Running a holiday postcard special offer!

I just launched my first Special Offer! Just wanted to give some information about my experience as I go through it, in case it helps anyone. (I’d also welcome feedback if anyone thinks they have some helpful advice!)

I’m a cosplayer, and the costume I’m making for December is a holiday version of much-beloved character that I have already cosplayed. I’ll also be producing a holiday music video with this character, so basically my whole month is packed full of content around the same theme.

For my offer, I’ll be sending a handwritten postcard featuring that cosplay to everyone in the $5+ tiers. My offer period will be about 2 weeks (Dec 10-22). I’m planning to get my postcards from moo.com, and I’ve calculated that with printing, shipping from moo, and postage, it’ll cost me an average of $1.18 per pledge (since about 40% of my Patrons are international.)

To launch it, I made some graphics and posted to all my main social media except for YouTube (not sure yet if I want to create a whole video about it — I may just throw the announcement into the end of another video this week.) I also made some graphics for my Patreon page to highlight the offer. Here’s the banner I made to replace my cover photo for the next two weeks:

I set some goals to guide my promo period: I’d like to gain $200 in monthly earnings, specifically: 20 $1 Patrons raise pledge to $5; 24 new $5 Patrons.

It’s only been a few hours, but so far 3 $1 Patrons have raised their pledges, and I have 4 new Patrons (although one is at the $1 level… hmm.) I strongly suspect that these numbers will go up once I publicly release the costume design and/or some work-in-progress photos of the costume.

I’m very eager to see how this goes! I’m sitting around $1,500 right now, and I would really love to hit $2,000 in January or February, so I’m hoping this will give me a push going into 2019. I’ll update this thread as the special offer continues!

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Good luck, I wish you well with it!

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@ginnydi! This is awesome! Setting a specific goal for yourself is a great way to stay motivated and to even give you something to share with your community! As you get closer to your milestone of $2k, you can definitely use that as a way to rally your community and bring them into your journey!

Can’t wait to hear more about how it goes!

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Hi @ginnydi You have a great patreon page, I’ve given you a follow. I hope you don’t mind i’m gonna take a leaf from your book on how you have graphically setup your patreon.

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Just wanted to give a quick update! Here’s my progress in terms of pledges:

17 new pledges (total: $132)
4 upgraded pledges (total increase: $16)

I’m planning on sharing the costume design and maybe some work-in-progress photos publicly tomorrow, which I expect will bring in some more new pledges. Internally, all I’ve done is make one post about the Special Offer, so I may try a video or a livestream to drum up some more energy from existing Patrons. (All four of those upgraded pledges were on the first day.)

@julianberesford Absolutely, be my guest!! My graphics have definitely been inspired by other creators’ designs, so I’m happy to keep paying it forward!

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Thanks @ginnydi Should have big updates over the Christmas period

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Congrats! This is so exciting! Remind us when your promotion ends?

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@laurab It ends Dec 22! So 3 more days.

Brief update: I shared the costume design and some work-in-progress images 2 days ago! As I expected it, it brought in some more Patrons for the Special Offer. Here are my updated totals:

  • 23 new pledges (total: $157)
  • 8 upgraded pledges (total increase: $49)
  • Total growth: $206

A few of the Patrons I had counted as new pledges in my previous update were actually upgraded pledges — I’m not really sure why, but they were showing as new pledges in my notifications but upgraded pledges in the email notifications. Odd.

Anyway, this means I’ve met my goal! I surpassed my new pledge goal by $37 (despite not quite meeting the actual number of new Patrons I aimed for yet) and I’m only a little over halfway to my upgraded Patron goal. (I still haven’t done anything very aggressive in terms of upselling current Patrons, though.)

Tomorrow night I’ll have the actual final postcard design done, so maybe that will give me a little tail end boost! Plus, I’ll be in full costume, so I’ll take a minute today to draft up a little video message just for $1 Patrons while dressed as the character and see if that does anything.

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OKAY, it’s the last day of my special offer and things are going crazy! I released a music video yesterday around 2pm (same theme as the costume on the postcard) and took the opportunity in the description (not even in the video itself!) to plug the special offer. The video has been doing really well, so the new Patrons have been rolling in as a result.

