Special Offer Brainstorm

I’ve polled my current patrons and they’re evenly split among four concepts (featuring characters and logos from my webcomic The Middle Age)

  • an iron-on patch
  • a button pack
  • a solid metal pin (I’ve done enamel pins before so I wanted to do something different)
  • a small art print in which I’d work all the backer’s names into the design (Current thinking is I would draw the main cast of characters and include the backers names in the sky behind them).

My sense is that the solid metal pin or the patch would be things which would really trigger that Fear Of Missing Out.

The print would be the cheapest to produce.

Now I’m asking social media.

— Steve


Hi - I signed up for the special offer program but didn’t receive any notifications. Maybe I filled out the form too late? Is there any way I can access the content? I was really looking forward to it!

Thank you!

Hi Nikita!

Hmmm that’s so odd! I see you on our invite list. I’ve added you to our forum thread, which is linked here.. I will follow up with you with an email with the rest of the information from the live class!


Hello! I wanted to hop in here quickly! I love how creative you’re getting with your ideas, but unfortunately, offering a sweepstakes that’s only available to paying patrons falls into a “gambling” category, which is illegal in CA, where Patreon is headquartered. :-/ However, IF you have the option to win available to your wider community, not just patrons, it is ok to do. Here’s a great article in our help center that clarifies this: https://patreon.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/204199489-Can-I-offer-a-raffle-as-part-of-a-reward-

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We are going to offer pins. We have pins for each of our podcast hosts (with art from our logo like my avatar here) that we have only given out at conventions. We are going to offer a full set to $10 patrons as our special offer. Not everyone can get to a convention, or it’s rare that all of us are at the same show so it’s a good benefit to our listeners.


Thank you for the link to clarification on that.

I think you’re right to lean towards $10 tier for this — not only do you need to consider the cost of the postcards and postage, but you’ll also be spending time doodling on them, writing on them, addressing them, and mailing them. If you’re losing as much as $3.25/$5 (assuming your next tier down is $5) PLUS labor… on top of other rewards presumably? That seems like a loss!

However, I think the concept is really cool!! I’ll bet a lot of people would be thrilled to receive a wacky postcard from you. Heck, I’m happy to receive mail from anybody, let alone a creator I admire.

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By that logic, isn’t it also discriminatory to offer something to your $1 Patrons when not everyone has $1 to donate every month? I understand the fear of paywalling things and making people feel left out, but by even running a Patreon you’re also acknowledging that you are performing creative labor that you would like to be compensated for. I don’t see an issue with requesting more money in exchange for more labor.

But that’s just my ideological feelings on tiers — I don’t necessarily think you need multiple tiers in order to implement a special offer, personally! As long as your special offer doesn’t cost you money (because there’s no way you’d come out ahead paying for something for $1 pledges!) I think simply associating it with your single tier should be fine. Not sure what you create, but digital rewards could be anything from early or exclusive access to a video or set of images, an mp3 download, a livestream, etc.

(Also, if you DO want to implement more tiers, I don’t think that would necessarily take away the surprise of your $1 unlisted reward! Just continue to have your $1 tier listed as a “thank you!”/tip jar-type tier, but keep sending them your rewards when they sign up. You can still list rewards at higher tiers that are treated more traditionally.)

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We’ve been thinking about doing personalized video shout outs, but I’m not sure that feels special enough. We did a twitter poll a while back about what people would want the most and that got the most votes, but I’m not sure if that would translate to actual patron conversions.

I am considering doing 5-10 min individual phone calls where a fan can ask me any questions.
Each month I’d randomly choose a few patrons during my monthly bonus video.
I’d call from skype, so they don’t see my number (if you have other ideas, let me know).
I have some long-time fans who might really like this.
What do you think?

I’m thinking of a live event on my Patreon – mostly because I already do a lot of the kinds of things mentioned here, like I have a $5 level where I randomly send people cool postcards etc, I have a $3 level where I give them sneak peeks of work in progress…

So I’m thinking of previewing a Book Club idea I’ve been thinking of doing for a while, incorporating either a live video (I haaate doing these but people love them) or an audio component or just doing it as leading a discussion in my comments field.

