I’ve been using Bonjoro for a few months to communicate with my patrons, and I wanted to share what I’ve learned!
What is Bonjoro? It’s a service that makes it easy to send personalized video messages via email.
How does it work? Using their website or app, you record a short video (mine are usually 45-60 seconds) for a single person. When you click send, the video is uploaded to Bonjoro, and then Bonjoro sends an email to the person you specified. That email contains a video thumbnail and a short message, and tells the recipient to click to watch the video. When the recipient clicks, they are taken to a web page where they can watch the video and (optionally) write a reply to you.
What’s the value of doing this? It provides a moment of “surprise and delight” for the recipient, because they have probably never received a personalized video message from anyone. Unlike email, there’s no way to fake personalization with a video, so the recipient knows that you took the time to record it just for them. I can’t prove it, but I believe that sending Bonjoros leads to higher patron retention and a stronger affinity to me and my brand. Plus, I actually enjoy sending them… it feels good to tell people that you appreciate them!
When do I send a Bonjoro to patrons? Currently, I send a Bonjoro when (1) a new patron signs up, (2) a patron edits their pledge, (3) a patron has stayed with me for six months, or (4) a patron cancels (either explicitly cancels or just fails to fix a declined payment by the end of the month). I’ve also experimented with sending a Bonjoro to remind a patron to fix a declined payment, but I stopped sending those because it felt a bit weird to me… I like to focus my Bonjoros on expressing gratitude.
Why send a Bonjoro to someone who cancels? I want to thank them for their past support, give them an opportunity to provide feedback, and communicate to them that it’s totally fine that they cancelled (I’m not upset at them!) and they are still free to contact me.
What do I say in my Bonjoro video? Here’s a real Bonjoro I sent that you can watch.
How do patrons react? About 90% of people open the email from Bonjoro, about 80% of the people who open the email watch the video, and about 50% of the people who watch the video write me a reply. (That’s an amazing level of engagement!!) The replies are usually along the lines of “this is so surprising”, “wow thank you for sending this”, “I’m really glad to support you”, and “here’s why I joined as a patron”.
Doesn’t it take a lot of time to send these? No, it actually takes very little time. Bonjoro is designed around making the recording and sending process as efficient as possible. I wait until I have a few videos to send, and then I walk outside for 5 minutes and record all of them at once. Because of integrations (see below), that is all the work that is required.
How much does it cost? Here’s the pricing page. There’s a free plan, a $25/month plan, and a $45/month plan.
What can you do with the free plan? Send unlimited videos, access your analytics, and use 1 integration.
What’s an integration? Integrations allow your Bonjoro account to talk with other applications you use… such as Patreon! Once you enable the Patreon integration in your Bonjoro account, you will automatically get a Bonjoro “to-do” added to your account every time a new patron signs up, which includes their name, email, and pledge amount. This means that there is no typing or work involved, other than recording the video itself! All you have to do is open up the Bonjoro app on your phone, and it will show your “to-do list”. Then you tap on a name in your to-do list, tap again to record, tap to stop recording, and tap one final time to send. Bonjoro already has their name and email address (due to the Patreon integration), and thus it can go ahead and email the video to the recipient.
What more do you get with the $25 plan? You get 3 integrations, 1 message template, and custom branding:
- Having 3 integrations means that you can connect to Patreon plus 2 other services. For example, you could connect Shopify and then a Bonjoro “to-do” will be added to your account every time someone makes a purchase from your online store.
- Having 1 message template allows you to pre-fill the subject line and message text that gets emailed to the recipient, which ensures that the email wording matches your “brand voice”.
- Custom branding allow you to customize the landing page of the video, namely the background image, logo, and call-to-action button. (With the free plan, your video landing page will have Bonjoro branding, and the call-to-action button will be “sign up for Bonjoro”, which might be confusing to recipients.)
What more do you get with the $45 plan? You get unlimited integrations, unlimited message templates, and a couple other small features. This is actually the plan that I use. The price seemed crazy before I signed up, but after using Bonjoro for a while, I realized I needed access to multiple message templates. Why? Because I send Bonjoros to patrons for 4 different reasons, plus I send Bonjoros to people who purchase a product I sell (which has nothing to do with Patreon), and all of those situations need different branding (in the email and on the landing page). If you only have 1 message template, you have to make your email and landing page branding much more generic.
Is it worth the cost? I can’t prove it, but I think so. If a handful of patrons stick around that otherwise might have cancelled, then I have covered the cost. It also creates a deeper connection between patrons and my brand, and the value of that is hard to measure. Also, I plan to continue expanding the situations in which I send a Bonjoro (both related and unrelated to Patreon), which makes it more and more likely that Bonjoro is providing monetary value to my business.
Are there any discounts? The only “official” discount I know of is an unspecified discount for nonprofits. However, after I signed up for the free Bonjoro trial and decided I liked using it, I sent a Bonjoro to the Bonjoro team making the case for why I deserved a discount, and they gave me a good discount!
Any other Bonjoro hacks/tips? Yes! Bonjoro integrates with Zapier, and Zapier integrations do not count towards the Bonjoro integration limit. Since the Zapier free plan gives you 5 free integrations, you could integrate Bonjoro with 5 different applications via Zapier, even when using the free Bonjoro plan. (Zapier is also the only way to automatically create Bonjoros for scenarios like “patron edits pledge” and “patron cancels”.)
I hope this information is helpful to some of you! I’m more than happy to answer questions if you have them!
Also, if you want to see what it’s like to receive a Bonjoro, feel free to send me your email address in a private message, and I’ll gladly record one for you! (That way, you can see what the email looks like, what the landing page looks like, how replies work, etc.)