I’ve had a problematic new trend arise, and I’m interested to see if other people are experiencing it as well. Twice in as many weeks, I’ve had a new patron pledge $10, then within hours or even minutes, delete their pledge. One had the decency to respond to the exit survey by saying he only intended to pledge for a limited time (very limited, I guess), but the other has not responded, at least not yet.
First off, I’ll acknowledge that my Patreon campaign is set to charge new patrons the moment they sign up, and again at the beginning of each month. So I have benefited from these two “patrons” to the tune of my one-time $19ish share of their pledges. But that’s not really the point.
At this stage, anybody signing up for a pledge of $5 or more will have access to hundreds of photographs. That’s the idea, of course - you get to see every photo in each photoset I publish if you support me at $5/month or more. But I have the suspicion that these two guys each ponied up their $10 in order to have immediate access to everything, and view everything right away (perhaps even download everything by right-clicking on every single photo, though that may be a bit of a stretch), then get out quickly so they wouldn’t get charged again.
Again, I’ll acknowledge - that is technically an option for every patron. I’m grateful for every patron who sticks around, because it helps me assess my “reliable” income from the project. But the entire point of Patreon is to stick around and support my work on an ongoing basis.
I’ll also acknowledge that my project isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, and it’s possible they made their pledge, then decided they didn’t care for my work after all. But I do think there are enough free “Preview” posts that people should have a sense of both my mission and my aesthetic by the time they give their credit card number (not to mention that most people find my Patreon via my Twitter or Instagram feeds, which have tons of free previews as well; as a “NSFW” Patreon, you can’t find me via Search). So I tend to doubt this is what’s happening.
My only other working theory is that $10 patrons are finding that the monthly “Behind the Scenes” post at that sponsorship level isn’t worth the additional $5/month - but in that case, I would think they’d simply lower their pledge to $5, which I could at least understand.
Has anybody experienced something similar? If so, how have you approached it? I’m tempted to make a post that addresses it somehow, though I’m not sure how yet. Maybe I can edit my welcome/thanks message to suggest that if new patrons are disappointed in what they find, they should contact me and let me know before simply dropping out? That might make more sense than a post.
I would love to have other creators’ thoughts on this. Thank you!