I also released a video on the evening of the 20th that was just for $1 Patrons, as a thank you and a quick reminder that they only had 2 days left to upgrade their pledge if they wanted a postcard. That triggered a few $1 pledge upgrades. Here are my new totals:

  • 56 new pledges (total: $413)
  • 13 upgraded pledges (total increase: $69 (nice))
  • Total growth: $482

The video is still going strong so I suspect I’ll continue to see a lot of new pledges come in today. This is blowing my mind, at this point I’ve achieved more than double my initial goal!! I think aligning all of my new projects for the month with the special offer was a smart move, because every new thing I release this month can very easily be used to promo the offer.

I’ll let you guys know tomorrow how it wraps up!

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@ginnydi That’s great news!

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It’s done! Here’s a recap, and let me know if you have any more specific questions about how I ran things.

STATS

  • Before special offer: 237 Patrons; $1,484/month
  • After special offer: 300 Patrons, $1,980/mo
  • 54 new Patrons — 3 $1, 41 $5, 5 $10, 3 $20, 2 $50
  • 10 upgraded pledges — 8 $1-$5, 2 $5-$10
  • 203 postcards to fulfill
  • Total growth: $496 (33.4% growth — that’s a third!!)

You’ll note that a lot of these numbers are slightly off from each other and/or my previous updates. I’m not sure how much of this is due to user error and how much is related to Patreon’s slight inconsistencies (e.g., listing some pledge upgrades as new pledges on my notifications page, despite listing them as upgrades in email notifications.) So take it all with a grain of salt, haha!

PROMO
Here’s everything I did to promote the offer:

  • Added a special cover photo & section (with graphics) to my Patreon bio to promote the offer
  • Posted about the offer 1-3 times on each of my main social media platforms (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook)
  • Mentioned the offer in reply to relevant posts on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, as well as in a relevant YouTube description
  • Filmed a specific upsell video for $1 Patrons

I think for me, what made this promotion so successful is a combination of things: First, I had recently gained a huge increase in followers as a result of my Jester cosplay & videos, so I had a new pool of potential Patrons to fish in. Plus, I themed my special offer around Jester, so it was very directly targeted at my new fans. Second, I made sure all of my content for the month was centered around the same theme as the offer. This made it very easy to turn all my content into an advertisement for the special offer, and kept energy high.

NOTES

One thing I want to note is that my $5 and $10 tiers don’t require a mailing address, so for this promotion, I needed people to go back and add their addresses. I still have about 50 Patrons who haven’t provided an address, so I’ll be hounding those people this week so I can get postcards in the mail before the new year. Not ideal, but I’m not sure what better solution there could be other than never mixing a physical special offer with a tier that doesn’t normally get physical rewards.

Overall, this offer was WILDLY successful for me! I think in some ways the stars aligned on this offer, so it might not raise my pledges by a solid third were I to repeat it in 6 months, but even half that growth would still be huge if repeatable. I’m a special offer evangelist now and I encourage everyone to try it!

I’m eager to see how many of these Patrons stick around (and will try and remember to come back and update this thread in a few months with that info!)

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@ginnydi thanks for sharing your results and feedback. It’s so great to hear that your special offer was a success, and great to see all the best practices you incorporated. It sounds like there’s an opportunity for us to improve the experience, especially with regards to the address needed for shipping physical goods.

We recently added some special offer analytics to the Pledge Growth dashboard, and I’m wondering if you (or anyone else) have found those useful.

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OH. I hadn’t even seen it! This is awesome!

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@ginnydi- this is so awesome! Congrats on the successful promotion! So great to see that you ran with the Special Offers so well and it really worked out :slight_smile:

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Hi all!

I wanted to provide a quick update on Special Offers for this group. We just released a feature that will make it easier to collect shipping address from existing and new patrons, during a Special Offer period. In essence, when setting up your Special Offer you can now indicate whether new patrons should be asked for a shipping address at the time of pledge, and an email should be automatically sent to patrons pledging to a special offer tier to ask that they check their shipping address. More details are available in the help page: https://support.patreon.com/hc/en-us/articles/360019139611-Special-Offers

We look forward to your continued feedback!
Ursula

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BRILLIANT, this is a perfect solution!! Thank you so much!

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