I want to radically change my Patreon tiers and would love some feedback on that

I currently have 7 tiers on my Patreon page, from $2 to $100, and I want to change it to just two tiers - $5 and $10. I currently have 450+ patrons.

The $5 patrons will now have access to all the rewards - exclusive content (formerly available to every patron) + Slack community (a new thing for the channel) + periodical Hangouts (previously available only for $50+ patrons. I’ll rotate through the patrons to keep the talks intimate and not too crowded). The $10 will keep their previous perk of having their names at the end of videos, that’ll be the only difference between the two tiers. So I’m asking most of the patrons to pledge more money, but I’ll be giving them more rewards. I feel like I have to change the tiers to make the channel more sustainable in the long run, I think it fits the channel’s more boutique niche, and I prefer to have a more egalitarian community.

My average pledge is about $3.5. I’ve made some calculations: if all my $10+ patrons edit down their pledges to $10 and 100 $2 patrons leave, I’ll lose about $300 per month. Which means that I need 200 patrons to edit up their pledges to $5 to break even. Obviously, I’m hoping some of the big spending patrons will not edit down their pledges and that less than 100 patrons will leave, so those are kind of worst case estimates.

I’m wondering if there are best practices on that? Do any of you have any experience with this transition? I’m looking forward to get feedback!

Thanks
Gil

4 Likes

Hi Gil–Anna here from the Creator Success team. Could you please reply with a link to your Patreon page so I can take a look? In the mean time, as a best practice I would absolutely make a post on your Patreon page which is visible to all of your patrons and followers to preview the changes you are planning to implement before you update your page. Communication with patrons before, during, and after a big site update can help you proactively manage folks’ expectations and ensure that as few of your patrons pledge down. I’m happy to take a closer look at your Patreon page and see if I can pass along any additional guidance here :slight_smile: Keep me posted!

2 Likes

Is this you @gilkid? https://www.patreon.com/gotacademy

I think your restructuring sounds like a great idea. My opinion (definitely take it or leave it as suits you) is that when you’re ready to unpublish all the tiers except the $5 and $10, you should announce it to your patrons in a way that it’s clear that people are welcome to stay at $2 if they prefer. There will still be public posts they can access and their support is still very valuable and appreciated etc, but if they want slack/hangouts, then they’ll need to modify their pledge. You don’t want the $2 patrons to feel like you’re saying, “Up your pledge or get out.”

I did a restructuring of tiers at the beginning of the year and removed both a high and low tier ($50 and $1). I had patrons in both tiers and no one adjusted pledge levels after the tiers were unpublished. But the restructuring did have a dramatic impact on patrons who joined afterward. Previously, most patrons had joined at the $1 level and after the restructuring (and unpublishing of the $1 tier) most new patrons have joined at the $5 tier.

5 Likes

Yes, @sciencemom, I’m at patreon.com/gotacademy.
It’s interesting what you said about restructuring the tiers. So the old $1 patrons stayed without getting any of the rewards? Because my plan was to - over time maybe? - not post any of my exclusive videos for the patrons at large, but only for the $5 and up. On the one hand, it will create frustration for people over “losing their privileges”, but on the other hand, what’s the point of having the $5 tier be the lowest one, and still give access to everyone to the main reward, which is the exclusive videos?

When you told your patrons about the change, how did they react? How did you explain the rationale to them?

Thanks!

4 Likes

Hi @apuig, I will DEFINITELY let the patrons know. I’ll actually drop a hint about that today, just saying that I’m thinking of changing things up a bit.

One of my main concerns is after my lowest tier becomes $5, what do I do with the new exclusive videos that up to now have been made available to all patrons? Or maybe I just keep things as they are and the new incoming patrons will come in at $5, and that will be my main gain? Or can I get some of the $2 patrons to up their pledge? Argh :slight_smile:

2 Likes

@gilkid yes, so far all the $1 and $2 patrons have stayed even though the reward they originally signed up for (access to all the educational worksheets) has bumped up to the $5 tier level. I didn’t change any of the content that had previously been posted for “all patrons,” so there’s a backlist of material they still have access too, and there are things like my creative coauthor books that I post each month as public posts. So they’re still seeing some content in their feed.

My experience with my own patrons has been that the lower level tiers patrons care more about support than reward. In my first year on Patreon I changed my reward structure fairly often trying to find something that worked for them before realizing that all they really cared about was that I was able to keep doing school visits and post videos to my YouTube channel.

As far as the announcement and reaction, I’ve done several adjustments to tiers and the first few times I changed things I made bigger announcements and waited for feedback. With the latest restructuring, my announcement was pretty small – if I remember right, I just added a note about changing the tiers to one of my writing update posts. The only feedback I received was supportive.

3 Likes

@gilkid ditto to what @ScienceMom has suggested :smiley:

2 Likes

Hey @ScienceMom, thanks again for taking the time to help me out. So none of your patrons UPPED their pledge? They just all stayed where they were? And what happened when you posted something for the new tier and suddenly they didn’t have access for it? No backlash or disappointment?

I feel like I need to make a big announcement, because most of the rewards are for the lower tiers, which will now only be available for the new lowest tier, the $5 tier. My honest hope is to get at least a bunch of those to edit up their pledge.

2 Likes

That’s right, @gilkid, none of my patrons did increase their pledges. It should be noted that my following is significantly smaller than yours (about 60 patrons), so this may not be representative or predictive of what will happen with a larger audience. Also, the members of my lowest tiers before I did the change (the $1 and $2 pledge levels) were very quiet. Since they never commented on posts or interacted with me in any other way after pledging, my guess is that their participation was primarily support-driven rather than reward-driven.

If you have $2 tier members who are currently engaged and accessing rewards that are going to disappear after the restructuring, they’ll likely either level up or express disappointment about the change. As long as you communicate your reasons for a change in tiers, my guess is that the former reaction (upping a pledge) is going to be much more common.

1 Like

Do you recommend getting rid of the $1 tier? I think most of my patrons are there as well and they probably would clear out as yours did…makes me so sad to think about but I guess change means letting go of the old as well as embracing the new?

1 Like

Hi @CelestialBlueMusic, sorry for the tardy replly. My $1 patrons didn’t clear out - all but one are still here since the change. They still see all of my “patron-only” content but they don’t see the worksheets I post for $5 and above patrons. I estimate that about 70% my posts are public, and of the 30% that are patron-only, only a few of those are set at $5 and above.

For me, I do think it’s been a good change to have the entry point at $2 instead of $1.

2 Likes