I mentioned this a while back in the Pain Points thread, but Mindy recommended I create this as a standalone thread so here it is! I believe a limited introduction of these 2 ideas would give lower revenue creators with moderate outreach the ability to better manage their Patreon while also increasing conversions from non-Patreon or “giving for one month only” users.
1. Allow Pro users to create 2 team member accounts.
We understand wanting to limit the team function to large creators that most likely run with a large team; however, many smaller lower-revenue projects have teams to help delegate and manage the business, and having to share login credentials is a risky bad practice (and annoying if you have to constantly text someone your 2-Factor code!)
Example Problem: A Stage Reborn is a 501c3 arts charity. As Executive Director, I have responsibilities that include Patreon oversight, but I am not the definitive shot-caller, I am not a replacement for our PR team and I am certainly not a replacement for our Board Treasurer and accountant that need access to Patreon data. Because we are handling donor funds, it is terrible practice to share login credentials to an individual with a position that may change hands over the years and it creates a trust issues with supporters when there’s a team behind a project but only one person gets the keys to the revenue stream. Additionally, everything has to funnel through me, and I am a busy person! It is difficult to be the contact point on Patreon when there are several on the team that share that kind of responsibility.
Example Solution: Allow us 2 team accounts on Pro. This gives enough room for one person from our finance team or our Treasurer the ability to handle financial information and data (useful for determining trends too) and gives our PR team a designated account to handle donor relations. It doesn’t take me out of the picture, but allows our charity much better efficiency than making Patreon backed by a whole team a single person’s responsibility, without having to earn $2,500+ and pay $300 a month.
Small team access solves concerns about transparency, workload balance, and makes safe account management a reality. Not everyone will have a similar need, but those that have a team structure do would benefit from having whoever handles money to be able to handle that aspect, and whoever handles tracking engagement to handle that aspect, or simply just having the support of one or two others who may help them be better creators by building a small team. The reward for becoming a great creator would be the ability to get the higher up plan that supports a large team and merch.
2. Allow One-Time Payment options through cards, Quickbooks, PayPal, Stripe, etc. with email follow-up. We know the main goal is to get people on a monthly subscription or a per-creation subscription, and there may be some mixed feeling about giving people the option to drop a one-time tip and walk away; however, the idea is that this will give all creators a way to entice new Patreon account sign-ups to audiences that aren’t already Patreon-savvy users. It also gives those who just want to donate once and walk a way a means to do so without screwing up our statistics and making us deal with the rollercoaster of having to watch all those new Patrons that disappear after a single month.
Example Problem: A Stage Reborn ran a table at a small comics and arts convention. We set up a tablet PC as a “Patreon Kiosk” so people had the option to sign up for a subscription that wanted to donate. We also had a Quickbooks payment block set up for those that just wanted to do a one-time donation. While we could have customized email receipts to have a Patreon link, we thought something users can opt into at a kiosk coming from Patreon itself when people donated to us would be more successful, in addition to an email link.
Example Solution: Allow a non-reward based one-time tip/donation through Patreon pages via integrations like PayPal, Stripe, Quickbooks. For users doing this through their Patreon accounts, they don’t get tacked onto the membership count and thus we avoid that rollercoaster of patrons that unsubscribe immediately. For those doing this without a Patreon account, it sends the email they enter a link prompting them to complete account creation “if they’d like to continue supporting this creator.” I feel this option would, while not a huge impact, a very positive impact on conversions. Either way, with however Patreon would like to set up processing fees on this sort of thing, it still benefits Patreon while giving creators a new way to push for support from those that might not be ready or eager to make a Patreon account off the bat, and it gives convention goers (think charities, artists with vendor tables, etc.) a way to run tips, payments and sign-ups at their table for goods.
Imagine an artist being able to take one-time payments through Patreon, and when that person gets home their receipt also has an account setup link in it for monthly perks if they so choose? Tie this in with offers on one-time donations that convert to monthly subscribers and I think it’ll result in some positive growth. This way, if you can’t regularly nail down subscribers, you don’t need to feel like your Patreon account, revenue and so on are stalled. Patreon can also still earn some revenue from creators struggling to retain subscribers by allowing this option. Everybody wins!
Here’s a bit more on the example:
- Comic artist is selling physical copies at a convention table for $5 each.
- They use Patreon as their payment portal the same way maybe they send one of their tiers comics.
- Buyers who pay through Patreon put in their email and get a receipt with a link encouraging them to sign up or log in, pointed to that creator’s page.
- This last idea here is a bit more iffy because of privacy concerns, but so long as there’s sufficient disclosure about payments being processed through Patreon, you could give an option for one-time transactions to pre-create an account with the information collected for the transaction. Think of it like when you make a payment for something as a guest on a website, and then you get an email receipt that says “hey, you didn’t create an account, click here to do so with your sale,” and then the information you input for that sale (name, email, phone, address, payment details) is automatically in your account if you go to create it. If someone doesn’t, you can set the account to automatically expire after a certain time so people don’t have to worry about info being stored for a timeframe in excess compared to the original transaction.