The other option was to do a live reading of a story since the podcast that my Patreon supports is all about me reading my fiction aloud. I want it to be event based, in any case, and NOT about creating new work that only my supporters can read.

For you Tempest, some kind of Patreon-exclusive AMA might be a fun way to go? It could be text based if you don’t want to do live video (ugh people LOVE THIS) but something where your supporters can ask you things over a live hour or two… like people do with Reddit but obviously with a more supportive, less trolly audience.


Hi Colin!

My $5 is Random Act of Post, where I promise to send the supporter something by snail mail 3 times a year. i do these in batches, and I’m up to about 30 people…

It can be as small as a postcard (I’ve done vintage ones bought in bulk, and printed my own), or occasionally something more substantial. I’ve written recipe cards, I did an enamel pin for Christmas last year. I’m about to send out 30 copies of a little fanzine I made, just an A4 page folded.

I keep expectations reasonably low - a personalised postcard – but it’s fun to exceed them sometimes.

3 times a year works for me as I can keep my energy up to do something fun or clever, and it covers the costs. The big change that I made this year was that all the pledges above $5 get this reward too, which I think helped me keep the higher pledges as ongoing, even though they tend to get one-off rewards otherwise.


Hi - I’ve been wanting to do a weekly livestream on relationship topics. I think I will offer to name my $5+ patrons at the end of my first livestream.

I also want to give people a chance to pick the first topics, so maybe the patrons can vote via poll at the end of the special offer period?

I’m trying to get people to join at the $15-25 dollar level. I’m thinking of offering one ($15), two ($20) or unlimited ($25) non-interactive classes a month, just the ability to read/view/listen. I currently have tiers at: $55 for one, $65 for two and $75 for unlimited interactive classes.

So any $5+ patron would get mentioned in the livestream, and then I’ll create these new non-interactive tiers. How does that sound?

Thanks for your feedback!


Sounds like a great idea Colin. Do $10 and encourage existing patrons to increase their pledge/reward those who already back you at that level or go for $5 to possibly attract new patrons who may hopefully stick around for months/years to come? What do you think you’re gonna do?


Perhaps you could do a digital postcard: take a photograph of wherever you happen to be and make it into your own “whacky” postcard with a a message on the back. That you can email out without having postage chew into your funds if you wanted more people to be able to see/share it.


@nancy.shanteau, that’s a great idea. Special offers are a good way to entice your followers to become members of higher tiers. At this time, you can run one special offer at a time, so one advise I’d like to share if you’re set on having different offers based on tiers, is to be very clear in your description, as to avoid any confusion or wrong expectations. Hope this helps. Ursula


Well…I for some reason misunderstood the instructions, freaked out and started my special already! LOL. You all go ahead and steal it all you want for ideas. Basically, here is my offer:

  • SPECIAL! Weekly AKA “Ask Ksenia Anything” 1-hour text-chat on Discord! (Mondays 1-2 PM PST, ends on Halloween)

I’m teaching writers a proven method how to write a book in 1 draft (no prior writing experience needed). It’s called 12-Acts Story Structure. So I offered a 1-hour weekly Discord chat about it, as I’ve been getting a million questions about it, and only my Bears ($100 level tier) have a chat option, so I added it to Squirrels ($5 level tier). So far got a few new Squirrels over the last two days.

We shall see what happens…


I think I’ve settled on my special offer, which is going to be a “secret tier” that you can get on by pledging more that $1. I’m going to use this secret tier and add people to a secret mailing list (powered by Zapier + Mailchimp) that will describe my transition from the tech world to the creator world in gritty detail. I’ll be going into deeper financial details, personal life stuff, etc, to a level that will be interesting to some and TMI to others. I made it a “secret tier” because I want people to explicitly opt-in and I also want to give patrons some flexibility in what they pay. I have no idea if this idea will work or not, but I had fun coming up with it… you’ll all obviously hear more about how it goes! :slight_smile:


I have settled on a laptop stickers and have made it of a local threatened bird species so if I don’t get anywhere near as many patrons as I hope then I can go to our local wildlife institute and confabulate with them to use some of the extra stickers to promote conservation events (and possibly get my Patreon more visibility from a local grass roots perspective/create future art based collaborations).

I still love the idea of pins and such but I need a bigger Patreon base before i am comfortable with that.

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