I was wondering what the average number of declines are? I have 253 patrons and on average 24 declines per month. That’s just under 10% that seems quite high. What are other creators decline figures like?
Any advice on getting folks to payup ?
I have 124 Patrons and I have about 10% declines almost every month as well. Before when I didn’t know what being declined meant because I was a newbie (1 year 6 months here in Patreon) I thought that was the same as being canceled so I left it alone but now that I know more about it. I message my declined Patrons about the circumstances and teach them how they will be able to fix it because most of them doesn’t know how as well and most of them would probably just leave it be. But ever since I started messing them about the decline, about 9/10 of them would come back. Usually, those patrons are most likely be the ones who will also probably decline the next month. I don’t why that happens when they already fixed the problem.
I don’t know the decline rates specific on Patreon (even though it’s something I may start to track and have an answer for it in the future ), but in general 5-15% of decline rates is considered as common on online payments, especially for recurring ones.
It seems that 15% is also the average according to Visa/Mastercard, so I think that 10% is totally acceptable in your case.
Declines could happen for various reasons, like people not having enough money on their cards (although Patron doesn’t accept prepaid cards, which may help here), the card expired or got deactivated, the bank marked the transaction as risky, and many others.
As @lesson101 mentioned, the best practice when this happens is to message those patrons to let them know what happened and offer support to fix that.
Patreon already sends an email when a payment is declined, but that’s a standard “your payment has failed” email, which works; but given the relationship between a creator and their patrons I believe that when a patron receives an email/message directly from the creator it’s much more valuable and effective.
Following the best practices, it wouldn’t be just one email, but multiple ones over a period of time (usually about a month) to remind people about that declined payment. Not in a way to bother them about it, but always to be informative and offering support to help them fixing it.
The reason for this is that it’s common nowadays to receive dozens of emails every day, and it’s easy to miss some of them, or marking them as unread to go back to them, and then forget about it. It’s not uncommon for people to fix it when they receive the 2nd or 3rd email.
This of course takes time as you need to keep track when someone gets declined and when to send which message. My feeling is that it’s time that it’d be better spent creating video tutorials and novels, instead of chasing down patrons, and having an automated system do this job.
And this is exactly one of the reasons why I’ve been working on a tool to help Patreon creators to reach out to their patrons about declines/cancellations/etc with no effort (if [any of] you want to give it a try just DM me ).
This is one of the emails (totally customizable) that can be sent when someone’s payment gets declined in case you’d like some inspiration for yours (you could also Google “dunning emails” for other examples):
Thank you so much for your reply. That’s so great that 9/10 come back! I have messaged them in the past and I haven’t had much luck. Would you mind sharing the message you send them?
I really appreciate your input. Kara
Ah thank you for such a detailed reply. You make an. excellent point about multiple emails. I only tend to send one as I don’t want to bother people but I guess what have I got to lose at this point?
I really appreciate your input.
Your tool sounds great! I’d be interested in trying it out.
Hi yeah, I’m very lucky but my messages is nothing special and it’s not a formal email or anything. I just personally message them via Patreon DM telling them that their payment had been declined and putting a link on how they can change it. Example if there is an occasion like New Years, I would write it like this.
I wish you had a Happy New Year. To start the new year, I would like to thank you for all your support until now. I hope you know how much you’ve help me and how much I deeply appreciate you. And seeing that you haven’t deleted your tier, I hope you would continue to do so until the end of my book. However upon checking, I see that your payment transaction had been declined, impairing you to have access to my patron-only contents so I decided to message you privately and try to help you solve the problem. I’ve linked down below an article from Patreon on how to fix declined payments but often times to resolve this, you might have to change your payment method or call your bank to see if there was anything blocking your payment. If this doesn’t work, you can always send a ticket to Patreon help center and ask for their assistance. Anyway, that’s it for now, can’t wait to see you back as my lovely Patron
As you can see, it’s very simple and it’s not always like this. It really just depends what I write during this time. And I don’t email them because sometimes they just don’t see that so if you message them on Patreon, they’ll notice it when they visit the site. I hope this helps and I apologize if my grammar isn’t good. English is only my third language.