the # of days in the month.

Sure that’s a pain for something like a $1 trial. Maybe there’s a threshold where the feature is only allowed for $5+ or something.

I would never use Charge Up Front just for the reasons other people have mentioned – it discourages people from contributing once they’re past enough of the month that they don’t think they’d get enough value for their money.

It also can cause “sticker shock” for people who contribute at the end of the month, then get charged a few days later and didn’t realize that’s how it worked.

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Every month I end up having someone sign up on the last day of the month. I have patrons get charged immediately because I am giving access to old content as well as new. That means they get charged for basically 2 months (one full day and then a second charge the next day for the full month).

I just went to sign up myself for Patronizer and decided to wait since there were only a couple of days left this month. Now I will have to remember to go back and sign up again after June 1st. I was right there on their page ready to sign up but I didn’t because I wanted a full month of membership. I would have signed up right then if there had been an option to delay the start of my membership.

If there was an option to “sign up in June” or “start membership on the first day of next month” I could probably convert a lot more patrons who drop by to check out my profile on the last week of the month. I usually have finished our monthly Patreon bonus videos by then and get a lot of new traffic to my site. I wonder how many potential patrons are lost because of folks not wanting only a partial month’s access. I could hopefully also avoid feeling bad for the folks who do accidentally sign up on the last day of the month not realizing they will be charged again the next day. Just a thought.

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This would be an awesome option to have, this sort of thing happens to me all the time and I feel bad for the folks who end up paying twice in two or three days. I’m not sure if everyone who joins late in the month realizes what date they’re coming onboard, but if they had the option presented to wait a few days for access or get it right away that might help them out so they’re not surprised when they get hit again.

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Another option is to pro-rate the 1st or 2nd payment.

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I really like this! Just have the option of either becoming a patron immediately and being charged for it (and reminding them that they’ll be charged again very soon), or have the option to wait until the following month (and then automatically start the membership when the time comes). This option could become available at a certain time before the end of the month for example like a couple of weeks or so prior.

I’m always reluctant to promote my Patreon page near the end of the month for this exact reason. :’)

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+1 to this!

I feel like people can be turned away towards the end of the month if they know about charge up front. (They may want to wait until the new month, but then forget all together!) And if they don’t know about it, they get a shock when they are charged again a few days later.

Some more communication/information from Patreon upon sign up would be fantastic, because up until this point, I’ve been having to explain this all to my patrons/fans myself.

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I agree and go further to say that the proposed solution of signing up for a reminder probably decreases the number of new patrons. It actively discourages you from pledging instantly and many people will probably not bother to set the reminder. The conversion should happen as fast as possible.

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I feel at the very least, there should be some information available to people upon signing up (directly on the pledging page, not anywhere hidden), otherwise it feels like we’re tricking them just to get a few bucks. No other monthly payment service charges the way Patreon does. If you start paying on the 25th, you expect your next payment to be on the next 25th. I’ve had several pledges at the end of the month drop immediately after the next payment cycle a few days later because they didn’t know. I’d rather just be honest and lose a few bucks than take away someone’s hard earned cash because $$$ :confused:

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Was thinking of submitting a feature request and then stumbled on this thread. But I want to propose a different solution, instead of reminders or partial charges, how about letting us set a “grace period” of sorts that charges once and carries the charge over to next month.

As an example of this, let’s say I have a grace period set to one week. Then if someone pledges in the last week of the month, they pay immediately, get the past benefits immediately, and Patreon won’t charge them for the next month.

I’m proposing this as in my experience, patrons don’t mind pledging for the most of the month if you’re providing regular updates and benefits, but the last few days see a sharp drop-off. Which is understandable, people don’t want to pay for just those two or three days, especially so if they are going for higher tiers.

And if this grace period is not advertised, but is explained at the checkout, it won’t provide any additional incentive for potential patrons to wait for those last days of the month, and at the same time will remove this huge friction point.

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That doesn’t sound bad at all, Zanith. It’s a super clever solution!

The obvious answer is to charge pledges on the same day they sign up every month. I am sure patreon’s backend is currently not equipped to handle this so it is a pipe dream but if you sign up on the 18th of June you get charged again on the 18th of July 18th of August.

The issue comes with patrons who are supporting multiple creators and signed up on various days. Here you would need an option to pre-pay or pool patreon payments so they aren’t charged multiple times throughout the month.

It isn’t a perfect solution but better than scaring off or worse, pissing off patrons that sign up on the 28th and get charged again in 2 days.

It’s been suggested before and was a change that had been on the road map for a while and one that, if memory serves, got back tracked on because of ectremely poor communication on patreons part which caused big backlash. It’s actually not wanted by many
because it messes up schedules and timing for a lot of creators who work the monthly circuit.

I would much prefer pro rate options, or the grace period that was recently suggested.

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